Does the type and make of speaker cable make a difference..?

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FarleyUK
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Does the type and make of speaker cable make a difference..?

Post by FarleyUK » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:05 pm

As per the heading, really....!

I've got a pretty thick Planet Waves speaker cable that wasn't very expensive (about £25 I think?), but have heard lots of people swear that the monster cable type brands produce better sounds, as it allows for a fuller signal to pass through as they're even thicker etc.

Has anyone tested this, and is it correct??

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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a differenc

Post by Dark Horse » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:24 pm

You should do a search, as most of these type questions get asked quite a bit. Here's one such thread:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7560

If you want the summary, the answer is, "Save your money."

DH
JVM 410H w/Mods: 1µF Plexi Cap, 3H Mojotone Choke, Neg. Feedback Adj. Pot.(500K)

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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a differenc

Post by Cold Fire » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:57 am

or try the evidence audio speaker cable... in my opinion does like a well selected v1 tube. More highs, but in a good way, and a rounder sound. Also Lava Cable makes good speaker cable, but the evidence is superior.

Enviado desde mi pizarra velleda

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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a differenc

Post by Green Manalishi » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:49 am

I think a decent quality cable to from amp to cab is sufficient. That being said I do have some monster cables I got for free years ago and none have crapped out on me. For speaker cables reliability is very important to me

Now I will definitely say that the speaker wire within the cab makes a difference.
I removed the really cheap 22 gauge wire and stereo switch and went with 16 gauge and i did notice an improvement in tone and clarity. It was noticeable
Marshall JVM410H
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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a differenc

Post by Casey_Butt » Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:48 pm

It's mostly down to the wire gauge, shielding, and how sturdily the cable is constructed. You can get all of those in decent quality in a pretty cheap cable. After that the inflated price is due to 100%, unadulterated, bullshit. I find it offensive actually... when a company tries to trick me out of my money. I think it should be considered attempted theft.
_ JVM410H: "Blackface" Clean channel, "Plexi" Crunch channel, "Dual Rec" OD2 channel, 3rd stage bias pot with switchable 100nF bypass cap, switchable 470k/470pF "treble peaker", OD1/2 Orange and Red extra gain pot, signal boost into power amp, PI voltage set to 2203 levels, 5H choke w/ 50uF on screens, -ve feedback pot.
_ Marshall 2203/1959 clone - switchable (with FX loop, resonance control and -ve fb pot) built from a Peavey Windsor 'donor' head
_ Fender Deluxe Reverb clone head
_ ADA MP-1, ART Power Plant, Tech 21 PSA-1
_ 1960A cab w/ Celestion G12-65s and G12-75Ts in X-pattern, Peavey JSX cab with Celestion G12M's (UK 6402 cones)
_ Fender Pro 185 (rebuilt) - open back 2x12" with Jensen C12Ks

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FarleyUK
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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a differenc

Post by FarleyUK » Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:53 pm

Just made my first speaker cable using 16 gauge - all tests fine on the multimeter, so job's a good 'un!


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avspecialist
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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a difference..?

Post by avspecialist » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:49 pm

Ok here is my take on speaker cables and interconnect cables for pedals and guitars. Now I come from the high end stereo market. I can tell you from many double blind tests that when I demo a high end stereo system, more people like the system and made more positive comments about the system, without knowing I was testing them on cables. I would demo the sound system to both experienced listeneners and the adverage stereo buyer. Unquestionably I received much higher praise for my system then when From time to time I would switch back to regular 14 gage wire and switch craft patch cords. I remember back in the day around 1977 or 1978, one of my factory reps came in with some Discwasher brand braided speaker wire. this was about a year before the Monster cable phase. I was very surprised it was a bigger and fuller sound and the high end came off as smoother. My uncle Gordon, the President of McIntosh said it was wishful thinking on my part and scientifically the proper gage wire for a given length in the 20 Hz to 20K band would be a minuscule amount of series resistance, capitance and inductive loading for the wire. Obviously he as a a real engineer and inventor of many amplifier technologies knows a lot more technically than me.

I did make 1 point, that if you look at the power loss using 18 gage wire at 30 feet using a power formula, (I did this with Sid Corderman, chief engineer at McIntosh), I believe that we came up with a 13% to 18% difference in the power ratio from 20Hz to 20kHz. He still felt is was very negable. The main comment he said, was that the damping factor at the voice coil part of the speaker was much more significant.

So what are we to think. Is copper purity and Silver purity better for guitar amplifiers. So when I started to work on guitar amps and building speaker cabinets, I was using the “Audiophile Method” thinking I will come up with build designs better and smarter than the old fashioned amp builders like Jim Marshall and Leo Fender.

To my surprise in the guitar amplification world, it took me a while to figure out, we are making sounds, not reproducing them.

