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Extending speaker wire


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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 Michael Rogers

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Posted February 04 2009 - 03:02 PM

This sounds pretty basic but I can't seem to find couplers that would allow me to attach a length of twin lead speaker wire to another length of twin lead speaker wire that is too short to reach the target speaker (because replacing the entire speaker wire with something longer will involve more work in digging into my connections in very confined quarters which I hope to avoid).

A visit to Radio Shack's website doesn't seem to have something like this that I can identify. Or maybe I'm looking in the wrong place.

#2 of 6 Kevin Stewart

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Posted February 04 2009 - 06:25 PM

Well, folks may cringe at this, but last summer I needed to extend some speaker wire for my father. I stripped the ends of each (original and connector piece) and intertwined the ends together (red and black, separately). Then I wrapped each connection in black electrical tape and then wrapped them in electrical tape together, creating one solid piece. Obviously, where they're joined would be a bit thicker than the rest of the cable (and not look as nice), but in his case, that was going to be hidden anyway.
Worked like a charm.
"the dream never dies, just the dreamer"

#3 of 6 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted February 04 2009 - 09:36 PM

People generally do as Kevin suggested. Nobody makes any kind of "coupler" for this sort of application, because you generally have either bare wires or banana plugs going into the speakers. For bare wires you simply splice in another length of wire. For banana plugs you remove the banana plugs from the original piece of wire, splice in the new one, and connect the plugs to the "new" end. Some people prefer to solder the connections before wrapping them in electrical tape, others use shrink-wrap to insulate the new splices (they sell kits for this sort of thing at most electronic hobbyist outlets.) When I've had to do this in the past it has always been at a point where the connection could be easily concealed, so I went with wire nuts over the splices and some electrical tape to hold everything in place.

Regards,

Joe

#4 of 6 brandonchenry

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Posted February 05 2009 - 02:04 AM

I know speakers a low voltage, but I usually follow the same practices with all wire I am working with. Your probably having a hard time finding the right part because you are looking for something speakerwire specific. I would treat it like any stranded electrical wire.

If it is not visable, I usually use wire nuts because they are convenient and I have lots of them. The best looking option though would be butt connectors. They make crimp on butt connectors that are color coded to different wire sizes (yellow or blue prob. for you). You can also find butt connectors that have a couple of set screws to hold the wire (these are also sold by wire awg size). Any way you go, I reccomend some kind of mechanical fastner besides just tape. The tape goes on after the fact to make sure your connection stays insulated (shrinkwrap for more permanent jobs).

#5 of 6 Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 05 2009 - 04:11 AM

To do it properly, strip the ends, slip on enough shrink tubing to cover each splice, twist the ends together, solder, slip shrink tubing over the splice and apply heat.

#6 of 6 Michael Rogers

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Posted February 05 2009 - 07:43 AM

Thanks for the advice guys. The connection is hidden so neatness doesn't count. So I used electrical tape to bond the separate +/- connections and covered each with additional wide clear packing tape. Once I was satisfied that the separate +/- connections were individually covered and segregated from each other I applied clear packing tape to the entire connection.