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I know when I go out to do rta work every dog in my neighborhood starts barking.
Murphy's Law at work, my version of this includes every redneck with no muffler within 20 miles driving by my house.
Mine is a 5 man lawn crew shows up with weed eaters and poorly maintained zero turns blazing away or low frequency pressure waves from the massive military artillery base 35 miles away
 

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Mine is a 5 man lawn crew shows up with weed eaters and poorly maintained zero turns blazing away or low frequency pressure waves from the massive military artillery base 35 miles away
You should record that artillery.
You can hear barely a low frequency but you windows shake and your door to your house bangs against the sill it's kinda trippy that that much pulse wave comes from such a barely audible sound
 

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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?
Are you wanting to use your THHN for power wire or speaker wire?

I'm not trying to boast, but I am an Electrical Engineer. Wire is wire. As long as it's copper, you're fine using anything.
The only caveat is; make sure it is properly sized (gague) for the current it is carrying.

The reason most guys use stranded power cable, is because:
1. It's softer and more flexible to route through a car chassis.
2. It looks cooler, and makes a more esthetically pleasing install.
3. It fits better into accessories (fuse blocks, crimps, etc.)

The reason most guys use stranded speaker cable, is because:
See points 1 & 2 above.

Everything you read about 'magic' speaker cable is pure Marketing BullShit.
Wire is wire. As long as it's copper.

It doesn't magically carry higher frequencies on the outer core. It doesn't make your sub sound lower. It has nothing to do with that.
Your amp and your speakers are responsible for creating the sound... not the wire.

It is just wire. It carries current from your amplifier to your speakers. Nothing else.
As long as it's properly sized to carry the current, it'll work fine. No matter the price or style.

Think of it this way: Electricity is like water. (the below description is for illustration purpose):
Voltage is similar to a specific amount of water. Let's call it: 1 cubic inch.
Amperage is the speed at which that 1 cubic inch needs to travel through a water pipe (similar to PSI).
If you take that 1 cubic inch of water, and try to ram it through a straw at high pressure (high amperage draw), then the straw will burst.
Same thing with wire, except the narrow straw is similar to a smaller guage of wire.
This is measured in resistance. Too much resistance creates heat... which ends up in your car starting on fire.

Now, if you take that 1 cubic inch of water, and put it through a 1 inch diameter pipe. It'll flow fine. No resistance. No back pressure. No exploding pipes... or flaming cables.

If you take that 1 cubic inch of water, and put it through a gold plated, hollow core, magic wand pipe, with braided jacketing, and fancy connectors on each end with colored heat shrink... you will still get 1 cubic inch of water travelling through it. Doesn't make the water clearer, or taste better, or sparkle with amazing highs or deep lows.

Water and electricity are similar in that sense... they don't care what the conduit is. They just want to get to the end, as fast as they can.

Copper wire is copper wire. As long as it's 100% copper, you're golden.
Speaking of golden... the only thing better than copper, is silver!
Gold is the third best conductor (silver, then copper, then gold)

With all that said; I will also admit that I use Knukonceptz power and speaker wire.
Not because they make my highs sound higher or my bass sound deeper... but because they are easy to work with, and they look cool.
 

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Are you wanting to use your THHN for power wire or speaker wire?

I'm not trying to boast, but I am an Electrical Engineer. Wire is wire. As long as it's copper, you're fine using anything.
The only caveat is; make sure it is properly sized (gague) for the current it is carrying.

The reason most guys use stranded power cable, is because:
1. It's softer and more flexible to route through a car chassis.
2. It looks cooler, and makes a more esthetically pleasing install.
3. It fits better into accessories (fuse blocks, crimps, etc.)

The reason most guys use stranded speaker cable, is because:
See points 1 & 2 above.

Everything you read about 'magic' speaker cable is pure Marketing BullShit.
Wire is wire. As long as it's copper.

It doesn't magically carry higher frequencies on the outer core. It doesn't make your sub sound lower. It has nothing to do with that.
Your amp and your speakers are responsible for creating the sound... not the wire.

It is just wire. It carries current from your amplifier to your speakers. Nothing else.
As long as it's properly sized to carry the current, it'll work fine. No matter the price or style.

