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Cheap, bulk speaker cable


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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 Mark M. Smith

Mark M. Smith

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Posted August 15 2005 - 05:24 PM

When buying cheap, bulk 12 gauge wire from the hardware store to hook up my speakers is there anything special that I need to look for? Well, unless it was for in-wall use of course (and this isn't). Since it typically doesn't list anything about using it for connecting speakers I want to be certain that I'm not accidentally picking up the wrong cabling.

#2 of 7 Jack Briggs

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Posted August 16 2005 - 03:26 AM

The 12 gauge you're looking at sounds fine. No need for expensive "brand name" wires.

#3 of 7 Dave Poehlman

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Posted August 16 2005 - 05:55 AM

FYI, I once bought a 100' spool of cheap Magnavox wire from my local warehouse home improvement store. When I got it home.. I realized the polarity wasn't marked on it anywhere! Usually they give you a stripe or one lead will be silver colored... but this had nothing which can be a PITA if you have a long run to do.

#4 of 7 Mark M. Smith

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Posted August 16 2005 - 07:34 AM

I'm not worried about "brand name" wire. I just want to be certain I'm purchasing the right type of wire, not something that is designed for some other purpose that would not be compatible with wiring up speakers.

#5 of 7 Jack Briggs

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Posted August 16 2005 - 09:13 AM

Mark, zip cord is zip cord. It will do the job.

#6 of 7 Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted August 16 2005 - 10:22 AM

Mark,

Jack is right. Aside from in-wall, speaker wire is nothing but zip cord – i.e., a larger version of your basic lamp cord. It doesn’t even have to be designated for speakers. For instance, I’ve used the black zip cord they designate for outdoor low voltage lighting. Works fine.

About the only benefit you get from so-called speaker wire is that the better stuff has a high strand count and a nice supple jacket. That makes the cable easy to bend and it lies on the floor nice and pretty and flat (cheaper low-strand count cable will tend to kink easier). Of course you pay more for those features.

So you do get some tangible benefit from some designated speaker cable, even if it isn’t really performance related.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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#7 of 7 Mark M. Smith

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Posted August 17 2005 - 04:15 AM

Ah, that's what I had originally thought. That wire is wire. I just wanted to be certain. Thanks for the info.