Has anyone ever used CAT-5 for speaker connections?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by John_Berger, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Here's why I ask. I'm getting rid of my wireless speakers that I use for my PC's surround. (I just love how I'm nowhere near line-of-sight between the transmitter and speakers, which are only about 4' away from each other, but just moving creates static!)

    I'm going to run wires through the floor (I love open-ceiling basements!) to connect to the speakers that originally came with my 4.1 system. I have higher-quality speaker cable, but this is for basic usage and the occasional DVD watching. I use my REAL home theater system for serious DVD watching.

    Since CAT-5 is four-pair, I was thinking of using two pairs per speaker (2 wires for positive, 2 wires for negative, times two speakers per cable) and running one CAT-5 cable instead of two, much-thicker speaker cables. We're only talking about a distance of roughly 8' MAX.

    Has anyone tried this? Good results? Bad results? Keep in mind that I'm not an audiophile, so I'm looking more for "will this work and still sound good?" [​IMG]
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Go for it.
     
  3. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I'll take that as a "yes". [​IMG]
     
  4. adamKI

    adamKI Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's the only real-world example of cat-5 as speaker cable that I've run across on this forum.

    It's a little more exotic than what you're proposing, but it's been done!
     
  5. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Wow! That is definitely more exotic than what I want to do, but that's pretty damned impressive!
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i know this is just a secondary system, but isn't cat-5 wiring (even doubled up) a touch too thin?

    i mean, you don't need to run 12g to the speakers, but it just seems like if you're gonna wire it, may as well wire it correctly???
     
  7. Brendan_Lewis

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    Cat-5 will work, but just one strand will have a higher impedance since it's small gauge. All the DIY cat-5 cables recommend braiding 3 strands, which is a lot of work.

    You can get a spool of nice structural wiring from partsexpress.com for not a ton of money and it will be 12 ga.

    100 ft. of 12 Ga 2 conductor jacket wiring is $20.
     

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