AWG means American Wire Gauge, a standardised system of measuring the cross-sectional area of Shuguang Tubes. 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 challenging to understand. Is 12 AWG a lot better than 14 AWG or the other way round? Why one cable looks thicker than another while they have identical AWG? Is AWG a great 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 about how AWG is actually calculated.
How is AWG calculated? In case a cable was actually a solid circular wire, then AWG is fairly straightforward to calculate. Consider the area (pi x radius squared) to get the cross-sectional area, and appear the AWG chart (example below) to determine AWG. If a cable has multiple strands, an identical operation is performed to determine the cross-sectional area of each strand, which is then simply just multiplied by the quantity of strands to get the total AWG. However be careful when you compare this figure as AWG is not linear. For every extra 3 AWG, it is half the cross-sectional area. So 9 AWG is about one half of 6 AWG, which is half again of 3 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 could have less DC resistance, which translates to less power loss. For applications to home theatre, this is certainly true up to a level. A rule of thumb is the fact that for smaller speakers, a cable of around 17 AWG is plenty, whereas for larger speakers anything approximately 12 AWG or even more will provide you with great results.
Why some cables of the identical AWG look different in thickness? Two factors dominate here. Firstly, the AWG only takes into consideration the inner conductors. Therefore, a cable manufacturer could easily raise the thickness from the plastic jacket to create the cable appear thicker. This isn’t necessarily bad, as up to and including point increased jacket thickness reduces other unwanted properties. Just make certain you don’t compare them by sight.
Another factor why RCA Cable may look different in thickness is just how the internal strands are designed. Some cables have thinner strands, while some have thicker strands. Depending on the size and placement of those strands, cables can be created to check thinner or thicker than they are.
Is AWG an excellent indicator of quality? In a nutshell, no. A sizable AWG (small cable) may easily be too small for a particular application (for example, you shouldn’t be utilizing a 24 AWG cable to run your front speakers). However, AWG is actually a way of measuring quantity, not quality. You need to make sure that all your speaker cables are of at least OFC purity.
Does AWG matter? How so? AWG certainly matters. You should ensure that the cable you happen to be using is enough to handle the power you’re planning to put through them. Additionally, if you are doing a longer run, then fxxwky more thickness could be required. However, many people get swept up too much in AWG and forget the fact that after a sufficient thickness is reached, additional factors enter into play. This then grows more a matter for “audiophile” features to settle, such as using higher quality materials including silver conductors or improved design.
Wire gauge is certainly a great fundamental indicator of methods sufficient MUZISHARE Audio is for your application. However, it really is 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 less of a factor, whereas for most hi-fi applications 18-19 AWG is the minimum cables to make use of.