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A buddy told you can us LAMP electrical cords for speaker cable.

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A buddy told you can us LAMP electrical cords for speaker cable.

Old 11-07-02, 05:16 AM
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A buddy told you can us LAMP electrical cords for speaker cable.

He said he read it in a HT type mag but he couldn't remember the name. He said they tested speaker wire and Electrical cord wire like the ones used in lamps and there was no difference in audio quality.


I guess it makes sense...had anyone elses read this article? I don't know what mag it was.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 11-07-02 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 11-07-02, 07:41 AM
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"Lamp" cord is speaker "cable" in that it carries a signal.

The debate is a long and lengthy one. If you ears cannot hear the difference then you are set!
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Old 11-07-02, 09:32 AM
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Exactly. Wire is wire, there aren't different flavors of copper for various types of charges that run on them. You might as well save some dough and scrounge the junkyard for old jumper cables, they're thick, shielded, and all you've got to do is pop a couple jacks on each end for a new set of audio cables!

If it sounds the same to you, it doesn't matter what you use, I suppose.
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Old 11-07-02, 09:56 AM
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16 ga. zip cord is just fine.

THis is one of those debate issues in audio. I look at it this way- the money saved from buying trendy wire could be far better spent on an area that you could hear results, like speakers or amp.
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Old 11-07-02, 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by bfrank
16 ga. zip cord is just fine.

THis is one of those debate issues in audio. I look at it this way- the money saved from buying trendy wire could be far better spent on an area that you could hear results, like speakers or amp.

Exactly.
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Old 11-07-02, 06:48 PM
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Originally posted by bfrank
16 ga. zip cord is just fine.

THis is one of those debate issues in audio. I look at it this way- the money saved from buying trendy wire could be far better spent on an area that you could hear results, like speakers or amp.


good point
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Old 11-07-02, 08:58 PM
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As long as your runs of wire are short in length (say less then 25 feet) and your speakers do not require insane amounts of power, 16 ga wire is all that you need. Any copper cord will do for the most part.

Dont buy into the hype of Oxygen Free Copper or any other fancy copper or silver formulations. Once these wires are wrapped around the spool they are sold on, dislocations are placed in the copper's crystal structure dimenishing the usefulness of pure copper in the first place. Unless your ears can differentiate small difference in the speed of electons, you will be wasting your money on super expensive wiring.

J
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Old 11-08-02, 12:51 AM
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Originally posted by bfrank
16 ga. zip cord is just fine.

THis is one of those debate issues in audio. I look at it this way- the money saved from buying trendy wire could be far better spent on an area that you could hear results, like speakers or amp.
I do find that fancy wiring when you tape the receipt on it does get quite a response from friends and family


I am willing to use less expensive cables in my system. The one thing I do look for is well constructed cables and 14-16 ga. wire for speakers.
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Old 11-08-02, 02:05 AM
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I like the "trendy" cables, hate those cheap ones
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Old 11-08-02, 11:39 AM
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Sure you can use zip cord instead of botique wire to connect your speakers. You can use a hanger to send digital signals as well. For that matter, I could drive a Dodge Dart to work every day. But the question is...why???

If you don't hear a difference in cables, then don't buy 'expensive' ones.
The same goes for components and hardware. Hey, if you can't tell the difference between Krell and Suzukiyamamotoshita amps, then don't buy them. But by the same token, don't tell me there is no difference betwen the two because you can't hear it.
I'm not a bargain hunter. I've never felt the need to buy zip cord for my system. Personally, I don't mind paying for what I want.
And to be quite honest seeing a nice system with zip cord and Rat Shack cables is like seeing a McLaren with a 'Shite Happens' bumper sticker- it just ain't right.

YMMV.
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Old 11-08-02, 12:35 PM
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I did not want to go there DVD_O_Rama since this subject has been beaten into a thousand deaths.

I do however agree with you.
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Old 11-08-02, 12:43 PM
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Let me tell you a bit about the world of wire manufacturing. The infrastructure to actually manufacture wire is huge and there is no audio wire brand that manufactures its own wire. They use the same factories that manufacture the "zip" cord.

In the end you need to have what makes you enjoy your investment best.


In the end its like DVD-O-Rama points out. An economy car gets you to work just the same as a Vet but which makes you feel better?

