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  • speaker wire size consensus

    so i figured there would be a lot of opinions about this. i am about to order a couple spools i figured a 50' of ofc 10 ga for permanent front/testing cables, a spool of 14 for the internals larger speakers, and i have a a 500' spool of 16 ga already for all the smaller stuff. is this a pretty well rounded selection? i am not a believer that higher priced speaker stuff has much effect on sound, so i'm thinking the "wired home" stuff they sell here looks good.


    now on another note: i have this double helix looking wire laying around that i got from my friend who owns a car stereo store. i don't have a lot left. it's perfectly round, and clear jacketed. pretty cool stuff, but when i'm out i can't get more. does anyone know a source that has cool looking wire in any decent selection? when i say cool looking, i mean for purely esoteric(no pun on the old car audio line) reasons. this is needed for open back projects i'm working on that have open backs/exposed wiring. i like the flat stuff they sell here so i might get some of that also.

    now last thing about this. connectors. my thought has always been the less connectors in line the better. do they have much effect? so amp-banana-wire-banana-speaker terminal-spade-wire-xo-spade-speaker. is it better to go amp-wire-xo-speakers using all solder? figured kill three birds with one stone on this. thanks for any input.

  • #2
    Re: speaker wire size consensus

    There is absolutely no consensus on the topic of speaker wire. None whatsoever.

    The car stereo wire may be copper clad aluminum. If it is, it's not as good as copper wire sans aluminum.
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    • #3
      Re: speaker wire size consensus

      Originally posted by doctormorbius View Post
      There is absolutely no consensus on the topic of speaker wire. None whatsoever.

      The car stereo wire may be copper clad aluminum. If it is, it's not as good as copper wire sans aluminum.
      oh noes...no really it is stranded ofc copper. really good stuff, just can't get any more. he forgot where it came from. could be a customer brought it in. just looking for cool looking stuff for open back/dipole stuff.

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      • #4
        Re: speaker wire size consensus

        Don't overlook braided TechFlex wire covering for exposed wires. It's easy enough to work with, especially if you have a hot knife to cut it.
        Bill Schneider
        -+-+-+-+-
        www.afterness.com/audio

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        • #5
          Re: speaker wire size consensus

          Originally posted by kanemack View Post
          so i figured there would be a lot of opinions about this. i am about to order a couple spools i figured a 50' of ofc 10 ga for permanent front/testing cables, a spool of 14 for the internals larger speakers, and i have a a 500' spool of 16 ga already for all the smaller stuff. is this a pretty well rounded selection? i am not a believer that higher priced speaker stuff has much effect on sound, so i'm thinking the "wired home" stuff they sell here looks good.
          How long are the runs you're planning? What's the lowest practical impedance of any speaker you'll install in a given position.

          FWIW, I run thinner wire to my LCR than to my surrounds. (16AWG vs. 14AWG) Two reasons: mains have higher impedance, and runs to surrounds are longer.
          --
          "Based on my library and laboratory research, I have concluded, as have others, that the best measures of speaker quality are frequency response and dispersion pattern. I have not found any credible research showing that most of the differences we hear among loudspeakers cannot be explained by examining these two variables." -Alvin Foster, 22 BAS Speaker 2 (May, 1999)

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          • #6
            Re: speaker wire size consensus

            I'm an advocate of 12g stranded. I don't think there is a need to go bigger than that but nothing smaller than 16. I'm also not a fan of mega buck cables.

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            • #7
              Re: speaker wire size consensus

              been using these JSC 10 gauge O2 free copper cables for years.. . works a treat.
              And looks pretty darned nice to boot all for the price of just over a dollar/foot.
              The Mrs calls them a garden hose..
              (thy're not that big really...)

              http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...-0050-/24-1140

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              • #8
                Re: speaker wire size consensus

                Originally posted by kanemack View Post
                so i figured there would be a lot of opinions about this. i am about to order a couple spools i figured a 50' of ofc 10 ga for permanent front/testing cables, a spool of 14 for the internals larger speakers, and i have a a 500' spool of 16 ga already for all the smaller stuff. is this a pretty well rounded selection?
                I use 14 ga for speaker cables, and wiring woofers/midbasses. I use 22 ga for wiring tweeters. 10ga is fine for 30 amp AC lines, but not speakers. Use this to calculate what you really need:
                http://www.bcae1.com/images/swfs/spe...rassistant.swf
                now last thing about this. connectors. my thought has always been the less connectors in line the better
                +1. Connectors are convenient if you're in the habit of swapping out cables on a regular basis. Otherwise they're an unnecessary expense and one more thing that can go wrong.
                www.billfitzmaurice.com
                www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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                • #9
                  Re: speaker wire size consensus

                  Use the calculator Bill recommended and then use the thinnest wire that will support the current load.

                  Bob

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                  • #10
                    Re: speaker wire size consensus

                    Originally posted by kanemack View Post
                    so i figured there would be a lot of opinions about this. i am about to order a couple spools i figured a 50' of ofc 10 ga for permanent front/testing cables, a spool of 14 for the internals larger speakers, and i have a a 500' spool of 16 ga already for all the smaller stuff. is this a pretty well rounded selection? i am not a believer that higher priced speaker stuff has much effect on sound, so i'm thinking the "wired home" stuff they sell here looks good.
                    In AWG, every decrease of 3 gauges doubles the cross sectional area. If you already have 500' of 16AWG, you have 250' of 13AWG. Use two strands (ie. both of a pair) for each run for the internals and you don't need the 14. If you were buying it all, this wouldn't make sense because even in bulk twice the amount of the smaller costs more than the larger. But if you already have that much of the smaller.....
                    Last edited by drmcclainphd; 09-10-2013, 01:04 PM. Reason: numerical typo

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                    • #11
                      Re: speaker wire size consensus

                      This is where I get all my speaker wire. http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=102&cp_id=10239
                      I typically use 18 or 16 gauge internally on my speaker builds and 16 or 14 for external speaker runs from amp to speaker. The round white sheathed stuff for in wall blends well with white painted base boards.

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                      • #12
                        Re: speaker wire size consensus

                        I bought a 100ft spool of in-wall 12AWG from monoprice recently and love it (for LCR and surrounds). I got the white sheath for the exact same reason as you Leroy! Not for in-wall, for next-to-wall (base boards!).

                        For now I'll run 10GA to the sub, if I ever run it farther away from the amp (1KW amp, 4ohm) I might consider 8GA.

                        I decided to lean a little heavier on this install than previously. Mostly just because it makes me feel fuzzy inside. I could try to justify it with some mumbo about Q and response depressions in impedance minimas, but I don't have ears that could tell the difference so I'll just say I ran heavy wire because I could.
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                        • #13
                          Re: speaker wire size consensus

                          Has anyone tried braiding some litz wire with some smaller gauge wire?

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                          • #14
                            Re: speaker wire size consensus

                            Originally posted by ameuba10 View Post
                            Has anyone tried braiding some litz wire with some smaller gauge wire?
                            Won't be Litz unless the individual strands are enameled.
                            Later,
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                            • #15
                              Re: speaker wire size consensus

                              Where different wire makes a difference is in construction. Some multistrand copper wire can corrode over time. Solid core is less susceptible to this corrosion than a same-gauge multistrand, but just as effective electrically for audio frequencies.

                              Too bad the enameled wire Wolf mentioned isn't easier to strip for soldering.
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