I'm going to run 50' of 16 gauge to my Surrounds. Good Idea?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Cameron Seaman, Sep 4, 2001.

  1. Cameron Seaman

    Cameron Seaman Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 1998
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was thinking of using something like Acoustic Research's white, flat, 16 gauge speaker wire to run to my surrounds. 100' spool, so 50' of cable to each speaker.
    Is this a good idea or should I use a lower gauge speaker wire for my surrounds?
    Also, any opinions on Monster's flat speaker wire? (XP?)
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    The HTF Lowest Post Champion!
     
  2. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2000
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Most will say that for a 50' run that you should use a lower gauge (12 most likely). I'd say that it shouldn't make a whole lot of difference.
    I've got my surrounds run with 16 gauge. The left speaker is probably a 40 + foot run and the other is about 15'. There is no difference in signal to either speaker.
    But whatever makes you feel best is what you should do.
    As for what brand....I would say that the AR cable will be just as good as Monster (and much cheaper too)
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you need the flat 16 ga cable and the price is good for you, then it will work.
    And I agree with Mike that 12 ga would be better.
    But I must respectfully disagree with Mike and claim that there will be a sonic difference.
    Here is the physics: A long run of speaker wire has more IMPEDENCE than a short run. And impedence has a funny property: it will pass low-frequency signals fine, but the higher the frequency, the more reduction it will cause.
    This will give a "slant" to the sound (compared to a short run of wire).
    A thicker wire will reduce, but not eliminate the "slant".
    This is why many speaker sites recommend the following gauge of wire based on length of run:
    0-10 ft : 16 ga
    10 - 20 ft : 14 ga
    20 - .. : 12 ga
    Some audiophiles (using panel speakers, amps and music that they are very familar with) claim to hear the 3-5 db reduction caused by a 15 foot run of speaker wire.
    (You should note that I dont think I could do this. My equipment is not that accurate, nor are my ears that sensitive. [​IMG])
    Now lets get real world:
    Does this matter for the rear speakers? Not really. Critical sounds like dialog dont go to the rears and most of the music tracks go on the front 3 speakers.
    But if you would ever move into DVD-Audio and possibly use good rear speakers for this, I'd strongly suggest using some inexpensive, but good quality 12 ga wire.
    The Parts Express web site sells a 100' roll of Sound King brand for about $36.
    Go to this site and type in "Sound King" in the Keyword field and click "GO":
    www.partsexpress.com
    And if you are going through the trouble to run through walls or under the house, I'd also suggest running 3 sets of wires to allow for the Dolby Ex rear-center speaker. The cost of the wire is dirt-cheap compared to your time installing it. You may as well do it right the first time.
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Shanthi

    Shanthi Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am running a 16 for 60 feet to my surround and yet to find a difference.
     
  5. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 10, 1999
    Messages:
    535
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Don't sweat it. You won't hear any loss at 50' with 16 guage wire.
    Go to some wire manufacturers websites and look at their recommended gauge/distance and loss per foot charts if you are unsure.
     
  6. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
    BANNED

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2000
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    621
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Alfer
    Ditto here...50' or so using 16 gauge. You can see pix of the run on my site.
    Alfer
    ------------------
    Check out my new Home Theater site and my NEW HT 6.1 Pic's at The Enormodome
    Join my new Yahoo "Club Enormodome" for LIVE HT and DVD chats at: Club Enormodome
     
  7. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2000
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    12 AWG. I run 13AWG to 23' surrounds. Would not even think of running 16AWG at 50'.
    Cameron, FWIW, spend a few extra dollars and know you have covered your bases. How is that for a scientific explanation ! don't come up lacking over $10.
    BOK
     
  8. John Morton

    John Morton Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2001
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    FYI, My front speakers are 7 feet from my receiver. I went from 19 guage wire to 12 guage wire about a year ago on ALL 5 speakers the sound is now incredible. It sounded good before, but not this good.
    I bi-wired the fronts this weekend for curiosity (2 - 12 guage runs to each terminal). I noticed a HUGE difference from 1 - 12 guage run to each terminal. The mids and highs were ear splitting and the bass was WAY lower than before. I had to raise my sub from 3.5 to 8 in volume to make up the difference and was still lacking in the 90-500 hz zone. The clarity on the upper scale though was completely different, and crystal clear. I could actually hear the singer taking every breath in. The sound stage narrowed as well. I couldn't take more than about 15 minutes and went back to my single 12 guage wires. I'm very happy!!!
    My opinion, go with the same 12 guage wire for all speakers and you'll be happy.
    ------------------
     
  9. Cameron Seaman

    Cameron Seaman Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 1998
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If I do go with 12 gauge, what would be a good wire to go with?
    I need something white. It's such a long run because I have to run my surround wire around the frame of a sliding glass door.
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    The HTF Lowest Post Champion!
     
  10. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why not just buy two spools of the flat white wire that you need, and double up to each speaker?
    Unless you are running more than 100W to the rears, I wouldn't be concerned with using 16ga. Long line capacitance, and therefore impedance, is actually LESS of a factor with flat wire. Audiophile "physics," or selectively looking at properties that back up one's explanation while ignoring others, don't hold up to real world operation.
    Todd
     
  11. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2000
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  12. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    When setting up my 5.1 rears, I had enough plain copper 12 ga from a previous installation for a single rear channel, so I purchased some additional 12 ga for the second rear. It turns out that the old wire is in reality 14 ga, and it is noticeably quieter than the other side, so there is a definite signal loss over those (45 feet) distances.
     
  13. DaleB

    DaleB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2000
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For under $50 bucks you could get two 50' rolls of flat 14 gauge wire at Radio Shack.
     
  14. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 1998
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I noticed a difference (for the positive) when I re-wired my rear channel speakers. Around 20' each, was 16ga moved up to 12ga. Sound cleaned up tremendously. I'd definitely recommend going with the bigger speaker cables.
    Andrej
    ------------------
     
  15. Cameron Seaman

    Cameron Seaman Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 1998
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Looking around I found this:
    [​IMG]
    It's not white, but it looks like pretty freaking good wire to run to my surrounds.
     
  16. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i'm running the monster xp25 ht series wire. i think it's probably only 16g, but i'm not sure. if anyone knows for sure, i'd like to know!
    it seems to be working pretty well...although i haven't done any testing with thicker wire.
    i think it was about 50 bucks...?
    ------------------
    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
     
  17. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Here's my $.02...
    A week ago, I re-wired my fronts and center, going from the previous 16 gauge to new 12 gauge. The fronts are around 5 ft. from the receiver. Even to my newbie ears, the sound is so much more immersing and the imaging of the front soundstage is so much better. Like a previous poster said, it sounded good before, but not this good!
    I went with the 12 gauge Acoustic Research HT Series from Lowe's. It cost $29.94 for 30 ft. I think I'll swing be Lowe's again today and pick up a 50' spool for the surrounds. I believe that it costs $44.97. I don't think $1.00 per foot is bad at all to make your system sound closer to the way you want it to.
     
  18. Norm Strong

    Norm Strong Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 7, 1999
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Much depends on the impedance of your surround speakers.
    If you have 8 ohm speakers, then 5% of your amplifier's output will be wasted, and there will be a 10% reduction in peak power.
    The numbers if you have 4 ohm speakers will double.
    Will you notice this loss? Maybe; maybe not. Would you notice if I took a dollar bill out of your wallet? Probably not, but you still lost a dollar. Same principle at work with speaker wire.
    ------------------
    Norm Strong ([email protected])
     

Share This Page