Home Depot Speaker Wire

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike H Wizard, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Mike H Wizard

    Mike H Wizard Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 7, 2002
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    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry, I'm a Newbie, please bear with me, just so I have clarification on a few of these things...

    1. Is this the place I should post about Speaker Wire?

    2. When people on this forum have mentioned electrical boxes, are they talking about the Plastic Blue Boxes that can be bought from Home Depot that nail onto the studs?

    3. Home Depot 12 Gage Speaker Wire, are they talking about the

    Heavy Duty Copper for both Strands at($.47/Foot) or is the

    Single Copper Strand and Single Silver Strand at($.35/Foot) sufficient enough to use in the Walls and Ceilings?

    Thank you again in advance,

  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

    Dec 9, 2001
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    The in-wall stuff depends on the codes in your area - the HD guy will know what's legal.

    The 'boxes' may be the blue ones, but those are more for retrofitting in existing walls. If it's a new install, new wall and all, install the proper boxes. If you are cutting a hole a d installing a box in an existing wall, get the blue.

    I have the fat clear jacket 12ga, .47 / ft. for my front 3 and the subwoofer...but NOT in any walls...

    - CM
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Hi Mike.
    There is actually a separate "Tweeking, Connections, and Accessories" fourm which handles a lot of wire questions. But the basics area is find. [​IMG]
    Those blue electrical outlet box's - they also come in a version for after the sheatrock is already up.
    There is usually a small cardboard template you put against the wall and draw the outline. Then you use a sharp knife to cut the surface paper. You can continue with the knife, but a $5 sheatrock saw works real nice.
    Then you pop the box into the hole and it fits snug. It has little "ears" at the top and bottom that you reach in with a screwdriver and flip up/down. Tighten the screw to clamp the ears - and your done.
    I re wired my entire house for Cat 5 computer & dual runs of RG6 coax this way.
    Good Luck.
  4. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

    Aug 26, 2000
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    The 12-gauge speaker wire with the clear insulation is not for running in walls. There is a different wire, with a white jacket, I think, that's for walls. It's probably marked with the designation "CL3," for "Class 3."
  5. Rod Melotte

    Rod Melotte Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 7, 2002
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    According to the AVIA Home Theatre Calibration disk 16 guage electrical wire is good enough for speaker wire for millions of HT owners and there is no need to spend more on fancy wire that is mostly hype.

    Just passing information along
  6. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

    Nov 1, 1998
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    The 16 gauge wire is only suitable for short runs, say less than 15 feet from amp to speaker, or if you don't turn up the volume too much. (Some experts here recommend 16 gauge only for runs 10 feet and under).
    To "future proof" your home theater, use 12 gauge wire. The type NM non-metallic sheathed cable 12 gauge is well suited for installations inside of walls and is the rule for AC power.
    The NM cable usually has three conductors, occasionally four (red, white, black, bare). Because speakers have to be in phase, you cannot use a common ground for the negative terminals of all the speakers, therefore if you are running cable together for two speakers (left and right) you will need two lengths of NM 12-2 (two conductors plus ground) cable although just one length of 12-3 cable.
    The gauge of wire needed depends on a large number of criteria including the net impedance of the speakers being used (and of the amp outputs) as well as the length of the run. Rather than publish complicated charts and forumlas, some experts simply state a reaonable worst case requirement such as 12 gauge for runs 20 feet and over, I say 30 feet and over. Simce 14-3 wire is easier to find than 12-3 wire, you may press your luck and run one 14-3 instead of two 12-2's inside the wall to feed two speakers. Here you probably won't run into any obtrusively bad audio assuming you are not powering bass shakers in the sofa at the same time.
    Video hints:

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