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Building my own cables? (1 Viewer)

Bruce White

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 5, 2001
Real Name
OK, I believe I'm only a few weeks away from actually setting up my HT. In June of 2001, we began an addition to our home. I bought my speakers about 2 months into the project and still haven't hooked them up yet! I'll be installing the flooring in the new room that will have my HT and now I need to figure out what cables/connections I need.

I did in-wall wiring for the rear surrounds using 12 ga. wire as recommended in various HT groups. My speakers are Paradigm Atoms for the rear, Mini-monitors for the front, CC-370 for the center, and PSB-12 for the sub.

How do I hook up these speakers to my receiver? What kind of connectors do I need? What do I run from my receiver to the wall outlet leading to my rear surrounds and what do I run on the other end between the rears and the wall outlets?

My receiver is an Integra 5.2. My DVD player is a Panasonic RP91. My VCR is an older Phillips, so ignore. My TV is currently a cheap Phillips, but soon to be replaced by a Mitsubishi 55809 or 55819.

What kind of cables/connectors do I need for connecting the receiver, DVD, VCR, and TV together? What do I connect to what?

I've heard/read that building your own cables is less expensive than purchasing them and that they work just as well. Feel free to correct me on that, if necessary.

I'm looking for build advice or purchase advice.

All help will be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
May 22, 1999
Lets do this step by step:
Speakers: You run 12 ga speaker wire from the speaker output terminals to the wall plates.
Suggestion: go to Radio Shack and buy a single set of their Dual Banana plugs, part # xxx-308. Take it home and see if your receiver/speakers/wall plates have the right spacing to use them. They make it easy to do a neat wireing job.
Subwoofer: Any good cable with RCA plugs on the ends will work for the sub. If you cannot buy one for under $50 locally, try one of the custom sites.
DVD -> receiver (coaxial digital): The specification calls for a Video cable for the coaxial digital connection. The AR brand from Best Buy or Radio Shack will work fine.
DVD -> TV: Here is the only place you need/want a really good cable. Try the custom sites for the Canare/Belden cables that the DIY guys love. Remember the 10% rule: plan to spend 10% of your TV price on a cable. Spending less is considered a good value.
There are several custom sites that will build you the Canare/Belden cables for much less than the high-end Monster cables:
www.ebay.com (search for "Canare")
Link Removed
I also suggest you run SVideo cables from EVERY other source to the receiver, then a single SVideo cable from the receiver to the TV.
Leaving the TV set to see the SVideo feed puts the receiver in charge of all audio/video switching. This makes the system easy to use.
But when you sit down to some serious DVD watching, take the extra step and flip the TV to see the direct DVD feed.
Other Advice:
Put the receiver on the BOTTOM of your rack. This allows the speaker wires to flow out and not hide the other equipment.
Put the DVD/VCR (items you touch) up high in the rack so you dont have to bend. Put other stuff (dss/catv box) in the middle).
Hope this helps.

Mark Rich

Second Unit
Oct 24, 2001
If you decide to go with a custom cable maker here are a few others that are worth looking at. Some can supply all your cable for one stop shopping:


and of course lets not forget Bettercables.com

Bruce White

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 5, 2001
Real Name
Thanks for the great suggestions! :)
I think I won't try to make most of my own cables, but will order from one of the custom places.
However, I think I'll make the cables from my wall outlets to my rear surround speakers.
Bob E., you said to use banana plugs. The wall box out of which my speaker cables are hanging is just a single gang outlet box. I assume I can get a cover plate with banana plugs receivers at Radio Shack or Home Depot. Is there any special trick to attaching the banana plugs to the speaker cable? Any website that shows how to do this?

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