Pros:Excellent sound, 12-gauge oxygen-free copper, good insulation with clear markings
The Bottom Line: I am happy with my PHOENIX GOLD M-1250 purchase and highly recommend this cable for either long runs to speakers or for better sound from good...
After using Philips 16-gauge speaker cable, I wanted to improve sound of my main speakers. I did not want to spend an arm and a leg on speaker cable, but still wanted to get something decent with low resistance, capacitance and inductance. I decided to go conventional with 12-gauge oxygen-free copper.
What is PHOENIX GOLD M-1250?
I bought PHOENIX GOLD M-1250 50-ft spool of 12-gauge oxygen-free electrolytic grade fine-strand copper cable from for $30. The cable uses thick clear jacket insulation with both conductors made of copper. One of the insulators is marked with inscriptions "PHOENIX GOLD" and "+++++" (plus signs) so that you know which terminal to connect it to.
My previous (Philips/Magnavox 16-gauge) cable had one conductor made of copper and another made of some metal that had metallic color (aluminum?), which, in conjunction with clear insulation, made it easy to identify which conductor needed to connect to what terminal.
Although I was overall happy with the quality of sound that the Philips cable provided, I suspected I could do better, even over a short runs of about 4-5 feet I used for the main speakers.
In my system, I use Panasonic XR55 7.1 digital receiver with a Class D amplifier, Athena Audition AS-F1 front floorstanding speakers, Athena C.5 center, Athena S.5 surround speakers and an Athena Audition AS-P400 subwoofer. The source for most of my stereo music listening (for which I only use the front speakers and, sometimes, subwoofer) is CD-Audio, DVD or DTS CD. I use a Philips DVD player and its digital audio out.
All 5 speakers (front, center and surrounds) were originally wired with 16-ga Philips cable. I replaced the front speaker cable as well as the center (just because I had extra cable left) with this PHOENIX GOLD 12-ga cable. It was pretty easy to remove the clear insulation from the tips of the cable and attach it suing the speakers' and receiver's terminals/binding posts. The clearly-marked conductor polarity made it easier. And the cross-section of the cable insulation is rectangular (no rounded corners in the insulation), which makes it a little easier to lay it on the floor.
I did not replace surround speaker cable just because I would not have enough cable and did not feel like bothering with it. I rarely listen to music in surround and therefore do not need the best surround sound quality. For movies, the 16-ga Philips works extremely well. Obviously, over longer runs, the improvement by changing 16-ga cable to 12-ga would be more significant that replacing a short run like my main speakers'. But I am fine with keeping 16-ga surround cable. For now, at least.
Not only the gauge, inductance and capacitance of the speaker cable affect the sound directly, but Class D amplifiers are even more sensitive to that. The improvement was subtle, yet immediate. The sound became more rounded, less harsh (even though it was not that harsh before). The piano and viola on the CD of Ernest Bloch by Raiskin and Smirnova became more life-like. The sound of viola became more smooth, the sound of piano more realistic.
Some people believe in the speaker cable break-in, some do not. In any case, the sound is already better than it was with the previous cable and might get better still. The sonic improvement of 16-ga Philips over 18-ga generic cable was dramatic, the improvement of this 12-ga PHOENIX GOLD over the Philips is subtle, yet noticeable. Even if it is just a case of me knowing that I spent $30 on the speaker cable and my mind telling me it must sound better, just because of that, improvement (real or perceived) is still improvement.
I am happy with my PHOENIX GOLD M-1250 purchase and highly recommend this cable for either long runs to speakers or for better sound from good speakers.
Read all 1 Reviews
Write a Review