Cable Options from Breaker to Receptacle

There seems to be a number of products suitable to run from the main panel to the receptacles. I currently use Romex 10 gauge copper, but wonder if a more pure copper would make a difference. The run is not that long, so silver may also be possible. Manufacturers include:


Looking at Neotech, they even make a 9 gauge copper 'speaker cable' with a very robust housing. Also, a braided silver raw power cable which is incredibly expensive, but possibly with huge implications on the sound. Of course, these would be very difficult to maneuver in some situations.

It is difficult to do head-to-head comparisons, so perhaps people can relate their experience or speak to the use of these raw cables in building power cords.

Doesn't any wire you use need to meet building code? I'd check on the local codes first. If you have a fire in the wall because of your wire, insurance probably won't cover it.
I am looking at the same thing, there are some good threads on Audio Asylum on this. Unfortunately the product I decided to get, Diamond Handiwire, has been discontinued. My tech friend had just rewired his shop and recommended a Carol cable 8 gauge he had used. When he checked it too had been discontinued; both of these were stranded copper designs. I think the general feeling is that stranded is better than solid but likely some will feel otherwise. As I am trying to get a good result without spending excessively I am going to stick with a fairly conventional cable, spending a couple of dollars a foot probably. Belden has one that fell into that range when it was recommended on AA a few years ago but when I checked it had gone up to $10. I suspect that silver and exotic construction will improve the sound but at a diminishing rate of return.
I think the general feeling is that stranded is better than solid but likely some will feel otherwise.
09-19-10: Stanwal

Stan, I think you have it backwards.... More use solid core than stranded for audio branch circuit wiring.....
I used JPS Labs AC in-wall cable from main electric panel to dedicated Oyaide receptable with excellent results. This is UL listed 10AWG from a very reputable speaker cable manufacturer.
Just because more use solid than stranded doesn't make it better. Look at the forums and see the opinion of those who have compared the sound qualities of each. My tech friend, who has over 30 years experience, also told me to get stranded. I saw very few who had tried both and liked the solid better on the forums.

With larger gauge stranded wire it is susceptible to strand jumping, strand modulation problems.

The late Bob Crump on the subject.
Solid core Romex has an absolute ton of inductance and you can use that to roll of the digital backwash and end up isolating your analog from digital with yards of the solid core Romex in the walls. Romex is insulated with PVC and, again I will say that PVC is what you want rather than anything faster as you just want to pass 60hz and attenuate anything above that.....Stranded wire, especially a twisted lay, will pass high frequencies better, exactly what you don't want to do with 60hz AC.......Regarding power cords made with PVC it apparently works pretty well as have sold over 8,000 of them the past 21 years.......

Jon Risch , an EE on the subject.

AudioQuest on the subject.
Stranded wire, especially a twisted lay, will pass high frequencies better, exactly what you don't want to do with 60hz AC
Jim, even though this comes from a fairly distinguished source, I'm not sure it tells the whole story. Assuming the power amp is not Class A, as you certainly know the amount of current drawn will fluctuate widely, and will generally be drawn in bursts within each 60Hz cycle. During the increments of time when the amount of current is rapidly changing, frequency components will be present that are much higher than 60Hz.

So higher inductance would seem to present a tradeoff between the noise filtering benefits it might provide, and degradation of power amplifier dynamics and transient response that it might cause (if the amp is not Class A).

Also, fwiw, "strand jumping" and its alleged effects strike me as speculative, and I would want to see (and have yet to see) something that establishes its significance in a QUANTITATIVE manner.

That said, I have no opinion on the question of solid vs. stranded.

Best regards,
-- Al
If stranded is deficient in some manner then the makers of the more expensive brands of cable are doing a good job of disguising it. Although I have no intention of paying $18 or more a foot there are many on the market that are in this range or above and all are stranded that I have seen. Of course price is no guarantee of quality. I was only stating the path I intended to follow and give my impression of the prevailing attitude on the posts I had read. I did say "likely some will feel otherwise". It would seem to me that if stranded had serious deficiencies it would show up in power cords, I have several bigger than 10 gauge and all are stranded. In any case there are many who are happy with either alternative and this appears to be another of the audio debates not likely to be resolved.
If stranded is deficient in some manner then the makers of the more expensive brands of cable are doing a good job of disguising it.
09-21-10: Stanwal


You need to look at the make-up of the PCs. AudioQuest uses several separately paralleled insulated solid core conductors for the hot and neutral of their PCs. Cords are still somewhat flexible.

Others use stranded, but at least for the ones I have checked into, they build the PC with several smaller insulated stranded wire groups. (As Jon Risch talked about in his post.)

Example look how the low cost Pangea AC-9 PC is built.


PS Audio is another PC that uses individual insulated conductors in the make up of their PCs. From the picture most of the conductors appear to be solid core.

Quote from Jon Risch post:
"In order for stranded wires to sound worse than a solid wire of the same gauge, there must be some sort of operative effect in play.

One of the theories is that it is due to strand jumping, which in turn, would be driven by skin effect and/or self inductance."

Smaller stranded wires would be less prone to skin effect etc., and so, would have less strand jumping, and less of that stranded wire sound to be bothered by. There is even a point where the stranded wire would no longer be significantly affected by the skin effect, and so, would no longer have that reason to sound any worse than a solid wire of the same gauge."
I have PS Audio, they look stranded to me. According to their web site they use "multiple gauge and shaped conductors". I take this to mean stranded as opposed to a single solid. I have had no interest in Audio Quest since the days I was a dealer for them. I intend to use stranded, what anyone else chooses to use is up to them. I could post some web sites that describe the superiority of stranded in listening tests but there are doubtless others that prefer solid; again I think it is one of those areas where personal choice rule. My original post only described what I intended to do and my general impression after looking at some forums and cable companies; it is only my opinion and nothing more.
My suspicion has been that the power cords and cables that utilize a multitude of separately insulated small gauge conductors have been inspired by Litz wire, which is a technique that has long been used in high frequency applications, transformer applications, and inductor applications, for reasons that are explained in the article.

I have seen lots of claims and "theories," to use Risch's word, alleging that similar principles to those that are behind Litz wire apply to audio power cords and speaker cables (with the novel addition of the "strand jumping" distortion theory). None of those claims that I am aware of, though, are backed up in a quantitative manner. Given that skin effect is utterly inapplicable at 60Hz, and at best very slightly applicable at 20kHz (and completely inapplicable even at 20kHz if the wires are thin), in the absence of plausible quantitative technical rationale skepticism would seem to be justified.

Which is not to deny that many of those cords and cables may provide excellent performance in many systems. However without a well established technical rationale and understanding, system dependencies figure to be unpredictable, and the correlation between price and performance figures to be loose.


Best regards,
-- Al

My intent was not sway you one way or the other. Given the choice I will use solid core wire for my audio branch circuits. Stranded is a hell of lot easier to work with though.

Hi Al,

A lot of this hobby is based on theory. In the end it all depends on the listener.....

Maybe all the aftermarket cable designer/manufactures are reading from the same page.

Here is another one.


Solid core in-wall wiring

Note: As Mofimadness said in his post make sure the in-wall wiring is Listed and approved by UL and or CSA for the intended use.
Anyone with experience comparing some of these?