No. of Recommendations: 1
I think I'll have to get that digital optical audio cable for something I was discussing with Hal last week, can't remember but I think it was important.


Best is HDMI from satellite receiver to amp. HDMI amp to TV. If there’s an optical out from the receiver go to optical in on the amp, HDMI to receiver. If neither then component to amp, HDMI to receiver. If you can make an optical connection then you will need a fiber-optic cable.

And perhaps I ought to get some new speaker wire because the stuff I'm using, which happens to be Monster, probably purchased when I bought the speakers from the specialty store back in 97/98 is turning green and sticky on the ends, sometimes traveling a good number of inches up the wire. Sticky oxidation? Hal thinks it might be from the plastic coating breaking down?

Moisture (humidity) drawn up by capillary action causing oxidization (which affects inductance and capacitance in the wire). Buy simple 18-gauge lamp wire (probably sold at the appliance store you mentioned) that has one side marked (to show polarity) and costs cents per foot. Special ultra-copper wires aren’t needed. In fact, it’s 99.9 per cent wasted in most speaker connection setups.

Tip on speaker wire: buy a 50-foot roll (or two of them) and always add ten percent to distances needed to be covered.

But new wires or not, I generally just twist the strands and stick it through the side holes. Would you recommend banana plugs or pin connectors? Would that help fight oxidation?

The amp’s speaker connections are gold-plated as are some banana plugs so there is no oxidization. Realize that banana plugs add about two-inches to the depth of the amp and, in certain places that may cause the amp to be too forward. Pin connectors are best used when there’s a disparity with an amp’s spring-loaded connectors and heavier wire. You won’t need pin connectors.

As pointed out, using bare wire connecting the amp and speakers is a tad fiddly but reasonably so. Takes a little longer. I’d do that first and if you can get a good buy on banana plugs do that later. Five-way binding posts can be screwed on fairly tight and that does reduce the possibility of oxidization.

You will need an RCA jacked cable (male on both ends) from the amp’s sub out to the sub itself. Buy a Y-connector so you can have both of the sub’s inputs fed: that is if it does have two inputs, if just one then no Y-connector needed.

As for other cabling (from components such as the DVD), inspect the RCA connectors for oxidization (the cheaper aluminum RCA jacks oxidize surprisingly fast). If they’re a dull grey I’d replace with new. If they are those that came with a unit (called proof cables there so you do have something) they’re not good enough for bootlaces. Dump them.

About cable overall: unless your stuff is ultra-high end costing thousands of dollars apiece don’t go for expensive cable. If you do have to buy Monster choose the mid or low range priced stuff not high priced.

As I wrote in The Hi-Fi Devil’s Dictionary “Since the wiring of an amp or speaker is not able to be altered and only the cable between them can, more has been written about this speaker cabling than almost any other aspect of sound reproduction.”

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