Ok, speaker wire typically has several different types of markings to determine gauge and quality of product. The following is a brief guideline to what is normally considered quality wire. For those so inclined to flame away on this brief explanation please feel free to do so.
- 14/2 - defines the size or gauge or the wire as well as the number of conductors (it's really an electrical term). The size of wire used is mostly dependent on the distance of the speaker wire run. On average a 12 gauge wire for a average home theatre system with a 20 foot run is overkill and possibly a waste of money. A quality 14 Gauge wire will work fine.
- 105 strands - refers to the number of strands within the 14 gauge. The large the number of strands in a speaker wire the better the response/sound (if you subscribe to the skin effect (i.e. electrons travel on the outside of a conductor) the more strands the better the quality. Typical strand counts range in the 65 to 105 range for a 14 gauge speaker wire.
- Oxygen free is a desirable quality in a copper wire as it supposedly creates longer copper crystals/formations within a copper wire. The benefit of this is better sound quality.
Therefore, a Oxygen Free, 14 gauge 105 Strand cable is considered to be of good quality cable regardless of vendor. 14 gauge 65 strand is commonly used in a higher end multi-room audio installation with very good results. IMHO, the biggest difference in cables is the material used for the cable jackets. Not only do they come with in wall ratings, but the better cables usually are much easier to pull thus reducing the effort required to pull the cable.