How thick is too thick?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon Cheung, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. Jon Cheung

    Jon Cheung Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys, I have a basic question to ask you. What is the maximum thickness I should use for me speakers? Their just old floor standing speakers. I've seen a tonne of speakers using 16 gauge but would you get some out of your speakers to use say something around 10 gauge? Thanx
     
  2. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

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    12 gauge is good enough but i've seen 6 gauge before....but they were for jm lab utopias
     
  3. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I'd use 12 gauge as the biggest wire. It is easily capable of over 600 watts at the average lengths.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ok, let's get back to basics.
    Speaker wire thickness is NOT about power handling.
    A long run of speaker wire carrying audio will "slant" the sounds at the end. This means the low-frequency sounds will pass through nearly perfectly, but the upper frequencies will be rolled-off a bit. Not to total silence, but enough that some people claim to be able to hear the difference over say 15 feet of 16 ga wire.
    A thicker wire reduces, but does not eliminate the effect.
    This is why some audiophile speaker sites recommend the following:
    1-10 ft: 16 ga
    11-20 ft: 14 ga
    20+ ft: 12 ga
    So the thicker wire should be used on the longer runs. And since the thicker wire is more expensive, it becomes quite expensive.
    And remember that for a HT system, the rear speakers tend to be effects speakers, not dialog, and not main music or critical sounds. So why spend 2-5 times as much for the rear sounds?
    A good spool of 12 ga Sound King speaker wire from places like www.partsexpress.com seems to be the accepted wire for all speakers.
    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Jon Cheung

    Jon Cheung Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replys but I'm wondering something. If you say that some sites recommend using 16 ga for 1-10 feet, if you were to use 12 ga, would there be a difference or is it just useless to use that thick of wire? Thanx
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    For short runs, I doubt that you would hear any difference between 16/14/12 ga wire. (Note: someone probably has some nice Martin Logan panel speakers with a SACD player and 500 watts-per-channel amps that could tell the difference.)


    But it would be a pain to buy 3 spools of wire and use different gauges for different lengths. This is why a 100 ft spool of 12 ga for about $40 comes in. While it is over-kill for short runs, for less than $0.50/ft - why not?
     
  7. TonyTone

    TonyTone Supporting Actor

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    Speaking of Sound King and PartsExpress, I don't know if this is a great deal or not but partsexpress.com has 12 ga 100' spool of Sound King speaker wire on sale right now for $25 until 6 PM EST tonight! IMHO at 25 cents per foot for 12 gauge, it's hard to beat that!

    I was a bit turned off by the estimated $12.25 UPS ground shipping costs; hopefully, it was indeed "estimated" a bit too high, as IMHO $12 is way too much to ship a spool of wire from Ohio (assuming it is indeed shipped from there) to California via UPS ground.
     
  8. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Tony, thanks for the heads-up on the speaker wire special. I needed three 100' runs, and was able to get all that for $75 plus shipping ($11) from Parts Express. That saved me at least $30, so I appreciate you posting that.
     

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