Originally Posted by jmichaelf
Neat app. Based on what research?
Originally Posted by jonnythan
Based on the research of Ohm and Maxwell, primarily
Well, it should be obvious enough that resistance is going to make a noticeable difference at some point. For one thing, in addition to the general loss of some power, it's eventually going to start making the speaker's frequency/power response conform to its impedance curve, right? When this becomes audible is up for debate, and it probably varies between individuals, as well. Then when you factor in room response and equalization, it kind of becomes "lost in the noise," even in the more extreme cases. So no, wire gauge and length are not major factors, in my view, but there is some measurable, if not always audible, effect, and I wouldn't blame anybody who spends a few extra dollars (emphasis on "few") to ensure that any such issues are obviated entirely (for all practical purposes). Psychologically, it provides some peace of mind, like buying well made cables that are more robust and less prone to failure (even though they won't sound any better, really)--one less thing to worry about. Spending a lot of money, however, is crazy, and making a huge deal out of miniscule differences--such as fretting over whether 14 AWG is good enough for 8 feet, and wanting to upgrade to 12 AWG--doesn't make sense.
Having said all that, there are some examples of when cables can matter. For instance, two of my devices just wouldn't communicate reliably with any HDMI cable I tried, including cables that worked between other devices. Sometimes this happens when two devices are on the opposite margins of the spec, I'm guessing, and require a cleaner signal for high-speed, high-frequency (much higher than audio, of course) signaling. I finally found a cable that worked reliably (from Blue Jeans Cable), so maybe having better specs matters sometimes, like with Cat6 versus Cat5e--sometimes you can get reliable gigabit Ethernet with Cat5e, but eventually the better specs of Cat6 will allow you to make longer runs. With speaker cable, however, the requirements are so laughably modest that virtually any type of plain old conductor will do, given a reasonably low resistance--you really have to try to screw it up for anything to go wrong to any level of significance.