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Old 31st March 2009, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default newbie, difference in hook up wire gauges?

Hello All,
I recently began to repair a pair of ESS Rock Monitor speakers... I have already refoamed them and am waiting for new capacitors from parts express..... I am noticing that the wires connecting the drivers are flimsy, extremely thin, and mildly brittle....
Question:
1. everywhere i read i find something different about speaker cables and interconnects....and how the smaller gauge (larger diameter) are better etc..... so why are the internal parts so small if that is the case? Is there an electrical reason? If there is no electrical reason for using 22 gauge stranded wire, should I replace them with new wires of thicker diameter? or will that change how the speakers are supposed to sound?
Thank you for all of help with this....
also...a good source for these parts would be appreciated...
thank you
Joshua
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Old 3rd April 2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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OK everyone. I have searched through the site... and read and read... just to get a bit more confused. I know that wire gauge is a contentious issue for connecting the amp to the speaker....
so why is it that the wires connecting the speakers themselves are so thin? I do not have a background in electronics and this is my first project so I was hoping for some help please. Would replacing the thin 22 gauge speaker wire that connects the drivers or leads from the crossover to the drivers be advisable? or is it a waste of time?
If it is a good thing, what is a good gauge to upgrade to? 16? 18? stranded or solid?
Thank you very much.
Joshua
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Old 3rd April 2009, 09:48 PM   #3
Minion is offline Minion  Canada
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Well I guess it would depend on the power of the amp...if the amp isn"t extremely powerfull useing a smaller gauge wire would work fine ...

The poeple who designed the amp probably calculated the max output current of the amp and picked the thinest gauge wire that can handle that current .....

Cheers
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Old 4th April 2009, 12:53 AM   #4
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Thank you for replying at least . I understand the amps to speakers part, but not the internal components of the speakers themselves and why the interconnects there are of such a small gauge.
Joshua
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Old 4th April 2009, 09:45 AM   #5
Magura is offline Magura  Denmark
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joshua_j
Thank you for replying at least . I understand the amps to speakers part, but not the internal components of the speakers themselves and why the interconnects there are of such a small gauge.
Joshua
Cause "gasp", the difference it makes is the grand total of zip, zero, nada.....you catch my drift?


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Old 4th April 2009, 11:31 AM   #6
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Thanks! that is what I was hoping!
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Old 4th April 2009, 11:51 AM   #7
jitter is offline jitter  Netherlands
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Default Re: newbie, difference in hook up wire gauges?

Quote:
Originally posted by Joshua_j
Hello All,
I recently began to repair a pair of ESS Rock Monitor speakers... I have already refoamed them and am waiting for new capacitors from parts express..... I am noticing that the wires connecting the drivers are flimsy, extremely thin, and mildly brittle....
Question:
1. everywhere i read i find something different about speaker cables and interconnects....and how the smaller gauge (larger diameter) are better etc..... so why are the internal parts so small if that is the case? Is there an electrical reason? If there is no electrical reason for using 22 gauge stranded wire, should I replace them with new wires of thicker diameter? or will that change how the speakers are supposed to sound?
Thank you for all of help with this....
also...a good source for these parts would be appreciated...
thank you
Joshua
The manufacturer probably calculated the minimum wire gauge that is needed to handle the max. power of the unit. If you're in the business of making money, you don't spend more than needed. That goes for speaker manufacturers too. And if they do use thicker wire, than you pay for it.

We're talking very short lengths here, so thick cable would be overkill. Inside the amp, it's the same thing, those pcb tracks are 35 μm thick (or rather: thin) at most.

Than is the question: why are the cables between amp and speakers usually so thick? We're talking bigger lengths here, thicker cable has less resistance per length unit than thinner cable. I use 6 mm^2 cables (between AWG 9 and 10), but that is probably overkill (but hey, the feel-good-about-it-factor should not be disregarded ).
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Old 4th April 2009, 05:50 PM   #8
Magura is offline Magura  Denmark
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Default Re: Re: newbie, difference in hook up wire gauges?

Quote:
Originally posted by jitter


The manufacturer probably calculated the minimum wire gauge that is needed to handle the max. power of the unit. If you're in the business of making money, you don't spend more than needed. That goes for speaker manufacturers too. And if they do use thicker wire, than you pay for it.

We're talking very short lengths here, so thick cable would be overkill. Inside the amp, it's the same thing, those pcb tracks are 35 m thick (or rather: thin) at most.

Than is the question: why are the cables between amp and speakers usually so thick? We're talking bigger lengths here, thicker cable has less resistance per length unit than thinner cable. I use 6 mm^2 cables (between AWG 9 and 10), but that is probably overkill (but hey, the feel-good-about-it-factor should not be disregarded ).

Unless your speakers are situated at the neighbours place, and your amp is still at home, plain lamp chord is going to be beyond significant resistance.
Around here that would be 0.75mm^2.


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Old 5th April 2009, 04:50 AM   #9
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Again, thank you for the reply Jitter! At least it makes more sense to me now. I went to Home Depot and picked up some 18 gauge and 22 gauge stranded copper. I will probably go for the 18 gauge to interconnect the woofers and from the crossover to the woofer and to the midrange. I will post the results for anyone if they are interested...
Joshua
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Old 5th April 2009, 05:51 AM   #10
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I think these questions are always open for debate. I personally don't believe in 3000$ interconnects, but here is what I found. From personal experience and also some kind of mathematical theory from my electrical engineer uncle, thicker lower gauge copper wire conducts low frequencies better, and thinner, twisted pair silver wire conducts high frequencies better. This has something to do with the power handling, frequency, and susceptible-ness to interference..

From blind testing and from what I feel sounds the best, I am using 1gauge .. yes one gauge copper wire, along side with 2x twisted pair 30gauge silver coated copper.
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