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Old 04-17-2012, 08:11 AM   #1
SUPERCHARGE

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Have a great sound system setup in my 1986 Corvette, tell me if I'm needing anything.

Hey guys, I just got the following setup for my 1986 Corvette and although it's all installed am gradually going around the car to make sure the wiring is all proper gauge from a weaker setup the previous owner had. I suspect ill have to upgrade the amp wires but you tell me if I need anymore equipment to make sure all runs smoothly. I'm good with cars but I'm pretty new at audio.

-Four JBL p963 6x9's rated at 110 RMS each powered by a JBL 75.4 amp (4 channel rated at 104 RMS each)
- one JBL GTO 1002D subwoofer powered by a bridged Rockford Fostgate amp.
- Very Nice Alpine Deck.

Everything sounds insanely amazing, but am reluctant to crank it up high for too long since the wiring may be weak and am not sure if I should be using any other piece of equipment considering I'm cranking about 666 RMS Watts total. Alternator is handling it okay, I think. So my wiring understanding is simple... Ground and positive wire with fuse split feeding both amps. Amps feeding speakers with good gauge speaker wire.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
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If you are happy with what you have equipment wise you are set as far as that goes.

For the wiring check your voltage with a DMM and see if you are dropping low. With that little power you should be fine with wire as small as 8 AWG to the amps.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
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Ok, great. Yeah, I'm drawing about 96 amperes, which is a grey area between 4 and 8 gauge. This may be another dumb question, since I'm a complete electrical moron... but is there a downfall in playing in safe by going to 4 vs 8? Like more resistance or something?
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPERCHARGE View Post
Ok, great. Yeah, I'm drawing about 96 amperes, which is a grey area between 4 and 8 gauge. This may be another dumb question, since I'm a complete electrical moron... but is there a downfall in playing in safe by going to 4 vs 8? Like more resistance or something?
The only downfall is a bigger wire is more difficult to run. Since you only have to do it once when you install, it's not that big of a deal. There's nothing wrong with running the biggest wire you can as it provides a good foundation if you want to make future upgrades.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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There is no extra resistance in larger cable.
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:49 PM   #6
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I've got an 86 vette too but mine is a convertible and there is no space for a big sub.

So why are you choosing between 4 and 8? Go with 6.

I don't remember about the size of the speaker wires - did you upgrade that at all?
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:04 PM   #7
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I've got an 86 vette too but mine is a convertible and there is no space for a big sub.

So why are you choosing between 4 and 8? Go with 6.

I don't remember about the size of the speaker wires - did you upgrade that at all?
This one has a custom box already made to fit a ten inch where the non convertibles have storage right behind the seats. So the sub is essentially immediately behind the passengers head making it loud as hell. So yes, I could go with a six the current one is too low of a gauge. The current installation for these wires are amazing, under the carpet, under the seats, can't see or feel them.

I am also concerned about the speaker wires actually. Most of it was replaced by decent speaker wire from the previous owners old setup but Certain sections seem to have the old thin electrical wire rather than speaker wire. What gauge should I be using for that if the amp is pumping about 104 RMS to each speaker? About 14 maybe?

Last edited by SUPERCHARGE; 04-17-2012 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:32 PM   #8
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Speaker wire is a marketing ploy in my opinion. Just find whatever 14 (or 12) gauge wire you can scrape up for cheap.
There may be some disgreement on that but if you care to do some reading you ought to be able to find an article written by an engineer who used to be with mcintosh and he crapped all over speaker wire for about a couple thousand words. I side with that guy. My speakers are wired up with scrap 12 gauge house wire.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illinest View Post
Speaker wire is a marketing ploy in my opinion. Just find whatever 14 (or 12) gauge wire you can scrape up for cheap.
There may be some disgreement on that but if you care to do some reading you ought to be able to find an article written by an engineer who used to be with mcintosh and he crapped all over speaker wire for about a couple thousand words. I side with that guy. My speakers are wired up with scrap 12 gauge house wire.
When it comes to wiring speakers, all speaker wire is the same. Of course, you shouldn't wire a 1200 watt sub stage with 22 gauge wire.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illinest View Post
Speaker wire is a marketing ploy in my opinion. Just find whatever 14 (or 12) gauge wire you can scrape up for cheap.
There may be some disgreement on that but if you care to do some reading you ought to be able to find an article written by an engineer who used to be with mcintosh and he crapped all over speaker wire for about a couple thousand words. I side with that guy. My speakers are wired up with scrap 12 gauge house wire.
HM... So how about all this oxygen free stuff about speaker wires? 12 Gauge speaker wire is pretty thick, not easy to find. So technically using regular 12 gauge electrical wire shouldn't make a difference according to you? Ever had corrosion issues with regular 12 gauge wiring?

