Cable questions


Aug 27, 2008
Can any one enlighten me what is an ideal maximum distance or length of cable

for fronts, sub woofers.

And what is the optimal gauge we can use. ( I do not know if it is called gauge like 14 and 16 in DAC. How did this number come by anyway. Is it the thickness or what ).

There is no proper way of telling that a certain length is ideal and the other is not ! but in general,the usual length for the is 1.5 to 3meters (as this will give a distance of 5 feet to 10 from the center where the usually the equipment sit ). Also usually the recommended minimum distance between the fronts is 6 Feet (from right to left) !

So this should be the ideal,but then again it also depends on the room size and other things ! but in any case try not to exceed the max length for two reasons,one two wide the speakers are the stereo image can get messed sometimes ! second,if you don't use the proper cable there can be lot of interference due to long distance not only in terms of electrical and stuff but also in terms of Inductance and Capacitance that the cable will add !!

Now coming to the Gauge ! Yes it is infact called Gauge !! its the measurement term used for measuring the thickness of the cable,its also measured in Square MM !! There are two standards used internationally,One is "AWG" or American wire Gauge (Introduced by americans to the world) the other is "SWG" Standard wire Gauge (as always the Europeans and British in particular) !! Now there are many things to these two,but I'll not bore you all the page long explanation ! here's a short and easy explanation !

The difference between the AWG and SWG are the same as the rest of the things thats there between the US and Europe !! For Ex. the weather,use of decimel etc etc..

Finally the proper Gauge for the fronts !! I usually say 12-14 for the fronts and 16-18 for the rears ! so thats the one you should keep in mind !

Hope this helps !!

hi pradski

this is a basic idea which u can follow for cabling:

upto 100W RMS -- 18 AWG
100-150W RMS -- 16 AWG
above 150W RMS -- 14 AWG

i prefer to use 16 AWG for the rears and 12 for the fronts (floorstanders)

it depends a lot on the quality (brand) of the cable too
Thank you Krauss,

What about the subwoofer do we use the same cables

or do they have any specifications.

And how far can I place them.
Thank you Krauss, What about the subwoofer do we use the same cables or do they have any specifications.
And how far can I place them.

For sub woofers you use a coaxial cable with RCA connectors at the end. These are different from speakers cables.

You can use any length, but there is an ideal length for best performance. This depends upon the specs of the cable.

pradski - the maximum length of cable depends on the inductance and capacitance characteristics of the cable. Impedance is important too - but it is usually low enough to be ignored. it is important that the total inductance and capacitance of the cable run be low, else the sound quality will get affected. In extreme cases, they can also cause amplifier instability.
To an extent, the type of speakers also determine what speaker cable can be used. e.g. ESL speakers usually demand cables with low inductance.
As long as you stick to reasonable lengths (a few feet) and use decent quality cable, you should be fine.
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