SPEAKER WIRE = 14 AWG or 12 AWG? - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 104 Old 07-21-2015, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
You are either part of the Solutions ... or you are part of the Problems.

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Which are you?
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post #62 of 104 Old 07-21-2015, 01:58 PM
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Just buy a spool of 12 gauge speaker wire from Monoprice and be done with it people - it's better and cheaper wire most likely than anything you'll find locally -


http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2
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post #63 of 104 Old 07-21-2015, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
For any of this to be useful you need to state the loss figures in decibels. Anything less than 1dB is inaudible and is of no consequence.
Don't tell any audiophiles that. It would upset them. It's good to indicate when it's a power measurement instead of a voltage measurement too. If its an SPL that needs to be indicated.
AudioQuest type 4 wire combines 17 ga. and 20 ga. wire which seems to be on the smaller side.

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post #64 of 104 Old 07-21-2015, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post
Just buy a spool of 12 gauge speaker wire from Monoprice and be done with it people - it's better and cheaper wire most likely than anything you'll find locally -


http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2
Only issue I have with Monoprice wire is it oxidizes quickly. The sheath reacts with the copper to turn the entire length greenish black fairly quickly. I have some RCA branded 12 gauge wire now 11 years and never oxidized.

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post #65 of 104 Old 07-21-2015, 06:49 PM
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Just sad really! 2+2 equals 4

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post #66 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kluken View Post
Only issue I have with Monoprice wire is it oxidizes quickly. The sheath reacts with the copper to turn the entire length greenish black fairly quickly. I have some RCA branded 12 gauge wire now 11 years and never oxidized.

Really? I have wire here that is over 2 years old. Hasn't changed at all. Do you live in the jungles of Panama ?
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post #67 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
Which are you?
Ray, I confess myself disappointed. I expect such a response from Bill, but not from you, someone I hold in high regard.

Yes, I'm part of the solutions because I address the Original Poster and his problem and questions. That I can see, Bill does little but complain about other posters and derail every discussion.

If Bill thinks seeing the results in dB is such an important issue, instead of grousing and complaining, he would simply provide the data with an explanation that would help the original poster and enlighten us all.

But ...no... apparently he prefers the passive-aggressive approach to derailing discussions.

Certainly you, Ray, are free to hold any opinion you like ... about me or otherwise ... at least you do contribute to discussions in a productive and informative way.

I think I contributed significantly to the discussion. And I think I addressed the Original Poster and his Questions, and I think I provided data to back up my position. I think I added perspective to the answers I gave.

If Bill thinks this is such an important issue, he would simply provide the data with an explanation to put it into perspective, and enlighten us all.

Steve/bluewizard

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post #68 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ufo1922 View Post
so thicker wire = durable?

I am planning on running wires on the floor instead inside the wall~
On the floor ... or under the carpet?

Do you simply mean the wire will be out in the open running along the baseboard?

When wires are under carpet, that's fine as long as they are not in a high traffic area. But in a high traffic area, each time someone steps on the carpet, the carpet squirms slightly under foot and abrades the insulation eventually wearing it away. Though it takes years, it will eventually cause the wire to short.

However, if you are just running wire out in the open, then common Twin Lead wire is fine. It will be the least bulky and least noticeable. Likely you can get it in Black, White, Brown, or Clear.

Depending on the distances, as has already been discussed, either 14ga or 12ga will be fine.




Using a more modest 3% loss, these are the workable distances -



As long as the distance is under 50ft, you should be fine.

Steve/bluewizard

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post #69 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post
Really? I have wire here that is over 2 years old. Hasn't changed at all. Do you live in the jungles of Panama ?
Is it the Monoprice stuff? A google search will show some people have had oxidation issues with Monoprice wire as well as other brands that use cheap sheathing I do live in the south and humidity is high and major portions of the run are through the basement, and while not excessively humid I can see that not helping. All my Monoprice runs are oxidized anywhere I can see them, my 12 year old RCA branded wires are as shiny as when new. It is not unusual for wire to oxidize depending on what material the sheath is made from as it will chemically react with the surface of the copper.


http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=337285

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topi...ire-oxidation/

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topi...peaker-cables/

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topi...ire-oxidation/

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post #70 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kluken View Post
Is it the Monoprice stuff? A google search will show some people have had oxidation issues with Monoprice wire as well as other brands that use cheap sheathing I do live in the south and humidity is high and major portions of the run are through the basement, and while not excessively humid I can see that not helping. All my Monoprice runs are oxidized anywhere I can see them, my 12 year old RCA branded wires are as shiny as when new. It is not unusual for wire to oxidize depending on what material the sheath is made from as it will chemically react with the surface of the copper.


http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=337285

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topi...ire-oxidation/

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topi...peaker-cables/

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topi...ire-oxidation/
I found another potential problem with Monoprice speaker wire.

