16 or 14 Gauge Speaker Wire For Small Room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-03-2014, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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16 or 14 Gauge Speaker Wire For Small Room

About to purchase some from amazon. Should I go with 16 or 14, very small room, and how many feet 50 or 100. I was gonna go with Monoprice btw.
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-03-2014, 01:12 PM
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Unless you're really hurting for cash, I'd recommend going with the 14-gauge wire. It'll better prepare you for higher-wattage amplifiers, lower-impedance speakers (4 ohms), etc. And it's only a few cents per foot more than the 16-gauge wire. Only you can know how many feet you'll need...
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-03-2014, 02:27 PM
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Use this to determine what you need.
http://www.bcae1.com/images/swfs/spe...rassistant.swf
There's nothing to be gained with a heavier gauge than what will give adequate current capacity with less than 1dB insertion loss.

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post #4 of 14 Old 07-03-2014, 02:54 PM
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To be honest, 14 or 16 is fine for most short runs, but I think you would be hard to find some one around here that runs less than 10 or 12 AWG.

Here is chart you can use
http://www.audioholics.com/frequent-...gauge-distance
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-03-2014, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the links and info guy's. I think I'll just go with 14 gauge 100 feet to be on the safe side. I just hope it's not too thick to handle for a newbie lol.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-03-2014, 04:50 PM
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I'm crazy, so I use 10 AWG minimum for my "whatever" system and I use 8 and 6 AWG for my main systems...including for my surround speakers.

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post #7 of 14 Old 07-03-2014, 05:02 PM
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Your LF voice-coil wire is over a couple hundred times smaller than your cable that feeds it.

Tweeter voice coil? Probably a thousand times smaller.

"Crazy."

Well... somebody had to say it....
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-03-2014, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimeTime View Post
Your LF voice-coil wire is over a couple hundred times smaller than your cable that feeds it.
Tweeter voice coil? Probably a thousand times smaller.
True, but they serve a very different purpose from the speaker cable. They must have adequate impedance to properly load the amp, so you can't compare the two functions. But using a cable that's larger than what's necessary is a waste of both copper and coin to be sure.

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post #9 of 14 Old 07-03-2014, 07:20 PM
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It's what I call "audio bling" completely unnecessary, but I wannaaaaaaa!

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post #10 of 14 Old 07-03-2014, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy1988 View Post
Thanks for the links and info guy's. I think I'll just go with 14 gauge 100 feet to be on the safe side. I just hope it's not too thick to handle for a newbie lol.
Nah. It'll be only slightly thicker than the power cable running to your table lamp or toaster.
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-04-2014, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy1988 View Post
Thanks for the links and info guy's. I think I'll just go with 14 gauge 100 feet to be on the safe side. I just hope it's not too thick to handle for a newbie lol.
That is ideal - 12ga and 14ga are thick enough to prevent excessive resistive losses at that length but are thin enough and flexible enough to still be easy to work with - which is a concern for in-wall installation.

Just don't use anything thicker than 10ga - the decreased resistance won't gain you anything and you will actually start decreasing performance at high frequency due to skin effect resistance that starts to become a more significant impedance component at the highest audio frequency of 20KHz when the wire gets too thick:

http://www.audioholics.com/audio-vid...speaker-cables

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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
Skin effect losses at 20 KHz with 14 gauge wire are pretty tiny. While they remain inaudible at 20 KHz with 12 gauge they are easy enough to measure if you can separate out the larger losses due to series inductance. With 10 gauge or larger cable, the HF losses can raise some concerns.

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post #12 of 14 Old 07-05-2014, 04:19 PM
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Whoa! I mean,. I say, I holler ....Whoa with the Skin Effect stuff, Son. (/Foghorn Leghorn)

You're not going to LOSE more signal (i.e., increase resistance) due to Skin Effect when deploying larger cables. Check out Wikipedia, fer chrissakes ("skin depth").

The skin depth isn't changing when you make the conductor larger. You will indeed get less resistance with the larger conductor in any event. It's just that the "skin depth" describes how the current shies away from being bunched into the center of the cable. Some of that current will still be shared by the larger core in that bigger conductor. And that bigger circumference conductor, for a given skin depth, will give less resistance. It's just that the incremental improvement will not be that much.
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-05-2014, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimeTime View Post
Whoa! I mean,. I say, I holler ....Whoa with the Skin Effect stuff, Son. (/Foghorn Leghorn)

You're not going to LOSE more signal (i.e., increase resistance) due to Skin Effect when deploying larger cables. Check out Wikipedia, fer chrissakes ("skin depth").

The skin depth isn't changing when you make the conductor larger. You will indeed get less resistance with the larger conductor in any event. It's just that the "skin depth" describes how the current shies away from being bunched into the center of the cable. Some of that current will still be shared by the larger core in that bigger conductor. And that bigger circumference conductor, for a given skin depth, will give less resistance. It's just that the incremental improvement will not be that much.
It's moot in any event, as skin effect is a concern with radio frequencies, not audio frequencies. Any cable manufacturer that even uses the term is undeserving of your business.

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post #14 of 14 Old 07-06-2014, 03:43 PM
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I run 18 GA I think, to my surround speakers. I am not in a house, so I can't do many mods. I figure, they are surround speakers, it's fine. It's easier to work with. It would ideally be 16 GA.

I run 16 GA to my front speakers, as it's readily available and may as well just in case, due to possibly playing music at higher power.

I think it's overkill to run larger gauge than needed, and it's sometimes harder to work with

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