Good quality, Unfancy Speaker Cable ?

mhardy6647

Señor Member
I went the Cat 5 route for a while. It sounded good to me at first but could be harsh at certain frequencies. I did the whole multiple braid thing that is described on line. Alas, I moved on and am pretty content for the time being.
Yeah, me too FWIW.
I won't say that I remember it sounding harsh, but I definitely got better quality bass from other wires.

Amusingly, the internal wiring in my Billfort Altec cabinets is CAT5... I should probably remediate that someday... :p
 

J-ROB

Senior Member
Mea culpa.... it was I who hipped Jeff to Emilar EH-500s. From now on I will restrict my recommendations to sophisticated New England correspondents.

Such eminently civil blokes are probably also interested in tinned speaker cable. I have been experimenting with a few interesting budget variants.

Tinned wire is the standard for wiring up WE systems and I have been using it for Altec for a long time. I guess I could generalize and offer that tinned wire is not peaky and maybe a touch subdued, for speakers that don't need wire effects to make them happen.

Marine speaker wire
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Conductor-25-FT-16-Gauge-White-Marine-Wire-Speaker-Cable-100-Tinned-Copper/252336736076?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Bought some 16 ga to wire up tweeters. Sounds very good compared with the old tinned Belden I had been using previously on my Altec 3000s. Good quality white PVC jacket. Tinned is used in maritime installs to prevent green oxide. Also available in various gauges from various manufacturers, but the wire I have branded Audiopipe is pretty nice stuff.

NVX
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EIN0LLS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

294 strand OFC "silver tinned" -- well what other color does tin come in? It does not look like silver plated, pretty sure it is tin.

Nice soft stands, nice quality jacket. Bought a 50' roll and I am terminating it today. Also available in 8ga for your monster truck.

Either of these selections is guaranteed to get you kicked out of your local high end audio club, an unadvertised side benefit!

i am a long term user of so called "Western Electric speaker cable," which is neither made by WE nor speaker cable. It was made by AIW (American Insulated Wire) to WE spec for central office power wiring.

Now here's the real Japanese backstory on this wire. Forget what you have read elsewhere.

Stereo Sound magazine has long used Belden 9497 as their reference cable. The idea being that it is "just wire"--no fancy trick, no question of wire compatibility entering into the evaluation process.

Shindo had nothing to do with it. Shindo is/was not even popular or that widely recognized in Japan as a far as I can tell, not in recent decades at least

Many Japanese/Asians like to demo with this wire to show that they are not reliant on wire effects, following the lead of Stereo Sound, which is an enormously influential publication throughout Asia, published in Chiense and Korean editions as well as the Japanese original.

I snagged some 9497 some years back from Suzuki, who was using at the Munich show on his GIP speakers. Always wanted to try 9497. Well, I did and it was lousy. Very dull and involving, even compared with other Belden "just wire" tinned and red copper cables. I used my scraps to wire up guitar cabinets. Maybe it actually works better on SS amps and B&W 800/801s, which is what Stereo Sound uses for reference speakers. Who knows...YMMV. I think the motivation for using it in the first place was not sonic excellence but rather avoidance of the wire rabbit hole.

Stereo Sound has another lesser-known publication called "Tube Kingdom" focused on vintage and modern "retro" tube gear and associated transducers. The editorial board of this mag is packed with Western Electric fans, such as Mr. Atarashi and, notably, Mr. Doi of Western Sound Inc. the top WE dealer in Japan for 35 years. They use the AIW/Western Electric wire as their reference.

The idea of using this wire was popularized by Western Sound Inc. well before Tube Kingdom started. It's tinned, cloth covered, and has WE associations...what more could you want? Also works good on the kind of speakers "we" use.

AIW 14ga used to be dirt cheap and very common before that blog dude hyped it up.

What largely goes unnoticed is that a close version this wire is still being made. The assets of AIW were acquired by Southwire a few years ago and they manufacture TelcoFlex which is basically the same stuff. insulation in this wire is a thermoset rubber called TelcoHyde. I can't tell what the original KS24194 spec AIW wire used but it sure seems to be PVC.

