How does "in wall" speaker cable differ and does awg really matter?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by james e m, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    As some of you may remeber I have been on a search for decent, cool looking, and cost effective speaker cable. I've come across IXOS 12GA 2 CONDUCTOR IN-WALL WIRE and it seems like a great deal and has the look that I'm looking for, but what makes it different than regular speaker cable?

    I am pretty dead set on getting 10awg or 12awg speaker cable for all my speakers, does this really matter?

    The salesman I spoke with yesterday told me that speaker awg is not an issue. He was trying to sell Audioquest Type 2 for $1.50 a foot which seemed like a good deal but it was 16awg cable.

    I am also looking at Ultralink right now. Based on this great Secrets article.

    What awg is the Custom installation Series 12 Gauge 4-Conductor In-Wall Speaker Cable? Is each of the 4 individual cables 12awg or do they each at up to 12awg?

    Does this seem like a good way to go? Should I just go with 12 gauge 2 conductor cable?

    Also, will I get the same benefit as stated in the Secrets article by using the 4 conductor 12awg wire instead of the 14awg wire?

    By the way I have Paradigm Reference Studio 100s x two, Studio 20s x four, and a Studio CC. All four of the surrounds will need about 15' to 20' of cable.

    James
     
  2. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    Chu, where are you? I was expecting you to be all over this thread![​IMG]

    James
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    A long run of thin cable will "slant" the sound by rolling off the higher frequencies. A thicker wire reduces the effect.

    But keep in mind, it takes a fairly high-end music system with very accurate speakers, lots of power and music that you are familar with before you would notice this effect.

    The rear-sounds in a HT system is a very different issue. So you COULD get away with thinner wire.

    Several speaker sites, not wire sites, recommend the following gauge based on run-length:

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

    But the wire is CHEAP compared to your labor to install it. This is why most of us buy a spool of 12 ga wire and use it everywhere. Good 12 ga wire sells for about $0.39/ft like the "Sound King" brand from www.partsexpress.com
     
  4. Brian tj

    Brian tj Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi I used IXOS 14 G very good to work with and sounds good.But I do wish I ran 12g Do it NOW and never look back.[​IMG] You know bigger is better!! I am sure to start some thing hear but I did change the 12g to a larger G on L&R and wot a difference :b I did not spend a lot of money on it ether so do not tell me its me hearing the money [​IMG] I am tiered of that one!!
    My web page if you wont to look http://users.nac.net/armor/
     
  5. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    I think I am leaning toward the Ultralink cable. Should I go with the 4 conductor 14 awg cable (which I think will add up to 14 awg, am I correct?) or should I go with the 4 conductor 12 awg cable? If I go with the 4 conductor 12 awg cable will it be able to fit in the banana plugs nicely?

    James
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    You should check with your building dept. James to make sure if the in-wall speaker wire needs to be CL2/CL3 rated. That's basically for fire retardency and seeing as you've bought a new home (how's that coming along BTW?) why risk potential insurance issues?

    That seems like a fair price for the IXOS product with the Ultralink costing a little over double. Whichever way you go James, give some thought to having a few extra feet to allow for moving things around.

    Also, are you planning on just punching holes through the wall or maybe using an approach that uses wall plates like
    this? Think it out a bit and consult with the decorating specialist [​IMG]
     
  7. Matt_Doug

    Matt_Doug Stunt Coordinator

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    The article says the thicker the bare conductor gauge the more inductance which is not good for speaker cable. So if you were to believe what they're saying it would be better to run many smaller gauge, individually insulated wires (litz) to get an effective thicker gauge. FYI, on the American Wire Gauge (AWG) scale cross sectional area approx doubles every other 2 gauges so 2x16awg = 13awg.
     
  8. Matt_Doug

    Matt_Doug Stunt Coordinator

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    Ultralink interconnects seem to have the basics down i.e. directional stp. I don't think you could go wrong with them.
     

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