As I mentioned this is a hot topic in audio. I will say that there have been many published scientific double blind test that bring into question the ability to distinguish the difference between cables. Also any first year electrical engineer will explain that there is no scientific foundation for the claims of highend wire manufactures. Also look inside the electronics and the speakers and see what is in the signal path. Plain copper wire, PCB traces and component leads equal to 24 gage.

There is also a lot of published information about psyco-acoustics and the effect of knowing you have expensive cables on your perceived improvement in sound.

I have worked in the industry for 16 years and have never meet an engineer that can pass a double blind test of cables.

as always its what makes you happy
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Old 11-08-02, 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by bfrank
Let me tell you a bit about the world of wire manufacturing. The infrastructure to actually manufacture wire is huge and there is no audio wire brand that manufactures its own wire. They use the same factories that manufacture the "zip" cord.

In the end you need to have what makes you enjoy your investment best.


In the end its like DVD-O-Rama points out. An economy car gets you to work just the same as a Vet but which makes you feel better?

As I mentioned this is a hot topic in audio. I will say that there have been many published scientific double blind test that bring into question the ability to distinguish the difference between cables. Also any first year electrical engineer will explain that there is no scientific foundation for the claims of highend wire manufactures. Also look inside the electronics and the speakers and see what is in the signal path. Plain copper wire, PCB traces and component leads equal to 24 gage.

There is also a lot of published information about psyco-acoustics and the effect of knowing you have expensive cables on your perceived improvement in sound.

I have worked in the industry for 16 years and have never meet an engineer that can pass a double blind test of cables.

as always its what makes you happy
Just curious but is it the same thing for interconnect cables? I know you can get them silver plated and oxygen free too, but at the end of the day the insides of the component may just use copper.
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Old 11-08-02, 06:09 PM
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Interconnects have one key difference. The connector! This area is a common problem for audio systems. Good connection is critical for good signal.
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Old 11-08-02, 06:34 PM
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I'm not an expert but ditto

Originally posted by bfrank
16 ga. zip cord is just fine.

THis is one of those debate issues in audio. I look at it this way- the money saved from buying trendy wire could be far better spent on an area that you could hear results, like speakers or amp.
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Old 11-11-02, 12:37 PM
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Ok here is my two cents on this and this is just to give you what I have found out. I've always wondered about this to and skeptical about this. I recently had a chance to test this here at home. A friend of mine just bought a new home and had to dismantle his system. Well he has some $13/per ft. Audioquest wire he uses so I asked him if I could borrow them. I have Synergy Bi-wire wire hooked up to a pair of (don't laugh) Dahlquist profile 26 speakers. This is run by a Denon 3802.For music I used a variety but mostly one of my favorite CD'S Peter White's Caravan of Dreams album track#1. With movies I used Dragonheart the fight scene,Toy Story 2 crossing the street and when he's trying to get his arm back,Clear and Present Danger's ambush Scene,Saving Private Ryan's holding the bridge scene. What I did was warm up the 3802 and speakers with my demo disc for about 15-20 minutes or so at a decent level. I then listened to Peter White track #1 4 times at about 12 decibel. I then turned off the 3802 and changed out the wires and let play for a few minutes at a lower level. I put it back to 12 decibel and played the same track 4 times. I was floored! the soundstage just opened up so much and the detail was amazing! I heard instruments that before I could not and the ones I could barely hear were very much there now. Now remember I had just heard this same song maybe 10-12 minutes ago. I could not believe the difference I thought if any the difference would be subtle. Even my wife was surprised and she even vaguely likes this stuff only because of me. Well I turned off everything and went through the same process with the movies. The difference was substantial but just under what the music was but it was quite a bit. Just things came out in more detail and sound that was vaguely there was very present now. The dialog was more clear and not so "muffled" washed out. Like in Toy Story 2 when Bullseye walking to him and steps on the Cheetos and when Woody is on his chest you can hear Al breathing so well and when Al walks out the room you hear his foot steps and stepping on the Cheetos so clear. Anyway I've made this to long so I'm need the end this. Anyway it made a big difference the detail and soundstage was just amazing. Now if I would have went to my friends house and listened to it ,then went home and listened to the same stuff I may have not noticed that big of a difference. Well like most of you said wire is wire and don't know the science of it but something made a big difference and I heard a big difference. So you guys take this for what it's worth and needless to say I replaced my speaker wire with Audioquest and this is from a guy that has Dahlquist speakers because my kids come first.
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Old 11-12-02, 02:12 PM
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There's a rather lengthy discussion on this over at www.avsforum.com . I'd link it, but I'm at work and can't get to the site for some reason.
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Old 11-12-02, 07:46 PM
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HTROB, I would recommend reading some of the papers submitted by Dr. Floyd Toole to the audio engineering society about "psy- choacoustic". He has explained your test in detail. I know it is hard to buy but the fact that you know what you were listening to discounts your test. There is science to explain your out come from the Dr. Toole's research.

