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2 or 4 conductor speaker wire?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by David_Anton, May 4, 2005.

  1. David_Anton

    David_Anton New Member

    Jan 26, 2005
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    New to the forum and the whole HT scene and have a few questions.

    I am building a new house soon and I am planning on putting a surround sound system in my family room for movie/TV watching. My question for this forum is 2 or 4 conductor speaker wire? I will more than likely be going with Monster THX 14 gauge wire. I just don't know if I need 2 or 4 conductors. The wire will be going from my reciever location to each seperate speaker location, so I can't see a need for the 4 condutors but read somewhere that with new construction you should always go with 4 conductor wire and would like to know why. The room is a family room at the back of the house and measure 18' x 12'.

    Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.


  2. SteveLeach

    SteveLeach Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2003
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    I think the consensus is for runs under 50 feet, 14ga is fine. Any runs over should use 12ga. I ran 12ga every where, it was one less thing to worry about. If you run 14ga 4 conductor, and splice the conductors together to get a single pair of conductors, you have the equivalent of something like 11.5ga wire.
    One of the benefits of running an extra pair of conductors to every speaker location is, some day you'll go to hang a picture or sound treatment or whatever and cut through one of the conductors. No problem, the spare is all ready in the wall. This also lets you do A to B comparisons with new speakers when the upgrade bug bites.
    Hope this helps.
  3. John_Stra

    John_Stra Member

    May 10, 2004
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    I agree better safe if you damage one of the wires. I usually use 16ga for short in ceiling speaker runs and 14ga for longer assuming the house is not a monster. Typically installations will have an in wall volume control(s) which requires 4 cond and it is cheaper to buy in bulk 1 kind.

  4. Bryce_H

    Bryce_H Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2004
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    I ran 12gauge 4 conductor to all my speaker locations. mostly because I could and it is so much easier before drywall. This will also allow me to bi-wire my front speakers (L,C,R) and have an additional pair in the rear. That way if I ever add additional speakers (already wired for a 7.1) I have wire at least run from my receiver to the location - just a matter of splicing on the extra length at that point.

    I like to A/B comparison idea!
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 1999
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    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Four-conductor wire can be more efficient and inexpensive than two-conductor. For instance, if it’s 25 ft. from the receiver to the rear speakers, and 15 ft. between the two rear speakers, you would use 50 ft. of two-conductor wire from the receiver to each speaker. However, if you ran four-conductor to the first speaker, then from there to the second speaker, you’d need only 40 ft. of wire.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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