Canare 4S11 Star Quad cables for speaker

how does this wire work for speaker application? I use it for my guitar cable with great results.
For the money - I don't know how you can go wrong. It works very well.
Lots of people use it, but pretty much ANY plain old copper wire of 16ga or larger is adequate for most situations. If you have longer runs (>30-40ft), then a larger gauge (smaller number) is appropriate.

The question is do you really want to spend extra money or just have something that works?

If you want pretty or a name, I can understand, but if function is more important than form, see the first paragraph.
The starquad geometry of the Canare StarQuad 4S11 conributes to EMI-
RFI reduction, and a resulting quieter background than one would get
using plain copper wire in a non-starquad geometry. Of course, one
could buy plain copper wire, run it through Teflon tubing, and weave it
into a starquad configuration and have essentially the same thing as
Canare 4S11...minus the string insulation and outer jacket, but for $.69/
foot at, the time one saves buying the real thing seems
Quadstar is more or less just a double twisted pair.

The following is quoted from the Blue Jeans Cable website on Canare Quadstar:

"When conventionally wired, star quad speaker cable has the advantage of reducing the EM field around the cable, which will tend to diminish the effect of the signal in the speaker cable upon nearby interconnects--though this is not, in most applications, a significant concern."

At the end of the day, it's decent cable for the price, but I stand my previous comments.
First response by Olpet nailed it. I've used it with great results.
It works!! I live in a high RF area and using this cable eliminates the RF. I use Canare interconnects as well and I am very happy.
You aren't going to get any agreement here about whether any particular cable is good, or even whether cable makes any sonic difference, but the Canare Star Quad cables are worth exploring for some very practical reasons.

There is a range of sizes, 4S11, 4S8 and 4S6, meaning there is one to suit just about any application.

They're flexible and easy to terminate. The soft gray color is attractive and unobtrusive. The price is low enough that in the lengths most people need the difference between it and zip cord isn't worth the extra effort of driving to Home Depot instead of ordering the Canare through some place like The Star Quad configuration gives you the option to single-wire, bi-wire or use a single run to connect between an amp and the high-level inputs of a sub.

If you do any reasonable amount of swapping equipment in and out or helping friends set up gear, it's worth having some of the bulk cable around for experimentation. I finally bought 50' of both the 4S11 and 4S8 just to have on hand and it's a luxury to be able to make up a quick pair of cables on a whim, just to try something new.
Sfar said it best. So easy to work with, and a great price/benefit ratio.
Borrowing the quote from above:

"When conventionally wired, star quad speaker cable has the advantage of reducing the EM field around the cable, which will tend to diminish the effect of the signal in the speaker cable upon nearby interconnects--though this is not, in most applications, a significant concern."

Is that quote attributing EMI reduction to the starquad inner conductor geometry? Can someone explain why this would be true or direct me to a proper explanation?

I can accept that statement when the starquad is wired for balanced signals. I have trouble accepting that the starquad geometery has a significant effect on EMI when the cable is wired with the four center conductors as signal and the shield as return/ground as I have seen done for speaker cable applications. I would expect the quality of the shield to be the characteristic that influences EMI susceptibility in a single ended cable.

I just want to know if I'm missing something with respect to the governing field theory. I already know it's decent wire for speaker cables.
Mcmiller, this explanation of the advantage of star quad geometry is from the Canare website:
Speaker cable must accommodate relatively high signal levels, typically tens to hundreds of watts of RMS power. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can radiate from these speaker lines directly into adjacent low voltage cables (i.e. microphone, video lines, etc.). Canare solves this problem by using a 4-conductor “Star Quad” configuration in all of our 4S Series speaker cables. Because every conductor is located the same distance from the center, the opposing magnetic fields are cancelled out. Attenuation of magnetic field radiation is superior when compared to a standard 2-conductor speaker wire.

Here is a link to the Canare webpage from which I copied this statement. It also includes two diagrams.
Thanks, that makes sense. I was thinking of the starquad shielded mic cable design and how I've seen some people use that for cheap speaker cables.
The spiral wrapped starquad geometry when properly configured ( staggered polarity i.e. + - + - ) helps to lower the nominal impedance of the cable. This not only increases power transfer, but also broadens bandwidth and improves transient response.

Compared to a twisted pair, a star quad offers an appr 40 dB reduction in RFI / EMI radiation and susceptability. I don't have the figures as to how much "better" a starquad is in comparison to a standard side by side "zip cord" type design in these regards, but i would have to assume that it would be a staggering figure to say the least. I base this "assumption" on the fact that a twisted pair is far superior to zip cord and the starquad blows the twisted pair away.

Having said that, it's not fabulous cable, but it is much better than just about anything else that you're going to get for anywhere near the money. Sean
Hello Sean, good to see you.
So while EMI/RFI and resistance could be reduced (matters only if it was a problem in the first place), what are the effects on capacitance and inductance?

Without knowing, I'd have to venture a guess that the (L/C) properties suffer in some way at because of the design to improve other properties (low EMI emission/low series resistance).

My point is everything (I know of) has a trade-off. If one is going to extol potential benefits, give equal billing potential drawbacks.

Again, it's fine cable for the $$. Just several different perspectives...
Here's a link to the Canare website's table of the Mechanical Specifications of the 4S11 speaker cable (including capacitance specs).
Whoaru99: This type of cable suffers from the same type of signal degradation that most other speaker cables suffer from. That is, it uses lower grade dielectric and more of it due to having four conductors rather than two. On top of that, it is also a stranded conductor, so you'll run into more of what is termed "strand jumping" and "skin effect". Getting around either of these problems involves using very thin aka "flat" conductors and much more costly dielectric in a specific geometry.

As to the electrical drawbacks due to having reduced EMI / RFI potential, the main "drawback" ( if you can call it that ) is that the cable is of wider bandwidth and of lower impedance. This combo can send some gear into high frequency oscillation. Most of whether this happens would be depending on the stability of the amplifier itself. Under most circumstances, both of these traits ( wide bandwidth and lower nominal impedance ) would be considered highly desirable traits, so unless the system is highly flawed electrically and / or the owner refuses to take some simple precautionary steps such as using Zobel networks, there's really not much to be concerned about with these. Sean
I was using 4S11 for years in biwire config, and liked it better than Bear labs silver over copper I was using before that, and MIT 330? Shotgun- damn that was so long ago- the yellow double runs.

I actually just upgraded from the Canare to Cerious cables. (used thoughout the system though - didn;t just upgrade the speaker cables)

I guess the one thing good about the Canare is that it is so cheap you can afford to just throw it out every coupla years and get fresh since it oxydizes.

Mine was in a bare wire hookup - that since reading here, seems to be bad.

I had the matching Canare 305 IC's - and seem to remember them sounding grainy in comparison to other cables at the time.