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I have kind of a weird question. It really doesn't pertain to anything I am doing in my HT but this question arose when we were talking about stuff and neither one of us knew the answer. Ok, here is the question. If someone were hooking up some surround speakers(or any speakers for that matter) and ran 12 gauge wire back there to a certain point and then spliced it with 18 gauge wire, would that be equivalent to just running 18 gauge wire all the way back there or would it be better to run the 12 gauge to as far as you could then run the rest as 18 gauge? If anyone knows I would appreciate whatever feedback anyone has.Thanks.


P.S. I know most people would say just run 12 gauge all the way to the speaker and quit being a cheap ass, but we were asking in reference to running speaker wire and then splicing it with some Decorp flatwire which i belive is 18 gauge, so that way the wire could run right up the wall and be painted to match the wall.
 

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Series resistance simply adds. Any resistance that the 18 awg adds to the circuit, will simply add to whatever resistance the 12 awg will add to the circuit. The 12 awg just simply won't add as much resistance as the 18 awg does. However, were talking wire so neither is going add much resistance anyway, unless you're talking really long runs.
 

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THink of it this way. It's not like putting a restrictor on a water pipe. Assuming that the wire is big enough to handle all the current going through it without heating up, then little wire is simply adding resistance faster than thicker wire.
 

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Based on the research of the folks at McIntosh years ago, 18 gauge is large enough for a 30' run with 8 ohm speakers without an audible difference with larger wire. It will be only 15' with 4 ohm speakers. If your total run is less than or equal to that, do whatever is convenient. If it is longer, you will have to make part or all of you run larger to get the same results. If you have to make part of it larger, you might as well make as much as possible larger unless there is a significant extra cost associated with doing so. If your run is over about 50', you may have to take in to account things besides resistance.
 
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