What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 35 Old 03-31-09, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire?

Hiyas,
I have purchased the new Yamaha RX-V665. 90wx7 / 630w AVR. This will be a 6.1 channel.

Thank you,
This is not rocket science, I don’t want to blow the speaker drivers by using the wrong gauge wire, I wish then NOT to look so obtrusive going up the corners or along the baseboards, but if the 14ga is not that much thicker than the 16ga,then..... I'll take this monster THX stuff back to FRY'S. Am I also looking for stranded or solid copper?

Excuse my redundancy trying to grasp what is the best for my small HSU satellites. They are not JBL, Mirage, or Definitive, floorstanders, they are rated as follows: 80hz-20khz / 90db Sensitivity,1 watt,1 meter / 8ohm /10-125 watt recommended amp power / less than 2lb speakers.
Thanks on the Roger Russell's wire table. I've seen that before. So thicker is better.

So the major consensus is that the 16 awg THX Monster wire is basically , paying for the name, and makes no sound/resistance differences at all, and I should still rethink buying at Monoprice?

Can anyone tell me that I have to split the gauge wires, and use the 16ga for the front two speakers and the 12 or 14 Ga for the 26’,31’,and 41’ runs? (rears and rear-center)

I just think the thicker the wire like 10, 12, and 14,will be difficult to manage, and will be very visible going up my corners. Not so?

________________________________________________________

Here are the actual run lengths. I have to go along the baseboards, up the corners, and around two doorjambs to get to a few speakers.

Front left= 14' / front right=18' / rear surround left=26' / rear-center=31' / and the rear surround right=41'

According to the Roger Russells wire chart, http://www.roger-russell.com anything under 48' with a 8 ohm load, 16 gauge is noted.

Again, has anyone heard of having to cut all the different length runs the same length, or this is not the case?

Last edited by bozobytes; 04-01-09 at 01:11 PM.
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post #2 of 35 Old 03-31-09, 11:47 PM
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Re: What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire?

18 guage wire is not going to have any application in home theater but it can sometimes be found with some HTIB, systems. I would avoid that for any kind of installation you plan on doing. 16 guage or more commonly 14 guage would be appropriate. You want to use oxygen free copper wire if possible. Using different wire guage's will not hurt anything but you may want to avoid using double runs (combing a pair) of wire in parallel as that is usually not neccessary. You want to avoid bending them and watch that strands are not loose touching the other ends. You could hide the wire using some runway which can be found pretty easy, or retro-fit the wire in places to hide it. For your subwoofer cable avoid using one that is not 14 AWG, may have poor connectors. More info can found here at Wayne's article.

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post #3 of 35 Old 04-01-09, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire?

Did I blow it? Can you not tell the difference in the quality of this wire and wire from Monoprice? Could there be a difference in quality?

I went to Frys and I really hate to say so, but after thinking about buying my speaker wire at Monoprice, Frys talked me into Monster Standard THX certified 16 GA. wire. 50' was $19.95, and 100' was $29.95.(For Home Theater Surround Sound)

Oh well, I have it all now. I just have to find some low-priced swivel, pivot, wall mounts. I was to position them from the inside corners out,not facing flush with the wall, and it hard to find them under 85.00 for about 5 of them. I checked out monoprice, but they face flush with the wall,which will not even be facing my direction.

The speaker company said that the 16ga would be fine. When I crack open the AVR, it may tell me what speaker ga to use with their AVR. RX-V665.
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post #4 of 35 Old 04-01-09, 08:36 AM
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Re: What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire?

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable
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post #5 of 35 Old 04-01-09, 09:23 AM
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Re: What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire?

Quote:
bozobytes wrote: View Post
Did I blow it? Can you not tell the difference in the quality of this wire and wire from Monoprice? Could there be a difference in quality?
Ok,... my opinion, yes you wasted some money. On the other hand, Monster makes good stuff, it's just way over priced. No, I don't think you would see a difference in quality.

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post #6 of 35 Old 04-01-09, 10:32 AM
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Re: What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire?

Quote:
bozobytes wrote: View Post
Did I blow it? Can you not tell the difference in the quality of this wire and wire from Monoprice? Could there be a difference in quality?
Well you paid a little more than you needed to for speaker wire. We'll forgive you this time if you promise to never buy another Monster Cables product again. They are an evil company.

See:
http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/04/14...s-cable-fails/
and
http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/15/m...golf-to-exist/

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post #7 of 35 Old 04-01-09, 12:28 PM
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Re: What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire?

Quote:
When I crack open the AVR, it may tell me what speaker ga to use with their AVR.
Can you explain this statement?

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post #8 of 35 Old 04-01-09, 12:52 PM
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Re: What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire?

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brucek wrote: View Post
Can you explain this statement?

brucek
I would assume some receivers say to use between 20 and 16 ga due to the size of wire that will fit in the binding posts or wire clips. I always feel bigger is better for speaker wires, so 12 or 14 ga should work in 99% of the situations. Then again i used 10ga for my SVS CS Ultra sub, nothing like over kill.
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post #9 of 35 Old 04-01-09, 01:12 PM
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Re: What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire?

I would not even consider buying a receiver that would make a statement to use 20 or even 16 awg wire for powering speakers. Thats just unacceptable. 14 is the smallest you should ever go.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #10 of 35 Old 04-01-09, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What's more practical 16 or 18 gauge wire?

I am a sucker, and they saw me coming buying this monster Lucas THX certified !

So it's monoprice, Am I thinking 30' 16awg for less than 25' runs,and 100' of 14awg for over 25' runs,OR just buy ALL 14 awg wire?

Well, I am hearing so many thoughts of having to use 10,12,and 14 awg, and to NOT use the 16 gauge wire, I thought the manufacturer of the Yamaha might tell me what applications I should use for their amp's wire post size. I'm new at this. That's why I said that.

The speaker company HSU reserch sound said to use the 16 awg,that should e sufficient.

My guess is that all of the postees have their own experience on what sounds good.

Last edited by bozobytes; 04-02-09 at 03:02 AM.
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