What is the correct AWG for my speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-22-2014, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I am mainly having a problem with my 2 cerwin vega 10' that I use for my rear 5.1 surround. I use 2 Pioneer 12' for my front 2 speakers. The cerwin vegas probably sound better but the way I have my speaker stands set up, it just looks better the way I have it set up. I assume it would only sound a little better with the vegas in front. But my question is, I have about 25" of 16 awg going to my back 2 speakers from my Onkyo(i believe its a  500w receiver) what gauge speaker wire should I use for my rear speakers? I put the vegas up front because they didn't seem like they were bumping the way they were supposed to and to my surprise, the main 10' woofer (the encloser has a horn and a tweeter in it) hits a lot harder when moved to the front where only about 5" of 16awg speaker wire was used......Onkyo was set to ALL CHANNEL STEREO on tests...

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post #2 of 21 Old 01-22-2014, 06:52 PM
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" = inches, ' = feet. Assume you mean feet? Or your speakers are extremely monstrous? smile.gif

Read this http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#connect, simple answer is via the graph from that site but there's lots of great info on wire/cables there...

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post #3 of 21 Old 01-23-2014, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, sorry. I'm dumb. Thanks. I guess I just need to figure out what impedance my speakers and amp are. I guess I already knew the answer then.

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post #4 of 21 Old 01-23-2014, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogbassist182 View Post

Yeah, sorry. I'm dumb. Thanks. I guess I just need to figure out what impedance my speakers and amp are. I guess I already knew the answer then.

Your speakers determine the impedance to use for determining the gauge. The amp just goes along for the ride if it can (lower impedances can challenge both amps and wiring).

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post #5 of 21 Old 01-23-2014, 03:10 AM
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The easy answer is to just use 12 gauge wire and not have to give any thought to it at all. Monoprice is an inexpensive option.
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-23-2014, 06:16 AM
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At 25'.... 16 AWG is adequate.
Changing to heavier gauge will probably not produce any audible change.

If you insist on changing speaker wires, use 14 AWG. At those distances, a lot easier to work with than 12 AWG.
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-23-2014, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by William View Post

The easy answer is to just use 12 gauge wire and not have to give any thought to it at all. Monoprice is an inexpensive option.

+1
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-24-2014, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I need a little bit more help. I feel like i'm almost there!

 

My 2 Cerwin Vega speakers are 8 ohm

My 2 Pioneer speakers are 8 ohm. 

My Polk Audio center speaker is 4 ohm.

My Polk Audio PSW50 is an active subwoofer. This means it provides its own power and doesn't affect overall inpedence right?

 

I have http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-SR606-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B0015S8PGW as an amp. 

Can this particular amp handle my current speakers? Is it just too thin of speaker wire?

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post #9 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Both my Cerwin Vega and my Pioneer floor standing speakers are 8 ohms. My Polk Audio center speaker is 4 ohms. My subwoofer is active so it doesn't affect overall impedance(right)? The back of my amp says "Attention Speaker Impedance 6~16 ohms. Can this receiver handle all these speakers? (my receiver is an Onkyo TXSR606). Some say 16 gauge isn't enough for 25 feet. Some say it is. The rear speakers are 125w rms(Cerwin Vegas). Will bigger wire solve my issue? Like i mentioned above, the volume test have been on ALL CHANNEL STEREO. The rear speakers have enough treble through the tweeter and the horn, it seems only the 10' driver is an issue.

 

When wiring from the back of the amp, for 5.1, should i use "surround" or "surround rear(bi-amp to front speakers)

 

Thanks again, im trying to give you guys all the details i'm aware of, so sorry for randomness of it all.

 

I can go get some 12 gauge from lowes. Its a hell of a lot cheaper than best buy.

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post #10 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 12:54 AM
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Your avr will be fine with the one 4 ohm speaker. If you had 4 ohm speakers all around and drove the speakers to high levels you might have an issue. As per the chart on the link I provided (written by director of audio research for McIntosh), 16g wire would be fine for 8ohm speakers up to about 48 ft, 25 ft is not an issue. Bigger wire won't improve your speakers, at best on a very long run the small loss (like the 48 ft you might lose a bit of signal, which your avr can easily be compensated for with speaker level trim by Audyssey). Keep in mind the content of surrounds is not equal to the fronts by quite a bit...

