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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay,
I've read a few web sites and I think it's purely academic for me, but I'm still interested in the science (light) behind resistance and max power a given cable can handle. I always operated with the "16 is good for most" and "12 for subs" type logic, but would love to know what sort of degradation and other issues occur at given power/distance/resistance. Thanks
 

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Here you go: WIRE
 

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the only degradation you will suffer is voltage loss (power loss at the speaker)


http://bcae1.com/images/swfs/speakerwireselectorassistant.swf

bcae1.com said:
Resistance in Speaker Wire:
Many people are told that they need to use very large speaker wire to prevent a noticeable loss in output. For most situations, 16g speaker wire is absolutely fine. In the following calculator, you can see just how little loss you'll have with a given wire size. Keep in mind that 1 dB is generally the minimum difference you'll be able to hear. If the loss is less than 1dB, you'll never hear it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awesome, thanks. Now I feel like a tool for asking.... At least I'll have the bookmarks. I guess I'm surprised that smaller cable doesn't make that much difference (matter of opionion of course) over short runs at higher power.
 

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Awesome, thanks. Now I feel like a tool for asking.... At least I'll have the bookmarks. I guess I'm surprised that smaller cable doesn't make that much difference (matter of opionion of course) over short runs at higher power.
No need to feel like a tool. If you were someone who assumed or believed something without trying to learn the facts, that would make you a tool.

In any case, the difference is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of engineering. The audio world is full of hucksters who don't know what will make a difference, but are happy to pretend like they do.
 

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At least you were on the right track anyway. One of the most frustrating things in regards to car audio is trying to get people to accept that they don't necessarily need huge wire.
 

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At least you were on the right track anyway. One of the most frustrating things in regards to car audio is trying to get people to accept that they don't necessarily need huge wire.
Like people fighting to get 2-3 runs of 12awg into a door boot only to have a 50x4 amp running the fronts. Then they run 10awg or bigger to a sub on a 300 watt amp. I personally use 16awg for everything in the home and truck. Gotta love people who don't have a clue.

Don't get me started on people who think they need 1/0 for power on less than 100 amps of current draw...on their wimpy 80amp alty. Then the reverse for people who think their stock econobox alty will run a 2000 watt hifonics amp.:rolleyes:
 

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I guess I'm surprised that smaller cable doesn't make that much difference (matter of opionion of course) over short runs at higher power.
Most of the resistance is in the connections not the wire itself.
 

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Like people fighting to get 2-3 runs of 12awg into a door boot only to have a 50x4 amp running the fronts. Then they run 10awg or bigger to a sub on a 300 watt amp. I personally use 16awg for everything in the home and truck. Gotta love people who don't have a clue.

Don't get me started on people who think they need 1/0 for power on less than 100 amps of current draw...on their wimpy 80amp alty. Then the reverse for people who think their stock econobox alty will run a 2000 watt hifonics amp.:rolleyes:
Hay, I represent that remark... lol...

I'm adding building blocks for my A/B amps though... lol.. my power system is WAY overkill... It was designed when I had my RF P1000 though...
 

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Like people fighting to get 2-3 runs of 12awg into a door boot only to have a 50x4 amp running the fronts. Then they run 10awg or bigger to a sub on a 300 watt amp. I personally use 16awg for everything in the home and truck. Gotta love people who don't have a clue.

Don't get me started on people who think they need 1/0 for power on less than 100 amps of current draw...on their wimpy 80amp alty. Then the reverse for people who think their stock econobox alty will run a 2000 watt hifonics amp.:rolleyes:

Yeah, that's exactly what I was talking about. I use 16 gauge across the board too. I just had this argument with someone on another board that's not about car audio.

The person kept trying to talk about loss with 16 gauge wire even after I pointed it out that the loss was less than .3db as opposed to running something huge.:rolleyes:
 

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Like people fighting to get 2-3 runs of 12awg into a door boot only to have a 50x4 amp running the fronts. Then they run 10awg or bigger to a sub on a 300 watt amp. I personally use 16awg for everything in the home and truck. Gotta love people who don't have a clue.

Don't get me started on people who think they need 1/0 for power on less than 100 amps of current draw...on their wimpy 80amp alty. Then the reverse for people who think their stock econobox alty will run a 2000 watt hifonics amp.:rolleyes:
LOL! I have a 2000 watt hifonics on a stock alt.
 

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You all do need to remember that a wire does have a capacitance and inductance as well to be thorough, even if for speaker wire it is negligible.
 

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Considering that it is negligible, why would we need to remember it?:)
Well, it can become important, more so in long runs of power wire, it can cause problems. Just one thing, never EVER coil any wire that has to do with audio signals. Coiled wire will make an inductor and can cause noise in the signal and sometimes may even act as a low pass filter, ruining your high end.
 

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this is exactly why I run 16-4 inwall speaker wire in every vehicle I do... (4) 16ga conductors in a single cable, about the size of old rg-59 coaz... easy to run, cheap as hell... extra wires on had if you upgrade/expand... running it to subs, I pair up conductors...

Done... my last spool was a steal... Monster Cable ebing closed out... 500ft spool for something like $75-100.. ftw!

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've definitely read enough to know that wire is wire and cheap is a good thing. Maybe my ears aren't great, but I've never been able to tell an audible difference between brands and except in extreme cases, (read: 22awg for 200w), gauge.
 

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In order for the wire to be useful you actually have to connect it to something ....... usually you use a connector of some type for that job. You must connect one end of a speaker wire to the amp and the other end to the speaker. The resistance of each of these connections is typically more than the resistance of a normal 10-12 ft 14 Ga speaker wire run, depending on the type of connector and how it is attached to the wire and the speaker or amp.

Large power wire runs are even more in this category because the wire itself has so little resistance. The overstated wiring guides usually used by car stereo comps are compensating for this by using much larger cable than would be normally needed.
 

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Large power wire runs are even more in this category because the wire itself has so little resistance. The overstated wiring guides usually used by car stereo comps are compensating for this by using much larger cable than would be normally needed.
I blame competitions for creating and sustaining the culture of ridiculous wiring in car audio. A lot of the stuff is closer to interior decoration than engineering. Give it enough time, they will start handing out points for tasteful carpet and fine embroidery on the seat upholstery. Then the gay dudes will move in and clean up.
 
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