12 Yr Old Speaker Cables Getting Worse ?


New member
Username: Kreton

Post Number: 2
Registered: Nov-06
The audio guys who did a minor repair on my system last night told me that I'd better replace my 12 year old speaker cables since these signal transmitting cables get worn out too even though they do not carry a significant (if any ?) voltage.

Having just read a veeery long discussion whether expensive cables are snake oil stuff (I tried the MIT cables a long time ago, heard no difference and so did not buy) this guy's remarks made me smile since I think he was talking nonsense.

Can a speaker cable lose 5% quality/efficiency ? My ears do not think so but wanted to get your opinion.

Bronze Member
Username: Usernamex


Post Number: 21
Registered: Oct-05
Bah, they want to make a sale, sounds like the emperors new clothes to me : )

Every time I hear someone talking in hifi gibberish, I'm reminded of the daft wrinkle cream ad on tv qualified by "four of five users see immediate results". I mean its damn easy to see an improvement when you want it to be there.

Anyway, it's a fair point if they're talking about the connections being tarnished, but they're easy enough to clean. If you've got a bare wire connection, sure maybe trim the wires, or if you've got spades or banana pugs give them a clean.

NB: from my understanding gold is a worse conductor than copper, but it's used on plugs as it doesn't oxidise and tarnish quickly like copper.

I also don't know why people get excited about having silver in their cables, its only a very slightly better conductor than copper, and a fatter gauge copper wire will improve conductivity anyway, so why use silver?

Silver Member
Username: Gamerdude

Ontario Canada

Post Number: 252
Registered: Apr-06
I'v heard gold is good :\

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 4518
Registered: Dec-04
Gold is the standard conductor of choice.
Your cables/wires are not airtight and will be comprimised to a varying length, cut back and re-terminate, every few years or so.

Silver Member
Username: Daniel_canada


Post Number: 205
Registered: May-06
Has anyone used gold (.999) as speaker wire? Would it matter if it was .416 or .585 or .750? How do you put insulation on bare wire? Duct tape? :D

Bronze Member
Username: Cobra11

Post Number: 79
Registered: Oct-06
Hi Kreton:
You may want to check the terminations as Nuck states. Cut back about 3" and strip insulation off. The copper should be bright. If not bright then cut back more until you find non oxidized clean and bright copper. Then reinstall your terminatons.

That should get you back in business for 12 more years... if by chance you find no clean and bright copper in your cables (can happen in really humid environments) then perhaps you may want to consider a new set of wires. Also if your cable runs are under rugs, etc, the insulation can wear (but that my not apply to your situation).
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