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speaker wire gauge 18awg or 16 awg


 
10/6/1999 7:37 PM
Stan speaker wire gauge 18awg or 16 awg
I just ordered the Weber California 12's for my Twin reverb and I've heard different opinions on the speaker wire gauge.  
16awg gives more bottom less high end or the other way around. What's the general rule of thumb on this issue?  
Stick w/ the standard(?) 18awg?  
 
10/7/1999 6:30 AM
Lord Valve
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Lord Valve Speaketh:  
Well, Stan...I know this isn't what you wanted to hear,  
but considering the amount of wire necessary to reach  
the speakers in a Twin Reverb, you could probably use  
two pieces of coathanger and not hear the difference.  
NO, 16 gauge will *not* have more bass and less highs.  
The output impedance of your amplifier is so low that  
you'd need to use a capacitor in the micro-farad range  
to have any audible effect on the high-frequency  
performance of the speakers...not to mention which,  
typical guitar speakers don't reproduce much of anything  
beyond 6 KHz or so. The capacitance of a small piece  
of 16- (or 18-) gauge speaker wire will be way down in  
the pF range, where it can't possibly make any difference.  
As for the difference between the two sizes, I use the  
Chicken Soup Principle..."it couldn't hoit!" 16-gauge  
wire will be more mechanically robust, and less likely  
to break or come unsoldered due to vibration. Hair-  
splitters may delight in pointing out that 16-gauge  
wire will have less resistance (than an equal length  
of 18-guage wire) and will therefor transfer a greater  
amount of power to the load. While this is true, the  
difference in power transfer between these two gauges  
in the length we're talking about (around a foot) would  
require some fairly sophisticated test equipment just  
to detect, and it's a lead-pipe cinch that no-one  
would be able to hear it. So sayeth the Lord.  
 
Lord Valve  
(sig lite)
 
 
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10/7/1999 2:56 PM
stan
you are a veritable fountain of knowledge and I bow in your presence. May I add that the reason for this inane question was that I read an article by Gerald Weber on the speaker wire thing and I was basically just checking to see if it was BS or not. Now that you have emasculated me on this bbs I will think twice before posting such silliness:)
 
10/7/1999 3:50 PM
Don Symes
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In addition to Mr. Valve's comments, may I point out that the actual wire from the speaker terminals to the voice coil are in the AWG 20 to 24 range. The interface impedances at each connection in the chain probably add up to a higher total resistance than the bulk resistance of the spaker cable.
 
10/7/1999 4:13 PM
Gil Ayan
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Q{In addition to Mr. Valve's comments, may I point out that the actual wire from the speaker terminals to the voice coil are in the AWG 20 to 24 range. The interface impedances at each connection in the chain probably add up to a higher total resistance than the bulk resistance of the spaker cable.  
}  
 
One thing you seem to be neglecting here is the length of the wire. The resistence of a wire is equal to the resistivity of the material times the length of the wire, divided by the cross sectional area of the wire. Thus, a longer wire will have a larger resistence than a short one, and a thick wire will have a smaller resistence than a thing one. So a 16 gauge wire over 6 feet will probably perform worse than a 26 gauge wire over an inch! If it were not for this, we wouldn't have any fuses, would we? :)  
 
LV did touch on this when he said that given the distance from the speaker jack to the speaker termianl lug, a coat hanger would probably sound just fine. Imagine now the distance from the terminal lug to the voice coil... maybe 4 inches?  
 
I think what GW says may make some sense if you are talking about driving a couple of Marshall cabs, where the length of the speaker cord will be more like 6 feet or so. I wouldn't say it's BS, per se; I am sure someone out there will hear a difference in something that trivial, whereas the majority of us couldn't.  
 
The impression I get from GW is that he's read a lot and has heard a lot about amps over the past FEW years only, but then tries to come across as a guru who came up with all these great ideas.  
 
Some of the time, the quotes these type of people make are accurate and good advice, some other times they may come up with their own things and what you could end up with is something like John Stoke's favorite Torres' mod: adding a 1 ohm resistor at a preamp's cathode to measure the triode current. I guess that one has to be the stupidest thing ever written about electronics/guitar tech stuff.  
 
Gil
 
10/7/1999 5:04 PM
J Epstein
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quote:
"Stoke's favorite Torres' mod: adding a 1 ohm resistor at a preamp's cathode to measure the triode current."
 
 
Carbon comp or metal film?  
 
-j
 
10/7/1999 8:23 PM
Gil Ayan
email

quote:
"Carbon comp or metal film?"
 
 
I didn't read the article myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if he had recommended a 1-ohm 5 watter sandbox, just for "protection" against high current levels (eeerrr... 2mA? :))  
 
Gil
 
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