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Thread: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

  1. #21
    Major General GAS aleclee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalManiac View Post
    The whole thrust of this thread was basically to find out if something as a high end guitar speaker cabinet wire even exists.
    "High end" speaker wire exists--probably not specific to guitar cabs but it exists (e.g., http://www.vandenhul.com/). I've been known to spend a buck or two on gear but speaker cables are one area I don't believe there's a meaningful sonic difference over the commodity stuff.

    Decent heavy-duty wire + solid connectors = good speaker cables (IMO)

    Maybe Eric Johnson will hear the difference when I use a power cable from an old PC but I don't pay that much mind, either. On the other hand, I do believe that a voltage regulator is important to getting consistent tone from a tube amp (due to the impact of varying bias voltage).
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    GumbyLoveologist wahwah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Somebody mentioned Gilmour. Last I heard, he was using Evidence Audio Siren II for speaker cable. http://www.evidenceaudio.com//product.html

    While you're there, you might want to reconsider the concept that Monster Pro is anything other than generic quality cable by trying the Lyric HG with solid core conductors. I don't trust the ears of anyone who says it doesn't make a difference.




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  3. #23
    Mojo's Minions Ayrton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Internal cabinet wiring is just regular 16 gauge wire. You can use Red and Black if you want fancy.

    Anything larger than that is really a waste and hard to solder onto the speakers.
    -Chris


    Quote Originally Posted by John Suhr View Post
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  4. #24
    Ultimate Tone Slacker KoreanGuitarMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    High end cabling isn't bull****. It's just a waste of money in a guitar amp speaker wire application. You're not running a six figure ($$$$$$$) audio system here. It's a guitar amp. Use whatever is of sufficient gauge and isn't ugly enough to make you cringe.
    "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so." ~ Ford Prefect

  5. #25
    Fuzzy. Guitars the guy who invented fire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by ratherdashing View Post
    Thanks for posting this...now I can just quote you because this is how I feel too!
    If you just read a post by The Guy Who Invented Fire please understand that opinions change, mind sets change and as players our ears mature...not to mention our needs grow and change. With that in mind, today I may or may not agree with the post you just read!

  6. #26
    Toneologist TSE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Car audio->Street Wires

  7. #27
    HomeGrownToneBrewologist Rich_S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    The wire inside the speaker cab matters very little, not because stick-in-the-mud, flat-earth, fuddyduddies say so, but because:

    1. It's SHORT. Whatever effects a cable has on the signal, the effects are magnified by length. The tiny bit of wire inside a cab isn't enough to mess up the sound, even if the wire is crappy.
    2. It has ZERO capacitance. Capactance is what kills highs in audio cables. It's caused by the construction of the cable; two conductors in close proximity separated by an insulator. The longer the cable, the higher the capacitance (See #1.) Speaker wires inside cabs are single conductors, bascially flying leads in air. Since they are so widely separated, they don't even "see" each other to interact, so no capacitance.
    3. The current it needs to carry is TINY. Let's look at the worst case: call it 100 watts into a 4-ohm cabinet. Work through Ohm's law, and that comes out to 5 amps of very intermittent current flow. If you go look at current ratings for wire, you'll see that #16 is rated for something like 10 amps, #14 is good for 15 amps, #12 for 20 amps. Keep in mind these ratings are for real-world applications: wires run through conduits carying power to continuous loads, extensions cords covered in heavy insulation powering tools, Romex cable run through walls connected to lights that are on continuously for hours at a time. Wire current ratings are designed so that the current can flow and the wire won't heat up to the point where it causes a hazard. So, that #14 Romex runnig through your walls can handle a LOT more current than its rated 15 amps, but it's specified extremely conservatively. In your speaker cabinet application, the wires are hanging in free air, with much less chance of heating up. So let's see... #18 is conservatively rated to handle TWICE the current your speakers need. (In free air, it can probably handle 3 or 4 times.) #14 is rated for three times what you need, #12 is rated for FOUR times. Remember, these ratings are for real-world lengths, too; you're running a couple feet of wire at most. The point is, no matter what wire you put in there (as long as it's not stupid-skinny), it is WAY overkill. You're simply not going to hear the difference between 2x overkill and 4x overkill.


