12ga vs 16ga for rear surrounds

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lee Petty, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. Lee Petty

    Lee Petty Stunt Coordinator

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    first i am not asking if i should upgrade to a certain "brand" of speaker wire or anything of that sort, but i am asking for opinions on the wire size. right now i have my rear surround speakers wired up with 16ga wire. these speakers set about 20ft away from the receiver and with vertical allowances and such, total cable length is about 26ft or so. do you think that going up to 12ga will be of much benefit? this is used for HT only.
     
  2. Lee Petty

    Lee Petty Stunt Coordinator

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    looking at this calculator i wont loose very much power. but would still like to get some opinions from others.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    A rough rule of them is that the series loop resistance for wire should equal ~ 0.1 ohms. For 26 feet of wire this gives us:
    0.1/52 = .0019 ohm/ft

    12 gauge ~ .00187 ohm/ft

    16 gauge ~ .00473 ohm/ft

    okie dokes?
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    It's not the simple resistance. You can fix this by turning up the volume.

    It's the impedence which causes a 'slant' in the sound by reducing the higher-frequency sounds, but leaving the lower frequency ones alone.

    Several speaker sites recommend the following gauge based on the run length:

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

    So you need THICKER wire for the long runs to help reduce the slant.
     
  5. Lee Petty

    Lee Petty Stunt Coordinator

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    ok, thanx guys. ill pick up some better wire today.
    btw, the room was prewired with the 16ga, but is run though the crawlspace, so with a long drillbit, it shouldnt be too big of a pain to reroute.
     
  6. Gene Severn

    Gene Severn Stunt Coordinator

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    You should see a definate improvement with the 12 ga wire, at least I did. If the 16 ga is not stapled in place, you can use it to pull the 12 ga thru without a lot of work.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    ok..back up now Lee...you'll need to use wire rated for in-wall use...it's an insurance thing and it'll say something like CL/2 or CL/3.
     
  8. Lee Petty

    Lee Petty Stunt Coordinator

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    i live in alabama, and as far as i know, cl2 isnt required here. the only difference is the jacketing of the wire, so that its more fireproof. the wire is only in-wall about 8 inches, then it goes into the crawlspace. nothing to worry about there.
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    best to check with your building inspector Lee. In the case of a fire, the last thing you need is your insurance company making a stink. ball's in your court.
     
  10. Lee Petty

    Lee Petty Stunt Coordinator

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    well i finished re-wiring everything today, and it seems better to me. i found that the 16ga wires were making a poor connection to the binding posts as well, so the 12ga really worked out a lot better. seems to have less hiss as well.
     

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