Speaker Wire

For all you Car Audio Guys


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1973Guppie

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For you car audio guys:

was wondering if the size of the speaker wire really makes a difference in the sound of a stereo system? I am running 2 6x9 marine speakers on a 140x2 amp (70amps per speaker I believe?) and I used the wire that came with the speaker because of the ease of use. I was surprised however on how small the wire was compared to the thicker "monster" cable wire I have used before. Is the thicker stuff usually used with larger systems that use subwoofers, etc? It's all in and working great now but I was stilll curious just for basic knowledge.

thanks!

Noah
 
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I'd run the bigger wire to the speakers if you have it. With the smaller wires, you can lose some power, depending on the length of the wire.
 

1973Guppie

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OK, gonna redo it today. The wires are fairly long. What guage would you guys reccomend. I have some 16 guage laying around, is this large enough? I can't find the specific connections so I think I am going to sauter directly to the speaker tabs to make things easier. I can always dissconnect them from the amp.

Noah
 
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If your speakers have tabs, I would use the slide on spade connectors. They hold well and you can disconnect them if you need to. I used 12ga wire on mine, 16ga would probably be ok.
 
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for that low amount of watts any size wire you use will do the same -- i mean that you will not notice any difference if you swap the wire back to the larger size

average is 16-12 gauge for the speakers but look at stereo systems in lexus or others with factory amps the wire they use is tiny.

i would be more concern about the power and ground gauge for the amp -- use the same for both

you will find many different oppions -- some would say go 1 gauge power wire but i had a system in my probe with about 2000 watts (2 amps) all running off 4 gauge power wires and 12 gauge to the highs and mids and 10 to my subs -- and i found nobody running cable that thick way back then
 
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Oooooooh something I can comment on. High fidelity music reproduction is a passion with me.

What CustomCruiser sez. You are not going to tell a diff.... specially in a 40 :D

There is mucho mumbo-jumbo concerning power and speaker wire. Zip cord sized wire will do just fine in your application. I'd look for a good quality of wire and solder the connections and apply heat shrink in an attempt to forestall corrosion creeping in the ends of the wire under the insulation..... it's for the long run.

Personally, my home system uses 22 guage enameled magnet wire for the speakers.
Boy... that shook a few folks up, I'm sure.... :eek:
I'm also a big fan of high power.... The amps are rated at about 6 watts maxium per channel and I can run you out of the room with that.... and it's pretty danged clean audio. The speakers are around 6' high and are moved with a hand truck and the amps weigh about 70lbs per channel. Speaker "efficiency" is the key.
You can view my amps and speakers (and FJ-40) at:
http://www.homestead.com/sparkgap/
Hollow State technology forever .........no squalid state for me (or is that soiled state ?)
John Sherwood
'79 FJ-40
 
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Holy s***e! Guys, I think we've got an audiophile in our midst....:D
Those are some big F-ing speakers! Never heard of a hedlund horn before.
 
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Hey guys, I have worked in the stereo repair business for mucho years. If you want to do it real cheaply, double or triple up your speaker wire. the actual equation has slipped my mind right now, but if you double up two strands of 16Gauge wire, it would be around the same as a strand of 12Gauge. I tripled up some 18 gauge on my amp. It works great if you have a bunch of thin gauge laying around like i did. hope that helps.

To answer your question though. It makes a ton of difference how thick the line is. It makes sense that more electrons can travle through more area
 
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[quote author=zuluzeugma link=board=1;threadid=5691;start=msg45319#msg45319 date=1064622462]
To answer your question though. It makes a ton of difference how thick the line is. It makes sense that more electrons can travle through more area
[/quote]
If you want to get real technical, I'm studying Atomic Theory in my chemistry class, and pure platinum with an insulation of liquid helium within a few degrees of absolute zero will give you superconductivity and as a result the most efficient speaker wire possible.
:flipoff2: ::) :D
 
