Lamp cord vs. Romex

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Lamp cord vs. Romex

One of my readers wrote to me with an interesting observation. I will present it to you as I received it, in two parts:

First, after upgrading his receiver he decided at the same time to lay down enough shekels to also upgrade his speaker cable—from a low-cost off-the-shelf Amazon special with gold connectors to something more high-end. He was flabbergasted with the improvement the pair provided—so much so that he retired to the garage both the old receiver and speaker cable and that is where our story continues.

Garage systems are like refrigerator leftovers: edible, sometimes tasty, but always an afterthought. With low expectations, the system was fired up and music began to play. Ugh. No life. Flaccid. The very sound he had just upgraded the amp and cable to improve had now taken up residency in the garage.

What to do? His amp, a Cambridge, was nothing to write home about but certainly more musical than what he was hearing. He wrote to me in desperation.

As I suspected, the old cables were your standard 12 gauge stranded cable with fancy gold ends. Lamp cable.

I counseled it would be foolhardy to spend money on upgraded speaker cables for a garage system.

My recommendation?

12 gauge Romex from Home Depot. Cheap, efficient, and really excellent sounding compared to the same gauge of stranded lamp cable.

This is a wonderful example for folks still on the fence about cables—or someone who insists they cannot measure the difference and therefore it does not exist.

Want something cheap and interesting to try this weekend? You got it.

The only requirement is you must actually listen.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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