Interesting discussion of speaker cable

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I think the term he tried to touch on is electromigration for those interested in going a little deeper into the physics.

Actually, I believe the new term is electroknockosity.

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I was really hoping to learn something… I think I will leave cable design to someone who actually knows what they are doing. Sorry but his 2-conductor zip cord doesn’t impress me. Was this really a discussion? 30-years to develop that speaker design? Amazing.

No worries Bob . My Iconoclast cables aren’t going anywhere. His talk was just about standardization.

Makes no sense at all. First we realize after 30 years R, L and C change how a cable sounds? Then we make single polarities for each terminal that has NO GEOMETRY fixing technology to the opposite polarity so L and C go anywhere they want based on random spacing of the cables tossed on the floor?

There isn’t a “design” with two separate simple “wires” in space. The EM field, what he seems to say was important, and it is, is left unmanaged. That a different wire shape in a voice coil changes the EM field? YES! And so will the geometry of the cable which is so important yet is tossed out the window in two separate leg polaraties “design” with no fixed geometry. We havne’t made a cable yet (controlled R, L and C…all three) and how we get those values…same as how the voice coil’s EM field is changed

Oh, “water” does FLOW into a wire with no seeming connection on the end. The current is just inversely proportional to the load resistance. Lower load resistance is higher current and the opposite. When we terminate a wall outlet or cable into the air (as high impedance as we find normally) we see remarkably low current flow. Nothing new there. As we add conductivity the current slowly increases. We have all sorts of leakage current in electronics that we’d like to stop but can’t. Same problem…how to get the “R” to infinity.

Conceptual infinity load resistance, after all, is how high impedance XLR cables and RCA cables work. We transfer the POTENTIAL (voltage) from one place to another but with no significant current flow as we don’t want to do WORK (watts is amps times volts) yet. We want to relay the SIGNAL potential (volts) only right now. To mitigate WORK, we manage the current with a high impedance 47 k-ohm, or like high impedance load. We in essence terminate the cable into “air”.

A speaker cable is doing work, lots of current, so we are managing watts. We adjust the load, 2-30 ohms, to bring lots current (up to 30 amps or so) times a higher voltage (up to 50-70 volts). Now we have “work” being done moving the speaker cones. Eventually you need to dissipate the energy as WATTS or no work can be done.

To say you realize the EM field in a voice coil is critical, it is critical, also says the EM field, R, L and C, in a cable has to be critically and tightly controlled in the design shown, It isn’t managed in any way at all. L and C are thrown to the wind. R isn’t the answer as it doesn’t address cable non linearity in the time base…and how the signal is distorted. Pure attenuation is “distortion” of the voltage potential with respect to time as it is always phase coherent. Add L and C and we change the time based properties of the voltage and current…distortion.

ELI the ICE man is still with us! Voltage leads current in an inductor and current leads voltage a capacitor. No way to escape that.

There is a lot he knows that wasn’t said, or a lot isn’t understood that he can’t say…not sure which but the basic physics isn’t properly gathered up in that short piece.

He’s a salesman, nothing more.

Thanks Galen
I haven’t re-watched the piece and I can’t even remember why I walked into the kitchen 5 minutes ago, let alone the details of his talk, but isn’t he just talking about setting a standardized base point for speaker cables with his speakers?
I didn’t get a message that he was claiming to have found the perfect design. No?

Don’t knock them, Brett. Some of my best friends are salesmen. :grinning:



No, he just accepted the fact that he has “ideal” cable for HIS speakers, and ignores that that’s simply not the case else where. ANY cable still has to work with the compromises we see in amps, cables and speakers and even sources. It’s not hard to understand.

I take no offense to changes in components, I do take offense to incorrect electrical characterization of a cable, though. To know where to go, you need to know where you are in a design or you’re rudderless.

The apparent design he proposed has no controlled L and C thus no real set set of electrical at all between applications or even in the same one depending on where the two separate polarities are placed. Not good at all. Where are we going?


On this we agree, Galen.
Thanks for my favorite speaker and signal cables.
PS-----As I am so impressed with the OCC variant of your IC’s, I would love to know what OCC would be like in your speaker cables. (I’m typically curious beyond logic and to the detriment of my wallet)

That and a Iconoclast OCC power cableđź’¸

True OCC copper is made in a set length based on the volume of the incoming batch of copper material. This is a set volume and thus the output is limited in length based on the cross section of the wire draw. Using OCC wire in high volume or high speed processes is not economical or even achievable.

OCC wire is a short length batch process suited to simple designs that sell on material over the design. I don’t want to be limited by the supply lengths and to investigate the advantages to alternative geometries.

But the material, as long as it is modern copper draw, is not the over achiever in what we hear. The DESIGN is. I chose to address time based issues as we are sensitive to those distortions more than figuring out how to sell OCC any way I can. I have no dog in the wire fight except to offer all proper choices, even up, in design for users to fairly evaluate.

We have those designs that occomadate material over any other aspect(s) already. No need for more. What we don’t have, is BETTER designs that mitigate time based error in cable that we do hear, and hear more than the copper. This is why I chose to make ICONOCLAST as I got impatient with the mind set used to either invent new physics, or ignore the accepted physics entirely and sell materials. I was buying, or looking at, better cable once too and didn’t find them.

Where we can use OCC copper it is an option but the designs were never intended to use OCC as a material crutch in place of optimized design based on accepted practice.

The jury is always to what extent can the true changes be leveraged in what we hear. There is a limit for sure. I will push that spec limit another step for speaker cable and see what we hear over the improvements in calculation.

I have a different mouse trap that is seldom designed around and as such, it is a different choice than what was once available. Better, I try to bring you along in the design(s) as to how it is indeed different and test your assemblies to match the talk with the products true performance.

Since amps and speakers are so varied, choices will still be beneficial. But, getting time based distortion improved are, to my ear, most beneficial as the harmonics connected to the fundamental are HOW we identify each instrument. Changing copper won’t effect that near as much as the EM design can. Copper can’t change it at all as a matter of fact.


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