    I say, go to Lowe's or Home Depot. Ask for some type THHN #16, which they sell by the foot in a variety of colors off that big motorized rotating rack thingie. Make sure you get the stranded variety, as it might be availabe solid, as well. Pick two colors so you can keep your (+) and your (-) straight. #16 is, as I said, overkill, but it's still small enough that you can solder it with a halfway normal-sized iron. If you want to get fancy, you can use crimp-on lugs that match your speakers.

    You really don't need anything more expensive; it's all snake oil.
    Last edited by Rich_S; 10-13-2011 at 10:32 AM.
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  8. #28
    Kablamminator ratherdashing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_S View Post
    The wire inside the speaker cab matters very little, not because stick-in-the-mud, flat-earth, fuddyduddies say so, but because:

    1. It's SHORT. Whatever effects a cable has on the signal, the effects are magnified by length. The tiny bit of wire inside a cab isn't enough to mess up the sound, even if the wire is crappy.
    2. It has ZERO capacitance. Capactance is what kills highs in audio cables. It's caused by the construction of the cable; two conductors in close proximity separated by an insulator. The longer the cable, the higher the capacitance (See #1.) Speaker wires inside cabs are single conductors, bascially flying leads in air. Since they are so widely separated, they don't even "see" each other to interact, so no capacitance.
    3. The current it needs to carry is TINY. Let's look at the worst case: call it 100 watts into a 4-ohm cabinet. Work through Ohm's law, and that comes out to 5 amps of very intermittent current flow. If you go look at current ratings for wire, you'll see that #16 is rated for something like 10 amps, #14 is good for 15 amps, #12 for 20 amps. Keep in mind these ratings are for real-world applications: wires run through conduits carying power to continuous loads, extensions cords covered in heavy insulation powering tools, Romex cable run through walls connected to lights that are on continuously for hours at a time. Wire current ratings are designed so that the current can flow and the wire won't heat up to the point where it causes a hazard. So, that #14 Romex runnig through your walls can handle a LOT more current than its rated 15 amps, but it's specified extremely conservatively. In your speaker cabinet application, the wires are hanging in free air, with much less chance of heating up. So let's see... #18 is conservatively rated to handle TWICE the current your speakers need. (In free air, it can probably handle 3 or 4 times.) #14 is rated for three times what you need, #12 is rated for FOUR times. Remember, these ratings are for real-world lengths, too; you're running a couple feet of wire at most. The point is, no matter what wire you put in there (as long as it's not stupid-skinny), it is WAY overkill. You're simply not going to hear the difference between 2x overkill and 4x overkill.


    I say, go to Lowe's or Home Depot. Ask for some type THHN #16, which they sell by the foot in a variety of colors off that big motorized rotating rack thingie. Make sure you get the stranded variety, as it might be availabe solid, as well. Pick two colors so you can keep your (+) and your (-) straight. #16 is, as I said, overkill, but it's still small enough that you can solder it with a halfway normal-sized iron. If you want to get fancy, you can use crimp-on lugs that match your speakers.

    You really don't need anything more expensive; it's all snake oil.
    100% correct, and thank-you for going through the trouble of posting this.

  9. #29
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    My head to cab cable was made from lamp cord and I compared it with some fancy-axx cable: I couldn't hear a difference...maybe you do but I don't. That strong an electric signal isn't gonna be degraded by ordinary (as opposed to ultra-overkill-fancy) cable.

    I understand using fancier wires for guitar cable: the signal it carries is quite weak and low, but when it comes to the signal sent from your head to the cab (speakers), which is quite a bigger signal than what your pick-ups produce, it's not necessary.

    I got 16 gauge in a roll from radioshack for 7$ and it works great.

    Soothe yourself if you wanna pay more, it's your money but I really don't believe it's necessary....
    Last edited by Surgeon; 10-13-2011 at 11:42 AM.

  10. #30
    Toneologist
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    For me, I was just curious about the effects of different gauges along the line. No one has specifcally answered that, although Rich S's thankfully nuetral and non-condescending reply was helpful in getting me closer to what I'm guessing the answer is: just make sure you meet the minimum needed gauge to prevent melt down anywhere along the line, and longer distances require lower gauge values to compensate.

    In other words, if 16 gauge inside the cab is good enough there, it's good enough for the rest line. Anything thicker is just a waste. Feel free to correct as needed.

    My Monster cables are a 10 year old sunk cost. Might as well use them.

  11. #31
    Mojo's Minions Hellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    +1 on the 16 guage stranded copper.

  12. #32
    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Oh hell, use a wire coat hanger.

