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This is called Authority Belief, which is part of our belief system. Gordon Gow's cable demonstration provided a personal experience for customers that could replace the Authority Beliefs they had relied on earlier. The demonstration was controlled. It was an instant comparison and the listeners did not know the wire identification.

Gordon held many such demonstrations in dealer showrooms and at shows.

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The Truth about Speaker Wire Despite the effectiveness of Gordon's cable demonstration and the truth about speaker wire, people visiting the McIntosh room at the shows, who had not experienced the cable demonstration, were disturbed that we were using ordinary heavy zip cord instead of one of the popular brands of speaker wire.

Instead of listening to the McIntosh speakers and electronics, they recalled "bad" things they had been told about "common" speaker wire and this promoted questions about the "inferior" wire being used. When we changed the wire to a popular brand of wire, customers were happy with the setup, and directed their attention to the McIntosh equipment. The demand for high quality speaker wire was increasing and appeared to be a new marketing area for several companies. McIntosh did not make or sell speaker wire.

Consequently, I no longer recommended the kind of wire or wire sizes in the speaker manuals.

By , McIntosh no longer supplied audio interconnects with the electronics. The dealer could also be consulted about what cables to use. I credit the success of the speaker wire industry to their expert sales and marketing ability. However, it is my experience that ordinary copper wire, as long as it's heavy enough, is just as good as name brands.

Looking at this from a different perspective, there will always be those who will want expensive wire, not because there is an audible difference, but because they may value pride of ownership and prestige in a similar way to that of owning a Tiffany lamp or a Rolex watch.

The answer is very simple. IDS is out to sell speakers and not everyone believes in ordinary wire. The explanation is the same as what McIntosh found at shows and is described in the section above. Cardas wire does not sound any better but it may help to sell speakers to those who are concerned about wire and are not convinced that ordinary wire is just as good.

The increase in cost is negligible compared to the drivers, enclosures and equalizer. It compared Monster cable, gauge wire and gauge wire. So what do our fifty hours of testing, scoring and listening to speaker cables amount to?

Only that gauge lamp cord and Monster cable are indistinguishable from each other with music and seem to be superior to the 24 gauge wire commonly sold or given away as 'speaker cable.

If the cable runs were only 6 instead of 30 feet, the overall cable resistances would have been lower and our tests would probably have found no audible differences between the three cables.

This project was unable to validate the sonic benefits claimed for exotic speaker cables over common gauge zip cord. We can only conclude, therefore, that there is little advantage besides pride of ownership in using these thick, expensive wires" Needless to say there was a strong letter to the editor in the October Stereo Review from Noel Lee, President of Monster Cable.

Among those responding, 56 per cent indicated 'an overall significant improvement, '42 per cent attested to a 'noticeable improvement,' and only 2 per cent wrote back that they heard no difference in system performance. Yes, some of this claim is believable but for the wrong reasons. If the wire used previously had resistance that was too high, there would be an audible difference.

If the wire connections at the amplifier or speaker were loose or corroded, installing the new cable tightly would make an audible difference. Then we get into the more subjective evaluation. Suppose you're already using adequate size wire and have good connections at the speaker and amplifier. If you're then told the new wire will make an improvement, you will be looking for it and truly believe that you hear an improvement.

Some people might go as far as saying "If I spent all that money for these cables, you can be sure I'm going to hear a difference. There are other factors as well. If you listen to the system with the old wires and then replace them with the new ones, it could take 5 or 10 minutes to do this.

By then you will have forgotten what the old sound was like. How many of the customers made an instant and more reliable comparison like what was done in Gordon Gow's demonstration or in the Stereo Review test?

I wonder how these customers would fare in a test where they didn't know which wire was being used. It devotes 4 and a half pages to the creative claims and descriptions by the various wire manufacturers. Near the end of the article reference is made to an Audio Engineering Society paper by R.

This time the conclusion in Stereo Review was extremely conservative. Perhaps this was due to the influence of speaker wire advertisers who pay for their magazine ads. As in Gordon Gow's wire demonstration, wire sales, advertising and dealer profits were hurt by the truth about speaker wire. We leave that up to each individual to decide. What we can say is that there are some valid reasons, described in the box on the facing page cable pictures and manufacturer descriptions , to use good cables in your hi-fi system.

Which theory you choose to subscribe to and how high a price you're willing to pay for cable comfort is up to you. Note: I saw no speaker wire advertisements in this issue!

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Would it be okay for me to use single conductor wire as speaker cables running through the attic or under the house? Does stranded wire provide some sonic benefit? It would be far cheaper and easier for me to run gauge wire to a plate with banana receptacles and then use specialty cable at each end to patch to the amplifier and speakers. There are a lot of myths about speaker wires, but in the end it's thickness that counts, and 12 gauge should be heavy enough for any reasonable domestic application.

I've taken several comparative listening sessions over the years, and the sort of wire you want to use involves no sonic degradation that I or anybody else in the tests could hear. You could even wire the whole distance from amp to speakers using gauge, but it would probably be more convenient to use something more flexible for the actual connection to components.

Specialty audiophile cables would serve that purpose nicely, although more modest cables would work just as well.

Speaker wire issues were known even back then. The article points out that damping factor of a good amplifier can be critical to reproducing sharp, clean transients and to the integrity of the bass.

