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Speaker wire

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Dreamer

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Post Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:38 pm

elgrau,

I wish I'd seen this thread before you bought those QEDs/ I'm sure they are fine cables, but for the price, on EBAY or Audiogon, you could have had some OUTSTANDING cables from Nordost.

I LOVE my Nordost Solar Winds. They are the best-sounding speaker cables I've ever had in my system. I've had Monster M-1.0 "garden hoses", Several different AudioQuests, several different Kimbers, custom-made braided cables (like Kimbers) made from small bundles of 6-strand-26ga OFC 99.9999% pure mil-spec copper, and now the Nordosts, and the Nordosts are a no-competition winner. The level of speed, clarity, open-ness, transparency, and naturalness they bring to my system simply defies description...

Next tiem you upgrade speaker cables, I'd highly recommend going with Nordost. They are an excellent match to Carver amps, and used they can be had for a bargain price.

--Richard
.....HT Rig • Sony STR-DG600 Receiver • Carver M-500t • Sony BDP-S1 • Sony DVP-NS3100ES • Apple Airport Express •
..............................• Martin Logan Scenarios, Logos • Realistic Minimus 7's • Velodyne F-1500b •

2 Ch. Rig • Carver C-4000t • Silver 7t's • Krell KAV-300i • Oppo DV-981HD • Benchmark DAC1-USB • MacBook Pro 17", iTunes •
......• Technics SL-1350 turntable with Sumiko headshell, leads, and Bluepoint cartridge • Martin Logan Sequels •

.........................................................-+-Click Here to see my system-+-
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bikerdude523

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TFM-55

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Post Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:43 pm

I agree that there is a lot of marketing gimmicks, But you can still run a good reasonably priced cable. Which I'm sure most of us do.
Wouldn't a large, good quality speaker cable help with the amps ability to respond quickly to the speakers needs? Much like dampening factor of your amp, I don't think that a speaker cable can improve the amps DF, but how much does a small crappy cable hurt the DF? I don't know, so I run a decent cable. Nothing like the cables that elgrau is getting, I'd like to hear his opinion on those.
2 channel rig
Sunfire Classic vacuum tube Preamp: (3) M-4.0t's: SD/A-490t: Polk Audio SDA SRS: Velodyne SMS-1: (2) Velodyne DLS5000R's
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bob p

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Post Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:55 pm

as bill mentioned, interference can be a problem, and if you have interference problems, that needs to be addressed.

@bdude, the Carver manuals specifically mention the minimum recommended standards for speaker wire, and i hope that everyone here is following the minimum standards, and is hopefully doing something better.

WRT damping, the real problem (at least as i see it) with small caliber speaker wires is that they impart additional impedance over a long run. standard engineering textbooks contain tables and graphs to guide the engineer in selecting an appropriate cable for the application. the standard engineering textbooks also cover the "skin" effect, where high frequencies (in the radio frequency band) preferentially travel on the outside of the conductor. the math shows that the skin effect is a real phenomenon with RF signals, but that it isn't relevant in the audio band.

if you take the time to assure that you've got a wire that's of the minimum acceptable gauge for your application, and has the requisite number of strands, then the majority of your problems should be solved. that is not to say that people with exceptionally good ears can't find a way to spend more money wringing higher performance out of their systems.

in terms of finding readily available information on this type of stuff, i was browsing the JBL ProAudio site a week or two ago, and I found some white papers on the design of professional HiFi speaker systems for cinema/surround applications. The texts had very helpful application charts that allowed you to look up the amount of power you're using, the length of your wire run, what you consider to be an acceptable loss, etc., and choose the correct type of wire for the application.

