Speaker wire guage/current draw ?

I have a 200 watt class A amp and power hungry 86db 4 ohm speakers.I'm using ten foot runs of AWG 10ga cable.My question.....Your house wiring is based on a strict code to detemine the proper size of the conductors.Iv'e been tempted to try some of the smaller guage silver wires popping up nowadays and have read the threads regarding the OTA from Sakura.....Certainly there must be a determining factor in choosing a speaker wire guage or can you really hook up your Wilson's and Krell with 26 ga wire?
With this question you'll probably get more opinions than responses. The ultimate determining factor is: If it's illegal or immoral, don't try it.

Popular belief says thicker is better. More recently, some are saying thinner can be better. Like the 26 gauge that you mention.

When bi-wiring, some to many times the thicker gauge is lower for the bass and higher for the mids and highs. At other times the thickness is the same for bass and mids and highs.

But, as always, what really should matter more than anything is the quality of the materials and build of the product.

The Nordost Valhallas are very thin, even sheer. I have no idea what gauge they are but some say they are among the very best and most expensive cables made.

As for me, I'm using Harmonic Technology Pro 9 bi-wired cables. I believe they are 9 guage for the bass runs and perhaps 16 gauge for the uppers. This cable is bi-wired but I purchased it in mono wire format. Meaning it had single spades at both amp and speaker ends. Upon converting and terminating them for bi-wiring, I noticed a more airy presentation with better imaging and 3-d soundstaging.

I run 16ga wire here from a 400w/130amp of current amplifier with no problems whatsoever to 89db efficient speakers.....Unless you are listening to test tones at levels that will melt your speakers 16ga is plenty for anything.....
The thinner you go, the more resistance you face, and the more resistance you face, the more likely you are to suffer sonically (typically from rolled-off highs). Of course, that's only suffering if you don't want rolled-off highs. Certainly 10 AWG is very conservative for a 10-foot run. You could go a fair bit thinner with no ill effects. 26 AWG strikes me as pushing it.
According to the books I read, the depth of skin effect in copper is less that half a millimeter. That is about 20ga. Under 20ga. should make the entire wire run at the same speed with no skin effect. With a 3 meter run, I doubt you would burn them up from heat, as there is very little resistance in 3 meters of wire. Some say that the thin wires sound brighter and lack bass punch. I would say that you would have to try some in your system to determine if you like the sound or not. It appears from reading these posts that the cable industry has become the tone control industry for audiophiles. Since the gear has no tone controls, the owner makes his tone adjustments with his cables. I guess this is fine, but they are rather expensive for this purpose. The late Harvey Dr.Gizmo Rosenberg said that his 18ga. silver solid wires beat hell out of every five thousand dollar wire he had ever heard. But we all know he listened to a low powered SET amp and Tannoys which add up to a high-end challenged system, which is maybe why he needed a bright cable like that. Have fun!
The bottom line is that if your speaker's load is all resistive, then you can use ohm's law and plunk in the numbers and figure out the maximum current draw, select a wire gauge from that and let it rip.

However, since your speaker might be some gawd awful conglomeration of wierd reactances (we hope not though) you can't simply count on ohm's law to apply. One can with some effort and test equipment do a splendid job of measuring the load and determining the worst case reactance and use that information to determine the proper wire size.

Since no one is likely to do that, and unless you own KEF's
more recent offerings (an almost purely resistive load, by golly!)or a full range planar dynamic (with no crossovers)the load is going to have some reactive components. So, the rule of thumb is to count on some wierd phase angles and the need for current in excess of the normally mandated amount indicated by the lowest impedance that the speaker exhibits. Thus the tendency for a slightly larger rather than thinner gauge wire.

Beyond that point, the geometry of the wire will play the greatest role in what you hear since that will dork your L & C values.

After that, ur out in the wild blue yonder on ur own...

The late "Dr. Gizmo" often was a proponent of reaching musical trancendence, so am I. The bottom line is, that if it sounds good to you, do it.