Ocos speaker cable is supposed to be made for long runs. It's distributed by Dynaudio.
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With that sort of length you should get some heavier gauge speaker wires. I would go for 12 gauge. Look on eBay for Mil Spec silver plated Teflon insulated wire. I bought a spool of 12 gauge 600 feet (more like 700 ft really) for $40 last Summer. It makes great speaker wire.
I twisted a quad foursome, and wrapped it with Teflon gas-pipe tape... it took a lot of work to do 100 ft long, but it is nice.
If you want a 'real' speaker cable, I would go for Kimber 12TC for your fronts. Then 8TC for the rears. The total cost would be in your price bracket.
Good luck. (I like your choice of equipment!)
blue jean cable has some 10 awg that you could get in the hundreds or dollars rather than thousands and see how it sounds. You could even try bi-wiring as well. The larger gauge wire is just what the doctor ordered for long runs. I wouldn't purchase any speaker wires that were not very large gauge.
At that length you should really be able to tell the difference between cables. It seems that most agree that resistance is the biggest factor to consider so start with large gauge and go from there.
With runs of this length, I would steer away from multi-stranded cables with heavy coatings. Look into some of the solid-core high purity copper cables on Audiogon for $10/ft. They are well suited for long runs and high-current amps like yours, they're reasonably priced, and sound great when properly broken-in.
I have a long speaker cable run - 20 feet. I currently use Anticables and they sound surprisingly good. Although very affordable, they are close in SQ to the 6 foot speaker cables they replaced, which were $2k. YMMV, of course.
Having said that, 20m is awfully long. Your best solution might be to split the difference, making the interconnects a little longer and the speaker cables a little shorter.
hey thanks everybody for your response. lots of good ideas.
Yes, if i went with long interconnects I would be moving just the amp right next to the speakers. I am considering two things. I spoke with Anticables and they can do it for a decent price , under 2k. I also spoke with Morrow and they suggested for runs that long to just try normal 12 to 14 guage house wire with a solid coper strand. He suggested I could try that first and then if it works great. It would cost around one hundred dollars. If you have never picked his brain give him a call. Very smart man and very honest. Send him your business for cables interconnect and power cords etc. He did suggest to me if i paid the price for his cables for 20 meters I'd be wassitng my money. I like the honesty.
It has been suggested to me by several people that I avoid multi stranded wires, including Mr. Morrow, because of the length.
I am a littel concerned about some of the comments about the anticable sounding a little vague, or maybe boring. I just purchased the pas lab amp about 3 weeks ago and i am not sure whether i like it or not. I almost think the Krell gives it a more exciting sound. The pass lab x350 almost has a tube like sound to it, which I am not so sure i like as much. I listen to different types of music mostly classic rock with lots of dvd concerts etc. And more and more I listen to them in 2 channel.
Thansk agian for all your suggestions, very helpful.
Fwiw I'd consider moving the front end gear closer to the power amps.. You've spent a HUGE amount of money on your gear. I don't see why you would want to hobble the performance by compromising on the quality of the cables because the distance is so great. That said if you just can't move the front end closer to the amps then long Balanced interconnects are the Only way to go. Balanced cables are designed to be used in long distances with minimal loss.. speaker cables that long are just the wrong way to go. Good Luck.
I can't make any promises, but I suspect you could negotiate a more favorable price by telephone. Keep in mind that the MI3 was developed at Krell's request, and they have a great reputation for working with Nelson Pass's Thresholds (with the provided zobel networks). I suspect that they will work quite well with Pass Labs as well.
I would not recommend using the standard 12 or 14 gauge solid core "house wire" as Morrow suggested as a speaker wire. It has heavy insulation all around, and sonically it is rather harsh and edgy. I have experimented with it for both AC cords and D.I.Y speaker cables with poor results. I tried the Anti-Cable solid core wires a few years ago, and was very impressed by some things it did in two different systems I had, but found it had tonality issues which I could not live with. I later tried a similar solid core cable (but cryo-treated) by JW Audio. It had none of the tonality issues that bothered me with the Anti-cables, and the detail and clarity was the best I have heard in my system at this point. My previous 6 foot pair of wires retailed at over $1,200, and I quickly sold them for half that amount. I was quite shocked that a $60 pair of cables could sound so much better in comparison. They do offer a 30 day trial, but you might want to see if they will still do so on such an unusual length. At $10 a foot, you will only be looking at a bit over $600 for a pair. That would be far more reasonable than a high quality set of 60+ foot interconnects!
I did not know you were were looking to bi-wire. I would guess, in that case, you would have to double the price for twice as much wire. I would not think that they would have to charge quite so much extra $ for 4 more spades on the speaker ends. I could understand a few extra dollars, but not four or five hundred dollars. If you have carpet on the floors where you are running them, it would be a good idea to raise the wires off the carpet a few inches to avoid any static interactions. A simple solution is to purchase some (in your case... MANY) inexpensive, round, 3 foot wooden dowel rods and cut them in half to make some simple "tripods" to keep them of the carpet. Home Depot sells approx. 3/8" diameter ones for very little money. You can even stain or gloss them to make them more attractive.
