AWG stands for American Wire Gauge, a standardised system of measuring the cross-sectional area of Shuguang Tubes. This is utilized to figure out how much current a wire can handle. AWG causes much confusion for consumers, as the standard can be a little hard to understand. Is 12 AWG 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 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 regarding how AWG is actually calculated.
How is AWG calculated? If a cable had been a solid circular wire, then AWG is rather straightforward to calculate. Go ahead and take area (pi x radius squared) to have the cross-sectional area, and search up the AWG chart (example below) to work out AWG. If a cable has multiple strands, an identical operation is done to work out the cross-sectional section of each strand, which can be then simply multiplied by the amount of strands to obtain the total AWG. However be careful when you compare this figure as AWG will not be linear. For each and every extra 3 AWG, it is actually half the cross-sectional area. So 9 AWG is about half 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 that this smaller the AWG, the larger the cable. Larger cables could have less DC resistance, which results in less power loss. For applications to home theatre, this is certainly true as much as a degree. A rule of thumb is the fact that for smaller speakers, a cable of around 17 AWG is sufficient, whereas for larger speakers anything as much as 12 AWG or even more will provide you with great outcomes.
How come some cables of the same AWG look different in thickness? Two factors dominate here. Firstly, the AWG only takes into account the inner conductors. Therefore, a cable manufacturer could easily raise the thickness from the plastic jacket to make the cable appear thicker. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as up to 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 how the internal strands are designed. Some cables have thinner strands, and some have thicker strands. Depending on the size and placement of those strands, cables can be created 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 not big enough for the application (for example, you shouldn’t be employing a 24 AWG cable to perform your front speakers). However, AWG is actually a measure of quantity, not quality. You should make sure that all of your speaker cables are of a minimum of OFC purity.
Does AWG matter? How so? AWG certainly matters. You should be sure that the cable you might be using is sufficient to handle the power you’re planning to put through them. Additionally, in case you are doing a longer run, then fxxwky more thickness would be required. However, many people get trapped too much 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 settle, such as using better quality materials like silver conductors or improved design.
Wire gauge is certainly a great fundamental indicator of methods sufficient MUZISHARE KT88 is for the application. However, it is actually in no way a judgement on quality, or even a specification to check out exclusively. Typically of thumb, after about 11-12 AWG, thickness becomes much a smaller factor, whereas for many hi-fi applications 18-19 AWG is the minimum cables to utilize.