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Wire awg question?

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by timcrawlin, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. timcrawlin

    timcrawlin TDPRI Member

    13
    Feb 10, 2012
    Kentucky
    I'm slowly buying the parts to build a tube amp, and I was wondering about wire size. The amp calls for 20 awg, and I found some 14 awg. Would that make a difference. The in mind is the MOD 102. THANKS
     
  2. guiltless

    guiltless Tele-Meister

    159
    Apr 24, 2008
    SoCal
    I think you will find 14awg to be too thick. I use 20awg solid core everywhere. You can use 18awg on heaters and 22awg everywhere else but I find it is easier to buy all one size and 20awg is big enough.
     
  3. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Even 22 gauge would be fine for heaters.
     
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  5. celeste

    celeste Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    55
    Jun 24, 2006
    Maryland
    Even 18ga gives you trouble in some sockets. 22ga will do everything you need in your MOD. In bigger amps with big power tubes and lots of preamp tubes, 22ga can be to light, but I don't recall a common guitar amp that 20ga would not do everything safely.
     
  6. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    65
    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.
    14 awg would be very hard to work with. wouldn't thread through the pins on some sockets.
    Only use for 14 awg would be speaker wires possibly.
     
  7. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    62
    Mar 23, 2003
    Netherlands
    @Celeste - the wire they are selling here in Europe for amp building is 24 gauge. I guess everyone is happy with it. It sounds pretty skinny to me, but then I always used old cloth-covered pre-tinned stranded wire that I stripped out of discarded TV sets. Do you think there is any problem with this stuff for an amp in the 5E3 range? I don't plan to use it for the heaters, I'll probably use 18 or 20 for those.
     
  8. Dave1234

    Dave1234 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Mar 4, 2012
    Leicestershire
    jhundt,

    I have found an AWG to metric conversion chart here: http://www.technick.net/public/code/cp_dpage.php?aiocp_dp=guide_awg_to_metric

    You can look at the differences between 22 and 24 AWG, in a format you are more likely get the hang of and therefore hopefully reach a satisfactory descision
     
  9. motor_city_tele

    motor_city_tele Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 25, 2005
    motor city
  10. rsi106

    rsi106 TDPRI Member

    97
    May 27, 2010
    California
    14 AWG is gigantic for wiring an amp. Like the others said, 18-22 is typical. I usually don't use 18 even for heaters. 24 seems a bit small, I've never used it for amps.

    Also pay attention to the other attributes...solid vs. stranded and the coating.

    Solid core will keep its shape when you bend it, etc. Stranded won't, but is more flexible. Teflon coating is good if you are inexperienced with a soldering iron because it won't burn easily. Some PVC coatings will melt readily if you keep the iron near it.
     
  11. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    62
    Mar 23, 2003
    Netherlands
    @Dave1234 - thanks for the link; that's exactly the same chart that I was looking at when I realized that the wire they were selling was 24 gauge. I haven't read anything in the newspaper about home-built amps burning up, so I guess it's OK.
     
  12. Dave1234

    Dave1234 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Mar 4, 2012
    Leicestershire
    My 5e3 is all 22awg apart from the heaters, which are 18. I think it is generously overrated in this particular instance as I am running stock: 2 x 6v6, 1 x 12ay7and 1 x 12ax7. Not exactly pushing it hard?
     
  13. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Even with big beefy tubes the most current you would run in an amp circuit is 200mA. The 24 gauge would hardly notice it at the length the wire is. You could get away with it also for tube heaters if you did not daisy chain the heaters but ran to them individually. Even a couple of preamp tubes together would be fine. A good table to have.

    http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm
     
  14. Dave1234

    Dave1234 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Mar 4, 2012
    Leicestershire
    That is one seriously useful table, thanks for posting Printer!

    Sent from my iPad using TDPRI
     
  15. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Not a bad irea to derate the capacities shown a bit for the heat in an amp. Still it gives a good reference.
     
  16. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    I've been useing wire salvage from organs and a Univox accordian tone generator. None of it's cloth covered and some of it's stranded but tinned so it kind of acts like solid wire.
    I have used the cloth stuf Weber sells but it's a royal pain to strip.
     
  17. timcrawlin

    timcrawlin TDPRI Member

    13
    Feb 10, 2012
    Kentucky
    Thanks alot Motor_City for the link. Just bought them, and the thing is I can use the wire for mor then just amp building.
     
  18. 6942

    6942 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    63
    Apr 15, 2006
    Santa Fe, NM
    I prefer to use either 18 or 20 solid core wire.
    Way easier to solder IMHO, than stranded wire.
     
  19. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    65
    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.
    Not sure I understand what you mean when you say the cloth wire is hard to strip. You know its called pushback wire? You just cut it to length and push the cloth back from where you want to make the connection and solder. You don't strip it, I'm sure its a mess if you try to.

    Sorry, if we aren't talking about the same thing.
     
  20. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Tolex have you had any luck doing that with the Weber wire?

    I don't know if I tried to push it back now or not it's been a few years. But I have heard alot of guys hate the wire Weber sells. Maybe they're all as dumb as me IDK.:lol:
     
  21. guitjopicka

    guitjopicka Tele-Meister

    271
    Feb 4, 2010
    Mill Bay, BC
    That's because weber's isn't true push back cloth wire. You do have to strip it with super sharp strippers. I actually keep a lighter around to singe off the frayed ends... Probably taboo... Bit it's what I've done. I don't plan on usuing cloth wire anymore unless someone is looking for it specifically though. Teflon all the way!
     
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