Want 200 ft of 10 ga for $50?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10-gauge-Southwire-56967901-TelcoFlex-III-tinned-power-cable-wire-200-feet/322373930129?epid=1930905657&hash=item4b0efbcc91:g:Ba8AAOSwnHZYZXWJ:sc:USPSPriority!20036!US!-1

How's 0.55/ft sound for 14ga?

https://telexpresslive.com/407405505-telco-flex-iii-ks24194-l3-class-b-ctn-braided-cbl-14-awgred/

Much cheaper without the Zenjizz/Dueland mystique. Just look for surplus or new central office power wire. A few big manufacturers make it but Southwire has the AIW heritage and it is the most common brand.

if you want to spend cash for audiophile approved brand wire, I can second the recommendation for DH Labs Silver Sonic. I got some off of the first roll Darren had made since he was an advertiser in SP and I traded ad space for wire to cut him a start-up break . Used it for years in various setups. Not peaky or edgy in the least and I appreciated the discreet, non-schlong appearance.

I would never say that wire doesn't make any difference, rather that the question of whether the difference makes any difference--or is desirable-- is best assessed on a case by case basis.
 
Last edited:

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Mea culpa.... it was I who hipped Jeff to Emilar EH-500s. From now on I will restrict my recommendations to sophisticated New England correspondents.

Such eminently civil blokes are probably also interested in tinned speaker cable. I have been experimenting with a few interesting budget variants.

Tinned wire is the standard for wiring up WE systems and I have been using it for Altec for a long time. I guess I could generalize and offer that tinned wire is not peaky and maybe a touch subdued, for speakers that don't need wire effects to make them happen.

Marine speaker wire
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Conductor-25-FT-16-Gauge-White-Marine-Wire-Speaker-Cable-100-Tinned-Copper/252336736076?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Bought some 16 ga to wire up tweeters. Sounds very good compared with the old tinned Belden I had been using previously on my Altec 3000s. Good quality white PVC jacket. Tinned is used in maritime installs to prevent green oxide. Also available in various gauges from various manufacturers, but the wire I have branded Audiopipe is pretty nice stuff.

NVX
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EIN0LLS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

294 strand OFC "silver tinned" -- well what other color does tin come in? It does not look like silver plated, pretty sure it is tin.

Nice soft stands, nice quality jacket. Bought a 50' roll and I am terminating it today. Also available in 8ga for your monster truck.

Either of these selections is guaranteed to get you kicked out of your local high end audio club, an unadvertised side benefit!

i am a long term user of so called "Western Electric speaker cable," which is neither made by WE nor speaker cable. It was made by AIW (American Insulated Wire) to WE spec for central office power wiring.

Now here's the real Japanese backstory on this wire. Forget what you have read elsewhere.

Stereo Sound magazine has long used Belden 9497 as their reference cable. The idea being that it is "just wire"--no fancy trick, no question of wire compatibility entering into the evaluation process.

Shindo had nothing to do with it. Shindo is/was not even popular or that widely recognized in Japan as a far as I can tell, not in recent decades at least

Many Japanese/Asians like to demo with this wire to show that they are not reliant on wire effects, following the lead of Stereo Sound, which is an enormously influential publication throughout Asia, published in Chiense and Korean editions as well as the Japanese original.

I snagged some 9497 some years back from Suzuki, who was using at the Munich show on his GIP speakers. Always wanted to try 9497. Well, I did and it was lousy. Very dull and involving, even compared with other Belden "just wire" tinned and red copper cables. I used my scraps to wire up guitar cabinets. Maybe it actually works better on SS amps and B&W 800/801s, which is what Stereo Sound uses for reference speakers. Who knows...YMMV. I think the motivation for using it in the first place was not sonic excellence but rather avoidance of the wire rabbit hole.

Stereo Sound has another lesser-known publication called "Tube Kingdom" focused on vintage and modern "retro" tube gear and associated transducers. The editorial board of this mag is packed with Western Electric fans, such as Mr. Atarashi and, notably, Mr. Doi of Western Sound Inc. the top WE dealer in Japan for 35 years. They use the AIW/Western Electric wire as their reference.

The idea of using this wire was popularized by Western Sound Inc. well before Tube Kingdom started. It's tinned, cloth covered, and has WE associations...what more could you want? Also works good on the kind of speakers "we" use.

AIW 14ga used to be dirt cheap and very common before that blog dude hyped it up.

What largely goes unnoticed is that a close version this wire is still being made. The assets of AIW were acquired by Southwire a few years ago and they manufacture TelcoFlex which is basically the same stuff. insulation in this wire is a thermoset rubber called TelcoHyde. I can't tell what the original KS24194 spec AIW wire used but it sure seems to be PVC.

