Originally Posted by joker97
I've just upgraded short 16AWG wires to longer 14AWG wires and i was wondering - we spend effort to get large bore unrestrictive cabling to connect the amp to the speakers etc ...
but whatabout what's INSIDE the amp and speaker? do the amp cable connector have low resistance? do the connector have 14G connected to the amp itself?
A loudspeaker is a special world unto itself. To some degree you don't care about what's inside the box. As an end-user all you need to worry about is what goes in the speaker terminals and what comes out acoustically.
What's inside the box might scare a lot of people. For example one poster correctly observed that loudspeaker voice coils are generally relatively long lengths of relatively thin, solid wire. Ditto for crossover coils.
Does this mean then that since the voice coil of the tweeter might be 24 gauge wire, that's its OK to use 20 feet of 24 gauge wire for a speaker cable? No!
A well-designed speaker has all of its parts designed to work together. For example, it is believe it or not necessary for a subwoofer's voice coil to have a certain amount of resistance to optimize how it speaker works. If the subwoofer's voice coil has too much or too little resistance for the rest of its parameters, then it is not optimal for what it does.
It is completely possible to build a subwoofer driver that has a voice coil that has a suboptimal resistance. However, if a subwoofer contains its own passive crossover, then the resistance of the coils in the crossover are effectively part of the resisance of the woofer's voice coil from a veiwpoint outside the box (where we as end users need to situate ourselves).
So now there's a choice. Do I build a subwoofer driver with a really low resistance voice coil so I can use lighter wire in the built-in crossover, or do I use heavy wire in the crossover coils so I can use a subwoofer driver with a higher resistance voice coil or what?
That my friends is what is known as an engineering decision. Depending the costs (both economic and practical) of the various resources, there is an optimal trade-off between the resistance of the driver's voice coil and the resistance of the crossover coils that gives the best reasonable performance, and balances the costs so they are minimized. That's one of the things that good engineers do.
So if you open the box and you find thin wire in the crossover, and you can't see the wire in the subwoofer's driver voice coil, what are you supposed to think? In fact you're supposed to close the box back up and listen to how the whole subwoofer as a component works in your system.
what about speakers - once you screw in the bulk mass of wires onto the speaker red and blacks - do they have 14G wire inside to connect to the speaker diaphragm?
Depends on the speaker. For example, there are some really husky subwoofer drivers out there with 12, 10, maybe even 8 gauge wire in their voice coils. You want a small box and deep bass - well the driver has to be very inefficient and you're going to gobble up power like carmel corn at a circus. I've seen woofers like these make 12 gauge stranded wires leading up to their terminals wave in the external magnetic field of the driver like flags in a stiff breeze. It's probably more important that the wiring be adequately tied down and stress-relieved. Those very same issues are completely immaterial for a high-efficiency tweeter.
There are engineering guidelines for sizing speaker cable. If you follow them, it doesn't matter what is inside the speaker boxes except that you have to pay attention to the external impedance curve of the loudspeaker to size speaker wires. If you don't follow them it still doesn't matter what is inside the speaker boxes, except that whatever it is, it could work against you.