Theoretical cable question

From a theoretical or engineering perspective, which type of speaker cable, multi-stranded braided like Kimber Kable 8PR or solid copper like Spelz's Anticable, will give me more high frequency extension, "sparkle" if you will.  Short run from monoblocks, 1-3 feet in length. Feeding Von Schweikert VR4-JR upper treble module only.  Or, conversely, which one would feed the bass module with better lows.  As you might imagine, swapping out the cables and trying to discern the difference in sound is problematic because music memory is short and trading out cables takes time.  I'm just curious if there would be a difference "electrically" over such a short difference.  Thanks!
Theoretically, you want the least capacitance for the greatest highs, least inductance for lows.

I don't know about 1-3 feet, but I used to use 6' long Wireworld eclipse and they were interesting. You lost quite a bit of high end but gained in imaging.


In general, silver wire will provide more (and/or more extended) highs, heavy gauge silver or copper more bass.
Kimber gives you the inductance per unit length on their cables, and is a long-time manf. with a good track record.

I have never seen any basis for the claims on silver cable.

You will have to try a number of cables to find one you prefer, hence the cable 'rental' firms.

1-3 ft is not likely to cause much difference and you are smart to keep it short (another adv. to mono-block amps)
Thanks for your thoughts. 
I run my ESL's exactly the same way: 50 cm cables from mono blocks.

Based on my experience, I suspect that over such a short distance any differences are purely theoretical and inaudible. 

That said, Litz wire (many small, independently insulated strands) gives better high frequency response. In theory.

Also, according to the Maxwell Equations, capacitance attenuates high frequencies at line levels, while inductance is the problem at power levels. That means two ribbons in very close proximity to maximize capacitance and minimize inductance. Goertz speaker cable is a good exemplar.

But I don't think you'll hear any difference at all. Good luck!
Thanks. I'll try and see if I hear a difference. 
To elaborate on some of the comments that have been made (and in some cases to contradict them):

1) For a given cable type, inductance, capacitance, and resistance are directly proportional to length.

2) The impedance presented by an inductance is directly proportional to frequency, and in the case of a cable presents itself in series, rather than in parallel. Consequently, the impedance presented by the inductance of a length of speaker cable that would be used in a home will be negligible at bass frequencies, but as Terry9 alluded to it may have some significance in the upper treble region. Especially if the cable is long and the speaker has low impedance at high frequencies, as do many electrostatics in particular. What is important is the relation between the impedance of the cable and the impedance of the speaker, at all frequencies that may be significant.

Specifically, the impedance presented by an inductance (referred to as inductive reactance, denoted as XL, and measured in ohms), is defined by the following equation, where f is frequency in Hz and L is inductance in Henries:

XL = 2 x pi x f x L

("pi" = 3.14, approximately).

3) The impedance presented by a capacitance is inversely proportional to frequency, and in the case of a cable presents itself in parallel (i.e., between + and -), rather than in series.

Specifically, the impedance presented by a capacitance (referred to as capacitive reactance, denoted as XC, and measured in ohms), is defined by the following equation, where f is frequency in Hz and C is capacitance in Farads.

(Cable capacitance is often indicated in units of "pf" per foot or per meter. 1 pf = 1 picofarad = one trillionth of a Farad):

XC = 1/(2 x pi x f x C)

Under most circumstances involving analog audio signals the effects of cable capacitance, if any, result mainly from the low pass filter that is formed by its interaction with the output impedance of the component providing the signal. The output impedance of a power amplifier is low enough to make that a non-issue in a speaker cable of reasonable length. But as Terry9 correctly indicated it may be significant in some cases for line-level interconnects, if the output impedance of the component providing the signal is high at high frequencies and/or if the cable is long.

However in some cases the stability of a power amplifier or the power stage of an integrated amplifier may be marginal when it is subjected to a particularly heavy capacitive load. Especially in some cases involving amplifiers that have low effective output impedance (as do almost all solid state amps), and that use significant amounts of feedback. So if the speaker cable being used has particularly high capacitance, such as Goertz (which achieves ultra-low inductance at the expense of ultra-high capacitance) the result may be such things as "overshoot," ringing, phase response anomalies, or even destructive oscillations. Goertz, however, provides what are called Zobel networks which can be used with their cables to minimize or eliminate such possibilities.

It should be kept in mind, though, that small amounts of overshoot, ringing, phase response anomalies, and other such inaccuracies could conceivably be interpreted by some users with some systems as supposedly desirable attributes, such as "sparkle" or "air."

4) All of that being said, I don’t think that the differences a one to three foot length of speaker cable might make in a given application, if any, can be predicted based on theoretical considerations. And I would also expect any such differences that may be reported to not have a great deal of consistency among different systems, in part because of the dependencies on speaker impedance and amplifier design that I cited above.

-- Al

Nice, clear elaboration, Al.
except for "Henries"

not SI
Yup.  The plural of the unit of inductance "Henry" is "Henrys," not "Henries" as I previously stated.

-- Al
Not to be too argumentative here, but I believe it’s actually a Strawman Argument to claim or imply that impedance, resisitance and capacitance are the only factors, or even the governing factors, involved in cables sounding one way or the other. It’s not too difficult to see why it’s a Strawman Argument, either. The type of dielectric, the purity of the metal conductor, the type of metal conductor, the addition or not of trace amounts of gold to the pure metal, standed vs unstranded conductor, conductor diameter, whether the conductor is metal or liquid or amorphous (carbon), cable geometry, shielded vs unshielded, even the color of the cable jacket, are some of the other variables. Also, whether and how the cable is broken in, and whether the cable is cryo’d. And we don’t even have to get into wire directionality which is yet another variable, no?

