Need help on what speaker cable to get

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tony Meconiates, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

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    My Studio 40's have arrived.

    and the denon 3300 I bought should come today.

    What is the best speaker wire(connection type) I can get that radio shack sells?

    Also what exact type of cable do I need to hook up a PW2200 subwoofer to the denon?
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Most of us buy a spool of good 12 ga wire and use it for all our speakers. Radio Shack sells the stuff for about $1/foot. Places like Home Depot sell a good version for about $0.40/ft.
    If you can wait (yeah, right) a spool of the Sound King brand speaker wire can be bought from www.partsexpress.com
    Subwoofer:
    The back of your receiver will have an RCA jack labeled "LFE". This puts out line-level signals so you need shielded coax with RCA plugs to run the signals to your subwoofer.
    Virtually any of the MegaCable cables at Radio Shack will work, if you can get it long enough.
    If you need a really long cable, you can buy some ordinary RG6 CATV coax, put "F" connectors on the ends and buy the "F-to-RCA" adaptors they sell at Radio Shack. I made a 25' cable for less than $12 until I found a final home for my sub.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Another thing: Radio Shack sells a very nice dual-banana plug with a solid black spacer bar. These things are wonderful for wireing up 12 ga speaker wire.

    Get 5 of them for behind your speakers.

    But the dual plugs stick out about 3" which is a bit much for behind the receiver. RS also has a nice 2-piece banana plug that works real well.

    Remember: No loose threads of copper should stick out!
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    (Yet more unsolicited advice)
    Put the new receiver on the Bottom of your rack. This allows the heavy speaker wire to flow out with a minimal drop, and you dont have to fight through them to reach the other devices.
    Put the things you interact with (DVD/VCR) up higher, everything else in-between.
    Do not try to hook everything up at once. Follow this order:
    • Speakers: get them hooked up and use the test-tone feature to make sure they all make individual sounds. (Dont forget the batteries for the remote).
    • VCR/CATV: Hook these up next. Practice toggling between the different devices until you get bored.
    • DVD: Hook this up last.
    It should take you about an hour to wire up & test everything. Make sure you are not rushed or you will just get frustrated.
    Good Luck.
     
  5. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Hey Bob:

    I had a question in the other thread about 10 gauge. I have a 250' spool being shipped to me that I got on a special deal for 23 cents per foot. Will I be able to use those Radioshack banana plugs you mentioned to terminate that stuff, or should I use something else? Also, are there any drawbacks to using 10 gauge vs. 12? I ask, because most people seem to get 12.
     
  6. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley Second Unit

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    I am upgrading to some Klipsch RF-7s and am thinking about getting some quality cables to connect as well as maybe trying out the Biwire deal...

    Any one have any experience with Nordost cables? I called a dealer and while he didn't have them in stock could get them in a few days, 3meter pair for $120 plus shipping...

    G2
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Eric: I think the dual-banana plugs will handle 10 ga wire. But you should run down to RS and check the package.

    12 vs 10 ga:

    Well, 12 ga is more common/cheaper so this COULD be why it is more popular.

    Several speaker sites recommend the following guidelines be used for speaker gauge based on length of run:

    1-10 feet: 16 ga

    10-20 feet: 14 ga

    20 or more: 12 ga

    So the 10 ga speaker wire is a bit over-kill for short runs. And since the really-long wires go to the rears, 10 ga could swamp your cable budget.

    Gary: There is LOTS of debait over cheap vs expensive speaker wires.

    My RECOMENDATION is:

    - Use good 12 ga for a Home Theater system

    - Only go exotic/expensive for a Music system

    - The speaker wire should cost about 10% of the speaker, or it's exotic/out-of-line

    I'd be happy to discuss the logic behind these recomendations if you wish.

    You will also find people with counter-opinions so search for "Nordost" to find some.
     
  8. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob, thanks for the tips.

    One more question.

    My PW2200 has 2 RCA inputs... L and R.

    Beside the "R" is the word "mono"

    Is there is difference running a single RCA from the receiver to the "mono" of the woofer

    vs.

    running a a single cable from receive that splits into a "L" and a "R" ?????
     
  9. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, and I tried those banana clips from radio shack with the black space and they are too narrow to fit the inputs of the receiver and speakers... I am going to return them and get singles. I am not doing something wrong, am I?
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Not every set of binding posts matches the spacing of the dual-bananas. But I thought the Dennon & Paradigm did. Strange, I apologize for the mis-lead.

    Subwoofer: A single long cable with RCA plugs is usually all you need for your subwoofer. Your receiver will combine and squirt out the LFE port:

    - The low frequency from every speaker defined as SMALL

    - All sounds on the ".1" track.

    Plug this into the "R/Mono" and you are all set.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    Tony, you may not be doing anything wrong - not every component has the "standard" spacing that is needed to use the RS dual banana plugs. In this case, you can go with the single plugs and then spacing will not become an issue. The dual plug is nice because it helps to minimize the chance of shorting the speakers by touching wires, but are not necessary.
     
  12. Chuck Frady

    Chuck Frady Second Unit

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    With Bob's suggestion of having your receiver or amplifier located on the bottom rack, take note that these devices need lots of head room for cooling. Especially so if your rack is an enclosed design.
     
  13. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck,
    I learned that the hard way... I put my dvd player on top of my receiver and watched TV for about 1 hour, not a bright idea...
    Lets just say that I ordered a separate AV rack today [​IMG]
     

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