*WHITE PAPER* The Sound of Music - How & Why the Speaker Cable Matters


G'DAY

I’ve spent a sizeable amount of the last year putting together this white paper: The Sound of Music and Error in Your Speaker Cables

Yes, I’ve done it for all the naysayers but mainly for all the cable advocates that know how you connect your separates determines the level of accuracy you can part from your system.

I’ve often theorized what is happening but now, here is some proof of what we are indeed hearing in speaker cables caused by the mismatch between the characteristic impedance of the speaker cable and the loudspeaker impedance.

I’ve included the circuit so you can build and test this out for yourselves.


Let the fun begin


Max Townshend 

Townshend Audio



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I spent some time to figure out why and what is the electrical parameter to make a speaker cable better or worst. I need to agree with Mr.
audio2design that Mr. Max Townshend got it wrong. Sorry about that.

I’d found out that a speaker cable is a wire that has mostly resistance and a bit L and C characteristics, depends on structure and length.
I also figured out, that the speaker cable is not about current. I used a Klipsch Forte-II with 99dB/w/m SPL efficiency, that a loud play would squeeze some 3W peak from my CARVER 250W Amp. the Klipsch were 8 ohms and easy to drive, and the speaker cable still made a difference!
I looked into getting thicker cables and sound improved.
Looking at the speaker - speaker cable - Amp circuit, I dropped the speaker (from the analysis) and looked at the Amp’s output. I’d found there the DF (equivalent to the output resistance of the Amp.) The speaker cable were only an extension to that resistance.
I also found, what should be the ratio between the Amp’s DF (output resistance, and the speaker cable resistance, including its length). So I tried it and went a long way to see if I’m correct or wrong.
Well, all sound systems, showed some improvement (some significand and dramatic improvement). However, when that speaker cable exceeded the required (calculated) thickness, sound did not improve any more!
Some, had claim that the C and L were left out in my analysis. Well Wiki says that DF or Amp’s output resistance is calculated and ref. as a pure resistance (vs. a constant 8 ohms at 1kHz). To eliminate C, I use two separate cables (as they are mostly thick) and that places them apart, rather than go with a pair inside a cable for the entire length.

This DF relation is getting tricky when Amps vary from tube (low DF, under 20) or digital Amp. with DF as high as 4000 and above.
For the first, a land phone cord would mostly do. For a DF of 4000, the cable becomes impracticaly thick. it is mostly better to use two monoblocks, place them as close as possible to the speaker and get the speaker cable as short as possible. Even place the two back to back and use a solid copper jumper.

For practical reasons, any cable thicker than #12 AWG is difficult to work with, connect to spades or banana plugs. So most stuff on the market is of that gauge or less! Very bad...So most manufacturers, respected or not, came out with fairy tales, regarding properties that has nothing to do with physics: Directional, Bi-Wire, Cryo treatment, Silver, High purity and more. None apply.
On top, some cables pricing got absurd. There is no justification for that. None of the manufacturers provide a cable with any costly R&D or material list. The bottom line is of an enormous profit figure.



Remarkable the way people who have never heard them nevertheless know they can’t work. Sadly, I possess no powers that enable me to know how anything sounds by looking. Or measuring. The only cable measurement I have any faith in at all is length. The only way I know to determine how something sounds is to hook it up and listen.

Might be a while. But I am working on it.
Mr. millercarbon

With all the respect to your empiring methode, it will take you a lifetime to tune into the right cable, and still you may not get there. On top, when cables are relatively costly, it may cost you a bit. 
If you would step up and use your brain, you could be there (the best cable for your system) at one try, just by a small calculation. I'll be happy to do that for you. All I need is the Amp's Df figure and the length of the cables required.
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