Does it matter the wire gauge used in interconnects?


I am thinking of trying my hand on building some DIY interconnects. It will be balanced (XLR) and 10 feet long. I have seen interconnects made with thin 30 gauge wire, is there an advantage using super thin gauge wire?
I was thinking of using 20 gauge but is that too thick for interconnects?

ozzy
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I will share here that I have made double helix RCA ICs and SPDIF cables for audio friends that preferred them to cables costing up to  $7800.  Not joking here. It really happens regularly. 
I wonder if the helix double sounds better as it halves the inductance?
Mitch2,
Thank you for that information.

Nonoise, Yes I believe using oversized tubing is a plus.

grannyring,
I already ordered 60 feet of .9999 20 gauge soft silver wire along with oversized  PTFE tubing. To keep the cost down, can I also then add 60 feet of copper to make the double runs?

Then not sure if it will all fit into a XLR connector...

ozzy
Assuming things are relatively in balance, inductance or resistance are not as important for ICs as low capacitance, but low inductance does improve the performance of SCs, which is also what a cross-connected star-quad geometry does.

I have been interested in the Helix Method that Bill linked for a while now but I haven’t had time or need to build a set yet. The Jupiter wire I linked also sounds very good as a balanced IC cable but it is a little hard to work with. For conventional balanced IC cable construction (i.e., twisted pair), it is my experience you should:
  • use two of the exact same (type and length) of signal conductors,
  • use a ground wire (doesn’t need to be the same quality) that is at least the same gauge as the signal conductors,
  • allow some spacing between the ground and signal conductors, counter wind the ground wire (i.e., in the opposite direction of the twist you used for the signal conductors), and connect the ground at both ends,
  • shield the cable and connect the shield at the source end only
Most of you are generally going to use stranded wire conductors, so awg is not so critical.  Of course, you'll have more capacitance issues with larger awg, so don't go super large like 16awg or larger.  Instead, do multiple wires of 20+ awg if you want more wire for less resistance.

If you are using solid-core conductors, then I would say that 20awg is the largest you want to go unless you combine different awg.  Anything larger than 20awg solid-core will start to lose high frequency response.  In my extensive testing, 20awg is the sweet spot if you are only using one size.  22awg has excellent high frequency detail, but loss of bass power.  18awg starts to lose high frequency resolution.

The alternative is to combine different sizes.  You could combine an 18awg and 21/22awg solid core wires.  The smaller wire would provide the high frequency response and the larger wire carries the bass power.  Audioquest speaker wire is designed just like this.