Cable thickness - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-03-2019, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Cable thickness

Just moved from an old HTIB to an AVR+speakers (5.1). The question is around wiring - more specifically, around wire thickness.
I already have wires laid behind the walls from the old HTIB. Those leading to the front & center are 1.5 mm.sq. (AWG 16). Those leading to the rear speakers are thinner (no labeling, but I would estimate AWG 18, so around 1 sq.mm.).
The AVR can put out 125W per channel and the speakers are rated for 150W continuous (50-300W variable) output. Speakers are 8 Ohm and the AVR recommends 6-16 Ohm.
The cable length to the front speakers is ~15 meters (50 feet), the rears are much closer (3-4m / 10-12 feet).

The big question is: can I use the existing cables (particularly for the front/center, I could redo the wiring for the rears) without fear of frying either the AVR or the speakers (or melting the wires)? As you can tell, I am a total newbie when it comes to this.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-04-2019, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hetfield80 View Post
The big question is: can I use the existing cables (particularly for the front/center, I could redo the wiring for the rears) without fear of frying either the AVR or the speakers (or melting the wires)?
Yes.



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post #3 of 14 Old 07-14-2019, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I hate coming back and admitting my mistakes. Got a closer look at the installed cables and they are AWG 22.
It appears that I had extended the longer wires as I couldn't get them to the desired length and as such ended up thinking they are thicker. Today I wanted to do the install and figured out at source that the wires are actually thinner.

Still safe to wire with AWG 22 (8 Ohm / 100W speakers, 125W per channel from the AVR, maximum length is about 50 feet/15 meters)?
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-14-2019, 08:58 AM
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22 AWG is really thin. Especially at 50'.
Personally, I (and probably everyone would agree) would never use 22AWG in any situation. Except a doorbell.


Re-wire and use 14 AWG all around IMHO.
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-14-2019, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. Back to the shop I guess.
The secondary trouble is that the twist connectors on the AVR seem to have a hard time taking 2.5 sq.mm. wire (closest US equivalent to that would be AWG 13). I think I will go for 1.5 sq.mm (between AWG 15 and AWG 16) and be done with it.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-14-2019, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hetfield80 View Post
...
The secondary trouble is that the twist connectors on the AVR seem to have a hard time taking 2.5 sq.mm. wire (closest US equivalent to that would be AWG 13). I think I will go for 1.5 sq.mm (between AWG 15 and AWG 16) and be done with it.
Why not use banana connectors at the receiver or spade lugs. Then you are not really limited to wire size.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-14-2019, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Why not use banana connectors at the receiver or spade lugs. Then you are not really limited to wire size.
Gosh am I total newbie. The stock photo of the back of the AVR (Denon AVR-3312) shows indeed holes for banana plugs.
Mine seems to have the holes on the speaker connections covered up (there's no hole at the very top as visible in the picture), so I didn't even think of banana plugs.
I'll see tomorrow how/if they can be removed and report back.
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-15-2019, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
22 AWG is really thin. Especially at 50'.
Personally, I (and probably everyone would agree) would never use 22AWG in any situation. Except a doorbell.


Re-wire and use 14 AWG all around IMHO.
Dang, 22 ga. is telephone wire. I like 14 ga. also. If You start using bigger stuff you may have trouble getting it to fit many connectors.

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post #9 of 14 Old 07-15-2019, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Skytrooper View Post
Dang, 22 ga. is telephone wire.
Yeah. Plenty of it for sale since most folks don't use hardline phones anymore.



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post #10 of 14 Old 07-15-2019, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hetfield80 View Post
...
Mine seems to have the holes on the speaker connections covered up (there's no hole at the very top as visible in the picture), so I didn't even think of banana plugs.
I'll see tomorrow how/if they can be removed and report back.
Post a picture. Consider spade connectors then?
https://www.parts-express.com/1-4-to...pair--091-3616
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-15-2019, 01:19 PM
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Picture here:



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post #12 of 14 Old 07-15-2019, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
Post a picture. Consider spade connectors then?
https://www.parts-express.com/1-4-to...pair--091-3616
Those will work fine, also there are probably plastic plugs in the holes for the banana plugs on the back of your AVR.
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-16-2019, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by liffie420 View Post
Those will work fine, also there are probably plastic plugs in the holes for the banana plugs on the back of your AVR.
Yep that's it. I removed one to test and indeed there are the holes for the banana plugs (being delivered tomorrow).
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-21-2019, 03:58 AM - Thread Starter
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So - happy to report the complex task of removing the plastic covers, setting banana plugs on the 2.5 sq. mm. and inserting the wires into the newly-discovered holes has been successfully completed on time and within budget.
The receiver speaker tuning does report a "phase error" on FL speaker for unknown reasons; it does sound fine and I checked the wiring to ensure it is not cross-linked, so I will just leave it as it is.
Next / last project item: remove the wall panels, remove the old 22 AWG cables, lay the 13 AWG ones, install panels back. Happy Sunday!
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