In general, the higher the level of purity of the wire, the greater the cost. Oxygen-free copper wire can be very costly. Whether this actually brings any audible benefit is up to the individual to decide.




High purity oxygen free copper cable is surprisingly affordable when compared to some of the so called audiophile cables routinely advertised in the audio press.

In fact you can even buy it on places such as Amazon.

As you say, whether it brings any audible is a matter of individual choice but some do try to use cables as a way of altering the tone of their systems.

Some even shun the use of active loudspeakers because they do away with the need for speaker cables completely!

If you have the time, this is an interesting article to read.  Lots of good information and different views on what makes a good cable.


How to choose a speaker cable?

Try them.

That's what the Cable Co or your local dealer is for. It's not really rocket science and they only way to really, truly know is by listening to them In Your System.

From Alan Shaw ( owner and designer of HARBETH speakers)

 … So, the moral of the story is this: the most important factor of the loudspeaker cable that you should select is the amount of metal in the cable core. More metal means lower resistance.

If the core is round (as most are) then the correlation is simple: the fatter the diameter of the metal core the better because the electrical resistance between amp and speaker will be lower.

Thin and really thin cores should be avoided regardless of how exotic the metal material is claimed as the lack of metal in the core conductor will increase resistance. That will reduce amplifier damping, effect the frequency response of the speaker and give unpredictable results that will vary from amp/speaker combination.

Do not be fooled by the diameter of the external plastic sheath: what matters is the metal content of the core. The more the better, without exception….”

+1 for Jpan. There are so many variables that you need to try them in your system. Some people state that power cables are the most likely to improve a system but my experience is I start with the speaker cables then the interconnects followed by the power cables hopefully all from the same manufacturer.

@akg_ca Then how do you explain the great sound I get from my Fidelium ribbon cables from Silversmith? Also, and I’m far from an expert in electronics, but my understanding is that an electrical charge/signal, travel on the outside of a wire, not through the inside?



This blurb is the mantra of Alan Shaw as a design engineer that was taken from his post in the HARBETH forum. I’m no engineer so I suggest you go ask him to explain .

he never said that thin round or thin ribbon ribbon speaker did not work, but rather that a bigger mass cable is a better approach IN HIS OPINION .

(1);FWIW, I also ran flat ribbon shotgunned NORDOST FREY’s in my prior array too. that 4x4 configuration was doubled up into a doubled up 2x2 configuration with matched jumpers instead of 2x4 biwires. So all I can report is that this “bigger / more / cumulative thicker “shotgunned” diameter cable configuration did sound better in my system than biwires. Go figger. Maybe he has a valid point .

(2) Dr Bews of LFD design fame has a parallel point of view. Here is his take on the LFD HYBRID SPEAKER CABLE model that has a thinner and a thicker speaker cable configuration.

” …. From Dr. Bews the maker of the fine LFD amplifiers comes this novel and superior speaker wire.

This cable uses PC-OCC multi strand and LC-OFC ribbon that is relatively expensive and labor cost is high (it’s a pain to make), but it’s the only way the makers have found to make a really good sounding single wired speaker cable.
LFD have been trying to manufacture this super single wired speaker cable from copper for nearly 10 years. The LC-OFC ribbon gives the very good bass and the PC-OCC multi strand gives a nice mid-band/top, either cable made as a single wired speaker cable have issues at the top end or the bass.
It might be a mad idea, but it works!..”


"This wire will make your LFD amp sing! Works well with every amp I have tried it with!"--Gene Rubin

I’ve since upgraded to comparatively “fatter” CARDAS CLEAR REFLECTION that are better in MY SYSTEM than the prior NORDOST FREYs . Of course it is all system dependent, full stop…there is no definitive “best” in this hobby.

In my humble opinion after 40yrs at this hobby, choose the shortest Speaker cable you can get away with. Inch per inch, speaker cable usually contribute more to the sound quality/signature than interconnect. And with high quality Balance IC, the difference will even be more pronounced.

Cables are so system and listener dependent, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to make specific recommendations. However, if the best cable is no cables at all, just try the shortest possible.

+1 @mosler666 . Good post!

I would add that having a short cable is especially important for tube amps, which typically have higher output impedance and whose frequency response is more likely to vary from flat when presented a reactive load (i.e., all loudspeakers and to a lesser degree, cables).

In my opinion even tho metal purity is important (as confirmed by recabling the 15 inch of wire between my midrange/tweeter passive crossover with Neotech UP-OCC wire) in the grand scheme of things, geometry, choice of dielectric, choice of solid core / multi strand etc will have a huge impact as well. What matters is the final result. I use Chinese cables, whose metal purity is impossible to know for sure, but the geometry and decision to use multiple individual solid core wires, individually isolated, make those the very best speaker (and interconnect) cables I’ve ever tried and / or owned.

I’d also say that "thicker is better" is very far from being the truth, depending on your loudspeakers, the opposite can often be true. I believe thin solid core wires give more resolution, details and dynamics than a thick multi strand wire, no matter how pure the metal is. YMMV, as always, but in the context of my system it definitely is the case.


I'm about saving money where I can in this expensive hobby, and they (the Used Cable Co.) have a wide selection of used cable, so shop here:

Used Cable

Here is their website:


Do your homework and narrow the choices down to a couple of manufacturers. Hopefully, this will include a local resource. Then get some samples from each manufacturer at a couple price levels you’re comfortable with to try at home. If available, you might consider borrowing a set of cables a level above where your "comfort level" is. This will let you know what you are missing at the lower price points and set the standard for a future upgrade. You just might decide that taking the leap is worth it.  Or, the more expensive cable could make you feel even more confident with your price/performance/value decision.

Yes, all things being equal, the more metal the better. And, yes, high quality cables can get expensive in a hurry when you "beef" them up.

Good luck.

@akg_ca  "the fatter the diameter of the metal core the better because the electrical resistance between amp and speaker will be lower."

Yes, the outside diameter, where the signal travels, is the important factor of resistance. The core itself can be air, as are some wires. 

Unless you are married to a specific brand, get the purest conductors with the least impactful (on the sound) dielectric, and have at it. For me that is Wireworld Equinox 8. It is composed of PC-OCC copper with Composilex 3 dielectric. I got two 8 foot pairs (for bi-wiring) for $1400 new. Done.