If you're using a 5.1 setup use the surround speaker connections (rear surround is for 7 ch setups, or in case you want to waste wire you can use those same connections to bi-amp your front speakers).

You're doing just fine, the 12g wire is more than sufficient and won't break the bank, but you're fine as-is.

Have fun!

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post #11 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogbassist182 View Post

Both my Cerwin Vega and my Pioneer floor standing speakers are 8 ohms. My Polk Audio center speaker is 4 ohms. My subwoofer is active so it doesn't affect overall impedance(right)?

Correct. Active speakers including subwoofers not only don't load down the AVR, but they take a significant load off of it.

The energy in music is concentrated at the lowest frequencies as shown by the results of this study by the highly renowned Dr. Sean Olive of Harman:


Quote:
The back of my amp says "Attention Speaker Impedance 6~16 ohms. Can this receiver handle all these speakers? (my receiver is an Onkyo TXSR606).

Yes, especially considering your use of active subwoofers.
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Some say 16 gauge isn't enough for 25 feet. Some say it is. The rear speakers are 125w rms(Cerwin Vegas). Will bigger wire solve my issue?

There are two approaches to this situation. One is to use the smaller wire, save a few dollars and worry about it. The other approach is spend a few dollars more for 12 gauge and not worry about it. Personally, I just keep a roll of12 gauge speaker wire around and spend my time trying to figure out how to run it, as opposed to worrying whether it is big enough.
Quote:
Like i mentioned above, the volume test have been on ALL CHANNEL STEREO. The rear speakers have enough treble through the tweeter and the horn, it seems only the 10' driver is an issue.

Speaker impedance switches on AVRs have never been about playing music through loudspeakers and have always been about squeezing the last bit of power out on the test bench. Real world usage generally puts far less strain on AVRs than time spent on the test bench. On the test bench we use pure tones operating near the maximum power possible, while music waveforms contain far less energy on the average. Music has a lot of short term peaks and they put far less strain on the internal parts than full power sine waves being delivered to resistive loads.
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When wiring from the back of the amp, for 5.1, should i use "surround" or "surround rear(bi-amp to front speakers)

Stay clear of this kind of bi-amping (passive biamping) because it is generally ineffective.
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Thanks again, im trying to give you guys all the details i'm aware of, so sorry for randomness of it all.

I can go get some 12 gauge from lowes. Its a hell of a lot cheaper than best buy.

Exactly. When it comes to speakers, wire is wire. The low voltage finely stranded wire commonly used with speakers sounds great, but I've wired up speaker lines with coarsely stranded house wiring and it sounded great, too. The effectiveness of speaker cable is based on amount of copper per foot and for most home audio situations diminishing returns is in full force at 12 gauge.

One irony is that most high end speaker cable sold by BB appears to be 16 gauge which has less than 1/2 the copper of 12 gauge.
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
 Your avr will be fine with the one 4 ohm speaker. If you had 4 ohm speakers all around and drove the speakers to high levels you might have an issue. As per the chart on the link I provided (written by director of audio research for McIntosh), 16g wire would be fine for 8ohm speakers up to about 48 ft, 25 ft is not an issue. Bigger wire won't improve your speakers, at best on a very long run the small loss (like the 48 ft you might lose a bit of signal, which your avr can easily be compensated for with speaker level trim by Audyssey). Keep in mind the content of surrounds is not equal to the fronts by quite a bit...

 

Thanks, I understand the part where "the contents of surrounds is not equal to the fronts by quite a bit..."

 

However, when I said I used "all channel stereo" and the fronts and center speaker were louder. I'm not using 5.1 in this moment of testing, shouldn't they all be the same level? I've even went it and tweeked each speakers level and EQ

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post #13 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogbassist182 View Post

Quote:
 Your avr will be fine with the one 4 ohm speaker. If you had 4 ohm speakers all around and drove the speakers to high levels you might have an issue. As per the chart on the link I provided (written by director of audio research for McIntosh), 16g wire would be fine for 8ohm speakers up to about 48 ft, 25 ft is not an issue. Bigger wire won't improve your speakers, at best on a very long run the small loss (like the 48 ft you might lose a bit of signal, which your avr can easily be compensated for with speaker level trim by Audyssey). Keep in mind the content of surrounds is not equal to the fronts by quite a bit...

