TVs & Home Theaters forum

General discussion

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.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Will using 2 different gauge wires damage my sound system?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Will using 2 different gauge wires damage my sound system?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
And I am telling you..not to worry about it.
by ahtoi / March 18, 2009 5:40 PM PDT

Just enjoy your system.

Collapse -
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!

Collapse -
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.)


Collapse -
(NT) Thanks for your help. Ray
by raymcgillick / March 22, 2009 4:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Not to worry.
Collapse -
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.

Collapse -
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

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?