Need help with what gauge speaker wires to buy, and where (not online!)

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Dan-BOC, Apr 1, 2003.

  1. Dan-BOC

    Dan-BOC Auditioning

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    I just purchased the Polk RTi70 tower speakers and will soon be buying a receiver to go along with them. I was thinking of the Kenwood VR-6050 for right now, but I'm not sure. I would like to know what gauge cables would be best suited for these speakers? Someone told me 12 or 16, so I'm wondering if anyone can confirm it. Would I need some sort of special plugs? I've been recommended banana plugs. Can anyone explain how these work?

    I also have some pretty cheap rear bookshelf speakers, and I would probably need 18-26 ft wires for those. Any suggestion of what gauge?

    No center channel for right now (and I'm selling the free subwoofer that I got when buying the speakers... PSW 202 won't do it for me)

    And finally, I do not want to buy these online as I want to get this set up as soon as possible. What are some stores where I can get medium grade or so wires WITHOUT getting totally ripped off? I don't want anything high grade, just something that will fit into my budget and still provide decent quality.

    Many thanks for anyone that can help me out here.
     
  2. Greg Kolinski

    Greg Kolinski Second Unit

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    Home Depot or Lowes, I just got 250 ft of 12ga at Lowes for about $60.
     
  3. TylerZ

    TylerZ Stunt Coordinator

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    Use 12 ga all around. Home Depot sells 12 ga speaker wire in bulk for .34 cents/foot. SKU # 551893. I don't think you can beat it for the price. Bananna plugs are simply plugs that you fasten the speaker wires to, then plug them into the speaker binding posts. Useful if you unplug the wires from your speakers alot, otherwise not necessary. IMHO the direct wire approach is better, why introduce another connection in the path?
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Many speaker sites recommend:

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

    Most of us do buy a spool of 12 ga and use it everywhere.

    Bare wire IS arguably the best, but keep this in mind:
    • You must be very careful to do a neat job so no strands of copper poke out or any bare copper is visible. This can later cause a short and damage your equipment. Banana and pin connectors make it easy for anyone to do a neat job.
    • Even the most rabid audiophiles have never said they could hear if one speaker is wired with plugs and the other bare wire. All the issues with a 'break in the signal path' apply more to RF/Video frequencies, not audio.
    • Radio Shack has some nice dual banana plugs (2xx-308) that have a stiff bar to keep the plugs separated. Should a kid/dog trip over the wire with the power on, these plugs will not short. Buy 1 set and check the spacing on your binding posts before buying a large set. The single bananas (2xx-309) work well for behind the receiver where the dual-banans might stick out too far.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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    I know you mentioned it, but you really should consider buying online. I've just purchased a 100' spool of 12 ga. speaker wire fromwww.partsexpress.comfor $19.30. I don't know where you are located but I ordered on Monday morning and received the items on Wednesday.
     

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