Is 20ga Wire Good For 70's Marshall 4x12 ?

Discussion in 'Cabinets & Speakers' started by charveldan, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. charveldan

    charveldan Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
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    Maybe its 18ga IDK ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM
  2. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Active Member

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    Its fine.:cheers:
     
  3. GIBSON67

    GIBSON67 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that wiring is acceptable...but make sure the solder connections are solid.
    I tugged on my JCM800 wiring and one connection just came right off!
     
  4. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Member

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    I usually use 16 gauge, but it's up to you.
     
  5. charveldan

    charveldan Well-Known Member

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    I just insulated the bottoms & sides up to the handles on the inside of both 4x12's and put two 6x12 inch panels on each cab back and man did it tighten up the low end and gave me more bottom also, had to back off the bass on both heads.

    Its the dense foam i had leftover from replacing the insides of a road case.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017 at 7:15 AM
  6. Blueslicks

    Blueslicks Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I'm missing something but I can't see any reason to go any bigger than the gauge of the wire that is attached to the speakers own fixed terminals and coil.

    Bigger speaker wire is more rigid, weighty and stiff. I would guess it could subsequently induce added stress to a soldered connection.
     
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  7. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Member

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    The bigger 16 gauge wire allows more signal to be split between the four speakers. When I upgrade my old cabinets with it, it usually results in a little more bottom end, and a touch more mids. Ever seen what Bogner puts in their cabs? It's 12 gauge...and has to be soldered flat to the terminals since it won't fit in a hook or a spade terminal.
     
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  8. Blueslicks

    Blueslicks Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but once the input jack originating "bigger gauge" speaker wire harness ends ultimately meet the speakers own fixed terminals; what gauge is the final bit of wire that is attached to the speakers own fixed terminals and coil?
     
  9. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Longer runs of wire build heat and resistance. You do not require huge wire but rather adequate for your purpose.
    Larger gauge wire provides better current transfer thereby better lower frequency performance when/where required.
     
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  10. Blueslicks

    Blueslicks Well-Known Member

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    Still confuses me with no resolve as whatever current enters the speaker itself will be doing so through the final leg of the speakers fixed terminals where approximately 3 inches of fairly thin guage wire meet the coil.
     
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  11. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    A 3 inch piece of wire at the speaker will not matter as much as a 25 foot cable. Every connection and contact makes a difference as well.
    The contacts are actually the weakest links in common cases unless you use high amperage speaker jacks.

    The key is to get the signal to the coil with the least depreciation.
     
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  12. soundboy57

    soundboy57 Well-Known Member

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    Higher gauge wire in such a short run is hardly a measurable difference, if at all.....but it does sound a bit "richer" with a bit more bass, yes.
    I actually prefer the small original 18 gauge wire in a 4x12....just me. Seems to give an edge to the sound that sounds "right" with vintage amps.
    Others have mentioned this same effect.

    For home audio, studio, or PA...the bigger stuff...
     
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  13. BowerR64

    BowerR64 Well-Known Member

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    IMO the bottle neck is the plug, and the connection.

    I think the best thing you can do is upgrade the connections from the amp to the cabinets.

    The pinpoint connection the plug is making to the tang and the tension of the tang is creating the connection for the ground.

    How can that little pinpoint connection carry 100 watts?
    Amp Connection.jpg
     
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  14. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Member

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    The larger wire carries the signal better to feed your speakers. If it was just one speaker, then 18-20 gauge would be fine. But if you have four speakers in a cab you have to send a signal that doesn't get extra resistance for four speakers, so a thicker wire helps do that. And as posted above, you get a little bigger low end and richer tone (IME) from a thicker cable sending the signal.

    I've had clients bring in their cabs to be rewired with 16 gauge inside and the result is usually more low end/mids if the speakers are all good. A VH tribute band player came in with his reissue Marshall cab (1960A) a few years back. Once the thin wire was out and replaced it sounded a lot bigger, even with the stereo plate still in it.
     
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  15. Blueslicks

    Blueslicks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for entertaining the question to all who have. And I get the notion that
    "the key is to get the signal to the coil with the least depreciation". But I guess I will have to resign myself to my own ignorance of electricity. The picture it all paints to me is that of a regular garden hose feeding into the eye of a needle.
     
  16. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Active Member

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    Except Marshalls use Cliff jacks, more "positive" connection than a Switchcraft type.
    [​IMG]
    So if there is a Switchcraft jack, it isn't stock.
     
  17. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    If you look at the current being fed to the speakers, you can easily use 22 gauge.
     
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  18. soundboy57

    soundboy57 Well-Known Member

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    Making sure the contacts are cleaned with CRC and a Q tip on older cabs is a huge deal, too. It is sometimes dramatic,
    and more important than the type of wire, IME.
    There are a lot of things in audio that seem redundant, that seem to sound different or better.
    Scumback is right on with the different wire gauge and the sound changes, IME....but why, is another matter.

    You have voicecoils with many feet of thin wire, and resistances of 13.5 ohms, or so, in each speaker..so using a short
    run of wire and varying it's resistance by maybe .01 ohms would seem of no matter....but it does sound
    richer with a fatter gauge wiring harness.

    I think perhaps part of it is the quality of the copper alloy. Marshall used light gauge, tinned wire, and most
    larger gauge modern wire is pure copper with no individually tinned strands....

    Also, re soldering several, sometimes sloppy, or cold solder joints, is most likely part of it, as well.

    I know that the old JBL studio monitors from the 70s-80s, used 18 gauge, tinned
    hookup wire inside the cabs, as well. I have had a few pair.
    People report improvement in bass and warmth after upgrading to 14 gauge...but the engineers who designed them,
    felt no need for a thicker wire, and JBL was "cost no object" stuff...

    Could I be fooled in a blind test? Probably...but playing the cabs with different wire, does seem to sound different,
    IME.

    I have actually rewired cabs back to the thin tiny wire, because I liked the tone....go figure..
     
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  19. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Member

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    I've done the side by side tests and the thicker wire is better. I have a four way cab switcher, so it's easy to just put the same speakers in the same cabs with two different wiring gauges used. Once I did that, and all of my clients that heard it in person, it was apparent the thicker wire in the cab made an improvement in the tone. I do use copper stranded 16 gauge wire, tin the ends for the speaker connection, by the way. And just to really make you think hard, there was no difference in tone using spade terminals vs soldered using the same wire. I had to test that to destruction just to make sure.

    Personal cabs, sure I solder the wire to the terminals. Demo cabs, I use spade terminals. Why? Because I've had clients demo cabs and say "I want THOSE SPEAKERS IN THAT CAB I JUST PLAYED!" so here's my cash, get out the drill, Jim!

    And Cliff jacks are a better connection than Switchcraft jacks as well, due to the design, as they have double contacts.
     
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  20. Townsendspecial

    Townsendspecial Well-Known Member

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    Bigger is Better.

    Upgraded my cabs, all soldered, 14 gauge wire.

    Noticeable difference.
     

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