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)?
24 Guage will have no stage,no bass,no detail but it is cheap.
   Lots of electrical "expertise" here. The OP simply asks the question if using 24 gauge speaker cable is acceptable? Maybe he has 24 gauge already on hand? Maybe not. Without going down the road of opening a flood of responses about who has the best speaker cables out there, a simpler approach is to compare the price of 24 gauge wire to a heavier one. Speaking in terms of cost...not much difference. I believe the comparison between brands or models is not needed here.


I've been using the same 26 gauge solid core copper speaker wire (with various SS/tube based setups) for the past 18 years and have not experienced any of the "downsides" posted by others in this thread.

The speaker wire lengths have been in the range of 10-12 feet in length.

Not a fan of the "stranded" wire I've tried in the past, but have zero experience with the new wave of them.

@sjeesjie the answer you're really looking for is the following:

There is an audible difference in wire.  Gauge/Quality/Connectors all play a factor.  

You can VASTLY improve audio quality by spending a $100 or so on HIGH quality cables of the required length/connector.  

I did this a year ago.  Upgrading from some 12ga "monster cable" stranded wire, to some 8ga stranded with bonded banana plugs, and was absolutely floored with the before/after.

All of the above get's magnified as you increase other components in your system.  Do yourself a favor, spend a few bucks now.  It's worth it.
If Paul W. Klipsch stated in his time, lampcord would be quite adequate for speakers, great selection at Home Depot, but probably cheaper at Walmart......