Speaker cable non religious suggestions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by levous, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. levous

    levous Member

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    I need to plug my fantastic head into my fantastic 2x12 speaker cabinet. Of course I know I cannot use guitar cable. I searched the forum and found the many threads on the subject but every one of the degrades into a religious war between lamp cord and cables that cost $100.

    Switchcraft T/R connectors appear o be $4/each everywhere. So that's $8. I like the way StreetWires 12AWG twisted speaker wire looks. Its blue and real perty. Its $1/ft. Is there any reason I shouldn't use that? So, for a 3ft cable, I'm looking at $11 plus shipping and some of my time. Frankly, I'd rather someone else put it together but finding something in between Guitar Center and Lava is down right impossible...

    Is that 12awg speaker cable just as good as a lamp cord?
    Is there a highly recommended, inexpensive, assembled 3 foot cable available?

    thanks
     
  2. Onioner

    Onioner Member

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    Why would you expect this thread to be any different?

    Nope. Go for it. As long as you have a multimeter, and you can 'check your work,' that's all you need.

    IIRC, lamp cable is 16awg, but in any event, for your purposes, yes, it's just as good. The normal disclaimer below applies.
     
  3. Kyle Ashley

    Kyle Ashley Supporting Member

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    I just go to Redco and do their custom cable deal. I just had them make me up a couple of 3' Mogami with Neutrik ends. Great pro cable...will last probably until I retire. Not the cheapest thing around, but not cork-sniffy either.
     
  4. '58Bassman

    '58Bassman Member

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    Streetwires? You can't use that- it's made for Car Audio systems, not guitar amps! :p

    If you want StreetWires, why would you pay to have it shipped, when you can go to a car stereo shop and buy (or get free) a piece of scrap wire?

    First, find out if the insulation will melt like wax, the way Monster wire insulation does. If it does, don't use it- the insulation will "grow and move back from the solder joint and make it necessary to use heat shrink tubing or tape to keep the wires from shorting. It's a real PITA.

    Plugs-
    If you're in the US, go to the Parts Express site and look around. Switchcraft, Neutrik, generic- the only difference will be in the strength of the plug, with Neutrik being a bit stronger than Switchcraft and both being stronger than the generic.

    Wire- buy some. Use it. If you want it to look cool, buy that. If you just want it to work, buy that instead. If it looks cool, who will see it, besides you? Answer- almost NOBODY.

    FYI- zip cord with clear insulation tends to oxidize badly over time because the insulation is PVC. You can usually see the wire through ir and it usually doesn't look like clean copper after a while.

    There is no sonic difference unless a sample of wire has a problem. Guitar amps just don't have a wide enough frequency range to show a difference.
     
  5. samdjr74

    samdjr74 Supporting Member

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    I have a combonation of both homemade and factory made speaker cables.

    Pros to homemade, cheaper, any lenght you want, if you can solder correctly it will work fine. Lamp cord has never given me a problem

    Cons to homemade, if you can't solder it's a problem, the ends may not be as good as a factory if you don't heat shrink them. If you don't have an ohm meter you're going to have problems.

    Pros to a factoy cable, usually well made, no work involved, they feel very sturdy

    Cons to a factory made, they are pricey, they usually only come in certain lenghts which in my opinion are odd sizes.

    So you're going to see several opinions but maybe a few of the amp builders here will chime in with their profesional opinions.
     
  6. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    I need some new speaker cables so I'm just gonna go to a local amp tech that makes them to whatever length you want.

    You only need super thick cables for heavy touring with clumsy roadies.
     
  7. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    I just use lamp cord and decent ends and solder my own
    There's some very subtle differences IMO with speaker cables.
    I can hear the diff with the high end stuff but it's diminishing returns
    Especially once the drummer kicks in
     
  8. RoadRunner

    RoadRunner Member

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    +1.
     
  9. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Also true of a lot of things we obsess over.

    Drummers.....the great equalizers of minutia!
     
  10. bbutler123

    bbutler123 Member

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    Try to find Pope speaker cable. It's made in the Vatican and blessed by....oh, wait a minute, you said no religious. Never mind.
     
  11. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Member

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    Lamp cord and a couple of connectors is all you need unless, of course, you're looking to rot in hell for wasting money on snake oil.
     
  12. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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  13. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah you can get the big end open big foot plugs from lots of places like G/H and use bigger cable, but again I think we're at 'law of diminishing returns'. I have a few I made out of lamp cord that go 10-15 years old now. Never had an issue with cracking jacket on the cable.
     
  14. johnfv

    johnfv Member

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    Lamp cord is often 16 or 18awg so 12awg would be better (particularly for longer distances). Good quality stranded copper 16 or 14awg along with good quality ends works great for me...
     
  15. RupertB

    RupertB Supporting Member

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    I don't see any problem with DIY speaker cables with one caveat: Do not re-use old, cheap connectors that you salvaged off of some old PA cables that you bought second-hand in the early 80s because you're a cheap SOB.

    The insulating material can get... unreliable.

    Don't ask me how I know this. :hide2
     
  16. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    Yeah, my power cords all broke too ... not the wire, the outer coating.
     
  17. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    At one point in my life I had some extra money laying around, so I decided to go ahead and buy two higher end speaker cables just for fun. I bought a Kimber and something else comparable, don't remember what brand just now. They are beautifully made cables, but sonically indistinguishable from a $15 Guitar Center speaker cable, or from lamp cord. I go the lamp cord DIY route now.
     
  18. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    this ^

    I have heard differences in Stereo systems. Not so much in Guitar amps so far.

    Tubes will make more difference
     
  19. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

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    Same with the speaker, it'll make a way bigger difference than the speaker cable.
     

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