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XP or 12 gauge speaker wire???


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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Neal Siva

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Posted July 30 2002 - 02:06 PM

I just went to Home Depot and purchased their XP Monster Cable speaker wire. I got 112 feet for $32. They didn't have enough 12 guage, which would have sold for roughly the same. However, from reading the information here, the XP is only 15 guage, and I am really concerned with the sound quality. I have the NSP1 package, and I have the XBox, and want to have the best connection for 5.1. The longest speaker wire run I need is around 30 feet. Is the XP better than the Home Depot wire, or should I return it and get the 12 guage from another Home Depot, since there is another one closeby. I would really appreciate some advice.

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Robb Roy

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Posted July 30 2002 - 04:29 PM

Get the 12 guage.

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   shane_watson

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Posted July 31 2002 - 02:31 AM

neal, i used the xp wire for my surrounds but you really need to try and use 12 gauge for your mains and center channel,

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted July 31 2002 - 03:40 AM

Quote:
but you really need to try and use 12 gauge for your mains and center channel, ..

Uhhh... I'm afraid thats backwards.

Many speaker sites recommend the following based on the length of the run:

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

So you need thicker wire for the long runs.

The physics behind this recommendation is this:

A long run of wire reduces the signal strength a bit, but it affects the higher-frequencies a lot more than the lower ones.

(If the wire reduced all the sounds the same amount, it would be simple: just increase the rear volume a bit to compensate).

Reality Check: The rear sounds for a DVD movie, or even a video game, are NOT CRITICAL. You dont hear dialog, or even music thats not also played on the front 3 speakers. So you CAN get away with thinner wire to the rears for these uses.

The "slant" caused by the wire becomes an issue when you are talking about a music system where total accuracy is the goal.

(The people who hear the effect are usually using electrostatic speakers, 200+ wpc power amps and using classical music they are very familar with. So they are very sensitive to the slight change in sound.)

So my advice is this:

- If you are running the wires across the room, just use the XP wire, fire up Halo and have a blast.

- If you are running the wires in-wall for the rears, go back and get 12 ga.

Hope this helps.

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Neal Siva

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Posted July 31 2002 - 03:56 AM

Thanks for the quick responses. I'll be going to get the 12 gauge today at Lowes. People here recommend the Home Depot 12 gauge, but is it o.k. if I went with the one at Lowes? Their the same right? And if they have different varities of 12 gauge, what should I look for? Thanks again.

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted July 31 2002 - 04:02 AM

Not nocking you, but while the N24s are good, they are not so good that this will make a huge difference. What receiver?
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

 


#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Neal Siva

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Posted July 31 2002 - 04:51 AM

I originally purchased the cinema propack 600, so I have everything on this website besides the speakers and sub (I have two sony sa-wm40s now). So, what do you think?

http://jbl.com/home/....00II&SerId=CPP

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted July 31 2002 - 06:51 AM

It says that the receiver included is only capable of 80Hz to 20Khz. Your subs may not even be receiving the 20Hz they are capable of. With a better receiver, I would say the larger gauge wire would make a difference, but it may not with that one. The lack of low frequency handling would tend to indicate a low current receiver to me. Where the larger gauge wire will benefit you by passing more current/voltage, but if the receiver can't deliver it, it may be of little or no benefit.

I've been using XP for my surrounds, right around 30' runs, for a few years, and it does the job just fine. I did an experiment with my bedroom system, I went from 14ga wires to 10ga with ~3' runs and there was a noticable improvement (Marantz SR4000, Paradigm Mini Monitors, stereo, no sub).
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

 


#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Merrill

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Posted July 31 2002 - 11:15 AM

Does anyone know the gauge for the Monster Cable XP? It's what they are pushing at all the "mainstream" electronics stores I've been to. I keep hearing 12 gauge would be good for my surrounds (35 feet) but I couldn't find any at Best Buy and the like.
---
Merf

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted August 01 2002 - 05:10 AM

i also use xp for my rears. i have no clue what the gauge is (kinda looks like 16g) but it's DEFINITELY NOT 12g. seems to work fine for me, but i've never tested running low-gauge to my rears so i can't really say whether there is a benefit or not.

as a general rule, i think it's a good idea to get the lowest gauge you can all around. i would have done so had i used my brain the first time. Posted Image
 

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted August 01 2002 - 06:18 AM

Quote:
I went from 14ga wires to 10ga with ~3' runs and there was a noticable improvement

I think there may be something else going on here. For this length of run, the gauge difference should not have made a difference in the sound.

