Can I use 24 gauge speaker cable?

I’ve been trying to google this but I only get vague answers.
I want to know if I can use 24 gauge cable as speaker cable. And if not: why not?
Usual answers are “no, you should use xx gauge”, but I’m looking for why is that? Will the speakers of the amp go off in flames if the resistance is too high? I don’t even get that because the resistance isn’t even that much of a difference between speaker cable sizes, compared to the speakers resistance.

I’m talking about ca 16ft / 5m distance between amp and speaker. By the way should that measure 16 ft or double (32ft because one cable is plus and the other minus)?

Showing 5 responses by turnbowm


I believe the series component in Transparent network cables is an air-core inductor, NOT a resistor. Thus, minimal effect at low frequencies where the woofer comes into play.

You can use 24AWG speaker wire but I would advise against it. Dynamic speakers, in general, have their lowest impedance at low frequencies and small gauge wire will result in reduced bass. The solution is to use larger gauge wire. 14AWG speaker wire should be more than adequate for most applications.

The issue of generic vs "boutique" is a separate issue and not relevant for this discussion.

3,946 posts
10-17-2020 3:47pm
Dynamic speakers, in general, have their lowest impedance at low frequencies and small gauge wire will result in reduced bass.
"Not necessarily. Many speakers have impedance dip around 100Hz - bass reflex hump. Taming it might be a good thing. I took randomly one of Stereophile measurements - Wilson Sasha, that shows impedance dip to around 2 ohms at 100Hz (at the volume hump) and impedance increase to about 9 ohm at 45Hz where you want it louder (lowest bass string, open E=41Hz). Small wire resistance in series helps to normalize it."

I consider 100Hz to be low-frequency because its handled by the woofer. Also, I would NEVER consider adding resistance in series to normalize things. Using that logic, adding a 1Kohm in series will normalize things even better. 

3,948 posts
10-17-2020 4:22pm
"100Hz is too strong, in most cases, and small resistance in series helps to reduce it, since there is also impedance dip at this frequency. Nobody talks about kiloohms - that’s not a valid argument.

All I’m saying thin speaker wire might change sound to somebody’s liking. My power amp Benchmark AHB2 is perhaps the quietest and most accurate amplifier on the planet, but not everybody likes it."

I used Kohms to show the fallacy of your argument. Name me one speaker manufacturer that suggests adding resistance in series with the amp-speaker connection?

3,951 posts
10-17-2020 5:17pm
"Please answer my question - do tube amps sound bad? They have additional fraction of an ohm output impedance in comparison to SS. Why can't you understand that amplifiers with few ohms of output impedance can sound fine. At this point I'm out."

The answer to your question is NO. In fact, tube amps have a mid-range magic that few SS amps can duplicate. The relatively high output impedance, however, does affect low-frequency performance. In that department SS, with its very low output impedance, is superior.