in wall speaker interconnects

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by JamesP, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. JamesP

    JamesP Extra

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    I am working on developing my basement right now, and it is split up into two separate rooms, a computer room (wee, only 6' x 9') and my home theater room (10 x 14). I am just about to start wiring the computer room for sound. (I figured that I should get some practice before I get to the theater room) and I have a but of a problem.

    I bought the Logitech Z5300 5.1 speaker system for my computer room and they all connect with rca connects. I am planning on putting in wall wiring in the room with outlets around where I want the speakers and then cut down their cables and have them mounted nicely on the walls. (I want as much wife approval rating as possible)

    But the problem is that if I go with the rca wall jacks, the ones that I have seen at Home Depot are just a double ended female rca jack with a pretty face plate. I am planning on using 14 gauge speaker wire, and I don't know how to connect the speaker wire to the back of the rca female jack. Are there decent quality connectors that I can pick up somewhere or do I have to drop a bucket of money to get long rca cables?

    thanks
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Welcome to the Forum, James!

    I’m afraid there are no easy answers for you. The problem is, RCA’s, especially the in-line variety, are totally incompatible with 14-ga speaker wire. RCA’s are light-duty connectors made for the tiny wiring in signal cables. For starters, 14-ga won’t even fit in the hole of the barrel of most in-line RCA connectors. If you manage to get past that obstacle, you have another problem, that being the soldering process will probably ruin the connector. By the time you heat up the center pin’s solder cup hot enough for the heavy-gauge wire, it’ll melt or warp the plastic insert the pin sits in.

    About your only option is to splice down the 14 to 18 ga. in the outlet box. You should be able to solder that to an RCA.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Matthew Bryde

    Matthew Bryde Auditioning

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    I have 12 ga speaker cabling. For the front speakers I use gold plated banana plugs + terminals with interconnects. But for my surround speakers which are mounted directly to the wall, there was not enough space to even have the wall plate by itself without even adding the banana plugs and interconnect.

    So in the end I have the speaker cabling in the wall wired directly to my surround + rear speakers. It has the added benefit of less links in the chain for signal degradation, and the hole is completely covered up by the speaker.

    Otherwise, I'd recommend using banana plugs+ terminals (see pics of my setup on my website).
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Matthew,

    James’s 5.1 Logitec system uses cables with RCA’s for its connections. Even if he uses banana plug wall plates, he’ll still have to convert it to RCA at the speaker.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. JamesP

    JamesP Extra

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    Another thought that I have come up with is to hack apart stereo component interconnect cables and solder those to the speaker wire then plug those into the backs of the RCA jacks and have that inside the wall, shorten up the RCA cables on the speakers have something that looks pretty on the outside, but rather ugly inside the wall. But I haven't taken a look at the inside of a decent stereo interconnect cable, so I don't know how thick the wires are, as well, I wouldn't know if I am going ++ and -- or +- and +- for the wires.
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Signal cables have extremely thin wire, like 22 ga. But then, the stock Logitech wires might not be much better.

    If you can solder, why not just do what I recommended earlier? Makes a lot more sense then what you’re proposing. Not to mention probably cheaper.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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