Sunday, April 8, 2012

Speaker Cables Integral Part of Audio Systems

The link between the power amplifiers output terminals and speaker input terminals is almost good sort. It's regrettable that these important connections can be determined only by how tight you can turn a binding post or screwdriver or by the pressure of a spring which holds the speaker wire against the metal of terminal. The metals that are compelled against each other are often different. They could be brass or steel but plated with other metals. The cable could be copper or silver and perhaps coated with solder containing tin. They expand and contract differently with temperature. They can also become oxidized after some time and the connection can turn out to be bad to the point where the level of resistance is important compared to the level of resistance in the rest of the circuit. Different materials can also promote rust with action like a battery when they are in a humid environment. This ultimately causes not only higher resistance but also definitely audible distortion as if a diode were inserted in series with the speaker and amplifiers.

Assume you have a system with effectively heavy speaker cables but the cable connections go bad over time. Simply removing and washing the cables and gadgets and reconnecting them can make an audible difference. In addition, this occurs when an old cable is to be exchanged with a new "miracle" speaker cable. By distressing the terminals it can "unintentionally" increase the contacts when the new cable with its fresh surface is installed. A change can be heard but not because of the new cable. The same change can be heard by simply cleaning up the old cable/contacts and reconnecting them.
It appears to be sensible that rather than linking the output cables inside the power amplifier to the output terminals, the wires must be covered and soldered directly to the speaker cables. Then, consequently, the opposite end of the speaker cables should be covered and soldered directly to the speakers, or crossover network. This is not realistic, of course, unless the amplifiers and speakers are incorporated in the same cabinet.

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