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Old 08-12-2009   #1
 
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Default 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Currently I am running 8 Gauge Power Wire with the JL HD750 amp and 12W7 subwoofer. Distant is about 7-8ft from battery to amp.
Everything work fine and sound great.
I wonder if I upgrade to 4 Gauge Power wire, will the subwoofer sound ever better or there wouldn't be any sound different?
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Old 08-12-2009   #2
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

nope it wont unless you believe copper sounds different because of Wire size
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Old 08-12-2009   #3
 
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Thanks for the answer.
Another question, is there any symptom I should be aware off running 8 Gauge Wire with a 750W RMS amp?
I run it for 2 days already, so far everything seem fine. Not sure will there be any problem later on.

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Originally Posted by azngotskills View Post
nope it wont unless you believe copper sounds different because of Wire size
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Old 08-12-2009   #4
 
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

The question is not about watts, it's about amperes, and the sub you are using has nothing to do with it. Different Wire sizes are rated to handle current (amperes). What's the max current draw of the amp you're using? Find that and then go to this website:

Basic Car audio Electronics

Go to the section on Wire and scoll down to the wire size/fuse size calculator. It will tell you everything you need to know. Also, just in case you haven't, FOLLOW THAT SITE'S GUIDLINES ON WIRE AND FUSES to the letter.

It's not about getting better SQ, it's about the difficulty of getting the smell of burnt human flesh out of the upholstery.

Quote:
Not sure will there be any problem later on.
Not to be overly dramatic, but you are talking about an electrical system that, if shorted, can generate THOUSANDS of degrees of heat in seconds if not properly sized and fused. "Not sure" can have serious consequences.
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Old 08-13-2009   #5
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

The cable size doesn't play any sort of role in the quality of sound. The advantage to running a thicker Power cable is that if you decide to add an amp or two later, then you can do so safely. The charts that you see are a good guide, but they are only a guide. The truth is, your system will usually be pulling much less current than their maximum. If your amp is fused with 2 30 amp fuses 60 amps is it's max, but it will be pulling much less than that 95% of the time. But, don't risk your safety by running tiny wire, especially over long distances. The 8 gauge that you have is fine for what you're running, but I'd be very careful if you add another amp. Switching to a bigger cable will be safer.

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Old 08-13-2009   #6
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

I've never heard of amps drawing so much current that they caused 8ga Wire to catch fire.

People use big Wire so that they can get the most out of their amps. Will it yield an audible difference? Probably not. But some people get satisfaction knowing that 490w is available instead of 475w, you know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 08-13-2009   #7
 
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Again, it's not about what will typically be the case. It's about what CAN happen and the consequences if it does. The maximum recommended current (based on 300 circular mils) for an 8ga. Wire is 52 amps. Current draw for a typical class D 750W amp at clipping is 78 amps. Standards for proper Wire size and fusing were developed for a reason.

8' of 4ga. cable costs $12.00. Pretty cheap insurance if you ask me.

By the way, the HD750 manual calls for 4ga. wire for anything over 6 feet. It also recommends a 60A fuse to protect the amp. Now, before you ask why they would recommend a 60A fuse for an amp that could draw 78A, it's because it takes time for a fuse to blow. Fuses rated for 60A will take several minutes to blow at amperages just above their rating.

It may be the conservative way to do it, but again, it's 12 bucks.
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Old 08-13-2009   #8
 
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
I've never heard of amps drawing so much current that they caused 8ga Wire to catch fire.

People use big Wire so that they can get the most out of their amps. Will it yield an audible difference? Probably not. But some people get satisfaction knowing that 490w is available instead of 475w, you know?
Have you ever seen an amp short? It's not about what the sysem does when everything is working properly. It's about what happens when things don't work properly. JL recommends a 60A fuse. A 60A fuse is borderline for an 8ga. wire. It takes time for a fuse to blow and a wire can get very hot in that time.

Sure, the odds of something going wrong are slim, but the consequences are as high as total loss of the vehicle, and maybe worse. The standards are there for a reason. Follow industry standards and the manufacturer's recommendations.
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Old 08-13-2009   #9
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3Sooner View Post
Again, it's not about what will typically be the case. It's about what CAN happen and the consequences if it does. The maximum recommended current (based on 300 circular mils) for an 8ga. Wire is 52 amps. Current draw for a typical class D 750W amp at clipping is 78 amps. Standards for proper Wire size and fusing were developed for a reason.
Ok, audio here. A 750w amp isn't going to draw 78 amps. It just isn't. The transformer (made of long lengths of very thin wire, btw) wouldn't handle it, and neither would the semiconductors. It may draw 78 amps transiently. But it won't draw that much continuous. And if you try to make it, you'll end up with other shit on fire before the 8ga wire will ever think about getting lukewarm.

Quote:
8' of 4ga. cable costs $12.00. Pretty cheap insurance if you ask me.
A slow blow fuse is less than $1. And it's better insurance.

