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14AWG or 16AWG?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just bought a sat/sub 5.1 system....Martin Logan MLT-2. I just received my 14AWG from monoprice and after heavy thinking and reading/researching online.....I'm beginning to think that 14 might be slight overkill for my setup. The longest run is my back left surround at around 37 feet. Is this 14awg wire fine for my setup or should I just order the 16 gauge?? What do you folks think?
post #2 of 11
read the sticky top of this forum
http://www.avsforum.com/t/824554/setting-up-your-home-theater-101
look here: Roger Russell: What Speaker Gauge Should I Use
post #3 of 11
14 will be fine. Bigger does not hurt unless cost is a concern.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

read the sticky top of this forum
http://www.avsforum.com/t/824554/setting-up-your-home-theater-101
look here: Roger Russell: What Speaker Gauge Should I Use

I've read that chart and according to it, 16 would be more than fine for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

14 will be fine. Bigger does not hurt unless cost is a concern.

Cost isn't a concern but aesthetics unfortunately are! I have to run this cable along moldings here in my apartment and I'm thinking 14 might be too difficult to bend into place. I hope I'm wrong!


Thanks for your help guys!
post #5 of 11
14 AWG = 0.0641" (1.628 mm) nominal wire diameter
16 AWG = 0.0508" (1.291 mm) nominal wire diameter

That is not much difference. The bigger difference will more likely be the type of cable configuration, e.g. "zip" or "lamp" cord with side-by-side conductors vs. twisted in an outer molded tube like those big orange extension cords. It may be harder to find 14 gauge zip cord. I suggest a trip to Wal-Mart/Target (extension cords) or Home Depot/Lowes (if you want bulk) or similar and seeing what typical 14 and 16 gauge stranded wire looks and feels like.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

14 AWG = 0.0641" (1.628 mm) nominal wire diameter
16 AWG = 0.0508" (1.291 mm) nominal wire diameter
That is not much difference. The bigger difference will more likely be the type of cable configuration, e.g. "zip" or "lamp" cord with side-by-side conductors vs. twisted in an outer molded tube like those big orange extension cords. It may be harder to find 14 gauge zip cord. I suggest a trip to Wal-Mart/Target (extension cords) or Home Depot/Lowes (if you want bulk) or similar and seeing what typical 14 and 16 gauge stranded wire looks and feels like.

Thanks Don! I'm going to home depot tomorrow to see and also check what clips or hooks I can use to run this wire along my walls.
post #7 of 11
^^^

look for wiremold... imo/ime, the easiest/best way to run wire outside walls and hide it...

to piggy back on don's suggestion... look at (don't use, but look at) "thhn" wire to get an idea of what the physical "size difference" is between the various gauges of wire...
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
look for wiremold... imo/ime, the easiest/best way to run wire outside walls and hide it...
to piggy back on don's suggestion... look at (don't use, but look at) "thhn" wire to get an idea of what the physical "size difference" is between the various gauges of wire...

Thanks for your suggestion and advice!

This 14 gauge wire is pretty darn stiff....lol! I can only imagine what 12 is like.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooveRite View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
look for wiremold... imo/ime, the easiest/best way to run wire outside walls and hide it...
to piggy back on don's suggestion... look at (don't use, but look at) "thhn" wire to get an idea of what the physical "size difference" is between the various gauges of wire...

Thanks for your suggestion and advice!

This 14 gauge wire is pretty darn stiff....lol! I can only imagine what 12 is like.

You have many options besides the ones that I see listed above.

The stiffness of wire is highly dependent on the stranding and the insulating jacket. I've seen 12 gauge wire that was almost limp as a wet dishrag.

There are also wires that are formed so that they are thin and therefore don't stand out from the wall.
post #10 of 11
When in the big box stores be very careful when buying budget priced pre-packaged speaker cables. Especially those with well known old brand names, as they may be aluminum wire! See the last few posts in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1447234/quick-speaker-wire-question-does-wattage-affect-awg
post #11 of 11
For top-quality pure copper wire at very good prices, I recommend Monoprice 14-gauge speaker wire. For runs over 30 feet, use the similar 12-gauge speaker wire.

Monoprice product #2791; 100 feet for $25.

More expensive wire can have more strands of finer wire making up the wire. This improves flexibility and lessens stiffness. Large welding cable is very large and has hundreds of copper strands which makes it quite flexible for its large size.

The 10-gauge wire I use for speakers has over 100 strands and is very "soft" and flexible.
Edited by commsysman - 12/27/12 at 5:28pm
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