AWG stands for American Wire Gauge, a standardised system of measuring the cross-sectional area of Cayin A88t Mk2. This is used to see 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 better than 14 AWG or the other way round? Why one cable looks thicker than another even though they have identical AWG? Is AWG an excellent 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? When a cable had been a solid circular wire, then AWG is pretty straightforward to calculate. Take the area (pi x radius squared) to have the cross-sectional area, and search up the AWG chart (example below) to work out AWG. In case a cable has multiple strands, a similar operation is performed to work out your cross-sectional part of each strand, that is then simply just multiplied by the quantity of strands to get the total AWG. However be careful when comparing this figure as AWG will not be linear. For each and every extra 3 AWG, it is half the cross-sectional area. So 9 AWG is approximately one half of 6 AWG, that is half again of three AWG. Hence 3 AWG is quadruple the thickness of 9 AWG.
So how exactly does AWG affect electrical properties? You would’ve noticed at this point the smaller the AWG, the bigger the cable. Larger cables may have less DC resistance, which means less power loss. For applications to home theatre, this is certainly true up to an extent. A rule of thumb is the fact for smaller speakers, a cable of around 17 AWG is sufficient, whereas for larger speakers anything up to 12 AWG or 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 consideration the interior conductors. Therefore, a cable manufacturer could easily increase the thickness from the XLR Cable to create the cable appear thicker. This isn’t necessarily bad, as as much as a point increased jacket thickness reduces other unwanted properties. Just ensure that you don’t do a comparison by sight.
Another factor why two same AWG cables may look different in thickness is the way the internal strands are made. Some cables have thinner strands, while others have thicker strands. Depending on the size and placement of such strands, cables can be made to appear thinner or thicker compared to what they are.
Is AWG a great indicator of quality? In a nutshell, no. A big AWG (small cable) may easily 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 really a measure of quantity, not quality. You need to make sure that all of your speaker cables are of a minimum of Line Magnetic.
Does AWG matter? How so? AWG certainly matters. You should ensure that the cable you happen to be using is enough to handle the ability you’re likely to put through them. Additionally, if you are doing a longer run, then even more thickness will be required. However, some individuals get trapped a lot of in AWG and end up forgetting the truth that after a sufficient thickness is reached, other factors enter in to play. This then gets to be more a matter for “audiophile” features to solve, like using higher quality materials such gaqgbw silver conductors or improved design.
Wire gauge is certainly an excellent fundamental indicator of how sufficient a cable is for your application. However, it is in no way a judgement on quality, or perhaps a specification to check out 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 would be the minimum cables to use.