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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if this needs to go here or in Technical, but I see a lot of people pushing "speaker cable" for installs, though I have a LOT of THHN electrical wire. I have also seen a video where the guy tested several brands of amp power cable against welding cable. Surprisingly, the "cheaper brands" (including that he got from Wally World, Scosche I belive) come out on top. What would be the difference in sound quality though? Any?
 

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If the wire is sized properly for the task, the only difference I'm aware of is flexibility, but I'm no expert. (im assuming you are talking about stranded wire, as well). Some will say more strands are better for a whole host of reasons, but it comes down to flexibility, IMO.
I am interested to see how many "pixie dust" answers you get, though.
 

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Listener of Music
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One of my work trucks has had thhn in it for 10 years. No difference. The wire is flexible enough as your using small gauge. The one thing is even though the jacket is stiff it scraps easily on the metal edges of car bodies.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's pretty much what I was thinking, not much difference in sound though you may have to watch the installation to make sure the insulation doesn't degrade. Still, I hear some types of wire "sound" better than others, such as one claim where the wire has a hollow core that helps it carry high frequencies better.
 

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horseshit. I guess the hollowed portion is where the high frequencies "tunnel directly to the speaker through the center unobstructed, and less likely to pick up any interference":laugh:
 

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As long as the wire is stranded of at least decent quality and the jacket will survive the install you're good to go. I like using 4-way flat trailer wire in my installs for speaker wires. If tapping into factory wiring in the dash (not near the sin people make it out to be as long as it will carry the wattage) you can even get 5-way wire and use the blue wire for remote turn-on;)
 

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gotta love these threads
 

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Listener of Music
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This thread is legit. Really. The original question is one that makes perfect sense. If they are both copper wire why is one not used for the other. It should not get turned into one of "these threads".

Probably will though....
 

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I'm sure a lot of people on here do use regular electrical wire and just don't admit it on this forum:laugh:
 

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Listener of Music
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I'm sure a lot of people on here do use regular electrical wire and just don't admit it on this forum:laugh:
I had an disagreement with someone once. I bought some used Kimber Kable for cheaper than regular speaker wire. I installed and there was no difference other than the bulkiness. Ultimately I got rid of it because the color. I was going to put it in the above work truck but went with thhn. He's said his HT was perfect sounding using it and he would never use solid or stranded electrical wire in his system. It was like stacking trailers and calling it a mansion. So I asked him if he watched his movies using internet via a cable company. He said yeah. I said how do you think they get the signal you use to your house? Sure isn't 16 wire, 80 bagillion strand Kimber Kable.
 

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Good question (despite any derisive responses). Basically, wire is wire. However, there are many important considerations: Conductor material (for example, aluminum, copper, CCA, tinned ...and OFC, which seems rather pointless in Earth's oxygen-rich atmosphere); ampacity/wire gauge/length; flexibility; insulation/jacket composition, thickness, color and voltage rating; number of conductors (in the case of multi-conductor cable); overall thickness/diameter; age and/or apparent condition of both the conductor surface and the insulation/jacket material(s)...

THHN is great, though it can be a bit on the stiff side, and the outer (gasoline and oil resistant) jacket can be easily damaged/abraded (and/or bind-up/catch) when "pulling" in less than ideal circumstances.
 

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This thread is legit. Really. The original question is one that makes perfect sense. If they are both copper wire why is one not used for the other. It should not get turned into one of "these threads".

Probably will though....
I would venture a guess and say that "electrical" wire can be used for speakers, but not the other way around..... I would assume that speaker wire would not be rated to handle the voltage.
someone correct me if im off base, here.
 

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I would venture a guess and say that "electrical" wire can be used for speakers, but not the other way around..... I would assume that speaker wire would not be rated to handle the voltage.
someone correct me if im off base, here.
Great point. You are correct. While a given speaker wire might actually be safe for a given voltage (above that of audio circuits, for example), in the absence of a voltage rating, we really have no way of knowing with any certainty, and should therefore avoid such usage.
 

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Thanks for bringing that up about not using speaker wire for a/c electrical use. I never really thought of that but makes sense. I'll use speaker wire in 12v dc applications where 18g isn't quite enough though since normally I have 16g speaker wire readily available but only keep 18g hookup wire on hand since it's all I need most of the time for processors, turn-on wires, LED trailer lights, boat electronics that usually only require a 3a fuse, etc.
 

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Actually a hollow core wire is "better" due to skin effect. Skin effect is with higher frequencies the signal/current is carried closer to the surface of the wire. The more surface the greater the signal carrying capability. The only caveat is skin effect occurs at frequencies well above what you can hear unless you're a super bat and if that is the case you're not interested in car audio.
 

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Actually a hollow core wire is "better" due to skin effect. Skin effect is with higher frequencies the signal/current is carried closer to the surface of the wire. The more surface the greater the signal carrying capability. The only caveat is skin effect occurs at frequencies well above what you can hear unless you're a super bat and if that is the case you're not interested in car audio.
So makes sense when vaguely explained by a marketing department but not practical in practice if you're a human whos hearing probably rolls off before 20k:DI know when I go out to do rta work every dog in my neighborhood starts barking.
 

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One way that nice high end wire "sounds" better... is that it is generally less stiff and less likely to vibrate against panels and buzz. I hate chasing vibrations after an install. Wrapping in fleece tape (search ebay) helps a lot.

Electrically, I lol at people who claim to hear a difference.
 

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I use solid-core (no strands at all!) CAT5 cable for my right-rear surround speaker in my home theater, and lamp cord for my center channel.

If I didn't mention it, nobody would ever know.
For audio frequencies, wire is wire.
...unless it's not, then it's marketing.

Just choose the stuff that's easier to install.

Also, I like RRizz's point about voltage rating and insulation and such.
 
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