A Couple Questions on Cables

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by KenD, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. KenD

    KenD Auditioning

    Apr 15, 2004
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    I am in the process of researching/purchasing my cables and wires for my new home.....and i had a couple questions:

    I know i want 14 gauge/ 4 conducter for all of my speakers throughout the house...but should i change the wiring for my main speakers in my media room?

    Will it degrade my signal if i terminate the speaker cables at a wallplate and then plug the speakers into the wallplate (as opposed to just running the wires from a wallplate with a hole straight to the speakers)

    What is the difference, if any, between terminating an RG6 coax in a "crimp" style as opposed to a "compression" style. I am starting to see both types..and was just wondering if there is any loss or benefit.

    Who are some of the more accepted or reliable producers of bulk cable? or is it just better to stick with Belden for coax/Cat6 and someone like Monster for audio?

    any and all thoughts/answers are appreciated...
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi Ken. Welcome to HTF!

    Are you going to twist 2 of the wires in the 4-conductor bundle together to make each wire? I think this gives you an effective 10 ga wire which is a bit of over-kill, but many custom install systems do this so it should work fine.

    In general, you need THICKER wire for long runs, and can get away with thinner wire for short runs. But since you are buying a spool of the 4-conductor stuff, why not use it for your main speakers? It should be fine.

    Note: If you are running in-wall, buy the CL3/In-Wall rated wires. Your local fire-codes may require it and it's not that much more expensive than the non-in-wall stuff.

    No. But in general - the fewer breaks in the wire, the better.

    Do this: Install plastic outlet box's and run wires through this. Pull enough wire to create a un-broken run between your electronics and speakers. Buy blank wall-plates and drill holes to fit the wires to give it a 'custom' look.

    Later, you can buy wall-plates with binding posts and cut the wires off near the box for the look of the thing.

    Doing this gives you the best of both worlds: un-broken run for now, flexability in the future.


    A crimp tool is the more common/acceptable way of connecting RCA and BNC ends to coax. I usually only see talk about a 'Compression' fitting for CATV "F" connectors. And this is for outdoor use using connectors with rubber gaskets to make a weather-proof seal. This is not usually an issue for indoor interconnects.

    This link to Chris White's Website: How to make your own cables is a favorite of mine to show you how to do it right.

    Both Canare and Belden make wonderful coax. I prefer the Canare stuff because the same company will sell you coax, strippers, plugs, crimp-dies that are machined to work together. The problem is, a basic Canare set of tools will run you about $300.

    If you go to the Belden website and look for the "Connector Cross Reference" chart, you can find other brands of RCA plugs that work with Belden. Then you go to those sites to learn about how to strip and what dimensions the crimps need to be to fit. Then you shop around for crimp-dies.

    Note: The Canare RCA plugs tend to be a favorite among cable-builders. A Canare cable with Canare plugs was used for the "Secrets of Home Theater: Progressive scan DVD player shootout". The video-analysis equipment was so sensitive that readings would change if cables were moved or connectors were touched. The Canare cable and plugs were found to be the most stable and this was used for all testing.

    Note: Cables dont have to be $$$. The custom cable web sites tend to all follow the formula in Chris White's web site and prices start at about $50 for a good component cable. It's often easier to just order custom interconnects for a single system. Check out the prices (links at the top of the Tweeks page) before you commit to buying bulk coax & tools.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

    May 10, 1999
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    a perverse questioner might ask, does Monster actually make their own cable, or do they repackage Belden, Canare, or someone else? I have no idea.

    At work, we've got miles of Belden RG-59 and RG-6 running all over the place. No single run exceeds 1500' - I think. We use BNC connectors in general for video; audio tends to depend upon the hardware. (Some screw terminal, some XLR, some RCA, some 1/4"...)

    This probably doesn't help you much...

    Leo Kerr

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