XP or 12 gauge speaker wire???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Neal Siva, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. Neal Siva

    Neal Siva Agent

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    I just went to Home Depot and purchased their XP Monster Cable speaker wire. I got 112 feet for $32. They didn't have enough 12 guage, which would have sold for roughly the same. However, from reading the information here, the XP is only 15 guage, and I am really concerned with the sound quality. I have the NSP1 package, and I have the XBox, and want to have the best connection for 5.1. The longest speaker wire run I need is around 30 feet. Is the XP better than the Home Depot wire, or should I return it and get the 12 guage from another Home Depot, since there is another one closeby. I would really appreciate some advice.
     
  2. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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  3. shane_watson

    shane_watson Stunt Coordinator

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    neal, i used the xp wire for my surrounds but you really need to try and use 12 gauge for your mains and center channel,
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  5. Neal Siva

    Neal Siva Agent

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    Thanks for the quick responses. I'll be going to get the 12 gauge today at Lowes. People here recommend the Home Depot 12 gauge, but is it o.k. if I went with the one at Lowes? Their the same right? And if they have different varities of 12 gauge, what should I look for? Thanks again.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Not nocking you, but while the N24s are good, they are not so good that this will make a huge difference. What receiver?
     
  7. Neal Siva

    Neal Siva Agent

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  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    It says that the receiver included is only capable of 80Hz to 20Khz. Your subs may not even be receiving the 20Hz they are capable of. With a better receiver, I would say the larger gauge wire would make a difference, but it may not with that one. The lack of low frequency handling would tend to indicate a low current receiver to me. Where the larger gauge wire will benefit you by passing more current/voltage, but if the receiver can't deliver it, it may be of little or no benefit.

    I've been using XP for my surrounds, right around 30' runs, for a few years, and it does the job just fine. I did an experiment with my bedroom system, I went from 14ga wires to 10ga with ~3' runs and there was a noticable improvement (Marantz SR4000, Paradigm Mini Monitors, stereo, no sub).
     
  9. Merrill

    Merrill Extra

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    Does anyone know the gauge for the Monster Cable XP? It's what they are pushing at all the "mainstream" electronics stores I've been to. I keep hearing 12 gauge would be good for my surrounds (35 feet) but I couldn't find any at Best Buy and the like.
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i also use xp for my rears. i have no clue what the gauge is (kinda looks like 16g) but it's DEFINITELY NOT 12g. seems to work fine for me, but i've never tested running low-gauge to my rears so i can't really say whether there is a benefit or not.
    as a general rule, i think it's a good idea to get the lowest gauge you can all around. i would have done so had i used my brain the first time. [​IMG]
     
  11. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    To me, there was no improvement in detail, but bass seemed noticably improved. The speakers were not moved at all, since I have access to them where they sit right now. The 14ga. was old, but so was the 10ga., I did however cut about 1 ft off the 10ga and start with clean ends, while the 14ga was using it's old connections. I did expect a difference, but I was skeptical. I didn't do any SPL readings. It sounded good before, so I wasn't acutally looking for an improvement, just an experiment because I had the 10ga laying around for a while from my old floorstanders.
     
  13. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    John, actually in looking at the specs of that JBL package, it looks as if it will handle 20Hz to 20Khz but most likely has a built in crossover at 80Hz. The power specs list 80Hz to 20Khz for the 5 channels and then 20-80Hz for the subwoofer. In a quick scan, it looks like it only has support for a passive sub setup - i.e. it's doesn't have a sub pre-out RCA jack.
    I would say you'll be fine with the XP cable. The general rule of getting the highest (or lowest depending on how you think about it [​IMG] ) gauge cable you can is a good one to follow. The only thing to remember is that sometimes the binding posts on certain equipment will have a hard time taking the thicker cable. I personally use in-wall rated AR 14 gauge cable to binding post face plates and then use Acoustic Research 16 gauge to run from the face plates to the speakers. I use this set up for all the speakers downstairs other than the center and the two HT front speakers in the "home theater" room.
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  15. Neal Siva

    Neal Siva Agent

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    Hey, thanks for the advice. Went and got some 12 gauge wire at Home Depot. While I was slicing the wires along the middle so I could connect them to the binding posts, I accidently sliced a portion of insulation, and have some exposed copper. How detrimental is this to my electrical signal? I'm thinking I might have to go back to get some more wire to compensate for my carelessness.
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Exposed wire is not good. It is not necessarily an electrical hazzard, but it will degrade signal and does open you up to the possibility of shorting out your receiver. It will oxidize from there and spread. If it is at one end or the other and you can cut it back with enough left over, do that or maybe just cover it up with shrink wrap. If it is in the middle somewhere and would make the cable too short, replace it. The cable won't oxidize immediately to the point where it will cause a problem with the sound, so you have a while to replace it. Cover it up with electrical tape at least for now.
     
  17. Phill O

    Phill O Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Merril, I found some 10gage(& from 24 to 8gage)
    speaker wire from a electronics supply house.
    In Tucson, There is Elliots Electronics. I'm sure
    that you can find some place like that in Phoenix!
    The nice thing is that the wire had all the nice
    features:
    Cheap $0.99 a foot
    Did I mention that it was 10Gage?
    oxygen free copper wiring
    Made in the U.S.A.

    Good luck.
     

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