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New Speakers.. Old or New wire?

Old 03-04-2013, 11:48 AM
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Default New Speakers.. Old or New wire?

I am replacing my old Pioneer speakers with some new JL audios 7.7 and 8.8 and the question is if I should just plug and play with the existing wires or use new wires that come with the new speakers
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:04 PM
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If the wire is good there is no reason not to use it.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:06 PM
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What gauge wire is it? What power amp are you driving them with?
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:47 PM
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If you do replace your speaker wire go to knuconcepts.com and buy tinned marine grade speaker wire.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:43 PM
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If you have enough length, at a minimum I'd cut the wire back a bit to make sure there's no
corrosion and attach new connectors. I don't believe wire comes with JL speakers.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Captjeffg View Post
If you do replace your speaker wire go to knuconcepts.com and buy tinned marine grade speaker wire.
No, DON'T.

From the cited page:
TCA speaker wire is basic side-by-side, general use speaker wire. Made up of over sized tinned Copper Clad Aluminum strands,
You don't want that crap on your boat.

Here's what you DO want:

http://www.marinco.com/product/standard-duplex-cable



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Old 03-05-2013, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post
No, DON'T.



From the cited page:
TCA speaker wire is basic side-by-side, general use speaker wire. Made up of over sized tinned Copper Clad Aluminum strands,
You don't want that crap on your boat.

Here's what you DO want:

http://www.marinco.com/product/standard-duplex-cable


Thanks for your input!

Im pretty sure that is the same stuff I have on the boat right now, I will inspect the wires since they are very easy to reach and make sure they look good from the outside. If for whatever reason I am not happy Ill just replace them. Do you think that is a good idea or should I just buy new wires right away?
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:58 AM
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If they look to be in good condition and are appropriate gauge wire, you should be good to keep them. I would probably go with 10 gauge for those 8.8 speakers. Maybe skimp with 12 gauge.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:13 AM
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If your really into your sound find out what gauge wire is on there now, 9 times out of 10 it's undersized and you won't get the sound you expect out of good speakers. Depending on how long a run you have it probably won't be that bad $ wise to get something a little bigger and have great volume and good sound. I've used shielded wire off the self (non marine grade) and haven't had any issues. Of course my boat was a beater, but it lasted years without problems. Make sure your connections are done up right and watch the polarity. Good luck.

I gottta have tunes on the boat!!!
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bonestockgoose View Post
Thanks for your input!

Im pretty sure that is the same stuff I have on the boat right now, I will inspect the wires since they are very easy to reach and make sure they look good from the outside. If for whatever reason I am not happy Ill just replace them. Do you think that is a good idea or should I just buy new wires right away?
Your call. But given that you say the existing wire runs are easy to get to, if you really think they're aluminum, I'd vote for getting rid of them on general principles. Since you're already in there digging around installing the new gear, there's no time like the present; and high-quality marine-grade copper wiring (such as the Ancor stuff I cited earlier) is just not expensive enough to NOT use.



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Old 03-05-2013, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by stiletto View Post
If they look to be in good condition and are appropriate gauge wire, you should be good to keep them. I would probably go with 10 gauge for those 8.8 speakers. Maybe skimp with 12 gauge.
Originally Posted by Dookieshoot View Post
If your really into your sound find out what gauge wire is on there now, 9 times out of 10 it's undersized and you won't get the sound you expect out of good speakers.
Oh, Puhleeze! Does "voodoo engineering" know no bounds?

Even AWG 16 is overkill for at least most installations.

Even on the most ambitious "Ghetto Blaster" installation, there simply isn't enough current passing through these wires for ampacity or even series-resistance-induced voltage drop to be an issue. The ONLY thing heavier wires could possibly do for you is slightly better preserve the amp's damping factor. But even here, you're chasing an illusion to go to AWG 10 or AWG 12. Do you have any idea what the source impedance of a typical car/boat amp (particularly the big Class-D wonders designed to drive insanely low-impedance loads) actually is? Good luck finding a manufacturer willing to specify this (or the damping factor, which is a derived calculation of the same thing) in their literature. I did come across one awhile back; but unfortunately, I don't recall which manufacturer it was, and cannot lay my hands on it right now. But what I DO recall is that the Damping Factor was spec'd at 6.<something> -- which, presuming a 4-Ohm speaker load, implies a source impedance somewhere between 0.57 and 0.67 Ohms.

