Speaker Cable Gauge

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AllanS

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Speaker Cable Gauge
« on: 1 Jun 2022, 01:40 pm »
I have the M4 and just starting to look at speaker cables.  If I understand correctly current is directly related to SPL.  Since I typically listen at low to moderate SPL I don’t think I’d typically be concerned about high average current.  However I’m curious if the big woofers benefit from larger gauge for transient/dynamics even at lower SPL.  I have no sense of how small is too small cable gauge.  Cable length will be 6’.  I’d appreciate your thoughts.

RonN5

Re: Speaker Cable Gauge
« Reply #1 on: 1 Jun 2022, 02:14 pm »
I really like these two calculators.  The first tells you that if you want to listen to the M4s at 95db and your listening position is 10' back, you need 56 watts...which allows 3db of headroom.

https://www.crownaudio.com/en/tools/calculators

The second tells you that at 56 watts and 4 ohms, your amp will supply 15 volts and 3.7 amps....

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-ohm.htm

So, all in all, you don't need 9 gage wire....16 gage will easily do, but there is no reason, other than cost and wire flexibility, not to use 14 or 12 gage as these are readily available...either as generic audio wire or the higher price stuff from the brand name wire companies.

AllanS

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Re: Speaker Cable Gauge
« Reply #2 on: 1 Jun 2022, 04:59 pm »
Excellent.  Many thanks!

James Edward

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Re: Speaker Cable Gauge
« Reply #3 on: 1 Jun 2022, 08:53 pm »
Something about that Crown calculation seems off or over my head… If the M4 is 90 db efficient for 1w/1m, 2 watts should provide 93 db, 4 watts 96 db, 8 watts 99db, 16 watts 102 db, 32 watts 105 db, and so on…
Even at 10’, the falloff in SPL can’t be that much?
Maybe the 3db amplifier headroom is what I don’t understand? And make no mistake, I’m no tech genius trying to bait anyone into a debate- I’ve just always read that to increase a speaker’s output by 3 db requires a doubling of power for each 3 db increase in SPL.
As far as the cable gauge goes, I agree with Ron that for a 6’ run, you don’t need it all that heavy. Because of my domestic stereo in the living room scenario, I have 23 and 25 ft runs feeding my M3 Turbo S, so I use Supra 9 gauge. I’d love to experiment with some other wires, but at those lengths it is prohibitively expensive.

RonN5

Re: Speaker Cable Gauge
« Reply #4 on: 1 Jun 2022, 11:39 pm »
Here is another calculator… no 3db headroom.

https://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

Speedskater

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Re: Speaker Cable Gauge
« Reply #5 on: 2 Jun 2022, 12:13 am »
In loudspeaker cables, the only thing that matters is:
Total end-to-end resistance of the cable in relationship to the loudspeaker impedance curve.

AllanS

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Re: Speaker Cable Gauge
« Reply #6 on: 2 Jun 2022, 11:58 am »
Thanks all.  I appreciate the help.  If it’s possible to have too much cable I probably now will.  I ended up buying an Audio Art SE on sale for what I think is reasonable for my budget.  It finishes out at 11ga but will match the 1200W I’ll never use and look really cool doing it  :D