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Minimum 16-gauge speaker cable?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by InkStained, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. InkStained

    InkStained Member

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    i'm using a 14-gauge Fender speaker cable to connect my Fender Bassbreaker 007 combo to the new Bassbreaker 112 cab Santa brought earlier this week.

    The cab material/instructions calls for a "minimum" 16-gauge cable.

    Does it matter that I'm using a cable measuring "only" 14 gauge? Should I be ordering a 16-gauge cable? Will it make a difference?

    Obviously, this is my first cab and I'm somewhat new to all this. I have seven combos.

    Thanks.

    The Bassbreaker set-up with a '97 Strat Plus:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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    14 AWG is mo' bigger than 16 AWG. The 'minimum' they are referring to is wire diameter, not AWG number.
     
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  3. InkStained

    InkStained Member

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    So 12 gauge cable is "bigger" than 14 gauge?
     
  4. InkStained

    InkStained Member

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    Also, "AWG" = "American Wire Gauge?" And the longer the cable, the lower you want the gauge number?
     
  5. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge

    Consult the tables at this link and compare wire diameter with AWG number.

    The longer you make a conductor (holding the diameter and material constant) the greater will be it's resistance.

    Note that AWG 16 has a resistance of 4.016 milli-ohms per foot. So if your speaker cable was 30' long that would be a series resistance of just over 1/10 of an ohm. If you were connecting a 4 ohm load, you'd lose about 0.12 dB in the cable. The ampacity (how much current the wire can safely carry) doesn't come into play in the scenario when the driving source is a 7 watt amplifier... And I'm still talking about AWG 16 here...
     
  6. InkStained

    InkStained Member

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    I appreciate the answers. i take it I'm "OK" then with the 14-gauge, 5-foot speaker cable connecting this little combo to a 70-watt enclosure?
     
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  7. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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  8. Kyle B

    Kyle B Supporting Member

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    No - You need 8 gauge oxygen-free, pure gold cable with micro-mesh RF suppression Gaussian wound field shielding...

    Either that or a few feet of the cheapest lamp cord you can find. Both will sound exactly the same in your application...
     
  9. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    A 7 watt amp doesn't need much cable to operate properly and safely. You could use a 3' 18AWG cable with zero issue.
     
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  10. Daniel Jaquith

    Daniel Jaquith Member

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    I was going to start another thread but I think I'll just hijack this one for a second because my question is along the same lines.

    15watt amp head, speaker is in a isolation box 25ft away. What gauge wire would you all recommend? I prefer a bulk cable so I can DIY it. Thanks.
     
  11. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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  12. hacinador

    hacinador Member

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    You can use even 24 awg wire with your small amp, no problem.
     
  13. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

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    Get a nice 14 or 12 gauge SJ type (round rubber-like jacket), as it will coil better and not get as buggered when stepped on. http://www.audiopile.net/PMSA
     
  14. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    I use Belden 8473 by default, as I was going to buy a Hard Truckers cabinet, and they use Belden 8473. I decided to have a cab made, and I specified that I wanted this wire, and I supplied it, as I figured Hard Truckers are very professional, have been building speaker systems/cabinets for decades, and know what good wire is.

    Also they use this wire because on tours, you may come upon really long wire runs, and that will hurt your sound, so I just use this wire knowing Ill probably never need this gauge, but its there, if I do, and its not really very expensive, and is easy to find.

    The original wiring harness on my 4 Pulsonic G12Hs is like Dental Floss by comparison.
     
  15. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    16 gauge wire for a 7 watt amp? :facepalm
     
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  16. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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    I know, right? Everybody knows the tone lives in AWG 0000 cable...
     
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  17. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    I guess I was a little rude with the facepalm, sorry. It seems the OP truly didn't know about the topic.

    Everyone is joking because 16 gauge wire is overkill for such a small amp.
     
  18. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    right, so it's bizarre that the instructions call for 16 minimum.
     
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  19. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    16 seems reasonable here just because of the length, and because while a 25' guitar speaker cable is a niche item, a 25' bar PA speaker cable is all kinds of useful so might as well make it fat enough to use for that too.
     
  20. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Member

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    yikes, that's a skinny little wire to push any current down. 7 watts? ok, I'd still like at least 18 awg, call me old fashioned.
     
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