For those who are inclined to spend extra $$$ on a high end wire, I think its good to do your homework and to verify that what you want to buy will actually fit the desired application.
Carver Preamps: C-1, C-2, BillD's JVD-modded C-4000, C-9
Carver Amplifiers: BillD's C-500, M-1.5t (4) PM-1.5 (4) M-500t (2)
Repair/Restoration/Upgrade expert for all of these components.
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elgrau

SILVER-7 TUBE AMP

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Post Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:42 pm

Well, we'll (I'll) see. Internal speaker wire argument is irrelevant. Distance = heavier gage wire required (and internal wiring only goes to one driver, not carrying the full load to ALL drivers). I'm more curious then anything. Once I get the QED's and A/B them, then I'l know. That's more important to me then the $300 price. i've also read QED's "white paper" on speaker wire, and as an engineer, it makes sense to me and the signal graphs that they present (response vs frequency) tell a "sound" story. But, like I said, I'll listen and learn...if they don't significantly "help" my system/situation, then you'll be seeing 'em on ePrey. I felt pretty much the same way about outboard DAC's, but the enTech (205.x) that I bought on ePrey VERY pleasantly surprised me and i would not want to go back to the crappy DAC in my consumer grade CD player for practically any $ amount, let alone the paltry $100 that I paid for this component...
Ed
add: I'm also buying for the future as well when I may have a lot more watts..(read 380 to 700)
Family room: 400 disk changer with PS Audio Digital Link III DAC; Technics SL-1100A TT. QED Quenx1 IC's from DAC & TT to Adcom GTP-602 preamp/Tuner. AudioQuest King Cobra IC's from preamp to M1.0t mk-II opt2. QED Silver Spirals 4M wires to EPI 1000’s.
Living room: AudioQuest Black Mamba 8M IC's from family room preamp to Barcus-Berry 2002R Sonic Maximizer to GlowPower Zyxt IC's to Sunfire 300x2 to Nordost 6M bi-source wires to AOS 28" MDF spherical speakers using six 8" woofers and eight 1" dome tweeters symm. arranged around the surface.
SS system: CX-995V DVD to AV-705x 5 channel amp (center/rears) & M1.0t mk-II opt2(fronts).
Garage: TLM-3600 CDP to MXR150 Receiver (pre) to TFM-42 to EPI 400 speakers.
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BillD

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Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:48 am

Ed, you gotta trust your ears. I know that I'm one of the "if you can't measure it, it ain't there" crowd (us engineers need to stick together), but I'm also agnostic to the approach. If YOU can hear it, it's there. As for your DAC, I'm sure that made a difference. I've heard THAT difference. Even my wife can hear THAT difference. I only use the D?A converter in my Yamaha to convert CDs, never the player.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer
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bob p

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Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:46 am

i've heard improvements from DAC upgrades, especially when comparing the first generation DACs of 20 years ago to what's available today. there's no doubt in my mind that DACs have gotten better than they used to be. i'm still not sure how much you really have to pay to get a good one.

regarding speaker wire, can you post a link to that white paper you were referring to? i'd love to take a peek at it.

one thing that i've noticed about things like wires is that there can be a strong placebo effect when listening to expensive upgrades. blind testing helps to minimize the problem, though blind testing can be a PITA in its own right.

let us know how it goes.
Carver Preamps: C-1, C-2, BillD's JVD-modded C-4000, C-9
Carver Amplifiers: BillD's C-500, M-1.5t (4) PM-1.5 (4) M-500t (2)
Repair/Restoration/Upgrade expert for all of these components.
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elgrau

SILVER-7 TUBE AMP

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Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:49 am

