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What exactly makes it fine in a car but not my home stereo?
Speaker wire is one thing - and perfect in the right gauge for car and home audio TO SPEAKERS.

Low signal level cables such as typical RCA leads, need a cable with central conductor and a shield around it. they are also used in car systems, but not between amp and speakers but possibly between head unit and amplifiers if it's a good rig... Hope that helps a bit?
 
Did you solder the other wire on both sides to the shield, if only from the outside of the connector ?
If not that explains everything.

Consider speaker wire is not shielded and not suited as an interlink anyway.
It could be used for balanced lines (if you can fit it in XLR connectors).

Thickness of cable is not an important aspect except for speaker wires and low voltage systems (12V/24V)
Arc-welder capable wire to carry just small signals?
 
What exactly makes it fine in a car but not my home stereo?
Car audio has high power yet low voltage (12V) so requires large amounts of current.
A 2x 100W amp can easily draw 20-25Amps.
This requires thick wiring.
For 12V it would be best to use black/red wires for power but the cable you have (when marked for polarity) would be well suited.
 
Car audio has high power yet low voltage (12V) so requires large amounts of current.
A 2x 100W amp can easily draw 20-25Amps.
This requires thick wiring.
For 12V it would be best to use black/red wires for power but the cable you have (when marked for polarity) would be well suited.
Power wiring in a car high output stereo setup needs to be large because of the currents involved since the power supply voltage is small at 12 measly volts. Speaker wire requirements in the car would be the same as those at home for amplifiers of similar output powers in both cases.
 
Speaker wire requirements in the car would be the same as those at home for amplifiers of similar output powers in both cases.
Or slightly higher, as it is not uncommon to see the likes of 2-3 ohm subs.

On a speaker wire, impedance levels are super low - we are talking hundreds of milliohms of amplifier output impedance or less - and speakers are extremely insensitive and floating loads to boot. Even if twin lead is not quite the ideal cable topology it doesn't matter, at least at audio frequencies, and the most interesting aspect becomes ohmic resistance.

The best kind of cable for line-level unbalanced connections is coax. If you are a cheapskate who needs some particularly lengthy ones that are about as good a cable as you're going to get, buy some composite video cables using RG-59. That's what I bought when I needed 10 meters for a tuner two decades ago. The most important single parameter may be shield coverage and resistance, although capacitance also matters (particularly on long runs or for these pesky MM phono cartridges).

The best cable for line-level balanced connections is shielded twisted pair. Hence why you can make perfectly serviceable ones using ordinary network cable as long as it is typical FTP or STP (not so much UTP). It is obviously not going to stand up to the rigors of stage use but if you need to get up to 4 channels of audio from point A to point B in a stationary application it's fine. Good microphone cable also needs to be flexible, robust, and low in microphonics both mechanically and electrically (bad cable stock can generate all sorts of unwanted rustling as soon as phantom power is turned on), and for particularly tough environments and/or long runs you can buy starquad which improves symmetry for better interference rejection.

Headphone cable is a similar kind of situation as speaker cable, except it needs to be super lightweight and still reasonably durable and non-microphonic. As long as both drivers are wired up individually all the way to the plug, resistance is kind of secondary thankfully. It is not uncommon to find kevlar fiber reinforcement for increased strength (Sennheiser found out the hard way that just copper just doesn't last back in the day, which is why they used steel wire for a while in the '80s which was a bit non-ideal due to microphonics).
 
Thanks, so essentially I've made 40% of a cable and am now wondering why it doesn't work right : /
You have made 0% of a working cable. Current has to circulate in a circuit for it to.work. Without a "go" wire and "return" wire you have a non-connector.
 
As an aside, I have used twin core mains cable for audio signals (so do/did Naim and Linn) and it can work but without the shielding effect of the return line, these were prone to taxi and fire service signals breaking through if said vehicles were parked nearby as happened once on my Naim amp in the 80's when our neighbour had a chimney fire and the fire brigade turned up to extinguish it.

For low level audio signals, best to use a properly screened RCA cable and they DON'T have to be expensive either to do a good job. I already mentioned the Amazon basics RCa cable and it's absolutely fine for the job in my experience.
 
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