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Need recommendation for speaker wire (1 Viewer)

Brad Newton

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 14, 2001
Messages
382
I will be running speaker wire for the rear speakers underneath my floor via crawl space. Do I need anything special? Most of my duct work & wiring is located there - will that have any effect? What about the sub cable? I hope I don't have to run it under the floor, but I may have too.
 

PaulT

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 28, 2002
Messages
932
Check your local building code to see if you are required to have CL-2 or CL-3 rated wire for 'in wall use' if you are running it in the crawl space.

Keep the speaker wires away from any heating ducts and electrical wiring. A foot should be fine IMO, but the further away the better. Can you run some cheapo PVC pipe to run the wires through. It would be easier to attach the pipe to something than to staple the wire up.

Go ahead and run the sub cable with the speaker wires if you have to, it's a low level signal anyway.
 

PaulT

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 28, 2002
Messages
932
Several speaker sites recommend the gauge be based on the run-length:

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

Most people here have been purchasing rolls af 12 ga and using it for all their speakers. No, it does not have to be shielded.
 

Win Joy Jr

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Messages
200
Is it a powered sub? Depending on the run length, you may wish to consider shielded for the sub cable. To make it as cost effective as you can, you may wish to consider using RG-6 coax with F to RCA adapters on each end.
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
Some more advice:

- Run 3 sets of speaker wires to the rears. (That rear-center channel is becoming popular).

- Run RG6 wire in case you might put a subwoofer back there, or to power a separate amp to drive "Bass Shakers" under the couch. BUT: Separate the powered speaker wires from the un-powered RG6.

- Run all the wires through electrical outlet box's, but DONT cut the wires to install face-plates. Pull enough wire to create a un-broken wire from amp-> speakers. Buy blank wall-plates and drill holes and thread wires through. Later, you can cut the wires and install face-plates with binding posts if you really want.

- Label Label Label - put 3 labels on each end of each wire at 1, 2 & 3 feet from the end. You can use "LR, RR, RC", or a simple R1, R2, R3 scheme. When the wire is pulled, put more lables where the wires emerge from the outlet box's and then shove a few inches of wire back into the box to give you slack. Radio Shack makes some cable-labels that have tape that wraps over the writable part. If not, make sure to wrap your lables with wide scotch tape or the writing will fade over time.

Hope this helps.
 

Kurt_M

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 9, 2003
Messages
6
Having never had a HT before I am definitely a newbie but have been reading on this forum and checking out others pictures. After reading this simple post I found I know less than I thought.

I am currently in the process of finishing my basement and thought I was done with the wiring. My question is does a subwoofer take a different wire than standard 12 gauge like the rest of the speakers? The reply from Bob above states to run RG6.
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
My question is does a subwoofer take a different wire than standard 12 gauge like the rest of the speakers?
Yes if your subwoofer is self-powered.

You have 2 different levels of signals in your HT system:

- Speaker Level: These signals carry WATTS of power to drive motors (which is what your speakers are). You use un-shielded, thick pairs of wires to carry these signals.

- Line Level: These are low-power/un-amplified signals like your CATV signal, video signals, and signals between your components. To protect the 'weak' signals, all the wires for these signals are made from Co-Axial cable (called coax). Yes, those cables with RCA plugs look just like your CATV coax.

The line level signals run along a small center wire and this wire is encased in a mesh 'pipe' called the shield.

If you have a self-powered subwoofer, you run a cable with RCA plugs between the "LFE" jack on your receiver to the RCA input on your sub. Since this is a line-level/un-amplified signal - the cable should be coaxial.

Video and digital signals need to use a particular type of coax called "75 ohm". Many audio cables use this as well, but coax called "50 ohm" is more common.

Ordinary CATV coax is "75 ohm", but can be used to make a long subwoofer cable.

Note: while I suggest running a spare RG6 cable to the rear of your room, most people find that putting their sub in a corner in the front/behind the speakers sounds best. This is because the TV/Speakers are usually along a large, un-broken wall and subwoofers do well in this corner.

So the RG6 is an option. You dont have to do it.


PS: If you have a un-powered subwoofer, you do this:

- Run speaker wire from the L/R speakers to the sub.

- Run more speaker wire from the sub to the L/R speakers

This lets the sub strip off the sounds it wants to produce, and send the rest onto the speakers.

Hope this helps.
 

John Walker

Agent
Joined
Apr 23, 2003
Messages
32
My understanding is wire installed in a wall must be FT4 (fire rating) to meet code.

Whether or not your local code requires this or you just want to run "speaker wire" is up to you. If your in a multi-dwelling unit (townhouse etc) you could be liable.

Its pretty cheap to use the right wire.

John
 

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