Speaker Wire.

kraZi

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Is there really much difference in sound if I don't go with the best speaker wire? From what i've found your basic wire costs like 15-20$ for 50' but I read for high end speaker wire like "monster" is like 30$ for 30' which is kinda ridiculous IMO. But is it actaully worth it? Is there that much of a sound difference?
 

JohnRice

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It really depends on so many things. If you want a decent deal, go down to your local Lowes, Home Depot or similar and look at their electrical wire. Get something with a low guage of 12 or lower. You can get a decent wire for reasonable. They often also have heavy guage "speaker" wire which isn't that different from the other stuff, but is more flexible, which is nice. Of course, if you sink a lot of money into a system, upgrading the wire is a reasonable thing to do, but be sensible.

Someone I know was buying an $80 DVD player a few years back, when $80 was dirt cheap for a DVD player. Their TV only had composite inputs, and the sales drone was trying to convince them a $100 Monster composite cable would give them a significantly better picture. Of course, that is absurd, but a small amount of sense should tell you that using a $100 video cable on a $80 DVD player is absurd.
 

ChrisWiggles

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No. Go buy 12 gauge speaker wire at any hardware store or online and you're just fine. Monster is not high end, just high price. Speaker wire is by FAR the least important component in any A/V system.
 

Bob McElfresh

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On a audiophile-quality music system, the speaker wires do have a small effect on the sound. But a HT system is usually not accurate enough and the sound is highly compressed, dialog-heavy and not played over-and-over again so that you would notice any difference if you swapped out speaker wires.

I recommend good oxygen-free 12 ga for all your speakers. A spool from places like www.partsexpress.com is a great way to go.

If you have some highly-accurate music speakers, I would still recommend you start with the budget-but-good 12 ga. Get used to the system for 3-5 weeks, then 'audition' more expensive cables and do your own A/B comparison before investing in a complete set.

I also recommend the 10% rule: Budget 10% of the price of the items you are hooking up for the wire. Spend no more than this or you are over-spending (but making some salesman very happy).
 

RyanTSI

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You guys all recommend 12 gauge or heavier, but the length of the run has an effect as well right?

I have 16 gauge connecting my front and center channel's but the run of cable is only 3-4 feet tops for each. Would I notice any difference in heavier wire?

The price isnt an issue at all just the laziness factor of going down to the store and picking some up.
 

ChrisWiggles

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No, you'll be fine.

The reason I reccommend 12-gauge is because it's appropriate for any run long or short. And it's marginally more expensive than the really thin stuff. You can just buy one big spool of it (or however much you need) and then run that all over the place for all your runs. And it's easier because its a cookie-cutter answer.
Any thread about speaker wire: "12ga zip cord"
 

RyanTSI

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Ya thats what I figured. Whenever I set up my system again when i move I'll run new cables. I just cant be bothered dealing with the mess behind my tv and speakers right now.
 

Bob McElfresh

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One speaker website (not one selling wires) recommend the following gauge based on run-length:

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

There is a roll-off of the higher frequencies with long runs. Thicker wire reduces the effect. But it takes a fairly sensitive music system before most people could notice the difference. It really does not make a difference for the rear speakers of a HT system.

As Chris points out: it's not that much more expensive to use the bulk 12 ga , and it's a pain to have 3 spools of left-over wire lying around. So we usually suggest going with 12ga for everything.
 

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