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Using RG6 or RG59 as in-wall speaker wire


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3 replies to this topic

#1 of 4 OFFLINE   rdarvish

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Posted May 23 2009 - 04:23 PM

I am in process of finishing my basement and decided to pre wire for 7.1 home theater. Unfortunately I had bought 250' spool of 16 gauge in wall speaker wire and ran average 30-35' for front and center and 8-20' for the back and surround speakers and 45' for the Sub woofer. After reading some of the threads here I became concerned that the 16 gauge in-wall wire may not be right gauge for the length of runs. I also read that I could use coax cable for sub woofer. is this true? I have tones of coax left over from cox, Direct TV and verizon installation. Can I use them instead of speaker wire in wall.

Thanks

#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Alfonso_M

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Posted May 23 2009 - 06:56 PM

If your sub is powered (built in amp), then you can use RG6 cable to send the signal from your receiver's 'Sub out' to the Sub's input, if you sub is passive (external amp) then you need speaker wire.

The easiest and inexpensive way to use RG6 for sub installation is to crimp your standard F connectors on it as with CableTV/Sat installation, and then find two adapters F-female --> to RCA for each end, last I checked they were available at your local Radio Shack, if not online.( I believe many subs have two RCA inputs, you can use a 'Y' RCA Splitter adapter if you wish but I believe it doesn't make any difference)

The other way is to crimp RCA connectors directly on the RG6 cable, but for this method you'll need the correct RCA connectors with matching crimp tool that will match your surplus RG6 cable, as brands differ in many ways.

For the rest of the speakers, AFAIK you need speaker cable.I used 12 GA.

I hope this helps, I'm sure other will jump in...

#3 of 4 OFFLINE   Roy C.

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Posted May 24 2009 - 05:04 AM

I agree with Alfonso on the sub cable run. I ran RG6 over 40 feet and crimped it on f-type connectors and bought the f to rca adapters. It did a great job!!

As far as running speaker cables I would have opted to go with a lower gauge like 14 or even 12 due to length, as well as quality. I ran my own wires to all my speaker locations and ended up using over 1000' of 12-gauge wire. I also used CAT5e for some of the S-video, RCA and odd connections (network, X10). I would always exceed the minimum requirements for gauge if you can afford it. This will ensure you can make changes or upgrades in the future without having to pull new stuff...

Good luck!
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#4 of 4 OFFLINE   Stephen Tu

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Posted May 24 2009 - 10:09 AM

Since you've already run the 16 gauge, just use it. It'll probably be fine, if your speakers aren't abnormally low impedance designs.