Speaker cables.. Budget again.. With a twist...

I have already broken the bank on my system, Plinius 8200 int. amp, Marantz CD 6000OSE, Vandersteen 1c.. I guess I may use zip wire from Home Depot.. The problem...(the twist) is that I need to run one length 35 feet or so.. The other length will be maybe 20 feet.. No other way around it.. Plus I I cant really spend much more that $125 $150 max... What is my best option..? Zip wire? Or can I somehow "make my own" cable.. I am willing to buy all the parts and solder it up.. DREW
bluejeanscable is a good place to start unless you want to go the Home Depot orange cable route.
If your speaker runs were not so long, I'd suggest 16 gauge Furutech Fs71144 cable at around $4.60 a meter from Partsconnexion. But 35 feet is awfully long for that gauge. I've recently used Monster Cables new 14 gauge cable you buy for a dollar a foot at BestBuy (the stuff wound around a plastic core.) I needed something to get me by while I was using a loaner amp that wouldn't accept the connectors on my regular cables. I was quite impressed with them for a buck a foot. Timru's suggestion is a good one. Their Belden 5000 series is more in line with what I'd be looking at in your price range/length, it's either 10 or 12 gauge.
Go to:


Order the required length of "Canare 4S11" wire and the required number of Exodus "EX_BANA" banana connectors (yes, $5.25/pr but worth it).

This should fall just within your budget for the two cables of 55 or so foot combined length.

The bananas require a small jewelers/opticians/electronics screwdriver and, obviously, a wire cutter/stripper is needed. No soldering. The Canare wire is very high quality.

You can do much worse than these speaker cables. Twin 11 ga for both hot and neutral will serve you well, given the lengths needed.
Try the White Lightning DIY recipe as described in 6Moons:


You can buy 2 bundles of 40 ft. cord at Wal-Mart for around $20. Then get some connectors and give it a whirl.
Personally looking at the lengths of of cables I would go with 2 35ft cables. The reason - I have played with cable lengths and personally found that when you exceed 50% of the shortest wire I hear a slight reverb/echo sound which to me throws off the imaging and soundstage. I will admit when I first heard it (but I had junk equipt. and never heard imaging and soundstage) I kind of liked it. Today 30 years later it drives me crazy. I also ran unterminated speaker cables for over 20 years. I did strip back the wire by approx 3" every 5 years because of a slight oxidation. That could save a few bucks. Now I'm sure some will argue with me about lengths but again thats what I hear. With HT some processors will let you adjust the delay to compensate for the different lengths but thats typically a delay between front and rear channels.

Now to your question regarding cables - you are looking at approx $2 ft with 2 35 ft cables. Look for some closeout audioquest of maybe kimber 'bulk' cables. I would also look at the heavier gauge wire too with those lengths. Also if you do go with 2 35ft cables DO NOT coil up the shorter cable run (you just made a small transformer).

Depending how critical of a listener you are I (personally) find better speaker cables - interconnects - and lastly power cords will bring another notch up of detail, air, blackness, soundstage, depth and imaging. You have a nice system so far and cables is something to 'save' up for.

