12 gauge OK for 60 Foot Speaker Wire Runs?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Bob_F, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Bob_F

    Bob_F Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm installing a pair of 8 ohm Polk f/x300i rear surround sound speakers:

    Polk f/x300i Surround Speakers

    Since I'm running the wires along the edges of the room and up above the ceiling drywall, I will need two runs of about 60 feet. (One of the runs is closer to 50 feet)

    Would 12 gauge wire be OK for this?

    (My receiver is a Denon AVR-3801.)

    Thanks,

    Bob
     
  2. Kernel X

    Kernel X Extra

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    Hello Bob, since your speakers are rated at 8 ohms and your run is under 100 ft.your choice of 12 gauge wire would be more than adequate for your installation...enjoy your nice set-up. Sincerely, Kernel.
     
  3. Bob_F

    Bob_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Kernel,

    Thank you for the helpful advice.

    I'm putting together my very first surround system.

    The funny thing is that I have a pile of DVDs that I don't want to watch until the sound system is hooked up. [​IMG]

    Bob
     
  4. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Bob,

    I installed 12-gauge in-wall speaker wires from Home Depot. I believe the product is made by "Carol" which makes plenty of electrical wire.

    12-guage speaker wire is pretty durable stuff. My surround speakers have about a 25 foot and 40 foot run of this stuff. I personally don't notice any signal degradation from my setup.
     
  5. Bob_F

    Bob_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Wayne.

    Is there anything special about 'in-wall" wire? I was looking at the 100' spools of 12 gauge wire at Home Depot but I didn't notice if that was intended for in wall applications.

    Bob
     
  6. Mohamed_M

    Mohamed_M Agent

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    no difference Bob, wire is wire.
     
  7. Bob_F

    Bob_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks. I was wondering if there was some type of special shielding for in-wall applications.

    Bob
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Bob,

    If you are going to install the wire in the walls, you will need to use the wire designed for this purpose if the building code calls for it. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where you have to pull the wire out if you end up selling your house in the future. Just put the right wire in from the beginning.

    Home Depot sells the Carol brand of 12-gauge in-wall wiring. I don't recall the price, but it's a bit more than the regular speaker wire not designed for installation in the walls of a home.
     
  9. Bob_F

    Bob_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Wayne,

    I'll keep an eye out for the "Carrol" wire.

    I wonder why there would be any sort of code requirement for in-wall speaker cable? Could it be some type of fire hazard?

    Bob
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  11. Bob_F

    Bob_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks John.

    Bob
     
  12. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Here is the theory: You have a fire, totally destroying your house. The insurance company sends out an inspector and learns that you used in-wall wires without the fire-resistant insulation. The insurance company (who is NOT in the business of paying claims) then refuses to pay you because your wires acted like a 'fuse' to spread the small fire quicker. If you had used the 'proper' wire, the fire department could have arrived soon enough to save the structure.

    It's not much more expensive to use the CL3 wires so it's recommended. If you cannot find in-wall 12 ga wire (it's somewhat new), get the Carol 4-conductor, 14 ga wire. Twist 2 of the wires together at each end to give you 2 effective wires. This has been done in many high-end home theaters to great effect.

    Suggestion: Run 3 sets of wires to the rear. You may soon want to install a rear-center speaker. The wire is dirt-cheep compared to your labor so dont scrimp.
     
  13. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    So true. Drywall patching and repairs on not fun when it comes to wiring. Even if one doesn't go to a 6.1 setup, the wire will just sit patiently in the wall. [​IMG]

    [Edit]: Also, the 12 guage wiring in the protective sheathing has got to be a better insulator from interference than just the regular wire meant for installation outside of the walls.
     
  14. Bob_F

    Bob_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob,

    Thanks for the very helpful explanation. Now I'm totally convinced. I will install wire with fire resistant insulation. [​IMG]

    And thanks also for mentioning the addition of a third line for rear surround. I had actually been thinking about that and your advice (and Wayne's) pushed me over the edge. Now I'll do it. (I'm pretty sure that my Denon AVR-3801, which I just bought, can drive a rear channel also.)

    Bob
     
  15. Bob_F

    Bob_F Stunt Coordinator

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    BTW, now that I've convinced myself to put in the wiring for a center rear speaker, I'm looking for speaker recommendations.

    Feel free to swing by this thread with any recommendations:

    Help me pick a rear center speaker

    Bob
     

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