What Cables do I need to complete my Audio System?
Wire - Speaker cable has two parallel multi-strand conductors. It is
designed to carry large amounts of energy. It should be used between the power
section of your equipment and the speakers only. The size or gauge of the wire
also has an effect on the performance of your equipment. The amount of power
used and the length of the cable determines the gauge of wire that you need.
Generally speaking the larger the wire the better. Note: Smaller AWG number =
larger wire diameter.|
IEC carries a wide variety of Speaker Wires.
Maximum Cable Length Based on Wire Gauge and Speaker Ohms at .5 dB Loss
Instrument Cable - Instrument cable is shielded which means that it has an inner wire that is completely surrounded by another wire. The outside wire is referred to as the shield. The shield serves the purpose of directing airborne interference, like radio waves or fluorescent light noise, away from the cable. The shield protects the inner wire from these waves. Use this cable in low level applications to connect between components such as guitar to amp, effects to amp, or any areas where "power" is not involved. Do not use Instrument cable for speakers, as amplifier damage or poor performance can occur.
A second reason for the bad reputation of balanced interconnects comes from those who think connecting unbalanced equipment into "superior" balanced equipment should improve things. Sorry. Balanced interconnect is not compatible with unbalanced. The small physical nature and short cable runs of completely unbalanced systems (home audio) also contain these ground loop noise currents. However, the currents in unbalanced systems never get large enough to affect the audio to the point where it is a nuisance. Mixing balanced and unbalanced equipment, however, is an entirely different story, since balanced and unbalanced interconnect are truly not compatible.
The potential or voltage that pushes these noise currents through the circuit is developed between the independent grounds of the two or more units in the system. The impedance of this circuit is low, and even though the voltage is low, the current is high, thanks to Mr. Ohm, without whose help we wouldn't have these problems. It would take a very high-resolution ohmmeter to measure the impedance of the steel chassis or the rack rails. We're talking thousandths of an ohm. So trying to measure this stuff won't necessarily help you. We just thought we'd warn you.
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