I'd like to upgrade my speaker wire


I am fairly new here and still learning.  I have a Yamaha R803 receiver and Vandersteen model 1s.  I'm happy with them for now but I'd like to upgrade my speaker wire. I presently have 14 gauge wire I bought years ago at Best Buy. I need 40 feet.  I've read great reviews about Back Cat but I think 40 feet may be a little pricey for me. I'd greatly appreciate any advice on a good quality wire at a reasonable cost. Maybe under $500?   BTW,  I bought Jim Smith's book as recommended here, great advice, thanks.   Doug
dwhess
40 feet for each speaker? That’s a lot.

For that length, take a long look at Duelund DCA16GA hookup wire. It’s 10 bucks a meter and you would need 160 ft total. That would be about $500.

If you only need 4 x 10 runs then it would be about $130. If you do a forum search here you’ll see lots of raves for it including mine.

Oh, and if you only need 40 ft total, Black Cat does have a new Acme line of hookup wire that is $10/foot, so about 3 times as expensive as the Duelund.


Mogami 3103 from takefiveaudio.  I cannot see how you can do better than that at that price for your system.  Others may not agree.

I have the duelund and it is great but I think the mogami is a better solution in this case.  
Nobody with 40 feet of speaker wire needs better wire. What they need is better speaker placement. Or component placement. Or both.

When you get things situated to where they should be you will need 8 ft per side, if that. At that point then a good $500 speaker cable will have tremendous impact. Right now though it would be throwing money down the toilet.


@millercarbon.............

I would like to know how you came up with no more than an 8 foot pair of wires for the speaker to be optimal?   My speakers are across the room from the audio rack and I have two 23 foot speaker cables going under the floor to the speakers.  Works great and sounds fantastic.  Just because you have your own opinion doesn’t mean it is right or wrong. 
Many moons ago when I owned Vandersteens I used Audioquest and they worked well together!
https://www.audioadvisor.com/ssearch.asp?txtsearch=audioquest+speaker+cable
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I doubt the OP means 40 feet per channel!
For runs that long you really should have 10 or 12ga wire. I highly recommend some Belden cable sold by Blue Jeans. I think this would be very suitable for your system and it just happens to be cheap! Buy in bulk and terminate it yourself and you will spend less than $100, but don't let that stop you. 
I would like to know how you came up with no more than an 8 foot pair of wires for the speaker to be optimal?   My speakers are across the room from the audio rack and I have two 23 foot speaker cables going under the floor to the speakers.  Works great and sounds fantastic.  Just because you have your own opinion doesn’t mean it is right or wrong.

How do I know? Tried it both ways. Tried it many ways. Lotta other stuff too. More than you can even imagine. That's how I know.

"Works great and sounds fantastic." Compared to what? You tried it both ways? I don't think so. If you did, you would be the one guy on the planet preferred the sound of 23 feet of lamp cord to 6 feet of audiophile grade speaker cable. With that kind of experience, you should write it up. What the interweb is for. I know I would sure like to read about it.
40 feet total, that takes into account down through the floors, through the basement, and back up.  30 feet might be enough but a lot too long is better than a little too short.  Thanks for the advice.  Doug
It’s still ambiguous. No, I’m not being a smart ass.
I like the Anti-Cables I'm using with Vandersteen 2Cs, but they are only 5' runs each, bi-wired. Not sure about spending $ for 40'...
Glad to hear you got Jim Smith's book, it is excellent.

Tom
Try Signal Cable.....reasonably priced and sounds great. 

http://signalcable.com/classicspeaker.html
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99% OFC ...and as elizabeth pointed out, #12 AWG would be a good choice.

Several raw cable options out there, furez for the budget minded, furutech a lil more, are a couple others to consider.


Canare Star Quad.  Reasonably priced and for my system it has sounded better than two different types of Kimber cable. YMMV.
Knukonceptz makes some very nice priced cable. Even their 8 guage is available at a reasonable price.
you can try these 2 types of speaker wire Krux Speaker Wire  Karma SS Speaker Kable or this company which makes some very good and reasonably priced cables  Why Maze Audio? Maze audio they make speaker cables, jumpers, power cables, and interconnects.
Millercarbon-you need to buy jim smiths book on how to get better sound. Jim states to never put your gear in the middle between the speakers, put your gear on the side. So depending on where the poster has his gear, you could have some long runs. Nobody has the right to state that somebody only needs an 8 foot speaker wire without knowing the whole reason.
Also, if it were me, I would use a long pair of balanced cables from my equipment rack to a pair of monoblocks or a stereo amp and run shorter length speaker wire.
Another vote for blue jeans.
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Millercarbon-you need to buy jim smiths book on how to get better sound. Jim states to never put your gear in the middle between the speakers, put your gear on the side.