Now, let's look at a typical 10-foot cable run from amp to speaker:

Using AWG 10, the total round-trip series resistance is 0.01998 Ohms; for simplicity, let's call it 0.02. Adding this value to the amp's existing source impedance, we get 0.59-0.69 Ohms, total. Hence, our effective damping factor is now somewhere between 5.80 and 6.78.

If we make that run with AWG 16 wire, the total series resistance of that wire over the full round-trip run will be 0.08 Ohms. So our net source impedance is now 0.65-0.75 Ohms, total; and our effective damping factor is somewhere between 5.333 and 6.154. Big whoopie.

In other words, even after all this, no matter which wire you use, the effective damping factor of that amp, as installed, is STILL going to be "somewhere around 6" -- i.e., no significant change.



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Old 03-06-2013, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post
Oh, Puhleeze! Does "voodoo engineering" know no bounds?

Even AWG 16 is overkill for at least most installations.

Even on the most ambitious "Ghetto Blaster" installation, there simply isn't enough current passing through these wires for ampacity or even series-resistance-induced voltage drop to be an issue. The ONLY thing heavier wires could possibly do for you is slightly better preserve the amp's damping factor. But even here, you're chasing an illusion to go to AWG 10 or AWG 12. Do you have any idea what the source impedance of a typical car/boat amp (particularly the big Class-D wonders designed to drive insanely low-impedance loads) actually is? Good luck finding a manufacturer willing to specify this (or the damping factor, which is a derived calculation of the same thing) in their literature. I did come across one awhile back; but unfortunately, I don't recall which manufacturer it was, and cannot lay my hands on it right now. But what I DO recall is that the Damping Factor was spec'd at 6.<something> -- which, presuming a 4-Ohm speaker load, implies a source impedance somewhere between 0.57 and 0.67 Ohms.

Now, let's look at a typical 10-foot cable run from amp to speaker:

Using AWG 10, the total round-trip series resistance is 0.01998 Ohms; for simplicity, let's call it 0.02. Adding this value to the amp's existing source impedance, we get 0.59-0.69 Ohms, total. Hence, our effective damping factor is now somewhere between 5.80 and 6.78.

If we make that run with AWG 16 wire, the total series resistance of that wire over the full round-trip run will be 0.08 Ohms. So our net source impedance is now 0.65-0.75 Ohms, total; and our effective damping factor is somewhere between 5.333 and 6.154. Big whoopie.

In other words, even after all this, no matter which wire you use, the effective damping factor of that amp, as installed, is STILL going to be "somewhere around 6" -- i.e., no significant change.


Just FYI: M400/4 Specs
Expand the General Specifications. Damping factor listed as > 150.

My rule of thumb is to generally use better than what is required within cost limitations. 12 gauge usually isn't a significant enough jump in price for me compared to 16 gauge when I have already spent $500+ on M880 speakers. Most of my stuff is home audio, and Monoprice has excellent prices on all gauge speaker wires and from one size to the next isn't much difference in price. I can spend $32 on 100' of 12 gauge or $15 for 100' of 16 gauge. For $17 compared to my $500 speaker, I am going to go with the bigger wire.

Will I have a problem with 16 gauge wire? Maybe not. Will I have a problem with 12 gauge? Definitely not.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post
Your call. But given that you say the existing wire runs are easy to get to, if you really think they're aluminum, I'd vote for getting rid of them on general principles. Since you're already in there digging around installing the new gear, there's no time like the present; and high-quality marine-grade copper wiring (such as the Ancor stuff I cited earlier) is just not expensive enough to NOT use.


do you know of any places I can find that locally? I don't mind paying a lil extra for the convenience factor. I am doing the install tomorrow on my day off, trying to have it ready for the weekend. Thanks again!!
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post
Oh, Puhleeze! Does "voodoo engineering" know no bounds?

Even AWG 16 is overkill for at least most installations.

Even on the most ambitious "Ghetto Blaster" installation, there simply isn't enough current passing through these wires for ampacity or even series-resistance-induced voltage drop to be an issue. The ONLY thing heavier wires could possibly do for you is slightly better preserve the amp's damping factor. But even here, you're chasing an illusion to go to AWG 10 or AWG 12. Do you have any idea what the source impedance of a typical car/boat amp (particularly the big Class-D wonders designed to drive insanely low-impedance loads) actually is? Good luck finding a manufacturer willing to specify this (or the damping factor, which is a derived calculation of the same thing) in their literature. I did come across one awhile back; but unfortunately, I don't recall which manufacturer it was, and cannot lay my hands on it right now. But what I DO recall is that the Damping Factor was spec'd at 6.<something> -- which, presuming a 4-Ohm speaker load, implies a source impedance somewhere between 0.57 and 0.67 Ohms.

