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Old 3rd January 2009, 12:04 AM   #1
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Default best guage wire for speaker internals

Hello all

Is there a general concensus on wire thicknesses for a 3-way speaker.

I will make a few assumptions.

The tweeters will benefit from a smaller guage, i.e. 26 guage?

The mids a slightly higher guage, i.e. 20-22 guage?

The woofers the biggest guage, 16?.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 12:42 AM   #2
paulb is offline paulb  Canada
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There is no reason to make them different gauge. I use 16 or 18.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 01:29 AM   #3
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I use 2.5mm>2 almost exclusively because I get it for the right price, that will handle 15 amps at 240Volt and very few speaker drivers will handle more than that.
If for any reason I want to lower DCR I just double up the wires, although running thinner wire to tweeters would be OK I think it is simply easier to use all the same wire.
I get mine from industrial power leads that don't pass the annual tagging test and get chucked in the bin, hundreds of metres of cable discarded every year and usually it is only for small nicks in the outer sheath, I use the same discarded cables for speaker leads for parties too.

You can find lots of useful stuff in dumpsters.

regards

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Old 3rd January 2009, 11:47 AM   #4
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3-4 years ago I viewed the Magico website. At that time, there was a picture of the Magico Mini's crossover. In that picture it was obvious Mr. Wolf used much thinner transformer wire leading to the tweeters then he used for the woofers. He also used multiple runs of varying guages to both these drivers

At AudioGon I have read 'smearing ' occurs with thicker wire, especially going to the tweeter's. Thus the thinner the better.

So my next question is; for a 140 watt amplifier, going into a 3-way, with a x-over at 2800hZ, 'What is the amount of power going to the tweeters? (is this a volt or amp question?).

I have read at the Goertz website that they recommend different guages of speaker wire depending on the power of the amps. The lower the power, the smaller the cable.

Second question; what is the power going to the mids, x-over at 250hZ?

JadeM at Audiogon did an exhaustive study on cable thicknesses, composition (copper, silver, gold), and seperation (this included braided, lightly twisted, and seperated with 3/4" air gap). He found the thicker the wire, the less detail, too thin, loss of body).

I have read hear, and at AudioGon, about copper, silver plated copper, silver, and gold wire. Some people use one kind for their tweeters, and yet another for the lower drivers.

Considering I am using Accuton drivers, attention to this detail should be worth the effort.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 12:20 PM   #5
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cousin Billy
for a 140 watt amplifier, going into a 3-way, with a x-over at 2800hZ, 'What is the amount of power going to the tweeters? (is this a volt or amp question?).....................
Second question; what is the power going to the mids, x-over at 250hZ?
I'll take the liberty to re-phrase your questions.
If all three drivers in the 3way speaker are of the same sensitivity and similar impedance then the questions become:-
What is the peak transient voltage fed to each driver?

I'll contend that the peak voltage to each driver is the same and further since the drivers are of the same impedance then the peak currents must also be the same.
Finally, since the sensitivity of all the drivers is the same and each can be fed by the same voltage and the same current then the peak SPL of all the drivers should be the same.

But, we rarely build speakers with drivers of equal sensitivity and equal impedance.
So let's start from the same peak SPL from each driver and then work back to the peak transient voltage and peak transient current required by each driver. Then you can estimate the cable requirements for each driver.

Having done this, I suspect the over-riding requirement becomes the source impedance seen by the bass driver to maintain Q of the box within the range assumed in the initial design and that all other drivers can be fed with relatively small gauge wiring.

NB.
this argument revolves around my contention that all the drivers should be capable of the design maximum SPL of the speaker. One or two drivers can exceed the design target but that will not allow the speaker to play louder on general wideband and very varied audio signals.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 01:03 PM   #6
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Exactly the type of answer I was looking for. Clear, concise and to the point. No guessing.

I will experiment. I will start with larger thicknesses for the mids and tweeters and work my way towards thinner wires.

Any input as to whether multiple strands are better then one strand?.

The output impedance of the amps is 2.3ohms. The crossover and box volumes are being calculated with this impedance in mind.

More input would be appreciated.

Thank you AndrewT
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Old 3rd January 2009, 01:09 PM   #7
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cousin Billy
The output impedance of the amps is 2.3ohms. The crossover and box volumes are being calculated with this impedance in mind.
is this a tube (valve) power amplifier?
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Old 3rd January 2009, 01:18 PM   #8
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I used to use # 14 wire But due to the thickness come the difficulty in wiring them and they also seem to stress the terminals more compared to thinner wires, So from now I decided I'd just use #18 wire to wire the inside of the speakers.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 01:42 PM   #9
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Yes AndrewT, they are Atma-Sphere MA1, 140 watt OTL (Output transformerless) Tubed mono block amps.

They deliver lots of current, and wide, wide, wide bandwidth.

They are brutally revealing of any flaw in the signal path. This is why I am going to extremes in my speaker construction.

I am building a similar speaker to the Humble HomeMade HiFi 'Humble Statement' speaker. With this type of time and money investment, I will leave no stone unturned.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 01:48 PM   #10
HK26147 is offline HK26147  United States
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Quote:
Any input as to whether multiple strands are better then one strand?.
Depends on who you talk to.
Stranded is more flexible and easier to work with.

Some contend that "skin effect" should be taken into consideration, and that stranded is what should be used, especially HF is involved.

Syd
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