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Morrow SP3 Review (Speaker Cable)

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Morrow SP3 premium speaker cable. It was kindly sent to me by a member. The base cost is US $149 but in the bi-wire configuration/length I have, I think the total adds up to $187. Company however has a 38% sale currently which then gets it back to the $149 or so.

Even though the terminations are stiff, I like that the cable itself is not:

Morrow SP3 Bi-wire review Speaker Cable.jpg


The banana connectors fit well in the various devices that I tested it on. For a custom made cable, I think the price and what you get is very reasonable. I know I would have to charge you three times as much to do the same. :)

Our mission here is to see if we can find any differences between this cable and any other. For comparison, I reached in my bin of ancient speaker cables and found some zip cord that is at least 30 years old (no exaggeration -- I never throw anything out!). I terminated it with random, not matched banana connectors I have/bought on Amazon that would scare any high-end customer out of the room! :D In other words, it is hard to do worse. I estimate the gauge to be 16.

Keep in mind company statement regarding fidelity: "Morrow Audio cables differ in three major areas of design from other popular cables. Our proprietary technology removes major distortions that are common in most other cable designs. "

We will test for that!

Speaker Cable Measurements
My audio precision analyzer has balanced banana connectors on input and output so I decided to start there. While this eliminates all other instrumentation wires, it has to live within confines of audio precision which means a source impedance of 40 ohm and sink of 200K ohm. Yes, not the same as any real amp to speaker config but we will get to that later. For now, let's treat these cables as interconnects and see how they differ. First let's measure the Morrow SP3:

Morrow SP3 Bi-wire Measurements Speaker Cable.png


Notice that I boosted the AP output to 20 volts to resemble in some way the higher output voltage of an amplifier. Not that it made any difference as the performance is the same as audio precision loopback (no wire). Nothing added, nothing taken away.

Oh, the two channels are shown are each leg of the bi-wire connection. In other words, there is one output from Audio Precision and two inputs. We see that there is no difference between the two legs as it should be.

Here is the same test with my generic cheap cable:

Generic Speaker Cable Measurements.png


I ran this test at slightly different time so please forgive tiny differences. Overall, the two cables are identical as far as noise, distortion and level.

Let's compare the frequency response of the SP3 against generic cable:

Morrow SP3 Bi-wire Frequency Response Measurements Speaker Cable.png


Note how I am testing all the way up to whopping 200 kHz (20 times over audible band) and still there is not any difference between these two cables. I have zoomed way in to just 1 dB above, and 1 dB below and we still have ruler flat response. This rules out any tonality differences in this configuration.

Some will complain that music is more "complex" so here is a complex, 32-tone signal with far higher treble response than any music:

Morrow SP3 Bi-wire Multitone Measurements Speaker Cable.png


There is just no difference at all. No distortion is removed and thankfully none added either.

Let's sweep the audible band this time looking to see if there is distortion at any frequency while measured to 90 kHz (4.5X audible band):

Morrow SP3 Bi-wire THD+N vs Frequency Measurements Speaker Cable.png


Once again despite our superb precision that crosses human hearing threshold, no differential between the two cables is found.

Differential In-situ Speaker Cable Measurements
As mentioned above, the impedances at the two ends of the cable is not the same as an amp and speaker. So I created a new test:

Differential speaker cable Measurements.png


In a nutshell, I am measuring any difference between the signal at one end of the cable at the amplifier compared to the other (speaker). Of course, I didn't realize that my analyzer was set to 4 volt and hit "run" meaning the amp was producing its full power! Speaker was sitting face down and while I could not see it, I clearly heard it jump up and down followed by the loudest test sweeps you can imagine! It was as if an explosion had happened behind me! :D

Fortunately the amp and speaker survived the ordeal and we can look at the results. This is the frequency response differential between SP3 and generic cable:
Morrow SP3 Bi-wire differential wire Measurements Speaker Cable.png


I had to zoom this graph way in to show what you see. We are talking thee decimal places in 1 dB! Yet the two cables are showing the same response.

To go even more crazy, let's subtract the two cable responses:

Morrow SP3 Bi-wire ratio of differential wire Measurements Speaker Cable.png


As noted, worst case difference is 0.0065 dB! This shows how great our instrumentation is and how silly assumptions about cable differences are.

