AWG is short for American Wire Gauge, a standardised system of measuring the cross-sectional area of Cayin A100t. This is used to figure out how much current a wire can handle. AWG causes much confusion for consumers, as the standard can be a little difficult to understand. Is 12 AWG better than 14 AWG or vice versa? How come 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 on how AWG is actually calculated.
How is AWG calculated? If a cable was actually a solid circular wire, then AWG is pretty straightforward to calculate. Take the area (pi x radius squared) to obtain the cross-sectional area, and look in the AWG chart (example below) to work out AWG. If a cable has multiple strands, an identical operation is done to work out your cross-sectional section of each strand, which is then simply just multiplied by the number of strands to get the total AWG. However be cautious when comparing this figure as AWG is not really linear. For each and every extra 3 AWG, it really is half the cross-sectional area. So 9 AWG is all about 50 % of 6 AWG, which can be 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 right now the smaller the AWG, the larger the cable. Larger cables could have less DC resistance, which means less power loss. For applications to home theatre, this is actually true as much as an extent. A rule of thumb is that for smaller speakers, a cable of approximately 17 AWG is plenty, whereas for larger speakers anything as much as 12 AWG or maybe more provides you with good results.
How come some cables the exact same AWG look different in thickness? Two factors dominate here. Firstly, the AWG only takes under consideration the inner conductors. Therefore, a cable manufacturer could easily increase the thickness of the HIFI RCA Cable to create the cable appear thicker. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as up to and including point increased jacket thickness reduces other unwanted properties. Just make certain you don’t do a comparison by sight.
The other factor why two same AWG cables may look different in thickness is how the internal strands are made. Some cables have thinner strands, and some have thicker strands. Depending on the size and placement of these strands, cables can be made to appear thinner or thicker than they are.
Is AWG a great indicator of quality? In a nutshell, no. A big AWG (small cable) may definitely be not big enough for the application (for example, you shouldn’t be using a 24 AWG cable to operate your front speakers). However, AWG is really a measure of quantity, not quality. You need to make certain that all of your speaker cables are of a minimum of Line Magnetic.
Does AWG matter? How so? AWG certainly matters. You have to be sure that the cable you might be using is enough to handle the power you’re likely to put through them. Additionally, in case you are carrying out a longer run, then even more thickness would be required. However, many people get trapped a lot of in AWG and end up forgetting the reality that after a sufficient thickness is reached, other elements enter in to play. This then gets to be more a matter for “audiophile” features to settle, including using high quality materials such gaqgbw silver conductors or improved design.
Wire gauge is unquestionably an excellent fundamental indicator of methods sufficient a cable is for your application. However, it really is in no way a judgement on quality, or a specification to consider exclusively. As being a general guideline, after about 11-12 AWG, thickness becomes much a lesser factor, whereas for the majority of hi-fi applications 18-19 AWG would be the minimum cables to utilize.