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Thread: To splice or not to splice - stock speaker wires that is...

  1. #11
    Variable Bitrate The Grinch's Avatar
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    The wires going to the speakers are definately not 16 or 18 gauge. Maybe 20 at best. What's funny is that the wires connecting the 5 1/4" speaker to the tweeter on the upper portion of the door uses a thicker gauge than what is coming in from the radio. I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry.

    Because I am losing the HU, I bought a used six channel amp at 50 watts per channel RMS (4ohm). It's a PPI 6600. It's overkill for the speakers, but with the amp's built in crossover I figure that I can squeeze quite a bit out of them. I do expect to blow the factory stuff up over time, but I hope to get at least 6 months out of them.

    To expand on what I was saying above, the reason I am not keen on soldering the wires to the speaker is because of those two braided copper wires for the speakers voice coil. Those wires look bare, but in reality there is a coating on them. When it gets hot, the coating melts and hardens the wire. Hardening those wires is a bad thing. When the cone is moving in and out, the wires needs to be flexible. If it's hard, it will get yanked and rip from the speaker.
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  2. #12
    Constant Bitrate CHUPACABRA's Avatar
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    dont belive the hype!!!!! the only reason you would need to lower the gauge of wire is if you ran it over 100 feet or using 500watt 3-ways 22 gauge is fine and you wont know the diffrince!!

  3. #13
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    Grinch, where heave you heard that the speaker wires that go from the connector to the voice coils have coatings that will harden if heated? I have worked with speakers for almost 20 years and I have never seen or heard that soldering directly to it's terminals would harm them. If you look at the braided wire you will see that the wire itself is soldered to the speaker terminals.

    Maybe you can use little spade connectors to connect each wire individually to your speakers instead of the oem connector. If not, I myself would solder directly, I would not want to splice the oem wires, just leave them be for when I sell the car. You said yourself that the speakers might not last long anyway due to the amplifier power - I think they will last a long time though, 50WRMS is not a lot (most oem HUs go to 25WRMS, and at 50W you will not listen to the top volume, a 3db headroom is normal), especially if you use a hi-pass crossover at 100+ Hz.

    Anyway, I have even seen on "Rides" at the Discovery Channel those guys installing a sound system on a 100k Hummer and soldering directly to a JL Audio subwoofer terminal.

  4. #14
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    I agree and feel the factory wiring should be fine. The issue in sound quality is at the weakest link which is your factory speakers.

    I suggest that you simply wire the your amps outputs directly to your aftermarket wiring harness for your vehicle (Cost around $10 or so). The harness will allow you an easy wiring solution without tapping or cutting any factory wiring. Not to mention you will have access to the 12v switched source for your car comps power supply and will need that to power on the amp (which you probably already know). If you need any more info PM me.

    have fun,

    moltensilver

  5. #15
    Variable Bitrate The Grinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisr
    Grinch, where heave you heard that the speaker wires that go from the connector to the voice coils have coatings that will harden if heated? I have worked with speakers for almost 20 years and I have never seen or heard that soldering directly to it's terminals would harm them. If you look at the braided wire you will see that the wire itself is soldered to the speaker terminals.
    I didn't hear it, I experienced it. It was a do-it-yourself repair that went bad.

    Maybe you can use little spade connectors to connect each wire individually to your speakers instead of the oem connector. If not, I myself would solder directly, I would not want to splice the oem wires, just leave them be for when I sell the car.
    I bought the spade connectors in anticipation that I would be able to do just that. Well there are no place on the speaker to connect the suckers.


    Quote Originally Posted by moltensilver
    I agree and feel the factory wiring should be fine. The issue in sound quality is at the weakest link which is your factory speakers.

    I suggest that you simply wire the your amps outputs directly to your aftermarket wiring harness for your vehicle (Cost around $10 or so). The harness will allow you an easy wiring solution without tapping or cutting any factory wiring. Not to mention you will have access to the 12v switched source for your car comps power supply and will need that to power on the amp (which you probably already know). If you need any more info PM me.
    I know that traditionally the factory speakers are crap, but the eight speaker system in my car are actually not too shabby. They are 4 ohm speakers and have a good size magnet on them. They will do for now. But I am not going to waste two 20 foot runs of 14 gauge wire from the trunk to the front, only to connect them inside the dash to another 8 feet of 22 gauge wire. That makes about as much sense as me keeping the factory speakers.

    Just to make sure there is no confusion, the wires connect to the speakers with big black plastic connectors. Those are the connectors I am refering to, not the harness from the back of the radio. I think I will just rip the speaker connector(s) apart and splice my own wire in there. I'm not planning to sell this car anyway. To many engine mods.
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  6. #16
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    Just to make sure there is no confusion, the wires connect to the speakers with big black plastic connectors. Those are the connectors I am refering to, not the harness from the back of the radio. I think I will just rip the speaker connector(s) apart and splice my own wire in there. I'm not planning to sell this car anyway.
    Well if resale or warrenties are not an issue then that will work great as well. I don't know about your factory speaker locations but sometimes (like in my car) it can be MUCH harder to get to the speakers for splicing or direct connection sometimes it can be easier to get to the head unit harness to wire. It all depends on the vehicle and the situation.

    Good luck.

    moltensilver

  7. #17
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    well, it sounds like you ahve preconcieved notions about how much wire makes a difference in audio quality.

    if you have the time and hte desire to change out the stock wiring, go for it. Itll be a ton of work, and there will be no audible difference in sound quality, but the psychoaccoustic effect might make it worth the time you put into it.

    But I dont think anyone here will be able to convince you that itll be totally fine.

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