Want 200 ft of 10 ga for $50?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10-gauge-Southwire-56967901-TelcoFlex-III-tinned-power-cable-wire-200-feet/322373930129?epid=1930905657&hash=item4b0efbcc91:g:Ba8AAOSwnHZYZXWJ:sc:USPSPriority!20036!US!-1

How's 0.55/ft sound for 14ga?

https://telexpresslive.com/407405505-telco-flex-iii-ks24194-l3-class-b-ctn-braided-cbl-14-awgred/

Much cheaper without the Zenjizz/Dueland mystique. Just look for surplus or new central office power wire. A few big manufacturers make it but Southwire has the AIW heritage and it is the most common brand.

if you want to spend cash for audiophile approved brand wire, I can second the recommendation for DH Labs Silver Sonic. I got some off of the first roll Darren had made since he was an advertiser in SP and I traded ad space for wire to cut him a start-up break . Used it for years in various setups. Not peaky or edgy in the least and I appreciated the discreet, non-schlong appearance.

I would never say that wire doesn't make any difference, rather that the question of whether the difference makes any difference--or is desirable-- is best assessed on a case by case basis.
Welcome to The Haven, @J-ROB :)

Very happy you are here.

Great post! I'm currently using the 12ga Duelund but your recommendations look most intriguing. Thank you for posting them. :)
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
To actually offer something of substance to this thread (me???), and strictly FWIW, I learned the term "tin" as a verb, meaning, to coat wire with... something else. Specifically, in the context of my life history, to "tin" with solder. My father (by then a self-employed TV repair person) would routinely tin wire when doing repair or assembly. This keeps those pesky strands together and also can obviate the need to worry solder down into the site of a soldering operation (i.e., tinning puts the solder in situ).

Solder, of course (at least in those days) was made of tin and lead... so tinning with solder isn't exactly a malapropism. Of course, I guess they coulda called it leading, too, but in print that looks like leading (long "e") as opposed to leading (short "e") which sounds like Ledding, which sounds like some weird gerund relating to a bunch of English blokes who ripped off old blooze songs, made lots of money, and embedded the mud shark in your mythology.

... but I digress...
 

J-ROB

Senior Member
Mark sez:

"I learned the term "tin" as a verb, meaning, to coat wire with..."

TIN!!

Imagine that!

I have actually been registered for months but could not post or even log in. Thanks to mods for straightening me out.

Appreciate that the mods run a tight ship around here...thought for a while they were intentionally barring me from participation...but maybe I was just being paranoid!~~:beat
 

SPL db

Junior Member
Interesting... I have a pair of speaker cables that were made up for me over thirty years ago by a local stereo shop.

The shop always dealt/deals (still in business actually) with higher end gear so I always thought they were a decent cable.

The cables I bought were their entry level wire at the time, something like $.80 a foot. Two 12' cables, terminated with speaker pins and sheaths, were pretty pricey for an eighteen year old. Always worked well fo me over the years and move after move. Never thought of changing them out, gear came and went but these cables always stayed.

Enter Erik's question about good quality inexpensive speaker cables and I had to look mine up. I remembered the name on the wire was Superflex and they have a clear section separating the + & - wires which I thought was so cool when I bought them.

With Erik's question, I decided to do a search for them on Google. Much to my surprise, I found out that Superflex wire is made by Monster Cable. I never knew all these years. Made me wonder how much I've missed out by not upgrading the cables all these years!

 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Mark sez:

"I learned the term "tin" as a verb, meaning, to coat wire with..."

TIN!!

Imagine that!

I have actually been registered for months but could not post or even log in. Thanks to mods for straightening me out.

Appreciate that the mods run a tight ship around here...thought for a while they were intentionally barring me from participation...but maybe I was just being paranoid!~~:beat
I can only speak for myself but, while I share with Groucho a certain uneasiness about the credentials of a club that would have me as a member, I am pleased as punch to see you here. Your paisan, proprietor of JE Labs pops up now and again, too.
 

SPL db

Junior Member
Just to be clear (pun intended...) the picture I posted was off the Internet, my actual cables are still as clear as the day they were puchased. Not tinned but they do have sheaths over the pins protecting the wire in a similar fashion.
 
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