ok; the QED white paper link I got from this forum; it's somewhere - you can probably find it using a search (or it may even be earlier on this thread, I just don't have time to look right now).
As to the "weak link in chain" argument re speaker/amp internal wiring think of it this way: say your cables are 0.01 ohms per foot and 12 feet long. That's 0.12 ohms for that "link" (12 x 0.01). Then say your speaker's internal wire is 0.02 ohms per foot (i.e., twice as "thin"), but only 1 foot long. That's 0.02 ohms for that "link" of the chain (0.02 x 1'). Since these two resistances are in series, they add, so total resistance is 0.14 ohms AND the "weak link" is the thicker 12' speaker cable! Hope that helps...
But, as stated, wire gage/resistance/power wattage is only one part of the speaker wire "problem". And I believe that the others (too numerous to list) are the more important parts (and independent of how much power you are trying to transmit to your speakers). That's why I think these QED's will make a significant improvement; but we'll see (hear)!
Ed
Family room: 400 disk changer with PS Audio Digital Link III DAC; Technics SL-1100A TT. QED Quenx1 IC's from DAC & TT to Adcom GTP-602 preamp/Tuner. AudioQuest King Cobra IC's from preamp to M1.0t mk-II opt2. QED Silver Spirals 4M wires to EPI 1000’s.
Living room: AudioQuest Black Mamba 8M IC's from family room preamp to Barcus-Berry 2002R Sonic Maximizer to GlowPower Zyxt IC's to Sunfire 300x2 to Nordost 6M bi-source wires to AOS 28" MDF spherical speakers using six 8" woofers and eight 1" dome tweeters symm. arranged around the surface.
SS system: CX-995V DVD to AV-705x 5 channel amp (center/rears) & M1.0t mk-II opt2(fronts).
Garage: TLM-3600 CDP to MXR150 Receiver (pre) to TFM-42 to EPI 400 speakers.
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bob p

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Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:01 pm

there's no doubt that the longest cable plays an important role. as you've mentioned, you've got to make sure that the speaker cable isn't the weak length in the chain. but if anyone decides to spend big money to fix the problem, it would make sense to rewire the speakers internally. that's something that almost nobody bothers to do. more often than not, audiophiles spend a lot of money on things that they can see, and they tend to ignore things that they can't see, and things that they can't show off to their friends.

the total Z for the line is an interesting argument. in my case, i have a set of speakers that have an incredibly low Z -- so low that the manufacturer has added 1R power resistors that can be switched-on in series with the speakers. when you've got a speaker whose Z is so low that you have to add power resistors to bring the Z up to a level that the amp can actually handle, that tends to render the resistance per foot of cable somewhat meaningless. but then i'll freely admit, my Infinity Reference Standards are very odd birds in this respect.
Carver Preamps: C-1, C-2, BillD's JVD-modded C-4000, C-9
Carver Amplifiers: BillD's C-500, M-1.5t (4) PM-1.5 (4) M-500t (2)
Repair/Restoration/Upgrade expert for all of these components.
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londonbarn

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Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 5:45 pm

I am solely in the "listening" camp.......that is the end result that matters......I even brought a set of QED interconnects back with me from England.....what they do is to slightly "lean" up the midrange..... the whole line does the same thing, from speaker cable to interconnects.......I didnt want get into recommending any cables , because what is the point of that, you already bought them , and there are soo many companies out there....... but QED (tilts up the midrange), the smoothest, most(neutral) cable from the U.K. by far is the ECOSSE reference.........but as I said , given the smoooooth nature of Carver gear, Elgraus, Silver Spirals just might be a great match........
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Magnaryder

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Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:27 pm

I too find silver speaker wires to be a great match for Carver Amazing Loudspeakers powered by Carver amps. I run Audio Note AN-9s. They were obscenely expensive at the time but damn how they sounded with my ribbons. Everything seemed to fal into place with those wires vs. anything else I'd tried to that point.

Silver speaker wires are highly recommended in Bucyrus.

ray
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

Tim deParavicini's E.A.R. Yoshino V20 Integrated Amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Lucas Labs 12B4/OD3 LineStage, No. 50 and 51 Carverfest Tube amps, Hammond M3 tube amp, Ariston RD-40 Turntable w/ Linn Basik LSV tonearn, Grado Statement Master1 cartridge, Carver TX-8 & 11 tuners, Carver TD-12, Tascam CC-222mkII CD recorder, DBX-3BX & 200xg & 120x, CarverAudio ALV prototypes, Alesis Studio One loudspeakers, Energy Reference 22 Connoisseur, Cambridge Audio Model 8s, The Carver Research DarkStar Sub and Stax Earspeakers.

