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Old 22nd June 2011, 05:40 PM   #1
GeneZ is offline GeneZ  United States
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Default Crossover wire gauge.

I have a pair of vintage B&W Rock Solids which I really like. I wish to order litz wire for the crossover, but I have no way of knowing what gauge it is. Wires are soldered to the crossover board, and clips are used for the speaker terminals.

I am no expert at determining what gauge, but my guess may be 18? Anyone know what is typically used in small speakers? I will most likely have to order sight unseen.

Also, I wonder where there are better quality terminal clips to get.


Thanks, Gene
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Old 22nd June 2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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Litz wire is great stuff. I've used it for very high Q RF coils for crystal sets, but for speaker coils?? The extra bandwidth Litz might be capable of won't be realized since the role of the inductor is to considerably roll off high frequencies.

To answer your question anyhow, guage of coils will vary considerably. The designer first decides a target DC resistance and then picks wire guage based on that, assuming the resultant cost doesn't get too high. A designer will tyically also make a distinction between woofer series coils and tweeter or mid shunt coils. Woofer series coils will reduce sensitivity if their DCR is too high. I would normally shoot for a DCR of 0.5 to 1 ohms max in those positions. Coils in other locations might be intentionally designed with higher DCR, generally to soften corner Q.

Finally, high inductance coils will require a lot of turns and keeping DCR low will require a very high guage. For that reason designers will feel economic pressure to let the DCR be a little higher than ideal.

Try to resist the temptation to put in mongo coils that knock the DCR way below stock. Again, many coils have a certain DC in place by design and significantly reducing it will alter the system frequency response.

The only coil change that I can imagine that would be an improvement would be to replace an iron core unit with an aircore unit of exactly the same DCR (requiring more turns of a bigger guage). And in most cases I doubt this would be a significant improvment.

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Old 22nd June 2011, 09:46 PM   #3
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Using litz wire for audio frequencies is, in my opinion, a waste of money. It only works it's "magic" above the audible range. As for the wire guage question, 18 guage should be fine for the lengths likely to be used inside a speaker cabinet. Speaker "clips" that utilize a spring-loaded push terminal are, to be blunt, usually crap at best. I prefere to use a high quality, (i.e. not cheap) binding post terminal. Beyond that, I'm in full agreement with what Dave said.

Mike
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:07 PM   #4
JMB is offline JMB  United States
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I agree with both Dave and Michael. I measured frequency responses using different wires, Litz included, and found no significant difference in the audio range. Some argue that there are differences that cannot be measured, but their ears must be far more capable than mine. For crossover or internal enclosure wiring, I doubt you will notice much difference regardless of the gauge of the wire, within reason, as it is a very short run. You might notice a difference in longer runs to the speaker from the amp but like Dave said, keeping the Impedance of the wire to less than .5 to 1 ohms (or if you really are concerned, to less than 10% of the nominal impedance of the loudspeaker) should prevent any audible signal degradation. Jay
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:10 PM   #5
GeneZ is offline GeneZ  United States
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Folks! I just want to use the litz to run from the crossover board to the drivers! Nothing else!
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:14 PM   #6
GeneZ is offline GeneZ  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Bean View Post
Speaker "clips" that utilize a spring-loaded push terminal are, to be blunt, usually crap at best. I prefere to use a high quality, (i.e. not cheap) binding post terminal.
Mike
This kind of clip. Something of good quality (if that's possible).


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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:17 PM   #7
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OK, it's your money, just don't expect to actually hear any difference. Placebo effect kicks in quickly with this type of tweak.

Mike
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:19 PM   #8
chops is offline chops  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneZ View Post
Folks! I just want to use the litz to run from the crossover board to the drivers! Nothing else!
This is what I figured from the first post.

All I've got to say is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"...

You're not going to notice any change/improvement from switching out the stock wiring to something else, unless of course there is something physically wrong with the stock wire, such as massive oxidation or fraying, and loose connections.

If they are working fine, then leave them be. If anything, take that money and update the capacitors on the crossover boards instead.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:24 PM   #9
GeneZ is offline GeneZ  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chops View Post
This is what I figured from the first post.

All I've got to say is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"...
It is broke. It was rewired with a wrong wire. Though perfectly executed.

Quote:
You're not going to notice any change/improvement from switching out the stock wiring to something else, unless of course there is something physically wrong with the stock wire, such as massive oxidation or fraying, and loose connections.
Where does one get good sounding quality stock wire? Is there such a thing?
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:37 PM   #10
chops is offline chops  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneZ View Post
It is broke. It was rewired with a wrong wire. Though perfectly executed.



Where does one get good sounding quality stock wire? Is there such a thing?
Nowhere have you said that the speakers are not working properly. What's "broke" about them and how are they using the wrong wire?


B&W didn't become successful by designing/building junk with bad wiring.
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