Revisited Subject - Speaker Wire 12 guage v 14

tortfsr24tortfsr24 Posts: 79
edited April 2002 in Technical/Setup
I just purchased a new home and am getting prepared to wire for my home theater. My HT is on the first floor and I will be running the wire underneath the crawl space along the floor joists.

I now that the forum is divided concerning which type of speaker wire to use. A lot of people sing the praises of $500 speaker cables while others swear by their recycled lamp cord. I want to hit somewhere in the middle. I am looking at getting standard Monster Cable and need to know if I will be doing my system justice by using 14 guage wire versus 12 guage wire.

The wire I am thinking of getting is Monster Cable in-wall CRS142RCL (14 guage, 300 feet) ($165).

The alternative is Original Monster Cable in-wall CROMC2RCL (12 guage, 300 feet) ($375).

Would the extra cost of 12 guage be justified by the achievement of better sound? Or, would I probably not be able to hear the difference? I know this is a subjective question, but would like to hear your thoughts and alternatives. I listen to a lot of 7 channel stereo, so buying expensive cables for my main R/L channels and skimping on the others really wouldn't accomplish much. Take a look at my set-up to aide in your opinion.

Thanks,

Brent
Mitsubishi WS-55819 HDTV
Samsung SIR-T160
Denon AVR-3802
Denon DVD-1600
Monster Power HTS3500
Sony CDX-400 Disc Changer
(2) RT 800i
(1) CS 1000p
(2) Cerwin Vega HTS15 15" 200 Watt Subs
(4) RT 12 (all w/ trilaminate tweeter upgrades)
(2) LS/FX
Post edited by tortfsr24 on

Comments

  • Steve@3dai[email protected] Posts: 983
    edited April 2002
    If you aren't going to be running the wires through conduit underneath the house, I would go with the 12gauge. If you are using conduit, you can go with 14guage.

    IMO

    :)

    - Steve
    LSi 9/C/FX
    Arcam AVR-200
  • tortfsr24tortfsr24 Posts: 79
    edited April 2002
    Does the conduit reduce interference? I am assuming you are talking about the metal type, or are you referrring to the grey plastic version? You have now added a new dilemma. I was just going to cut a space for a box in the sheetrock, drill through the base plate and run my wire underneath the crawlspace along the joists and then do the same on the other end. Is this wrong?
    Mitsubishi WS-55819 HDTV
    Samsung SIR-T160
    Denon AVR-3802
    Denon DVD-1600
    Monster Power HTS3500
    Sony CDX-400 Disc Changer
    (2) RT 800i
    (1) CS 1000p
    (2) Cerwin Vega HTS15 15" 200 Watt Subs
    (4) RT 12 (all w/ trilaminate tweeter upgrades)
    (2) LS/FX
  • nascarmannnascarmann Posts: 1,464
    edited April 2002
    IMO you do not need conduit? You should have less interference under the floor than in the room around the field the electical wire are giving off in the wall of the room and not to mention the TV and what ever else is in there. Under the floor should give you better sheilding from interference?:eek: This is assuming that the electrician didn't run his wires there during construction? Would think he would if it's a crawl space! I wouldn't, but i'm a little too large for that.:eek:
    Oh, the bottle has been to me, my closes friend, my worse enemy!
  • nascarmannnascarmann Posts: 1,464
    edited April 2002
    tortfsr24, I didn't answer your question did I? Have you ever had to jump start a car, and had a cheap set of cables (thin guage) and it's very cold and it will not start. You call a garage to come out and this guy gets out with a set of cables made of 2 guage welding leads and the car starts right off. This is especialy true when you want to carry current a long distance. The larger wire will not loose as much current as a small one will. So, if you want to skimp, you would be better off skimping on the fronts or the center than on your rears since you like the 7 channel stereo. This is only MO, but let the bashing begin.:p
    Oh, the bottle has been to me, my closes friend, my worse enemy!
  • pensacolapensacola Posts: 269
    edited April 2002
    Conduit is not a bad idea—especially for longer runs. Plastic—not metal—for audio or data.
    If it's cheaper, go with rain gutter (plastic).

    Your amp will like the larger-gauge cable.

