Why the big price diff b/t these two kinds of 12 ga. speaker wire?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by MichaelDDD, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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  2. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    For what it is worth, I used the Carol in-wall wire in your link when I wired my house. It works great!. On short runs 14ga. or even 16ga. wire is acceptable, but 12ga. is always better, especially on longer runs. I have never been able to hear the difference between a pair of multi-stranded 20 foot lengths of 12ga wire, but it is clear that I can always hear the difference between 50 feet of 22ga. and 50 feet of 12ga. wire.

    If a person builds a house and wires all of his electrical outlets, switches, etc. with 14ga. electrical wire, he will use more electricity than if he wires it in 12ga. His light bulbs will be dimmer and generally have less of a life span. The 12ga. wire allows for more efficient transfer of electricity, with less heat build-up (energy loss) by the wiring.

    I have never tested speaker wiring, but based on how wiring caries current in home wiring, I would guess that the results are the same. The difference between 14ga. and 12ga. wire may be unnoticable at short runs with efficient 8 ohm speakers. If you have long wiring runs and inefficient, current hungry 4 ohm (or less) speakers, you may hear a difference.

    Just my opinion.

    As for 10 ga. speaker wire...if I would have found the Carol in-wall wire in 10ga. for a decent price, I would have used it. Of course, I am a guy who put a branch breaker box on each floor and in the garage, running oversized wire to each, then branching all 12ga. wire from each box. This shortened my wire runs. Originally, my house had runs up to 150 feet long, from one end of the basemet to the other end of the second floor. Since I rewired, my longest run with 12ga. wire is 24 feet, and my electricity bill dropped by nearly 10%!
     
  3. MikeTz

    MikeTz Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael:

    One wire is rated for in-wall applications (the Carol) and the other is not. The Carol has less strands of thicker copper than the Sound King but both are the same overall gauge. The Carol is UL approved and other is not. They will both sound the same!

    If you are using the wire in-wall the Carol is the only choice and nobody will see it so who cares what it looks like. If you are not using it in-wall I'd still use the Carol because it's cheaper and sounds the same. I'm a warped engineer, so when I look at a product that performs a function for less money than its competition, I think it looks beautiful.

    MT
     
  4. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Thanks guys.

    Bill, you and I are much alike. I'm Mr. Overkill too. I over-build everything b/c I don't want to do it again; I want it done right the first time! [​IMG]

    I wonder if they sell 10ga rated for in-wall use? I'll need to look.

    Mike Tz, at least for the surrounds, I'll get the UL-rated stuff, b/c I want my house to be completely up-to-code. Don't need some snooty insurance inspector cancelling my homeowner's insurance b/c my surround speakers aren't wired with UL cable. Heh.

    AFA the looks go, I'll be sleeving the speaker wires for the L/C/R speakers with black sleeving/heatshrink tubing and putting bannana plugs on them, so they'll all end up black anyway.

    12 gauge is 12 gauge, right? It should have the same impedance/capacitance and all that, correct? There's gotta be a catch somewhere...the price discrepancy is too great.

    /scratches chin some more.
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If you want to overkill with in-wall stuff, just double up the runs. hence 2 runs of 12 gauge will give you an effective gauge of 9. Now you won't hear the difference and it'll be a bit of touch and go seeing as the wires are now quite thick but maybe you'll sleep better [​IMG]
     
  6. Keith M.

    Keith M. Second Unit

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    I am using the Carol myself and have simply wrapped it in techflex...

    Sounds great and now looks great!!![​IMG]
     
  7. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Hate to say it, but you will pay a pretty penny for pretty versus ugly.

    In addition, in the wall wire is probably solid, which means it is stiffer to work with, and you may also crack the terminal mountings on the speakers or amps if you are not careful.

    Complicated formulas involving amp output impedance are needed to prove that you really need ten or twelve gauge wire for a given length. To simplify things, folks on this forum just use a watered down formula, I think it goes 12 gauge for runs over 20 feet. For sound quality, ugly wire works just as well as pretty wire for the same gauge.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  8. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Oh, I don't want to even use the phrase "crack the terminal mountings" around my new Axioms!!! *fear*

    I guess I'll stick with 12 gauge. I'm going to use the ugly stuff for my surrounds ONLY b/c I want all the wiring in the walls to be up to code. If something bad should happen and the insurance adjuster goes poking around, I can just imagine them refuting my claim due to "improper wiring" or somethign like that.
     

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