So therefore I now think starting with the basics, common parts, pine or baltic birch cabinets, combination carbon comp and carbon film and metal film resistors, different brands of capacitors, tubes, wether it be NOS or current production tubes. It just depends. Sometime the oddball combination gives you the sound mix you were looking for.

To sum up, for me, Using high end audio parts don’t necessarily give or guaranty you will get your sound or improve what you already have. It’s the combination that makes the difference.
2007 JVM 410H, Negative Feedback Mod 1 Meg/Stock resistor, 1uf/R97 Mod, 100K on R128 Mod. 4X12 2 Eminence RWB/2 JBL MI12 A 1968 pine open back cabinet 5" back slot with 2 Weber 10" 80 watt California's at 16 Ohms. My own 2X12 Baltic Birch with Weber Ceramic Blue Dog and Eminence Tonker.

1972 Fender Twin, 1976 Fender Twin, 1994 Fender Twin Amp,Fender Bassman 50 with master volume, 1967 Fender Super Reverb (stock), 1965 Univox U45B, Deluxe Style 18 watt Tony Bruno Amp, Music Man 210/65. 69 Gibson SG Custom, 79 Gibson Les Paul Custom, Rickenbacker 360 12 string, Brian Moore custom guitar with Roland GRX system, 1937 National, Fender Squire Strat,Ovation Custom Legend 12 string, Ovation 30th Anniversary 6 string.

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jimsreynolds
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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a difference..?

Post by jimsreynolds » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:20 pm

avspecialist wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:49 pm
.... we are making sounds, not reproducing them ....

... It’s the combination that makes the difference ....
This !!! !!! !!!!!!

So much time and energy spent on people trying to push an engineering/hi-fi sensibility into the creation of sounds. While we are shaping that sound (from guitar to guitar speaker cab) all bets are off.

It's getting a bit hackneyed but the adage about Hendrix's long, curly, capacitance monster of a cable into the questionable buffers on his wah, fuzzes, Univibe etc resonates loud with me.

That is not to say that we should not use reasonable quality components and wires in our rig. That is all about reliability and consistency but the actual sound is whatever your ears tell you is good. Not the engineering exemplar or hoary fragile ancient components.

I am gonna dial that back a bit and say, if it makes someone happy to hear their playing at home expressed through elite quality equipment and they perceive (rightly or wrongly) positive elements in the tone that they could not capture with lower cost gear then who am I to deny them that pleasure.

All I know is, once they hit a mid sized stage or the cheap speakers and headphones beloved of nearly all of domestic listeners, they will find themselves alone in their appreciation. Consider this for the listening public

https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2015/1 ... udy-finds/
JimBOB

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  • 70s hard-tail Strat with EMG 89/SA actives. Gibson "The Paul" with bridge P-Rails, Triple-shot, Roland GK-3 and Torres Tone Mods. Gretsch 6119 Tennessee Rose. PRS SE Semi-Hollow w/Bigsby, Squier Affinity Tele (Modded), Falk "Splitter", Taylor T5, Ibanez RG2610E
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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a difference..?

Post by Greg_L » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:49 pm

I'm not a believer in any of this snake-oil bullshit. I'm also not a big believer in the cork-sniffery of tube rolling or tone-woods. I think you're all just entertaining yourselves by worrying about all of this elitist stuff. For a long time speaker cable was lamp cord! It's fine. Use the right gauge for the length you need and it's all the same shit.
My gear list? Do a search.

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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a difference..?

Post by Casey_Butt » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:27 am

It's copper wire. You could get all anal over things such as stranded vs solid core, capacitance, skin effect, etc., but assuming properly grounded shielding and proper wire gauge there isn't going to be much, if any, audible difference between cable brands. This isn't ultra high speed data transfer here, human hearing only extends from ~20-20,000 Hz - even the cheapest modern instrument and speaker cables are capable of transmitting that without audible losses.
_ JVM410H: "Blackface" Clean channel, "Plexi" Crunch channel, "Dual Rec" OD2 channel, 3rd stage bias pot with switchable 100nF bypass cap, switchable 470k/470pF "treble peaker", OD1/2 Orange and Red extra gain pot, signal boost into power amp, PI voltage set to 2203 levels, 5H choke w/ 50uF on screens, -ve feedback pot.
_ Marshall 2203/1959 clone - switchable (with FX loop, resonance control and -ve fb pot) built from a Peavey Windsor 'donor' head
_ Fender Deluxe Reverb clone head
_ ADA MP-1, ART Power Plant, Tech 21 PSA-1
_ 1960A cab w/ Celestion G12-65s and G12-75Ts in X-pattern, Peavey JSX cab with Celestion G12M's (UK 6402 cones)
_ Fender Pro 185 (rebuilt) - open back 2x12" with Jensen C12Ks

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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a difference..?

Post by Spacerocker » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:29 pm

Instrument cable (i.e.from the guitar to the amp) - yes - particularly if it is very long (>20 ft)

Speaker cable, absolutely not! (unless it is ultra thin, or you're using an instrument cable as a speaker lead!)

