Investigating speaker wire: recommend two that sound obviously different

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by asilker, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Me starting out: Woohoo, another cottage industry around here! Make money on the side! What shall I call my new business?!

    Me a couple of hours later: Jesus F*ing Christ, what a mess. Why does everything have to be ten times harder than it looks??

    Here's what happens when you don't have the proper pants. I used electrical tape. Amateur Hour.

    [​IMG]

    But I only used the tape between the big heat shrink on the braid and the little shrinks on the plugs. I needn't have used any--the regular wire insulation would be enough. Not sure what I was thinking. Just didn't want any air to get in and tarnish the silver! I'll post the new, improved one when I do it. Are pants even necessary, he asks.

    PS: The braid is the fun part, seriously.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  2. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Well the pants are in and installed. Definitely looking better.
    However I don't think this is going to be a cottage industry for me..

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. runnin'

    runnin' Super Member

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    I’ll leave most of this alone except to say my jaw hit the ground when I compared Audioquest Type 4 bulk speaker wire to my 12 gauge fine strand lamp cord.

    But the idea that tarnished silver ends will affect the signal is not true. It measures the exact same as untarnished silver, oddly enough. Copper and other metals do change, but not silver.
     
  4. Roadrash

    Roadrash AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    They look nice. How do they sound?
     
  5. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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  6. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    But seriously, too many variables. Plus I changed amps. They are 12-gauge silver-plated military-spec OFC though, for people who get all hot and bothered by stuff like that. Aww crap I can see I already mentioned that upthread. Well the fact is I was already listening to the same cables just with different connectors and without the techflex. OMG you would not believe the degree of image specificity these cables are throwing thanks to the techflex. I'd better look and see which forum we're in now. Did I mention these are 12-gauge silver-plated military spec OFC? Oh crap we're in Cutting Edge. Off to read the rules now to see if it's okay to make fun of yourself here.

    ETA: Okay, I'm not sure if it's okay or not, but humor appears (sadly) to be out of place here, which means I'm out of place here :(

    I'll just report my own post and save everyone the trouble. Fact is, though, I love cables, and I love really nice cables, but partly or largely because of the way they look. OK, I just can't stop stepping in it, can I.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  7. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Back to serious (but still very friendly, I hope): Can you provide any documentation for this? I really want to know about it. I tried reading up a bit but it isn't long before I run up against the limits of my own knowledge of chemistry. (My old chemistry-major roommate was always very frustrated with me.) From what I've read, silver sulphide has the properties of a semiconductor. But I need clarification. Here are some of the readings I've done just now:

    Electrical Conductivity of Silver Sulfide
    https://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.1700165#

    Sulfide Corrosion of Silver Contacts during Satellite Storage
    www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a196217.pdf

    https://books.google.com/books?id=6YLL9197NfMC&pg=PA32&lpg=PA32#v=onepage&q&f=false

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_whiskers

    Now, it's also worth mentioning that there are (for me, anyway) two entirely separate issues here: 1) does the existence of sulphide make a difference in the conductivity of silver (and silver-plated) connectors and 2) can these connections be made air-tight if so.

    About Issue #2, I believe there are several ways of achieving this. First of all, a good crimping tool can produce a metal-to-metal contact (connection) which is virtually air-tight (and doubtless disrupts any plating at the same time). Secondly, the dual set-screws in the terminations I'm using clearly produce decent crimping, though the surface areas of the contacts are less; Third, solder is its own category, which has been discussed elsewhere on this forum at length (I have few issues with soldered connections except that my own skills could use work) and Fourth, it's possible that sealing the connection (e.g. with electrical tape and/or 'pants' as shown above) will eliminate or at least greatly reduce the amount of air infiltration. This (last) is generally my goal now, in conjunction with crimping.

