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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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?
 

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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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/monster-cable-tries-to-harrass-blue-jeans-cable-fails/
and
http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/15/monster-cable-still-evil-will-allow-monster-mini-golf-to-exist/

Doug
 

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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
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.
 

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I disagree with the above chart because it does not have any wattage ratings or the type of speaker listed. A 4ohm load over a 22awg wire 6' in length powering speakers that need 150 watts to reach reference would melt the wire after some time of use or cause other issues:yikes:
 

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I'm no EE so you would have to take that up with the author. I agree if your running a pair of 18" subs in a rock concert you might have a heat problem, normal home use might be a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hiyas,

WHY?
Also, make the lengths to the similar speakers the same, even if the length is not needed - for example cut the speaker wire 32' for the 3 rear speakers and 10' for the 3 front speakers. This balances the resistance.
So 14 awg is the way to GO go GO?
HSU research sound told me usually it's 16ga for under 25' run, and 14ga,for 25' and over, but I justpicked up my speakers, and he told me to run it all with the 14ga,if the extra price is not much more than the 16ga..



I think I'm going with the Monoprice Enhanced Loud Oxygen-free copper 14 awg. For the 150' linear total footage, it's $10.76 more for the 14ga, (BEST) than the 16ga (better) for a 100',and 50' spool.



On the other hand, these small speakers are NOT JBL, Infinity,Mirage, or Definitive, floor-standers, or even bookshelves, they are satellites... they are rated as follows: 80hz-20khz / 90db Sensitivity,1 watt,1 meter / 8ohm /10-125 watt recommended amp power / less than 2 lb speakers.

The only thing I found to anchor this speaker wire around door jambs and baseboards are 1/4" cable clips.

Also, looking at expensive Vantage point speaker wall Mounts, @ 39.99 a pair, that should add up to a pretty penny. These speakers rec. Omnimount 10. Wall mounts at Monoprice #item# 3012 sell for less than $5.00,but not sure if they tilt from side to side. I need a pivot, so I can move in any direction instead of facing flush out with the wall.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Someone said this....
I'd make sure the runs for the rear surrounds and back surround are the same length, and that the fronts are the same length.
And someone said this....
The rear and back surrounds don't need to have the same length wire as speaker delay and distance is set up in the receiver, however, naturally each speaker pair should have the same length wire. 16 or 18 gauge would suffice for those runs imo
Also, make the lengths to the similar speakers the same, even if the length is not needed - for example cut the speaker wire 32' for the 3 rear speakers and 10' for the 3 front speakers. This balances the resistance.
So, you see my confusion here...is this basically a BALANCE OF RESISTANCE ISSUE HERE?

Who's right? What would happen if i cut to length each speaker run from the AVR to each speaker? This is a 6.1 set up. Two fronts,two rears,one center-rear,one center,and one sub. 12x12 room=thatsa lotsa wire!!!!
 

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What would happen if i cut to length each speaker run from the AVR to each speaker?
That will be fine. Electricity travels at the speed of light, so timing is not an issue. The difference in impedance for any reasonable mismatched length difference is insignificant.

brucek
 

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I cant wrap my head around the fact that the graph shows a 22 awg wire at 6 ft long can power a 4 ohm speaker and he make no real mention of how much power (wattage) the speaker requires at a given volume.
I tried something last night and I can say for sure that my towers did not sound as good with 18 awg wire (the smallest I had lying around) as they do with my current 12awg wire that I normally use. The volume level was lower and the sound seemed off. It was a simple test and the results for me were very clear.
 

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I cant wrap my head around the fact that the graph shows a 22 awg wire at 6 ft long can power a 4 ohm speaker and he make no real mention of how much power (wattage) the speaker requires at a given volume.
Matters not. The total power dissipated in the 22gauge wire will be a very small portion in relation to the driver load.

Take a look at some 22 gauge wire. It typically has a DCR of 16.14 ohms per 1000 feet. If I calculate the total resistance of that 6 foot cable (to the speaker and back) in relation to 4 ohms, there will be a 4.6% power loss in the cable. That's 0.2dB.
Most of the problems with respect to audio in long speaker cables is inductive reactance, where very long runs tend to act as a low pass filter. It's easily calculated though.

brucek
 

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My guess is that all of the postees have their own experience on what sounds good.
Exactly. This can be a complex subject. Things were much more cut-and-dried back in the days of two-channel stereo, and as you’ve noted, with home theater there are often aesthetic requirements that have to be considered.

But if anything makes a difference with speaker wire, it’s size (gauge). Over the years on both the audio forums and my own personal experience I’ve seen that most people claiming speaker wire makes an audible difference will say so after switching from small-gauge to large-gauge wire.

