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Helpful speaker wires/connectors

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Helpful speaker wires/connectors

Old 07-14-00, 03:06 AM
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I have seen quite a few posts question about speaker wires and type of connections lately. I don't have time to write a helpful reply to every single posts, so I'm gonna try(hopefully) to sum up some info to most of your questions here. Selecting a good quality/type of speaker wire is the most economical way that you can do to bring out the better of your HT system, so don't go cheap on your speaker wire.

Speaker wires:
Minimum(standard) recommend speaker wire is 16gauge. My recommend is to use 12gauge for your fronts speakers and 10gauge for your rear surrounds. The larger the wire(lower # gauge) the less the resistance. Companies like Monster Cable common practice for them is to push their small 16gauge wires all over stores across the nation. They do this for one reason only and that is to save shipping/materials cost. but they do make larger(lower# gauge) speaker wire, you just have to look around for them.

Quality vs cheap:
Note: i'm only using Monster speaker wire as an example to explain quality vs cheaply made speaker wires, since they are widely available. Most likely, you can find other brands with similar quality speaker's wire for less.
If you look at the end(or diameter) of some of those cheaply made speaker wire, they tend to use thick copper strands in their wire. you can only pack a certain number of these thick copper strands in any given diameter size(or gauge) wire, and they tend to have noticeable empty air space in between the strands. Quality speaker wire like MonsterCable uses very fine thin copper strand in their speaker wire, that means they can be pack together with Higher Density in same gauge(diameter) wire.
Higher density will allow broader sound spectrum to travel across your speaker wire. Broader sound spectrum will give you richer quality sound to your speakers.

Speaker connector/connections:
I highly recommend gold plated connectors for a number of reasons. Gold connectors give better contact and prevent lost of low current. Nickle plated connectors tend to oxidide in time(actually, all metal will eventually get oxidide, but gold last longer), and prevent a clean connection.
If you have older model speakers that have spring clip connectors, i recommend you use pin connectors over bare striped end wire. When you stick a bare striped end wire into your speaker spring clip, some copper strands tend to get loose. your whole speaker will vibrate during high volume listening, causing those loose copper strands to vibrate and creating their own noises. So, I don't recommend bare end wire for your speakers, atleast tin your speaker wire's end.

Hope this help some.

Old 07-14-00, 02:19 PM
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DVDAnimation -

I don't see why you would use larger (lower guage #) wire for the surrounds. Don't most people use like 16 gauge for their surrounds?

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Old 07-14-00, 02:26 PM
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Longer runs will have more resistance. So, you use bigger cable for the surrounds to overcome this (ease power transfer)

Old 07-14-00, 04:01 PM
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10-gauge for rear surrounds is overkill. There isn't that much current running to the rears in most circumstances, so IR losses aren't that meaningful. Unless you're making a long cable run over 50' or so, 14-gauge will serve you just fine. For such a short run, the difference in resistance just isn't very big. It will also be easier to run (lighter, more flexible, etc) and will cost less money.

I agree with using 12-gauge for the fronts. Lots more current being used there.

Don't waste your money on expensive speaker cables, though. The more buzzwords a cable company uses to describe its products, the faster you should run away . For speaker wire, just get the $0.30/ft stuff at Home Depot (or comparable local store). It's good (it even has lots of thin strands ), looks good (clear jacket), and is priced right. Monster, in particular, is overpriced and marketing-driven.
Old 07-14-00, 05:57 PM
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10gauge is an overkill?????....Where did you get that from???...is it from a standard general electrical chart????...I will give you a hint...There's more to sound current than your normal household electrical current .

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