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


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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 Brad Newton

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Posted June 20 2003 - 02:29 PM

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?
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#2 of 7 Mathew Shelby

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Posted June 20 2003 - 02:43 PM

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 of 7 Ernest Yee

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Posted June 20 2003 - 03:37 PM

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 of 7 Bob McElfresh

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Posted June 20 2003 - 04:58 PM

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 of 7 John Garcia

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Posted June 22 2003 - 04:24 AM

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.earthlin...ogerr7/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 Posted Image

IMO, quality wire DOES make a difference.
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#6 of 7 Allan Jayne

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Posted June 24 2003 - 01:05 AM

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.c...ynejr/video.htm
.

#7 of 7 John Garcia

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Posted June 24 2003 - 06:46 AM

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.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein