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question about speaker wire

Old 12-04-02, 05:10 PM
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question about speaker wire

OK, so I have been to CC and Best Buy and they all tried to sell me the monster speaker wire, which came in some expensive set, totalling around 70 dollars. My question.. and please provide an honest and (if possible) unbiased reason.. is if monster speaker wire is really that different from speaker wire that you can get cheaper at Radio Shack. Is there a real and definite difference in sound that can be detected by the human ear? I would really appreciate people's inputs because it seems like there is soo much hype when it comes to Monster, so much so that its hard to get an honest answer from people about it.

I have also seen some mid priced speaker wire from AR which made my component video cable thats attached to my tv. Their speaker wire doesn't seem to look that different from monster, except for the difference in price. The only difference that may be apparent is that there was a difference in the gage of the speaker wire, or at least thats how I think it was spelled. :P

Anyways... please help me out here and tell me all there is to know about speaker wires!
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Old 12-04-02, 05:51 PM
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Re: question about speaker wire

Originally posted by Mikey
Anyways... please help me out here and tell me all there is to know about speaker wires!
The forum's search feature is your friend!
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Old 12-04-02, 05:54 PM
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I am curious about this as well. A Best Buy employee told me to buy the Monster Cable twisted speaker wires. It was $80 for the spool and that just seemed ridiculous. All I want to know is what gauge and brand should I buy. It'd be great if someone could help Mikey and myself out.
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Old 12-04-02, 05:55 PM
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Uh-oh...

(Monster is a huge rip IM[and many, many, many others]HO but this is a debate that will never end and it has been beaten to death - run a search)

Last edited by Johnny Zhivago; 12-04-02 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 12-04-02, 08:03 PM
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I linked to a bunch of threads about exotic vs. plain cable in this thread:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=239921

Many of those talk about interconnects, but to a degree the same arguments hold for speaker cable. Of course, exactly to what degree is sometimes a topic of debate also.
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Old 12-05-02, 02:14 AM
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Just buy 12g or 14g Oxygen Free speaker wire from wherever you find it and you will have very good wires. Now if you have a $100,000 system then maybe (just maybe) you will hear a barely audible difference!

Of course the goofs at BB and CC are going to tell you that these Monster cables are a "must have" because the markup on those wires is HUGE and a big profit maker for them!

Last edited by Frank S; 12-05-02 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 12-05-02, 11:20 AM
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Cool, thanks for the the links and the info. Now just for a quick question, what is the difference between 14g and 16g?
thanks!
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Old 12-05-02, 11:55 AM
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I'm pretty sure I ripped this from the HomeTheaterForum Primer.

Understanding AWG and specifications
This chart relates the area of the copper part (not insulation) to it's gauge:
mm2 - AWG Size
0.5 mm2 = 20 gauge wire
0.8 = 18
1.0 = 16
2.0 = 14
3.0 = 12
5.0 = 10
8.0 = 8
13.0 = 6
19.0 = 4
32.0 = 2
52.0 = 0


I ran 14ga CL3 In Wall rated cable from Home Depot to all my speakers. $0.22/ft. The jump in price to run 12ga was not worth it to me at this point.


EDIT: Fixed link

Last edited by digitalmanAZ; 12-05-02 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 12-05-02, 05:35 PM
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Try www.ac4l.com I have used these cables and great for the price. I use them over Monster and are very good.
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Old 12-05-02, 08:58 PM
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wow, some of you must have some crappy systems.

my system in total is around $5K, and without the cables, it wouldnt sound half as good. you guys who say that cables mean nothing are losing SO much by using "just wire". monster IS overpriced, i admit it. but its SO much better than just what comes in the box or some cheap home depot stuff.

do yourself a favor, borrow some decent speaker cable, try it out. you SHOULD be able to tell a difference. (not on a HTIAB, but on a component system). if you have relatively decent gear, it will sound much much better. my 2 cents. just try it, rather than saying people that spend $$$ on cable are stupid.

hell, i spent $500 on one pair of my cables. $80 is like the connectors for them... thats NOTHING. read any serious home theatre/audio guide, it will say to spend roughly 15% of the audio cost on cables. do the math, if $4 is right for you, awesome. but for most entry level systems, $70 isnt too much to ask.

do you really expect to get $1000 worth of sound out of your system with $5 in cables?

quote from panasonic rep: "we recently got the cost of the cables that come with our dvd players down from $0.04 to $0.03. if we could get that cost down to $0.01, we would."

i bet thats really great stuff :-)
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Old 12-05-02, 10:03 PM
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cowanrg, if it sounds good, then who cares what it costs? I did in-home trials with 4 different brands, and they sounded Identical, and my system is $3k. While I agree that "just wire" is not a bad thing, but spending a grand on speaker wire for one room is sickening and excessive. I'm not slamming you, but even cables that don't cost soooo much put out good sound.

