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5. Speakers and Wiring > 46. Use Thicker Wiring for Longer Runs

Use Thicker Wiring for Longer Runs

If you’re running cable for any length greater than 20 feet, use at least 12-gauge speaker wire.

Many home theater newbies get tied up into knots when it comes to determining the difference between 12-, 14-, and 16-gauge speaker wire, and that assumes they’re even noticing the gauge of wiring to begin with. To make matters more confusing, smaller gauge wiring is actually thicker than higher gauges. Using gauge as the unit of measurement comes from when a rod of metal was run through rollers to squish it to a smaller size. A rod that ran through the rollers 12 times was thicker than a rod that ran through 16 times. This is why the higher numbers mean thinner wires.

To put this into perspective, here’s a typical recommendation for speaker wire gauge versus the length of the run.


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