12 gauge speaker wire diameter


The AWG ( American wire gauge) standard is just that, a standard. Look up “ASTM standard B 258”. This has been a a standard since the late 1850’s.

A 12 AWG solid wire is supposed to be .0808" in diameter, not 0791". What is sold as 12 gauge wire is a whole different deal…

Do some frickin’ research BEFORE you mock me.


Since all you want to be is “right”, you have a point on paper, not in reality where UL444 defines the maximum DCR, not the wire size as the final arbitrator of what the “spec” is. You’ll NEVER find a wire per AWG tables in processed wire.

Get UL444 and educate yourself to what is REALLY right. I’ve done wire design for like 36 YEARS and know what UL requires. The SAFETY is defined by the circuit DCR. Wire is NEVER labeled per the decimal size as it is NEVER right! It is labeled with the AWG “reference” as long as it PASSES UL DCR requirements.

You seem to think the world is absolutes of the AWG paper table. It isn’t. This is why ICONOCLAST is MEASURED for DCR resistance as this is where the rubber hits the road, not the “table” size, not the linear DCR, but the ACTUAL DCR from stranding losses and processing. NOW we can say what the cable really is in use, not the individual strand size.

Stop being theoretical to manufacturing. My living is making things that work, a wire table DOES NOT WORK making things so it is irrelavant. DCR tables and UL444 STD VARIATION tables are useful. They are a RANGE of size to be called a specific AWG within that range, and a maximum DCR is the final judge at the very END of the process. Two different pair lays will yield two different laser mic measurements even when “exactly” the same at the start of the process.

Look a 568 Ethernet specs…same. They spec a MAX DCR in FINISHED cable, not the “size” of the wire. This is called a PERFORMANCE specification, not a DESIGN specification. There are many types and designs of Ethernet, but they all have to meet the PERFORMANCE. And, not a one will measure to the AWG table for a 24 AWG or 23 AWG. None. Many have two and more “hybrid” AWG sizes across the UL444 range.

So that’s the way it is making a product and not a chart. We’ll look you up for charts. I don’t memorize or use useless charts, I use UL444 and 568 DCR tables.

I’m not so much answering you, I did a ways back, but how poducts are really made.

Galen Gareis


Maybe you need to do some research.

I’d last a week on a manufacturing floor using your “right” AWG tables as you would fail UL444 max DCR in stranded and processed cables. There is ONLY one RIGHT and that is UL444! Don’t pass that and you can’t label your product. Yes, UL444 is structured after the AWG tables but the DO NOT spec “exact” wire sizes, ever.

AWG tables are a STARTING point for UL444, and UL knows processing will vary the SIZE per twisted pair lay stranding length and other processes, so an average size range is devised to account for this. A DCR max spec is the final judge where multiple pairs are tested using automated test equipment that measures DCR. A laser mic or table never touches the product.

Please be helpful, your tone is not helpful. You general information is, but it isn’t “all” right as the AWG tables are just a starting point reference. No more. I grabbed a generic size to go through the math (use your own values if you will, makes no difference). The PROCESS is what is shown.

What we also know, is 0.0808" as right as it is on paper, is useless in real manufacture.

Galen Gareis

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Did you miss this all important sentence:

You are using a standard for communications cables. I have no idea what UL 444 says solid 12 gauge wire should be. That wire does not meet the AWG standard…

What I do know is what the AWG standard for 12 gauge wire is and what it is not.

I am not mocking you, rather pointing out the long expired equine.


UL444 is communication based. “This standard (UL444) applies to communications cables that are intended primarily for installation in accordance with Article 800 of the NEC.” Service entrance bonding used is always expressly rated with AWG sizing.


What happens at 1000 TPM?
What happens at 1600 TPM?
What happens at 1800TPM?
Change to a double trwist from a single twist?
Where does the reactive impedance go and how much?
Where does the RL go at at what frequencies?

Why does UL allow a spec SIZE below say 23 AWG, down to a minimum of a 24 AWG? See the above reasons. PROCESSING changes the wire size and you need to estimate the process, and not go under an “ideal” chart size as now we have bad wire. The CHART is the, “you’re fired” size to go under. NOT the size you end up with.

Should you go with AWG table sized wire and end up under that, would you, of all people buy that cable No, and you shouldn’t.

If I send you counterfit CCA wire that passed your AWG chart size would you buy that wire? No, it FAILS DCR and is unsafe to use for POE.

In the real work the chart is ONLY a reference for the RANGE of allowed sized. I work with the PROCESSES and use the INCOMING size to make sure you, the customer, gets no less than the AWG Table size.

So the table’s values is indeed erroneous to the formula, and was supplied as to where I just grabbed that value, but it is immaterial to the exercise. The excercise was HOW…plug in you favorite size but DO NOT make cable with the AWG wire sizes, ever.


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One thing no one has really understood or spoke to in all of this, is that there is a difference between hard drawn (solid) and annealed in resistivity, with annealed winning out in conductivity for a given gauge. Hard drawn wins the tensile strength war, and annealed can be of a smaller diameter and present the same conductivity.

@galen-gareis can you just tell me where I can buy the recommended Belden 1313A by the foot for a reasonable price?

I suggest any pro cable supplier such as PacRad, clicky

UL444, communications cable, and TIA 568 specs requires ANNEALED wire to meet T and E. doubt if you will ever find unannealed wire as it is in-line annealed in modern draw systems so that ALL the wire is the same elongation verses heat batch annealed that needs a SOAK time.

The differences you note are indeed there.


Also try ALPHA wire and cable. They will sell sort lengths.


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As in alphawire.com?

Yep, them’s the guys and gals.


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Shockingly, they will not sell to an individual. Lame.

Hello Jason,

Thank you for contacting Allied Wire & Cable.

Allied Wire & Cable is a speciality manufacturer and Business-to-Business (B2B) wholesale distributor of electrical wire and electronics cable. Since you are not with a company, we are unable to assist you with the technical help or product recommendations that you have requested, at this time. We have compiled the list below to help direct you to the best resource for your current needs:

First line of contact for technical help:

  • Question on a wire or cable you have already: Manufacturer of the wire/cable
  • Question on replacing/fixing a cable for an item you have: Manufacturer of the device
  • Contact a reputable electrical contractor: Try http://www.homeadvisor.com/
  • Post your question to a reputable electrical forum online such as Mike Holt’s Forum
  • Reach out to a major wire and cable manufacturers with broad product lines: Belden Cable, General Cable or Southwire

Brick and Mortar Stores with in-person assistance:

Online retailers with small order mins and cater to consumers:

Thank you for understanding. We wish you the best of luck with your project!

Best regards,
Allied Wire & Cable

Noting shocking about this.

Again, PacRad sells the cable by the foot.

I called Blue Jeans Cable and they sell the Belden 1313A for $1.85/ft un-terminated. They don’t list this on their website, so you would need to call them if you want to place an order.

PacRad charges $2.25/ft.


Good find.

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You have to appreciate the effort in their reply, no?

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Radio Shack? Really? Someone has been under a rock! Best Buy is an odd suggestion, but on the plus side they are still in business …