For instance, years ago a good buddy of mine asked if I thought he would hear a difference if he switched out the 20ga. stuff that came with his 80s Yamaha rack system in favor of some 14ga. wire. The speakers were rather cheap, and it was only about a 8-ft. run - and he didn’t strike me as a guy with especially fine-tuned hearing. So I told him “I doubt it.” He did the switch anyway, and to my surprise he came back with “It definitely sounds better.”

The reason wire gauge can make an audible difference most likely has to do with its resistance (which is naturally a function of its gauge and length) and how that relates to a particular speaker’s overall impedance. Not its rated impedance; that’s merely a nominal figure. Anyone who has seen an impedance curve graph for a speaker knows that the speaker’s impedance can vary wildly across the frequency spectrum. If a speaker’s impedance drops particularly low at certain frequencies, then it makes sense that resistance added by small-gauge speaker cable could easily affect the way the speaker sounds at those frequencies. And it makes sense, in that situation, that changing from small- to large-gauge speaker wire would make an audible difference (hopefully better).

It logically follows that speakers with higher nominal impedance ratings of say, 8-ohms may not respond as dramatically to a change to larger gauge wire as speakers with a 4-ohm rating, which often use 2-ohm drivers (!). It also follows that speakers with a fairly linear impedance curve across the frequency spectrum may not respond the same as speakers whose impedance at places dips to very low values at certain frequencies.

This is why you will such get varied responses from people as to whether or not heavy-gauge wire made their speakers sound better. Obviously it heavily depends on the particular speakers involved, the lengths of wire they used, the size of their original wire vs. what they upgraded to, and so forth.

At the end of the day, the typical recommendation to use only 12 or 14-gauge is based on “better safe than sorry” more than anything else. I.e. more practical than scientific. Will it make an audible difference over smaller gauge wire? Maybe, maybe not. But who wants to go through the time and expense of buying speaker wire in various lengths and gauges and conducting listening experiments? Just go with the 12-gauge and be done with it, or at least 14-gauge.

That said, home theater often brings other issues to the table:
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.....
Well, you certainly aren’t going to blow up any speakers by using undersized wire. Or even cause any fires (sorry, Tony! :) ). But as you’ve noted, it isn’t always practical to use the “best” speaker wire, especially in situations where it can’t be easily hidden. Often compromises have to be made between performance and aesthetics. After all, we do have to live in these rooms, especially if they aren’t dedicated.

The advice would be to go with the largest gauge you can live with, visibly-speaking. Hopefully that would be no smaller than 16-gauge, at least for the front speakers.

Fortunately with home theater, “all speakers are not created equal.” The front three channels are the most important. The rear channels carry mainly ambient effects and are not the primary focus of your attention As such the rear speakers are much, much less susceptible to compromises in speaker wire choices from an audibility standpoint.

Also, make the lengths to the similar speakers the same, even if the length is not needed - for example cut the speaker wire 32' for the 3 rear speakers and 10' for the 3 front speakers. This balances the resistance.
So, you see my confusion here...is this basically a BALANCE OF RESISTANCE ISSUE HERE?
Once again, the conventional wisdom from the days of stereo was to keep them the same length. Typically this was an easy thing to accomplish, with home theater you often have other considerations.

Practically speaking, if music listening is important to you, you might want to try to keep the cables for the front left and right speakers the same length. That said, it’s unlikely that having one speaker cable say, 5 ft. and one 10 ft. will make an audible difference. But if it does, it would be a bigger chance of being audible with 18-gauge wire than it would be with 12-gauge. And once again, how big of a potential issue it would be may also be dependant on the particular speaker in question. Clear as mud? : This is why people often take a “better safe than sorry” stance and keep the front left and right cables the same length, if at all possible. )

With home theater considerations the “rules” are once again much less clear. The rear speakers are not nearly as critical as the front L/R, and as you noted it’s a bit silly to cut two 50 ft. lengths of cable when one only needs 20 ft. The worst thing that can happen with drastically different rear cable lengths is that one speaker may end up a bit lower in volume than the other, due to the added resistance of the longer wire. And (again) if there is an issue, it will be more pronounced with small gauge wire. Fortunately, the receiver has level adjustment controls to take care of this problem, if indeed it turns out to be one.

By the way, you might want to check my in-wall speaker wiring article (see the link in my signature). If you can get your wire around the baseboards to just below the speaker location, it’s pretty easy to get the wire in-wall from there up to the speaker. Maybe this would keep you from having to run exposed wiring up the corners and give you more options on wire size.

Regards,
Wayne
 
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