Thanks to all whom have replied. And thanks for the civil and thoughtful posts. I accept that there are a multitude of factors involved (although I must admit to skepticism about jacket cover!). I was interested in the measurable effects, understanding that many things we hear can't be measured. That said, I now believe that the very short run of the speaker cables make most arguments moot. I will keep my Kimber Kable hand made double run of PR8 and concentrate now on the long interconnects. Thanks again to all. Case closed. 
Just to add this little note. In the history of audio almost no one has ever measured cables. No one. Therefore anyone who is only interested in cable parameters that can be measured is going to be very very disappointed. 😥

The reason cables can't be measured in terms of how they sound are so dependent on the amp the speakers and the room. However, the electrical properties of cables can be measured and may help one decide which ones to try if they have unusual situations: long runs, difficult to drive speakers, low output amps, etc. thanks
To add, the subject area of measurement does not correlate to what people hear, as the measurements have no idea what the ear is hearing, or how it hears.

the two do not meet, in subtlety... but only in gross terms. Ie, we can say what gross numbers in measurements, large variance.. may ~tend~ to sound like.

Those who DO know what to look for are generally quite silent, for all the right reasons. That is is part and parcel of their built up lore in cable design.

Incredulity and pressure laid down in the direction of those who say such things, will not change that one whit.

In some cases, it is an inability to understand Godel’s incompleteness theorem(s) as applied to the cart and horse of the science of electricity - as applied to audio.

ie, to find the fine detail aspects of what one is looking for requires a far more complete and expanded overview (Renaissance multidisciplinary aspects) than is applied by those who continue to exist in Einstein’s take on the logic of incompleteness theorem, when in the world of endeavor:

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."


"The height of stupidity is most clearly demonstrated by the individual who ridicules something he knows nothing about."

Ie, arguing that the obviously 100’s of thousands and ~into the millions of audio oriented people~..(even the partners and family members of audio people hear it!) who say they hear these subtle differences..and saying that they don’t exist and are some sort of placebo effect.

Then forgetting that hearing is like that of intelligence, and has it’s own version of IQ differences, and some hear better than others by magnitudes. Seriously. Indisputable. Real as it gets.

When not even knowing that recent studies in quantum research in such areas have, for the most part... put the idea of the ’placebo effect’ as a reality, deeply into question. So even that escape route of taking the simpleton’s way out..and blaming it on placebo aspects.... is being dashed against the rocks until it’s innards fry in the sun.

So, that cables deal with all the things the Geoff says they do, is real. It is a real thing, that we hear. And some of us take the time to really work out what is what, on at least some level. It is an expanding science, it is not a finished one. So we argue about it. But please, please, come up with something new. This is tiring and it is just ..well..beneath all of us.

But, importantly, we are well past admitting this is all real. What each aspect is due to, in complexity and simplicity... is the multi-faceted question. Arguing it is all hogwash.... does indeed show a lack of skill and intellect in this area.

I’m not trying to be rude, just factual. But it is perfectly permissible to argue any fact of any kind, as all of reality is a theory, and no such thing as a fact exists.

It is the ~only thing we do actually know~: that there are no facts. One fact - that there are none. Quantum paradox reflected in philosophy. Eloquence and correctness in expression, at it’s finest and most sublime.

So you go out and ask any professor or head of any science department at the top universities and research outfits, and they’ll tell you this exact thing. They’ll be shocked to think ..that you.. might think that they think --that facts exist. Go ahead. Go do it. Ask a real physicist these questions, go ask the top ones in the world, on any continent.

It’s only people on forums and some trained engineers who think that facts exist. Human existence is 100% theory and 0% fact.

Humanity cannot advance or change if facts exist, we'd be dead in the water. Deader than rocks. We'd be locked into an advancing and ever growing dogma that overtakes all and literally kills everything.

Lesson: Don't argue dogma for the nth time. Come up with something new and end the circular augment.

"The reason cables can’t be measured in terms of how they sound are so dependent on the amp the speakers and the room. However, the electrical properties of cables can be measured and may help one decide which ones to try if they have unusual situations: long runs, difficult to drive speakers, low output amps, etc. thanks"

That’s exactly what they used to say about amplifiers. But we now know specs don’t mean very much. Amplifiers with two orders of magnitude better THD can sometimes sound much worse than Amplifer X. So, I would say, no, the electrical properties of cables don’t help anyone decide which cables to buy. No one has compared cables in terms of sound quality and correlated that to Measured electrical properties, which is really what is needed. Alas, no one has ever done it. When did all this cable ruckus start, 40 years ago?
time flies when you’re having fun. 😀 If what you say were true that all anyone would have to do is measure the electrical properties, L, R and C, then pick the cable with the best measurements. That’s why this cable controversy has been around for 40 years. Hel-loo!
To simply clarify my post (and then let's put this discussion to bed), I simply mean that electrical properties may help one start the discovery of which components to try and compare. Only a fool would choose any audio component based on measurements. Sorry, Stereophile!  Thanks to all. Goodnight and God Bless. I will not follow this discussion further. 
Buy a quality Bi-wired cable! Never run different cables for hi and low end 4 post speaker connections!