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What speaker wire to use?

Old 05-04-2007, 08:46 PM
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Exclamation What speaker wire to use?

Hello all, I'll try to keep this somewhat short.

I have a brand new 07 FJ Cruiser that I'm planning on installing a system in.
Here's what I have so far:

Head Unit: Alpine IVA-D310
Ipod: Alpine KCA-420i
Front/Mids: Audiobahn AS65V 6.5" Component Speakers
Amp: US Acoustics USA2050
Subs: 2 - 12" Crunch Ground Pounders
Amp: Crunch Powerzone 1600W

So here's what I'm wondering. I have seen a lot of stuff on the net about different guages of wire etc.

If I understand right. I should do the following...

Front speakers.... One set of RCA cables from the head unit brain box running to the USAcoustics amp for the front speakers. Then regular speaker wire from the amp to the Audiobahn 6.5"s in the door panels

Rear Subwoofers.... Then one set of RCA cables from the head unit brain box running to the Crunch amp for the subs. Then regular speaker wire from that amp to the subs in the custom fiberglass enclosures.

Do I have that right? If so.... Here's my questions.

#1 -What type of speaker wire/guage should I use for the RCA cables?

#2 - What type of speaker wire/guage should I use from the amps to the speakers?

#3 - The FJ Cruiser already has a factory 8 speaker system. I'm replacing the door panel speakers with the Audiobahn ones mentioned above. Can I still power the other six factory speakers with the Alpine head unit?The model number is IVA-D310 - not sure on how many outputs it has - I'll have to check when I pull it out of my other car.


I have spent a lot of money so far on the custom fiberglass sub enclosures/head unit and the other stuff - so I guess spending some money on the wiring is justified. Gotta do it right!

If anyone can spare some insight on this it would be much appreciated. Please try and keep the laymens terms.. I'm just a newbie here
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:44 PM
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In laymans terms, eh?.....

OK, let's see....

#1. A good quality twisted pair cable type RCAs will be fine....lots of companies make them, the better known names are in the $50 to $100 range for a pair 17' long.....more than that and you're paying for a really good marketing program..... ....more important is making sure that when they are installed they are kept away from power or ground lines, both of which can cause noise in your system.

#2. 16ga or 14ga for the Audiobahns and 12ga for the subs is plenty.

#3. Begs another question.....why would you want to? I assume you are going through all of this because the factory system is lacking something you want in the car, so.....if you're not running a speaker off the new electronics and it's not interfering with your install, just unhook it and leave it be. Restoring the car to original condition will be easier later if you decide to keep your new toys when you want to sell the car. Having said that, running factory speakers off a deck while amplifying new speakers is going to sound.....well....crappy....just don't do it....

HTH
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Old 05-05-2007, 01:40 AM
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Exclamation speaker rca cables

Hey Thanks Big Red...

I appreciate it! I had a feeling I would get a similar response about the factory speakers. I just neede to hear someone else say it.

So I see a lot of rca cables on e-bay such as this one:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/STINGER-HYPER-SERIES-2-CHANNEL-CAR-AUDIO-RCA-20-NEW_W0QQitemZ140112337770QQihZ004QQcategoryZ32809Q QrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

If that link didn't work: It is the Stinger Hyper series 20' rca wire.

But it doesn't say the guage. It definitely looks like it can handle the power though.
What do you guys think?
Will a couple pairs of these support my application?
(ie one pair for the mids and one pair for the subs).

And as for a power wire... what do you guys think of the Stinger 0 guage?
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Old 05-05-2007, 03:32 AM
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Your rca wires don't carry much current so you don't need a heavy gauge. Whats more important is good insulation.
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Old 05-06-2007, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Smoke_31
Your rca wires don't carry much current so you don't need a heavy gauge. Whats more important is good insulation.
Yeah, what he said....lol

The RCAs are more about construction than wire gauge. Don't go cheap on 'em, they have to carry your signal the length of the car past a lot of nasty electrical stuff.

The 0 gauge kit will be overkill for the system you're putting in now, but if you add more toys later you won't need to replace it.

HTH
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:38 PM
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16 gauge for the speakers is just fine. I get my RCA's at the dollar store and they work fine also. And I have a high end system. Unshielded twisted pair has no discernable benefit in car audio as the concept only works in a true balanced system. Expensive RCA's will just lighten your wallet for the most part. But you could do a blind test to check this out.
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 6talldog
16 gauge for the speakers is just fine. I get my RCA's at the dollar store and they work fine also. And I have a high end system. Unshielded twisted pair has no discernable benefit in car audio as the concept only works in a true balanced system. Expensive RCA's will just lighten your wallet for the most part. But you could do a blind test to check this out.
I have to disagree. The car is one of the most harsh environments for a signal wire to be run. You have multiple sources of power and multiple feeds of power running all over your vehicle. Each wire carrying current creates a magnetic field which has the potential to alter your signal in your rca cable. The purpose of a good shielded cable is to prevent the magnetic field generated from creating signal noise in your cables.
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Smoke_31
I have to disagree. The car is one of the most harsh environments for a signal wire to be run. You have multiple sources of power and multiple feeds of power running all over your vehicle. Each wire carrying current creates a magnetic field which has the potential to alter your signal in your rca cable. The purpose of a good shielded cable is to prevent the magnetic field generated from creating signal noise in your cables.
I don't disagree with what you say. In practice however, things don't always work out that way. For instance, I have run RCA's next to the amps power cable on purpose to gauge any effects. There were none. Most noise issues I have run across are from improper grounds or poor equipment design, at least in my experiences. Radiated interference is not as common as one would think. I do have some expensive RCA's and I tested them against the $2 dollar store variety in my install(s). I could not tell any difference in sound quality at all. RCA's are really very simple in construction and in the job that they do, and in reality are fairly easy to make. Even the cheapest ones have more than adequate shielding. So in my own circumstances I have not found the need to buy expensive ones, but others do feel differently. I don't have any problems with that at all.
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:12 AM
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I share your thoughts, I'm just trying to dish out the advice that would avoid possible conflicts with his install.

I have run the cheapy rcas with no problems before as well. I'm running the rcas that came with my absolute wiring kit right now.
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