Quote:
Have you ever seen an amp short? It's not about what the sysem does when everything is working properly. It's about what happens when things don't work properly. JL recommends a 60A fuse. A 60A fuse is borderline for an 8ga. wire. It takes time for a fuse to blow and a wire can get very hot in that time.
So you're telling me that an 8ga wire will blow before a ~22ga. fuse will? How does that work?

Have you ever in your life seen a (fused) 8ga. wire get hot enough to melt the insulation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 08-13-2009   #10
 
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3Sooner View Post
By the way, the HD750 manual calls for 4ga. Wire for anything over 6 feet. It also recommends a 60A fuse to protect the amp. Now, before you ask why they would recommend a 60A fuse for an amp that could draw 78A, it's because it takes time for a fuse to blow. Fuses rated for 60A will take several minutes to blow at amperages just above their rating.
I'm using 80A fuse between the battery to the amp. It should be sufficient enough, right?
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Old 08-13-2009   #11
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by duckymcse View Post
I'm using 80A fuse between the battery to the amp. It should be sufficient enough, right?
If the factory recommends a 60 amp fuse, you're going in the wrong direction. It's always ok to put a smaller fuse than rated, but you could be taking a chance running a bigger fuse.

Now just to clarify, does this amp have it's own fuses either internal or external? If so, the fuse you use on your Power Wire is to protect the wire, not the amp and should be sized appropriately. If there is no fuse on your amp, I'd recommend 1 fuse by the battery (to protect the wire) then another fuse right before the amp (to protect the amp).

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Old 08-13-2009   #12
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
Ok, audio here. A 750w amp isn't going to draw 78 amps. It just isn't. The transformer (made of long lengths of very thin wire, btw) wouldn't handle it, and neither would the semiconductors. It may draw 78 amps transiently. But it won't draw that much continuous. And if you try to make it, you'll end up with other shit on fire before the 8ga Wire will ever think about getting lukewarm.
Here's an article that shows why it might not pull that much transiently with music.

http://www.monstercable.com/mpc/stab...Efficiency.pdf

Last edited by t3sn4f2; 08-13-2009 at 10:02 PM..
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Old 08-13-2009   #13
 
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
If the factory recommends a 60 amp fuse, you're going in the wrong direction. It's always ok to put a smaller fuse than rated, but you could be taking a chance running a bigger fuse.

Now just to clarify, does this amp have it's own fuses either internal or external? If so, the fuse you use on your Power Wire is to protect the wire, not the amp and should be sized appropriately. If there is no fuse on your amp, I'd recommend 1 fuse by the battery (to protect the wire) then another fuse right before the amp (to protect the amp).
I don't see any fuse from the JL HD750. What happen if I continue to run the 80amp fuse instead of the recommend 60amp fuse?
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Old 08-13-2009   #14
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by duckymcse View Post
I don't see any fuse from the JL HD750. What happen if I continue to run the 80amp fuse instead of the recommend 60amp fuse?
Probably nothing. Fuses are cheap though. Might as well replace the 80A with a 60A. You don't know how conservative they're being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
Ok, audio here. A 750w amp isn't going to draw 78 amps. It just isn't. The transformer (made of long lengths of very thin wire, btw) wouldn't handle it, and neither would the semiconductors. It may draw 78 amps transiently. But it won't draw that much continuous. And if you try to make it, you'll end up with other shit on fire before the 8ga Wire will ever think about getting lukewarm.



A slow blow fuse is less than $1. And it's better insurance.



So you're telling me that an 8ga Wire will blow before a ~22ga. fuse will? How does that work?

Have you ever in your life seen a (fused) 8ga. wire get hot enough to melt the insulation?
First of all, the gage of the fuse is irrelevant. It's not copper. It's designed to handle a certain amount of amps before blowing. Here's a little exerpt from BCAE about fuses.

Quote:
A fuse does not blow when the current reaches its rated current. It is designed to pass its rated current without opening. A fuse will take varying times to blow under different conditions. A fuse will pass significantly more than its rated current for a very short time. It may take 10 minutes or more to blow a fuse at 25% over its rated current. The table below is an example of the specifications for a slow blow fuse. You can see that a 20 amp fuse may pass 40 amps of current for as long as 5 minutes before blowing although it probably wouldn't take a full 5 minutes to blow. The times for other fuses will be slightly different.

%of amp rating Opening time
110% 4 hours minimum
135% 1 hour maximum
200% 5 minutes maximum
Yes, at 200% rated current for 5 minutes you could easily melt the insulation off the wire. Does it happen a lot? No. Most of the time you have a short in the circuit and you get a very fast spike which blows the fuse quickly. MOST of the time.

I'm sorry, but when you look at the consequences and you give me a choice between well established electrical engineering standards and "I've never seen it", I'm going to be conservative, spend 12 bucks on the wire AND a dollar on the fuse and know it's been done correctly and safely. Why screw around with it just because "you've never seen it".