Think of it this way: Electricity is like water. (the below description is for illustration purpose):
Voltage is similar to a specific amount of water. Let's call it: 1 cubic inch.
Amperage is the speed at which that 1 cubic inch needs to travel through a water pipe (similar to PSI).
If you take that 1 cubic inch of water, and try to ram it through a straw at high pressure (high amperage draw), then the straw will burst.
Same thing with wire, except the narrow straw is similar to a smaller guage of wire.
This is measured in resistance. Too much resistance creates heat... which ends up in your car starting on fire.

Now, if you take that 1 cubic inch of water, and put it through a 1 inch diameter pipe. It'll flow fine. No resistance. No back pressure. No exploding pipes... or flaming cables.

If you take that 1 cubic inch of water, and put it through a gold plated, hollow core, magic wand pipe, with braided jacketing, and fancy connectors on each end with colored heat shrink... you will still get 1 cubic inch of water travelling through it.

Water and electricity are similar in that sense... they don't care what the conduit is. They just want to get to the end, as fast as they can.

Copper wire is copper wire. As long as it's 100% copper, you're golden.
Speaking of golden... the only thing better than copper, is silver!
Gold is the third best conductor (silver, then copper, then gold)

With all that said; I will also admit that I use Knukonceptz power and speaker wire.
Not because they make my highs sound higher or my bass sound deeper... but because they are easy to work with, and they look cool.
While it has been mentioned previously, one might be remiss not to address the importance of wire/cable insulation type (and associated ratings, for example, "gasoline and oil resistant") and voltage rating, in such an authoritative post.

It might also be noted that the flexibility of cable/cord/wiring is not simply a matter of installation convenience and appearance.
 

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As an aside ... here's what can happen to OFC speaker wire over the years. These are Street Wires or Sound King OFC 16 AWG speaker wire that's been in my vehicle now since 1996. The jacket is still in great shape, as flexible as ever. But you can see the discoloration/oxidation under the jacket. These stripped ends were in a crossover that had set screws. They were still in fairly shiny condition when I pulled them from the crossover. The new crossover requires spade connections so I gave the wires a fresh strip and that's when I noticed the discoloration of the strands as well as underneath the jacket. The amplifier also uses set screw connections. I checked those cables as well and they were also clean where there were already stripped but could see the oxidation under the jacket there as well. Same goes for inside the doors.




It's likely that outgassing of the PVC jacket and the presence of moisture/humidity caused this over time. I will eventually replace these wires but a soak of the freshly stripped ends in a vinegar and salt solution (followed by water and baking soda to neutralize) removed the oxidation on the stripped ends. After getting the stripped ends shiny, I crimped the new connectors on. As long as the wire is oxidation free where the connections are made there probably isn't much of a problem, but whether that's the case or not, this will buy me some time to replace the wires. I guess I can't complain since they've been in service for almost 25 years.

 

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I believe oxidation has no effect on the conductivity of copper other that point of contact. So even if your wires are completely green inside they still work similarly to new. I read a article with measurements many years ago.
 

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I believe oxidation has no effect on the conductivity of copper other that point of contact. So even if your wires are completely green inside they still work similarly to new. I read a article with measurements many years ago.
This MIGHT be true with a speaker wire, but is defintely NOT true with applications using higher current. Corrosion simply leads to higher resistance ...whether or not higher resistance degrades the signal in a SPEAKER wire is open to interpretation, but in other circumstances and circuits I think it is safe to say that corrosion is not acceptable or necessarily safe.
 

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This MIGHT be true with a speaker wire, but is defintely NOT true with applications using higher current. Corrosion simply leads to higher resistance ...whether or not higher resistance degrades the signal in a SPEAKER wire is open to interpretation, but in other circumstances and circuits I think it is safe to say that corrosion is not acceptable or necessarily safe.
I think you've misunderstood the point, which specifically involves surface oxidation along the length of individual copper strands of a cable, but where those strands have remained free (or were cleaned) of oxidation at point of contact.
 

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What I was thinking is that copper doesn't corrode in a typical sense. It oxidizes (and still technically corrodes) Oxidation typically spreads across the surface and does not work its way inward quickly. With how we use copper it doesn't corrode / oxidize quickly enough to effect us negatively unless an additional chemical reaction is present.

There was barely enough additional resistance from surface corrosion to affect the passing of electrical signals. However it was significant at the point of contact.
 

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I think you've misunderstood the point, which specifically involves surface oxidation along the length of individual copper strands of a cable, but where those strands have remained free (or were cleaned) of oxidation at point of contact.