THIS SPACE FOR RENT...helping the blind to hear, one valve at a time
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Magnaryder

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Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:41 pm

Now keeping in mind what I said in my last post.......

caveat emptor(let the buyer beware) as YMMV, but I've noticed they are not as critical with Lightstar as they were with the C-19/TFM-55 combination, I've found there to be only a slight difference. Or rather the overall effect/change is not as pronounced. The Lightstar duo does not seem to be phased by such things.....I guess that's good/cheaper :-)

Remember I've only had Lightstar a short time and with so many other things so darn right with my system it's hard at this point to make an objective comparison. Last night I played a CD for Sherry of a Thunderstorm and told her that the sound would move up like a storm does then move over the top of you(the listener)then leave behind, as in this case. "Bullshite", says she. Later she changed her tune after it did just what I said it would.

Now, it did this on the C-1/TFM-55 system but not nearly as plainly as it does now, you don't have to be in the sweet spot to hear it happen. Or, the sweet spot has expanded to encompass most of the room. I think the later is very KEWL!

All of this with crapola Monster speaker wires.

ray
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

Tim deParavicini's E.A.R. Yoshino V20 Integrated Amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Lucas Labs 12B4/OD3 LineStage, No. 50 and 51 Carverfest Tube amps, Hammond M3 tube amp, Ariston RD-40 Turntable w/ Linn Basik LSV tonearn, Grado Statement Master1 cartridge, Carver TX-8 & 11 tuners, Carver TD-12, Tascam CC-222mkII CD recorder, DBX-3BX & 200xg & 120x, CarverAudio ALV prototypes, Alesis Studio One loudspeakers, Energy Reference 22 Connoisseur, Cambridge Audio Model 8s, The Carver Research DarkStar Sub and Stax Earspeakers.

THIS SPACE FOR RENT...helping the blind to hear, one valve at a time
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Kahuna

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TFM-45

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Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:55 pm

Stereophile has this article on the subject:

http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/190/index3.html

Here are a few excerpts from this very long article:


External cables:

Still less welcome to the engineering establishment is the discovery that audio cables vary in their subjective accuracy; rather less than amplifiers, it must be immediately noted, but nevertheless in ways which can be described and ranked on merit.

With the finest of today's systems the best cable is fortunately close to invisibility in audio terms—the ideal condition. The results from cable reviewing suggest that the use of poor or inappropriate cabling leads to a loss of up to 30% in performance in a state-of-the-art system.

Detailed comparative tests made on audio cables have brought to light a diversity of previously unsuspected and therefore neglected factors which have subjective consequences:

• Dielectric: A good correlation has been observed between dielectric loss and sound quality. A vacuum insulator shows the lowest loss, followed by air, and then by a range of dielectric materials commonly used for cables of all classes. The subjective ranking correlates with their dielectric properties. Thus, foamed or predominantly air-spaced types with PTFE, polypropylene, and polyethylene dielectrics score highly, while higher-loss materials such as PVC are distinctly inferior, even to the point of generating identifiable colorations and changes in timbre.

Associated with the subjective performance of the cable dielectric is the insulating thickness, this often related to the manufacturer's voltage rating. Better sound often follows higher ratings. Solid dielectrics are common and include those plastics mentioned above, as well as higher-molecular-weight polymers, ceramic powder, silicone rubber, and resin-impregnated glass fiber. Natural thread such as cotton or silk has been tried, plus various grades of carbon-based rubber. Every dielectric can be shown to have its own distinctive sound, even when used in a line-level interconnect application of just 1m in length.

• Metallurgy: Many establishment audio engineers consider that Ohm's Law is wholly sufficient to describe current flow in a wire, and that all metallic conductors must sound the same owing to the fundamental property of free electron mobility in this class of material. However, there is now strong evidence to indicate that the choice of element or alloy for a conductor, its metallurgical history, and its absolute purity all affect the sound quality. This finding, unwelcome for those working in this field, cannot be ignored. It seems a cruel twist of fate that of the many conducting materials tried, high-purity silver sounds the most accurate, as it costs approximately 100 times as much as the substantially effective and most widely used material available: copper.

Some physicists approached on this subject have invoked quantum theory to analyze the behavior of metallic conductors in varying states of practical purity, particularly with respect to the boundaries between metallic crystals.

