Cabinet Merger wire gauge important or not?

Tube or solid-state, this section goes to eleven!
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pervyinthepark
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Post by pervyinthepark »

Hey I'm making someone a cabinet merger and was working with some really heavy gauge wire, but its kind of a pain in such a tiny box with small jacks. Would it be OK for me to just use small gauge wire for such a short distance or would that limit the wattage he could use?

thetragichero
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Post by thetragichero »

so what gets me is that guitarists stress about like 12ga vs 10ga speaker wire from head to cab when the majority of cabinets I've seen are wired with 18ga or smaller wire
you should be fine

pervyinthepark
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Post by pervyinthepark »

Thanks lol. From what I read, at low distances it really matters less and less but there were no specifics I could find except on longer distances. I'm going to be using 22gauge. Thanks! I'm sure it'll work now.

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plush
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Post by plush »

pervyinthepark wrote:at low distances it really matters less and less but there were no specifics
You can calculate your cable DCR knowing your wire gauge and copper resistance per meter/feet. It mostly the DCR that defines how much current it can pass without overheating. Also there is such thing as skin effect, that must be taken into account when dealing with higher frequencies (basically, at higher freqs only the outer part of the cable conducts currents, this lowers overall effective thickness of the cable). So, fatter cable is always better (also stranded>solid). But, as already been told, it's not much applicable to guitar and consumer audio.

george giblet
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Post by george giblet »

so what gets me is that guitarists stress about like 12ga vs 10ga speaker wire from head to cab when the majority of cabinets I've seen are wired with 18ga or smaller wire
you should be fine
To put that in the context of DC resistance the length of wire in the cabinet is short so it doesn't add much DC resistance. The DC resistance of the external cable adds to the resistance of the wire inside the cabinet.
However, just because the cabinet uses 18 gauge doesn't mean you should continue the same gauge outside of the box for a long run. A long run of thin cable could add DC significant resistance.

For the most part DC resistance won't affect the tone of a tube amp much because a tube amp has a high output impedance. You might lose a bit of power. For a solid-state bass head you might want to keep things as low as possible.

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rockola
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Post by rockola »

plush wrote:there is such thing as skin effect, that must be taken into account when dealing with higher frequencies
There are no high frequencies in audio, at least when it comes to skin effect. If you're dealing with mega- or gigahertz, sure, you should take it into account. Not so much in the kHz range.

phatt
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Post by phatt »

I use figure 8 mains cable, some call it twin flex,,the stuff you see on a table lamp.
Don't over think it. :wink:
Phil.

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