James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables

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As seen on slashdot :)

<http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid07%/10/04/1354224 .

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John Devereux

Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
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It's too bad that good engineering in the audio world gets
overshadowed by the questionable practices of a retarded minority.
I just use really thick lamp cord I get at the surplus shop for a
dollar a foot. I don't even know the gage, that's how little I care
about the cables.
Now speaker design, placement and room resonance control, that's much
more important.


Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
snipped-for-privacy@netzero.com writes:

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In the slashdot comments there is a "voice of reason" saying that all
you need is some really thick, oxygen free cables.

Oxygen free?

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John Devereux

Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
On Thu, 04 Oct 2007 15:52:57 +0100, John Devereux

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Oxygen in copper make it stiff and increases resistance a little. All
electrical-wiring type copper is "oxygen free."

There aren't a whole lot of primary copper smelter/wire pulling
operations in the world, and the product is pretty much the same. The
"seven nines" stuff is nonsense. Most boutique cable shops secretly
buy Belden anyhow.

John


Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
On Thu, 04 Oct 2007 08:49:19 -0700, John Larkin

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This is a pretty common misconception which I also held until someone
posted a correct explanation on the metalurgy newsgroup.  Oxygen is in
fact deliberately added in controlled amounts to all electrical
copper.

http://www.copper.org/innovations/1997/12/wiremetallurgy.html

partial quote from the above referenced discussion of electrical
copper:
----
Influence of Oxygen Content

Oxygen is used as an alloying element to improve the soundness of
"as-cast" copper bars through the control of gas-metal reactions.
Equally important, oxygen acts as a scavenger in reacting with most of
the impurities, which have their most potent effects on properties and
annealing response when they are dissolved in the copper matrix. In
contrast, harmful effects may be nullified when impurities are tied up
as insoluble oxides. The maximum conductivity of ETP copper occurs at
approximately 200 ppm of oxygen as shown in Figure 3. Consequently,
oxygen content for ETP copper is generally in the range of 175 to 450
ppm. Lower oxygen values are usually avoided because of a propensity
to hot cracking resulting from uncombined impurities. In contrast,
oxygen values in excess of this optimum concentration range are not
too common because of an adverse effect upon formability. Actual
oxygen content is a compromise between attaining better (less
sluggish) annealing behavior and avoiding possible drawability
problems.
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Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
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Well, I've seen #30 silver-plated wire-wrap wire touted as "OFHC" (oxygen-
free high conductivity), for whatever that's worth.

Thanks,
Rich


Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables

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As Glen points out, "free" is not very specific, and a little oxygen
is actually optimum for conductivity. So OFHC is an oxymoron.

John




Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
On Thu, 04 Oct 2007 17:30:06 -0700, John Larkin

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   Not really.  In the wire wrap days, it was beneficial as copper "work
hardens" easily, and a good, fast wire wrap with good OFC meant that the
wrap stayed where it was put, and remained a good integral connection
longer.

Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables

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There does appear to be a large number of oxy-free morons out there ;-)

--
"Electricity is of two kinds, positive and negative. The difference
is, I presume, that one comes a little more expensive, but is more
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Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
On Sun, 07 Oct 2007 07:16:57 -0700, Fred Abse

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Let's cut off their oxygen!

John



Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables

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  Copper will harden when bent to quickly.  This is why bending a wire,
then bending it back the other way results in fractures in the wire and
breakage.

 Wire wrap wire is meant to be placed tightly around a square pin, and
harden in place as the wrap tool wraps quickly.  The square pin is meant
to create an oxide free "gas tight" electrical connection somewhere along
the length of the wrap.  Regular Copper wire will not harden in place as
well, and will sag back against the tension of the wrap, causing a
connection failure, eventually.

Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables

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More hype.  "OFC Madness"
http://www.edn.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleidCA%6418215

Some examples:
http://www.audioadvisor.com/products.asp?dept25%&view_all=true (power)
http://www.audioadvisor.com/products.asp?dept26%&view_all=true (sprk)

--
Jeff Liebermann     snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
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Madness"http://www.edn.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleidCA%6418215
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examples:http://www.audioadvisor.com/products.asp?dept25%&view_all=true (power)http://www.audioadvisor.com/products.asp?dept26%&view_all=true (sprk)
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$1,319 for speaker wire?  At that price, I'd expect the wires to be
SOLID silver, not silver-plated copper.

Why not insist on having silver traces on the amplifier's circuit
board, with silver RoHS solder, as well?  Don't forget the epoxy layer
afterwards (since silver will tarnish to silver sulfide over time)

Thanks for the laughs

Michael


Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables

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What I found ironic was that this nonsense has become so mainstream,
even the guy who thought he was a "skeptic" accepted OFC as being
better.

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John Devereux

Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
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There is, however, a significant difference between using two point and
four point barbed wire as speaker connections.

But both will tend to raise the pitch of the music because they are
sharp. This can be compensated by placing a flat ribbon cable of
suitable length in parallel.

Detailed analysis at http://www.tinaja.com/glib/marcia.pdf



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Many thanks,

Don Lancaster                          voice phone: (928)428-4073
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Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
...
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LOL!

Thanks!
Rich


Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables

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  I prefer using a helically coiled ribbon
cable in parallel with mine...   :-]

Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables

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   no... OFHC ...

Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables


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Also see:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen-free_copper

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It really wasn't mainstream until it mutated into an acronym.

The scary part is that I know people that actually buy this stuff.  I
tell them it's hype.  I explain how it really works.  I try to explain
the technology and reduce everything to numbers that can be compared.
They go shopping and bring home more overpriced junk.  

The marketing plan seems to be:
1.  Anything good must be expensive.  That brings in the nitwits with
too much money and no technology background.  Always buy the best,
which in their interpretation, means the most expensive.
2.  If you raise the price high enough, you only need to sell a few of
them to justify the effort.
3.  All that glitters is at least a few percent gold.

However, this is an opportunity that is difficult for me to ignore.
The temptation is to become part of the problem and invent my own
overpriced and hyped contrivance in order to separate the clueless
from their cash.  The phono amplifier inside a wooden box is already
taken.  So is the glass record turntable.  I could follow the cellular
example and sell "acoustic radiation" protectors (ferrite beads that
clamp on various cables), but that's too tacky.  If I wasn't so
digustingly honest and terminally lazy, I probably would have done
this long ago.



--
Jeff Liebermann     snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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Re: James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables
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Belden seems to have beat you to it:
http://bwccat.belden.com/ecat/jsp/Index.jsp

Cheers!
Rich


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