help - confused over wiring

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ThomasV, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. ThomasV

    ThomasV Auditioning

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    HEEEELLLLLLPPPP!!

    boy am i ever confused now - while my walls are down I want to wire for surround sound - i like the Kenwood 504 or 505 and will probably buy that.

    I am confused over the wiring - i am trying to decide between monster and or generic. I don't think the salesman in either Radio shack or HD showed me the right stuff as their 12 ga looked kinda thin.

    I looked at moster Xp XPHP and and the original (Now on sale in EBAY) but it all looks like 14 awg - I want the 12 ga to be safe (My longest run will be about 40 ft all in-wall) - i am so confused over all the different types i don't know which to get now - if XPHP is the best i don't mind spending the $129 a roll of 100 foot - but if original is better then I will get it off ebay (but it is marked 14 ga) (XP is 80 bucks a roll- but it sems to be the lowest grade) - will I ever know the difference.

    I went on AR site and saw their 12 ga too ---a HT sotre told me they use this thin 14 ga stuff from LIBERTY - looked like crap but he swore by it) now i am more confused.

    another thing - i want to terminate all wire into a NILES 8 port 5 way jack so i can use any connector - i see the same thing in HD which is gold plated - are they just as good (same price it works out and I don't have to mail order)

    how do you guys connect these to your speakers when they have spring clips - do you use a bannana clip from the wall plate and strip the wire into the speaker?

    I want to do this right - but am very confused - any tips would help - thanks
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

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    Thomas,
     
  3. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Attaching 12gauge wire to springclip spkr posts the traditional way wud be LIGHTLY solder tinning a stripped 1/2inch of wire. Or there are gold-plated pins online HERE and fairly cheap.
    Some say Monster XP or XPHD of which you require the inwall CL3 rated, are overkill and $$$ for rear surrounds; and you're right, it's closer to 14gauge than 12gauge.
    For utilitarian inwall wire, I just got a 100-foot bundle of Carol 12/2 (CL3) for $21 from www.partsexpress.com w/ 5-day service. Others will say use 12/4 four conductor to be future proof for rear center speakers. Unfort. partsexpress now offers only 14/4 in bulk.
    If you go HD or RS 12gauge, make sure it's CL3 or possibly CL2. (I understand CL3 is PVC sheathed for use in open plenums or HVAC duct shafts, to minimize toxic gases in case of fire being drawn thru the plenum).
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Welcome! I'm glad that the walls are down. You must get wiring that is rated for in-wall use(The CL kind) or you're violating a building code. I think it also has to be at least 14" from the nearest 110v AC wiring.

    If something should come up in the future and you want to replace it, it might be easier if you got some PVC pipe and ran it through that. This way, if you yanked it there would be less likely of a chance that one end would get snagged on something, which would be a nightmare, in my opinion.

    Glenn
     
  5. ThomasV

    ThomasV Auditioning

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    Thanks for the replies, really am trying hard to get 12 ga and want the Monster in-wall - i only found it at cruchfields and it seems rather expensive - it seems amazing that all of these stores I call are trying to sell me the 14 ga and say I don't need 12. Some of these places do all of their instals with 14 ga and say hey are fine for even long runs.

    I am sold on Monster if only because I am so confused and somehow feel more secure that it won't turn gren or corrode. If I don't fing the 12-ga - the 14-4 seems cheap enough - what do any of you think about getting 14-4 and doubling up on the pairs? You could always be prepared for the future as well should I decide to use volume controls later on.

    Thanks
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Thomas: 14 ga will be fine.

    They HAVE found that longer runs of thinner wire produces a slight roll-off effect. But to experience this they had:

    - Some very accurate panel speakers

    - 300 watts per channel external amps per speaker

    - Using 2 channel CD music that the reviewer was VERY familar with so he was very sensitive to slight changes.

    The rear sounds for a DVD movie contain MUCH less information. I doubt you could notice the difference between 12 and 14 ga wire with a DVD.

    Other Advice: Run the speaker wires through electrical outlet box's on both ends. Pull enough wire to reach from your receiver to your speakers and a few extra feet of slack.

    Inside the studs, do some loose zig-zags with the wire and tack up with insulated staples nailed in about half way. If you need more slack later, you tug and pop the first staple to give you about 8" more wire. Tug again for more.

    Let them put up sheatrock.

    Buy blank face-plates and drill holes. Thread the wires through these face-places. This will give you a nice, clean look. Later, you can cut the wires off at the wall and install those nice Niles faceplates. You dont need to do it right now, but the electrical box's give you the ability to do it later. Best of both worlds.

    Also, run 3 sets of wires to the rear. You may want to add a rear-center speaker in the future.