Thanks, I understand the part where "the contents of surrounds is not equal to the fronts by quite a bit..."

However, when I said I used "all channel stereo" and the fronts and center speaker were louder. I'm not using 5.1 in this moment of testing, shouldn't they all be the same level? I've even went it and tweeked each speakers level and EQ

You should be able to get them there (all being equal), are you using an spl meter or Audyssey (does your avr have Audyssey)?

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post #14 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I have neither. It's pretty obvious. I actually look at the driver moving also. It barley moves. I tested it in the front at the same volume and same settings and it THUMPS HARD
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post #15 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogbassist182 View Post

I have neither. It's pretty obvious. I actually look at the driver moving also. It barley moves. I tested it in the front at the same volume and same settings and it THUMPS HARD

I just looked at the specs for your avr (Onkyo 606) and you do have Audyssey, try using it. Looking at a driver doesn't mean a lot. Using same master volume for speakers of different sensitivity won't mean much unless you adjusted for that initially (as Audyssey will help you do automatically).

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post #16 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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 I just looked at the specs for your avr (Onkyo 606) and you do have Audyssey, try using it. Looking at a driver doesn't mean a lot. Using same master volume for speakers of different sensitivity won't mean much unless you adjusted for that initially (as Audyssey will help you do automatically).

I really appreciate the help, I really do. I deal with speakers a whole bunch. I play guitar and bass and I have repaired my fair share of speaker cabinets. I don't want to sound rude because I am truly asking for help, but I am positive that Audyssey(is this the microphone auto setup thing?) will not help me in this situation. It's very very obvious that the rear speakers are not getting the power they need. Also, looking at the drivers(at least in my situation) is proof enough that it isn't getting the needed power to the speaker. I might post a youtube video or something to show you how much of a difference it makes when i move the speakers from the front to the back. It's very very obvious.

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post #17 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 09:58 PM
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So when you change the speakers in the rear to the front and vice versa, the anemic sound follows the same speaker? Or do you simply swap out the speaker connections and the anemic sound switches position from rear to front? You're not sure what Audyssey is but you're sure it won't help you set up the speakers? You're not offering a lot of information for someone of your skill level rolleyes.gif

PS What are the trim levels for the speakers in the avr?

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post #18 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 10:14 PM
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I bet that if you were to swap the wires at the receiver, so that the rear speaker was hooked up as a front, you would find it hits (as you say hard) and the front , hooked to the rear out would not. 16 awg wire is plenty for your distance. Audyssey listens to the sounds coming out of your speakers and then tries to balance them in the receiver. Not having run audyssey you haven't let the receiver try to make the rear speakers sound better. You also can't just swap the speakers without rerunning you room correction because the speakers will not work the same or sound the same especially being different brands and / or sizes.

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post #19 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
 I bet that if you were to swap the wires at the receiver, so that the rear speaker was hooked up as a front, you would find it hits (as you say hard) and the front , hooked to the rear out would not. 16 awg wire is plenty for your distance. Audyssey listens to the sounds coming out of your speakers and then tries to balance them in the receiver. Not having run audyssey you haven't let the receiver try to make the rear speakers sound better. You also can't just swap the speakers without rerunning you room correction because the speakers will not work the same or sound the same especially being different brands and / or sizes.

So what you're saying is. That if i switched the left front for the left rear... the left front would sound quieter than the right front? (all channel stereo) because that is what happened. I physically put my hand on both the right and the left front drivers(after I switched the wires at the back of the receiver) and its very clear that the left one is not moving as much as the right one is, in fact it is hardly moving at all.

 

Quote:
 So when you change the speakers in the rear to the front and vice versa, the anemic sound follows the same speaker? Or do you simply swap out the speaker connections and the anemic sound switches position from rear to front? You're not sure what Audyssey is but you're sure it won't help you set up the speakers? You're not offering a lot of information for someone of your skill level rolleyes.gif

PS What are the trim levels for the speakers in the avr?
Edited by lovinthehd - Today at 10:38 pm

Sorry man. Didn't mean to sound like I knew it all. Like I said before I really need some help. However, I do know my fair share of things around speaker cabinets. Maybe Home Theater is a bit new to me. What kind of information do you need from me? I've posted all the information I have before. I don't have an SPL meter, nor do I have a multimeter. I've posted what ohms all my speakers are along with the wattage, along with the type of avr I Have. In the back of the receiver, I switched Front Left and Surround Left. What happened was that the front left speaker was quieter than the right front speaker(same speakers). This tells me its not a speaker wire or speaker cabinet issue???

