Thoughts on very cheap speaker cables

Hi all,

Has anyone tried speaker cables made as follows:
1. 4 single 12Ft strands of 22 AWG certified OFHC CDA
101 annealed temper copper ($0.25 a foot).
2. Each inserted in pure lowest dielectric woven cotton.
3. Each assembly inserted in lowest dielectric PTFE tubing.
4. The ends will be sealed with a PTFE sealant.
5. About 1" of bare wire will protrude from the sealed
ends, coated with a low dielectric antioxident.
This will provide a twisted pair, held together with shrink wrap, for each B&W803N speaker connected directly to an Aragon 8008bb amp. All thoughts will be greatly appreicated.

Henry Rancourt
how "cheap" this will be? If you can buy used Auditorium or Phy or Audio Tekne, Yamamura wires with similar philosophy to what you are thinking?
Why not just buy some ready-made wires and be done with it? Your proposition sounds like a bunch of work for no good reason...

Agree with RW. After you are done, with all the time and labor invested, the cable you created won't be cheap anymore. Also the result isn't guaranteed. I don't know how many people here are expert cable engineers. I know I am not and I doubt you are either or you won't be looking for opinion here. So unless you are trying to enter cable making business and are researching the possibility, what is the point?
I am not an engineer and have no desire to enter the speaker cable business. My reason is to try to improve the sound of my system with much smaller diameter cables without spending $$$$ for cables. The cables currently in use are XLO reference series type 0.6. The cables I describe will be much smaller, less visible and probably be under $50. The time to make them does not concern me since I am retired and like to tinker. I was hoping to get some responses about the negative or positive aspects of using only 2 22 awg solid wires per channel. That means 4 12ft wires for connecting two stereo speakers.
You can try Canare 4S6 at $0.30 a foot... 4x20awg. You can cover it with techflex.
It's pretty thin - I have tried it out of curiosity against the bigger 4s11. The sound was anemic with the smaller bundle in my gear, but it may not be the case for you.
Not spending a lot of $$$$? What would you expect to spend on your planned cables? Not to mention the time involved.
I think you could find a pair of used cables, maybe with a similar configuration, for less.
I was hoping to get some responses about the negative or positive aspects of using only 2 22 awg solid wires per channel.
The gauge is inadequate for neutral behavior. AWG 22 wire has a resistance of about 16 ohms per thousand feet. The 24 foot round-trip that the signal has to make, to and from each speaker, corresponds to a resistance of about 0.4 ohms.

That would reduce your damping factor to 8/0.4 = 20, assuming that the damping factor of the amp is high enough to be insignificant in relation to that.

I believe that the impedance of your speakers is nominally 8 ohms but dips to around 4 ohms at some frequencies, especially in the bass region. At those frequencies the effective damping factor would be only 10. Also, the interaction of the 0.4 ohm cable resistance and the variation of speaker impedance as a function of frequency would result in approximately a 0.5 db frequency response irregularity, small but not necessarily insignificant. Finally, depending on the frequency content of the music, between about 10% and 20% of the power delivered by the amplifier at any given time would be wasted, and dissipated in the cables as heat.

See this wire gauge table for further information on resistance as a function of gauge. For neutral behavior, cable resistance should be kept to an extremely small fraction of the lowest value reached by the impedance of the speaker at any audible frequency.

Although whether or not neutral behavior is the goal, for a given system and listener, is of course another matter altogether.

-- Al
I have 500 feet of the wire so i was also thinking of twisting 2 wires for the + and 2 wires for the - for each speaker. This would result in 8 12 ft lengths of 22 awg. I think the result of twisting two 22 awg wires would = about 18 awg. Does that make sense?
Connecting two of the conductors in parallel would of course reduce the resistance by a factor of 2. As you can see in the wire gauge table, a factor of 2 change in resistance corresponds to an increment of 3 gauge sizes. So you would have the equivalent of 19 gauge.

I can't say, of course, whether or not that would be satisfactory in your system from a subjective standpoint, but from a technical standpoint it strikes me as being marginal at best.

-- Al
DIY should be encouraged, not discouraged. Cost should not the issue. The joy and satisfaction of doing it yourself cannot be overestimated. Like an audiophile from the 50's, go for it!
Correction to my first post above: The reference to "between about 10% and 20%" should have said "between about 5% and 10%."

-- Al
Theduke has it right.
If you want cheap speaker cable go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy an outdoor extension cord. They come in a variety of colors including white, beige, green, blue, etc. and in 40' and 50' lengths. It is 3 wire 16 gauge. Just clip the groung wire and you are set. This cable worked best on my friend's Quads. Using bare wire connections the cost is approximately $15.00 for 50'.

Another inexpensive speaker cable is Kimber Kable Kwik 12. It competes with expensive cables at a reasonable price.
Does anyone know the awg of Mapleshade's speaker wire? Is their cable made up of a single wire for + and a single wire for - connectors on a speaker?

If you already have the wire, then just go ahead with your project and update the thread with your results. With 500 feet of wire I suspect you could make several different configurations and pick out what works best for you.
My latest thought has been to put 3 lengths of the 22 awg copper wire, described in my first thread, inside 3 seperate lenghts of cotton with a low dieletric constant of about 1.3. Braid 4 groups, each made up of the of 3 cotton encased wires, and insert each braided assembly into 4 very low dielectric ptfe tubes. The four assemblies would allow amp to speaker connection for two speakers in a stereo setup. Has anyone tried this or know of a potential problem with this approach?