Any 12 Ga. will sound the same. 12 Ga. is 12 ga.
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Just a hint -- try a sniff-test before you buy. If you can detect any PVC (like a new garden hose) smell at all, do not buy the cable for audio. PVC is a not a good-sounding dielectric. ALSO, that PVC smell is actually the out-gassing of chloride gas; guaranteed to corrode copper stranding over time.
Just purchased some wire at Home Depot to use while I save some money for some new MIT cables. 10awg...with four 10awg conductors, then all wrapped in an external black casing...Sound pretty damn good especially for something that only cost me $80 after I purchased some new connectors for the cable...nearly as good as my blue heavens that I just sold.
Carol Cable actually manufactures in-wall and pro-audio speaker cable, plus Video/Cable/Satellite Coax cable (RG6, etc), microphone cables, and even power cables down to 6 Ga.
Our friends at Parts Express carries a lot of it, including the 6 Ga. power cable.
Carol is a division of General Cable.
"12 ga. is 12 ga" ??
1. the physical distance between the positive and negative legs will determine the capactive and inductive characterics of the cable.
2. the number of strands will affect high frequency response and group delay.
3. the material used in the dielectric will affect apparent speed of the presentation, and will affect ultasonic high frequency extension. That's why manufacturers of quality audio cable use PE, foamed PE, or teflon instead of (much cheaper)PVC.
And those are just easy-to-talk-about factors ...
The capacitive & inductive characteristics of the cable will present NO problems in the lenghts used in the average home systems. The dielectric is of similar negligible import since it's the insulator & not the conductor. Some read too many cable mfgs'. white papers which usually contain little else than unsubstatiated claims. Most of these cos. don't own a single piece of test gear. They merely buy the cables OEM. Cable forums similarly produce a lot of smoke & very little light when discussing these matters.
I agree.... This guy goes into more detail and tells why....
Actually, THHN can be broken down in the electrical codes for meaning (not in T H H N order):
Nylon Thermoplastic Jacket for dry locations, maximum conductor temperature 90°C dry location, 600 volts power, single conductor.
Comes in a variety of awg and strands. Primarily used for branch and feeder residential & com'l installs.
Good copper wire, a bit on the stiff side though -- probably works pretty good.
"12 ga. is 12 ga"
I disagree. Connect 12 gauge Monster Cable- the original stuff that looks like thick lamp cord between your speakers and amplifier. Now listen to your system and compare the sound to cable that does not look like 12 gauge lamp cord, say a 16/2 or a 16/4. Most people (I know) hear a significant difference.
YOU ARE CORRECT... # 12AWG is not #16/2 AWG.
YOU DON'T SAY. Wire is wire, huh? I guess water is water too. Likely cars is cars. Hmmm
It's not really, but to each their own... if you don't hear a diff, don't pay the diff. I think that's the golden rule in this hobby, overall.
In fact the above descriptions on the characteristics and preposed fundtionality of the THHN wire are proper. For it's intended use, supplying electrical power in homes and business, it's most practical and worthwhile.
That wire isn't made of OFC, it's NOT four 9's purity, it's NOT surrounded by a top end dialectric... BUT it's cheaper.
... and there's the catch. For some of us. e.g., above 'can't hear it don't pay it'.
Personally, I'll never use Monster 12 or ?? speaker wire, or it's upscale overpriced non performing speaker cables again. Ever. I'm sure some will however have fine results with them.
I believe it comes down to what level of performance one seeks in what level of equipment or application. In truth, it probably comes down to two things: What's in the wallet, and one's ego or belief system.
As an electrician and prior to that, an electroincs tech in the military, wire was always just wire. Just worry about the amount of current being drawn. that's it.
I've found out wire ain't just wire now. Not when it comes to audio & video componets interfacing one to the other (s).
...but I had to have it proven to me too.
Just my twenty two cents worth.
I pulled the following link from a previous Agon thread on this very subject: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#introduction
It seems resistance is the most important factor of any speaker cable. I had a pair of 12AWG DIY cables with the transparent-type insulation that had clearly corroded in many places. I then moved to the Wireworld Solstice cable with very noticeable improvements in sound quality since the corroded wire added unwanted resistance.
I'm not a supporter of the ridiculously expensive cables but cheap cables are NOT an alternative.
Depends on your defintion of "CHEAP". Clear As Day Solid Core Speaker Cables (aka solid core) advertises here and has very reasonably priced cables that in my system blew away well know fairly expensive speaker cables. Since they are under $100 for and 8ft pair of solid core silver, I would say they are CHEAP, but only in price. Sonically they are awesome. Plus they require little to no break in