Our amps only put out (say) 200W flat-out, so even with thin-ish wire, the signal is going to get to the speakers!
Amps: Marshall JVM410: Hotter Bias, Plexi mod, 10H choke, Stiffness Mod, Neg Feedback Mod (Variable) spec, 3rd Stage Bias mod, AFD type mod (increased Crunch gain), 50W conversion, Tone stack Mods to 2203 spec, "Anti-Compression" mod, dBx 31 band graphic in loop, Marshall AVT20 Valvestate practice amp, Marshall 1980 2203, 2 x 1936 Cabs, 1968 Orignal 4 x 12 Cab with Greenbacks
Guitars: Les Paul Traditional, Fender HM Strat x 2 with Dimarzio Evolution Humbucker, Fender Standard Strat
Effects: Morley Wah/Volume Pedal. Behringer Vintage Phaser, TC G-Major, Alesis Midiverb. Behringer FCB1010 Midi Foot Controller

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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a difference..?

Post by Jshannon3 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:36 am

Yes, buying actual speaker cable for your connection between amp and speaker cab is definitely a plus. If your running say a full stack then you would need one short, approx. 3ft speaker cable, and one long, approx. 5ft. speaker cable to hook up both speaker cabinets properly. Now you don't need a monster wire gauge on the speaker wire, something like a 14awg or a 16awg should suffice. You can pick up pre-made speaker cables like this at guitar center, musicians friend, sweetwater ect ect. When you use speaker cable instead of the cheap cable they give you when you buy the cab, your sound quality and wear and tear on the cab will improve. The speaker wire is designed to let current flow more easily to and from the speaker cab and speakers. and when you buy speaker cables you usually get the big 1/4 inch connectors that come with speaker cables, so there easy to plug in and to inspect before each use. Well thats my spill on speaker cables, hope it helped you out.
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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a difference..?

Post by Casey_Butt » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:55 am

Just to add something... the output transformer increases the current in the speaker cable to the several Amps range for a full-out 100W head (but decreases the voltage so you don't fry yourself if you touch it). That's why speaker cables are fairly thick compared to instrument cables (instrument cables don't have to carry as much current) and you can't interchange them. I've talked to some people who seem to think that speaker cable is thicker so it can transmit a 'fuller' tone to the speakers... it isn't that, it's a matter of current.
_ JVM410H: "Blackface" Clean channel, "Plexi" Crunch channel, "Dual Rec" OD2 channel, 3rd stage bias pot with switchable 100nF bypass cap, switchable 470k/470pF "treble peaker", OD1/2 Orange and Red extra gain pot, signal boost into power amp, PI voltage set to 2203 levels, 5H choke w/ 50uF on screens, -ve feedback pot.
_ Marshall 2203/1959 clone - switchable (with FX loop, resonance control and -ve fb pot) built from a Peavey Windsor 'donor' head
_ Fender Deluxe Reverb clone head
_ ADA MP-1, ART Power Plant, Tech 21 PSA-1
_ 1960A cab w/ Celestion G12-65s and G12-75Ts in X-pattern, Peavey JSX cab with Celestion G12M's (UK 6402 cones)
_ Fender Pro 185 (rebuilt) - open back 2x12" with Jensen C12Ks

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Re: Does the type and make of speaker cable make a difference..?

Post by Spacerocker » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:06 pm

Casey_Butt wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:55 am
Just to add something... the output transformer increases the current in the speaker cable to the several Amps range for a full-out 100W head (but decreases the voltage so you don't fry yourself if you touch it). That's why speaker cables are fairly thick compared to instrument cables (instrument cables don't have to carry as much current) and you can't interchange them. I've talked to some people who seem to think that speaker cable is thicker so it can transmit a 'fuller' tone to the speakers... it isn't that, it's a matter of current.
Yes - that's it. Speaker current can be in the range 5 or 6 amps for a flat-out amp (depending on the impedance setting on the amp) - not huge currents (household mains cable will easily carry it) - but way too much for instrument cable!
Amps: Marshall JVM410: Hotter Bias, Plexi mod, 10H choke, Stiffness Mod, Neg Feedback Mod (Variable) spec, 3rd Stage Bias mod, AFD type mod (increased Crunch gain), 50W conversion, Tone stack Mods to 2203 spec, "Anti-Compression" mod, dBx 31 band graphic in loop, Marshall AVT20 Valvestate practice amp, Marshall 1980 2203, 2 x 1936 Cabs, 1968 Orignal 4 x 12 Cab with Greenbacks
Guitars: Les Paul Traditional, Fender HM Strat x 2 with Dimarzio Evolution Humbucker, Fender Standard Strat
Effects: Morley Wah/Volume Pedal. Behringer Vintage Phaser, TC G-Major, Alesis Midiverb. Behringer FCB1010 Midi Foot Controller

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