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Will using 2 different gauge wires damage my sound system?

by raymcgillick / March 18, 2009 11:22 AM PDT

I just installed an Onkyo 7.1 HTIB (HT-S6100 ). I used 12 gauge oxygen-free copper wire for the 2 rear and 2 surround speakers but ran out of wire. When Home Depot did not have the same wire I bought the closest thing they had - a 14 gauge wire that was both copper and a white (aluminum?) color. I used this wire for the subwoofer, center and 2 front speakers. Someone just told me that mixing gauges like this could blow out my speakers. Is this true. For what it's worth, here are some of the system's specs:
- Total System Power 1200W as 8ohms 1kHz 0.9% /Ch - 130W/ch x 7ch
- Subwoofer Power 290W
- THX Certified
- TrueHD, DTS-HD Decoding
- Front Speakers 2-way acoustic suspension, Dual woofer;
- Center Speaker 2-way acoustic suspension, Dual woofer;
- Surround Speakers 2-way acoustic suspension;
- Subwoofer 10" Down Firing

I don't want to rewire but if I have to, I'd rather do it before it damages the system.

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

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And I am telling you..not to worry about it.
by ahtoi / March 18, 2009 5:40 PM PDT

Just enjoy your system.

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To the man of few words...
by raymcgillick / March 19, 2009 10:24 PM PDT

Thanks for taking the time to give me some peace of mind. Oh, and I AM enjoying the system, it's great!

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Not to worry.
by NM_Bill / March 20, 2009 10:59 AM PDT

the only extreme mismatch to be concerned with would be one of them being, perhaps bell wire (tiny.)

Enjoy

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(NT) Thanks for your help. Ray
by raymcgillick / March 22, 2009 4:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Not to worry.
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Yes and no
by BretStep / March 22, 2009 11:27 AM PDT

As long as you have the same diameter wire, per pair of matched speakers, you will be fine. An instance where you would not want to use them is a different guage for a left and right speaker.
Technically, the resistance per given length (measured in Ohms) decreases as the guage number gets lower (larger cross section of wire), so a larger diameter wire will allow a little bit more current to pass. (less resistance with a given load will allow more current to flow)
Depending on you amplifier, this could cause a problem if you place a large load on the amp for an extended period of time.

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Mixing wire ON NO the sky will FALL!!!!!!
by jcrobso / March 23, 2009 5:45 AM PDT

OK just kidding!!!! There will not be any problem!!! 12~14ga no problem!
I use 16ga for ALL of my runs under 30', over 30' I will switch to 14ga and over 60' to 12ga. John

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