What gauge speaker wire should I use?

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I'm not sure if I should be using 16 gauge, 12 gauge, or whatever
gauge of copper wire to connect my power amp (Hafler P1500) to my speakers
(Tannoy PBM 6.5 II). I suspect that there may be a formula for the best choice
based on length of the cables. Can anyone help?

Also, is there a better choice than the "pure" copper wire sold by
Radio Smack? Thanks!
4 answers Last reply
More about what gauge speaker wire
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Hellenason7" <hellenason7@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:20040812092835.05845.00002056@mb-m27.aol.com
    > I'm not sure if I should be using 16 gauge, 12 gauge, or
    > whatever gauge of copper wire to connect my power amp (Hafler P1500)
    > to my speakers (Tannoy PBM 6.5 II). I suspect that there may be a
    > formula for the best choice based on length of the cables. Can
    > anyone help?

    This is based on the idea that sound quality is the most important
    consideration:

    http://www.pcavtech.com/techtalk/wire_size/index.htm

    > Also, is there a better choice than the "pure" copper wire sold
    by Radio Smack? Thanks!

    Yes, the similar stuff sold by home improvement stores like Home Depot. It
    comes in big reels that cost a whole lot less per foot. I think about $65
    will get you 250 feet, with shorter cut lengths costing a bit more.

    If you are working in a portable or stage environment, you probably want to
    use a SJ-type heavily insulated, jacketed wire for the durability.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Hellenason7 <hellenason7@aol.com> wrote:
    > I'm not sure if I should be using 16 gauge, 12 gauge, or whatever
    >gauge of copper wire to connect my power amp (Hafler P1500) to my speakers
    >(Tannoy PBM 6.5 II). I suspect that there may be a formula for the best choice
    >based on length of the cables. Can anyone help?

    Use the largest cables that will fit into the connectors. Use the most
    finely stranded wire you can get.

    > Also, is there a better choice than the "pure" copper wire sold by
    >Radio Smack? Thanks!

    The 12 ga. cable sold for outdoor low voltage lighting systems at your local
    hardware store is cheaper than the Radio Shack junk, and better made.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On 12 Aug 2004 13:28:35 GMT, Hellenason7 <hellenason7@aol.com> wrote:
    > I'm not sure if I should be using 16 gauge, 12 gauge, or
    > whatever gauge of copper wire to connect my power amp (Hafler
    > P1500) to my speakers (Tannoy PBM 6.5 II). I suspect that
    > there may be a formula for the best choice based on length of
    > the cables. Can anyone help?
    >
    > Also, is there a better choice than the "pure" copper wire
    > sold by Radio Smack? Thanks!

    What kind of distance? Are you running it along the walls? Through
    conduit? B&T shows? Club dates?

    For club dates, I special ordered 12/2 type SOW/A. Drunk guy stomping
    on it in work boots was NO problem.

    B&T shows usually customize a harness for the specific needs of the
    show.

    In conduit, 12 or 14 AWG, the more strands the better. If you want to
    get fancy, you can do a voltage drop calculation. Use the rules for
    Class 2 wiring.

    "Ordinary" zip cable is good enough--it's meant to be handled, so has
    high stranding, and is available in most any size. Buy it in Home Depot
    if your run is short, or order from Newark, Digikey, Mouser . . . if you
    need heftier stuff.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On 12 Aug 2004 13:28:35 GMT, hellenason7@aol.com (Hellenason7) wrote:

    > I'm not sure if I should be using 16 gauge, 12 gauge, or whatever
    >gauge of copper wire to connect my power amp (Hafler P1500) to my speakers
    >(Tannoy PBM 6.5 II). I suspect that there may be a formula for the best choice
    >based on length of the cables. Can anyone help?
    >
    > Also, is there a better choice than the "pure" copper wire sold by
    >Radio Smack? Thanks!

    Anything too thick to comfortably fit the terminals is overkill.
    Anything so thin you wouldn't trust it with a mains supply to a small
    appliance is probably too small.

    Between these extremes, don't fuss :-) It isn't critical, whatever
    the audiophile Mafia would like you to think.

    CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
    "Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
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