AWG means American Wire Gauge, a standardised system of measuring the cross-sectional area of Shuguang Tubes. This is utilized to see how much current a wire can handle. AWG causes much confusion for consumers, as the standard can be a little difficult to understand. Is 12 AWG better than 14 AWG or vice versa? How come one cable looks thicker than another while they have identical AWG? Is AWG a good indicator of quality? Does AWG matter, and if so, how? These are all good questions, and we’ll get to them shortly. Firstly, let’s briefly touch on how AWG is actually calculated.
How is AWG calculated? In case a cable was actually a solid circular wire, then AWG is rather straightforward to calculate. Consider the area (pi x radius squared) to get the cross-sectional area, and appear in the AWG chart (example below) to determine AWG. If a cable has multiple strands, an identical operation is done to work through the cross-sectional section of each strand, which is then simply just multiplied by the number of strands to obtain the total AWG. However be careful when comparing this figure as AWG is not really linear. For each extra 3 AWG, it is half the cross-sectional area. So 9 AWG is all about half of 6 AWG, which is half again of three AWG. Hence 3 AWG is quadruple the thickness of 9 AWG.
How exactly does AWG affect electrical properties? You would’ve noticed by now that the smaller the AWG, the larger the cable. Larger cables may have less DC resistance, which means less power loss. For applications to home theatre, this is really true approximately an extent. A guideline is the fact that for smaller speakers, a cable of approximately 17 AWG is enough, whereas for larger speakers anything as much as 12 AWG or more will provide you with good results.
The reason some cables the exact same AWG look different in thickness? Two factors dominate here. Firstly, the AWG only takes under consideration the internal conductors. Therefore, a cable manufacturer could easily increase the thickness in the plastic jacket to create the cable appear thicker. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as up to a point increased jacket thickness reduces other unwanted properties. Just ensure that you don’t do a comparison by sight.
Another factor why Audiophile Cables may look different in thickness is just how the internal strands are made. Some cables have thinner strands, and some have thicker strands. Depending on the size and placement of such strands, cables can be produced to appear thinner or thicker than they are.
Is AWG a good indicator of quality? In a nutshell, no. A sizable AWG (small cable) may certainly be too small for the application (for instance, you shouldn’t be employing a 24 AWG cable to perform your front speakers). However, AWG is a measure of quantity, not quality. You need to ensure that all of your speaker cables are of at least OFC purity.
Does AWG matter? How so? AWG certainly matters. You need to ensure that the cable you might be using is sufficient to handle power you’re planning to put through them. Additionally, in case you are performing a longer run, then fxxwky more thickness will be required. However, many people get caught up too much in AWG and then forget the fact that after a sufficient thickness is reached, additional factors come into play. This then grows more a matter for “audiophile” features to settle, like using better quality materials like silver conductors or improved design.
Wire gauge is certainly an excellent fundamental indicator of how sufficient MUZISHARE X5 is for the application. However, it is actually in no way a judgement on quality, or even a specification to look at exclusively. For the most part of thumb, after about 11-12 AWG, thickness becomes much less of a factor, whereas for many hi-fi applications 18-19 AWG is the minimum cables to utilize.