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speaker wire and gauge increase

3486 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  lsiberian
i have an existing, outdoor ,buried 4 pr telephone line feeding an outside speaker from my indoor receiver.the wire is about 40 feet long. it is solid wire, i am guessing 22 gauge ,19 at the most.i am hoping to increase the gauge . if i twist 2 of the wires together at both ends and put them as the plus on the receiver and one terminal of the speaker and do the same for the other terminal am i increasing the gauge or wasting my time? should i use specific wires for the the plus and minus,being that each of the 4 pairs are twisted together or does that not matter? thanks for having me , paul
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Ummmm cat3/5 is usually 24 or 26 gauge, not exactly recommended for any time of speaker connection. I would keep the colors together and use blue and green then orange and brown pairs but it is not recommended at all.
Yeah, Cat5/6 is 24 gauge at best, not recommended for speaker wire unless you use all the solids for + and stripes for - (and then you need a second line for the other speaker). Even that only gets you up to like 18 AWG or so.


You can see the area, multiply by number of conductors and then find the wire gauge that is closest to the result.

For that long of a run, I would recommend 14AWG at a minimum to minimize losses.
the wire is actually not cat 5.it is a direct bury for plain old phone service.i should have been more specific, it is definetly at least 22 gauge.it is not nearly as thin as 24 gauge cat 5 wire. it is used to feed just one speaker,. thank you, i gathered from your answers that i can increase the gauge somewhat by combining the wires. great forums!!! any more suggestions are greatly appreciated, do you want me to mark the thread as resolved, if so how? paul
Combining two strands will get you about 18 gauge, which is still a bit light. But if it's your only option, then go with it.

We don't do resolved/unresolved or points here. Just general discussions. Anyone reading it will know you got the info you needed.

Good luck and welcome to HTS!
if you have access to the existing line, why not replace them with standard speaker cable with proper rating expose to external environment.
That is a good point -- you may be able to use the existing line as a "pull" to bring up new, larger speaker line into the house. Obviously that depends on where it comes in, how deep it is buried and how you can get the final run to the receiver/amp. But a good idea if you can make it work.
If it's a buried feed, one cannot pull anything unless it was buried in conduit. Then, yes, one could pull a new wire into the pipe.

BTW, if it is 20 gauge wire, then paralleling two wires will produce a 19 gauge equivalent. A forty foot line will provide 0.64 Ohms of resistance. While this is more than B&W recommends in a speaker line, realistically the OP will not notice the 1 dB loss of signal this will cause, and he is unlikely to notice the small frequency response issues on an outdoor speaker.
I didn't know what his "house termination" was. If it went through a clean hole with putty right to a wall plate, then it might make for a great pull to get some larger gauge wire outside. But if it enters underground and is stapled in-wall, then it's best just to leave it alone.
It's an outside speaker. You will certainly be fine.
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