In our industry we only use double blind testing. Which is where you have no clue what you are listening to and you need to repeat your outcome on consecutive days.

I have done this test and will tell you that it changes how you view listening.

Let me tell you about my first. First you must pass a hearing test then you do the blind test. In this environment it is way harder then you think to repeat your results. On the first day I was sure one "button" was better then the other "button". Then the next day they sound about the same???? Wait this is the same test, quite an eye opener. I kept listening for the same parts of the tracks that I noticed on the first day but it was not as clear of a difference. On the third day again the difference was small and nothing like I heard on the first day. Why, this was a controlled test with every factor tested on each day the system did not change but my listening did?


Anyway to each his own as I have said before in this thread.
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Old 11-12-02, 07:58 PM
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http://www.harman.com/wp/pdf/AudioScience.pdf

Here is some manditory reading if you want to do critical listening
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Old 11-12-02, 08:15 PM
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I'm sure the resistance rating of the wire might have an affect
as would shielding
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Old 11-13-02, 02:13 PM
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Well I figured someone was going to bring the science "thing" into it. I've read most that stuff and that's all I did is "read " it. Well BFRANK what I didn't say in my 1st post "because I thought it was getting lengthy so I didn't go on" is that I did that. The 1st time was on a Thursday then I did I that following Saturday and Sunday. As A matter of fact my Brother and his friend came over and did it to them without them knowing. But only with music by then they knew what I was doing. I asked them what they thought of this song and he went to go do what he came over for. When I changed everything I called them over to ask him a question to see if he noticed and he asked what I did because that song sounded so much clearer. Even when my wife came in she had no idea what I was doing and even she noticed.
BFRANK I'm not trying to agree or disagree with you. Just trying all this stuff everyone always argues about. I was not trying to prove right or wrong. So I wasnt trying to listen for anything just to see if there was any difference. Now my problem with all these "test" these scientist do and like you mention this "psy- choacoustic" thing. I think it affects them more than what I did because whether they admit it or not "they are looking for something. They are trying to prove if it's true or not. With the "blind test" you talk about, again when you know you going to get a "test" or be in one then again they are expecting it. So what I'm getting at is I think this "psy- choacoustic" thing comes into play more in that than what I did and mostly to my brother,his friend and my wife. They wern't listening for anything and I wasn't trying to prove anything just wanted to see what would happen. By the the way when I did it on Sunday it was still a big difference.
I'm not making an arguemnet for or against. I just had a chance to do this and wanted to tell everyone what happened that's all so take it for what's it's worth
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Old 11-13-02, 02:45 PM
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Great points.

Some other factors that would need to check to verify your results would be the condition and impedance of the wires.
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Old 11-13-02, 05:02 PM
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BFRANK thanks if anyone wants to know both wires were in good condition. They are both 16 ga.. At the time I had have had my bi-wires for a little over a year and I think he had his for close to a year(11 months).
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Old 11-13-02, 11:28 PM
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HTROB,

The major problem with your listening test is the amount of time elasped between listening to the same recording using different wiring. You also knew which wire you were using which can also have an effect in your results. Human hearing is notoriously inaccurate. Personally I go with decent interconnects, but not anything over the top becuase the price versus performance ration is usually not warranted for me, but to each their own (As long as it is not my money, do what you want).

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Old 11-14-02, 04:48 AM
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OK MASTER J if 10 minutes a long time to you then so be it. But I was not trying pick just compare. If thats the case what about wife,brother and his friend? They knew nothing about it and noticed. Well I'm not arguing about this I'll leave that up to you guys. I just think the best test of all was them not knowing I was testing them and not knowing. For them to notice was pretty big. that's all I'm saying so take it for what it's worth.
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