Conclusions
Company states that these cables reduce distortion. Distortion is a measurable thing so why do they not show it? Most likely this is an assumption and not anything ever measured. Problem was imagined and solution was put in place. With no verification of the problem, it is impossible to see if anything is fixed. Our measurements show that losses in these cables is incredibly small and no different than a generic, near garbage cable that I build to compare. No matter how hard we try, sound waves going in, are the sound waves coming out of the speaker wire.

On purely performance front, I cannot recommend the Morrow SP3 cable. There simply is no benefit in it. From form and function, you may want to look at such a cable if it makes you feel better to look at them. And they are certainly far cheaper than the bulk of "high-end" audio cables. I wish the company would revise its marketing and just emphasize the custom aspects of these cables, flexibility, etc. rather than trying to claim audio improvements that they cannot deliver on.

Edit: video review posted:


------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
Last edited:

daftcombo

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#2
Hi @amirm , thanks for the review!
From the first two graphs, it seems the tested cable is clean down to -140dB and beyond, whereas the generic cable is already a bit noisy around -140dB. Not that it is audible...
 

VintageFlanker

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#3
Your testing seems inappropriate, @amirm. I'm sure you forgot to burn in for at least 400 hours, as the manufacturer recommends:

You will find great enjoyment and improvements right out of the box. Our cables however take around 400 hours to fully break in. You can speed this process up with our optional break-in service.

Also, if someone may enlighten me on this:

The SP3 speaker cables can handle up to 150 watts continuous/ 300 watts peak.

Wut?o_O Perhaps this guy has an explanation...
 
Last edited:

YSC

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#4
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Morrow SP3 premium speaker cable. It was kindly sent to me by a member. The base cost is US $149 but in the bi-wire configuration/length I have, I think the total adds up to $187. Company however has a 38% sale currently which then gets it back to the $149 or so.

Even though the terminations are stiff, I like that the cable itself is not:

View attachment 126405

The banana connectors fit well in the various devices that I tested it on. For a custom made cable, I think the price and what you get is very reasonable. I know I would have to charge you three times as much to do the same. :)

Our mission here is to see if we can find any differences between this cable and any other. For comparison, I reached in my bin of ancient speaker cables and found some zip cord that is at least 30 years old (no exaggeration -- I never throw anything out!). I terminated it with random, not matched banana connectors I have/bought on Amazon that would scare any high-end customer out of the room! :D In other words, it is hard to do worse. I estimate the gauge to be 16.

Keep in mind company statement regarding fidelity: "Morrow Audio cables differ in three major areas of design from other popular cables. Our proprietary technology removes major distortions that are common in most other cable designs. "

We will test for that!

Speaker Cable Measurements
My audio precision analyzer has balanced banana connectors on input and output so I decided to start there. While this eliminates all other instrumentation wires, it has to live within confines of audio precision which means a source impedance of 40 ohm and sink of 200K ohm. Yes, not the same as any real amp to speaker config but we will get to that later. For now, let's treat these cables as interconnects and see how they differ. First let's measure the Morrow SP3:

View attachment 126406

Notice that I boosted the AP output to 20 volts to resemble in some way the higher output voltage of an amplifier. Not that it made any difference as the performance is the same as audio precision loopback (no wire). Nothing added, nothing taken away.

Oh, the two channels are shown are each leg of the bi-wire connection. In other words, there is one output from Audio Precision and two inputs. We see that there is no difference between the two legs as it should be.

Here is the same test with my generic cheap cable:

View attachment 126407

I ran this test at slightly different time so please forgive tiny differences. Overall, the two cables are identical as far as noise, distortion and level.

Let's compare the frequency response of the SP3 against generic cable:

View attachment 126408

Note how I am testing all the way up to whopping 200 kHz (20 times over audible band) and still there is not any difference between these two cables. I have zoomed way in to just 1 dB above, and 1 dB below and we still have ruler flat response. This rules out any tonality differences in this configuration.

Some will complain that music is more "complex" so here is a complex, 32-tone signal with far higher treble response than any music:

View attachment 126409

There is just no difference at all. No distortion is removed and thankfully none added either.

Let's sweep the audible band this time looking to see if there is distortion at any frequency while measured to 90 kHz (4.5X audible band):

View attachment 126410

Once again despite our superb precision that crosses human hearing threshold, no differential between the two cables is found.

