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Upgrading speaker wire?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Patri858, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Patri858

    Patri858 Well-Known Member

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    I have an Onkyo HT-S5100 and I was woundering what difference a better guage of speaker wire will have on the quality of sound. The wires that came with the system are very thin and do not look like they are very good quality. This is the same with the subwoofer cable. Does anyone have any suggestions and what do you think I can expect by changing to the wires. The room is pretty small about 11' by 14' so the cable will not be running very long.

    Thanks
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    You aren't going to get a significant change in sound, but going to a heavier guage wire will not hurt. Sub sounds are the lowest frequencies and are probably not effected by much in the way of cable quality. Basically, you could send sub frequencies through a coat hanger and not suffer loss of quality.

    The single biggest thing you can do to improve sound from a HT is to calibrate the speaker levels. If you haven't done this, do it immediately. You can get 100 times the improvement from calibration than you would from new wires.

    And if you do buy new wires, don't waste your money on Monster or anything like that. Extruding copper wire is something that's been done for hundreds of years, and there is nothing special about what Monster does that makes their wires are any better than your average 10 cents a foot Home Depot lamp cord.
     
  3. Richard Ferns

    Richard Ferns Active Member

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    Is'nt regular 14 guage wire the best way to go for any speaker setup ?
     
  4. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    14 gauge is probably good enough for most systems but 12g is the default recommendation. And if the run is long enough or ampifier strong enough I'd say 10 gauge might be better.
     
  5. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Well-Known Member

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    Jeff,

    Now now....Anyone who's anyone knows that Monster Cable uses a proprietary process where the copper is forged with the hammer of Thor and then cold drawn through dies made from iron smelted from Mt.Vesuvius, and the final product gets a liberal sprinkling of magic pixie dust just to add some "air" to the mid range.
     
  6. Patri858

    Patri858 Well-Known Member

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    Ok sounds good. Thanks for all your help. What do you think about blue jean cable. Its not to expensive and I have heard alot about it on this forum?
     
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    Blue Jeans is great. Great prices and great service.
     
  8. toddbigeasy

    toddbigeasy Member

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    so honestly, lamp cord from Home Depot will work ok?
     
  9. jakewash

    jakewash Member

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    Lamp cord of the proper gauge size from Home Depot would work.

    As far the idea of needing anything over 12 gauge, unless you are running 1000's of watts with over 100A 14-12 gauge is really all anyone needs and 14 guage is sufficient for most home systems as long as the run isn't really long.

    Google speaker wire length and you will find a plethora of sites detailing the right guage wire to length, but as I said 14 gauge works for just about anything most people would need.

    Monoprice.com is another great place to look for wire/cables.
     
  10. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    Yup, copper is copper. The differences in current flow between the very best and the very lowest grades of copper used in wiring are going to be inaudible. Monster and other premium cables, at least the cables that do not use anything to purposefully color the sound from the original, are nothing more than lamp cord with a dressed up jacket.
     
  11. Patri858

    Patri858 Well-Known Member

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    I think ill go with 300ft 14AWG from monoprice for $56. Thanks for recommending the site Jason, and thanks for all the other help I received.
     

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