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[quote author=IDave link=board=1;threadid=5691;start=msg45475#msg45475 date=1064688608]
Now, THAT's useful Bailey :flipoff2:
[/quote]
More useful than YOUR post. Maybe you need a lid too Dave. :cheers: :flipoff2: :p :D
 
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what the hell is sherwood smokin?? thats a hell of alot of work to design that stuff

personally i will stick to my definitive technology bp2002tl http://www.definitivetech.com/loudspeakers/powertower/powertower.html

powered by yahama -- they will make your house rattle apart

and all you have to do is pull out the plastic -- much faster and easier and probally better sounding but much much more $$
 
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Noah,
You have probably got a lot of opinions when you asked people that you know at home. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to stereo stuff... The calculation for determining the power loss in wiring can be a somewhat complicated task. I doubt very much that you are interested in the details, so I'll assume a few things that may make things a bit easier for you. You can use 2 simiple equations for a lot of things in the world of electricity:
V=I*R (where V=volts, I=current in amperes, and R=resistance in ohms)
P=I*V (where P=Power in Watts)

You've got a 70 Watt X 2 channel amplifier (the device does not deliver 70 amps).
I will not involve the sinusoidal analysis, which means I'll talk in direct current (what your battery delivers to the truck - 12V DC).

Using the above equations, you can easily calculate how much power loss you have in the wiring. You'll see in the attachment that it really is negligable - a loss of as much as 1 Watt is pretty insignificant. However, 22 gage wire is hard to deal with if you want to crimp terminals on it. 16 gage wire is easy to come by (even though you don't really benefit from it), and it's durable if you want to make changes. Lamp cord is not a bad idea either, since it's easy to keep things organized and it has thicker insulation.

In the attachment, the spreadsheet calculates the losses for your application. I'll attach the actual sheet in another post if you want to play around with it.

I hope it helps...
 
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I have some experience here. don't worry about size too much, worry about quality, when you crank up your volume really high, they start to sound crappy, this is distortion and can come from the speaker, the amp, or distortion. I built my own book shelf speakers, and was using radio shack wires; then in a not so frugal moment bought monster cable to replace it, the actual wire diameter was the same, but saw huge improvements in sound quality. After the switch the speakers can be played louder before they turn to crap. Incidentally, if your speakers are crap too I wouldn't worry too much. Also its gonna be hard to get any decent sound in a truck as loud as a land cruiser
 
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what the hell is sherwood smokin?? thats a hell of alot of work to design that stuff

personally i will stick to my definitive technology bp2002tl www.definitivetech.com/loudspe...powertower.html

powered by yahama -- they will make your house rattle apart

and all you have to do is pull out the plastic -- much faster and easier and probally better sounding but much much more $$

*I build hifi gear because "I can".
*I have had much more expensive store-bought gear that sounded inferior.
*Plunking down the plastic and carrying home a couple of boxes and hooking up a few cables is not very rewarding to me..... knowing that I could have done it all myself.
*Yes, building it was a chore, but fulfilling and less expensive than you might envision. I have a "junkyard" of electronic components here and can build amplifiers and such without purchasing a single item.
*Old technology is not necessarily inferior to modern solid state. Solid state is just a way to make things smaller, cheaper to build (higher profit margin), and more efficient. It is in no way better sounding than well made vacuum tube equipment.

That's why I have an FJ-40. I could have bought an H2 and let the dealer work on it. ;~}

john
 
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hey thats awsome i wish i had the time or better yet the brains to do that

and you can build on your couch in the middle of winter while watchin tv -- unlike cruiser work

i bet peeps are checkin out your setup all the time wondering how in the hell it works

actually i would like to check it out -- i live in mooresville not that far from you
 
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Hey custom cruiser,

You're not the guy who's brother works at Outdoors Etc up by Davidson, are you ?

You can click on my name in this post and get my email addy and email me.

John '79 FJ-40
 

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