16 gauge wire

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by calvin_clements, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. calvin_clements

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    I just moved into a new home where the surround speaker wire (16 gauge) had already been installed in the wall. The speaker run is about 30 feet for 1 side and 17 feet for the other. I just noticed in a Revel speaker brochure online that they do not recommend using a 16 gauge wire for runs longer than 9 feet. According to their chart, I should use either a 10 or 11 gauge wire. Any truth to this? Will it effect sound to that great a degree (bass/soundstage)? I have a Bryston st amp.
     
  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Cees Alons
    Of course 14 or 12 gauge would be better, and for your fronts I would not have recommended 16 g if you had a choice.
    But, hey, those are the surrounds. No extreme power either (if you set them to 'small'). You won't notice the difference. Just calibrate correctly.

    Cees
     
  3. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Second Unit

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    Calvin,
    This write-up should ease your mind a little:

    http://www.procosound.com/Files2/Speakerwp.pdf

    For a 50-foot run of 16-guage speaker wire, you're only losing .5% of the power from your amplifier, compared with .34% for 14-guage and .23% for 12-guage. These numbers assume an 8-ohm load.
     
  4. calvin_clements

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    Thanks for the info. The references proved helpful, even with a 4 ohm impedence only a small % change. I also found a link that mentioned that the number of strands in the wire is more important than actual gauge. The strand count in my wire is 30 which is above average.
     
  5. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Great article Nathan, thanks.

    I never realized the difference in loss in relation to the load level. Interesting.
     

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