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What is this plastic crap in my speaker wire?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey, so I just got my new home theater in a box, and bought some speaker wire along with it. I bought some Monster cable because honestly, it was cheapish ($25/50ft) and it was marketed to me as a good gauge by the person at the electronics store (Fry's.)

Anyway, I got home and hooked everything up and it sounded okay. Then I took apart the stock wires and started stripping the Monster cable wire. I was shocked and appalled to find this inside: a piece of plastic, probably 22 to 20 gauge inside the speaker cable.

Take a look at the pics. What is this crap? I paid for copper wire, not plastic. Should I return it and get better wire? Is it something that is scientifically proven to make the signal somehow better? What is it?

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post #2 of 12
How is $25 for 50 feet cheap? I use this which is $10 for 50 feet, and it is 14 gauge. It is extremely good speaker cable for the price:

http://www.amazon.com/RCA-AH1450SN-14-Gauge-Speaker-Wire/dp/B002JP4Z96/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320981538&sr=8-2
post #3 of 12
1) That wasn't cheap. 50 feet of speaker wire is like $10 at monoprice. That doesn't look to be any thicker than 16 gauge, MAYBE 14 gauge. I can't tell, and you didn't specify.

2) That plastic thing is just shielding. It makes no difference honestly.

3) Monster cable is overpriced, really badly. Copper wire is copper wire. Just as long as its the right thickness for your power and run length (14-16 gauge is fine for most uses with home theaters), then that's all that matters.
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post #4 of 12
img08.jpg
That is normal. The idea is that the nylon is softer, smoother, and thinner than the copper braid inside of it, it helps relieve stress in the cable on tight bends. Completely useless, serves to no aid in audio quality. (if you are talking about the fibers around the outside edge) The plastic core in the center has a similar purpose, in that it limits how tight of a bend you can apply to the cable and prevents cable creasing. IMO: Not high quality cable, but the plastic won't negatively impact anything.
EDIT: Beaten to the punch.
    
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Okay, so what I'm hearing is that this is normal. Also they didn't have a lot of options at the store. I looked around a bit at cable but they only had like, two or three brands, and when I used to work at Best Buy I remember that Monster was highly overpriced for what you get, but I remembered that it wasn't necessarily a bad product.

Kinda having second thoughts. Also, the 50 foot spool of wire is 16 gauge.
     
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siigari View Post

Okay, so what I'm hearing is that this is normal. Also they didn't have a lot of options at the store. I looked around a bit at cable but they only had like, two or three brands, and when I used to work at Best Buy I remember that Monster was highly overpriced for what you get, but I remembered that it wasn't necessarily a bad product.
Kinda having second thoughts. Also, the 50 foot spool of wire is 16 gauge.

Price match my friend, price match smile.gif. One thing Fry's is good with is price matching.
post #7 of 12
You paid $25 for 16 gauge wire, only 50 feet?

Wal Mart carries that for $9.

If you're doing very long runs at all, you'll want 14 gauge though. Return that monster garbage, and get some 14 gauge off monoprice. smile.gif
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneerisloud View Post

You paid $25 for 16 gauge wire, only 50 feet?
Wal Mart carries that for $9.
If you're doing very long runs at all, you'll want 14 gauge though. Return that monster garbage, and get some 14 gauge off monoprice. smile.gif

Okay. Can I return cut speaker wire? Also my runs are about 10 feet at maximum.
     
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post #9 of 12
Pioneerisloud beat me to it on the walmart suggestion.

So here's just a backup reinforcement post to reiterate the point that you can buy speaker wire at walmart for a fraction of the cost of most "big-box" electronics stores. I expect the price at walmart for the same spool size would be around $10, Radio shack maybe around $15.
     
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post #10 of 12
All that plastic does is make it easier to bend and flex. It is another way that monster can charge you a ton of cash and cheap out on the actual product. Go to monoprice or your local car audio store and get real wire.
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