I was perusing positive-feedback.com the other day and I happened on an article written by Jeff Day in which he extolled the use of classic tinned-copper wire for speakers and interconnects. Apparently guitarists have started a trend whereby they are re-wiring their modern guitars with old Western Electric tinned-copper wire with cotton insulation that were present in vintage guitars in order to achieve the “classic tone” of those old guitars. And that has led to further use of the old WE wire for speakers and interconnects, to great success and enthusiasm by certain audiophiles. The problem is, that Western Electric wire is no longer made so it’s getting harder and harder to come by. So Jeff Day convinced a friend of his to reproduce this wire not only in 16GA but also 12, 20 and 24GA. The company that does this is called Duelund Coherent Audio and distribute it through partsconnexion.com. They’re from Denmark, I think.
After reading his article, I was intrigued as I’ve been meaning to replace my old Audioquest basic 16GA wire for quite some time, but haven’t gotten around to replacing it, mainly due to the fact that I was afraid of the expense of approximately 27 (!) meters of wire for my front speakers. You see, my system is in the back of my room and speakers, obviously, in the front with the wire fished through the walls. So I was left replacing my mediocre at best Audioquest wire with 27 meters of, well, something expensive. The rest of my system is mainly rigged with Nordost and the thought of running 27 meters of Nordost gives me the chills. We’re talkin at least $10k and that’s not even the good stuff! So after Jeff talked so glowingly about the Duelund wire, I said why not give it a try? It’s only $10 per meter per strand (the wire is not paired).
So I went ahead and ordered the wire and it arrived today, which was pretty quick. I hadn’t realized that the wire isn’t paired so I really now only had 13.5 m of paired wire! As it turns out, I was lucky in that I couldn’t easily run the new wire on the back of the old wire by just pulling it through the wall. There was too much friction because of the other wires going through the walls and joists and such. So I just ran the wire under my carpet and actually had enough after pairing up the wire for both speakers. Whew!
And I must say I’m pretty floored at the sound of the tinned-copper wire. Everything Jeff said was true. They are very transparent and resolving with incredible detail, especially with percussion, without being tilted to treble. The bass is full and well defined and there is a better defined soundstage compared to my old speaker wire. Vocals and acoustic instruments are rich and clear. And that is without any break in at all. I can only imagine how they will sound after they finish breaking in. It is true that this wire sounds far superior to very, very basic speaker wire, so it’s not surprising that almost any wire will sound better. All I can say is that I read comment after comment on Jeff’s blog detailing how wonderful this speaker wire is, even compared to incredibly expensive speaker wire. So there really must be something to this, I think. The cool thing is that Jeff details on his blog (jeffsplace.me) about how to make you own interconnects, USB cables, and even headshell wires using the Duelund tinned copper wire. Think about it; you could make a shielded high quality interconnect for less than $20. I don’t know about you, but I have thousands of dollars in interconnects in my system. Maybe it’s time to make my own and sell off the high dollar ones. I’m going to try the headshell wires, for sure. Time to fire up my soldering iron!
So if you have been thinking about getting new speaker wire (or interconnects, etc), give this a shot. It’s super cheap, relatively speaking, so there really isn’t much to lose. I figured I may have saved myself at least $5k by going this route, maybe more. I’d love to hear anyone’s experiences.