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#294322 - 02/28/10 01:55 AM New Algonquin but old thin cables - upgrade?
jmone Offline
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Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 308
Loc: Sydney Australia
I've added a pair of Algonquin Outdoor Speakers (I already have an Epic 60.500) to replace my cheapo Radio Shack outdoor speakers but I'm running them with the existing thinish cables (about 15meters for each run). What are the downsides of using this cabling as apposed to upgradeing to ??AWG ?

Thanks
Nathan
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#294323 - 02/28/10 01:56 AM Re: New Algonquin but old thin cables - upgrade? [Re: jmone]
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
How thin are we talking? 18 ga? 16 ga? If it is too thin for your distance, you're probably getting some attenuation off the top end.
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#294324 - 02/28/10 04:47 AM Re: New Algonquin but old thin cables - upgrade? [Re: Ken.C]
jmone Offline
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Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 308
Loc: Sydney Australia
I'm not sure how to accuratly measure a cable core, but if I stip the cover, twist the copper each core is about 1.5mm in diam which would make it around 15awg....
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#294519 - 03/01/10 02:46 AM Re: New Algonquin but old thin cables - upgrade? [Re: jmone]
JohnK Offline
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Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10631
Nathan, the short answer is that for a run that long you should probably use at least 14ga. A more detailed discussion of speaker wire gauges and related matters is found in this excellent explanation by a veteran audio professional.

What may cause a problem when the wire is too thin is the fact that two resistances in series(e.g., the resistances of the connecting speaker wire and the wire in the speaker voice coils)form a voltage divider. Briefly, each wire "uses" the proportion of the output voltage from the amplifier that its resistance bears to the total resistance of the two wires. Since speakers typically vary fairly widely in resistance(impedance)with frequency, as the speaker impedance fluctuates, the voltage that it uses in comparison to that of the connecting wire also fluctuates. When the resistance of a too thin speaker wire is too close to that of the speaker itself, the variable voltage that the speaker wire absorbs as its impedance fluctuates can cause an audible frequency response irregularity. For example, if impedance was 4 ohms in the bass area and 15 ohms in the treble, the treble would be emphasized. Mr. Russell suggests in the cited article that the resistance of the speaker wire be no more than about 5% of the speaker impedance.
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#294557 - 03/01/10 11:05 AM Re: New Algonquin but old thin cables - upgrade? [Re: JohnK]
Murph Offline
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Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
Also, I'm sure you already thought of it but make sure you leave a bit of spare cable at the speaker end as you may have to trim back the rusty ends a little bit every year or so, depending on the climate.
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#294592 - 03/01/10 02:09 PM Re: New Algonquin but old thin cables - upgrade? [Re: Murph]
jmone Offline
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Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 308
Loc: Sydney Australia
Thanks for the advice + yes I had left a spare mtr at one end!
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