How often should speaker cables be replaced?

I have been using the NAC A5 cables for the last 28 years. Should I replace them?

1 Like

Nope, unless you notice actual signs of physical degradation (e.g., the sheathing is crumbling somewhere).


My NAC-A4 cables are now almost 40 years old…
Nothing wrong, no need to fix… :sunglasses:


Not so sure. Copper oxidises over time. In de long run - 28 and 40 years do qualify imo - that oxidation might creep into the conductors too. And copper oxidation is a very poor conductor. Ageing of this type goes very gradually so you tend not to notice. A fresh run might be a surprise.

Just a thought though…

1 Like

You could cut it a few cm in and see what it’s like if you’re really concerned about.

Not sure you can see that by just looking at the copper on the outside?

At first the speaker cable needs to burn in for 20 years, then it starts to burn out. I must make sure to listen to music on the one day it works :face_with_monocle:


Mine’s about thirty years old, no thoughts about changing it.

A friend was concerned when he heard I was using A5 when bringing over a pair of speakers to listen to. He bought over a few pairs of his favourites. Listened with the A5 and he just put his cables back in his bag.


31 years of age. When I was having system wide issues a friend with an identical length run of 1 year old A5 he no longer needed thanks to a house move popped round and we swapped them in and out. Mine were better.


Excellent question and something I have never considered. I am afraid I don’t know the answer either! So will read replies with interest.

I think that unless there’s signs of damaged strands or obvious oxidisation then you should be fine for many years.

1 Like

I always thought you were older.


How do you suppose it oxidises on the inside?


If it’s not oxidizing close to the terminals I’d be pretty confident it’s not oxidizing where it’s even more protected from the elements



Good to read and learn. So no worries there. :+1:t2:

My background is marine electrics.
Raw copper cable in a marine environment can oxidise at a remarkably fast rate, it runs along the length of a cable run in days/weeks turning the copper surface into a black/green skin all along under the insulation that over time erodes the copper eventually to oxidised dust.
The marine world uses ‘tinned’ (plated) copper, this stops oxidisation more or less complexly, given good termination. The audio world also has tinned copper & even more useful is silver plated copper.
But in the real world of a domestic living room, the atmosphere does not oxide copper, other than surface discolouration.
The oxidisation on NACA5 is surfaced discoloured copper & if the cable is soldered (correctly) to the terminal it’s probably perfectly OK as the surface in the joint & a few mm upstream in tinned & is not oxidised.


4,000 hours or 4 years, whichever comes first.

Unless it turns green and crumbles in your hands, you’re fine. Chill. Stop fretting and enjoy. They’ll last hundreds of years if not longer, if kept dry.


Thanks Mike, perhaps missed my point to a large extent other than in your penultimate sentence :slightly_smiling_face: