Speaker Wire Guage

Is it ok to run two different guage wires. Will running 14 gauge wire to my rears and 16 gauge wire to my fronts be a problem. I understand the lengths have to be the same but what about the guage ?

Comments

  • verbverb Posts: 7,645
    Is it ok to run two different guage wires. Will running 14 gauge wire to my rears and 16 gauge wire to my fronts be a problem. I understand the lengths have to be the same but what about the guage ?

    Hey busdriver - welcome! Tell us a bit about your system. Technically it should work, IMO, but others here might encourage you to make em common, in fact up the speaker wire game a bit.

    Lot's of info here on the benefits of good quality speaker cables! I went down that road a while ago, and glad I did!

    Let us know! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,029
    Sure, it will work. However, it's best to have good habits right from the start, so don't go smaller than 12 gauge for speaker wire. Assuming you are using regular wiring for the speakers. You can get some esoteric wire that is smaller, but it costs more.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
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    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • busdriver850busdriver850 Posts: 17
    I don't have anything really fancy. Just a basic setup. Onkyo TX-NR585 reciever, Polk Audio 70 Series 2 fronts , Polk Audio CsiA4 center and Polk Audio R150 bookshelf speakers for surrounds. I wanted to try bi wiring my front speakers to see if there was any difference and I'm not sure if I'll have enough 14 gauge to do it all. Haven't gotten a sub yet. That's next 👍
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,115
    Much ado about nothing. Hook em up and let em fly.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 568
    Like others have said.......It is a good idea to use the same gauge wire but for now basically anything will work. Especially if you are now using basic lamp cord. For home theater when you start upgrading focus on your front and centers since that is the most important and where most of your sound comes from. I am sure others will disagree but its hard to justify spending a lot for expensive cables to power 2 rear satellite speakers that don't do much. You can do more focusing on the front.

    For now I would save your money and get a subwoofer. Get your basic system up before you start upgrading. Same with biwiring. For now just remove the brass plate and jump the connection with the thickest wire you have.
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,425
    edited June 17
    For ht, meh

    My center and mains are sharing a single 13 gauge ground, since the receiver has a common ground.

    Would bet real money you could never tell the difference 🤑
    - Not Tom

    Vr3Mods.com ///// Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,438
    I'd put the larger gauge wire on the fronts, smaller gauge on the rears.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
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    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

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  • busdriver850busdriver850 Posts: 17
    Well I had enough wire to go 14 gauge all around. I did bi wire my fronts. Like anything you look up on the internet , you kind find tons of arguments for our against it . So I'll take a couple days and try it out. Either I wasted my time and money or I'll hear a difference. At least I'll know either way.
  • tonyp063tonyp063 Posts: 673
    .......So I'll take a couple days and try it out. Either I wasted my time and money or I'll hear a difference. At least I'll know either way.

    ^^^^^^^
    This.
    One of the many important things preached on this forum.

    "Try it & see. My ears aren't your ears"
  • verbverb Posts: 7,645
    Well I had enough wire to go 14 gauge all around. I did bi wire my fronts. Like anything you look up on the internet , you kind find tons of arguments for our against it . So I'll take a couple days and try it out. Either I wasted my time and money or I'll hear a difference. At least I'll know either way.

    Keep us posted! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • busdriver850busdriver850 Posts: 17
    Well first thing I've realized is I bi amped my speakers not bi wired. Two different things lol. I'm new to this.
    I have to say I'm happy with the results. I can hear a difference. Now it's not mind blowing but the highs and vocals seem to be a little crisper if that makes sense. Also seems to depend on the music. Heavy music like Five Finger Death Punch dosent really sound any different. . Where I notice the difference is with lighter music . Bohemian Rhapsody is a song I like to use to check sound quality and I have to say it sounds better. It sounded good before but I hear the difference 😊
    Haven't watched a movie yet but hoping for a little more clarity there too.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,309
    what amps and active crossover are you using?
  • busdriver850busdriver850 Posts: 17
    I don't have any fancy equipment. Just an Onkyo TX-NR585 reciever. I don't have a sub yet. Crossover is just for that isn't it ? It does have equalizer setting for every channel but I have no idea what to do with that lol. This stuff is all new to me 😁
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,309
    You're not "bi-amping". Marketing will lead you to believe that you are but you're not.
  • busdriver850busdriver850 Posts: 17
    So what am I actually doing. Am I just redistributing power ?
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,861
    So what am I actually doing. Am I just redistributing power ?

    Your receiver has a single power supply that can feed up to X number of channels. Let’s say it can do 90 wpc into 2 channels (which is probably optimistic for that little guy). 5 channels drive, the power drops at least to half, often lower and then down to 30-40 wpc at 7 channels driven. Don’t believe me? Find a review for a comparable entry level receiver on sound and vision and see the numbers for yourself. So, you are not increasing the power to your mains, just using an extra run of cable. But hey, if you like the way if sounds then that’s all that matters.
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 568
    edited June 20
    So what am I actually doing. Am I just redistributing power ?