Now, let's look at a typical 10-foot cable run from amp to speaker:

Using AWG 10, the total round-trip series resistance is 0.01998 Ohms; for simplicity, let's call it 0.02. Adding this value to the amp's existing source impedance, we get 0.59-0.69 Ohms, total. Hence, our effective damping factor is now somewhere between 5.80 and 6.78.

If we make that run with AWG 16 wire, the total series resistance of that wire over the full round-trip run will be 0.08 Ohms. So our net source impedance is now 0.65-0.75 Ohms, total; and our effective damping factor is somewhere between 5.333 and 6.154. Big whoopie.

In other words, even after all this, no matter which wire you use, the effective damping factor of that amp, as installed, is STILL going to be "somewhere around 6" -- i.e., no significant change.


Agreed for the most part. The size of the speaker has absolutely nothing to do with the current in the wires. On big subs I still use really heavy wire but it's just because I like the way it looks. I've never had any issues with speaker wire.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:47 AM
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I guess whatever Itledoo says is Gospel around here but in the REAL world I've been using 10G tinned CCA for years. It was on my old boat for 7 years and is still going strong. I just put it on my new boat with no regrets. I am running over 3000 watts to 12 speakers and the sound and clarity are unbelievable.
If you want to go smaller I have a couple of thousand feet of 16 guage tinned cadmium bronze with a over teflon jacket that I can make you a great deal on.
It's actually transmission wire used in seismic streamer cables. It's made by WW Gore.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:47 AM
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not sure on your location but ANCOR Duplex cable is sold by West Marine and many other marine retailers, usually by the foot or by the spool
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ovrrdrive View Post
Agreed for the most part. The size of the speaker has absolutely nothing to do with the current in the wires. On big subs I still use really heavy wire but it's just because I like the way it looks. I've never had any issues with speaker wire.
Except for the general bigger speakers require more power require bigger amps sending more current...
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by stiletto View Post
Just FYI: M400/4 Specs
Expand the General Specifications. Damping factor listed as > 150.
Good to know. But the math still applies:

Raw Source Impedance: 4 / 150 = 0.0267

20-foot (round trip) run of AWG 10 = 0.02 Ohms
Net Source Impedance: 0.0267 + 0.02 = 0.0467
Net Installed Damping Factor: 4 / 0.0467 = 85.7

20-foot (round trip) run of AWG 16 = 0.08 Ohms
Net Source Impedance: 0.0267 + 0.08 = 0.1067
Net Installed Damping Factor: 4 / 0.1067 = 37.5

And if you think you can actually hear a difference between any two net installed damping factors over about 10...? Well, that's the sort of "blind faith" (some may call it "delusional thinking") that the high-end home-audio market is built on.


My rule of thumb is to generally use better than what is required within cost limitations. 12 gauge usually isn't a significant enough jump in price for me compared to 16 gauge when I have already spent $500+ on M880 speakers.
Hey, if you want to use ridiculously fat wires to make yourself feel better about it, and can do so cost-effectively, be my guest. It won't actually hurt anything (except possibly your wallet). But telling someone to replace AWG 16 with AWG 10 or 12 because the former is somehow "inadequate" -- particularly on a typical boat installation -- is just plain ridiculous.


Most of my stuff is home audio, and Monoprice has excellent prices on all gauge speaker wires and from one size to the next isn't much difference in price.
Yep. A great source for very reasonably priced cables of all types. I've used them repeatedly. They do also sell some junk; so you have to be sure of what you're selecting; but all in all, a great vendor.


I can spend $32 on 100' of 12 gauge or $15 for 100' of 16 gauge. For $17 compared to my $500 speaker, I am going to go with the bigger wire.

Will I have a problem with 16 gauge wire? Maybe not. Will I have a problem with 12 gauge? Definitely not.
And I'm fine with that, as long as you understand that you're doing it solely for the "peace of mind" factor, as opposed to any rational engineering reason.



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Old 03-07-2013, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post
And I'm fine with that, as long as you understand that you're doing it solely for the "peace of mind" factor, as opposed to any rational engineering reason.


1. I never told him to replace 16 gauge with 10 or 12 gauge. I said what I would use.

2. He never said he had 16 gauge. In fact he never said what gauge he had. Most cheap pack in speaker wire is NOT 16 gauge.

3. If you add up enough things that you can't hear individually. You hear it.
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