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Is there a Difference in Quality Between (1 Viewer)

Jay Foster

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 16, 2003
Messages
160
12 guage speaker wire and 14 guage speaker wire on a 50-75 foot run?

The 12 guage wire that I have now was not shielded. The 14 guage wire that I am thinking of installing now is shielded.

Which is better?
 

Jason GT

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Messages
452
Shielding doesn't really matter for speaker-level signals as they are on a magnitude that interference ... doesn't interfere with them (well, at least audibly).

All other factors being equal, save your money and stick with the thicker wire.
 

Brett DiMichele

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2001
Messages
3,181
Real Name
Brett
Jason,

That's not exactly true... 60Hz Line power can easily make
it's way into a speaker cable and produce *you guessed it*
a 60hz audible hum.

But if you have to have a power wire near a speaker cable
just keep them 90 degrees to each other and it won't be an
issue.

I run 14awg on my 30 foot runs to the surrounds with no
issues. But 75 foot I think i'd go with 12awg for peace of
mind. Also remember if it's going in wall it HAS to be CL2
or CL3 UL Listed for In Wall instalation per Code..
 

Chu Gai

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Messages
7,270
are you sure that's shielded wire and not wire that's intended for in-wall installation?
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
Short Answer: Since you already have 12 ga installed - leave it.

Several speaker sites recommend the following gauge based on run-length:

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

The problem with long runs of speaker wire is rolloff. Compared to a short run, the higher-frequency sounds are reduced, but the lower-frequency sounds are not. A thicker wire reduces the effect, but does not eliminate it.

Does rolloff matter?

The only people who claim to be able to hear this effect are using higher-end panel speakers, 300+ watts per channel, high-end sources and music they are very familar with. The equipment and listener are very sensitive to changes.

But the rear sounds for a HT system are not nearly as good/critical/important/used like the L/R speakers on a music system.

Try this: disconnect all front speakers and sub. Fire up a favorite DVD and sit in the room with the TV off. Read a newspaper/book and listen to the rear-speaker sounds. My guess is you will only hear special effects (sometimes), and perhaps low-level music. No dialog, major music, etc. You may even forget a movie is playing because of how little the rears speakers are used (depends on the movie of course :) )
 

Jay Foster

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 16, 2003
Messages
160
Chu,

I'm not sure if it is shielded wire or wire for in-wall installation. I've got a call into the guy that sold it to me and I'm waiting on him to call back.
 

Chu Gai

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Messages
7,270
I'd suspect the latter. Legitimately shielded speaker wire with some kind of a foil or metal wrap would be peculiar. You can always look at the cross section. If it's all plastic likely it's inwall stuff. Works fine in or out though!
 

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