Here is my post about: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...-aluminum.html


I tested it, as soon as I received it, because of an Amazon review, and I found the exact same thing (one or two scrapes with a knife on the Monoprice wiring made strands become silvery color - for comparison I scraped some 15+ year old copper speaker wire about 12 times and even harder than I had scraped the Monoprice and it did not change color at all.)
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post #71 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kluken View Post
Is it the Monoprice stuff? A google search will show some people have had oxidation issues with Monoprice wire as well as other brands that use cheap sheathing I do live in the south and humidity is high and major portions of the run are through the basement, and while not excessively humid I can see that not helping. All my Monoprice runs are oxidized anywhere I can see them, my 12 year old RCA branded wires are as shiny as when new. It is not unusual for wire to oxidize depending on what material the sheath is made from as it will chemically react with the surface of the copper.


http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=337285

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topi...ire-oxidation/

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topi...peaker-cables/

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topi...ire-oxidation/

Maybe they changed the wire - mine says Monoprice on the partially used spool. I live in Northern California. I've got 7 runs visible in my projector closet, and the left over spool. No change in color - nice bright shiny copper ! Perhaps they make better wire now. I have no complaints !
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post #72 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 05:25 PM
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Here's an easy test:

copper melts at 1,984°F (1,085°C)
aluminum melts at 1,221°F (660.3°C)

Butane/air flame 3578°F (1970°C)

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post #73 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 05:40 PM
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AmirM tested Monoprice speaker wire (along with several others) in the thread I linked on the previous page.

Based on his results, it's copper, not CCA, but not quite the claimed 12 gauge.

EDIT: Oops, sorry, I linked it in another thread,, not the previous page of this one. Here is the link:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-aud...so-much-9.html

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post #74 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 06:09 PM
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I am not singling out Monoprice as I use many of their products. I agree over paying for Monster or other premium cables is nuts, but also some of the cheaper cables use cheap sheathing. That said, the oxidation is more cosmetic than anything else, just annoying when I need to strip ends as I need to clean them up well before putting them back into the speaker binding posts.

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post #75 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
Here's an easy test:

copper melts at 1,984°F (1,085°C)
aluminum melts at 1,221°F (660.3°C)

Butane/air flame 3578°F (1970°C)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL5VUYe_uX8
Thanks. I tried a match and it passed but I learned a match only gets to about 600-800 C
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post #76 of 104 Old 07-22-2015, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post
AmirM tested Monoprice speaker wire (along with several others) in the thread I linked on the previous page.

Based on his results, it's copper, not CCA, but not quite the claimed 12 gauge.

EDIT: Oops, sorry, I linked it in another thread,, not the previous page of this one. Here is the link:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-aud...so-much-9.html
Actually wouldn't that test point to it being CCA?

In that comparison under same test, Monoprice 12AWg is showing 76% more resistance than the Belden.

I would suspect being CCA (if it is) and being slightly thinner than 12 AWG would easily explain that 76%. For example:

1) If CCA - that explains 55% of the 76%:

Source: http://www.belden.com/blog/datacente...or-Failure.cfm which states that all else equal, CCA causes about 55% more resistance than copper wiring.

2) Slightly thinner than spec - the other 21%

As many posters, in various forums in similar discussions, have pointed out, Monoprice speaker wire seems to be a little but noticeably thinner than its advertised gauge, which would very likely explaining the other 21% more resistance.

Also a side note: The Belden article states the following in "How Can I Identify CCA Cable?"

CCA cable is much less expensive than solid copper cable, and it is also noticeably more brittle. It can be easily identified by looking for the silver color at the end of the conductors or by scraping away the thin copper surface on the conductors to reveal the aluminum.

Another sign is weight. Boxes of CCA cable weigh substantially less than solid copper cables. CCCA’s free CableCheck™ mobile app (search “CCCA” from the App Store or from Google Play) includes approximate correct box weights to help identify the use CCA conductors in place of solid copper conductors.


My tests would confirm the first paragraph, and the table in the AVS forum tests shows that the Monoprice product weighs 73% of the standard which would be consistent with the 2nd paragraph on how to detect CCA.

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post #77 of 104 Old 07-23-2015, 12:03 AM
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^You might be right, checker. I have that link I gave bookmarked, but to be honest I've only glanced at it. It does appear that the Monoprice wire is substantially higher resistance than it should be for pure copper 12ga. It might be CCA, not as much aluminum as the Best Buy or Fry's CCA, but CCA nonetheless.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post
^You might be right, checker. I have that link I gave bookmarked, but to be honest I've only glanced at it. It does appear that the Monoprice wire is substantially higher resistance than it should be for pure copper 12ga. It might be CCA, not as much aluminum as the Best Buy or Fry's CCA, but CCA nonetheless.
The retail store generic brands might be even a step-down cheaper and primarily be made of an even less conductive material than aluminum and/or even thinner for advertised gauge.

Also, it would be good to see a test done on Monoprice CL2/2 in-wall wire to see if it is the same as the Monoprice version that was tested (I tested the clear non in-wall and so did the test linked.)

