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speaker wire

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by gbenner, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. gbenner


    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    I went into the local G.C. to get some new 12 gauge speaker wire from my head to my cabs. I was looking at a no name brand wire and the guy there was saying how much better the Monster Cable Pro 500 cable is. Is there a difference, I thought wire is wire, the no name brand was 18 bucks for 5 feet, Planet Waves 25 bucks and the Monster Pro series 30 bucks. Has anyone A/B different brands. I might just go back and get the cheep stuff. I'd love to A/B them myself, just thought one of you guy's might have. Thanks.

  2. Without going into detail, the selection of instrument cable is generally much more critical than the speaker cable especially if you're planning on using 12 gauge for the speaker.
  3. Yeah, the monster cable is better...well for GC that is, because they get an extra $12... :eyebrow:

    Seriously though, go with the no-name...the best cables I own are non-monster...
  4. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    If you can here the difference, pay the difference.
  5. mnadelin


    Apr 6, 2003
    Kalamazoo, MI
    For what it's worth, my friend who owns a recording studio did a cable showdown one time. Monster didn't even win in stuff where it should have won, he said. From all my experience, Monster cables really aren't as good as they're cracked up to be. I don't know why they have such a good reputation. Anyway, if you're using 12 gauge wire, I wouldn't worry about it.
  6. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    Don't waste your money!

    Quality of the insulation due to interlead capacitance matters on an instrument cable where a very small (less than 1 volt) signal is present.
    However, where high current and voltage (comparitively) is present, such as with the speaker, what makes a difference is the size of the conductor PERIOD. If you are looking at a guitar amp then 18 gauge is fine for speaker wire. If you are talking a bass amp then I suggest 14 gauge as a minimum as large amounts of power are required to produce low frequencies.
  7. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    No name/Monster well try Pro Co Fat Max. I use 8 guage with speakons. (Some "expert" on here tried to tell me that 12 guage would sound the same. It doesn't) See Speakon thread. I'm not advocating any brand only that if you have a nice bass and rig why go cheap on the things that will make it perform at it's optimum. There is a difference between those brands. I played a gig without a Monster instrument cable. I used some no name and I could certainly here the difference. Some bassists when they here George L cables a/b'ed switch. Poor quality in each component in the signal chain becomes additive until you have big noise. It's your ear and the quality of your equipment that allows you to hear the difference. About GC and any retailer, they recieve a bigger profit on some merchandise then from another manufacturer so they push it even if it doesn't meet your needs. It may be less expensive then the item you were planning to buy. So buyer beware "caveat emptor". If you can hear the difference and can afford it buy it. If you can hear the difference and can't afford it aspire to and you will one day and you and your audience will appreciate it.
  8. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Canare 4S11 :D
  9. Exactly how many watts are you running at what ohm cabs? The amount of current through the cable determines the gauge you need. 8 gauge will handle more power than 10 or 12, so its better, but you're way beyond what you need for any normal bass amp setup. Maybe commercial sound stacks would require that.

  10. I agree.

    I recently spoke with Euphonic Audio regarding my iAMP 800 running 1000 into a 2 ohm load. They indicated that for a normal length speaker cable 16 gauge is all that's needed. They're certainly particular about bass audio reproduction.

    You can always run a larger gauge if it makes you feel more comfortable. I use 12 gauge for that very reason.
  11. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    Unless you are running "Kilowatts or long distance" 12 gauge is plenty large enough most anything especially if you keep it 5 ft or less.
  12. Always remembered 14 GA is rated for 15A, which = 900W@4 ohms, 450W @ 2 ohms, or 1800W @ 8 ohms.

    That's acceptable voltage drop for extension cords, house wiring, maybe you want less drop for audio applications. Don't remember how it increments going to lower GA.

    Maybe 20A for 12Ga (800W@2 ohms, 1600W@ 4 ohms, 3200W@ 8 ohms),

    Maybe 25A for 10GA? 1250@2, 2500@4, 5000@8 ohms. Maybe 30A for 8 GA? 1800W@2, 3600W@4, 7200W@8 ohms.

    Something like that. Anybody know the exact/correct specs?

    Remember to go to the next gauge wire for long cable runs (i.e. LOWER GA, thicker wire).

  13. gbenner


    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    Thanks for all the input guys. I use an Eden WT-800 into two cabs, a 15 and a 2x10. I was using wire I made myself, its 16 gauge, I couldn't get the connectors for larger wire. So I guess I'll pick up some pre-made 12 gauge. I might even try the Planet Waves 12 gauge. Its a little more money then the Live Wires 12 gauge but not much. I like the fact that the connectors are molded, I would think they would last longer. You hear all this hype about Monster Cable, and start to wonder if it's true, guess not.
  14. wneff

    wneff Supporting Member

    May 27, 2003
    Woburn, MA
    The issue with speaker wire is not so much that it has to hold the high power. Almost any cable can take the power. Where a heavy gauge is an advantage over a smaller cable is the damping o fthe loudspeaker. When the amp puts power into the speaker, the speaker moves. If you take the power away it wants to keep moving because of its mass. The amp is trying to stop the speaker from doing that by "shorting" the speaker. The more effectiv the amp is at shrting the speaker, the more accurate is the response.

    If you have a cabel and contacts with a large resistance the amp may try to short the speaker, but since the cable resistance is there the damping is much smaller than it could be.

    I think QSC manuals talk about that - download a power amp manual and read what the experts say.

    I personally think copper is copper, no matter what brand you use.
    Bigger wire and shorter cable are in general better, so keep your cables as short as posible

  15. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    I have gotten 12 gauge wire into a speakon connector made for 14 gauge by twisting it very tightly.
  16. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    That 15A rating is for A/C wiring with a nominal run of 25 to 100 feet. If you're making a speaker extension cable of similar length then those guidelines would be an absolute minimum, with one gauge larger being better at the longer end of that scale. But with a wire run of perhaps three feet inside of a cabinet you can back off at least one gauge with no ill effect.
  17. v-12


    Mar 3, 2005
    FL Panhandle
    anyone ever try the phil jones speaker cable? if so where did you get it from? i have been scouring the internet for any reviews and dealers, but have pretty much come up empty handed....
  18. acexxxoasis


    Apr 12, 2005

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