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Speaker Wire? What size?


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#1 of 19 Jonathan Larson

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Posted April 01 2004 - 07:11 AM

Hey guys,

I was wondering what size speaker wire you prefer, I'm looking to power 2 500 watt (peak) towers. I need some good speaker wire, and I am looking at Monster Cable right now and I think they have the good stuff, I'm not sure though, I hear they make the best speaker cable.

Thanks

#2 of 19 ChrisWiggles

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Posted April 01 2004 - 08:01 AM

MOnster is decent stuff, but usually discussed as being overpriced. any 12gauge wire will do fine, you can get big spools at parts express, home depot, etc etc.

#3 of 19 Jonathan Larson

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Posted April 01 2004 - 08:36 AM

Hey,

You prefer 12 gauge over 16, will 16 work or is that too small? I found a place that I can get 16 guage, 100 ft, for $48 dollars, that sound good? You tell me though, what is better for sound, bass, etc....... 12 or 16?

Thanks

#4 of 19 Steve Adams

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Posted April 01 2004 - 08:47 AM

the wattage of the speakers is irrelavant. what are you powering them with? How far is the distance the speaker are away from the power source? these thing you will need to tell me. 12 guage is overkill in most apps...
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#5 of 19 Aaron Gilbert

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Posted April 01 2004 - 08:51 AM

It depends on many factors. Whether 16 gauge will be adequate for you will depend on how long the run of wire is from your amp/receiver, what impedance your speakers are, and how much power you will actually be using. I doubt you will get anywhere near 500w unless they are grossly inefficient speakers. The gauge is far more important than the brand. 12ga zip cord from Home Depot will be just as good as 12ga monster cable in sound quality. $48 is way too much to spend for 100' of 16ga speaker wire, when it can be had for 1/3 of that cost. For reference, Monster Cable says that their 16ga THX certified speaker wire is ok up to 24' long for the fronts and 48' long for the surrounds.

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#6 of 19 Steve Adams

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Posted April 01 2004 - 09:12 AM

Im a fan of 14 ga wire for everything but huge run's...and I get it for 25c a ft. great deal.
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#7 of 19 Jonathan Larson

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Posted April 01 2004 - 10:55 AM

Guys,

The towers are 500 watts (PEAK) each, they will be set no more than 5 feet away from the receiver. So I will probably be using no more than 10 feet of cable to power them. So, you guys got me thinking, I really don't need a 100 foot roll, so what do you think about a 30 foot roll? I can get Monster Cable 16 gauge, 30FT roll for $17 dollars. I'm going to power these towers with a Harman Kardon 3480 stereo receiver, 120 watts x 2. So what do you guys think, go with the Monster Cable or go to Home Depot and get the 12 gauge stuff, seriously though, I have never seen this stuff at Home Depot, is it for Audio?

Thanks, very helpful.

#8 of 19 ChrisWiggles

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Posted April 01 2004 - 11:00 AM

16 gauge is pretty flimsy, get the 12 gauge 100 feet wont be too much more, maybe 25-25 bucks for some regular speaker wire. Parts express is great too. I got a 250foot roll of 12 gauge at Lowes, i forget what all it cost, i think it was like 70 bucks or something.

#9 of 19 Steve Adams

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Posted April 01 2004 - 11:47 AM

all you need is the 14 ga wire. works great. 14 ga is all you need for runs of 25ft or less unless your have a amp that pumps out 500 or more per ch.!
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#10 of 19 TimMc

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Posted April 01 2004 - 02:20 PM

If you go the Home Depot route, why not go buy the outdoor extension power cable (you can get 14 or even 12AWG)? If you don't know this reference, you can probably so a search on Quad and Home Depot and speaker wire and all that stuff (it's worth the search...).

You could buy a single 25' cord & cut it in half, it makes one heck of a fashion statement (the 14 gauge is orange, the 12 is neon yellow), and it'll sound just grand. If you don't find the references to Quad speakers using this stuff at a London HiFi show then I think there's also a review in The Absolute Sound that also likes Home Depot wire. It will be less that $17, and it will be so cool...

#11 of 19 slammy77

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Posted December 15 2007 - 04:17 PM

I just got the Klipsch RS-42 surrounds (8 ohm 94db sensitivity) for Christmas (wife won't let me open them yet [Posted Image] ) and I'm looking for some wire now... The wire will be going from a wall plate behind the receiver up an 8 foot wall, across the ceiling 18 ft to the back of the room, and down the back wall which of course is also 8 ft. That's 34' so far. The ceiling is a vaulted, which makes the math not work out so simply, so I'm estimating 50 feet of wire will be necessary for each speaker.

Assuming my calculations are correct, will this speaker wire serve me well?

http://www.amazon.co....7781108&sr=8-6



It's 14 gauge speaker wire 99.9% oxygen free copper, about $0.23 per foot.


