twisted speaker wire?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by EddieMata, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. EddieMata

    EddieMata Agent

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    Hi everyone!

    I may be beating a dead horse, but is there an adverse/enhanced effect between twisted wire and side by side? (used for speaker wire)

    THANK for sharing the knowledge!
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Twisted wire is better for RF and EMI rejection. However, this is typically not a problem with high-level signals like amplifier outputs.

    Bottom line, if you have twisted use it. But I wouldn’t deep-six perfectly good and already-paid-for “regular” speaker wire for it.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. EddieMata

    EddieMata Agent

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    THANKS Wayne

    I haven't made a purchase yet, but want to upgrade the current 16ga wire to 12 or 10 gauge.

    Is there a difference in Car audio and Home audio wire?
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    As far as function goes, no.
     
  5. Steven_Jobe

    Steven_Jobe Stunt Coordinator

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    Well if I were you I wouldn't waste my time or money on this. The lower guage wire will make no difference unless you are running extremely long runs. Not to mention most wire inside speaker cabinets are 14guage meaning it would be nearly pointless to go lower.
     
  6. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    >>> Not to mention most wire inside speaker cabinets are 14guage meaning it would be nearly pointless to go lower ...

    I beg to differ. In this case there is some degradation (probably unnoticeable if the run is under 20 feet) with 16 gauge cables from receiver to speaker terminals compared with 12 gauge cables, and also some degradation from the run of 14 gauge wire compared with 12 gauge from the speaker terminals to the speaker voice coil inside the cabinet (probably unnoticeable given the short length). Upgrading to 12 gauge cables will eliminate the first amount of degradation while leaving the second amount of degradation unchanged.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    The issue isn’t so much “degradation” as it is “resistance.” Certainly, larger gauge wire offers less resistance. Whether or not that offers an improvement in sound quality depends on the speakers you’re using.

    A speaker’s impedance rating is merely a nominal figure. In actuality, the speaker’s impedance is frequency-dependant, and can drop as low as a couple of ohms, or even less, and get very high – say 50-ohms or more – at various frequencies. Some speakers are a more “reactive” load, with wildly-varying impedances; others are fairly stable and flat throughout the frequency spectrum. Most speakers are somewhere between those two extremes.

    This is why you get varying reports on whether or not upgradng speaker wire improves the sound - it's pretty much dependant on the speakers in question.

    With that as a background, it should be easy to see why the size and length of speaker wire, and it’s inherent resistance factor, would affect a speaker that dips to low impedances, or if it uses, say, 2-ohm drivers. When the impedences are that low, anything added (or not) by the speaker wire will probably be readily audible, especially of the low impedances are happening in the critical range between 80 - 8kHz.

    However, wire gauge becomes less of a factor when speakers have a relatively stable impedance curve, or one that seldom dips below say, 8-ohms. With speakers like this, 16-gauge wire is usually adequate, except perhaps for a very long run, and it’s likely you won’t hear any difference if you switch to larger gauge wire. Also, wire gauge will be more critical with the front speakers than the rear surrounds, as the latter are only producing secondary, ambient sounds.

    But who wants to take the time and trouble to evaluate their speakers with various gauges of wire? Bottom line, you can’t go wrong with larger gauge wire; that’s why most people here recommend it. If there are budgetary concerns, cut corners on the rear wire and get 12 or at least 14 for the fronts.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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