Speaker Wire Gauge & Ohms Ω

Does speaker wire gauge (AWG) or ohm rating of a wire matter when making my own cables from scrap coaxial cables or speaker wire?
If so, what is best practice?
What do those numbers mean in terms of audio cable quality?
I am starting to make my own cables soon and just curios about some stuff.
Thank you

Gauge is how much current you can push through without losses.
There are hundreds of charts listing how much current is safe to transfer without beeing a fire hazard. There is also ohm per meter/feet tables.
One such list

Resistance (Ohm) in cables is just loss during transfer.

Coaxial (as in antenna cable) and other signal cables (DMX cable for example), you do not want to use that for speakers. It is like putting a resistor in line (will bring volume way down in the best case). Avoid this.

The usual speaker wire used for PA systems is 2.5mm² (~ 13AWG) up to 6mm² (~9AWG) for long lengths.

The numbers don’t mean a ton for sound quality until your wire starts to be about 1 ohm of resistance on its own. The lower the wire gauge (AWG) the longer the wire can be before you reach that 1 ohm. Because the speakers are in series with the wire, you add their resistances to get the total impedance. A wire with 1 ohm resistance plus an 8 ohm speaker would be a 9 ohm load on the amplifier. An amplifier will change the amount of current it sends to the speaker because of that change in impedance, which can (and often does) change what we hear. Realistically, 14 gauge wire will be sufficient up until about 50 feet. Longer than that you should look into 12 or even 10 gauge.

@MazeFrame @WaveTheory gotcha, thanks for that… i should’ve mentioned that for coaxial i plan to make RCA cables, not speaker cables. so it really depends on what my amplifier is rated for? that makes sense :+1:

so wait, this coaxile (like many others) is 75 ohm on it’s own - so is this not ideal for making an rca patch cable? or were you specifically speaking to speaker cables

I was speaking of speaker cables. Interconnect cables are usually made slightly differently, particularly if they are coaxial. They do have a higher impedance and typically fall in the 50-75 ohm range. Some will likely argue, but the impedance on a line-level signal (that’s the kind that goes through your interconnect) will have less impact on the sound then the impedance of a speaker wire. If you have coax wire, use decent electrical solder, and have RCA terminations (plugs), your interconnect wires should be fine.

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great thanks :white_check_mark: