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Old March 3rd, 2008, 09:51 PM   #1
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audio cable versus coat hangers

I thought some of you might get a chuckle out of this link

http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/03/a...ter-cable-and/

in which audiophiles compared systems with speakers hooked up by expensive name brand cables and by (unknown to them) coat hangers. Apparently the coat hangers sounded excellent.

Please note that we are talking about speaker wire here, not low signal strength balanced microphone XLR cables. I can't imagine that using coat hangers would work very well for connecting a mic to a mixer, but on the other hand for speaker wire perhaps the substantial extra dollars you would spend on high end name brand cable is going into advertising and not performance.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 11:56 PM   #2
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That's great. Thanks for posting this.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 01:19 AM   #3
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I have a closet full of high quality audiophile speaker connection wire just hanging in my closet! maybe I should list them in the classifieds...
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Old March 4th, 2008, 01:20 AM   #4
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Never thought Monster stuff was worth the insane prices - it's more a matter of ANYTHING (including evidently coathanger wire) sounding better than the cheap junk wires typically included with consumer electronics...

Personaly I'm a believer in 10 Gauge multistrand... cheap if you build the cables yourself (less than $1 a foot...), and it sounds great... now to go find some 20 foot coathanger wire to A/B... he he he...
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Old March 4th, 2008, 01:33 AM   #5
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Where can I get a 75 ohm coathanger?
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Old March 4th, 2008, 05:13 PM   #6
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Maybe that's why Joan Crawford was so upset over wire hangers in "Mommy Dearest."
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Old March 4th, 2008, 06:04 PM   #7
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I've been using Pep Boys battery cables for speaker wire for years. Ooops! I just divulged a trade secret.

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Old March 4th, 2008, 08:49 PM   #8
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A friend who is a recording artist and engineer said welding cable also works very well.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 09:23 PM   #9
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I use half-inch copper pipe. It's a series of tubes.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 06:55 AM   #10
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I use half-inch copper pipe. It's a series of tubes.
You laugh, but many years ago in college I worked at a high-speed, high-energy flash x-ray facility used for weapons research that had 3-inch diameter copper pipes to carry the high-voltage current pulse from the semi-trailer sized capacitor/transformer down to the tube array on the firing pad. Allowed us to take photo sequences with exposure times of fractions of a microsecond to study things like detonation wave propagation inside explosives.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #11
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Check out the waveguide on a broadcast tower sometime. They don't run a wire up the tower. The RF amplifier is at the base and it runs to the antenna via the waveguide, which is more like a heavy-duty heating duct than a cable.

Probably not the right solution for speaker wires though...
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Old March 5th, 2008, 05:21 PM   #12
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Steve,

When were you working there? In 1962 I was working for the Naval Weapons Lab and we were doing high speed films of propellant ignition - using 35mm film wrapped in a huge circle and with a spinning prism in the middle. I think we got several million fps at the time, but obviously not for very long.

I've also seen these large copper waveguides (3 to 6 inch as I recall.) I seem to recall that the bends were right angled mitered joints. I had a friend who had apprenticed in Germany as a silver and gold smith who used to build these things for some of the high tech outfits near Boston.

Maybe we could replace the firewire ports on our cameras with a nice 3 inch copper pipe.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Check out the waveguide on a broadcast tower sometime. They don't run a wire up the tower. The RF amplifier is at the base and it runs to the antenna via the waveguide, which is more like a heavy-duty heating duct than a cable.
Waveguides are typically used for microwave frequencies. RF energy travels on the outer skin of the conductor so a hollow transmission medium makes more sense. Audio frequencies benefit from solid wire in a multi-strand arrangement.

-gb-
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Old March 5th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #14
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Right. FM uses very heavy duty coax. The last I saw was about 2 inches in diameter with an air dielectric that frequently had to be pressurized with a special gas to keep the moisture out.

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Old March 5th, 2008, 06:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
Steve,

When were you working there? In 1962 I was working for the Naval Weapons Lab and we were doing high speed films of propellant ignition - using 35mm film wrapped in a huge circle and with a spinning prism in the middle. I think we got several million fps at the time, but obviously not for very long.

I've also seen these large copper waveguides (3 to 6 inch as I recall.) I seem to recall that the bends were right angled mitered joints. I had a friend who had apprenticed in Germany as a silver and gold smith who used to build these things for some of the high tech outfits near Boston.

Maybe we could replace the firewire ports on our cameras with a nice 3 inch copper pipe.
This was at the field test site operated at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology for the Naval Weapons Lab and John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, same time as you 1962 - 1964. We were also involved in propellant studies, among other things - setting up a bare propellant block and firing a shape charge into it, using the x-ray to study the shock propagation through the propellant and to see if it would itself be triggered to detonate, was one test run that stands out in my memory. We had a bunch of those Fastax cameras as well - would amuse ourselves during quiet times in the test schedule taking high speed movies of blasting cap detonations, bullets through a balloon like Edgerton's photos made into movies, etc. Things sounded like a jet engine winding up as the prism came up to speed, followed by a loud "FWEEEEP" as the transport engaged and a thousand foot magazine flashed through the gate. Was fascinating taking optical and x-ray images of a variety of interesting things going "bang!" The NMIMT web site has some interesting footage posted online depicting some of their current research projects in the area of "energetic materials."
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