    You wont regret having the extra wires installed.

    You might also check out the "Building a Home Theater Area" fourm for other advice. Go back 20-30 days to see others in your same situation and see what they were told.

    Good Luck.
     
  7. Greg Szczyrbak

    Greg Szczyrbak Auditioning

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    You can get 12 awg in wall wire by the foot at Home Depot or Lowes or other Hardware stores.
     
  8. ThomasV

    ThomasV Auditioning

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    OK - I think i have made up my mind - for the money - I may just get the SOUND KING brand 12 ga - it looks sturdy and everyone here seems to like it - has anyone here had any bad experiences with it I should be aware of?

    I did find the 12 ga MOnster but it would have to be ordered and it looks like the same construction as sound king. I am not sure if the Sound king is twisted or rated the same for interference but it seems good enough for everyone else - so why not - I am not an audophile and would never know the difference.
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Uhhhhh There is a issue.

    Some people say that if you have a house fire and the insurance company learns the wire is not in-wall rated, they can refuse your claim.

    While I have never heard of this really happening, I do know that insurance companies are NOT in the business of paying claims and they have lots of laywers.

    I'm not sure if Sound King is in-wall rated, but I believe Parts Express does carry some.
     
  10. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Thomas,
    if you're running wire through your walls, make sure to get in-wall CL3 rated wire as Bob points out. The extra cost is minimal.
    In addition, for future support of two more rear speakers you may want to run 4 conductor wire to each surround location. It really depends on how you run it. If you're running it right to where the speaker will always be and it'll never move much then running 2 conductor is fine. You want to make two extra runs to where you might put two more rear speakers and somehow bundle the access inside the wall - if building code allows that. If you're planning on just running the wire to binding post face plate locations and then running a patch cable to your speaker, then you could wire up support for two rear speakers on both "sides" - L and R. In this case, you'd use the 4 conductor cable.
    www.audioadvisor.com sells some Acoustic Research 2 and 4 conductor CL3 rated speaker cable that I use and it works fine for me.
    As for binding post face plates - I use them mainly because it allows future flexibility in placement of speakers and receiver in all of my rooms. wire molding takes care of any patch cables that look a bit messy. I picked up mine at Radio Shack - an 8 post face plate was $20.
    good luck,
    --tom
     
  11. ThomasV

    ThomasV Auditioning

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    Thanks again for all the tips. I must say I went shopping last night and found the CAROL 12/2 CL2 and 3 wire (same as sold in SOUND KING) everyone talks about - then i compared it to MOnsters s14-2 and 4 conductor in wall rated wire. I must say MOnster is constructed much better. The outer tubing is much thicker than the cheap PVC I see on the Carol brand. Since I am running this in walls and into attic space I have FINALLY made up my mind and am going to get the Monster. I found 14/2 for 40 cents a fot and 14-4 for .60 so I will go with the 14-4 and run the extras as you have all suggested.

    I figure I always have the option of using both pairs as one wire if I needed the extra copper, and I am wired for the future in case I need volume controls later on.

    I am still not sure about the binding posts yet. I may just use the wall plate and drill a hole for now - i can always change them later on as Bob suggested if I don't like the look.

    I really can't believe the sleep I lost over this the past few nights. I am starting to take this too seriously. I started ripping down the walls to re-insulate to adding a fireplace and now surround sound. Its a good thing the fam room is on a slab - or I would have considered an indoor pool next!!!!! Imagine that - relaxing in the pool on a cold winters night with the fireplace burning and ears pounding to the roar of armegeddan.

    I have been loking at systems too and i really like the Kenwood 504 - the 505 is the replacement and will be out soon - I will definitley be getting one. I will probably get a separate DVD player as I do not like the all in ones (too many components to break) if anyone has any they can recommend that are priced reasonable please share.

    Thanks again

    Tom
     
  12. JasonKrol

    JasonKrol Supporting Actor

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    it seems like alot of people like the Panasonic RP-56 Progressive scan dvd player (progressive only in HDTVs). I havent heard a bad thing about it, and Im strongly considering it to be my next upgrade. If you dont have an HDTV, its still a great player, and has progressive so if you decide to upgrade the tv, your all set!

    Cost is I think 220.00 (and almost everyone has them)

    There is also the Panasonic RP-91 which is much higher in prices and options. i think the main difference is the 91 supports SACD and/or DVD-A.

    You need to evaluate what you want from the DVD player. Do you want DVD-A/SACD capabilities? progressive scan? etc.

    Good luck..sounds like your shaping up to have a nice theater!!
     
  13. Jeff Bamberger

    Jeff Bamberger Second Unit

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