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In a really good vinyl only system where my speakers are 15' from my amplifiers (no other option for that, unfortunately) is better speaker wire more important or does the length make it less worth spending extra money to upgrade my wire? I'm using Avondale Audio BlackLink speaker wires now which are a budget cable from the UK that I've had nice results with. I've upgraded things this year and feel I'm at a new level and I hope I'm not missing anything by having budget cables.
Any suggestions how to proceed?
I use QED "original" at roughly 10euro/meter and it is great. I never tried anything more expensive (I need long lengths as well) but it sure sounds WAY BETTER than any generic OFC speaker cable i ever used before. It is balanced, smooth treble and good bass, at least in my system with horn loaded speakers.
I also have 15' speaker cables. Which makes it hard to experiment and have always looked for budget options. I have been around the block w various DIY wire including White Lightening, Mil Spec among others and have settled in on Supra 3.4 for the external speaker cable. Supra- great mid-range, does nothing wrong and can reflect small system changes.
I am going to change the internal wire (Belden) and crossover wire (silver mil-spec) to Audio Note Lexus. And may take the advice given here regarding the Cardas Copper Post (currently using CNC silver).
If that has positive effect then I will take the leap of faith and replace the external spkr cable/Supra w more Audio Note.
About 4 months ago I switched from log IC's, and short speaker cable to short IC's and long speaker cables. The speaker cables are DH Labs Q10 Signatures. I am very happy!
Along with John's and Duster's suggestions I'll add two additional wire choices. The Duelund 12 gauge( Parts Connexion ) and the 12 gauge Supra 3.4S ( Madisound). Both sold in bulk per foot so you can terminate with the connector of choice...or leave the wire bare as they're both tinned copper. Either would run you roughly around $150. I wouldn't think of spending 1K on speaker wire without the ability to audition it first. Perhaps the Cable Co. would be a good place to look in that case.
I would recommend using relatively heavy gauge speaker wire. I use 10-gauge speaker wire made from oxygen free copper strands. It is excellent wire and I terminate it with gold plated banana plugs. Here is the wire and banana plugs I use:
KnuKonceptz Kord Speaker Wire Ultra Flex Blue OFC 10 Gauge Cable 50'
8 Nakamichi Speaker banana plug Adapter 4mm Wire connector 24K Gold Plated
The gauge of the speaker cable matters more for long speaker cables than for short ones.
As for the quality no mattering as much. I would say the opposite.
BUT this depends on listening testing. Without being able to compare.. I do not think buying any cable based on name recognition would work well.
I went with the other combination of long IC cable short speaker wires.
And found the long IC quality matters a lot.
I had a $800 cable it was OK. I tried a$1,200 cable it sucked. Finally bought a $3,200 cable and it is HEAVEN. (It was really hard to even think I would spend THAT kind of money on one damn set of wires.. but now I am glad I did)
Anyway, it is a tough haul deciding what to do with wires..
One way to 'play' is try a generic 12 gauge wire. Particularly some Teflon coated stuff off eBay. Plenty of Mil Spec Teflon coated wire there, and other more ordinary wire too. Even using heavy gauge common extension cord wire (often the wire in a extension cord is cheaper per foot than buying the same wire in bulk)
I would not go with an expensive real speaker wire set without a money back no hassle return. And then listen to it and compare to the old wires to hear if it really is any better.
Since Avondale Audio does not provide enough design information about their BlackLink speaker cable, it's difficult to tell if their $150 per 15 foot pair provides an appreciable performance level for your wants/needs. In terms of using a higher price point cable for a long-length speaker cable application, it's not a deal-breaker if speaker cable runs are longer than optimum, however there may be reason to consider a price point that provides a good price-to-performance ratio rather than buy a higher-priced cable that provides a notably compromised performance-level due to excessive length. I suggest researching various speaker cables that are priced within a comfortable budget-level of your choice for a 15 foot pair, so folks might be able to recommend some good speaker cable options for you to explore.
Thanks Duster- I have researched and was looking at maybe a Tara Labs RSC Prime M2. I'd like to keep this investment under $1k. Speakers are Harbeth 30.1s and I'm using Herron M1A solid state mono amps.
Do your speakers feature the binding posts shown in the photo? If so, they are comparatively poor sounding Bennic product, and the total-cost of speaker cables + binding-posts should be factored-in and upgraded at the same time that a speaker cable upgrade project is planned for your Harbeth 30s, IMO.
Thanks so much for that info. I'll look into who can do that to my 30.1s in my area.
I recommend Cardas Bare Copper Binding Posts; Item # CRBP from Audio Advisor. Should sound excellent with the Harbeth 30s.
I second the Cardas bare copper posts and I use their bare copper spades too. I am about to replace binding posts on brand new speakers with Cardas bare copper posts.
....are the posts that John DeVore uses on his superb loudspeakers.
I bought a set of the Cardas CCBP long binding posts from Sonic Craft a few months ago for my speakers. Current price is $24.70 per pair. See link below.
Great binding posts. I've replaced cheap gold-plated-brass factory posts on 2 pairs of speakers with these, and the sonic improvement was significant on both. Plus, these are very robust and can take some torquing without issue.
To Joe: you can also remove the individual posts from the black spacer block if the spacing doesn't match the factory holes in your Harbeths. Depending on the size of the holes in the speaker cabinet, you may be able to just pop in the Cardas without any drilling or modification, and keep the factory look of the cabinet unblemished.
Tara Labs' rectangular conductor design is well-regarded and is said to provide good synergy with the Harbeth 30.1.
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