Differential In-situ Speaker Cable Measurements
As mentioned above, the impedances at the two ends of the cable is not the same as an amp and speaker. So I created a new test:

View attachment 126411

In a nutshell, I am measuring any difference between the signal at one end of the cable at the amplifier compared to the other (speaker). Of course, I didn't realize that my analyzer was set to 4 volt and hit "run" meaning the amp was producing its full power! Speaker was sitting face down and while I could not see it, I clearly heard it jump up and down followed by the loudest test sweeps you can imagine! It was as if an explosion had happened behind me! :D

Fortunately the amp and speaker survived the ordeal and we can look at the results. This is the frequency response differential between SP3 and generic cable:
View attachment 126412

I had to zoom this graph way in to show what you see. We are talking thee decimal places in 1 dB! Yet the two cables are showing the same response.

To go even more crazy, let's subtract the two cable responses:

View attachment 126413

As noted, worst case difference is 0.0065 dB! This shows how great our instrumentation is and how silly assumptions about cable differences are.

Conclusions
Company states that these cables reduce distortion. Distortion is a measurable thing so why do they not show it? Most likely this is an assumption and not anything ever measured. Problem was imagined and solution was put in place. With no verification of the problem, it is impossible to see if anything is fixed. Our measurements show that lossless in these cables is incredibly small and no different than a generic, near garbage cable that I build to compare. No matter how hard we try, sound waves going in, are the sound waves coming out of the speaker wire.

On purely performance front, I cannot recommend the Morrow SP3 cable. There simply is no benefit in it. From form and function, you may want to look at such a cable if it makes you feel better to look at them. And they are certainly far cheaper than the bulk of "high-end" audio cables. I wish the company would revise its marketing and just emphasize the custom aspects of these cables, flexibility, etc. rather than trying to claim audio improvements that they cannot deliver on.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Just wonders. For cable testing shall we do some radio interference test like putting a cell phone nearby and see if the more expensive ones does better at those circumstances? I know it’s kind of silly as nobody who invest in hifi/cables would put something emitting a lot of noise nearby. But just for the sake of any difference to be shown
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #5
Your testing is inappropriate, @amirm. I'm sure you forgot to burn in for at least 400 hours, as the manufacturer recommends.
Cable was already in use by the member so broken in. :)
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #6
Just wonders. For cable testing shall we do some radio interference test like putting a cell phone nearby and see if the more expensive ones does better at those circumstances?
For speaker cables such interference is not meaningful. I did notice a tiny bit of mains pick up as I moved the cable around but it was down at -150 dB or something as you see in the graph so utterly inaudible.
 

abdo123

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#7
Our measurements show that lossless in these cables is incredibly small and no different than a generic, near garbage cable that I build to compare.
I think you meant losses, not lossless.

Special thanks for the additional effort with the new cable testing approach!
 
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#8
Your testing seems inappropriate, @amirm. I'm sure you forgot to burn in for at least 400 hours, as the manufacturer recommends:

You will find great enjoyment and improvements right out of the box. Our cables however take around 400 hours to fully break in. You can speed this process up with our optional break-in service.

Also, if someone may enlightened me on this:

The SP3 speaker cables can handle up to 150 watts continuous/ 300 watts peak.

Wut?
this is so funny i want to cry...
 

polmuaddib

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#9
Thanks for testing speaker cables. BTW, when would speaker cable start to reduce the signal level? I imagine when it's very long and very thin, but do we know what length and what gauge?
And then it would likely reduce the level only, right? Shouldn't mess with FR?
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #10
From the first two graphs, it seems the tested cable is clean down to -140dB and beyond, whereas the generic cable is already a bit noisy around -140dB.
Oops. The noise level is the same actually. I just forgot to set the 0 dB with the generic cable. I just updated the graph and both are at the same level now.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #11
And then it would likely reduce the level only, right? Shouldn't mess with FR?
It can depending on its AC characteristics (capacitance and inductance). This cable I should have mentioned is rather short at 8 feet or so.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #13
BTW, when would speaker cable start to reduce the signal level? I imagine when it's very long and very thin, but do we know what length and what gauge?
You could do the math but stranded cable is notoriously variable so typical tables online don't work. You would have to measure the actual cable.
 

Lorenzo74

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#14
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Morrow SP3 premium speaker cable. It was kindly sent to me by a member. The base cost is US $149 but in the bi-wire configuration/length I have, I think the total adds up to $187. Company however has a 38% sale currently which then gets it back to the $149 or so.

