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Problems with 12G HD speaker wire

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Eric R C, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Eric R C

    Eric R C Active Member

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    I purchased a spool of 12G speaker wire from Home Depot and I had the hardest time installing it. I have a Pioneer receiver VSX-811 and Pioneer satellite speakers with the tab type spring loaded connectors. After stripping enough of the thick rubber insulation from the copper I was not able to attach it to the binding post and have them stay in place. The copper would slip out of the binding post after it was screwed down. I also had a problem with how thick the insulation was with regards the closeness of each terminal and the limitations of space. Has anyone successfully used the HD 12G speaker ware that would have tips on its use?
     
  2. John Walker

    John Walker Active Member

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    If you screwed down the binding posts and the wire fell out it sounds like you tried putting it in the banana plug hole in the end of the post. Don't laugh my wife did this several times before I figured out what she was doing wrong (over the phone). Unscrew the post and place the wire UNDER the post nut. Some posts have a tiny hole for the wire to go through, others expect you to place the wire beside the threaded post and have it clamped by the nut when you tighten it.

    As for your speakers with spring terminals the best thing I found with larger wire was to not twist it up tight but rather leave it fairly loose so the spring can squeeze it slightly. If that doesn't work you might try putting pin ends on your wires. They are kind of like banana plugs but only about 1.5mm in diameter.

    John
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Well-Known Member

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    Pin Connectors work well in the spring-clips. Go to Radio Shack and look at the 2xx-306 (?) pin connectors. These things take 12 ga and make it easy to do a neat connection.

    You can use thinner wire for the shorter runs to your center and L/R speakers. You want the thicker stuff for the longer runs to the rears.

    WARNING: It's very important to do a NEAT speaker wireing job. Loose strands of copper are a short-circuit waiting to happen.
     
  4. Eric R C

    Eric R C Active Member

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    Thanks guys!

    John I was screwing the nut down on the wire, that is were i was having a problem. The wire would have a hard time staying under the nut esp. with the thick rubber insulation.
     
  5. Scott Kriefall

    Scott Kriefall Well-Known Member

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    If the insulation was getting in the way, then you should strip more insulation -- take off enough so that there is only wire (no insulation) at any point underneath the nut. And definitely run the wire through the center hole (if there is one); I've found that helps to hold the wire in place.
     
  6. Eric R C

    Eric R C Active Member

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    P.S. My room is only 10x15. My longest run would be
     
  7. Eric R C

    Eric R C Active Member

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  8. John Walker

    John Walker Active Member

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    I've got a pair of quality mains that just don't seem to hold a wire tight. Sure its tight when you crank the nut but if you pull on the wire even a little it is loose again. I am going to move to banana plugs on these speaker wires (at the speaker end).

    Although connecting wires to set screws in banana plugs then banana plugs to binding posts seems inefficent with all the metal to (dissimilar?) metal junctions, the alternative is a loose connection.

    If you can use banana plugs on your receiver you might want to consider that option too.

    John
     
  9. Scott Kriefall

    Scott Kriefall Well-Known Member

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    I've moved to banana plugs on most of my speakers within the past year. My reasons for doing so weren't due to loose bare-wire connections, however, but instead were to allow for easier disconnection and reconnection when moving speakers.

    And regarding appropriate wire gauge, I suspect my opinion on this may differ from that expressed by many other HTF readers. For a 30-foot run, I think you'll be fine with 16 gauge -- although I'd try to use 14 gauge if it's not too intrusive. And if you have the ability to hide 12 gauge -- or route it through walls or underneath the floor -- then do that, as you'll be less likely to worry about "what ifs" and it's not much more expensive.
     
  10. John Walker

    John Walker Active Member

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    Scott

    Good point on the ease of connecting and disconnecting. I took that one for granted.

    This is very useful for me now that I am trying different speaker setups. I can easily move the REARS to SPEAKER B on the receiver and A/B them against the MAINS.

    PS I am using 14 gauge for the REARS and I am sure it is way overkill (runs to 30'). The tiny bookcase speakers I am using and the fairly low volume levels (RX-V1300 @ -40db uncalibrated) my wife and I enjoy most movies/TV at could probably be satistied with 22 gauge! However I am intending to install the wires in the walls and backside of the baseboards this winter so I opted for in-wall wire. In-wall is only available locally in 18, 16 and 14 gauge. The cost difference is insignificant for two 30' runs and when I go to all the effort to open walls etc I might as well "go big".

    John
     

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