Or do I need to make sure I get 14/2 wire?

#12 of 19 slammy77

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Posted December 15 2007 - 04:18 PM

If that wire is too expensive or if it's insufficient for some reason, please post me a link to a place where I can buy what I need. Thanx in advance for the advice.

#13 of 19 Brian Alley

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Posted March 28 2012 - 06:12 AM

Any 14/2 speaker wire will do unless you're running super high power (over 500w). The key is to use jacketed for in-wall, and to stay away from A/C wiring. IF your full size mains are more than 100ft, then go to 12ga., mainly to prevent clipping, more than actual drop. Don't buy Monster products. Every single thing they sell is way overpriced, and marketed with nonsensical terms, to rip you off. Monster invented the cable scam when they took regular speaker wire and put a fat clear jacket on it to make it look bigger, then started adding other worthless or exaggerated claims. Every claim they make to justify their ridiculous prices can be debunked. ALL copper wire is "99.9%" oxygen free in order to prevent (shock), OXIDATION. Go figure. Only the scam artists like Monster actually list it, because it looks like something special that only they do. They also do that with their cables (nitrogen injected dielectric, bla bla bla). All nonsense. They are really abusing HDMI, because they know people don't understand digital. They claim to produce richer colors, better sound, etc. BS. As long as a cable has good contact between the wire and connector, and the connector fits the jack well, you will get an IDENTICAL picture and sound to any other cable. Gold does not make a better connection, either. They use it to raise the price. Nickel works just as well and is a lot cheaper usually. Gold is good for corrosive environments, like a car, or outdoors, because it's a lot more corrosion resistant. Indoors, with normal humidity, it's not needed. NEVER pay more than $1 per foot for cables, and .25 per foot for speaker wire. Anything more and you're wasting money to make someone else rich.

#14 of 19 Mr645

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Posted March 29 2012 - 12:23 AM

My views on speaker cable are a little different. Now going back about 10 years ago I met a very helpful owner of a high end audio retailer. I had just bought a pair of Vandersteen 2Ce speakers and he suggested cables. He gave me a 10' set of cables that cost $99 and another set that sold for $999. I went home, hired my brother to keep changing cables from the $99 set to the $999 set to the wire I had been using, regular 14 ga speaker wire from a spool. I was able to pick out the 14ga spool wire every time. Even without knowing what cable was being used, I was able to pick out the name brand cables, the $99 and $999 cables from the 14ga wire every time. Then I was right around 50/50 when picking between the $99 cables and the $999 cables. I went back to the dealer and bought the $99 cables, Straight Wire Quartet cables. A great deal for a nice improvement in sound for only $99. The cables are still in use today,

#15 of 19 John Garcia

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Posted March 29 2012 - 03:37 AM

This is all you really need to know regarding size. It is science, not magic. The length of run and the load presented over that distance determines the wire AWG you need: http://www.roger-rus...e.htm#wiretable

My views on speaker cable are a little different. Now going back about 10 years ago I met a very helpful owner of a high end audio retailer. I had just bought a pair of Vandersteen 2Ce speakers and he suggested cables. He gave me a 10' set of cables that cost $99 and another set that sold for $999. I went home, hired my brother to keep changing cables from the $99 set to the $999 set to the wire I had been using, regular 14 ga speaker wire from a spool. I was able to pick out the 14ga spool wire every time. Even without knowing what cable was being used, I was able to pick out the name brand cables, the $99 and $999 cables from the 14ga wire every time. Then I was right around 50/50 when picking between the $99 cables and the $999 cables. I went back to the dealer and bought the $99 cables, Straight Wire Quartet cables. A great deal for a nice improvement in sound for only $99. The cables are still in use today,

If they weren't all 14AWG then the test was invalid.
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#16 of 19 Brian Alley

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Posted April 03 2012 - 03:53 AM

If they weren't all 14AWG then the test was invalid.

The whole post is invalid without the wire size, driving power, speaker efficiency, etc. If he was running high power to low efficiency/impedance, then the regular 14 may very well cause clipping, which is easy for even a layman to detect.

#17 of 19 ShowMeCables

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Posted April 25 2012 - 08:25 AM

I've seen a number a places that sell speaker wire by the foot. No need to buy excess when not needed

#18 of 19 Mike Thomass

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Posted April 25 2012 - 09:53 AM

http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=100-024 12awg OFC less than $50 for 50 feet

#19 of 19 John Garcia

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Posted April 26 2012 - 06:39 AM

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=100-024 12awg OFC less than $50 for 50 feet

A dollar a foot is what I'd call average, not cheap. You can get basically the same thing off Amazon for less than half the price. That isn't a knock against Parts Express either, because I buy a lot of stuff from them.
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