I can come up with 3 alternative reasons:

- Your 14 ga wire was old and oxidized so by replacing it with fresh copper, removed the resistive build-up. Trimming off the ends and stripping/re-connecting should be a part of a yearly system maintance.

- When you re-connected things, you moved your speakers. A small change in speaker placement, angle, distance to rear/side walls can make a big difference in the sound.

- Since you wired up that thick 10 ga wire, you expected it to sound better. There have been listening tests with identical cables, but one cable had several layers of shrink-tubing/flex-wrap attached so it looked more massive. The listeners were not told this, but they were allowed to see the cables. The thicker cable was usually declared to sound better.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted August 01 2002 - 08:11 AM

To me, there was no improvement in detail, but bass seemed noticably improved. The speakers were not moved at all, since I have access to them where they sit right now. The 14ga. was old, but so was the 10ga., I did however cut about 1 ft off the 10ga and start with clean ends, while the 14ga was using it's old connections. I did expect a difference, but I was skeptical. I didn't do any SPL readings. It sounded good before, so I wasn't acutally looking for an improvement, just an experiment because I had the 10ga laying around for a while from my old floorstanders.
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

 


#13 of 17 OFFLINE   ThomasL

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Posted August 01 2002 - 08:38 AM

John, actually in looking at the specs of that JBL package, it looks as if it will handle 20Hz to 20Khz but most likely has a built in crossover at 80Hz. The power specs list 80Hz to 20Khz for the 5 channels and then 20-80Hz for the subwoofer. In a quick scan, it looks like it only has support for a passive sub setup - i.e. it's doesn't have a sub pre-out RCA jack.

I would say you'll be fine with the XP cable. The general rule of getting the highest (or lowest depending on how you think about it Posted Image ) gauge cable you can is a good one to follow. The only thing to remember is that sometimes the binding posts on certain equipment will have a hard time taking the thicker cable. I personally use in-wall rated AR 14 gauge cable to binding post face plates and then use Acoustic Research 16 gauge to run from the face plates to the speakers. I use this set up for all the speakers downstairs other than the center and the two HT front speakers in the "home theater" room.

cheers,


--tom

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted August 01 2002 - 09:45 AM

Quote:
John, actually in looking at the specs of that JBL package, it looks as if it will handle 20Hz to 20Khz but most likely has a built in crossover at 80Hz.

DOH, I guess I looked too quick it actually says:

Frequency Response: 10Hz – 100kHz(+0,–3dB) on the last line.

If you already have the XP, I'd say you should be fine using that.
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

 


#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Neal Siva

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Posted August 02 2002 - 01:28 AM

Hey, thanks for the advice. Went and got some 12 gauge wire at Home Depot. While I was slicing the wires along the middle so I could connect them to the binding posts, I accidently sliced a portion of insulation, and have some exposed copper. How detrimental is this to my electrical signal? I'm thinking I might have to go back to get some more wire to compensate for my carelessness.

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted August 02 2002 - 03:53 AM

Exposed wire is not good. It is not necessarily an electrical hazzard, but it will degrade signal and does open you up to the possibility of shorting out your receiver. It will oxidize from there and spread. If it is at one end or the other and you can cut it back with enough left over, do that or maybe just cover it up with shrink wrap. If it is in the middle somewhere and would make the cable too short, replace it. The cable won't oxidize immediately to the point where it will cause a problem with the sound, so you have a while to replace it. Cover it up with electrical tape at least for now.
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

 


#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Phill O

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Posted August 02 2002 - 02:53 PM

Hey Merril, I found some 10gage(& from 24 to 8gage)
speaker wire from a electronics supply house.
In Tucson, There is Elliots Electronics. I'm sure
that you can find some place like that in Phoenix!
The nice thing is that the wire had all the nice
features:
Cheap $0.99 a foot
Did I mention that it was 10Gage?
oxygen free copper wiring
Made in the U.S.A.

Good luck.





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