Anyways, check out some of the stuff from www.partsexpress.com . I ended up buying the Dayton Audio interconnects and Speaker King speaker wire, and altogether it sounds better than when I tried it wired with Monster cables.
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Old 12-05-02, 10:20 PM
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Well I don't think anyone is really saying just get the cheapest crap you can find! If you get decent Oyxgen Free wire (in the 12g or 14g size) you already have a good wire. Cheapo wires NEVER are Oxygen Free (which requires a lot more QC) so that is the main reason to insist on it.

What I think is most funny about those who insist on expensive wire is the fact that 99% of the speakers sold have wire far inferior inside so it makes no difference how expensive the wire runs are up to the speakers (unless your talking 100 yards or so) you still only get as good a signal as your weakest wire in the link! But I'm sure Monster and others have their theories about how "their" wires defy the laws of physics which is why they cost so much!

And by the way my audio system runs just under $20,000 and I have tried ultra-expensive cables (on the insistance of my dealer and just to borrow) and there was no audible difference between the cables I had originally and the $3000 worth of cable I have borrowed to try out. But I guess if you actually buy the expensive cable "you feel you BETTER hear a difference" to justify the purchase. Kind of like the Bose owners who insist even after demoing a system FAR, FAR beyond their Bose system's capabilties that their is superior. I think they are embarrassed to admit they pissed away a lot of money and got taken so thye just act like it's the cream of the crop!

Last edited by Frank S; 12-05-02 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 12-05-02, 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by Frank S
But I guess if you actually buy the expensive cable "you feel you BETTER hear a difference" to justify the purchase.
Exactly. It's just a placebo effect. After you spend a lot of money on cables, your mind tells you that it should be hearing an audible difference, and so you think you do. But perform a double-blind test and there is no way to tell the difference between one cable and the other, because there is none.
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Old 12-05-02, 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Z
Exactly. It's just a placebo effect. After you spend a lot of money on cables, your mind tells you that it should be hearing an audible difference, and so you think you do. But perform a double-blind test and there is no way to tell the difference between one cable and the other, because there is none.
Josh,
Sans the fact that we are talking about buying decent quality/priced wires as opposed to the Monster and other even more rediculous priced wire manufacturers out there. Of course we all know that ultra-cheapo wire that cost $1 for 50 feet is NOT a wire we would consider decent! Other then that you are dead on right!

I just wanted to clarify before we get a responce that "Oh, so the cheapest wire out there is as good as the most expensive one?"
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Old 12-05-02, 11:26 PM
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we had a long talk about it here-

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...highlight=wire
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Old 12-05-02, 11:46 PM
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People who say wire is all the same are the same people using cheap Panasonic and APEX dvd players as their main player Granted I wouldnt wanna spend $1000/ft on cable, but it would make a difference in sound. If you can't tell a difference, then good for you, but don't deny there isnt one for other people. Get yourself a little spool of some decent AudioQuest wire and you should be good to go.
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Old 12-05-02, 11:50 PM
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Yeah the Panasonic RP-91 is a cheap/crappy DVD player!
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Old 12-05-02, 11:54 PM
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thank you, this is exactly what i was trying to say!

you just said it much better than i.

and i would like to add, partsexpress is a GREAT place go get stuff. they carry decent stuff at decent prices. highly recommended.

Originally posted by discostu1337
People who say wire is all the same are the same people using cheap Panasonic and APEX dvd players as their main player Granted I wouldnt wanna spend $1000/ft on cable, but it would make a difference in sound. If you can't tell a difference, then good for you, but don't deny there isnt one for other people. Get yourself a little spool of some decent AudioQuest wire and you should be good to go.
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Old 12-05-02, 11:57 PM
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Originally posted by cowanrg
i would like to add, partsexpress is a GREAT place go get stuff. they carry decent stuff at decent prices. highly recommended.
I wanted to thank you for the reccomendation by the way. I picked up an Optical cable, rca cables, and sub cable from Dayton for a VERY reasonable price and those cable are superb quality.
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Old 12-06-02, 12:22 AM
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i use them all the time.

i have a stack of bills from them sitting on my computer desk. truly a solid company.

if anyone needs solder, check out their price on WBT solder. an industry best, and about 50% of what anyone else sells it for! they sell for $28 for 1/2 lb. most places ive seen over $50 or $60 for same amount.

