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Something that's been bugging me about speaker cable...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lo-end, Dec 29, 2001.


  1. lo-end

    lo-end

    Jun 15, 2001
    PA
    I've often wondered why people would want to go overboard with 12, 10 and 8 gauge speaker cable, when the stuff thats wired in your cab is only like 16 or 18 gauge. As they say, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So why would people go out and buy this stuff thats so hard to work with? (its almost impossible to solder 12AWG cable to a regular phone plug. The stuff just doesn't fit in there!!)

    Thats one of the reasons why I always know people are bull****ting when they say they can tell the difference between 14AWG and 10AWG speaker cables. Its just not possible for there to be a difference if you're using cable thats any heavier than the stuff thats connecting the back of your drivers to the input jack on your cab! There just can't be!!!!

    So this raises a few questions:

    1) Would it be a good idea to unscrew the back of your cab to rewire the drivers with heavy gauge cable? Would it even make a difference?

    2) Doesn't extremely heavy gauge cable pick up more interference and noise than modest gauge cable anyway?

    3) Am I right about this whole chain-is-only-as-strong-as-weakest-link theory?

    Someone make sense of it all! :D
     
  2. The quick answers:

    <i>1) Would it be a good idea to unscrew the back of your cab to rewire the drivers with heavy gauge cable? Would it even make a difference? </I>

    No.

    <i>2) Doesn't extremely heavy gauge cable pick up more interference and noise than modest gauge cable anyway? </i>

    Not Sure. Techinically, it doesn't matter.

    3) Am I right about this whole chain-is-only-as-strong-as-weakest-link theory?

    No.

    The long answers:

    1)It wouldn't make a difference. See below.

    2)Not sure. Never heard that though. At powered levels, I don't think it matters if there is intereference, as it is after the power stage. Noise is only a problem when it comes into the signal before the amps, therebye being amplified as well. It is so quiet without amplification that it doens't matter. (Think speaker, plugged in, with amp off)

    3) Technially, Yes. Of course, that only refers to chain, not amplifiers. ;)

    This same question has been asked before, and there were some great threads arguing speaker cabling stuff. Do a search for "what gauge?" I think, or just "speaker cable". It ends up being that at relatively short runs, a small peice of cable can handle tons of power just fine. It's only in trouble when it gets long, and the resistance goes up. (Go look up the threads, the math and stuff is cool).
     
  3. VicDamone

    VicDamone

    Jun 25, 2000
    Lo-end you bring up a good point about the speaker systems hookup wire. While it may not be critical to instrument amplification were distortion can be a welcome tone, in the slightly more anal Hi-Fi industry, many manufactures spec the hookup wire in speaker systems, tonearms, preamps etc. Some audiophiles bypass termination altogether and solder cables directly to output devises and speaker/crossover terminals. While these "tweeks" may provide a very slight improvment by themselves, cumulatively the results can be very noticable. Hi-Fi cables the size of garden hoses are not all wire inside. Some have a network of vynal tubes and jackets to deal with "skin effect" of the cable, some have different guage strands layed in certain pattern. Copper or silver? It realy gets out there.

    IMO the best bang for our buck is clean phone plugs and decent AC.
     
  4. I rewired my Eden cab with 4mm silverwire internally.

    Silverwire has less resistance than copper, and doesn't muffle the sound.
     
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Well, regarding the weakest link thing, have you seen how that beetch talks to the contestants who have to hit the road? Well, you may be right, but I'm not going to be the one who puts the weakest link in the chain.
     
  6. VicDamone

    VicDamone

    Jun 25, 2000
    So does it sound different?

    I've done this to a few amps and there was always an improvment but the results vary.
     
  7. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    :D :D
     
  8. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    To answer your comments. no. the people are bull****ing when they say that they can HEAR the diff between a heaver gauge speaker cable. And i think your right about the whole chain is not as strong as a chimp on a bucket of cheese thing.....i think that was it....well i agree.
     
  9. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Hi,
    I rewired a vox ac30 speaker connection with ofc cable.
    It shouldn't have really made a difference.....but it's MUCH louder now!



    :confused:
     
  10. Bassstud1

    Bassstud1 Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2001
    LaPorte Indiana USA
    As a manufacturing engineer I would say that the signal to your speaker would have to be better if you replaced it with better wire. But the real question here is it worth the hassle to do it for perhaps .05% more signal. My opinion on the cables is 3 to 4 foot cables you aren't losing that much. If you run 50 of 100 speaker cables to your P.A. cabs, then it might be worth while to buy a little better cable because of the signal lost over that length. But then again I have seen people use 100 ft. of lampcord for speaker wire and wonder why there speakers didn't seem as loud as they used to be. As far as your bass rig use what ever you feel good about. I wouldn't do it and my wife calls me anal about my sound. Good Luck.