Need recommendation for speaker wire

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Brad Newton, Apr 30, 2003.

  1. Brad Newton

    Brad Newton Second Unit

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    I will be running speaker wire for the rear speakers underneath my floor via crawl space. Do I need anything special? Most of my duct work & wiring is located there - will that have any effect? What about the sub cable? I hope I don't have to run it under the floor, but I may have too.
     
  2. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Check your local building code to see if you are required to have CL-2 or CL-3 rated wire for 'in wall use' if you are running it in the crawl space.

    Keep the speaker wires away from any heating ducts and electrical wiring. A foot should be fine IMO, but the further away the better. Can you run some cheapo PVC pipe to run the wires through. It would be easier to attach the pipe to something than to staple the wire up.

    Go ahead and run the sub cable with the speaker wires if you have to, it's a low level signal anyway.
     
  3. Brad Newton

    Brad Newton Second Unit

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    Do I need a specific gauge of wire? Should it be shielded?
     
  4. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Several speaker sites recommend the gauge be based on the run-length:

    1-10 ft: 16 ga
    11-20 ft: 14 ga
    20+ ft: 12 ga

    Most people here have been purchasing rolls af 12 ga and using it for all their speakers. No, it does not have to be shielded.
     
  5. Win Joy Jr

    Win Joy Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Is it a powered sub? Depending on the run length, you may wish to consider shielded for the sub cable. To make it as cost effective as you can, you may wish to consider using RG-6 coax with F to RCA adapters on each end.
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Some more advice:

    - Run 3 sets of speaker wires to the rears. (That rear-center channel is becoming popular).

    - Run RG6 wire in case you might put a subwoofer back there, or to power a separate amp to drive "Bass Shakers" under the couch. BUT: Separate the powered speaker wires from the un-powered RG6.

    - Run all the wires through electrical outlet box's, but DONT cut the wires to install face-plates. Pull enough wire to create a un-broken wire from amp-> speakers. Buy blank wall-plates and drill holes and thread wires through. Later, you can cut the wires and install face-plates with binding posts if you really want.

    - Label Label Label - put 3 labels on each end of each wire at 1, 2 & 3 feet from the end. You can use "LR, RR, RC", or a simple R1, R2, R3 scheme. When the wire is pulled, put more lables where the wires emerge from the outlet box's and then shove a few inches of wire back into the box to give you slack. Radio Shack makes some cable-labels that have tape that wraps over the writable part. If not, make sure to wrap your lables with wide scotch tape or the writing will fade over time.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Kurt_M

    Kurt_M Auditioning

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    Having never had a HT before I am definitely a newbie but have been reading on this forum and checking out others pictures. After reading this simple post I found I know less than I thought.

    I am currently in the process of finishing my basement and thought I was done with the wiring. My question is does a subwoofer take a different wire than standard 12 gauge like the rest of the speakers? The reply from Bob above states to run RG6.
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  9. John Walker

    John Walker Agent

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    My understanding is wire installed in a wall must be FT4 (fire rating) to meet code.

    Whether or not your local code requires this or you just want to run "speaker wire" is up to you. If your in a multi-dwelling unit (townhouse etc) you could be liable.

    Its pretty cheap to use the right wire.

    John
     

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