16 gauge and banana plugs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by greg_lee, Mar 8, 2002.

  1. greg_lee

    greg_lee Extra

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    hello, is 16 gauge speaker wire adequate enough for all my 5.1 speakers. my reciever is running 110x5 and my room size is about 15'x10'.

    should i use banana plugs to connect to the binding post on my reciever?
     
  2. Tom Rosback

    Tom Rosback Stunt Coordinator

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    Sure, 16 GA will be fine, and some folks will say you should go to 12 GA. Cost is the primary driver here. If you go with 12 GA., you'll probably need bannana plugs, because the wire won't fit into the binding posts on your receiver. Bannana plugs, good ones, make it really convenient when you have to move something around.
     
  3. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    True, 12 gauge wire can cost more than 16 gauge wire, although if you shop around you can find it not to be overly expensive (I paid about $.30/foot for 12 gauge OFC -Oxygen Free Copper - from Parts Express a while back). And yes, I use banana plugs for this gauge wire.

    However, if you are installing wires permanently (like in the walls) then you really should consider 12 gauge instead of 16 gauge. For one thing, you are building for the future and there will be some situations where 16 gauge may not cut it for you. In other words, 12 gauge wire will work well for installations requiring at least 16 gauge wire but not the other way around. If a little further down the road you factor in all the costs of replacing the 16 gauge wire with 12 gauge you may discover that the 12 gauge wire was actually a less expensive alternative.

    There is a general rule of thumb in HT construction that the least expensive part of wiring is the cost of the material itself and that certainly applies here.

    Just another thing for your consideration.
     
  4. greg_lee

    greg_lee Extra

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    will using banana plugs to connect to my reciever make the sound quality worse? does the type of banana plug make a difference? i have ones where they are silver tipped, instead of the usual gold
     
  5. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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  6. Tom Rosback

    Tom Rosback Stunt Coordinator

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    Greg,

    The silver bannana plugs you already have should work fine. They're actually plated with Nickel. Gold ones may be even better, but I doubt you'd be able to tell the difference, if there is any.

    I'd second RAF's comments on convenience - bannana plugs make changing things really easy......and it seems I'm always changing things. The individual ones are also best because a lot of equipment (especially receivers) doesn't follow the 0.75" spacing standard for the dual bannanas.
     
  7. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    Good advice so far!

    However I still use a Kenwood 407 with binding posts for the mains and center and spring clips for the surrounds, and I have absolutely no problem using 12 gauge speaker cable with NO banana plugs, just bare wire, it fits just fine. I just didn't like the introduction of another connection between my receiver and speakers that the banana plugs present, but that's just me.

    I'm sure if banana plugs are installed correctly there will be no audio degradation.
     

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