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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at Monster Standard THX 16ga wire.. The reason why I don't like 12ga wire is cause it is too big and ugly + it tends to be very expensive.


This wire is very very low cost, and I was wondering if 16ga is not good enough...
 

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Quote:
I don't like 12ga wire is cause it is too big and ugly
I thought bigger was better... isn't that why the boutique cable people are getting $1000 per meter for garden-hose-sized cables? :rolleyes:


Seriously, with Home Depot 12ga cable at something like 50 cents/foot, I can't understand going with anything smaller. Thirty feet is a pretty long run; 16 ga would be undesirable (in my humble opinion, of course).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry... I meant for long runs.. having 4 huge 12ga cables with large jackets running 30 feet back is very cluttered looking...


You are right... I should probably go for 12.. but I am just wondering..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, is it undesireable to use different speaker wire for your surround speakers than the kind used for the fronts?? It would seem so, but I don't know for sure.
 

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The desired power is also important. For anything around 100 W/ch or less, 16 is fine for 30'. Now, if you're in the 200 W/ch range, then you need a larger gauge. I'm talking about the power you'll actually send to the speakers, not the amp's rating.
 

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I have mixed feelings. :)


I've been running 30 ft zip cord (16 gauge) to my surrounds (& rears) for 8 years now. (DPL, DD, DD EX, Logic 7) The brown and white spools you can get at Radio Shack.


In my system, it's perfectly acceptable, *and* I have seen knowledgeable people say that that is fine.


But I've just now gone through and upgraded my interconnects, power cords, and now to speaker wire. (Nothing expensive, mind you, just that I've become fanatical about shielding and cross talk.)


I'm going for the 13 gauge Canare 4s8 from markertek.com that is only $0.40/ft. Plus, it's of twisted pair design for it's own shielding.


Not because I think I'm going to get any benefit at all, but it gets me to the point where I don't have to think about it anymore.
 

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Larry Fine has it right. It somewhat depends on the current and the speakers. If you are only running 6" cubes capable of only 20 watts with 8 ohm minimum then you are likely OK with 16 AWG. For more demanding speakers and higher watts then I would generally say that 14 AWG is a more respectable minimum. For really demanding speakers, 10 ohms may be necessary for the best sound.


I have about a 25 foot run in my demo room and found that going from 16 AWG had a rather large sonic impact in my case. The sonic difference going from 14 AWG to 12 AWG was noticable but not as significant (cable geometry remaining constant).


Julian
 

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...or, you can always get some Sound King 12ga wires from partsexpress.com 50ft run for $21.50 and some inexpensive Dayton banana plugs from them as well.
 

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Hook one speak up to 12ga and one up to 16 ga and see if you can tell the difference. If you can't tell a difference, smile and put your money in your pocket.
 

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Starting tomorrow I'm running ~2,000 feet of Home Depot 12-2 twisted pair in-wall wire in my house. (I have vaulted ceilings, and am running redundant pairs anywhere I might possibly want speakers before the roof goes back on!)


The wire was about $125 for a 500 ft roll. The wire is by no means unwieldly. As I posted earlier, I'll bi-wire with the redundant pairs just for grins (and to avoid having to stuff the extra wires someplace).


Hard to imagine it's worth the savings to go with a lower gauge wire.
 

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Richard, three words about your wire runs: Label, label, label!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Larry Fine
Richard, three words about your wire runs: Label, label, label!
I ran about 1500 feet of speaker wire into about 12 locations in my house when I built in in 1997. Problem is, I didn't label them where they came out at the amp. So now when I want to hook up a new set up speakers, it takes a little while to find the right pair. Wish you would have posted this a few years ago;)
 

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The installer at my house showed me a trick to find the right speaker wires. Take a 9 volt battery and touch the speaker wire to each terminal. It will make a clicking noise in the speaker. Voila!
 
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