Well, I'm finally getting ready to do the install on both cars (now that its starting to warm up in Toronto) ... I've already decided on what manufacturer I'm going with for the Power\Ground wire ... and what guage to use to keep the amps happy.
Now I need to figure out what guage speaker wire to use ...
I figure the front midbass, midrange and tweets will have about 11'~15' of speaker wire run for each channel, and I'll be giving them about 100W rms each. So I'm thinking of using 14 guage twisted speaker wire, but would it be big enough?
For the sub, it'll be around 2'~3.5' long, and would be passing through roughly 1000W rms, would 12 guage be enough or should I go bigger?
I just don't want the speaker wires to be the limiting factor in my install.
Once all this is done, I'll spend next month on sound dampening the crap outta both cars. That's gonna be a whole other headache!!
Ps. Any and all recommedations regarding what guage speaker wire to use would be appreciated.
I've had similar setups in the past, using the same gauges running roughly the same power. Never had a problem. I switched to 12 gauge just for the sake of not having 4 runs of different speaker wire in the car.
Perhaps it's most beneficial to generalize on the topic of wire first. Regardless of application at this point, what characteristics of the wire does size affect? Looking at it from a power wire stand point, you'd be worried about power capacity. What other things affect power capacity of a wire? Length, as well as size. So now you just need to find a formula/web calculator to determine the power capacity of a wire based on size and length.
The only thing I'd mention that hasn't been covered already is space constraints. I have tiny molex plugs in my car and even getting 16AWG to fit through when running wire into the doors them was a chore.
Eh, 16 should be fine, but less resistance is better, so if it's not going to cost you anything (time/patience/money) then biggest you can find. Molex's are a biotch, you could make your own hole and loom it to run thicker, but it's probably not worth it.
Yea, the space\thickness of the wires and running them through the doors is definitely a concern ...
But the good news is that only my midbass drivers will be in the doors (for both cars), for the Civic, I'll have the mids and highs in the Q-logic kickpanels and the Miata would have custom pods built to house the DLS 3" mid and 1" tweets near the a-pillar (don't like how my focal tweets sound when in the stock location and my hand is on the wheel).
So yea, the wiring should hopefully be easier for the mids\highs, and it won't be too hard to wire the 14guage through the door for the midbass.
Good news is that my Miata's doors have already been wired with 14guage for the Focal mids in the doors, so I just have to worry about the Civic's doors. But I'm sure the 92~95 Civic HB's doors are gonna be a PITA to do.
As for power wire, its gonna be 0 guage from battery to trunk, with a 120amp fuse breaker in the engine compartment and in the trunk it'll split from 0 guage to 4 guage for each amp. Hopefully that'll be adequate.