1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

Speaker Wire - 14 ga.......is this ok

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Brad Newton, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. Brad Newton

    Brad Newton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    Messages:
    387
    Likes Received:
    0
    for all of the speakers. The rears will need a length of 35' to run through the crawl space and up through the floor. The fronts/center will not need as long a run length. Is 14 gauge ok to use?
     
  2. Mathew Shelby

    Mathew Shelby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    0
    The general consensus seems to be that the longer the run, the thicker gauge of cable to use. If you are referring to whether it will work or not, surely it will. Wouldn't you rather spend a little more now than wonder down the road if the sound could be better with the 12g wire?
     
  3. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think 12ga Oxygen free cable is the sweet spot that most people agree on. Sure there will be audiophiles claiming cables make a *noticable* difference and others that will claim that it doesn't matter. But I think overall the general consensus will be that 12ga will handle anything.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some high-end speaker sites (not wire sites) recommend the following thickness based on run-length:

    1-10 ft: 16 ga
    11-20 ft: 14 ga
    20+ ft: 12 ga

    Most of us buy a spool of 12 ga and use it everywhere.

    The only people who claimed could hear the roll-off of 15 ft of thin wire were using:

    - 200+ watts per channel amps
    - Panel speakers
    - High end 'transport'
    - CD based 2-channel music

    The rear channel sounds of a HT system is nowhere near the same situation as this audiophile-grade 2 channel music system.

    So you CAN get away with 14 ga to the rears and not notice any difference.

    PS: Make sure to run 3 runs of speaker wires to the rear. That rear-center speaker is becoming popular (dolby-EX). The wire is cheap compared to your labor.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,572
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    12 ga. is overkill in most cases, unless you are talking about higher end gear. 12ga WILL handle just about anything.

    I don't know which sights Bob is referring to, but here is a wire length chart stating that 16 ga is good to 50' MAX, and 14 will handle 50 and over with no problems.:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~rogerr7/wire.htm

    I have had 3 30' runs for my surrounds with no perceptible attenuation or sound degredation. BUT, it also matters how much power you are running, how much current the speakers require, and the quality of the wire. These sites that Bob is referring to may be basing their recommendations on specific speakers in high current demand conditions, similar to what he notes in his post.

    Bob also notes to run 3 sets of wires...while you're at it, maybe you should run 4, for 7.1 just in case [​IMG]

    IMO, quality wire DOES make a difference.
     
  6. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1998
    Messages:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    0
    While 12 gauge wire may be overkill, calling for it makes the instructions simpler to say, and not having to add qualifications such as:

    If you don't turn the volume up to thundering levels, you can get by with thinner speaker wires.

    4 ohm speakers require thicker wire than 8 ohm speakers, all other things being equal.

    More bass requires thicker wires.

    Some speakers are less efficient which means more power and therefore thicker wires for the same sound volume.

    Severl months (over a year?) ago someone posted on this forum a table showing lengths, speaker impedances, and wire gauges. I would rather not go into a lengthy discourse on that at this time.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,572
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I'm not picking on you Allan, it's just that the question was "Is 14ga OK?" and the short answer is yes, without taking the specific gear into question. Of course, that also means 12ga will work as well. For surrounds, which see less duty, 12ga may not be 100% necessary.
     

Share This Page