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#23208 - 10/26/03 01:42 AM Speaker cable
Josh784 Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/15/03
Posts: 23
I have my M2i speakers thanks to Axiom's wonderfully fast shipping, and by Friday I will have my Velodyne VX-10, Yamaha HTR-5550 and Pioneer DVD-A/SACD Player.

Today I went to Radio Shack with what's left of my audio budget, and bought 50 feet of flat, 14 guage copper speaker wire for $20.

Did I buy the right thing? I didn't get any bannana plugs or anything, so I will just be using bare wire to connect the speakers, would bannana plugs or something else work better?

Will I need any other cable to set my stereo up when I get all the components? Also, I see numerous companies sell subwoofer cable, is this something I should buy, or is it not worth it?

Thanks,
Josh

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#23209 - 10/26/03 02:00 AM Re: Speaker cable
DJ_Stunna Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/09/03
Posts: 604
Loc: Baltimore. MD. USA (but born a...
Don't use bannana plugs unless you will be changing speakers / amplifiers a lot. It's not as solid of a connection and can slip out at times. Just do bare wire until you eventually (if you ever want to) get real wire that ends in spades that attach to the binding posts on your amp and your speakers.

You need inter-connects, which is one thing you didn't list. For now, all you REALLY need is a single wire going from that DVD player to the reciever. Do Digital Coaxial, as Optical is generally of lower quality (as because it is light, it's sensetive to bends that cause jitter). Get any kind of relatively cheap RCA to RCA wire, it should work well for you.

Good luck on the system

_________________________

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#23210 - 10/26/03 10:36 AM Re: Speaker cable
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
Josh,
Bare wire is perfectly fine for connecting speaker wire to your speakers and receiver. You can use any termination (spades or bananas) if you wish. It won't make any difference. It is all personal preference regardless of what anyone may tell you otherwise. The odd time a receiver may not fit a particular termination though but bare wire is universal.

As for the DVD player, you will need interconnect cables to hook up to your receiver. You can choose usually from 3 methods, via RCA (red and yellow or sometimes red and white) connectors which is an analog connection, or 2 digital connection options.

If you use the RCA connection, your DVD player will do the audio processing for the sound. If you wish to use the DVD-A feature in 5.1 sound then this is the only route at this time that makes this possible. You literally have to buy RCA cables for each channel which goes out from your player and into a section on the back of your receiver. This means buying 5 or so RCA cables. Take a look on the back of your new DVD player and you will see what i mean. The instruction manual should also make this point more clear.

If however you do not wish to use that 5.1 feature at this time or you wish to view a DVD in Dolby or DTS surround sound, you can/must connect the player to your receiver via one of two digitial methods. These are coaxial cable and optical cable. There is no difference between the two. They only carry zereos and ones to your receiver which then processes that information into the analog signal sent to your speakers. Most dvd players do not decode Dolby or DTS information from movie dvds so this information must be passed to the receiver's processors via a digital connection to use these features.

Some people have a preference as to which unit, your DVD player or the receiver, processes the sound signal for music, but most well built units today will sound identical. Any minute differences in specifications or measurements are often beyond the realm of human hearing. Chances are you won't be able to tell between the two except if there is a difference in signal sensitivity creating a difference in actual volume.

You will also most likely need a subwoofer cable (single RCA plug) to go from your receiver to the sub. Lengths are variable but choose a length appropriate to where you want to place your subwoofer in the room. They are not expensive and i picked up one from eBay for about $20 for 30 feet.
There have been many inexpensive options reported in these forums for places to find interconnects.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#23211 - 10/26/03 11:28 AM Re: Speaker cable
DJ_Stunna Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/09/03
Posts: 604
Loc: Baltimore. MD. USA (but born a...
In reply to:

You can use any termination (spades or bananas) if you wish.


Except for bananas. Trust me, I use them all the time when I DJ, and its definately not something you want to make a permanent connection out of. They are just too prone to falling out. If you do decide to get them, don't get single bananas, as if they fall out when u trip over the wire they could touch eachother really easily. Get a dual banana. I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that the axiom surrounds or center dont support dual bananas, but I cant remember where. Anyways, spades, to me, just seem like they are the most sturdy of connections and give the most surface area for the signal transfer.

In reply to:

They only carry zereos and ones to your receiver which then processes that information into the analog signal sent to your speakers.


Yes, but if you use optical and your cable is too bent, it will warp the light that makes up the signal. That is why the data transfer grade cables don't bend (for the most part). Now those, although they sometimes carry more than one wavelength of light (so a bend makes more of a difference), a bend can still affect an audio single wavelength signal. Plus, they tend to be more prone to being damaged.

Oh, and there has to be a reason why some high end units like my Yamaha RX-Z1 (not sure about my Denon though) can only do 192 kHz in Digital Coaxial mode, and not in Optical (well they say in the manual "Use the coaxial input to input over 96 kHz digital signal. The signals may not be correctly played back if the Optical input jack is used," and I'm not sure if they mean that it won't work or it won't work well. As far as I can tell from that poorly worded quote, is that it will work, but incorrectly.) Also, when both are present they give priority to Coaxial.