Even though the terminations are stiff, I like that the cable itself is not:

View attachment 126405

The banana connectors fit well in the various devices that I tested it on. For a custom made cable, I think the price and what you get is very reasonable. I know I would have to charge you three times as much to do the same. :)

Our mission here is to see if we can find any differences between this cable and any other. For comparison, I reached in my bin of ancient speaker cables and found some zip cord that is at least 30 years old (no exaggeration -- I never throw anything out!). I terminated it with random, not matched banana connectors I have/bought on Amazon that would scare any high-end customer out of the room! :D In other words, it is hard to do worse. I estimate the gauge to be 16.

Keep in mind company statement regarding fidelity: "Morrow Audio cables differ in three major areas of design from other popular cables. Our proprietary technology removes major distortions that are common in most other cable designs. "

We will test for that!

Speaker Cable Measurements
My audio precision analyzer has balanced banana connectors on input and output so I decided to start there. While this eliminates all other instrumentation wires, it has to live within confines of audio precision which means a source impedance of 40 ohm and sink of 200K ohm. Yes, not the same as any real amp to speaker config but we will get to that later. For now, let's treat these cables as interconnects and see how they differ. First let's measure the Morrow SP3:

View attachment 126406

Notice that I boosted the AP output to 20 volts to resemble in some way the higher output voltage of an amplifier. Not that it made any difference as the performance is the same as audio precision loopback (no wire). Nothing added, nothing taken away.

Oh, the two channels are shown are each leg of the bi-wire connection. In other words, there is one output from Audio Precision and two inputs. We see that there is no difference between the two legs as it should be.

Here is the same test with my generic cheap cable:

View attachment 126415

I ran this test at slightly different time so please forgive tiny differences. Overall, the two cables are identical as far as noise, distortion and level.

Let's compare the frequency response of the SP3 against generic cable:

View attachment 126408

Note how I am testing all the way up to whopping 200 kHz (20 times over audible band) and still there is not any difference between these two cables. I have zoomed way in to just 1 dB above, and 1 dB below and we still have ruler flat response. This rules out any tonality differences in this configuration.

Some will complain that music is more "complex" so here is a complex, 32-tone signal with far higher treble response than any music:

View attachment 126409

There is just no difference at all. No distortion is removed and thankfully none added either.

Let's sweep the audible band this time looking to see if there is distortion at any frequency while measured to 90 kHz (4.5X audible band):

View attachment 126410

Once again despite our superb precision that crosses human hearing threshold, no differential between the two cables is found.

Differential In-situ Speaker Cable Measurements
As mentioned above, the impedances at the two ends of the cable is not the same as an amp and speaker. So I created a new test:

View attachment 126411

In a nutshell, I am measuring any difference between the signal at one end of the cable at the amplifier compared to the other (speaker). Of course, I didn't realize that my analyzer was set to 4 volt and hit "run" meaning the amp was producing its full power! Speaker was sitting face down and while I could not see it, I clearly heard it jump up and down followed by the loudest test sweeps you can imagine! It was as if an explosion had happened behind me! :D

Fortunately the amp and speaker survived the ordeal and we can look at the results. This is the frequency response differential between SP3 and generic cable:
View attachment 126412

I had to zoom this graph way in to show what you see. We are talking thee decimal places in 1 dB! Yet the two cables are showing the same response.

To go even more crazy, let's subtract the two cable responses:

View attachment 126413

As noted, worst case difference is 0.0065 dB! This shows how great our instrumentation is and how silly assumptions about cable differences are.

Conclusions
Company states that these cables reduce distortion. Distortion is a measurable thing so why do they not show it? Most likely this is an assumption and not anything ever measured. Problem was imagined and solution was put in place. With no verification of the problem, it is impossible to see if anything is fixed. Our measurements show that losses in these cables is incredibly small and no different than a generic, near garbage cable that I build to compare. No matter how hard we try, sound waves going in, are the sound waves coming out of the speaker wire.

On purely performance front, I cannot recommend the Morrow SP3 cable. There simply is no benefit in it. From form and function, you may want to look at such a cable if it makes you feel better to look at them. And they are certainly far cheaper than the bulk of "high-end" audio cables. I wish the company would revise its marketing and just emphasize the custom aspects of these cables, flexibility, etc. rather than trying to claim audio improvements that they cannot deliver on.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Many Thanks Amir, with this data you simply wipe out the expensive audiopholery industry of HiFi cables. I can’t resist to ask you a picture of your ugly 30 years old sustainable recycled high end cables capable to transport 120db high power signal! Please, It will be revelatory. My Best
 

B4ICU

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#17
Speaker cables.
The common concept among audiophiles and pro audio engineers, about speaker cables iw wrong!!! (I rolled the chalang in front of R&D of MBL,
TEAC and more. None picked the glove!)
As so, also is the testing method or the provided results. They show, more than any other, what the tester would like to show: No difference.
Well the first logical question will be the difference between this cable and What?
Measuring and measuring methods would have an impact on the results.More than it's price, we need its gauge and length, and it's resistance
(even that it can be calculated from the two: gauge and length).