    For sheets & giggles, here is a photo of a seriously-compromised piece of silver from my kitchen along with one which has been well-maintained. Let's all hope that our connections never look like the upper one. It's somewhere beyond 'patinated'...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  8. Roadrash

    Roadrash AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Everybody knows that techflex makes cables sound at least 50 percent better. As far as looks go I just bought some Kimber 8TCs just because they look cool, and I got them pretty cheap. We'll see if they have any magic in them.:crazy:
     
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  9. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Oh man! Is that even real?! It's going right into my Cable Pr0n thread [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Roadrash

    Roadrash AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Tasty!
     
  11. Roadrash

    Roadrash AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Seriously though. Maybe I'll have a meaningful contribution to the thread after I compare them to my DIY techflex covered, Furutech FP-202G terminated, 10 ga ofc cables I'm using now.(actually have more in those than I paid for the spade terminated Kimbers). Stay tuned for my comparison of counterfeit and genuine article Furutech products. LOL!
     
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  12. Archguy

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    I could add my counterfeit vs genuine Nakamichi connectors to the mix, except that I think they're all counterfeit.

    (Genuine) Furutechs look amazing, and are probably out of my price range.
     
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  13. Vintage999

    Vintage999 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No rule is absolute in audio, but for the most part, I don't care for the sound of plated wires...

    Good listening...
     
  14. runnin'

    runnin' Super Member

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    1) I believe I stand at least partly corrected.

    2) I was referring to what I thought was a generally held understanding that silver oxide does not affect the sound like copper oxide does.

    3) Silver sulfide may be a different animal, My understanding is that sulfur needs to be present for it to occur on silver. It may be present in hard boiled eggs and mayonnaise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  15. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    I expect the differences to be system and user preference dependent, if perceivable to the user.
     
  16. Roadrash

    Roadrash AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've been using 10ga ofc with Furutech FP-202G bananas for awhile and have been pretty happy overall.(especially after I got the counterfeit plugs replaced). I recently aquired some used Kimber Kable 8TCs that were terminated with the postmaster spades. I removed the spades and put the Furutech plugs on the Kimbers, and spent some quality time with the stereo today and have to say that I'm very impressed by the improvement afforded by the Kimbers. I was always skeptical abouth the difference in the sound of cables until I experienced it for myself, but now I believe. The difference isn't night and day but it is noticeable.
     
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  17. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Just to keep the matter clarified, there's a certain amount of sulphur / sulfur in the ambient air most places. That's the main thing that makes silver tarnish. So when we store silver valuables in sealed or semi-sealed compartments, we include chemical strips whose purpose is to absorb as much sulphur from the air as possible. Thus leaving the silver relatively pristine for longer periods of time, without treatment being necessary. Said treatments being principally chemical (two varieties, one of which actually reverses the deposition) and physical (polishing etc).

    We can't really do this with our wires and cables, so the ideal (IMHO) would be to have the terminations sealed and air-tight.

    I still say we need a cable forum around here!
     
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  18. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    Did not see a follow-up to your initial post and wondered how you ended up? I don't own an SE amp now and have little experience with them so take this for what it's worth even though long past your initial post. SE amps may be more prone to sound quality changes from speaker cable, especially if it is a long run. Without feedback and nominal damping, resistance-per-foot of the speaker cable stacks up and could be a factor in how they sound. Might even be euphonic but worth considering. IMO if there was any amp you'd most likely note SQ changes via cabling, it would be an SE one.
     
  19. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    Thanks for checking up - in the middle of troubleshooting the tubelab board, I became way way overwhelmed with my masters education and ended up selling off the unfinished project

    I am now running a JE Labs simple 2a3 amp build buy a hobbyist in Michigan in the late 90's (I think). So yes, I am running SET and I'd like to start putting cash away for a bit of Duelund 16ga cabling. I'm using their material for interconnects now and need to go through the trouble of shielding some phono cable.

    It's unfortunate, but I'm at a point where I really need to limit my budget and that means I don't think I have the luxury of doing more extensive cabling shootouts like I'd hoped. Need to pay a mortgage, save for future kids, build a buffer account, pay off school bills, all that boring stuff
     
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  20. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    Having one's priorities straight is never unfortunate.

    :thumbsup:

    Everything in time. Be open to alternative cables found at a deal including DIY ones you make yourself.
     
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