In reply to:

You will also most likely need a subwoofer cable (single RCA plug) to go from your receiver to the sub. Lengths are variable but choose a length appropriate to where you want to place your subwoofer in the room. They are not expensive and i picked up one from eBay for about $20 for 30 feet.


Heh, the subwoofer cable; I forgot about that. So just buy 2 RCA male to RCA male cables at radio shack for pretty cheap; or if you want, buy one of those exotic ones that you can't tell the difference with when comparing to a standard cable.
_________________________

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#23212 - 10/26/03 01:09 PM Re: Speaker cable
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
In reply to:

Except for bananas. Trust me, I use them all the time when I DJ, and its definately not something you want to make a permanent connection out of.



This is your experience, not others. Only excessive bending and plugging/unplugging may cause the problem you describe such as in the DJ business. Most home users will not experience such an issue.

In reply to:

spades, to me, just seem like they are the most sturdy of connections and give the most surface area for the signal transfer.



Surface area between a spade or banana will not effect the quality of the signal. Let's remember how short a distance we are referring to here and the massive number of electrons contained within even a pin's head of metal contact.
In reply to:

Yes, but if you use optical and your cable is too bent, it will warp the light that makes up the signal.



This is ridiculous and is exactly the kind of misinformation hype that people have about the concept of digital optical cable.
In reply to:

Plus, they tend to be more prone to being damaged.



Most people do not chew their cables. I have yet to hear of anyone's pets doing the same.

192khz vs 96khz. Garbage in garbage out. Upsampling doesn't do anything useful.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#23213 - 10/26/03 01:11 PM Re: Speaker cable
JimmyTango Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 175
How about people have different opinions?

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#23214 - 10/26/03 02:11 PM Re: Speaker cable
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
Once again the cable thread rears it's ugly head.

I simply don't understand why peoples opinions on cables always reaches such ugly levels. We seem to be able to discuss pretty much anything else on these boards (excempt amps) without having such heated negativity thrown around.

How about this for an idea...from now on when someone asks about cables, people post their opinions, but DON'T respond to other peoples opinions. You realize you're NEVER going to change anyone's mind, so why get into a pissing match? We'll just post what WE feel, and let the person asking the question read the responses and make their own decision.

btw...this is not an opinion - it's my own personal experience. Banana plugs do not stay seated in my M60's. I've never had an issue with other speakers, but with my M60's, the banana would slip out with the slightest movement of the speaker. I've switched to spades and tightened them down nicely. (I have to move my speakers frequently to reach a closet door behind my system.)
_________________________
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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#23215 - 10/26/03 02:15 PM Re: Speaker cable
MiniRock Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/12/03
Posts: 494
Loc: Napavine, WA
I use both bananas and spades in two different setups, and both work great. I have never had a banana or spade OR bare wire slip out, and one thing you should not do is run around your equipment and wire. Just common sense.
_________________________
Mini Rock's Lounge.com

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#23216 - 10/26/03 04:08 PM Re: Speaker cable
JimmyTango Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 175
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here...This is the War Room!"
-- (Dr. Strangelove, 1964)

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#23217 - 10/26/03 05:37 PM Re: Speaker cable
DJ_Stunna Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/09/03
Posts: 604
Loc: Baltimore. MD. USA (but born a...
In reply to:

This is your experience, not others. Only excessive bending and plugging/unplugging may cause the problem you describe such as in the DJ business. Most home users will not experience such an issue.


But why even risk it - or use a cable that will only have a limited number of times you can put it in and out.

In reply to:

Surface area between a spade or banana will not effect the quality of the signal. Let's remember how short a distance we are referring to here and the massive number of electrons contained within even a pin's head of metal contact.


Then please run a few hundred watts of power through wire that thin (the size of a pin's head). Please remember ohms law. Yes, banana's can have a huge surface area, but my comparison was between bare wire and spades (since I had already ruled out banana's because they are prone to falling out). I should have made that more clear.

In reply to:

This is ridiculous and is exactly the kind of misinformation hype that people have about the concept of digital optical cable.


Then why in digital data transfer with optical lines is bending the cable a 'no-no' - please elaborate how that is wrong - I'm only a Neuroscience (Systems Concentration) guy, but I'd be glad to ask some materials science professors as to why it's correct. I'm aware that with more than one wavelength of light it's necessary to keep it straight, but I'm pretty sure that with only one, it's still better to keep it as straight as possible.

In reply to:

Most people do not chew their cables. I have yet to hear of anyone's pets doing the same.


Eh, I guess. But mine has gotten tugged a few times and it doesn't work right anymore - it gets really noisy once in a while. It could, however, be the add-on card I got for my sound card; I don't know.

In reply to:

192khz vs 96khz. Garbage in garbage out. Upsampling doesn't do anything useful


No. I am talking about formats that start out in 192 kHz. There is no reason to use them at 96 when they are meant for 192. I am not up to date on how DVD-A and SACD data is transfered, but I'd like to be able to experience them at 2ch/192 kHz if it allowed. And I was saying that there had to be a reason for that. Be it that it is harder to make an optical sensor with that quality, or whatnot, but there has to be something not allowing for that.
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