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#68270 - 11/15/04 11:40 PM Speaker wire size question
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5316
Loc: Marion, IA
OK. I was running the speaker wires tonight for my home theater, and I guess I either measured things too "accurate" or I completely missed something. Anyway, when I ran them, after I left extra length for the mains and surrounds, I didn't have anything left over for the center channel...

Here is my question. The longest piece of wire is about 35 feet. I used 14 gauge for the 4 speakers mentioned above. I have some identical, but 16 gauge, speaker wire sitting around. Would I be OK with a run at about 25 feet of 16 gauge, or should I make a stop and get more 14 gauge tomorrow?

I am hoping to save time by not having to run to where I got the 14 gauge as it is about an hour round trip with traffic. The cost isn't a big deal since this is just speaker wire from Lowes (Home Depot type place for those that don't know)...
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#68271 - 11/15/04 11:43 PM Re: Speaker wire size question
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
Seems like its cutting it a bit close. "scientifically speaking" you'd probably be alright with that length of 16 gauge, but I would go with 14 just to be on the safe side myself. I went with 12 gauge for my mains (even though I probably didn't have to) and 14 for everything else.

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#68272 - 11/16/04 12:09 AM Re: Speaker wire size question
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10621
Nick, as Mr. Russell's table shows, 16ga will be fine for your use. So, don't make that trip. Just hook up that 16ga, sit home, and enjoy.
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#68273 - 11/16/04 12:12 AM Re: Speaker wire size question
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13565
Loc: Iowa
You should be ok Nick.

fyi I ran 12 guage for all of my speakers, ya it is probably over kill, but I like extra copper....

ps: an hour to Lowe's? don't they have the Altoona store done yet?
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#68274 - 11/16/04 02:03 AM Re: Speaker wire size question
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
I've got 30 ft runs of flat 16 gauge to my QS4s. It seems to be fine (lacking any basis for comparison; not really looking for one)
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#68275 - 11/16/04 08:36 AM Re: Speaker wire size question
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5316
Loc: Marion, IA
Nope. The Altoona store isn't open yet. I usually make those runs to Lowes over lunch, and depending on construction and traffic, it takes me almost 30 minutes from my work's door to Lowes, and another 30 minutes back...

It sounds like I should be fine with a single run of 16 gauge...
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#68276 - 11/16/04 11:41 PM Re: Speaker wire size question
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5316
Loc: Marion, IA
What about running 2 pairs of 16 gauge and tinning the ends together? Any value in that? It looks like it would give me the same amount of copper as a single pair of 14 gauge, but split into 2 pairs. I have about 150' of thie 16 gauge, so it is no big deal to me to use it.

I know, the specs say that 16 gauge is fine for what I am doing, I just won't be able to run more wire once I am done, so I thought I would ask this goofy question...
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#68277 - 11/16/04 11:53 PM Re: Speaker wire size question
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10621
Nick, joining two 16ga wires would give you the equivalent of a 13ga wire. There's at least a theoretical disadvantage in using two completely separate speaker wires; unless they were twisted tightly or otherwise bound closely together the distance between the conductors would be wider than normal, which would increase the inductance and cause a slight rolloff of the high frequencies. This might not be audible, but why bother? The 16ga is plenty.
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#68278 - 11/17/04 12:07 AM Re: Speaker wire size question
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5316
Loc: Marion, IA
Good point... Thanks!
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