The speaker cables is defined as the transfer function between an Amp's output to the load (speakers).
However, the way to look on it, as an extension of the Amp's output resistance (Ro or more common name: DF=Dumping Factor).
The speaker cables is about to deliver the Amp's output signal to the speaker (an inductance lod with a moving coil in a magnetic field, and some components in it's crossover, as capacitors and more coils).
In order to do this successfully, a higher DF amp would be required. If you own a tube amp. or a low cost receiver, this is not for you.
But if the Amp's DF is above 150, or better (400, 500...1000 or D Class up to 8,000) the cable gets tricky), than the game changes dramatically.
Let's assume that we own an Amp with a DF of 400 (Ro=8/400, or 0.02 Ohms).
What is tested speaker cables resistance? What is the AWG (gauge) and length?
As no such data is provided (but it's price: $149), we can not say what it's calculated resistance (assume its made of copper).
This idea, that speaker cables should have a related (series) resistance to the Amp's Ro, would provide a formula that can calculate the ideal
speaker cable gauge, vs length. (R = ro x L (meters) / S (mm2).
So none of the suggested test by Amir or AP are to show any relevant data about the cable. It would help, as much if you would use it to fishing,
or hang some laundry to dry in the open air.
 

B4ICU

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#18
If the cable is calculated, and it's resistance will be X (to fit the Amp's DF, even if you go wild and get a thicker cable, or even a superconductore, the sound will remain the same. If you go the opposite direction (increase resistance) the sound will get less clear and present.
 

Beave

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#19
Speaker cables.
The common concept among audiophiles and pro audio engineers, about speaker cables iw wrong!!! (I rolled the chalang in front of R&D of MBL,
TEAC and more. None picked the glove!)
As so, also is the testing method or the provided results. They show, more than any other, what the tester would like to show: No difference.
Well the first logical question will be the difference between this cable and What?
Measuring and measuring methods would have an impact on the results.More than it's price, we need its gauge and length, and it's resistance
(even that it can be calculated from the two: gauge and length).

The speaker cables is defined as the transfer function between an Amp's output to the load (speakers).
However, the way to look on it, as an extension of the Amp's output resistance (Ro or more common name: DF=Dumping Factor).
The speaker cables is about to deliver the Amp's output signal to the speaker (an inductance lod with a moving coil in a magnetic field, and some components in it's crossover, as capacitors and more coils).
In order to do this successfully, a higher DF amp would be required. If you own a tube amp. or a low cost receiver, this is not for you.
But if the Amp's DF is above 150, or better (400, 500...1000 or D Class up to 8,000) the cable gets tricky), than the game changes dramatically.
Let's assume that we own an Amp with a DF of 400 (Ro=8/400, or 0.02 Ohms).
What is tested speaker cables resistance? What is the AWG (gauge) and length?
As no such data is provided (but it's price: $149), we can not say what it's calculated resistance (assume its made of copper).
This idea, that speaker cables should have a related (series) resistance to the Amp's Ro, would provide a formula that can calculate the ideal
speaker cable gauge, vs length. (R = ro x L (meters) / S (mm2).
So none of the suggested test by Amir or AP are to show any relevant data about the cable. It would help, as much if you would use it to fishing,
or hang some laundry to dry in the open air.
The Dumping Factor of this post is quite high.
 

wwenze

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#20
Thanks for testing speaker cables. BTW, when would speaker cable start to reduce the signal level? I imagine when it's very long and very thin, but do we know what length and what gauge?
And then it would likely reduce the level only, right? Shouldn't mess with FR?
The only time I really heard a difference is when I tried generic CAT5 cables with the NuForce Icon. What's the AWG like, 26? And only 1 of the twisted pair was used.

It will mess with FR because impedance of the speaker is not flat across frequencies. You will hear pretty much only the frequencies where impedance shoots up to 20ohms or so.

Anyway it's not rocket science, many HT or car audio sites will tell you how thick you need for what distance. And that's usually thick enough to not cause any noticeable voltage loss or FR change (which is due to voltage loss)
 
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