in wall speaker wire

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Phil Tomaskovic, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    I was looking at accessories4less.com. I want to install a couple speaker connection wall plates. one by my receiver and the other by my rear speakers. They show IXOS inwall speaker wire, 2 conductor and 4 conductor. Probably a dumb question, but just want to make sure. If I buy 2 conductor wire, that basically would act like regular speaker wire, right? One wire goes to my red connection and the other goes to my black on one speaker? And if I buy the 4 conductor, I basically have 4 wires to handle the 4 channels total on the right and left speakers. Correct?

    Is using 2 conductor/4conductor any better/worse or is it just convenience? Am I better off using regular speaker wire? Basically I'm just going to run the wire behind the wainscotting panelling vs it's along the baseboard/carpet now.

    Thanks
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    It should also say the size of the wire, such as 14/4 or 14/2, meaning 14ga and x number of wires. Make sure you get a sufficient ga. wire for the impedance of the speakers over the length of run you need.

    table

    For two speakers on opposite sides of the room, you wouldn't use 4 conductor because you'd have to split it out of the jacket, both a waste of time and also defeating the purpose of the UL/CL3 rating with the jacket. You could run 4 conductor to a distribution point and then run 2 conductor from there to each speaker, but that is just one more connection to run instead of just running one 2 conductor for each speaker.
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Naturally, that wouldn’t be the best way to do it. A better way would be to use the four-conductor to the second speaker, but use only two of the conductors. That might seem “wasteful,” but it would depend on the installation. For instance, if the run to the back speakers was 40 ft., and the run from there to the second speaker was 15 ft., it would probably be cheaper to do it that way instead of having two separate cables. I.e., 55 ft. of four-conductor cable vs. 95 ft. of two conductor.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I bought the same wire from them and recommend it highly. It's fantastic. It's a bit stiff but works well.

    I went with the 14/2 for my 4 rears which were about a 30' run each.

    I can highly recommend AC4l and Ixos.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Short suggestion: search partsexpress or accessories4less for in-wall 12 ga wire. Use 12ga for the long runs. It is made by a company called "Carol".

    If you cannot find it, buy the 4 conductor, 14ga wire, but run one of these to each speaker. Twist 2 of the wires together for the red connection, and the other 2 wires for the black. This will give you a effective thicker wire. If the wires do not fit into your binding posts, consider the dual-banana plugs from Radio Shack (27?-308) or the single banana plugs (27?-306).

    Many high-end speaker systems are wired with 4-conductor, 14 ga wire to each speaker because of this. (12 ga in-wall speaker wire is sometimes hard to find.)

    Reason behind the suggestion: A speaker site (not selling wires) once suggested that you could use different thickness wire based on the run length:

    1-10 ft: 16 ga
    11-20 ft: 14 ga
    20+ ft: 12 ga

    You see, a long run of speaker wire will roll-off the higher frequency sounds. A thicker wire reduces, but does not eliminate, the effect. So you want THICKER wire for the long in-wall runs.

    Another point: the speaker wire is dirt-cheap compared to your labor to install in-wall wire. You may as well do it right the first time.

    Oh, another suggestion: run 3 wires to the rear of your room. Dont forget about the rear-center speaker that is becoming popular. You will never regret the extra $10-$15 for that wire. (I predict upgrades in your future).

    Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
  6. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG]
    This is a sketch of my room. Currently my couch is along the top, opposite the powder room (half bath). My 36"
    Sony is opposite the couch, in front of the bath. There is a support pole to the right of the tv, so I only have about 40" of space between the pole and the corridor that goes to the bath. My rear speakers are basically in the top right and left corners on shelving that goes along that whole wall.

    I plan to get a big screen tv (probably Sony 55" LCD rear proj). It will go along that left side so that really throws things off. The couch will be perpendicular to the tv and I will put a large chair in the top right side area next to the stairway for the main viewing seat for me.

    So plenty of room for the tv and main speakers along that wall. Problem is how to hook up the rears. I would put the right rear on the wall basically that upper right hand corner of the picture (on the wall above where the current left surround). The left basically has to get mounted on a ceiling beam that goes the length of the room, it basically extends from the closet right along the top of where the tv is now to the far wall. So I was thinking of getting wire under the carpet and have it go up the wall inside the closet and come out near that beam.

    Not sure how well this will work since the right surround will be facing that small walk way that goes toward the utility/laundry room so sound will be going a bit further past the listening area.

    The way the tv and speakers are now is great, just that I'm limited to the size of a tv I can fit. I could maybe do a 46" Samsung DLP or mayne the new 50: SOny but it would be tight and the left front speaker would start blocking the walk thru to the bathroom.

    It's only a half wall with railing above it to the right of staircase so no real space for a rear center :-(
    Any ideas?
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Idea: Put the new TV where you have the couch now. Put the couch in the middle of the room facing the TV. Ceiling mount the rear speakers or get in-ceiling speakers.
     
  8. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    thanks but that wont't work. The support pole would prevent the couch from going flush against the wall. I could only put a chair there, not even a love seat. There would only be about a couple feet between the couch and the tv, if the couch back was even with the pole. The way things are now, there's only about 6 ft between the couch and tv. Putting the couch across what's marked "Den" would block off that whole area. Unless maybe a sectional across that left wall and partially block the opening to the "den" with the secional short curve

    Might look a little funky that way. That den opening is about 94" wide. the wall separating the den from the powder room is now lined with bookcases, and dvd and cd racks.

    thanks for the idea though!
     

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