  13. #33
    Ultimate Kitten Puncher King IzzO)))'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    I'm thinking that you're still gonna have a bottleneck at the internal leads to the coil, so anything larger is moot. I was still gonna try it, just to see, but I've got some 14awg that I'm gonna use instead of the battery cables because I don't think I can get the 10 to solder to the tabs.

    I'm still wondering how the hell bogner does it.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by King IzzO))) View Post
    I'm thinking that you're still gonna have a bottleneck at the internal leads to the coil, so anything larger is moot.
    I was going to ask that in first post but forgot! When I hooked up my latest cab I noticed how thin those wires are. What gauge are they?

    Gets back to my question: is it enough for one small part of the entire chain to be insufficient gauge and cause heat issues, or would the rest of the line (hookup wire, outside speaker wire,whatever) at a thicker gauge make up for it?

    The answer may be obvious to the experts here, but not to me because this is not my area of expertise (obviously). Really would like to know the answer.

  15. #35
    Ultimate Tone Slacker whatshisname's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    I've always used lamp cord. For a long time, my speaker cables were lamp cord, as well. I think I used a heavier gauge, for those, though.

  16. #36
    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Use a lamp cord, preferably by cutting it with metal scissors before you've unplugged it from the wall.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie Bill View Post
    I've got 60 guitars...but 49 trumpets is just...INSANITY! WTF!

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjoneser View Post
    Use a lamp cord, preferably by cutting it with metal scissors before you've unplugged it from the wall.

    Muhahahaha!!!

  18. #38
    Li'l Junior Member MetalManiac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Its amazing some of the people who will say you must have high quality 3-6" interconnects between your pedals on the pedalboard, and turn around in the same breath and heap vicious insults on the entire idea of hi quality speaker cabinet wire.
    Thanks for some of the other outstanding replies.
    I am not so sure its about capacitance, as thats not the issue. Its the way the signal in seen by the amp, I would say ( and please don't quote me on that).

    Take a look at Lava Cables, offering a Kimber Cable high end speaker to amp Combo cord;

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/300550872541...84.m1438.l2649

    Now wouldn' it be ideal to get a few feet of this stuff ( around 4 dollars a foot I think) to wire the speakers in the cabinet? Right now I've emailed Kimber Cable on this subject and waiting on their reply, but I will likely go with the Kimber Cable 4PR or 4VS.

    As has been mentioned, Lyric Audio also has a high end Amp to speaker combo cable.;
    http://www.evidenceaudio.com//product.html


    Monster also offers the Stdio Pro 1000 is a short Combo cable.

    But I suppose some of you Yahoos know more than professional Audio Engineers.

    Ya know, alls it would take for one certain guy here to start running around proclaiming that high end speaker connectivity is a "must", is for Billy Gibbons or Eric Johnson to come out and say they use the stuff!

    Now if I may, please;

    Right Back Atcha!
    Last edited by MetalManiac; 10-13-2011 at 02:40 PM.
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  19. #39
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    It is confusing that there is such a big market for high speaker cable, but they must be getting sales based on some reason; hype, wow factor, someone actually notices?

    I honestly can't hear the difference. I only bought larger gauges way back because I thought THD had recommended that the line feeding the hot plate be larger; not 100% on that, nor why. Something related to over heating the wire and how the hot plate works.

    And I'm only curious now for the same heat reasons (as well just what different gauges across the entire oline may affect, if anything), not for a difference in sound. The two combo amps I have do not appear to have very large wires running from the amp to the speakers, and, not counting companies like Monster, basic wire is not that expensive, so the amp companies must know what gauge is enough. Of course it's a shorter distance inside a combo.

    If it's that important to you, why not buy what it sounds like you're going to buy anyway and do a side by side test and record it, assuming you have the gear?

  20. #40
    HomeGrownToneBrewologist Rich_S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Speaker Cabinet Wire?

    Yeah, but you've changed subjects. Those are high-end amp-to-speaker interconnects. In that application, you might hear a difference. (Moreso in PA or stereo applications where the program material is clean, frequency range broad, and cables longer.)

    But for internal guitar cabinet wiring, you won't hear a difference, even if you could do an apples-to-apples comparision, which is nigh on impossible. The negligible difference in fidelity you'd get from the high-end stuff isn't worth the postage you'd pay on it, let alone the price of the cable. In fact, it's not even worth the time we've put into this thread.
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