These are just my personal opinions. Good luck in your search and happy listening.
When I had to run cables that length, I built them like the "White Lightning" using a 100ft Home depot yard extension cord. It's yellow, the same mfg as the orange one but 12 gauge wire (I think the orange one is 14 gauge). It worked nicely and as I recall cost me ~$45 for the 100 ft cable. I terminated it with bananas that can be found in any style on ebay or you name it.
Yes, don't 'blind' your ears, go with Home Depot. Second yes, keep the lengths equal. I've had the ability to compare 12 gauge HD wire in my system with equal lengths of a pair of cables costing $5,500.00. No contest, HD sounded much better. The mid range particularly was better. If you do decide to fall off the cliff and go for a high end cable, find a dealer that will give you a loaner. Then do the HD compare.
Buconero17 and Bdgregory - very nice advice. It is refreshing to hear persons give advice that results in no waste of money on the part of the consumer. I can find no scientific reason to choose one cable over the other for the same guage wire or to choose silver, gold, titanium, uranium, lead, platinum, or any other metal over copper. Hence, buy the inexpensive copper cable. If you posed some of the questions you see on the web- i.e. should one pick the $25 per foot cable over the $20 per foot cable because the former "has more punch," to my former associates (spent many years as a practicing engineer working with other engineers, and yes, I mean engineers, we all had BSEE's or MSEE's, not guys with 'engineer' on their company shirt) I can picture the laughter, particularly if the explanations were included for why the expensive cables were better than the inexpensive cables. Anyway nice advice, you did a service to those who may otherwise needlessly waste money. I concur, go with the home depot stuff, good price, will work fine, and except for the placebo effect, it will sound as good as the $5000 cables. (actually to make the home depot sound even better than the $5000 cable, attach a price tag to each cable, highly visible, and write $6000 on the tag - wallah - a $6000 cable, a whole $1000 better than the $5000 cable and will really show itself when the amp is cranked all the way to eleven.
Musicnoise the word is voila, not wallah. Engineers can't spell worth a darn.
Obviously a degree in engineering(of any kind) does nothing for one's auditory perception. If I couldn't hear the difference (in sound stage width/depth, imaging, transparency, dynamics) between my Wireworld Eclipse cables and Home Depot extension cords- I'd sell my equipment, buy an old Pioneer rig and subscribe to Stereo Review. I'm certain everything still sounds the same to them, even though old, deaf Julian is gone. I've often wished I were as hearing impaired as others appear to be. That would leave a lot of cash for other pursuits.(Gee, was all that inflammatory?) Considering your budget: The HD wire should do you justice as long as you get the heaviest gauge available, and keep the lengths equal. You might try using the ground wire to double the gauge of your + conductor(can't hurt). As mentioned: Don't coil any excess, or you just created an inductor. With the HD wire, you can still afford some good terminations.
Obviously a degree in engineering(of any kind) does nothing for one's auditory perception.
Of course the key word here is "perception." I would argue that the knowledge gained through acquiring an electrical engineering degree would affect one's hearing "perception." Understanding electron flow through wire could leave one with certain preconceived notions.
Given your tone, auditory ability might better suit your statement.
You'll notice that the scientific term for our understanding of electricity is "theory". There are understandings that we have in science that are termed, "law"(IE: 1st and 2nd "laws" of Thermodynamics, The "law" of Universal Gravitation) In Science, when something is proven by The Scientific Process(or "method"): First a "hypothesis"(or "theory") is put forth. Then it is proven(or not) by repeated experiments. If the phenomenon can be (1) repeated, (2) observed, and (3) recorded: It is then considered a "Law or Scientific Fact." when testing an hypothesis or a theory, the scientist may have a preference for one outcome or another, and it is important that this preference not bias the results or their interpretation. A most fundamental error is to mistake the hypothesis for an explanation of a phenomenon, without performing experimental tests. Sometimes "common sense" and "logic" tempt us into believing that no test is needed. At any rate: Electrical or Electron Theory is still just that. The theories that have been put forth concerning electron flow can hardly been observed at the Quantum level at this point in time, thus they are not observable. Some experiments have been conducted of course but nothing to date is set in concrete. In fact: The theories are still constantly in a state of "flux." Read this article(from 1962), and then see if you can find something since that "proves" anything about electron flow: (http://www.philsoc.org/1962Spring/1526transcript.html) Note the summation states: "It is possible and in fact likely that some basic new principles and ideas will have to be added to what will be left of standard quantum field theory in order to provide for a complete and consistent description of electromagnetic interaction, and, in particular, of the electron. The future will tell which of these various conjectures are valid. If, nineteen years from now, the fiftieth Joseph Henry Lecturer should again discuss the theory of the electron, the chances are good that he will know the answer to many of these questions." That there are so very many that can indeed HEAR the improvements that various cables, interconnects, etc. make in our systems can be considered "Empirical Evidence", and (without proof that there are Quantum Laws that control those improvements that they make) enjoy the resultant music!
The Blue Jeans Belden speaker cables are great and cheap. I've switched them out of my system a couple of times for more expensive cables only to bring them back in and sell the more expensive ones. Their locking bananas are also very nice.
Leaving science and theory aside, the contention that auditory perception is a reasonable basis for choosing one cable of the same guage over another is also flawed. I am unaware of any studies conducted with reliable controls (i.e. double blind studies conducted by an uninterested party) that show that humans can tell the difference between such cables. The last I heard, audiophiles could not tell the difference between metal coat hangers and specialty cable. What is argued to show this difference is offered as emperical evidence, but is no more than anecdotal evidence. One can find anectodal evidence to prove anything - sightings of big foot and ufo's for example. By the way, I concur with Sinisterporpoise68 - Belden cable works great. Belden has had a consistently good reputation for decades and is an industry standard across applications. Furthermore, Blue Jean Cable has a relatively low markup. To get it for less one pretty much has to buy large fairly large rolls.
"At any rate: Electrical or Electron Theory is still just that. The theories that have been put forth concerning electron flow can hardly been observed at the Quantum level at this point in time, thus they are not observable."

