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yet another wiring question...effects of splicing 14g to 16g on long runs (1 Viewer)

Steve Padua

Auditioning
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Apr 16, 2002
Messages
7
Hi ...I've searched thru the forum and found great info on wiring my HT, soldering and splicing info. But I have a question that didn't seem to come up.
I have speaker wires pre-installed in my kitchen and for the deck. These seem to be 16g. The previous owner told me that they are Monster XP 14g...still looks like 16g. Anyway in my remodel I couldn't get to these, my wife woundn't let me touch those walls for some reason;) ;)
In the kitchen the wires will run about 38 ft from speaker to my reciever...Denon 4802.
The deck speakers run at the max 60 ft. especially the two way out there. There will be eventually four speakers.
I can get slighty less runs... about 12 ft, by placing a speaker switcher box and amp in a space in the kitchen.
My question is
Can I cut these wires at the entry into the walls in the crawl space and splice on either 12g or 14g speaker wire and not run into too much resistance/impedence problems affecting the sound? and or the amp. It may not matter too much outdoors ,but I would like a good sound in the kitchen.
In the kitchen ,if I do this the 16g wire will only be 8 ft. long. I will be placing either KEF Q1's or B$W 303's.
Or shall I just stick with the smaller 16g and hope for the best.
BTW I live in a totally solar powered home and the electricity is 24volts converted to 120v by a modefied sine wave inverter. Been doing the solar thing since 89 and love it...except for those phantom loads certain electrical applicances have.
Thanks...sorry for the long read
Steve
 

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
Messages
2,404
If you have 14 gauge wire for part of the run spliced onto 16 gauge wire for the rest of the run, the overall performance will be better than 16 gauge for the whole run although not as good as 14 gauge for the whole run.
Good splices themselves (soldering is best) won't hurt the sound.
If you had just 8 feet of 16 gauge wire inside the wall but 12 gauge wire spliced on at both ends, you will probably not hear any degradation for a total run of about 40 feet. The 16 gauge portion is within the limit (10 feet) suggested by others on this forum, and everybody says that for 40 feet, 12 gauge wire is recommended. Even at 60 feet, the eight foot 16 gauge portion probably won't make much of a difference.
Video hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
 

ThomasL

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 13, 2001
Messages
963
Steve, things should be fine. These are short runs and you'll have even shorter runs of the 16 gauge. Probably the most important thing will be the splices/connections. Make sure those are solid. Opinions on what size gauge speaker wire to use vary greatly. I wired my first floor of my house with in-wall rated wire and since all my runs were 50 feet or less in the walls, I used AR 14 gauge 4 conductor cable. But from the binding post face plates, I am currently using 16 gauge AR and some RCA "home theater" 16 gauge cable (actually thicker than the AR cable). These patch cables to the speakers are no more than 10 feet and I haven't had any problems. I doubt I'd hear a difference if I redid all the patch cables with 14 gauge wire.

cheers,

--tom
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Steve,
The previous owner told me that they are Monster XP 14g...still looks like 16g.
You can’t really tell wire gauge precisely by the appearance of the jacket. If you can, strip a little of the insulation off one end and slip it into a blue butt splice. If it fits snugly, then it is indeed 14ga. wire. If it fits loosely it is 16ga.
If it 16ga, spicing it to 12gq can be tricky. For instance, both 14 and 16ga. wire use the same butt splice, but 12ga. and 16ga. do not. You might want to take a look at the
comprehensive wire splicing guide
I posted recently.
Whatever method of splicing you go with, be sure the connections are secure by tugging on both sides of the splice. Better to do it over now than have problems later.
Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

Steve Padua

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
7
allan,tom and wayne
thank you for your replys. The radio shack guy told me I shouldn't do these splice...his explanation had something to do with the impedence problems along the wire going from a bigger wire to a smaller and somehow hurting the receiver.
It did not make much sence to me...after doing some homework on these forum and my electrician dad...even at 70 ish he was able to explain things alot more clearer. Now I know why other refer to RS as ratshack.
Wayne my dad loved your spliceing and soldering info. I had printed them out some time ago. thanks again and thanks on the hint on checking the gauge of wire. They are indeed 14's.
made a trip to home depot, and now into the crawl space!
Steve:emoji_thumbsup:
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Location
Corpus Christi, TX
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Thanks for the kind words, Steve.
Now I know why other refer to RS as ratshack.
Yeah, you can get a lot of “essential” stuff there; information usually isn’t one of them.

I got a call from a friend last year for help getting their DVD player operating in their system. When I got there they told my they had paid some guy from the Radio Shack store $40 or so to hook it up for them. He couldn’t get it to work, but he still took their money.

Then there was the time... Well, you get the idea.

Regards,

Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

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