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what is the different between speaker wire and power wire

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by mrel, Nov 12, 2018.

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  1. mrel

    mrel

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    Jul 2, 2008
    Hi
    (1) What is the different between speaker wire 10 gauge and power wire 10 gauge.
    (2) Is 10 gauge copper clad aluminum wire good for solar panel use.
    (3) A copper clad aluminum wire can you actually see the aluminum in the copper wire.
    (4) when you don't have 10 gauge copper wire can you double two 12 gauge wire to make thicker gauge to equal 10 gauge wire.
    mrel
     
  2. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    Difference is 10 ga speaker wire is much more expensive, because it is a scam.

    Bob
     
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  3. Audioguru

    Audioguru

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    Sep 24, 2016
    At home I use 16 ga stranded copper lamp cord wire. I tried 14 ga but it made no difference to the sounds.
    10 ga wires are train tracks.
     
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  4. bushtech

    bushtech

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    Sep 13, 2016
    Hooboy! We're venturing into snake oil territory:D
     
  5. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    Use copper-free oxygen cable, or was it oxygen-free copper?
     
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  6. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Power wire will have insulation to suit the voltage in use.
    The wire you use for solar panels will depend on the current, voltage and length.
    You can parallel cables to increase the current handling capacity.
     
  7. tedstruk

    tedstruk

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    Jan 7, 2012
    1. if you have a #10 wire running to your speakers they should be permanently mounted, otherwise the the connectors are liable to break when you try to move them becaus the wire is so thick.
    2. The manufacturers of solar panels ask that you use wire that is #10 or over #10, and that it be aluminum clad to resist corrosion from the natural elements solar is often in cohoots with.
    3. An aluminum clad wire has a thin layer of aluminum over the conducting material inside it that can be scraped off with a pocket knife. The core is often not fully copper, but an alloy of superconductors, titanium, gold, and copper.
    4. Specs are specs. You are the tech, it's your fault if the hookybob fails.

    #z & if the speakers get cooked cause you ran the solar panel through them thinkin the wires in the wall were running to the stereo instead of the solar controller... You should consult the manual, find the schematic and have a sitdown with your customer... about what you can do to make up for the hookybob mishap.
    sorry goodluck and radio sets leave blood trails....
     
  8. mrel

    mrel

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    Jul 2, 2008
    Just to let you know i am Not a tech i am just a hobbyist.
    (1) My post is to find out what different between 10 gauge speaker wire and a 10 gauge power wire.
    (2) As you say better to use copper clad aluminum wire for solar panel.
    (3) Speaker and power wire both are 10 gauge so what different can you use speaker wire to hookup solar panel or use copper clad aluminum wire for speaker hookup.
    mrel
     
  9. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    Depends on the output voltage of the solar panel. As long as the output voltage is less than the rated voltage of the wire it is o.k. Otherwise it is not o.k.

    That is possible, but why would you go for the more expensivee wire if a simple copper wire will do?

    The better it is to stick to the use of components (incl. wire) in applications they are made for.
     
  10. duke37

    duke37

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    Jan 9, 2011
    Surely the other way round with the copper cladding the aluminium core. Never used it myself.
    With two metals, corrosion cann occur if moisture is present, try to keep to all copper.
    An alloy will not be used in a cable since alloys always have higher resistance than pure metals. Adding titanium and gold is ludicrous.
    Superconductors only work at very low temperature. Do you have liquid helium available?
     
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  11. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

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    Aug 11, 2014
    Speaker wire usually has more strands in it for flexibility.
    Unless you have a huge amplifier or have speakers located far away from the amp, using #10 is probably overkill.

    Yes, you can see the aluminum underneath the copper cladding on the ends where its cut off. Aluminum clad is popular in heavier guage wire because its inexpensive compared to solid copper.

    Doubling up two #12 gauge wires would not only equal one #10, but would exceed it by 150%. Of course its application would be silly.

    Btw, Silver is a much better conductor than gold.
     
  12. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    10,069
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    Nov 17, 2011
    As you noticed yourself: insulation thickness.
     
  13. duke37

    duke37

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    Jan 9, 2011
    As I said before, it will NOT be an alloy but just commercially pure. The only copper alloy used for wire that I know of is copper-beryllium (very nasty) which is used where strength is required.

    The wires do break if flexed too much and I often chop a piece off the end of the cable of portable tools to find a good bit. The finer the wires in the cable, the more it will bend without breaking.
     
  14. Emilytronics

    Emilytronics

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    Nov 23, 2018
    I've used standard UK mains cable as speaker wire, and likewise I couldn't find any difference in the sound quality.
     
  15. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Nobody can - despite what they claim.

    Although if I was selling the oxygen-free, silver-plated, zero-electron, warp-enabled fusion speaker wire at £1,000/foot and people were buying it....... I could change my mind :D
     
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  16. Audioguru

    Audioguru

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    Sep 24, 2016
    They make false claims (lies) about the very expensive "speaker wire" because some audiophools buy the stuff.
     
  17. Hopup

    Hopup

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    Jul 5, 2015
    I think there is more than just lies when it comes to different cables sounding different. Im sure there is no difference if your audio setup is not very sensitive and neutral meaning usually, having top of the line source, amplifier and most important of all very capable speakers.
     
  18. Audioguru

    Audioguru

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    Sep 24, 2016
    Cheap and expensive, every dynamic speaker has a low frequency resonance. The very low output impedance (0.08 ohms or less) of a modern amplifier damps that resonance if the cable resistance is less than a few ohms.

    If you have a mile or more of ordinary cable or very thin wires then the speaker will resonate like a bongo drum and a cable with a lower resistance will reduce the resonance.
     
  19. Hopup

    Hopup

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    Jul 5, 2015
    For example, Sennheisers very expensive electrostatic headphones are designed so that the wire is used to only supply very low voltage signal and then the amplifiers located in the headphones convert it into HV.

    They wouldn't do that for nothing since it complicates the design much.

    When it comes to normal dynamic speaker elements of magnet design, people usually describe bad cable being not open, and sounding less transparent. It is quite complicated how those qualities actually transfer into signal and specifications measured by instruments.
     
  20. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    No, it is not complicated at, all, they don’t.

    Bob
     
    kellys_eye likes this.
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