The guage is more than you would usually want for an IC, but if you don't really care about trying to extract value from them by selling, give it a shot. It may not sound that great, but it would be a fun experiment.
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Lack of shielding could be a problem, assuming the speaker cables are unshielded. The inductance of the wire used as the signal return conductor could result in high frequency noise problems due to ground loop issues, depending on the particular components that are being connected. If the capacitance per unit length of the cable is on the high side, and the cable length is long, and the output impedance of the component driving the cable is high, upper treble rolloff and sluggish transients could result.
On the other hand, depending on the specific parameters of the cable, the specific components that are being connected, and the surrounding emi/rfi environment, it might work ok, assuming you are able to physically mate the cable and connectors with each other.
If it were me, I would find a young person who had an interest in music and help them build there first or improve there current system. Give them away and offer them the benefit of your knowledge and help perpetuate our hobby.
Cutting them down to experiment on would be a greater waste of good speaker cable IMO. Do you have children, grandkids, neices, nephews a neighbor maybe who likes audio?
Even though most interconnects us very thin wire I do not believe the gauge of the wire is an issue in itself. Cogan Hall made interconnects of copper tubing and the sound was very good even though the gauge was quite large. I have always preferred the sound of unshielded interconnects, but I don't live in an area where I need shielded cables.
A practical issue with doing the conversion would be finding connectors that would accept the typical gauge of speaker wire. Soldering RCAs onto the smaller wire designed for interconnects can be challenging enough given the size of the connector barrel and how close together the hot and ground connections are.
Has anyone ever converted S-Video cables into ICs? How did they sound? Is it possible to do the conversion? Often I see quality S-Video cables on a popular auction site for not too much money. I was thinking about just cutting off the ends and then trying to attach regular RCA connectors. I was hoping it would be a great way to get a quality budget IC.
I don't have any experience with using S-Video cables as the basis for interconnects but I'm not sure it would be worth the trouble when you can buy really high-quality cable from Mogami and Canare in bulk from places like markertek.com and takefiveaudio.com. The Mogami 2549, for instance, is $.90 a foot and you know exactly what you're getting. I've been very happy with it combined with relatively inexpensive Vampire connectors.
I don't think it would be worth the try. The lack of shielding will leave them open for RF interference from transmitters, plus other noise around the house.
Try component video cables that you may have around, and not using anymore. They are usually shielded, and may do excellent, if they're built good.