-

Jump to content



Photo

Speaker cable gauge question?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   DaveJJ

DaveJJ

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 80 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 20 1999

Posted March 01 2001 - 10:25 AM

What is the ideal gauge for speaker cable? I am a using 18 gauge right now for my speakers and my receiver output is 100watts.


DaveJJ Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Have Fun Guys! My HT

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

Patrick Sun

    Studio Mogul

  • 37,754 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1999

Posted March 01 2001 - 10:29 AM

Can't go wrong with 12 gauge oxygen free cables.


------------------
PatCave ; HT Pix ; Gear ; Sunosub I + III ; DVDs ; LDs
"Jee-sus, it's like Iwo Jima out there" - Roger Sterling on "Mad Men"
Patcave | 2006 Films | 2007 Films | Flickr | Comic-Con 2012 | Dragon*Con 2012

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Eric S

Eric S

    Agent

  • 33 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 25 1999

Posted March 02 2001 - 01:13 AM

Dave: I've found a few differences using heavier gauge wire. Heavier wire has less resistance than an equal length of thinner wire, so heavier is better for longer runs. Another difference I've noticed is that heavier wire provides somewhat better bass response. If your speakers are only duplicating 80Hz and up (for example, they are used with a subwoofer), you might not notice a huge difference with heavier wire... On the other hand, if your mains are full range, there may be audible benefits for you.

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   DaveJJ

DaveJJ

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 80 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 20 1999

Posted March 02 2001 - 04:38 AM

Thanks the reply, Pat and Eric. This leads to another question about speaker cables. Will I get a overall improvement in sound quality from music and video? My cable length is about 10 feet. Thanks for any comments!


DaveJJ Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Have Fun Guys! My HT



#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

Patrick Sun

    Studio Mogul

  • 37,754 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1999

Posted March 02 2001 - 06:41 AM

Dave, you're opening up a huge can of worms with that question. Some will vehemently fight to the death and depend that wire matters, others scoff at the notion that unless a wire is unacceptably skinny, any wire will perform adequately. Only you and your ears and wallet can decide if upgrading your wires makes a major sonic difference.


------------------
PatCave ; HT Pix ; Gear ; Sunosub I + III ; DVDs ; LDs
"Jee-sus, it's like Iwo Jima out there" - Roger Sterling on "Mad Men"
Patcave | 2006 Films | 2007 Films | Flickr | Comic-Con 2012 | Dragon*Con 2012

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

Philip Hamm

    Lead Actor

  • 6,885 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 23 1999

Posted March 02 2001 - 07:27 AM

Personally I'm a believer in good quality 12g wire. I recently changed from 16g to 12g in my rears and to tell you the honest truth I couldn't tell you whether it made a difference or not. Posted Image But it makes me feel good at least. Posted Image
www.spidergear.com sells reasonably good 12g wire at good prices. I'm running that stuff to my rears right now.

------------------
Philip Hamm

AIM: PhilBiker
ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!
Philip Hamm
Moderator Emeritus

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Greg Monfort

Greg Monfort

    Supporting Actor

  • 884 posts
  • Join Date: May 30 2000

Posted March 02 2001 - 02:48 PM

Assuming you don't want the wires to be another form of filter (EQ) in series with the amp, which are what designer boutique wires are, then all that matters is permissible voltage drop (dB) in the wire for the application.

Using the formula:

I = [W/R]^0.5

you can calculate ~ max current capability of the amp.

To determine wire size required:

Circular Mils (CM) = (2*L*I*10.8)/VD

Where:

L = length of wire in ft
I = max current of circuit
VD = voltage drop

Some CM values:

24ga = 404CM
22ga = 640
20ga = 1024
18ga = 1624
16ga = 2580
14ga = 4109
12ga = 6529
10ga = 10384
8ga = 16512


Using your specs, and assuming nominal 8ohm speakers at various voltage drops:

100W/8 ohms, wire run (one way) = 10ft

(100/8)^0.5 = ~3.536A

2 x 10 x 3.536 x 10.8/1 = 763.78CM or 20ga
2 x 10 x 3.536 x 10.8/.5 = 1527.55CM or 18ga
2 x 10 x 3.536 x 10.8/.25 = 3055.1CM or 14ga
2 x 10 x 3.536 x 10.8/.125 = 6110.2CM or 12ga

A 1V max drop in 20ft (round trip) represents a loss of:

(100W*8)^0.5 = 28.28V - 1V = 27.28V

20*log(27.28/28.28) = -0.313dB max drop/100W

so 20ga suffices, assuming non-corroded wire with a good electro/mechanical connection. You can run larger wire, but the only potential difference you may hear will be due possibly to a better connection, or slightly corroded Vs new wire since our hearing is too coarse to hear such a slight loss.


GM

------------------
Loud is beautiful, if it's clean
Loud Is Beautiful, If It's Clean

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Steve Hanna

Steve Hanna

    Agent

  • 26 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 04 2000

Posted March 02 2001 - 03:44 PM

I ran across some 8 gauge speaker wire at the local surplus store. I got 50' to run to my subs for $35. What the heck, it can't hurt.

"Max Phase Referance Series 8 gauge oxygen free copper speaker cable by Sound Quest" Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

I've never ran across anything larger than 10 gauge in the audio shops, online or morter and brick.

Steve


------------------
Steve Hanna
Audioaficionado


#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Greg Monfort

Greg Monfort

    Supporting Actor

  • 884 posts
  • Join Date: May 30 2000

Posted March 05 2001 - 02:15 PM

This is battery or welding cable! Posted Image

GM

------------------
Loud is beautiful, if it's clean
Loud Is Beautiful, If It's Clean

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Steve Hanna

Steve Hanna

    Agent

  • 26 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 04 2000

Posted March 06 2001 - 01:38 PM

This is battery or welding cable!
GM
_____________

It's the biggest honkin' speaker wire I've ever seen @ $0.69/ft. I'd better go back and get another 50' before they sell out. Posted Image




------------------
Steve Hanna
Audioaficionado


#11 of 11 OFFLINE   Josh Davidson

Josh Davidson

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 83 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 07 2000

Posted March 11 2001 - 12:42 PM

I also have used 8 guage speaker wire. Mine was manufactured by Sound King.

------------------
Me
Me

Help bring an Uncut version of Conan the Destroyer to DVD