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Speaker wire - is there a downside to buying 12-AWG?

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  3. Speaker wire - is there a downside to buying 12-AWG?
The cranky hermit 4 years ago#1
I'm building an HTPC, and to go with it, I'm getting some real speakers instead of just using the TV's built-in sound. My understanding is that lower AWG is generally better, and that lower AWG is needed for longer distances. I am using 5.1 sound, and I can't imagine I would need more than 20 feet of wire for the farthest-away speaker (the surround speakers will be about 10 feet away, and I am allowing another 10 feet to account for routing and slack). According to what I've read, 16-AWG should be fine for this, but 12-AWG barely costs more for 100ft, which I figure is enough (could probably do with 50ft, but 100ft leaves room for mistakes).

The 16-AWG: $19 plus shipping

The 12-AWG: $29 plus shipping

Is there any downside to the 12-AWG, aside from the modest cost increase? For that matter, is there any UPSIDE to it at all at such short ranges, or even any chance of me hearing a difference? Is Monoprice still a good brand for non-digital speaker wire? The wire isn't going in wall, but the receiver-end leads are likely to get tangled in a spaghetti plate of various cables, including power cables.

Also, where should the center speaker go? It won't fit under the TV without obstructing the screen. If I got a tall speaker stand, put it behind the TV, and mounted the speaker on the stand just above and behind the TV, would that work well?
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User Info: AnatomyHorror

4 years ago#2
Copper is copper. They both will (should) produce the same exact sound.

No downside to 12 awg. No upside either, other than it being thicker, which may help if you have animals or something I have no idea.

You should be able to get 100ft of 16 gauge wire off amazon for cheaper -

Do not obstruct your center speaker. It's so important. Best thing you could do in your situation is have it directly above your TV.

I just recently converted my computer sound setup to a 5.1 setup. My receiver is on the other side of the room. I had to use about 125ft of wire to set up all 5 speakers near my PC. I use the 16 gauge wire I linked to you from amazon. Sounds amazing imo.
12 AWG is thick. You'll likely need spades or banana plugs to actually fit the stuff into your equipment. It's really overkill for runs that short.
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User Info: Nightmare2398

4 years ago#4
yep, just use 16 gauge, 12 can be too thick for some speakers/receivers, unless you're running thousands of dollars of equipment.
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User Info: LordSeifer

4 years ago#5
^ this

User Info: SnipeStar

4 years ago#6
12g is thick and heavy as s***
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User Info: MonerMoner

4 years ago#7
In theory, thicker speaker wire will allow more power to be transfered to your speakers because of the lower resistance. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

User Info: RolloverBouncin

4 years ago#8
MonerMoner posted...
In theory, thicker speaker wire will allow more power to be transfered to your speakers because of the lower resistance. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Thicker doesn't affect the quality unless you're wiring them long distances. I'm currently using 14s for mine but have tested 18s and there's no difference if you just setting up the speakers within 30ft.
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User Info: Monkeymage

4 years ago#9
In my old house I wired a surround sound system where the rear speakers were about 25 feet from the receiver. I used 16g wire for the entire system and I didn't have any problems at all, it sounded great.
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User Info: WerdnAndreW

4 years ago#10

If you put the center above the tv, make sure to angle it down to your listening position.
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