I looked over my amp wiring, turns that my ground is a solid 4 gauge welding wire that splits into two 8 gauge wires while I have two positives, one 8 gauge, one 6 gauge. So wiring to the amps is sufficient, all i need to worry about is making sure the power is going from the amp to speakers properly.

Last edited by SUPERCHARGE; 04-18-2012 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:48 AM   #11
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any wire you buy should be copper, not cca (copper clad aluminum).

4g power and ground wire would be good for your power levels with 14g speaker wire.

Check ebay for good deals but beware on power/ ground wire there are many manufacturers that cheat and their wire isnt really what they say it is, they market it as a larger gauge than it is.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:45 PM   #12
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Corrosion can be an issue but you're talking about a much longer time-frame there.

If you install normal copper wire with good connections - solid crimps - tight lugs - etc...
Then you're going to have sound quality just as good as what you'd get from a more expensive wire.

The speaker wire makers try to get you to spend more by playing on two fears:
1. corrosion. Basically that the sound quality of their wire would degrade more slowly than it would with other wires. I don't worry about that because if there ever was a noticeable degradation I know that I could restore the connections to normal by disconnecting, maybe spray some contact cleaner or use some emery cloth to clean it, and then reconnect. Free.

2. That electrical interference could cause stray signals. There may be an element of truth to this but I think it's unlikely that you'd ever notice an effect on your sound quality. As current travels down a wire it develops an electromagnetic field. I'm sure you've played with an electromagnet at some point - same general idea. The problem with this claim is that the field of a wire doesn't have much effect on the field of another wire running parallel to it. If you have a wire running parallel then you can induce a current or create motion (electrical motor theory) but parallel wires - in my opinion - are not likely to induce much of a current in each other.
It may be more of a concern if you're talking about running RCA and power wires together. The speaker wires I wouldn't worry about though.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illinest View Post
Corrosion can be an issue but you're talking about a much longer time-frame there.

If you install normal copper wire with good connections - solid crimps - tight lugs - etc...
Then you're going to have sound quality just as good as what you'd get from a more expensive wire.

The speaker wire makers try to get you to spend more by playing on two fears:
1. corrosion. Basically that the sound quality of their wire would degrade more slowly than it would with other wires. I don't worry about that because if there ever was a noticeable degradation I know that I could restore the connections to normal by disconnecting, maybe spray some contact cleaner or use some emery cloth to clean it, and then reconnect. Free.

2. That electrical interference could cause stray signals. There may be an element of truth to this but I think it's unlikely that you'd ever notice an effect on your sound quality. As current travels down a wire it develops an electromagnetic field. I'm sure you've played with an electromagnet at some point - same general idea. The problem with this claim is that the field of a wire doesn't have much effect on the field of another wire running parallel to it. If you have a wire running parallel then you can induce a current or create motion (electrical motor theory) but parallel wires - in my opinion - are not likely to induce much of a current in each other.
It may be more of a concern if you're talking about running RCA and power wires together. The speaker wires I wouldn't worry about though.
this theory exist but it would have so little effect that you couldnt even measure it in a normal car audio set up (if wires are running parallel)

i have a 3AWG power wire zip tied to the wires for my tweeters and not even the slightest interference, even with my RCA's that are low voltage to begin with, they are zip tied to both the power and ground under my amp rack... and nothing, not the slightest amount of audible interference.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:22 PM   #14
SUPERCHARGE

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Ok, so I already had very good 10 gauged wire traveling most if the car, so decided to get the same with very thick housing. But one more thing that seems to be coming up once in a while. The audio cables... If they're traveling along the speaker wires, apparently a good idea to get non-interference wires? Is this just another ploy? Because my audio cables may not be cheap, but aren't that great either.
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