As for the 80a fuse, spend the buck and get the fuse the manufacturer recommends. An HD750 is an expensive investment. Protect it.
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Old 08-13-2009   #16
 
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3Sooner View Post
I'm sorry, but when you look at the consequences and you give me a choice between well established electrical engineering standards and "I've never seen it", I'm going to be conservative, spend 12 bucks on the Wire AND a dollar on the fuse and know it's been done correctly and safely. Why screw around with it just because "you've never seen it".

As for the 80a fuse, spend the buck and get the fuse the manufacturer recommends. An HD750 is an expensive investment. Protect it.
Your point well taken. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-14-2009   #17
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3Sooner View Post
First of all, the gage of the fuse is irrelevant. It's not copper. It's designed to handle a certain amount of amps before blowing. Here's a little exerpt from BCAE about fuses.
Everything the BCAE excerpt says about fuses applies also to wire. The temperature coefficients might be a little different, but the same physics apply.

Quote:
Yes, at 200% rated current for 5 minutes you could easily melt the insulation off the wire. Does it happen a lot? No. Most of the time you have a short in the circuit and you get a very fast spike which blows the fuse quickly. MOST of the time.
Read my question again. I asked you if you have ever seen hot fused 8ga. wire. 200% rated current for 5 minutes means something is dreadfully wrong somewhere. If that happens, the 8ga. Wire is the least of your problems. The fuse will pop before the 8ga Wire gets hot, and before that happens the damned amplifier would probably ignite first. Trust me, if an 8ga. wire is getting hot, the relatively small traces on the board are getting much hotter much quicker.

Quote:
I'm sorry, but when you look at the consequences and you give me a choice between well established electrical engineering standards and "I've never seen it", I'm going to be conservative, spend 12 bucks on the wire AND a dollar on the fuse and know it's been done correctly and safely. Why screw around with it just because "you've never seen it".

As for the 80a fuse, spend the buck and get the fuse the manufacturer recommends. An HD750 is an expensive investment. Protect it.
Standards schmandards. What you're talking about is anything but "established". The reason I ask if you've seen it is because I know for a fact you haven't. What you're talking about is not realistic. Physics is a bitch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 08-14-2009   #18
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Would anyone here believe that it is perfectly legal and safe to run a residential or commercial A/C unit, fused at 40 amps, with a #12 wire?

Anyone care to guess why?

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Old 08-14-2009   #19
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Power Supply.....230/208 Volts

My nephew saw a SUV with smoke rolling out of it after the guys jumped out at a light and opened the rear doors, they were pulling the wires out which were over fused [ no protection for wiring or amplifiers ].

Apparently the guy who wired it figured a bigger fuse wouldn't blow { he was right }.

I have seen the tips of 8 gauge Wire burned black and would fall off when twisted between my fingers [ the sub was wired in parallel ], I just stripped the Wire back and rewired the sub in series
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Old 08-14-2009   #20
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by a$$hole View Post
Power Supply.....230/208 Volts
If this is in reference to my question, not at all. The reason this is allowed is due to the fact that there are fail safes within the A/C unit to insure overcurrent protection. Breakers are sized for the maximum circuit ampacity, and the Wire is sized for the minimum circuit ampacity, as stated on the manufacturer's nameplate.

So I'm figuring as long as the Wire is ran safely, the amplifier has overcurrent protection, and the amp is fused per the amp manufacturer's recommendation, everything should be fine. Ambient temperature could be a real concern, being under a hood and all; but thermally protected Techflex could make this a non issue, couldn't it?

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Old 08-14-2009   #21
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by danssoslow View Post

So I'm figuring as long as the Wire is ran safely, the amplifier has overcurrent protection, and the amp is fused per the amp manufacturer's recommendation, everything should be fine. Ambient temperature could be a real concern, being under a hood and all; but thermally protected Techflex could make this a non issue, couldn't it?
As long as the Wire is the appropriate size, yes, well usually. Not every amp out there has it's own fusing. Techflex isn't going to help much when a tiny wire heats up from the inside.

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Old 08-14-2009   #22
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
Techflex isn't going to help much when a tiny Wire heats up from the inside.
I was thinking this stuff insulated its contents.

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Old 08-14-2009   #23
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by danssoslow View Post
I was thinking this stuff insulated its contents.
Sure that'll work for keeping outside heat from destroying the wire, but that's usually not an issue anyway. If you're running too small gauge wire, the current is going to heat the Wire up from the inside, wrapping something around the outside isn't going to do much.

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Old 08-14-2009   #24
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

An engine is going to heat up a wire. Current will not. This is audio, guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 08-15-2009   #25
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Default Re: 4 Gauge vs 8 Gauge sound quality ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
An engine is going to heat up a wire. Current will not. This is audio, guys!
The engine heat is the only thing I figured the Wire would need to be insulated from.

I have seen and felt for myself Wire that has gotten hot due to an excessive current load; albeit in an alternating current circuit. I'm figuring that since the demands of a particular gauge, even in a dc circuit, are based on the current load, that excessive current can heat up the wire in a dc circuit also.

I do, however, fail to believe that in this situation the #8 will get hot if the amp is working properly.

Impress your ears, not your peers!!!
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