Thic gauge speaker wire: Cons

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adil M, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    Besides being less "manageable" are there any cons to low gauge wiring. Does it affect the sound any compared to lesser gauge wiring?
     
  2. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, IMO, thick equates to not being able to grasp all the electrical info passing through its strands of copper. They tend to slow down the electrons, and their response can be slurred under extreme conditions.

    All a joke, of course.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Well on the Con side:

    - Thicker wire is usually a few cents more per foot.

    - Thicker wire is harder to hide/run under a carpet or up a wall.

    - If you insert bare wire into your binding posts, the holes are often barely large enough for 12 ga.

    A long run of speaker wire WILL roll off some of the highest audio frequencies. A thicker wire reduces the roll off, but it's still there.

    The one guy who claimed to hear the roll off caused by a 15 foot speaker wire was using very accurate Magnapan speakers, 300 wpc amps, and classical music CD that he was very familar with.

    All of the above is very different than the sound that comes out the rear of a HT setup.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    Exactly, but that's my point. I can understand buying thick gauge designer wire for the short runs, but the surrounds... I don't know. I guess we'd have to wait till the maturation of Multi-channel audio.

    This question was based on a post I read where a guy was using short 30 gauge runs to "improve/tighten" the sound. Sounded like garbage, but was wondering if anyone else had any such experiences.
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    There are no cons to excessively thick speaker cables other than cost, manageability or physical appearance.
    It is quite common to buy just one spool of 12 gauge wire instead of having leftover wire in different gauges.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  6. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    now you'd think there might be some slight roll off on the high end...tubes are an interesting breed though when it comes to wires...just a wee bit different than solid state. what were the speakers...avantegardes?
     
  8. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Oris. It's sold fully assembled or DIY, I believe he bought the DIY parts, built the sub cabinet himself, and so on. AFAIK, he used to have Avantegarde Duos in his system before them.

    I wonder if "time-smearing" could actually apply here - if the signal level is low enough, maybe multi-stranded cable no longer behaves like a single conductor, and the effect of all those paths from source to sink start to show? Who knows, and like I said, I didn't do a comparision, and it was a totally unfamiliar system and I was so impressed with it that I doubt I'd be in a position to make a critical analysis. Interestingly enough, he also just tinned the ends of the cable (to remove the varnish insulation, most likely) and wrapped them around the binding posts. No bananas/spades/etc.

     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    certainly its too difficult to attribute your enjoyment to any one thing in particular. Methinks thou hypothesises a bit too much about time smear and all that. tubes though are a strange beast reminding me of carbureted cars. capacitance of cables though in the case of tubes can play a role. Perhaps a thought for a different topic.
     
  10. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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  11. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I have a question about different types of 12 gauge wire. I bought some at home depot that has very thick insulation with a group of strands that look like 8 gauge wire (Or thicker). [wouldn't fit in my Rotel amp so I had to solder audioquest silver spades]

    Then when I went to home depot again and asked for 12 gauge I got some different flexible wire that has very thin strands with thin insulation. The wire LOOKs 12 gauge size.

    They were both off 12 gauge spools, just that one was a thick patch of thick strands that made a stiff wire 1/2" wide, and the other was a thin group of thin strands in a thin wet noodle wire.

    Is that what this thread is about? Thick or thin strands of the same gauge?

    Does anyone know what wires I got? They were both about 35-40 cents a foot at home depot.
     
  12. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  13. Graeme Shiomi

    Graeme Shiomi Stunt Coordinator

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    Depending on the wire design, higher gauges can throw Solid State Amps into fits. Ultra low gauge ultra high capacitance cables, such as Goertz 7 Gauge MI-3, can cause some amps to oscillate, which can actually damage your amp. But the number of modern amps with this problem, according to Goertz, is pretty small. Naim is one brand that definitely has a problem with those kinds of cable. However, Goertz has a little gadget that is supposed to alleviate the problem.

    In terms of performance though, I've heard that increases in gauge can increase Bass level, but reduce bass control. I use the Chris Venhaus Cat-5 recipe, which ends up being around 9 gauge wire, and I haven't noticed any loose bass, or rolled off highs.

    Graeme
     

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