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Speaker Cable

Speaker Cables are used to connect receivers or power amplifiers to speakers and are also used for the internal wiring of the speakers themselves.

What material is Speaker Cable made from?

Most commonly it will be copper material with PVC insulation. Performance of a Speaker Cable depends on the quality of this material, therefore high-conductivity copper will have better performance to that of oxygen-free copper cable. Another material available is silver-plated copper.

Here at RS Components, we believe in two simple rules for choosing the length of speaker cable:

  • Less is best. Buy the shortest cable possible for the application
  • More is best. Buy the largest gauge speaker cable you can afford

What is gauge?

The thickness of the wire is referred to as a gauge. Types of gauge:

  • 14-gauge wire - suitable for many applications
  • 12-gauge wire - used for transmitting clear audio signal
  • 10-gauge wire - used for transmitting clear bass

The longer the speaker cable runs, the lower the gauge should be, because greater cable length results in greater resistance.

Does the resistance affect the performance of Speaker Cable?

In general, the higher the cable resistance, the lower the power level getting to the speaker, resulting in poor speaker performance due to damping.

Damping factor is a simple mathematical equation. It equals the load (i.e. speaker) impedance divided by the output impedance of the amplifier (i.e. the impedance across the output terminals). It's one measure of the ability of an amplifier to control speaker motion.

Single wire or Bi-wire connection?

When it comes to sound quality single wire will always out-perform the bi-wire. You can find a bi-wiring system in hi-fi and home cinema speakers or loudspeakers. The single wire speaker cable has 2 quality conductors comparing to the bi-wire cable which has 4 conductors. Most speaker wire comes in a zip cord format.

Speaker cables may come with special features that make them suitable for running behind walls and underground. Those looking to run speaker cables in these applications should buy cables that are designed for these purposes.

In-wall Speaker Cables

These are made for running speaker cables behind the walls. Extra insulation around the wire prevents the cable from overheating and then causing a fire. Regular speaker cables can create a fire hazard.

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