Originally Posted by Mantis10
To answer the original thread owners question , first learn about the AWG. This is a good rule of thumb when running speaker wire. Also in your reading , learn about your local codes , make sure the speaker cable is in wall rated like CL2 or CL3. Distance will determine gauge. Most runs in a home theater work well with 14-2 speaker wire. It's basically all I use unless I'm dealing with high powered amps and 4 ohm load speakers at long distances.
Most of the time when you bring up wire and quality , it usually ends up as whats above this post. The Measuring tapes come out and the eggs get thrown. Shame as someone like you who just wants to know what to do with the system you purchased doesn't really get a clear answer. One group argues that wire makes no difference and the other claims it does. Well, honestly they are both right depending on the system.
I have been in this hobby since the late 70's and I have owned many systems since then including 2 channel setups and HT. I also have a full house audio and video system. In the 90's I started doing this for a living and still do to this day. With that being said I have some experience I can speak of on this whole wire topic. Yes There is a lot of rip off's out there , many brands charging well above what needs to be spend on a speaker cable to send the signal from A to B. But what is the goal of said cable? This is the question anyone who owns a system needs to ask. I have to send a audio electrical signal from an amp to a speaker and I want the entire signal to get their unaltered in any way. I don't want to pick up noise on the way in forms of EMI or RFI and I don't want to lose any of the signal.
So how does one get this done? There is so much Info out there on this very topic and I even as a Professional over 15 years can't clearly answer without some doubt . Reason is I have heard differences when swapping out speaker cables from brand to brand and gauge to gauge. I have talked to some of the industries best engineers and can't seem to get a straight honest answer. I have been told by many what they felt did the job correctly and stood behind Brand X. I have used Brand X and thought I finally found a conductor that will do it's job correctly. But on the flip side how do I know he's right and I'm hearing exactly what is? It's all I have ever wanted , I really don't care about what brand name is one the jacket , I just want to pass the audio signal correctly. This applies to analog or digital Interconnects as well.
So after all my years of learning I basically parked at Audioquest. Not to say anyone needs to agree with me but I have found value in their products and like how my system performs when wired with it. I can't honestly say it's 100% right but I know it's damn close as I use the proper gauge for the length I use , Ohm rating on my speakers and the amount of power my amps have. I have learned once you get that right , it's all a matter of finding the cable that suits your budget and performs well in many different systems. I upgade all the time and don't need to keep buying new cables eveyrtime I replace something unless the wiring is different of coarse.
There are other brands I felt did a wonderful job of doing there it right was Cardas and Kimber Kable. Even Monster cable has some science behind what they do but I have found there cables to color the sound , maybe by choice to sell more wire , who really knows. I will go on record to say I have tried just about everything made as I have been reading these types of threads for many years and wanted to know for myself if wire makes any difference. Yes it does , because down to the very basic level you have to use the required cable to get the job done right , so that in itself proves that wire makes a difference. Now does all that fancy wire out there you can pay thousands of dollars do anything more then when you achieve the goal? NO it doesn't as far as my opinion goes. I think it's a total waste of money to spend more money on a cable once you reach the goal.
The goal is what needs to be addressed. Monoprice , Blue Jeans , Liberty , Beldon , Kimber , Monster , Straight , Audioquest , Nordost , Tributaries , Binary , etc all are examples of wire companies , once the goal is achieved , spending more money is a total waste unless you want more fancy looking cables which in that regard isn't a waste as the one purchasing them like them. As long as this fancy cable gets the job done , I'm not here to tell you it's not worth your money , I will tell you it's not worth mine. I have no problems spending my money on cables that are well built , terminated properly and pass all standards , if that can be done for 50 cents a foot , cool , if it takes 10 dollars a foot , then I'll pay the bill. I will not spend more for looks , pride of ownership , or any other reason one would want a higher end cable. I do however care deeply about my systems performance and will take the time to learn about this very topic without jumping the gun one bandwagon or the other.
If you are one of these people who took a side with little or no personal experience , I encourage you to at least conduct a few shootouts. I also encourage you to learn what it takes to get the job done you need , Thats first and for most.