Access™ Series 16AWG CL2 Rated 4-Conductor Speaker Wire, 250ft
Get the most out of your home audio system with high quality, oxygen-free, pure bare copper speaker wire from Monoprice!
This speaker wire features four conductors made of high purity (greater than 99.95% pure), oxygen-free bare copper. Pure Bare Copper is a superior conductor to the copper clad aluminum (CCA) conductors used in most other inexpensive speaker wire. CCA is only about 68% as conductive as pure bare copper. This additional resistance is added to the impedance of your speakers and can negatively effect the sound.
For the wire to have no audible effect, the total wire resistance should be no more than 5% of the lowest impedance of your speakers. Even speakers rated for a nominal 8-ohms, may dip to as low as 4-ohms at some frequencies, which further reduces the total cable resistance allowed in the wire. Using Pure Bare Copper speaker wire ensures that the total load put on the amplifier remains as close as possible to the impedance curve of your speakers.
For example, a 16AWG 2-conductor Pure Bare Copper speaker wire has a total resistance of 0.803 ohms per 100 feet (both directions must be considered). By comparison, a 16AWG 2-conductor CCA speaker wire has a total resistance of 1.181 ohms per 100 feet. Assuming 4 ohms is the lowest impedance of your speakers, a speaker wire run can be no more 0.2-ohms total. 20 feet of 16AWG Pure Bare Copper would be 0.1606 ohms, well under the 0.2-ohm limit. On the other hand, 20 feet of 16AWG CCA would be 0.2362 ohms, well OVER the 0.2-ohm limit.
Each conductor is jacketed with color-coded PVC for easy polarity identification. The entire cable assembly is jacketed in a white, CL2-rated PVC material. The CL2 rating indicates that the cable complies with fire safety and insurance requirements, making it safe for use inside the walls of residential class buildings.
Question: What is CL2?
Do these cable have to go in-wall?
Answer: CL2 rating come from Underwriters Laboratories (UL). It means that these cables have a slow burning outer jacket, should meet most fire codes and are safe for in-wall installations.
The CL2 rating does not affect the appearance or performance of the cables. They can be used in or out of wall.
Question: I've heard that the diameter of these wires was less than that of competitors wires of the same gauge. I thought gauge was a standardized measurement, why would the diameters be different?
Answer: AWG (American Wire Gauge) is a standardized form of measurement. Gauge is expressed as the number of turns it takes the wire to equal an inch. So with a 12AWG wire, for instance, the bare wire (no plastic jacket) will take 12 turns around a spool to make a 1 inch wide coil. In other words, simply put, the bare wire is 1/12" wide. A lot of cable manufacturers will wrap their wires in an extra thick PVC jacket or put plastic filtaments between the strands to make the cable appear much thicker than it. But the amount of copper remains the same.
Question: Does higher strand count provide better audio quality?
Answer: There is a lot of spin placed on wires and cables to justify one type or another. The main reason for this is to justify an over inflated price. Fact is, stranding provides flexibility. Solid wire conductors can deliver high audio quality and arguably better run lengths, but would be more brittle and tend to break. One break and you loose connectivity. Stranded cables would be more flexible and a break in one or more lines will not cut the signal flow. But, it doesn''t magically improve audio performance.
Audio quality is influenced more by the quality of the copper. That is better milled, high purity copper will have lower signal resistance and less fluctuation in density which will lead to better signal integrity and more pure audio. All our speaker wires are milled from high quality, oxygen-free copper.
Question: How do I select the proper gauge for my application?
Answer: Different people will have their own opinions about what gauge is proper for what length. The quality of the equipment can also play a factor. The following is a general guide for picking gauges for certain lengths.
0-25ft - 18AWG
25-50ft - 16AWG
50-75ft - 14AWG
75 & up - 12AWG
Question: Can the outer jacket of the cables be painted?
Answer: It is possible to paint these cables. Use only exterior acrylic latex paint. All other types of paint will simply peel off.
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