Speaker cabling: Prepare speaker cabling for the high frequency horns only from multiple twisted pair Spectrastrip high-speed computer data ribbon cable. You can parallel as many conductors as you like to obtain the equivalent of a 14, 12 or 10 AWG. This method produces the finest performance available from wire-of any kind, at any price! You may also use pairs of single 10-gauge stranded wires which you can twist using an electric drill motor. Twisting conductors around each other places the current paths (and resulting surrounding magnetic fields) closer to right angles to each other which in turn reduces inductance-the main property of speaker cabling that can cause a loss in high frequencies in the amp-cable-speaker system. You can use any 10 or 12-gauge wire pairs for the mid and lower frequency drivers or even as small as 16-gauge if cables are short.

Terminate the three pairs of wires into a screw-terminal barrier strip mounted on top or on the back of the woofer chamber. From there, continue with the same wire to the amp. Place the amp nearby (it happens to be the same width as the speaker cabinet) and keep speaker cables short to minimize resistance and capacitance. This is the best you can do to insure that wire is not playing a degrading role in your audio system.

It is essential that good connections with low contact resistance be made at each connection. Use of crimped lugs is recommended if the certified crimp tool is used to install the lugs. High-cost gold-plated hardware which offer good mechanical connections are acceptable if they can be made to provide a low-resistance connection to the wire itself, and may offer additional benefits in avoiding contact "poisoning" due to the molecular migration of dissimilar metals across the connection. Periodic checks of connections will, in any case, avoid chemical connection problems.

This project is expensive enough already. Don't listen to any hair-brained morons who may try to tell you "special" speaker wire will make any difference. It's not true - it's only mysticism. If there were any actual advantages, such wire would have found its way into the engineering mainstream for large military projects, and satellites where billions in research would surely have revealed the benefits and resulted in at least some documentation. PERCEIVED benefits are exactly that-perceived as a direct result of psychological inclination to rationalize and justify the absurd expenditure of money for what amounts to nothing more than prestige.

Lastly, if you're totally into perfection, I can highly recommend the Sigtech AEC 1000 Acoustic Environment Correction System. It is a serious engineering tool developed from the technology of radar image enhancement. The box (and a PC) measures and stores the total transfer function of the loudspeakers and the room, convolves huge DSP filters (2470 filter poles) from the stored measurement, and processes your audio at 250 million operations per second to produce corrections from up to four listening positions. You are left with smoother frequency response with a vastly closer match between left and right, and smooth phase response in the bargain since the correction is done in the time domain. No other device even comes close to the power this thing provides. You could turn one of your speakers toward the wall so that its output is reflected back to you later and with wider dispersion and added absorption, and the box is capable of correcting so thoroughly that the stereo image will be pulled right back to the center as if everything was normal! I used this thing at Disney to make Hi-Fi through tubes! And it worked!! It will cost you between $6500 and $8500 depending on whether you want the whole analysis system or are content to have an engineer set it up for you. For more information about the Sigtech, e-mail me at drew@drewdaniels.com

1997 Drew Daniels