That may be the case, but the EFFECTS of electron flow CAN be observed, repeated and measured/recorded. It may be referred to as "theory" but the reliabilty of it is undeniable; otherwise a standard light bulb wouldn't work, let alone any complex electronics like computers or audio gear.
It is often the case that observation and measurement of an effect is worth as much as observing the subject. Astronomers can locate and study black holes or new planets by the effect they have on their surroundings; we don't dismiss such science simply because the planet or black hole has not yet been studied.

Back to wire: I've chosen (relatively inexpensive) silver over copper wires for my speakers based on a slight lift in the upper frequencies this produced, and I have heard improvement from a cheap 'supplied' IC to a high grade aftermarket one.
However it bothers me that some here fall over themselves to believe the pseudo-scientific claims made by some expensive cable makers, and then dismiss established electronic and metallurgical science when it suits them.
Go back to Home Depot and get THHN. These are relatively thick and they don't bend well, but there is nothing better at that price point. You will need 4 cables...all the same length. Put spades if you can find them on the ends..or rings if you can use them on your amp/speakers connection. If not, you have to use a saw, or tin snips to cut these to make spades..The spades should be the ones that have a screw to secure them. Don't solder them..it will decrease the performance. You have to spend WAY more money to get anything better than these...especially at those lengths. I can surely guarantee you will be happy with these until you can spend mega bucks for the high priced spread.
That we can measure amperage, impedance(or resistance), and capacitance is not in question. A music signal is much more complex than the AC current that it takes to light your light bulb, containing a plethora of frequencies, harmonics, ambiance and timbre cues, etc. Much experimentation has gone into the dielectrics, conductors(OFC, solid silver), and configurations(Litz, spirals, etc) chosen by some of the better cable/interconnect companies over the years, and the fruits of their labors are greatly appreciated by those of us that have taken the time to audition and use them. That some have chosen not to, doesn't surprise me in the least. If everyone chose to follow those Pie-Eyed Pipers of everything-sounds-the-same/there's-no-difference/don't-bother-trying: We might still be listening to a conch shell held up to the ear. Probably not two for stereo, because that would have been discouraged also
Which side of this debate has the most enthusiastic "Pie-Eyed Pipers?"
I could care less, but- It wouldn't be easy! It seems I've entered into a battle of wits with a number of un-armed individuals. Enjoy yourselves!!
Actually, the fact that music is not a simple sinusoid really is not at all important. Fourier demonstrated long ago that a complex waveform can be completly defined by a series of sinusoids. It took a while for technology to catch up but with digitization and application of time saving techniques such as the fast fourier transform his theories are now a part of electronic systems across the spectrum (pun intended). We use these ideas to analyze everything from ecg waveforms to radar signatures to identify whether an aircraft is friend or foe. The complexity of audio waveforms are not an obstacle to complete definition. And again, I am unaware of any double blind studies showing that people can hear the difference between cables. We usually use science to verify or correct perception of the senses. How many experts bought fake works of great artists only to discover through scientific methods that what they bought were created years after the supposed creator died. But either way, science or human perception, the evidence points to the lack of difference between the specialty cables and just plain old wire. Usually the most obvious answer is the correct one.