Home Depot Clearing Out 12g Spkr Wire

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bob_Hammond, Nov 2, 2002.

  1. Bob_Hammond

    Bob_Hammond Agent

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    I was at Home Depot today to get speaker wire, and the lady said that they didn't sell 12g anymore, and had put it all on clearance. Turned out that they had 1 broken spool left and I got 150ft for $17. [​IMG]
    Bob
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Is this the inwall stuff of regular speaker wire? I just got 220ft and just ran a bunch of inwall.
     
  3. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Home Depot is so nice. Yesterday the guy gave me the rest of the spool so I got 40 feet of 16ga speaker wire when I only paid for 30 feet.

    Then he gave me 5 feet of 12ga flex speaker wire when I only paid for 3 feet.

    Nothing like $5 to get your system hooked up and sounding superb.
     
  4. Bob_Hammond

    Bob_Hammond Agent

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    It was the regular speaker wire.

    Bob
     
  5. Jason Price

    Jason Price Second Unit

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    Okay, stupid question - how do you tell the difference between the regular and in-wall? I recently bought a spool of 12GA from HD that I plan to use in-wall, but want to make sure it's the right stuff...
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    The regular wire has the clear (usually) insulator over each wire, with the two wires bonded together along the length of the wire.

    The inwall stuff that I have seen from Home Depot has a copper conductor with white insulation, and another conductor with black insulation, both surrounded by a thin layer of cloth sheath and then by an outer insulation. The cable has a circular cross section to it making it easier to run in wall through the stud posts.

    Come to think of it, this thread belongs in Tweaking/Connections/Accessories.
     
  7. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    IIRC regular stuff uses PVC for insulation and the in-wall stuff uses plenum or something else that doesn't make toxic smoke when it burns like PVC.
     
  8. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    In-wall will also usually have UL printed on the jacket.
     
  9. Jason Price

    Jason Price Second Unit

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    Well, crap. The wire I have definitely has a clear coating on it - I'll have to check if there's any mention of UL anywhere.

    If it's not in-wall rated, then is it not acceptable for in-wall use?
     
  10. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    the biggest advantage of install type cable is that is a twisted pair cable. the twisted pair will reject rf interference much better than the tradtional zip cord style of speaker wire. it is the same twisted pair configuration that cat5 cable uses to reject interference on networking lines.

    additionally, plenum rating is only required if you are installing the wire into a space that is used for air returns, like in commercial buildings. (the plenum jacket does not produce toxic smoke when it burns) if you are putting the cable into a residential setting, the standard pvc jacket is fine.
     
  11. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Jason:

    As I understand it, another reason to go with in-wall speaker wire is that is has superior resistance to moisture. For people "northern climes" like you and I, that can be important, especially if you are running it through an exterior wall,

    Jeff
     
  12. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,

    Sorry, but the moisture issue is a old wives tale....I sell the wire for a living. It is designed that way for ease of install..(round vs flat) and to reduce chances of rf interference...esp because many times in commercial installations the wire length can be thousands of feet.

    Russ
     
  13. jeff.wright

    jeff.wright Auditioning

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    Please don't confuse the facts. In-wall is spec'd out that way because typically the jacket is made of a "slick" material that won't snag as easily when pulling wire runs and also has a rip cord like CAT5 for easy jacket stripping.

    Also, only this type of wire is considered to be "safe" for in-wall installations and is required by most building and safety codes because the jacket has better flame resistance than standard speaker grade cable.

    THIS is why it is call in-wall grade.
     
  14. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,

    For the CORRECT facts:

    1. There are three types of jackets over the twisted pair of wires.

    a. pvc - the lowest cost option. this is used the most often in residential and commercial installations. this jacket has no additional fire rating and can only be used in sealed walls that are not used for air returns.

    b. plenum rating or clp - higher cost option. the wire inside the cable is the same as the pvc option and the outer jacket will burn when exposed to flame, but the fumes that it emits are not toxic or harmful to humans.

    c. teflon jacket - very high cost (usually 4 to 5 times as much as pvc) again the wire inside is the same but the jacket has a temperature rating of 200 to 300 degrees celsius. this is not specified very often in new construction - probably only in 3% to 5% of design specs.

    2. The twisted pair inside the jacket is designed that way to provide a round cable that does pull easier inside walls but more importantly rejects rf interfence in long cable runs. this is extremely important when running several thousands of feet of speaker cable in a single building. normal zip cord cable would act like a huge antenna soaking up rf signals from all directions.

