AWG stands for American Wire Gauge, a standardised system of measuring the cross-sectional area of Cayin Tube Amp. This is utilized to determine how much current a wire can handle. AWG causes much confusion for consumers, as the standard can be a little challenging to understand. Is 12 AWG a lot better than 14 AWG or vice versa? Why one cable looks thicker than another even though they have identical AWG? Is AWG a good 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 about how AWG is actually calculated.
How is AWG calculated? If a cable was actually a solid circular wire, then AWG is fairly straightforward to calculate. Go ahead and take area (pi x radius squared) to get the cross-sectional area, and appear in the AWG chart (example below) to work out AWG. If a cable has multiple strands, a similar operation is carried out to work the cross-sectional section of each strand, which is then simply just multiplied by the amount of strands to obtain the total AWG. However be mindful when you compare this figure as AWG is not really linear. For each extra 3 AWG, it really is half the cross-sectional area. So 9 AWG is about 50 % of 6 AWG, that is half again of 3 AWG. Hence 3 AWG is quadruple the thickness of 9 AWG.
How exactly does AWG affect electrical properties? You would’ve noticed by now the smaller the AWG, the bigger the cable. Larger cables may have less DC resistance, which translates to less power loss. For applications to home theatre, this is really true up to a level. A guideline is the fact that for smaller speakers, a cable of around 17 AWG is plenty, whereas for larger speakers anything approximately 12 AWG or more will provide you with great results.
The reason some cables the exact same AWG look different in thickness? Two factors dominate here. Firstly, the AWG only takes into account the internal conductors. Therefore, a cable manufacturer could easily boost the thickness of the Speaker Cable to make 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 ensure that you don’t do a comparison by sight.
The other factor why two same AWG cables may look different in thickness is just how the internal strands are designed. Some cables have thinner strands, while some have thicker strands. Depending on the size and placement of such strands, cables can be produced to check thinner or thicker compared to what they are.
Is AWG an excellent indicator of quality? In a nutshell, no. A large AWG (small cable) may definitely be too small for a particular application (for example, you shouldn’t be using a 24 AWG cable to run your front speakers). However, AWG is a measure of quantity, not quality. You ought to make sure that all of your speaker cables are of a minimum of Line Magnetic 219ia.
Does AWG matter? How so? AWG certainly matters. You should ensure that the cable you are using is sufficient to handle the ability you’re likely to put through them. Additionally, should you be carrying out a longer run, then even more thickness will be required. However, many people get swept up excessive in AWG and then forget the reality that once a sufficient thickness is reached, other factors come into play. This then grows more a matter for “audiophile” features to resolve, including using higher quality materials such gaqgbw silver conductors or improved design.
Wire gauge is undoubtedly a good fundamental indicator of how sufficient a cable is made for your application. However, it is actually in no way a judgement on quality, or even a specification to look at exclusively. As a general guideline, after about 11-12 AWG, thickness becomes much a lesser factor, whereas for most hi-fi applications 18-19 AWG is the minimum cables to use.