Yes, you can use normal wire for speakers. As long as the wire has a sufficient gauge (thickness) to handle the power requirements of your speakers and the length of the wire, it will work fine. Thicker wire generally has less resistance and can handle higher power levels, so it’s recommended for longer distances or more powerful speakers. However, for most home audio setups, standard speaker wire with a gauge of 16 or 14 is sufficient.
Speaker wire stands out from regular electrical wiring by possessing several distinguishing characteristics that define it, the main one being resistance; that determines how much electrical current can pass through.
Resistance levels that are reduced are essential to optimal performance, so length and gauge are both crucial elements in order to maximize performance.
There is a range of electrical copper wires on the market, and some can even serve as speaker wire. Generally speaking, using electrical wiring for speakers should be safe so long as it possesses the appropriate gauge and does not contain strands.
Speakers typically require 16 or 18 gauge wire, which is a common standard size in home wiring. You can find it at hardware stores and home improvement centres. Thicker wires will cost more, be less flexible, and be stiffer compared to thinner ones.
Keep in mind that wire gauge will have an effect on its resistance; resistance determines how much current can pass through, which in turn has an impactful result for speaker performance.
Consider using terminations that will enable faster and simpler connections to the speakers while decreasing any risks associated with electrical contact between cables. This will also help protect them against shorting-out from accidental electrical contact between different wires in your setup.
Silver wire may have its place in high-end audiophile systems, but for most speaker users there’s simply no compelling reason to switch from copper. Conductor material plays the biggest role in affecting performance – which explains why copper has long been seen as an ideal material choice.
Copper does oxidize, but is protected by durable insulation and its rate is mitigated by an aluminum sheath covering its core. This sheath also shields it from chemical interference which would otherwise accelerate oxidation and weaken connections, providing essential protection to keep connections strong.
Most stranded electrical wires will work well as speaker wires, including lamp cord and hook up wire (two conductor cable used in lamps and light fixtures). Copper-clad aluminum (CCA) wire should be avoided because its higher resistance levels cause your amplifier to work harder, increasing heat production. Furthermore, gauge number has an impactful role; typically smaller gauge wires offer better results.
3. Telephone Wire
Telephone wire consists of multiple strands of copper wire twisted together. It appears flat-looking and is covered by an outer cable to provide extra protection; typically gray in colour.
If the phone company hasn’t installed modular jacks for Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) or Central Office Lines in your home, then these wires may also be used to connect speakers in your house. Most likely they run from your Network Interface Device box back into your house via Telco Connection points.
To prepare bare wire for speaker use, it is necessary to strip off an inch or so from its end in order to avoid electrical interference with phone or data lines. Many wire strippers also function as cutters so you can use one tool for both tasks if desired. You should also separate green and red lines separately; one telephone line requires just two wires carrying voice and data signals but additional ones may be added via adapters.
Bi-wiring has long been an engaging debate in HiFi. Some enthusiasts believe bi-wiring makes an impactful statement about their system’s capabilities while others do not see any change based on individual listening preferences and system setup. The debate can only ever be determined through subjective experimentation with different setups and preferences.
If your speakers feature two sets of connection terminals, bi-wiring them should be straightforward. Simply remove any bridges connecting the HF and LF inputs (found at the back) before running two pairs of speaker wire from your amplifier/receiver to each pair of terminals on your speakers; each wire pair will carry signals specifically designed to drive each tweeter or woofer independently.
Just make sure that both pairs of wires use the heaviest gauge (lower number) speaker wire available; otherwise resistance in your wires could impede power delivery from your amplifier to speakers and reduce sound quality. To optimize audio performance, make use of high-quality speakers, amplifier(s), and cable with as heavy of gauge number (lower number) possible – such as heavy gauge (lower number) wire from manufacturer.