Damping factor is defined as the ratio between speaker impedance and amplifier output or internal impedance. He stated that he heard a significant improvement compared to ordinary to gauge wire. JVC claimed that conventional cable could not pass a kHz square wave.

Kenwood considered super cables to have superior transmission qualities. Kenwood engineers used a 30kHz square wave in their tests that caused differences in wave height and overshoot.

However, this was found to be caused by the speaker. The wire at the left with the heavy insulation is gauge low voltage cable that's used for garden lighting accessories. The black wire at the right is gauge" speaker wire" that came with a receiver. Although the gauge wire is very small, it is only 8 feet long. All of this wire is stranded and is easy to work with. All the wires are coded so that you can maintain proper phasing of the speakers.

The smaller wire has a white stripe on the insulation of one of the conductors.

The other two have ridges molded in the insulation covering one of the conductors. All inexpensive wires are not the same, However. This wire at the right was sold as speaker wire several years ago by such places as Home Depot and Lowes. It had transparent insulation and was gauge.

It was much less expensive than the brand names. It did not have any coding to identify one of the wires for proper phasing. I had some of this wire for about 6 months and noticed it was turning color. Now it has turned a very pronounced green on the surface of the copper wire, indicating a chemical interaction with the insulation and the copper. A new piece of wire is at the right for comparison. Although the wire may not corrode any further, it doesn't inspire confidence, particularly if the insulation comes close to the connecting terminals.

Perhaps the transparent insulation was an attempt to mimic the more expensive speaker wires. Without researching the chemical properties of the insulation or the need to code one of the wires, it was not well thought out for use as speaker wire. I have heard complaints by others about the same problems.

The normal lighting wires and wire supplied with the receiver shown above do not have these problems. Misleading Wire Demonstration Thanks to Brian Goss, further information has been found about how a deceptive wire demonstration can inadvertently prove my point about how adequate wire size is the major factor in selecting a speaker wire. He found this demonstration at a Circuit City store in Houston. I found a similar demonstration in a local Circuit City store in Central Florida and took the above picture.

Two speakers used for the demonstration are shown at the right side in the picture. The foot reel of small wire is on the left and the foot reel of large Monster wire is next to it. The idea it to connect 50 feet of each wire in series with each speaker and then switch from one to the other to hear differences.

When you switch it to Monster cable it sounds about twice as loud. The sign reads, see how monster wire makes a difference, but they are not even comparing the same gauge of cable. When checking a roll of XP wire on the shelf, I found there was no indication of the wire size. Further checking on the Monster web site also showed no wire size or even resistance values. At another store that sold this wire, the sales person was more helpful. They also checked the roll of wire and the Monster web site to no avail.

However, they called the sales representative, who said it was Still unconvinced, the sales person compared the size of the copper in the XP and the copper size of a known wire. The Monster still looked larger until the ends of the wires were put right next to each other and then the copper size looked equal.

It was an optical illusion. The insulation size was much bigger in the Monster, making the copper size look bigger as well. The smaller reel of ordinary wire of in the demonstration appeared to be 24 but could have been even smaller.

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The report results stated: "As expected, the contaminated Chinese samples gave off high levels of sulfur gases. But all but one of the U. In February , U. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida sent a letter to the U. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the EPA, asking them to jointly investigate whether the Chinese drywall is toxic, and to determine the extent of potential damage to homes. The Consumer Product Safety Commission launched a formal investigation. In November , the CPSC reported on an indoor air study conducted by the Center for Disease Control CDC comparing 41 "complaint" homes in five states with 10 control homes built around the same time.

The report found a "strong association" between the imported drywall and levels of hydrogen sulfide gas and metal corrosion in the complaint homes. This suggests that pyrite oxidation may be the source of the sulfur compounds released by Chinese drywall. Samples of non-contaminated drywall were found to contain only minuscule levels of A. However, it is believed that short-term exposure, over the period of a few hours, can result in sore throat, eye irritation, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and nausea.

Long term exposure, over a period of weeks, is believed to cause chronic fatigue , insomnia , loss of appetite, dizziness, irritability, headaches, and memory loss. The Center for Disease Control, in collaboration with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry , released a guide indicating the residents of affected homes reported irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty breathing, persistent cough, bloody noses, runny noses, recurrent headaches, sinus infection, and asthma attacks.

The warnings point out that the presence of defective drywall cannot be determined by testing a home's air, or corrected by chemical sprays or ozone generators.

The Palm Beach Post found that of 47 remediation and inspection companies checked, 26 were created since January , and only 18 of the 47 were run by licensed contractors.

In Florida, lack of legal regulation allows anyone to "remediate" drywall problems, regardless of training or professional qualifications. The most recent job of one company's owner was operating an Asian Brides website.

In October , U. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon in New Orleans endorsed a settlement in which Knauf Group will pay for the repair of homes of the 3, involved in one particular case. The homes are in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, but no Texas and Virginia homes are affected by the agreement.For example, I can now control and monitor the heating in my cabin, right from my cell phone. The report found a "strong association" between the imported drywall and levels of hydrogen sulfide gas and metal corrosion in the complaint homes.

The one I used fig.

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