How can I tell whether speaker wire is 14 gauge?

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Got some new speaker wire from an Amazon vendor today. It was claimed to be 14GA but looks to be a bit less. The wire is marked 14GA but the bag says BRX-14 and nothing about gauge or size of any kind other than 100' (I probably should measure that, too). When the bag appears to describe an industry standard but doesn't, I get suspicious. Well, even more suspicious than usual. (-:
Lately I've found that many things, from wires to batteries, that have standard ratings here in the US are fudged there in China. Batteries marked 2500 and marketed as 2500mAH are actually in the sub 1200 range. Wire marketed as Cat 6 came in a bag re-labeled with a small dot label that said "6" applied wherever "5" appeared on the bag. The wire itself was actually marked Cat 5.
In this case, the wire jacket is that of typical 14GA wire, but the copper strands are almost identical to the remnants of a spool of Gemini EIGHTEEN gauge wire. They appeared to have jumped two full wire sizes in this scam or mislabeling.
The Chinese AA NiMh fraudsters are so common whole sites are devoted to tracking them down.
http://dansdata.blogsome.com/2010/03/01/dont-buy-bty-batteries /
Anyway - what's the test for 14GA stranded wire? I've got the typical multislot stripper crimpers to use as a gauge and electronic calipers. Any other tests?
-- Bobby G.
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On 1/20/2012 1:01 PM, Robert Green wrote: ...

The dimension...
<http://www.rbeelectronics.com/wtable.htm
--
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Measure one strand of wire with your micrometer. Count the strands of wire. Calculate the area of the total copper cross section. Look up the specs for 14 gauge wire in any standard text, whatever. If the cross sections are equal you have the right size wire.
Joe
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Alternately, 14AWG should be 2.525 ohms per 1000' give or take a hair. If you trust that the spool is the length that it says it is, and you have a sensitive meter.
nate
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re: "give or take a hair"
Do you mean an RCH?
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On 01/20/2012 05:55 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

indeed!
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
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Cut a foot of 14 ga Romex. And a foot of this wire. weigh each on a postal scale, see how close the weights are.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

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On Jan 20, 6:15pm, "Stormin Mormon"

That is a totally bogus method...
The Romex wire thermoplastic insulation is MUCH heavier than the insulation used on speaker cable...
Your testing method would require stripping the wires to actually compare how much metal is in the wire...
~~ Evan
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wrote:> Cut a foot of 14 ga Romex. And a foot of this wire. weigh each on a postal

<<`That is a totally bogus method... The Romex wire thermoplastic insulation is MUCH heavier than the insulation used on speaker cable... Your testing method would require stripping the wires to actually compare how much metal is in the wire...>>
Stormie's got a good point if I strip the insulation from both samples. I've got a very accurate electronic scale that will show the difference in copper content.
I've taken some photos that I think make it pretty clear this isn't 14GA wire. I've cut it at 90 degrees and compared it to 12, 14, 16 and 18GA speaker wire I have. You can see how much less copper and more jacket than there is with *real* 14GA wire. I also feathered out the end of a stripped piece of both the real and the fake 14GA and it's incredibly obvious that it's substantially smaller than real 14GA (although the jacket sizes are identical!).
The vendor is quite unapologetic, saying "I'll give you $5 off if you're unhappy with the wire." I am unhappy about being defrauded. I'm going to see what Amazon does, since this guy's ripping people off using their name and claiming the manufacturer "forces" him to list it falsely. What really peeves me is someone could blow out an amp trying to use this wire where *real* 14GA is required. I wonder how many packages of this crap wire this cheat sold? He sounds like he's gotten away with it for a long, long time and seems totally unconcerned that Amazon would do anything about it.
-- Bobby G.
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It would be some bizarre amp to be blown up by using less than 14 gauge wire to hook it up to speakers.
I wonder how many packages of this crap wire this

I wonder how many overpriced speaker wire sets you've bought.
He sounds like he's gotten away with it for a long, long time

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On Mon, 23 Jan 2012 06:11:52 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Unless the resistance of the wire is so high the output circuit is WAY outside spec AND the amp is pushed to it's limit, it is extremely unlikely the amplifier would be damaged. In home and institurional systems running 4 and 8 ohm speakers, it would be a REAL longshot with less than 50 feet of wire.
In some real heavy duty auto installations with 2 ohm systems pumping out mega-watts of power? Perhaps.
What DOES happen with too-small wires in high powered home systems is you loose crispness (or stiffness) in the base due to a combination of reduced power at low frequencies and reduced damping. The bass gets "muddy".
You need to have GOOD ears to hear the difference - perhaps 1 in 50 under 50 would qualify today.
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On Mon, 23 Jan 2012 13:05:24 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

And none of that matters if the guy is intentionally selling the wrong stuff.
If someone could prove the guy is intentionally selling the wrong spec stuff, the guys in the black suits should pay him a visit and pistol whip him.
That seems much more effective than any fine or jail time.

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To get an accurate ohm measurement, assuming you know how to measure low ohms, I would tightly connect one end together, preferably soldering. Measure the two hundred foot wire, preferably soldering the tips of the wire. 2.525 / 5 would be two hundred feet.
I have also roughly measured using calibrated wire strippers. The wire should not easily slip through the 14 gauge hole. You can also compare it to some other 14 gauge wire.
Greg
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news:45449614348807393.739810zekor-
<stuff snipped>

Measuring resistance would probably not be as convincing to an Amazon Customer support executive as measuring the weight of one inch worth of the copper in the wire in question and comparing it to "known accurate" sources (both samples stripped of insulation). A cross section photo (that shows the cable is more jacket than copper wire) and a feathered out photo of the real v. the fake also show how much smaller the "fake" 14GA wire is.
Thanks for your input!
-- Bobby G.
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_______ You sure this stuff isn't frm Monster? They're notorious for not putting gauge on their speaker wire. That's why I dont buy anything from them!
-CC
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On Fri, 20 Jan 2012 14:55:00 -0800 (PST), ChrisCoaster

Not because their stuff is terribly over-proced????
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Tee hee!
The "Monster" folks like to push wires with a thick layer of transparent plastic insulation. It makes the copper wire inside look larger. They figured out that clear plastic is less expensive than copper.
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On Fri, 20 Jan 2012 21:36:20 -0500, John Gilmer

Other companies sell battery jumper cables like that too. I'm sure you can see the actual wire in the alliagor clip, but I'll bet most don't look.
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wrote:

I've seen that scam, too. The problem with Amazon selling crap like this is that you don't get to inspect the goods until *after* you've purchased them. I would have taken one look at the wire in a brick and mortar shop and KNOWN they were trying to cheat me.
-- Bobby G.
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These fraudsters have figured it out, too. This wire is the same OD as 14GA but that's mostly jacket. The wire size is either 16 or 18GA just based on eyeballing it and comparing it to remnants of speaker wire I still had left "on spool."
Now the trick is to get Amazon to get them to stop selling selling mislabeled crap as 14GA. I know that Ebay couldn't care less - it was their vendors selling "uplabeled" CAT 5 wiring as CAT 6 that made me stop buying from them. Maybe it's Amazon's turn now.
-- Bobby G.
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