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post #79 of 104 Old 07-23-2015, 09:42 AM
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Hi there,


My friends and I use C&E oxygen free copper wire and can vouch for its excellent quality. Check the wire out (link below):


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o03_s00

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post #80 of 104 Old 07-23-2015, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kluken View Post
I am not singling out Monoprice as I use many of their products. I agree over paying for Monster or other premium cables is nuts, but also some of the cheaper cables use cheap sheathing. That said, the oxidation is more cosmetic than anything else, just annoying when I need to strip ends as I need to clean them up well before putting them back into the speaker binding posts.
I agree that Monster cable is better than needed for most AVR applications. After hearing the difference on my stereo, I tested the XP cable on my AVR and wasn't able to hear any significant difference either single or bi-amped. It seemed counter intuitive to me that I liked the smaller and cheaper XP wire better than the 12 ga. OMC.

Rust oxidation can cause a poor connection although it won't be audible until something fails. Gold plated connectors or tinning the ends with silver solder would be an easy fix. Oxidized silver is still highly conductive.

Last edited by enlisted23; 07-23-2015 at 12:28 PM.
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post #81 of 104 Old 07-23-2015, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by checker9 View Post
Thanks. I tried a match and it passed but I learned a match only gets to about 600-800 C
Try your match on piece of aluminum foil.

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Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
Try your match on piece of aluminum foil.
OTOH try it on an aluminum frying pan. It has to stand up to the temperature of a stove. You can eventually melt a frying pan if you put it atop a burner with nothing in it, but that's a matter of long term heat build up. With aluminum foil 'long term' isn't all that long.
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post #83 of 104 Old 07-23-2015, 01:40 PM
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After seeing this thread I was perusing a pro audio website and saw this.

Approximate signal losses in speaker cable for a 100-foot amplifier-to-speaker distance at various impedances:
10 AWG: 4 Ohm = .44 dB, 8 Ohm = .22 dB, 16 Ohm = .11 dB
12 AWG: 4 Ohm = .69 dB, 8 Ohm = .35 dB, 16 Ohm = .18 dB
14 AWG: 4 Ohm = 1.07 dB, 8 Ohm = .55 dB, 16 Ohm = .28 dB
16 AWG: 4 Ohm = 1.65 dB, 8 Ohm = .86 dB, 16 Ohm = .44 dB
18 AWG: 4 Ohm = 2.49 dB, 8 Ohm = 1.33 dB, 16 Ohm = .69 dB

I didn't do any math to verify accuracy, but it seems like a reasonable enough SWAG to me.

FWIW (and I admit it's not worth much) I like AWG 12 for my speaker wire. No engineering reason at all, I just feel good about #12 . It fits most AVR and speaker terminals and is easy to work with, readily available and if you are already paying for wire it's not to much more expensive.

Regards,
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When a man asks a question like should I get this for more money or that for less money, there is an internal conscious/subconcious struggle going on that's based on what you know and what you're just not sure of. In a situation like this, which is the equivalent of getting a half-way decent lap dance with no tipping, I say get the thicker wire and if you've got extra money, treat yourself to a lap dance.
This is a GREAT analogy
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post #85 of 104 Old 07-24-2015, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by chashint View Post
Approximate signal losses in speaker cable for a 100-foot amplifier-to-speaker distance at various impedances:
10 AWG: 4 Ohm = .44 dB, 8 Ohm = .22 dB, 16 Ohm = .11 dB
12 AWG: 4 Ohm = .69 dB, 8 Ohm = .35 dB, 16 Ohm = .18 dB
14 AWG: 4 Ohm = 1.07 dB, 8 Ohm = .55 dB, 16 Ohm = .28 dB
Now I'm wondering if there would be any benefit for an in-wall run to use stranded speaker wire instead of solid core 14/2 or 12/2 residential wire?
I'd assume that the solid wire would have lower DC resistance than equivalent gauge stranded wire.
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Originally Posted by enlisted23 View Post
Now I'm wondering if there would be any benefit for an in-wall run to use stranded speaker wire instead of solid core 14/2 or 12/2 residential wire?
I'd assume that the solid wire would have lower DC resistance than equivalent gauge stranded wire.
The difference would be miniscule. Look at that chart again. Anything less than 1dB is inaudible. Of all the 10-14ga choices listed only 14ga with a 4ohm load has audible insertion loss, and that just barely.
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post #87 of 104 Old 07-25-2015, 10:08 AM
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The more I read, the more I confuse.
Everywhere I've read, it seems that 12-awg is better than 14-awg in every aspect.
Larger gauge wire has less resistance, hence less loss, therefore it should be better in the longer run. Am I right?
My head is spinning.
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post #88 of 104 Old 07-25-2015, 11:45 AM
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The above mentioned C & E is also a HD item but not usually stocked in 12 ga.

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post #89 of 104 Old 07-25-2015, 11:52 AM
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^ my bad

HD is not C&E,
they stock CE TECH, and no further info wrt content or OF

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinhvo View Post
The more I read, the more I confuse.
Everywhere I've read, it seems that 12-awg is better than 14-awg in every aspect.
Larger gauge wire has less resistance, hence less loss, therefore it should be better in the longer run. Am I right?
Look up the definition of 'inaudible'. If the insertion loss of 14ga. is inaudible then using 12ga. can't make it more inaudible. In most average applications even 16ga has inaudible insertion loss.
Bill Fitzmaurice is offline  
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