Speaker Cables Do Make A Difference...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by StratStringSlinger, May 4, 2015.

  1. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Member

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    I know this topic has been debated many times on TGP before but this last weekend I heard without a doubt that speaker cables (even a mere 20" of it) make a noticeable difference in sound/tone.

    I have a Tweed Deluxe based amp that I wanted to make period correct/as accurate looking to a real 50's 5E3 as possible. So I ordered a replica cab and waited 9 months for the cabinet to arrive. The cabinet is made with real Hide Glue!

    Then I proceed to scour the Internet in search of a speaker cable/plug just like the original ones. I found a source and got a the black speaker plug with cloth wire in 18AWG. When I got it, I was very happy that the plug looks exactly the part.

    So this weekend I take out the current speaker cable with is a Evidence Audio Siren II with push on connectors. I crimped on the same push on connectors on the replica NOS speaker cable to try it out.

    I turn the amp back on and immediately notice there's less volume, less bass and less cabinet rattle. I try it out a big longer to see if I like the tone change and after some playing decide it's thinner/less mids and not as good sounding. I swap back to the Evidence Audio cable and my tone goes back to normal. Both cables where about the same length, 20".

    Some people might say that it's all in my head and I'm hearing with my eyes, but it was the whole cabinet rattle thing that was immediately noticeable. I had rushed to put the chassis back in a few days ago and hadn't taken the time to adjust the chassis up against the back panel to get rid of the rattle. So when the new cable went it, the reduction in bass and volume was immediately signaled by the significantly less cab rattle.

    I wanted the NOS vintage cable to work so bad so I could have a perfect replica amp but unfortunately the change in sound is too noticeable for me to want to keep the cable in there.

    So there you have it, I'm now a firm believer that even speaker cables make a difference.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  2. Monstercastle

    Monstercastle Supporting Member

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    I think it's more likely there was a short or something with the new cable. The electrical difference between two speaker cables of sufficient gauge over that short a length would be inaudible.
     
  3. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

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  4. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    Not sure why you posted this since you are well aware of what is going to follow. I have been designing and selling electrical cable for 14 years and either Monstercastle is correct or you are hearing with your eyes.
     
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  5. Nota

    Nota Member

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    Blind tests or it didn't happen.
     
  6. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Member

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    Would a short be binary, either work or not or could it cause degraded signal? It was soldered on the plug end and using the same crimp on connectors on the speaker end.

    Honestly, I would have loved for the NOS Vintage Looking cable to work since that was my goal in purchasing it in the first place. How do I check for a partial short?
     
  7. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    I looked at the Evidence Audio website and only see one speaker cable and its named Siren?
     
  8. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Member

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    I'm well aware there are many people who doubt the difference in speaker cables. I didn't know for sure before this last weekend.

    I posted as a service back to the TGP community which I have been part of and benefited from for many years to help the people who wonder if a different speaker cable might give them different results.

    I'm completely open to exploring this 'short' hypothesis; I wasn't aware a speaker cable can be partially shorted. If someone can explain to me how to diagnose this, I will do it. I have a nice multimeter and solder iron if it helps.
     
  9. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Member

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    You're right, I mis-typed that. I updated my original post. The cable I have is a Siren II.
     
  10. rsm

    rsm Member

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    :munch



    I'll be back in once someone brings up power cables, guitar straps or tan pants. (besides this post)


    :knitting
     
  11. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Member

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    I don't know JustNick, maybe saw one of his videos before and he's probably an outstanding guy.

    But what I've learned in life is just b/c someone talks and sounds smart doesn't mean they are always right.
     
  12. Monstercastle

    Monstercastle Supporting Member

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    I think (but will defer to any electronics engineers) that a short or bad connection doesn't have to be all or nothing. If the connection is not solid and transferring all of the current to the speaker you would see the symptom you did. An analogy might be a dirty connection on the car battery not transferring full current to the starter.
     
  13. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Member

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    Ok I'll also wait for the electronic experts to chime in. I truly would like the vintage plug/cloth cable to work. I wanted to be able to look into the back of my nicely lacquered tweed cab and see that vintage looking black plug and black and white cloth cable rather than a big fat blue rubbery cable (just looks out of place in a 5E3). FWIW, the cloth cable is 18AWG and the Siren is suppose to add up to 15AWG.
     
  14. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

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    I can hear a difference between my Alessandro cable and the crappy planet waves back up. It is subtle no doubt. I might not be able to hear it in a band setting (I never tried). But sitting alone and swapping cables and listening for it, there is a subtle difference.
     
  15. Monstercastle

    Monstercastle Supporting Member

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    I'm not saying the two are electrically identical, and I qualified in my earlier response regarding gauge. I just doubt a person can hear an audible difference between two different speakers cables of the same gauge (of copper) over two foot of length if they are both mechanically sound (no shorts, bad jacks, poor insulation between contacts). I'm willing to entertain that subtle electrical differences can matter over longer runs.
     
  16. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    I agree. There must be an issue with a connection or connector. I highly doubt that you can hear a difference between two 20" speaker cables of the same gauge.
     
  17. tele_player

    tele_player Member

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    I'm more expert than many here, I actually went to school for electronics.

    If I had two short speaker cables where the difference was significant, I'd be checking the bad one with a multimeter, checking that the jack was making good contact, and checking that polarity is the same.

    Robert
     
  18. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Member

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    I should clarify, the cloth cable is 18AWG and the Siren II boutique cable is 15AWG.
     
  19. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Member

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    Both are 1/4" male plugs going into the same female jack of the amp.

    Polarity seems the same according to the color of the wires.

    What am I looking for on the multimeter? What setting and what reading to look for? Both speaker cables carry signal in the amp.
     
  20. Mr. Kite

    Mr. Kite Member

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