Loose speaker wire and high power amps


Ok I have a 14b3 Bryston 600 watt bench tested to 680. Today I found the 12tc Limber bare wire connection very loose on the amp with maybe half tbe strands attached. The amp had been running hotter the last couple of weeks. I also run it hard and loud. I fixed it now. Besides maybe drawing more electricity could I have damaged my amp and what effect on the sound could it have been? The left side did seem a bit weaker in the bass last weekend when I did some speaker placement checks and did the balance controls. Is this what happens or did I just imagine the bass lower?
blueranger
Loose wire will not harm or affect the sound of any SS amp! They can be driven safely even with NO speakers connected! Unlike tube amps with output trannies! Those WILL be damaged with NO speakers connected and a music signal fed in. 
Is this what happens or did I just imagine the bass lower?

Hard to say for sure. Are you able to imagine the bass higher?

Seriously though yes, the fewer the strands the smaller the effective gauge so the higher the resistance and the lower the power to the speaker. 
Ok thanks. I had moved my speaker around and it must have worked loose.
@blueranger - your problem with you amp running hot may actually be due to the speaker cables (i.e. being of higher capacitance than most) causing the amp to oscillate.

12TC is 494 pF / meter - you get 3 meters of that and it’s a whopping 1482 pF !!!

NOTE: This issues only happens with solid state high current designs and NOT tube amps.
My old NAIM also suffered the same issue and it was well publicized on their web site

This can lead to internal damage to the point of destruction.

It happened to an acquaintance - he destroyed two solid state amps in this way and had no idea why = even the tech that fixed the amps did ot know about this issue.

WARNING: Some Cardas TOTL cables have an even higher capacitance.

To really be on the safe side, with high current design you should look at cables lower than 100pF/meter - preferably as low as 32 pF/meter. But it really does depend on the total length of the cable.

Your amp will actually run cooler as the capacitance is lowered.

Sounds a bit flaky I know, but high capacitance cables WILL KILL high current solid state amps.

Cable companies do not warn of this issue, Amp companies should also make it known, just as NAIM does.

A lot of tech’s are also ignorant of this issue.

I have a Bryston M135 and I am using cables with a total capacitance of 181 pF and it runs pretty cool - i.e. for a Bryston :-)

Hope that helps - Steve

Oh wow. I had no idea. Let me check the amp temp. I have been playing 90 dbs for a while. Not hot. Just warm. I put my hand on it for 20 secs. I do have a fan blowing. When I had a loose connection it was 🔥
@blueranger

P.S. Since your amp is class A/B, it will run a little hotter than most other amps - it is nothing to worry about.

I had a Luxman A/B amp and it got too hot to leave your hand on it for longer than a few seconds, so heat is not necessarily a bad thing, but I think you will find using better suited cables will provide better sound and a bit less heat.

As I said above - it is the total capacitance of the cable - so if you have the amp about 3 ft of the speaker then the 12TC should not be an issue. But if your setup requires using cables longer than 10ft I would think about replacing them.

Also - using a heavier gauge speaker cable is not really necessary with a 600 watt amp - UNLESS - your speakers have an impedance of 4 ohm or lower - then a heavier gauge may make a difference.

e.g. my M135 is currently using a cable with a 16 gauge signal conductor. I did compare it to the same cable with a 12 gauge signal conductor and I could not tell any difference.

Another thing I have found helped reduce heat is a better power cable. The ones that Bryston provides with their amps is better than what comes with most amps, but not as good as some third party power cables.

I have observed a drop of 4 Celsius in my Power Node 2, which has an integral 50 watt/channel amp - just be upgrading it’s power cable.

Unfortunately, the build/calibre of your amp would require a very good ($$$) power cable to make any noticeable difference - perhaps something from Nordost. e.g.
- VALHALLA 2 POWER CORD
- VALHALLA 2 SPEAKER CABLE - 10.9 pF/ft
Also checkout their interconnects in the Valhalla range

Nordost is one of the few companies that have managed to keep Capacitance and Inductance of their cables very low (i.e. compared to other brands), which takes a lot of design effort and forward thinking.

I am not an expert on cables, but I have tried a few unusual designs and cable geometries that I found made an observable improvement.

If you are interested in an exceptional DIY cable solution I can provide details for those also.

Regards - Steve