No matter whether you are new to the world of home entertainment and are just setting up your first system or whether you are a veteran, it is vitally important to choose the right type of speaker cables so that you can get the very best performance from your equipment. You can buy hifi speakers online. Even ‘cheap’ home entertainment devices are relatively expensive, so it makes no sense to scrimp and save on something as important as cabling. Having said that, you shouldn’t just throw your money at the most expensive speaker cables you can find – remember that the price tag doesn’t always reflect the quality of the cable!
Copper Or Silver?
Most speaker cables are made from copper since it is a really effective conductor of electrical current. There are also cables that are made from silver, which is an even better conductor than copper. However silver is obviously a much more expensive material, and therefore silver cables can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. The majority of people are unable to tell the difference in performance between a good quality copper cable and a silver cable, but just to add to the confusion there are also cables that are made of silver plated copper. This acts as an ideal compromise, offering excellent performance, while still being economical for most people.
Generally speaking, the shorter the run of speaker cable, the better it will perform. The gauge, or thickness, of the cable can also affect performance. Thicker cable tends to preserve the signal over longer distances and can also help to reduce resistance, allowing for a fuller, richer sound. Average users should find that 16 gauge speaker cable is perfectly fine for their needs; however serious audiophiles usually like the extra piece of mind provided by thicker cable and will use 12 gauge cable for surround sound speakers, and 10 gauge for subwoofers.
Should I Use Connectors?
Connectors such as banana plugs and spade terminals can be attached to the end of the cable to make it easier to connect it to the source device and speaker. There are some purists out there who argue that attaching any kind of connector will degrade the signal, if only by a small amount. They prefer to simply trim the bare end of the cable every so often to remove any corrosion and ensure a clean, fresh connection. If you plug and unplug your cables regularly then connectors make the task so much easier, and to be honest, the majority of people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in terms of performance between a bare cable and one that uses a connector.
How Much Should I Pay?
Many of the top speaker cable brands are associated with fairly high price tags, but paying more doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting a product that performs better. Some of the more economical brands can perform just as well, in fact there are a lot of enthusiasts who refuse to pay extra for fancy packaging and fashionable names and instead buy their cable by the foot from industrial sized spools. The key thing to remember is to do your homework. Don’t just opt for the speaker cable with the slickest marketing campaign, and don’t be fooled into paying extra for the latest brand name. Instead, make your decision based on performance and go for the cable that is best suited to your personal needs and requirements.