 

Quote:
 PS What are the trim levels for the speakers in the avr?

Sorry, what exactly do you mean?

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post #20 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogbassist182 View Post

Quote:
 I bet that if you were to swap the wires at the receiver, so that the rear speaker was hooked up as a front, you would find it hits (as you say hard) and the front , hooked to the rear out would not. 16 awg wire is plenty for your distance. Audyssey listens to the sounds coming out of your speakers and then tries to balance them in the receiver. Not having run audyssey you haven't let the receiver try to make the rear speakers sound better. You also can't just swap the speakers without rerunning you room correction because the speakers will not work the same or sound the same especially being different brands and / or sizes.
So what you're saying is. That if i switched the left front for the left rear... the left front would sound quieter than the right front? (all channel stereo) because that is what happened. I physically put my hand on both the right and the left front drivers(after I switched the wires at the back of the receiver) and its very clear that the left one is not moving as much as the right one is, in fact it is hardly moving at all.
Quote:
 So when you change the speakers in the rear to the front and vice versa, the anemic sound follows the same speaker? Or do you simply swap out the speaker connections and the anemic sound switches position from rear to front? You're not sure what Audyssey is but you're sure it won't help you set up the speakers? You're not offering a lot of information for someone of your skill level rolleyes.gif


PS What are the trim levels for the speakers in the avr?
Edited by lovinthehd - Today at 10:38 pm
Sorry man. Didn't mean to sound like I knew it all. Like I said before I really need some help. However, I do know my fair share of things around speaker cabinets. Maybe Home Theater is a bit new to me. What kind of information do you need from me? I've posted all the information I have before. I don't have an SPL meter, nor do I have a multimeter. I've posted what ohms all my speakers are along with the wattage, along with the type of avr I Have. In the back of the receiver, I switched Front Left and Surround Left. What happened was that the front left speaker was quieter than the right front speaker(same speakers). This tells me its not a speaker wire or speaker cabinet issue???
Quote:
 PS What are the trim levels for the speakers in the avr?
Sorry, what exactly do you mean?

Well, they're just speakers....cabinets are a different breed for musicians (an active speaker geared to their requirements). Trim levels are the level of each speaker in your avr's speaker setup; they're centered at zero and level can be set above or below this to balance the sound among the speakers due to differences in sensitivity just as your avr has settings for distance to help get the ideal sound at your primary listening position; Audyssey will do this automatically, otherwise best to have an spl meter and not trust your ears. I suspect you simply haven't used the avr to setup your speakers but you're not describing just what you did to setup your speakers particularly as to level, distance, etc.

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post #21 of 21 Old 01-26-2014, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogbassist182 View Post

Quote:
 I just looked at the specs for your avr (Onkyo 606) and you do have Audyssey, try using it. Looking at a driver doesn't mean a lot. Using same master volume for speakers of different sensitivity won't mean much unless you adjusted for that initially (as Audyssey will help you do automatically).

I really appreciate the help, I really do. I deal with speakers a whole bunch. I play guitar and bass and I have repaired my fair share of speaker cabinets. I don't want to sound rude because I am truly asking for help, but I am positive that Audyssey(is this the microphone auto setup thing?) will not help me in this situation. It's very very obvious that the rear speakers are not getting the power they need. Also, looking at the drivers(at least in my situation) is proof enough that it isn't getting the needed power to the speaker. I might post a youtube video or something to show you how much of a difference it makes when i move the speakers from the front to the back. It's very very obvious.

Audyssey and its competitors run a bunch of technical tests on the speakers before they start to optimize them. You can ask a lot of questions and wait for answers, argue with people who are just trying to help you, apply possibly irrelevant technology from a different kind of audio; or just hook up the mic, click a menu item and wait no more than about 3 minutes. If you have a speaker that isn't working, they will usually tell you in so many words. If a speaker is hooked up with the wires reversed, they will usually tell you. If there are internal adjustments that will help, they will make them.
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