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Speaker wire


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Adam_Bailey

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Posted February 17 2003 - 06:37 AM

I need to wire my room for speakers, I have energy c5's in the front and a denon amp, so just midgrade stuff. The runs will be about 15-20 feet at the most through the walls and cieling. I'm going to be real careful not to get them too close to electrical wires. The question is, what cable should I use? I was thinking just getting 12 gauge speaker wire from home depot, rather then paying 5 times as much for monster cable, any reason why I shouldn't?

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Charles Gurganus

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Posted February 17 2003 - 06:50 AM

Nope, no reason at all. I have good luck with the Acoustic Research 12 gauge in rolls of 50ft. The HD stuff should be fine as well.
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#3 of 22 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted February 17 2003 - 08:40 AM

you'll need CL2/3 rated wire to go into the walls or ceiling. HD should have something for you.

#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

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Posted February 17 2003 - 02:47 PM

Parts Express has 12AWG in wall rated double jacketed (individual color coded insulation jackets for each cable and a grey jacket going around both) for noticeably less than their sounking 12AWG cable, which is comparable to the 12AWG HD stuff.

I was planning on purchasing the PE IN Wall until I got a hold of a couple of rolls of different colored single conductor 12AWG cable and decided to make my own DIY cables using Techflex and Heatshrink tubing.

If you're interested, i could make you cables w/ or w/out techflex in custom lengths for a little less than the HD stuff (around 20 cents a foot). Email me if you're interested.

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#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted February 17 2003 - 05:01 PM

No matter what cable you buy or use.. If it is going inside the wall it HAS to be CL-2/CL-3 otherwise (god forbid) if a fire ever took place when the Fire Marshall saw non code spec wire in the wall guess what happens.... Your insurance company says tough luck... I ran Radio Shack Najaho White CL-2 16AWG for my rears and it works fine for surround duty.. Now if you are running Multichannel sources (DVD-A and SACD) and are worried about the best quality do stick with a 12Awg conductor but still make certain it is a UL Listed CL-2 or CL-3 as per building code.
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#6 of 22 OFFLINE   RodionSteshenko

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Posted February 18 2003 - 05:04 AM

Does no one else have an opinion on this matter? I mean, how much do you really gain using "high quality" (ie, expensive) speaker wire such as that made by Kimber, Cobalt, or Monster? I know that in the computer industry, stores like CompUSA make a good deal of their profits overcharging for crap like gold-plated printer and USB cables, and I'm wondering if the speaker industry is the same. Thanks. Rodion

#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Paul Gere

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Posted February 18 2003 - 06:39 AM

FWIW the Home Depot 12AWG speaker cable is CL-2 rated. Works great for my surrounds and subs.

#8 of 22 OFFLINE   JamieS

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Posted February 18 2003 - 07:01 AM

I am no expert but I did notice a difference when I to a thicker cable just Lightning brand from my local shop noting expensive. As long as it is decent heavy aguge I doubt you will notice a difference with mid range gear especially in long runs for surrounds. If you have a 1000 dollar amp I doubt that spending $500 on cables will be a worthwile improvemnt in sound. Just my thoughts

#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Rob Rodier

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Posted February 18 2003 - 07:29 AM

[quote] Does no one else have an opinion on this matter? [quote]

Run a search. Everyone has an opinion on this!

-rob

#10 of 22 OFFLINE   RodionSteshenko

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Posted February 18 2003 - 08:28 AM

I tried searching but found nothing good. Perhaps a poll or something of the sort is in order. I mean, everyone who owns speakers has to own speaker cables, and if you're putting more than $1000 into spakers, I'd hope you have an opinion on the matter. Simply put, do you want to or have you put money into brand name speaker cables and if so, have you noticed a signifant difference that can justify the extra cost? Rodion

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   glenn.arsenault

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Posted February 18 2003 - 08:30 AM

Some people will say better cables (more expensive) produce better sound, others will scream "snake oil". Personally, I have heard differences in both interconnects and speaker wire. I finally settled on a wire that sounded best to me and offered the best value to me. At some point there will always be the Law of Diminishing Returns. In my 2 channel tube system, I found theat DH Labs was the best sound vs dollar fit.
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#12 of 22 OFFLINE   Rob Rodier