    Give War A Chance
  • rodneyatrodneyat Posts: 67
    edited April 2002
    Well, I will give my 2 cents on the subject since I just went through this myself. I went with 14 gauge all the way around and for my rears my situation is a lot like yours. My longest runs were around 40 feet for the back and 9 to 18 feet for everything up front. I was uprading from generic 16 gauge wire and I installed the Monster in-wall that you are looking at. I actually used the 4 conductor the mains and center. I purchased 50' of the 4 conductor and 200' of the 2 conductor and it ran me about $125 w/shipping...I can get you contact information if you need it.
    Anyway, back to the results...The results were amazing! I could really tell a big difference in the overall sound quality and response. That being said, I really do not think you need to go to 12 gauge unless your runs are going to be really long. Otherwise, I think you spending more money and not getting a big return on your investment. Just my 2 cents!
    Polk RT 800i mains, CS 400i center, FX 500i surrounds, RT 35i rear centers, Definitive Supercube II, Yamaha RX-V3800, Samsung PN58C8000
  • tortfsr24tortfsr24 Posts: 79
    edited April 2002
    Thanks Rodneyat! That is the type of response I like. My longest run will probably be less than 35 feet. Please email me your contact if he can beat crutchfield's price of $165 for a 300' spool.

    Thanks,

    Brent
    Mitsubishi WS-55819 HDTV
    Samsung SIR-T160
    Denon AVR-3802
    Denon DVD-1600
    Monster Power HTS3500
    Sony CDX-400 Disc Changer
    (2) RT 800i
    (1) CS 1000p
    (2) Cerwin Vega HTS15 15" 200 Watt Subs
    (4) RT 12 (all w/ trilaminate tweeter upgrades)
    (2) LS/FX
  • juice21juice21 Posts: 1,866
    edited April 2002
    i am also using 14AWG all the way around. same cable that you are looking at for your rears. i ran the x4 wire for the fronts & center so i could biwire. the cable you are looking at is rated for in-wall applications, and is THX certified for up to 60' runs for rear speakers. i was very impressed after upgrading my wiring to the MC mentioned, i think you will too. i beleive that the extra $200 dollars for the 12AWG could be spent elsewhere with more noticible results. again, just my opinion. i actually had to run my cable along the baseboard so size was an issue for me and was one of the deciding factors in the choice of 14 over 12. i think the 12 will make a difference, i just don't know if the 12 will be worth THAT much more...
    ...the fOrce is strong with this one.
  • rodneyatrodneyat Posts: 67
    edited April 2002
    Like Juice...I biwired all of my mains as well...I think it is worth the nomincal investment....Anyway, I purchased my Monster Cable from GIN Electronics...http://www.ginelectronics.com. You can get their contact information from their website and order the exact length you need. You do not need to order an entire spool. As I mentioned before, I ordered just 50' of the 4 conductor and 200' of 2 conductor and they had the best prices of anyone I could find.
    Polk RT 800i mains, CS 400i center, FX 500i surrounds, RT 35i rear centers, Definitive Supercube II, Yamaha RX-V3800, Samsung PN58C8000
  • juice21juice21 Posts: 1,866
    edited April 2002
    ...the fOrce is strong with this one.
  • sgtgtosgtgto Posts: 310
    edited April 2002
    Hi:

    I would go with the 12ga Monster wire. I believe it is well worth the extra money, and since this is a one time thing I would go with the 12ga.


    Gary
  • tortfsr24tortfsr24 Posts: 79
    edited April 2002
    Thanks Rodneyat!

    Ginelectronics beat Crutchfiled's price on the same Monster Cable by $75! Wow! While I was there I picked up a Monster Cable HTS 3500 power conditioner/surge protector for $105 less than Crutchfield's price. Thanks for the link.

    Brent
    Mitsubishi WS-55819 HDTV
    Samsung SIR-T160
    Denon AVR-3802
    Denon DVD-1600
    Monster Power HTS3500
    Sony CDX-400 Disc Changer
    (2) RT 800i
    (1) CS 1000p
    (2) Cerwin Vega HTS15 15" 200 Watt Subs
    (4) RT 12 (all w/ trilaminate tweeter upgrades)
    (2) LS/FX
  • tenappoleetenappolee Posts: 7
    edited April 2002
    Just a very short lesson on speaker wire size. If you are moving water through a pipe you will move more through a large pipe.In wire the resistance is less in a large wire and is therfore a lot easier on the amplifier etc.---Tenappolee:)
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited April 2002
    ...if only we were moving water, we aren't....

    Very subjective topic, I always say go as big as you can (afford), but 14awg, home depot brand or better, with proper termination, will perform great - especially in <50ft runs. There is a lot of hype, and very little scientific proof regarding speaker wire size and design.

    Do take a minute to think on it. Standard lamp cord (very similar to speaker wire) is what, 24 awg? And what can it carry? 115+ volts????? Exponentially more than your receiver/amp will push....

    By all means though, if you want to go big and rule out any doubts you may be having, do it.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
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