IF you are simply talking about corrosion on the surface of the entire wire underneath the wire jacket, you might well be correct. That being said, I know for fact that corrosion along the length of each strand of multi strand wire , DEFINITELY increases overall wire resistance and affects the ability of that wire to pass current. Of course, whether or not that increased resistance affects the SOUND of a speaker is unknown to me.
 

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What I was thinking is that copper doesn't corrode in a typical sense. It oxidizes (and still technically corrodes) Oxidation typically spreads across the surface and does not work its way inward quickly. With how we use copper it doesn't corrode / oxidize quickly enough to effect us negatively unless an additional chemical reaction is present.

There was barely enough additional resistance from surface corrosion to affect the passing of electrical signals. However it was significant at the point of contact.
I have seen more then several 12 volt battery wires that corrode INTERNALLY to the entire multi strand battery cable. This is actually a fairly common problem with Dodge Ram diesel 3rd gen trucks. Whether it is a result of the quality of the copper used or due to overall dual battery system design, I do NOT know, but it DEFINITELY increases the resistance of the 1/0 crossover cableand leads to the passenger side battery being overcharged and boiling over as the cable does not properly pass charge current to the drivers side battery. IF/when you slit the crossover cable insulation back along its length you can see corrosion not only on the surface but also internal to the cable. Of course we are talking about around 100 amps or more at times!!!
 

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I have seen more then several 12 volt battery wires that corrode INTERNALLY to the entire multi strand battery cable. This is actually a fairly common problem with Dodge Ram diesel 3rd gen trucks. Whether it is a result of the quality of the copper used or due to overall dual battery system design, I do NOT know, but it DEFINITELY increases the resistance of the 1/0 crossover cableand leads to the passenger side battery being overcharged and boiling over as the cable does not properly pass charge current to the drivers side battery. Of course we are talking about around 100 amps or more at times!!!
As Theslaking stated above:
...unless an additional chemical reaction is present.
...for example, battery acid.


Again, yours is not an example of surface oxidation.

I lived off-grid for almost 20 years, where I designed, built and serviced a number of off-grid power systems, each with sizable lead-acid battery banks; so I know first-hand what sort of corrosion you're referring to; and I know that under-hood conditions can be even worse.
 

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I definitely see strand to strand transfer being a real problem as well now that you mention it. It may have been in that article and I forgot. That's why I mentioned I read it a while ago.
 

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One time I had a big bass boat with trolling motor wiring in it that was totally caked in green under the jacket. Came in it OEM in 1996 and this was 2011ish when I saw this (bought used in 2010). That couldn't have been good. My friend has a 1995 model of the same brand (Charger) that probably has trolling motor wire in it that looks the same way. I'll be paying close attention to the trolling motor wiring in my 2016 Tracker! And I know others besides me have done electrical work on an older trailer, boat, or anything with older wiring and been greeted by wire that was literally cooked. Most likely heated up and cooked because of a bad connection.
 

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Murphy's Law at work, my version of this includes every redneck with no muffler within 20 miles driving by my house.
Just bumping the rta comic relief here...there was a black helipopter hovering over the park that I live right on the edge of while trying to rta. No telling what they were looking at. They fly over here at least a couple times a day. This is meth country but the code seems to be if you don't mess with them they won't mess with you. In other words what you don't know won't hurt you. And they know the honest people are well armed;)
 

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I'm wondering what you guys think of this flat braided speaker wire? The positive and negative are braided together.

Is this not a good idea for an automotive application? One problem is that it's 25 to 30 feet long and I would not know how to cut to size and pull the braid out to terminate the ends.
 

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I'm wondering what you guys think of this flat braided speaker wire? The positive and negative are braided together.

Is this not a good idea for an automotive application? One problem is that it's 25 to 30 feet long and I would not know how to cut to size and pull the braid out to terminate the ends.
That appears to be an Audiophile Snake.

Seriously though, I doubt that any actual advantage of this type of cable would outweigh its premium cost, application limitations, and/or potential for misadventure.

https://mniec.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/snake-oil-of-the-year-award-audiophile-cables/
 

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I always use Monoprice cable these days, pretty much won't build without it. Specifically, I use the sheathed in-wall type. It makes perfect sense in a car to use sheathed wire. I love the low cost, good flexibility, easy pulling, and definite security in reducing damaged wires with the slick sheath. It takes quite a snag to get past it. For the price, it is truly hard to beat, especially in 250+ lengths. I've even taken the thick stuff (12 gauge) and used it as power wire on light duty applications, like to power a processor or micro-amp.
 
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