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Posted February 18 2003 - 09:09 AM

I would recommend a decent pair of bi-wire cables. MIT, IXOS, Tributaries etc. I went to a a pair of IXOS 4x14 biwire (plugs on amp side, spades on speaker side) from 12 ga time-correct monster and was pleased. Of course there is going to be 15 people teling me I am crazy, citing all types of irrelevant DBT data. Find a place with a good return policy. -rob

#13 of 22 OFFLINE   Leon O

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Posted February 18 2003 - 10:19 AM

Adam, The "rule of thumb" that I see quite often is that you should spend about 10% of the price of your system on your system cables. Good Luck!

#14 of 22 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted February 18 2003 - 11:44 AM

Rodion, there has yet to be demonstrated, under controlled, unsighted, level matched conditions, the ability of people to discern one wire from another. This leads to the general statement, if two wires are approximately the same length and gauge, there is no audible difference between the two. However, if for some reason, you prefer wires being made a certain way, knock yourself out and help the kind folk out at Kimber, et al. You're far better off taking the money you'd drop in wires towards better speakers.

#15 of 22 OFFLINE   RodionSteshenko

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Posted February 18 2003 - 12:16 PM

I wonder why there aren't any good comparisons coming out in the audiophile mags. I mean, it seems like it'd be a better service than always saying "Speakers A is as good as speakers that cost 13 times as much" but not saying what speakers (so I just assume they mean Bose, the scape goat for crappy speakers in every audio forum I know). I'll just spend the money I save on some grade-A swag -- err, I mean weed. Rodion

#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted February 18 2003 - 12:29 PM

Some speaker cables with 'networks' (i.e. filters) such as MIT and Transparent will alter the sound. IMO this is spending a lot of $$$ to alter the purity of the signal. Personally, I used to have rather expensive ($500/8ft) AudioQuest speaker cable in my HT. I've also auditioned $15k speaker cable. A few friends and I ran a blind A/B comparison between 5 different cables ($15k through zip cord) on his high end system (Aerial/Classe) and no one could reliably tell a difference (i.e. the results were totally random). I sold my expensive cable the next day and spent it on some CDs and DVDs. RGB video cable (300Mhz) on the other hand....

#17 of 22 OFFLINE   Bryan_Tams

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Posted February 19 2003 - 12:46 AM

Is there much difference pushing sound through 14 ga wire vs. 16 ga wire? Meaning does it take alot more from your AMP to get the same volume level with the differnce wire? Also is there a big difference between running 6ft or 12ft? Thanks.

#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Andy Young

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Posted February 19 2003 - 06:50 AM

Just stick with 12 or 14 ga. The money you'd save by going with 16 gauge is pennies on the dollar. I use Liberty ExtraFlex 14 ga. for my surrounds (~25 foot runs). I use Liberty UltraCap 12 ga. for my center and mains (3-6 ft). I use Liberty Z-300 interconnect for my Sub (6 m). OneCall had the 14 ga. for around $0.25 per foot and the 12 ga. for around $0.90 per foot. All the wires are CL3/FT4 approved. Good stuff from a reputable manufacturer at very low prices. I've found Liberty Cables to be an extremely good value for wire and interconnects. Good Luck.

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Joe Ferreira

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Posted February 19 2003 - 08:37 AM

Hey someone is selling "custom" lengths of speaker wire in the For Sale forum. He says that it's 12AWG and rated to be placed inside walls. I don't know the guy, so it's a judgement call.
"Before you make fun of someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you make fun of them, you are a mile away and you have their shoes."

#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Adam_Bailey

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Posted February 20 2003 - 02:37 PM

Thanks everyone for the input. I ended up buying the 12 guage home depot stuff. Quick question for Paule Gere; you say the 12 AWG is cl-2 rated? Do you know if at the various stores they sell more then one kind of 12 gauge wire? The stuff I bought is clear. I didn't see any of the "in wall" kind any bigger then 16. The guys there, not that theres any reason they'd be an ultra reliable source, said that the clear kind I was getting was fine for running through the walls and thats what "most people" do. I hope it is cl-2 or that I don't have a fire!




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