AWG is short for American Wire Gauge, a standardised system of measuring the cross-sectional area of Vacuum Valve. This is used to determine how much current a wire can handle. AWG causes much confusion for consumers, as the standard can be a little difficult to understand. Is 12 AWG a lot better than 14 AWG or the other way around? Why one cable looks thicker than another even though they have identical AWG? Is AWG a great indicator of quality? Does AWG matter, and if so, how? These are all good questions, and we’ll get to them shortly. Firstly, let’s briefly touch on how AWG is actually calculated.
How is AWG calculated? If a cable had been a solid circular wire, then AWG is fairly straightforward to calculate. Take the area (pi x radius squared) to obtain the cross-sectional area, and appear up the AWG chart (example below) to determine AWG. In case a cable has multiple strands, a similar operation is done to determine the cross-sectional section of each strand, that is then simply just multiplied by the quantity of strands to get the total AWG. However be cautious when you compare this figure as AWG is not linear. For every extra 3 AWG, it is actually half the cross-sectional area. So 9 AWG is all about 50 % of 6 AWG, which can be half again of 3 AWG. Hence 3 AWG is quadruple the thickness of 9 AWG.
How does AWG affect electrical properties? You would’ve noticed at this point the smaller the AWG, the bigger the cable. Larger cables could have less DC resistance, which means less power loss. For applications to home theatre, this is certainly true up to a level. A guideline is the fact that for smaller speakers, a cable of approximately 17 AWG is enough, whereas for larger speakers anything approximately 12 AWG or even more will provide you with great outcomes.
How come some cables the exact same AWG look different in thickness? Two factors dominate here. Firstly, the AWG only takes into consideration the interior conductors. Therefore, a cable manufacturer could easily increase the thickness of the plastic jacket to create the cable appear thicker. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as as much as a point increased jacket thickness reduces other unwanted properties. Just make sure that you don’t do a comparison by sight.
The other factor why Speaker Cable may look different in thickness is the way the internal strands are designed. Some cables have thinner strands, while others have thicker strands. Depending on the size and placement of such strands, cables can be produced to appear thinner or thicker compared to what they are.
Is AWG an excellent indicator of quality? In a nutshell, no. A sizable AWG (small cable) may definitely be too small for a particular application (for example, you shouldn’t be using a 24 AWG cable to perform your front speakers). However, AWG is a way of measuring quantity, not quality. You should make certain that your speaker cables are of at least OFC purity.
Does AWG matter? How so? AWG certainly matters. You have to ensure that the cable you are using is enough to handle the power you’re likely to put through them. Additionally, if you are doing a longer run, then fxxwky more thickness would be required. However, some people get trapped too much in AWG and then forget the fact that when a sufficient thickness is reached, other factors enter in to play. This then gets to be more a matter for “audiophile” features to settle, like using better quality materials such as silver conductors or improved design.
Wire gauge is unquestionably an excellent fundamental indicator of methods sufficient MUZISHARE is made for your application. However, it is actually in no way a judgement on quality, or a specification to look at exclusively. As a general rule of thumb, after about 11-12 AWG, thickness becomes much a lesser factor, whereas for the majority of hi-fi applications 18-19 AWG is the minimum cables to make use of.