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Cafe Sceptico: The Objectivist Cafe - Page 3  

post #31 of 498
Thread Starter 
My brother just moved and he's reworking his McIntosh stereo system to fit in his new house. His stereo has been set up and running good for over twenty years, so we never had occasion to talk about it. Today he sent me this email...


By the way, I had started looking at speaker wire and reading about it. I was shocked to see that you can spend over $1000 on an 10 foot length of speaker cable. There are dozens of cables going in the $250-$500 range. Some of them have very elaborate induction and capacitance properties, polished copper strands, etc.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/AudioQuest+-+Rockefeller+10'+Pair+Speaker+Cable+-+Black/Gray/Red/1509368.p?id=1218265768381&skuId=1509368&st=speaker%20wire&cp=1&lp=1

There are all sorts of audiophile reviews of various cables, comparisons, and testimonials about how much better one cable sounded over another. Then I found this page:

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm

It's written by the former head audio engineer of McIntosh Labs. It's very long, but a fascinating and entertaining read. Apparently all this "High End" speaker cable market is complete nonsense - a real case of the emperor has no clothes. I'm amazed that Monster Cable and the other high-end cable manufacturers can get away with this and aren't prosecuted or sued. It's snake oil.

I was almost convinced I needed to spend $100 to get anything even half-way decent - and even then I wouldn't be buying speaker cables that were commensurate with the quality of the speakers I have my eye on. Now I'll be going out and buying a spool of lamp cord.

----

Ha! Ha! He figured it out without my help!
Edited by bigshot - 8/19/12 at 5:14pm
post #32 of 498

When I bought my first McIntosh amp years ago from House of Music in SF, they just came out and hooked it up with 12 gauge wire.  You can buy a 50 foot spool for less than $20.  I'm not particularly frugal, but I still prefer to spend my money on the things that actually matter to me.

post #33 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I was almost convinced I needed to spend $100 to get anything even half-way decent - and even then I wouldn't be buying speaker cables that were commensurate with the quality of the speakers I have my eye on. Now I'll be going out and buying a spool of lamp cord.

 

I bought 100' spools of RCA 16 gauge cable for my situation. Depending on how long your cable runs are, you may want to consider 14 gauge (+ some banana plugs if that):

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0029HHIDY/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

post #34 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Fire em up!

 

The location and way that they're setup it's not really practical for me to try and use them. Not to mention, the receiver they're hooked up to is some cheapie vintage one in some serious need of Deoxit, or maybe it's just plain broken, who knows. I'm not sure it's worth the effort reaching round back through the wall of cobwebs to find out. I've always been curious as to whether or not they're any good though. I identified them as Compression Guide 6's. Not much info online. One of these days...

 

@cables

Don't plan on spending exorbitant amounts on them anytime soon...or ever. Compared silver vs stock copper (I got the silver cable for free) back when I had the HE-300s. Couldn't really tell anything. If a difference did exist, it was insignificant.

post #35 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

 

I bought 100' spools of RCA 16 gauge cable for my situation. Depending on how long your cable runs are, you may want to consider 14 gauge (+ some banana plugs if that):

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0029HHIDY/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00


I have the same exact spool of cable. Except I'm a high roller, so I terminate with gold-plated banana plugs and spades cool.gif

post #36 of 498

I use the same stuff. When I was hooking up a tactile transducer and felt like I wanted to use a thicker gauge I went to a local music store and they cut me a length of really thick wire for maybe a dollar or two. The heavier wire allows it to Kick my Butt with more authority, clarity, extension, etc. tongue_smile.gif

post #37 of 498

This place wants $193 (26% of the cost of the speakers) to upgrade you to Goertz copper foil inductors and Mundorf Supreme caps on the crossover. Do things like that provide an objectively quantifiable difference to the sound? A significant difference that would show up on a frequency response graph?

post #38 of 498
Thread Starter 
What sort of change in frequency response are you looking to get? Changes in response are not necessarily better or worse. They're just different. You need to make the proper changes to deal with your particular problem.
post #39 of 498

I'm not really looking to get any sort of change. I'm just wondering if the upgraded parts make any sort of measurable (and audible) difference. Otherwise, it might as well be a $193 bottle of snake oil.

post #40 of 498
Thread Starter 
If you're looking for an audible improvement, and you don't want to get better speakers, the answer is equalization.
post #41 of 498

I am looking at getting better speakers. In fact, I'm thinking about buying the ones I linked to. However, I was just curious if their $193 cap/inductor upgrades could provide any kind of measurable difference to the sound. Somehow I doubt it.

post #42 of 498
Thread Starter 
If it was me, I'd put the $200 into better speakers.
post #43 of 498

Or just not spend the $193 at all. ~$820 (including shipping) is already a whole paycheck for me.

post #44 of 498

I dunno. Without all those misconceptions it'd be like sipping a hot water and carbon solution in an all-middle-aged-male cafe.

 

 

I shall now retire to my local cafe, teeming with Apple-worshipping wastes-of-time and the insanely hot baristas.


Edited by bangraman - 8/21/12 at 11:02am
post #45 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

My brother just moved and he's reworking his McIntosh stereo system to fit in his new house. His stereo has been set up and running good for over twenty years, so we never had occasion to talk about it. Today he sent me this email...
By the way, I had started looking at speaker wire and reading about it. I was shocked to see that you can spend over $1000 on an 10 foot length of speaker cable. There are dozens of cables going in the $250-$500 range. Some of them have very elaborate induction and capacitance properties, polished copper strands, etc.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/AudioQuest+-+Rockefeller+10'+Pair+Speaker+Cable+-+Black/Gray/Red/1509368.p?id=1218265768381&skuId=1509368&st=speaker%20wire&cp=1&lp=1
There are all sorts of audiophile reviews of various cables, comparisons, and testimonials about how much better one cable sounded over another. Then I found this page:
http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
It's written by the former head audio engineer of McIntosh Labs. It's very long, but a fascinating and entertaining read. Apparently all this "High End" speaker cable market is complete nonsense - a real case of the emperor has no clothes. I'm amazed that Monster Cable and the other high-end cable manufacturers can get away with this and aren't prosecuted or sued. It's snake oil.
I was almost convinced I needed to spend $100 to get anything even half-way decent - and even then I wouldn't be buying speaker cables that were commensurate with the quality of the speakers I have my eye on. Now I'll be going out and buying a spool of lamp cord.
----
Ha! Ha! He figured it out without my help!

 

Well it's not all bad. For one thing it's let some total amateurs who realised a cool logo'd sleeve on heavy Techflex sells like hot cakes (regardless of the effectively-worse-than-zip-cord level of construction underneath) to get enough practice to build up a nice business that supported Head-Fi and the community around it...

 

?

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