Mix 16 and 12 gage cables??? OK ??

shankar

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 4, 2001
Messages
85
Hi.



I had the house wired during construction for my HT. They used 16 gage wires in the wall and terminated them with binding posts for the front soundstage. I currently use 16 AWG spekaer wire to connect all my speakers. I have read so much about the "necessity" to use 12 AWG cables for audio excellence. I have the following questions.

  • Can I use 12 AWG from the binding posts to my speakers (mix 16 and 12 AWG)
  • Should I just ignore the in wall wires and directly go to the back of the reciever ?? (it is not that far from the speakers)and the current situation looks ugly anyway :b
  • Where can I find the cheapest 12 AWG spaker wire?
  • Is it OK to biwire with 16 AWG wire??[/list=a]



    AS always, thanks for your opinions and help.
 

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 23, 1999
Messages
6,874
if you're talking about short runs, like under 15 feet, then 16g should be fine. For longer runs like 25-30 feet necessary for rear speakers, 12G is preferred.
 

chella

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
66
The general idea is use single runs. So it will be better to have a single 16awg run rather than a 16awg and 12awg mixes run. But mixing should not be a problem if you must use it. I prefer directly connecting my front three speakers - easier and not very ugly. I am not personally convinced on the advantages of bi-wiring; but you may want to experiment.
 

Jeff Bamberger

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 15, 1999
Messages
495
Mixing, in short runs should not be a problem. I was running my sub cable (and pretty good quality) and I cam up about a foot and a half short. I used an extender cable at the receiver end that was a bit "less" in quality (and I say less from looking at the thickness of the cable) and all still sounds fine. I'd rather have one cable, but the next run size was like 3-5 feet longer, which for the added expense, was much more than I would have needed......
 

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
Messages
2,404
If your splices are good (soldering is best) using thicker cable for part of the run is better than thinner cable for the entire run although not as good as thicker cable for the entire run.
Problems with thinner wire show up first with lower impedance speakers and with louder parts of the sound track. You may or may not notice any problems with 16 gauge wire out to 30 feet, or it may take several A/B comparisons to hear the difference.
If you do splice thicker cable onto the ends of the 16 gauge cable as it emerges from the wall, don't cut it off too close to the wall. You may have to re-do the connection from time to time due to flexing wear as you vacuum clean around the equipment, and the 16 gauge wire is more likely to break at the joint under this stress.
Video hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
 

Sihan Goi

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Messages
442
I use a mix of 16 and 12awg for my rear speakers too, and they aren't even connected via binding posts, but just by hand. Sounds ok to me...but then again, not a lot of information goes to the rears.
 

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