    You can only get so much power from one transformer so hooking up more channels doesn't get you anything extra. But that is at max power and normal listening levels are much lower.

    And more power doesn't correlate with improved sound. So who cares why it works (or what you call it). If you can hear a difference that is all that matters.

    You are probably doing something similar to Bi wiring but instead of just the cables transmitting the highs and lows separately from one channel you are getting the highs and lows separately from two different channels. Not everyone agrees why (or even if) biwiring works. But if it does work there is no reason to believe your setup wouldn't work just as good. Maybe even better since the individual channels don't have to transmit the full audio spectra.
  • busdriver850busdriver850 Posts: 17
    edited June 20
    Think it's 80wpc with 2 channels driven. So when I put on a Blu Ray in 5.1 It's now only about 30 or 40wpc ? Its still sounds good. Enough volume to feel the couch vibrating during action scenes in movies. I'm sitting about 11 feet from the fronts.
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,861
    Think it's 80wpc with 2 channels driven. So when I put on a Blu Ray in 5.1 It's now only about 30 or 40wpc ? Its still sounds good. Enough volume to feel the couch vibrating during action scenes in movies. I'm sitting about 11 feet from the fronts.

    Correct. That is all channels driven simultaneously at the same power, which is pretty much NEVER going to happen in everyday use. So yes, if you have a smaller room, efficient speakers, and are redirecting the bass to a sub, its enough power to have fun. However, you would notice a BIG jump is clarity, dynamics, soundstage, and tightness of the bass if you get some real current behind the speakers. But for now, ignorance is bliss!

    The larger point is the "bi-amping" from a receiver isn't bi-amping at all. It's just using two runs of cable instead of one and essentially getting the same power...
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,309
    rooftop59 wrote: »

    The larger point is the "bi-amping" from a receiver isn't bi-amping at all. It's just using two runs of cable instead of one and essentially getting the same power...

    BINGO. Tweeters are only going to get a fraction of it anyway since it is going through the speaker crossover. Use a small piece of the cable you are using to jump from top to bottom and just run one cable to the speaker if you like.

  • busdriver850busdriver850 Posts: 17
    Thanks guys. I was always a little confused about the watt thing. My front speakers say they can handle 275 watts. So even though I find them loud now , with a more powerful amp they would be louder and clearer or just clearer ?
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,309
    Thanks guys. I was always a little confused about the watt thing. My front speakers say they can handle 275 watts. So even though I find them loud now , with a more powerful amp they would be louder and clearer or just clearer ?

    It's not all about watts, current delivery also plays a big part. It can get very confusing for sure. It's easier to cook drivers being under powered than it is to have TOO much power. A clipping amp or receiver will toast things rather quickly.

  • busdriver850busdriver850 Posts: 17
    The TX-NR585 is a 7x 80-watt-per-channel receiver with an exhaustive list of features, 

    That's from the Cnet review. So isnt it always putting out 80 watts per channel even in 5.1 ?
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,309
    The TX-NR585 is a 7x 80-watt-per-channel receiver with an exhaustive list of features, 

    That's from the Cnet review. So isnt it always putting out 80 watts per channel even in 5.1 ?

    NO.

    most of the time they do the test at 1khz which is only a tiny part of the sound spectrum. Even if it were 80 x 7 @ 20hz to 20khz it could be down to 30-40 wpc with all speakers driven. 99.9999% of the time that spec ONLY applies to 2 channels being driven.

    Power supplies are a very expensive part of the unit and the first area they cut corners. "exhaustive" features really only play a smell part of the picture.
  • busdriver850busdriver850 Posts: 17
    Lol so confusing. Like someone else said. Ignorance is bliss. I have fun with it watching movies. Getting a sub in a couple weeks can't wait.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,309
    edited June 20
    Lol so confusing. Like someone else said. Ignorance is bliss. I have fun with it watching movies. Getting a sub in a couple weeks can't wait.

    That will help take some pressure off the receiver for sure. Just be sure to run your room correction software and move the speaker cut off to 80hz so the sub can take over the low frequencies.

    A receiver is a jack of all trades and a master of none.

    Enjoy the movies and what you have just do not try to make it do more than it can, that is where you get into trouble cooking tweeters and resisters.

  • Mr. SharpeMr. Sharpe Posts: 1,264
    I use 12 for my center and I have 10 for my front RTA 12's:-)

    Skies the limit
    Electronics: Westinghouse 43" LED, Marantz UD-7007 player, Denon AVR-x3100w receiver/preamp, DIY Ethereal ESO-1 power conditioner, Parasound HCA-1500a power house.

    Speakers: Polk Audio RTA-12c mains, Polk Audio PSW-505 sub, Klipsch rc-10 center, Klipsch RB-41 surrounds.

    Cables: Audioquest King Cobras, Audiquest Diamondbacks, Pangea HDMI's (one for audio, one for video), KnuKonceptz sub cable, Pangea AC-14 and AC-14se's, Pangea AC-9, Dayton Audio speaker wire.
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