"Jim states." Oh. Well now. That changes everything. Jim states. I must admit, I didn’t see that one coming. The logic! The facts! Its the most airtight argument, possibly of all time! "Jim states!" Wow. Whatever was I thinking? I am in awe.
Twenty foot cables are long enough for the topology to matter. According to the Maxwell Equations, inductance is your enemy for speaker cables, and you don't have to worry about capacitance.

That means speaker cables which consist of two ribbons facing each other, like Goertz. As Elizabeth said, 12 AWG or better. Otherwise the highs will suffer.
What you need is <= 12 gauge wire but even more importantly, very FINE stranded wire with MANY strands.  Higher frequencies tend to be affected by the skin effect and over such long lengths, the resistance will add up.  The more strands there are, the better it will be.
Might need CL2 or CL3 rated if you’re going through walls and floors etc? 


That's all great advice, thanks guys.  Doug
rbstehno"-you need to buy jim smiths book on how to get better sound. Jim states to never put your gear in the middle between the speakers, put your gear on the side"

It's just a book no one single person or entity can prescribe the proper setup, configuration, and calibration of a Music Reproduction System with which they have no experience, information or knowledge. 
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If you are still doing research for speaker cable, look into monoprice.com, and search under their Audio Cable section.  CNET uses cabling from them for their equipment testing.  
Well said, Elizabeth.
And yet another vote for Blue Jeans Belen 10 or 12 gauge cable...
Agree on larger-than-14 guage wire needed for very long runs!

IDEA: Try to re-do the set-up so you can get shorter better-sounding and a bit pricier speaker wire. Various audiophile speaker wire types DO, ABSOLUTELY DO sound different...and some WILL synch with your system better than others ( so try various types before you buy - borrow from a friend for a day...or from a store BEFORE buying). Me? I’m partial to Tara Labs RSC Prime wire out there used for $100 - $200 for 10’ to 15’ on the used market. FABULOUS clarity and power!
NOTE: RSC stands for "Rectangular Solid Core"....not sure what guage but these copper wires are pretty thick and not round but rectangular ....whatever the blurb- it sounds leaps and bounds better than some plain wimpy-sounding DIY 12-guage stranded copper wire i had been using before.
Millercarbon - lose the scare quotes!
Good advice, thanks.  Doug
I utilized this diy for a set of short run speaker wires. My opinion was favorable enough to bench the audioquest wires. If u have access to a wire stripper, definitely recommend.  Adjust your gauge of wire and length accordingly.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/whitelightning/moonshine.html
Try DNM Resolution. Designed for longer runs. Contrary to most opinions here these are very small thin wires but they sound really, really good.I run 23ft of these under the carpet of my living room to the speakers  on the far wall and they sound better than stranded Kimber wires I've tried. Order direct from their  website and well within your budget
the only cable aside from some in wall cable I bought from Blue Jean I think it may have been was to invest in Kimber..  On sale at Audio Adviser .  Bought without connectors and buy what connectors one prefers and assemble.        Bought some used Audioquest  years ago  on ebay as well.  Still using it.  
You would be wise to consider Luna Cables.  They come in 5 grades.  I just purchased a complete set (speaker, IC, power cords).  Each time I replaced one of my Naim cables with a Luna cable, it drastically improved the sound.  The difference was truly shocking.  The higher grades (Blue, Ted, and Black) are pricey but the entry level (Grey) or the next one up (Orange) are quite reasonable.  They are hand made in Canada.
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I agree with @Whoopycat, the Duelund 16GA wire is a great step-up from just about any standard multi-strand wires on the market. You can buy the wire and twist it yourself for the runs you need.  If you need more power then the Duelund 12GA is also very good but more costly. 

Luna Cables also use tin-plated wire (maybe they even use the Duelund inside), but they produce finished speaker cables, and don't just supply the wire - which is what I interpreted the OP's request as.
I use 18-8 thermostat wire, $85 for 250 feet, you'd need 160 feet.  Solid copper, 8x18 insulated wires per "conductor" = 9 gauge, use the whole cable for each terminal.  It's easy to strip and terminate if you need to terminate it.  If your connections on the speaker and amp can accommodate the size of the twisted together wire so much the better.  If you need to terminate you can get gold plated copper spade lugs on eBay pretty cheaply.  The cables are a bit unwieldy, but they're tamable.  I use 3/8 inch split mesh around the pairs with heat shrink at the ends for a nicer appearance. 

I can hear the naysayers already, but if you haven't tried it...  Some friends of mine have and have made the switch.
long interconnects, short speaker cables.