How to select a good Speaker Cable

Speaker cables do have a significant role in how our system sounds. Different cables sound different. 

So which one is the right one for you?

The Speaker Cable is an extension of the Amp. and not an addition to the speaker's load. It shall have a certain resistance (low) not to spoil the Amp's DF figure. As so, it can be calculated and there is a formula to do it.

The higher the Amp's DF, the lower the Speaker Cable's resistance shall be. As today SS power Amp's get DFs of 400 and above (Digital Amps go by thousands) the cable of 10 ft (3m) long, gets as thick as 0 AWG.

I can see your eyebrows elevates, when that thick cable is to be deal with. Most Speaker Cable makers skip it because of that. So most cables on the market (regardless of the look or price) are of 14-12 AWG. Way less that supposed to be.

Worst! no Speaker Cable maker, dealer or seller knows the answer, of what is the correct cable for your system. 

So most of us ended up, with a cables too thin for the task.

A conducted test, on this site, about a year ago as well as with some closer friends, shows a significant improvement with a calculated size cable over their previous cable. The results were all positive and preferred the calculated cable.

So, instead of asking: which of two brands, or two prices or two colors of Speaker Cable do I need, you should ask how thick of a Speaker Cable do I need.

I'll be happy to provide you the calculation, for who request it. All you need to provide is:

1). Length (Ft. or meter)

2). The Amp's DF figure.



406 posts
08-24-2020 10:14pm
" Tube Amps have low DF so cables won't change the sound a bit.
If the cables are meant to end up with a tube Amp. don't bother at all."

 Wrong. Even my friends tiny 3.5W 2A3 SE-amp grew up when given 9awg solid copper. (no stranded distorted junk here please)

 Instead of using 0awg stranded, 7awg solid will outperform it by a mile. Be aware though that the solid conductors will need up to one hour of heavy high-power massage to open up.

I discovered this back in the 90`s. This and a lot moore. 
Mr. unfairlane

If you would be kind to read back a bit, you would find out two major things:
1. The calculation works,
2. If you connect a thicker cable than required by calc. it will not improve sound.
For a tube amp. with so many floues, the cable is minor.
I see you promote the solid cables agenda. It is BS. Go sale it elsewhere. 
I`ve done this for decades b4icu. 

 1: The calculations are not too accurate but the main thing is that just the resistance IS the main problem with speakercables (resistance kills dynamics). The (stranded) conductors internal interference is the second most important. 

 2: First part is correct. We can reduce serial resistance until it is negligable,  on a insignificant level, beyond that it`s nothing moore to gain. But wow how much power, control and authority that can be recovered. You will only find a part of this by using huge stranded conductors because of all the internal loss. Heavy single-core performs in another league.

  Your view on tubeaps is based on calculations which cannot allways be trusted. My claim is built on real listening experiences by both the tubeaps owners and me. No calculators involved.

 Want to try the optimal conductor? Try mimimum 7awg solid copper to the woofers, use bi/tri- wiring when possible, thinner wires like 9awg to mids, 12awg for tweeters (if they are) alone. Be aware that solid conductors needs a short high-power burn-in to open up. 

 No b4icu, I`m not selling anything, just guiding thos who wants. I know how to make the ultimate interconnect too, and powercables. And moore.

Mr. unfairlane

"calculations which cannot always be trusted" Tell this no NASA or any Airborne manufacturer.

Bi/tri- wiring is BS. Run it on a Spice simulation and see why.

No conductor needs BI. It is the most common say for dealers to prevent a bad sounding product, from being returned and refunded. For real, nothing changes over time.

Mr. unfairlane, over your skills and talents, you talk of subject and I’m not going to offer you a job...

There are plenty well founded design rules in Aerospace ( 30+ years doing that including running wire shops, electronic Fab, etc for orbital and sub orbital hardware ) for wire separation between heavy load and more delicate signals. The modulation IF you don’t separate the wire is measurable... and in audio clearly audible.

enjoy the music :-)