    I work at an electronics distributor and sell hundreds of thousands of feet of wire every year to contractors and installers covering a five state area. I don't know everything about the business but I do know about this discussion.

    Russ
     
  15. Jason Price

    Jason Price Second Unit

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    Well, the wire I bought from Home Depot is UL-rated, according to the spool. It's a 12GA wire with a clear coating...
     
  16. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    russ (or anyone else) -

    would you happen to have any pics or examples you can post?

    i'm curious as to what the twisted-pair in-wall stuff looks like.
     
  17. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    I hope that this page copies right. This is from Belden's Web site...www.belden.com
    Electrolytic Tough Pitch (ETP) - Copper Cables
    Electrolytic Tough Pitch (ETP) HIGH CONDUCTIVITY Copper Speaker Cables
    Speaker cables are used to connect receivers or power amplifiers to speakers and are also used for the internal wiring of the speakers themselves.
    HIGH CONDUCTIVITY Copper
    All Belden® speaker cables utilize only HIGH CONDUCTIVITY copper produced by a process called ELECTROLYTIC TOUGH PITCH. This refining process produces a conductor that is 99.95% pure copper resulting in HIGH CONDUCTIVITY per ASTM B115. The high purity obtained from ETP copper results in audio cable performance that is comparable to that of oxygen-free copper cables.
    Choosing a speaker cable
    There are two decisions to make in selecting a speaker cable. The first is conductor gage size which is determined by how much power and performance loss you are willing to accept due to the cables presence. The second is what cable design or construction best fits the installation environment.
    Gage Selection
    Because the impedance of the loud-speaker is quite low (typically 3 to 10 ohms) much of the power conducted through the cable is carried in the current domain which is effected by conductor resistance. The resistance of the cable between the speaker and the amplifier turns some of the amplifiers power into heat and does not get to the speaker.
    The feed back from the speaker is altered by the cable. This feed back is used by the amplifier to correct the speakers non-linearity. It is measured as the Damping factor by amplifier designers and is called "Servoing" by the Hi-fi community.
    In general, the higher the cable resistance, the lower the power level getting to the speaker resulting in "sloppier" speaker performance due to damping.
    Ultimately, the system designer must decide how to compromise system performance against system cost. In general, one of the least expensive ways to squeeze more and better performance out of the system hardware is to use larger speaker cables and cut your losses where they occur rather than try to "Band-Aid" the system later with equalization or more power.
    The cable selection guide listed below can aid in determining the proper gage selection depending on the speaker impedance, acceptable power loss and cable run length.
    Design Selection
    Belden speaker cables are available in three different designs: those of Parallel Zip Cord construction, Open Twisted Pair and Twisted Jacketed pair. Each has certain attributes and cable selection depends on both user preference and the application.
    Parallel Zip
    The flattest for a given wire size, this cable is easy to lay and hide. Cable polarity is managed through the use of a single tinned and a single untinned copper lead. The cable remains closely bound until separation is required for connection and is relatively free from kinking and binding. It can, however, be harder to pull because of the flat configuration.
    Open Twisted Pair
    The twisted design is more flexible and easier to install but is less aesthetically pleasing than the Zip construction. The twisted cable has the unique attribute of being the easiest construction to electrically tap into for parallel feeds of the line. The twisted technology provides greater immunity from external electrical interference and leakage both from and into other cables.
    Twisted Jacketed
    The jacketed constructions are much larger and are the least flexible of all three designs. The outer jacket, however, makes these cables more robust and suitable for pulling. In addition, the jacketed constructions carry an NEC rating of either CM or CL3 making them suitable for premise wiring without conduit.
     
  18. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    Wow, I did not know this HD 12-ga was on clearance. Had I known that I'd have gone to the one closest to my home, as they get the least amount of buyer traffic and its only less than 2 years old.

    In fact, I have a 250' roll of it (about 160' left) sitting in my family room. The biggest problem with the clear-jacket version is separating the two leads without accidently exposing the conducts.

    Also, has anyone tried to solder the tips of these puppies?
     
  19. Bill Street

    Bill Street Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't believe Home Depot is discontinuing it's 12 Gauge Speaker Wire! It's been a mantra on this forum as a great balance between cost & effectiveness.
    I figured it would be a brisk seller what with constant recommendations for it. [​IMG]
    Bill
     

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