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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now I'm using 16 gauge Monster wire for my surrounds and 14 gauge for my mains/center. If I were to go to 14 gauge for the surrounds, would I notice a difference in sound? I only turn up my system about twice a month to reference levels, the rest of the time I'm listening at like -40 at best.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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the two most important things to consider with wire gauge are power and distance.

You say you aren't running a lot of power to them, so a lower gauge is probably fine.

How long is the run to the speakers? If the wiring is 50' or more, I'd upgrade to the 14 gauge. If it's only 20' or so, 16 gauge is more than enough. If it's 100', I would even bump up to 12 gauge.

So your mileage may vary, but usually I put 14 gauge in as a minimum. It's middle of the road, allows for more power later, and is a LOT cheaper than 12 gauge. However if changing it out is a hassle, the 16 gauge is fine.
 

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Gauge of wire only needs to be increased if you have a long run I highly doubt increasing the gauge will help at all unless you have a 50 foot or longer run. Also, next time you get speaker wire I would suggest saving some money and going monoprice or blujeancables as they both will be cheaper and perform as well as monster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Changing out the wire isn't a problem at all, that's why I was just wondering. Based on the route the wire takes to my receiver, I'd say that I'm at about 50' or more.

Is there a big difference in sound with the different types of wires out there as well?
 

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Is there a big difference in sound with the different types of wires out there as well?
Short answer is No,
Monster will have you believe that there is a difference but Many people who have the right equipment to test say that they do not. Your paying for a name only. As long as the copper is good quality any brand will do, even RCA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm pretty sure that when I bought this speaker wire (10 years ago) I was told that it was the best stuff on the market at that time.

I think that I might upgrade my main speaker wire as well. I bought it at the same time I bought the monster wire. It's............4 or possibly 6 wires (4 pos/4 neg) intertwined/braided together. It was supposed to be this new thing out at the time that would give you a better connection. I jumped on it, but I haven't seen anything like it since and the place where I bought it from doesn't sell it anymore either.
 

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The braided wire is actually not one one the snske oils but if you are getting something besides Monster I envy you. I was restricted to local wire (or told so) and it was my only option. I planned my theater and about the time I was done planning the construction crew was ready to hang up the drywall. I guess I could have sent them home and explained to my folks why ordering the 400ft of wire online was necessary. It is my own fault I got the Monster but there were certainly many factors out there against me. I let my fellow forum members down. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
At the levels that I listen to my HT, I don't think that I'd be able to tell the difference between the different companies, maybe the different gauges of wire, but still I don't think that I would.
 

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Changing out the wire isn't a problem at all, that's why I was just wondering. Based on the route the wire takes to my receiver, I'd say that I'm at about 50' or more.

Is there a big difference in sound with the different types of wires out there as well?
If it is easy enough you could always try it yourself. That is what I would do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just really don't want to waste my money on different types of wire gauges. I think that I'm going to just do 14 or even 12 if it's feasible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I didn't think that 12 gauge would be so cheap. I can do my entire system for that price. Where can you get the wire for that cheap?
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Try Parts Express (they sell different brands, but the generic is just fine).

Bluejeanscable.com

Monoprice.com

I have an installer discount at PE, so obviously I buy all my stuff there, but the other two are perfectly okay.

Part Number 100-025, Dayton 12-2, 100' roll, $60 or 60 cents a foot
Part Number 100-021, Dayton 14-2, 100' roll, $45 or 45 cents a foot

Longer and shorter spools available. When I said it was much more expensive, I meant it (33% more for 12 gauge), but at shorter runs, it's not too bad. Oh, those cables listed are NOT rated for inwall -- that's a bit more.

good luck.
 

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12 is not very expensive. I guess it depends on if you want the fancy name on it. 200 feet of 12 is only 75.00. Thats not bad.
I bought some at The Home Depot up here in Canada for $90 Thats what I have my speakers wired with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think that I'll have to check out the Home Depot. I went to Future Shop the other day and the wire was over a dollar a foot! They didn't seem to have some "low grade" cheap stuff there.
 

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As Anthony said, don't forget monoprice, the first place you should go when buying cables or wire. 100' of 12 is $37 shipped, 200' is $65, 300' is $94. Also have 14, 16, 18 if you're not looking to overkill.

Edit: Oh wait, future shop...you're in Canada. Well, monoprice may still be your best bet, I'm just not sure what the shipping $$ would be (they do ship there though).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As long as the wire is made in the US, it should be worth the price. If not, then you have all the other taxes, tariffs and other fun stuff added on to that. I'll look them up and see what they have to offer and see how much it would be delivered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Has anyone heard that all the speaker wire has to be the same size? Like the Mains and Center being both 12 ft (for instance) and the surrounds being both 20 ft?

I heard this when I first bought speaker wire a few years back from a local HT shop. I could understand having, for instance, LC 12 ft of wire and the RC 30 ft, but is there any logic to this?
 

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Has anyone heard that all the speaker wire has to be the same size? Like the Mains and Center being both 12 ft (for instance) and the surrounds being both 20 ft?

I heard this when I first bought speaker wire a few years back from a local HT shop. I could understand having, for instance, LC 12 ft of wire and the RC 30 ft, but is there any logic to this?
Don't worry so much about speaker wire. In the end all good speaker wire will work properly. The definition of good in this case is the appropriate gauge for distance run and it being copper! The speakers don't care if the gauges matter or not, what the brand is or anything. Just get the right gauge for the distances you have run and focus on aspects of the system that actually effect sound like acoustics, placement, speakers etc...
 
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