(ive put together over 10 amps with that 1/2 lb, and ive still got quite a bit left)
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Old 12-06-02, 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by cowanrg
wow, some of you must have some crappy systems.
Seems your constructive comments are about as good as our systems.

Welcome to the forum. Looking at your other posts since you registered here a couple days ago, I see this is probably just an anomaly.

Users of this forum range from HT newbies, hobbyists, to passionate audiophiles. Being an HT noob, I would consider the Technics rcvr I just replaced a crappy system given that I can't decode the system in your signature. Mikey and Absolute Zero did not state a budget, but some useful comments would be better than $5K downtalking.

Given the research I did before purchasing my new system, the 14ga cable is a good tradeoff between quality and price. At the very least, it's 10x better than the lamp cord. I did spend the recommended 10-15% on speaker and interconnect cables and am very happy with my new $1K HT Newbie system.
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Old 12-10-02, 01:44 PM
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Also check out cablesamerica.com. They have very good a/v cables (mostly python brand) at reasonable prices. For those of us who don't need placebos. $^) (And for those who don't feel the need to spend hundreds of dollars on cables just to assure themselves that their system is high-end! There *is* a point of diminishing returns, and once you get past O-free copper, and use decently-shielded cables with gold interconnects, all of the other mumbo-jumbo that the cable mfrs. throw at you won't make any noticeable difference, sonically or visually. This point is well below Monster's price point, btw. $^)
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Old 12-10-02, 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by cowanrg
wow, some of you must have some crappy systems.

my system in total is around $5K, and without the cables, it wouldnt sound half as good. you guys who say that cables mean nothing are losing SO much by using "just wire". monster IS overpriced, i admit it. but its SO much better than just what comes in the box or some cheap home depot stuff.

do yourself a favor, borrow some decent speaker cable, try it out. you SHOULD be able to tell a difference. (not on a HTIAB, but on a component system). if you have relatively decent gear, it will sound much much better. my 2 cents. just try it, rather than saying people that spend $$$ on cable are stupid.

hell, i spent $500 on one pair of my cables. $80 is like the connectors for them... thats NOTHING. read any serious home theatre/audio guide, it will say to spend roughly 15% of the audio cost on cables. do the math, if $4 is right for you, awesome. but for most entry level systems, $70 isnt too much to ask.

do you really expect to get $1000 worth of sound out of your system with $5 in cables?

quote from panasonic rep: "we recently got the cost of the cables that come with our dvd players down from $0.04 to $0.03. if we could get that cost down to $0.01, we would."

i bet thats really great stuff :-)
So what are you using for sound,reciever-preamp-amp?

tommy
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Old 12-10-02, 06:38 PM
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i would like to apologize. i just get VERY frustrated when people think just one component is going to make their system better. every little tiny thing you do to a system makes it better. cables, power conditioning, source, etc...

for instance i just got done building the new powe supply for my NAD cd player. all battery powered :-) batteries give constant power and its clean as can be... you just need a ton of them to give it enough juice.

sorry all! you gotta remember i deal with this all day, "nah, cables wont make any difference". and being the salesperson, they never believe me.

Originally posted by digitalmanAZ
Seems your constructive comments are about as good as our systems.

Welcome to the forum. Looking at your other posts since you registered here a couple days ago, I see this is probably just an anomaly.

Users of this forum range from HT newbies, hobbyists, to passionate audiophiles. Being an HT noob, I would consider the Technics rcvr I just replaced a crappy system given that I can't decode the system in your signature. Mikey and Absolute Zero did not state a budget, but some useful comments would be better than $5K downtalking.

Given the research I did before purchasing my new system, the 14ga cable is a good tradeoff between quality and price. At the very least, it's 10x better than the lamp cord. I did spend the recommended 10-15% on speaker and interconnect cables and am very happy with my new $1K HT Newbie system.
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Old 12-10-02, 06:42 PM
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well, still putting together my system, just waiting until after xmas so i can buy a few things...

source is to be a pioneer elite 45a or 47ai, depending on budget, ill probably end up with the 45a. thats running into an older kenwood surround processor/receiver (surprisingly, it sounds darn good). that runs into psb speakers all around.

im upgrading the processor to a denon or rotel. im currently building a pair of aleph2 monoblocks. i have yet to decide if i want an ultimate surround system, or a decent surround and a dedicated 2-channel system. if i do 2 system, ill just get a cheaper denon, and move the monoblocks to another system with the NAD cd player.

the problem is i have limited room and of course limited funds, even though i get almost everything at cost

Originally posted by tommy28
So what are you using for sound,reciever-preamp-amp?

tommy
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