• Geometry: The physical design of a cable is a variable which affects sound quality. There is a strong association between a balanced symmetrical twisted pair or twisted quad construction and a sound quality that is judged to be superior to a coaxial construction. The form of the conductor also matters—whether it is solid-core or stranded. Generally, the single strand is preferable unless the wire is of unusually high purity, and the strands are bound in intimate electrical contact.

Cable assessment:
For cable assessment, the reference should be taken to be an absence of cable in that particular link, achieved by positioning the program source very close to the next unit and joining them by pure silver wire links barely 20mm long. The cables under test are substituted for this near-perfect link and their negative sound-quality characteristics assessed. In a recent test (footnote 5), 50 interconnect cables were successfully analyzed subjectively by using the single presentation method. Occasional return to the reference helped refresh the memory, while repeats constituted 25% of all the tests and gave reasonable confidence in the reliability of the judgments.

Conclusions:
This article has barely touched on the wide scope of the judgment of sound quality of audio components for review. While it is readily acknowledged that the bulk of the listening tests mentioned are not based on established "scientific" procedure, control methods have been used as far as is possible, However, if "scientific" methodologies had been adopted, many of these results would not have been observed—not, as the cynics would have you believe, because the differences do not exist, but because rigorous subjective testing requires an inordinate time scale, often imposing sufficient stress to desensitize the subjects.

In one well-researched case, however, a pair of good-performing, extensively measured amplifiers was found to be easy to differentiate by ear under normal review conditions, one being clearly more accurate than the other (footnote 6). A single presentation test was subsequently devised for a meeting of the London AES, where a large number of listeners (90 or so) participated in a controlled listening experiment to see a) whether two amplifiers could be differentiated, and b) whether one was preferred to the other. The judgment method required that the audience score each presentation as a new trial, this constituting the database. On first publication of the results (footnote 7), some colleagues helpfully pointed out certain analytical weaknesses (footnote 8).

Sufficiently good data were obtained, however, for a statistician to confirm the validity of the test and find that while the aural sensitivity of the unscreened AES members under the difficult conditions of a public meeting was not very good, they nonetheless were able to collectively discriminate, and moreover did prefer one amplifier to the other. This agreed with the original review findings. The test was exhaustively researched with regard to load matching, absolute level, and the like. CD was the program source, and no switch box was involved.

Good hi-fi reviewing has moved beyond the basic framework of a comprehensive lab test and engineering analysis coupled with descriptions of finish, facilities, and ergonomics and a cursory listening check to make sure all is in order. Extensive listening work using consistent and methodical techniques, especially numerical scoring, has shown that many engineering factors are responsible for audible changes in reproduced sound quality, not least in absolute merit. Many of these factors are at present dismissed by the electronic and acoustic establishment.

Subjective assessment is a learned skill, one which is greatly helped by a familiarity with and an understanding of music. Frequent acquaintance with live, natural sound is also vital. Such a skill may be used routinely to judge fidelity, without persistent calls to statistically prove the results.



Personally I do believe that better inner-connects and speaker cables do exist. But spending $3,000.00 on a pure silver cable to gain a 1-3% improvement is pretty rediculous in my book if that same amount of money will buy you a better source with a bigger overall improvement...
"The only thing in this world that gives orders, is balls"

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bob p

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Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:12 pm

Stereophile. Aren't they the guys that lost the Carver Challenge? :-k
Carver Preamps: C-1, C-2, BillD's JVD-modded C-4000, C-9
Carver Amplifiers: BillD's C-500, M-1.5t (4) PM-1.5 (4) M-500t (2)
Repair/Restoration/Upgrade expert for all of these components.
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nowheretorun

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Newbie

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Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:44 pm

There are some interesting write-ups about speaker wires, cables, etc here from the Audio Critic -

http://theaudiocritic.com/cwo/Back_Issues/

Issue 16 also has an article on the ALS and about the Carver/Stereophile lawsuit.

HTH
Steve
CT-7, 2 ea M-4.0t's bi-amped, bi-wired to AL-III (w/new x/o), TL-3300 CD Player, Sony DVP-CX995v 400 disc changer w/SACD
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londonbarn

Cyber Hell Member

Posts: 210

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 11:40 am

Post Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:21 pm

Great article about the Platinums!.......
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