usually comes "unshielded," which means you can see the copper conductor. Speaker wire comes in different thicknesses or
rated from 12 to 18 (thickest to thinnest).As a general rule, the longer your speaker wires, the thicker the gauge you should use.For speaker wire lengths up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) long, 14-gauge is sufficient, butanything longer than 60 feet (18.3 meters) requires 12-gauge wire.
Most audio recordings are digital nowadays, and there are several newer cables thatspecialize in carrying high-bandwidth digital audio signals.
ptical digital cable
(alsoknown as fiber-optic and Toslink) transmits audio signals as pulses of light and isimpervious to interference
Another digital audio cable is called
. It looks the old coaxial cables thatconnect satellite dishes or cable TV signals to televisions, except this is speciallydesigned to carry digital audio. You'll find optical and digital coaxial jacks on newer DVD players, CD players and stereo receivers.
riginally designed for professional audio use, XLR audio cable is used primarilywith high-performance audio gear. The connector has three pins ² a positive conductor, anegative conductor, and a ground. The ground wire helps reduce electronic noise throughoutthe cable. A clasp built into the round XLR plug locks it tightly into the socket, ensuring asecure connection. XLR cables are also used with microphones requiring "phantom power."An electrical charge runs through the ground wire, powering the microphone's internal pre-amps and allowing it to function.
The most common type of video cable is called
A composite videocable consists of one yellow RCA connector that's usually bundled with red and whiteRCA analog audio cables. It's called composite video because all of the videoinformation -- color, brightness and sync -- is composited, or squeezed, onto one cable.Composite video cables were designed for older TVs and have a maximum resolution of 330 lines. They're fine for watching VHS tapes on the old TV in the basement, but if youhave a newer television, or an HDTV, composite video cables simply won't cut it.
cables are a step up from composite video with a maximum resolution of 400lines. You will recognize an S-video cable by its circular, nine-pin connector. S-videoseparates color information from picture information, resulting in a crisper image.