If the long speaker cable alternative is chosen, IMO there is a question which has not yet been raised that is essential to selection of an appropriate cable. And that is the impedance characteristics of your speakers at high frequencies.
I did a quick search but was unable to find an impedance curve for your speakers. Perhaps you can obtain one from MBL, or from a dealer or distributor, or by searching further with Google. If the impedance at upper treble frequencies does not rise substantially above its 4 ohm nominal value, then the inductance of the 20 meter length of cable becomes a significant issue. Relative to 4 ohms, the inductance of your present wires, and the inductance of 20 meters of Anti-Cable, and the inductance of ordinary heavy gauge wire, will all very likely be significant enough to perceptibly dull the extreme upper treble, and to cause perceptible sluggishness of sharp transients.
A major reason that the OCOS and Goertz cables that were suggested above tend to be good for long runs is that they have extremely low inductance. However, they also have extremely high capacitance per unit length, which would be factored up by the 20 meter length to levels that MIGHT be problematical for some amplifiers.
IMO, if you determine that the impedance of the speaker at upper treble frequencies is not considerably higher than its 4 ohm nominal rating, and if you settle on the long speaker cable approach, the Kimber 8TC that was recommended by Elizabeth would provide an excellent combination of low inductance, reasonable capacitance, and low resistance. The 12TC she also suggested is even better in those respects, but I suspect that it may be overkill.
I also agree with the comments that if your components provide balanced xlr interfaces, and assuming the sonic performance of those interfaces is good (which is not always the case), the long interconnect/short speaker cable alternative would be highly preferable. If you have to use unbalanced rca's, Bryon's suggestion of splitting the difference is also a good one, if feasible.
Al brings up good points. I use OCOS for a 5.5m run and have no problems with it. I have used Alpha Core MI-2 Veracity and feel it is one of the best values in audio. However, with solid state amps (and to be safe tube amps as well) it is best to get the zobel networks that can be provided with the cable. When I bought mine the zobel networks were free and were integrated with the cable.
I appreciate all your input very much. I spoke with John at JW Audio at great length and he was very helpful. I ordered two 75 foot bi-wired speaker cables from him. He has great feedback and seems to be a very likeable guy. I will use them for 30 days and if I don't like them I can return them for a small restocking fee, which seems very fair. I will have a professional installer run them up and down walls on the inside. In fact that is what makes the runs so long. If i could run them as the crow flys it would about half the distance.
Thanks agian for all your help. I did speak with MBL and Krell and they both suggested this is a good way to go. We shall see. I am sure it will be much better than the 14 guage braided cheap wpeaker wire I have been using for the past ten years.
You might check with your installer to see if it would be easier for them to run 2 separate runs of the solid core cable through the walls at a time if you were thinking of having the cables bi-wired on the amp end. The solid core wires are fairly stiff, and trying to push or pull all four cables from a bi-wired pair through the wall at the same time may be a bit tricky for them. They will go through easier in most situations one pair at a time. You would then just attach both spade ends (2) to each output binding post of your amps for the two pairs, instead of crimping/soldering the wires into a single spade at the amp end. This "double run" would be the same sonically, but possibly easier to handle around tight bends in the walls if that might be the case.
I just noticed that you showed two different stereo amps. Are you bi-amping the speakers with the two amps, or just using one of the amps and bi-wiring it to the speakers?
Some of you guys have been suggesting ways to raise the speaker cable off the carpet, which I am currently doing with some clear plastic stands I got on this site. My questions is this: will it actually make that much difference when the cables are going to be real close and actually touching the inside of the walls they are running up and down through? Only aobut 6 ffet is going to be exposed. The rest will be within the ealls and attic.
I though i already answered this but maybe nont?
It seems i always have extra amps laying around and I am not sure which amps i will have running this system. when the speaker cables get here I will try them both and go with the one that sound the best in my system. I am using a Krell TAS to run the center and two reats.
I currently am using three speaker wires holders per side to keep the cable off the carpet. My question above posed the question how much good will they really do when you have 60 feet of the same speaker wire running up and down the insides of the walls where it is obviously touching the wall itself?
I think sometimes these little gimmicks are kind of blown out of porportion.
Over the past week I made several new aditions to my system including Krell 350mc monoblocks, a shunyata line conditioner, 5 new balanced interconnects and new 65foot runs of JW Audio solid copper speaker cables. While these changes were going on I spent hours listening to the new pieces as they were being added, I have to admit I do beleive the speaker cables made the biggest improvement in overall sound.
I listened to Nirvanna unplugged as well as Rain by the beatles countless times, and while each piece made some nice enhancements the cables were added last and just seemed to pull everything together. Both my girlfriend and I heard so many new sounds it was actualy quite shocking.
Many fellow audiogoners suggested for my length of run to go with solid copper, which I did, and I couldn't have been more pleased. I spent far less than I anticipated ang got much more than I expected.