Rookie mistake - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #11 of 14 Old 08-07-13, 12:21 AM
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droidism wrote: View Post

I really do appreciate your laid back attitude at a time when I am a wreck!!! You must be a Zen Master cause I do feel less like a rookie for the oversight on speaker wire. Nevertheless, I am going to do as you and others suggest...relax, and get everything per plan and hope for the best. I have lots of pics to share and will create a separate thread tomorrow to capture the build.
That's what this hobby is all about. Relaxing and enjoying what you work hard for to get. I look forward to seeing your progress, and remember: Just Breath! Lol
We've all done stuff that is questionable and regrettable at times and it will happen. You just need to roll with the punches and move on. It could have been worse, u could have not put any wires up. Just throwing that out there
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-07-13, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rookie mistake

ellisr63 wrote: View Post
I searched and found this for you... (I copied this from the audioholics forum and pasted it so I won't violate any Forum link rules... Hopefully this doesn't violate any either).

"I'll address your specific question, but first let's hit some basics for others reading this question. The general idea is that you should always try to stick with a good gauge of wire - typically 16 gauge or higher is best. Now when we say "higher" realize that we really mean "lower". Er, let me explain...

Speaker cable gauge is short for American Wire Gauge, or AWG. This is a expressed in numbers that get smaller as the wire gets thicker. So, smaller numbers mean a larger thickness of wire, and larger numbers mean a smaller thickness of wire. Most bulk speaker cable is between 16 and 12 gauge (AWG).

Your particular question seems to center around consistency, but at it's heart there is an underlying question of what happens to the audio as it travels through these cables? Consistency only comes into play once you exceed a particular distance. We could do the math, but let's just give you some basic, conservative guidelines to follow instead:

Less than 30 feet: 16 gauge
30 - 50 feet: 14 gauge
50 - 100 feet: 12 gauge
100+ feet: 10 gauge (or us 14/4 cable which works out to 11 gauge)
Audioholic: 10-12 gauge, regardless of distance
I tend to run 10-12 gauge everywhere just for fun since in the scheme of things it doesn't seem to cost all that much more. If, however, you are wiring up a whole house I see no reason to spend the extra money if your longest distances from the amplifier to the speakers are less than 100 feet. Stick with 12- or 14-gauge unless you're really concerned with eeking out the absolute best performance.

What happens when you exceed these distances? Power loss and reduced damping factor to the speaker (the ratio of the rated speaker impedance to the output impedance of the amplifier) occurs over the distance of the cable. This means reduced sound quality. To put it bluntly, a thinner gauge wire over an extended length will introduce its own significant amount of impedance (50 feet of 24 AWG wire calculates to be 2.62 ohms, for example). When you're dealing with an 8-ohm speaker, thats roughly 2.5dB of insertion loss! You can see how this added impedance can dramatically affect the sound.

If you're in a typical theater room you'd have to have a very thin gauge of speaker wire for your surrounds (like 20-gauge) before you were able to tell the difference audibly in most cases - and even then you'd have to listen critically and compare the same source to the fronts. Add to this the fact that most people have different speakers for surrounds than they do for the fronts... Add to that room acoustics... Add to that the expected amount of use the surrounds get and the differing program material they receive than the fronts... and it becomes even more of a non-critical issue.

In your example I would doubt very much that there would be any audible difference between 18- and 16-gauge unless your surrounds utilized cable lengths of more than 30-40 feet. There would most certainly be a measurable difference - but that's not always as important."
While doing research over the past week I read countless comments from others who consider 18 gauge wire to be a cardinal sin for any home theater..... some wouldn't even use it with a HTiB setup!!! Based on comments such as these, I assumed I would never reach a decent sound quality level with my current speaker wire. Your and other's comments really help put it all back into perspective. This supposed to be fun right?
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-07-13, 12:33 AM
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It's definitely suppose to be fun, u need to understand that most people are extra meticulous about there setups. Some stuff is preferred, but not really necessary. There are many steps people take to get the best they can possibly get and don't skimp on anything in striving for perfection. But to most its all about the experience, experimenting, and learning what works and what doesn't. But ultimately it boils down to your personal preferences, and what you like, hear, and see. That's what is important, and enjoying the process regardless of what is thrown your way. You got this!
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-07-13, 07:25 PM
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Hopefully you gave him in wall rated wiring, just didn't see that anywhere.
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mistake , rookie

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