Recommendations: In Wall Speaker Cable

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by phill clarke, Jun 4, 2002.

  1. phill clarke

    phill clarke Auditioning

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    I've got my condo unpacked finally and have decided to look into doing a cleaner installation for the speaker wires rather than sticking them to the walls. I do have a small attic space that does run over the area with the HT equipment. I'm looking for the best bang for my buck with some speaker wires that are rated for use in the wall (CL-3 I think). The distance to the rears is approx. 30' total cable length.

    Any suggestions?

    Phill
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Try http://www.jscwire.com. I've used their 4x16 gauge 'Hi-Strand' stuff and it was excellent for speaker wire. They have a full-range of products.
     
  3. Roy Wallace

    Roy Wallace Stunt Coordinator

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    Phil:
    With input from the fine members of this forum, I had sucess using Home Depot 12GA inwall speaker wire.
    It was very easy to use and was a great price.
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    The Home Depot stuff is half decent and you can't go wrong at $0.30/ft. The 4x16 gauge is $0.24/ft. In normal sized runs (10-12 ft.),I've listend to both and actually think the 4x16 gauge is better sounding. Either will work fine.
     
  5. phill clarke

    phill clarke Auditioning

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    Thanks for the feedback so far. I'll be checking on the Home Depot wire when I go pick up some other items today.

    Has anyone had any experience with IXOS wires?
    Accessories 4 Less has the IXOS 16/4 In Wall speaker wire on sale for 19.77 per 100ft. It sounds like a good deal, but I'm unfamiliar with the brand. If it's crap wire, then I'd rather just look elsewhere rather than waste my limited funds.

    Phill
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I doubt the ixos is crap wire. My general rule of thumb for most setups, is to simply go with 12 gauge copper all around. You don't need to be overly concerned about about where you got it. HomeDepot (I believe Carol makes their wire), SoundKing at PartsExpress, and others are reasonable choices. I prefer a high strand count for the purposes of flexibility. Some people use a rule of thumb that the loop resistance of the wire should be about 0.1 ohms. Below are wire gauges and resistance values. To compute the loop resistance, simply double the distance of your wire and multiply by the values listed.

    4 .000292
    6 .000465
    8 .000739
    10 .00118
    12 .00187
    14 .00297
    16 .00473
    18 .00751
    20 .0119
    22 .0190
    24 .0302
    26 .0480
    28 .0764

    What generally happens as either the wire gets small, or the distances get long, is that there is a slight roll-off in the upper frequency ranges. A study by Stereo Review back some time ago indicated that people were unable to differentiate between wires unless the gauge went down to 28 (I think!). And of course if you wanted, you could always compensate for the minor roll off with a treble boost provided you felt it needed it. Yeah, I know there are purists out there that don't believe in tone controls but what room is perfect?

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Ray Stericker

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    I am doing the same sort of thing, but am unsure about the rating codes for speaker wire that will be buried in walls. My Radio Shack catalog calls it "FT4" here it was called "CL-3"

    Keeping in mind that I live in Canada, can anyone help me out on this?

    Thanks in advance,
    Ray
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    you need to check with either your insurance company or your local building inspector to determine what's needed or required...they've got the scoop. I would think the wire would specifically have to have imprinted upon it the code, no?
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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  10. Mike OConnell

    Mike OConnell Second Unit

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  11. phill clarke

    phill clarke Auditioning

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    After checking out the Home Despot wires, I decided to go with the IXOS wires that are on sale. I figure at $19 for 100ft and with the size of the room, it should work just fine.

    Thanks for the all the information everyone.

    Phill
     
  12. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    I also use AR 14/4 in-wall wire from audioadvisor.com and it has worked great since I installed it this past winter.

    cheers,


    --tom
     
  13. Dan Seliger

    Dan Seliger Stunt Coordinator

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    I wasnt aware that certain wire wasnt made for going in walls, i ran monster superflat 12gauge through my walls is that bad?? (i got it for $1 a foot so i grabbed it)
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Its a building code thing and may or may not be applicable to your particular location. Has to do primarily with fire retardency.
     
  15. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    The National Electrical Code is pretty much the local government standard thruout the U.S.

    It requires in-wall wire rated at CL-2. There also may be a system how you hang it on the studs or across attic framing. In-wire wiring generally comes in an insulation, as Chu Gai says, for fire retardancy.

    Another rating is CL-3 for PLENUM runs, or framed air ducts in some structures. Again, the PVC insulation is designed to NOT carry toxic fumes in case of fire in the plenum to other spaces in the structure. CL-3 also may be ok for regular in-wall speaker wiring. PartsExpress.com sells Carol 12/2 in-wall that claims CL-3 and fire code rated.

    The problem with not being code in one's home is post-fire reports and insurance. The Fire Department inspector or Fire Marshall may go thru a burned home (whatever the point of ignition). If he happens to see these non-Code speaker wires in the wreckage, he may note that in his report.

    Then the home insuror sees the report and gives you a hard time for not being in compliance with the Building/Electrical Code.

    The likehood of all this is slim, but there you are...
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    a penny saved, a penny burned.
     
  17. phill clarke

    phill clarke Auditioning

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    The way I'm looking at it is I just bought my first condo and I can barely afford it. I'm not taking any chances that if something happened, I wouldn't get covered through insurance.
     
  18. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm also looking into some inwall speaker wire advice. I'm looking to spend between $1 and $2 a foot. Any recommendations? Monster, Kimber etc. I want something better than HD stuff, but don't want to spend a fortune either. The runs to the rears will be about 30feet.

    I'm in Canada (in the Toronto area) any good retailers?
     
  19. MikeBoehm

    MikeBoehm Stunt Coordinator

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    So the In-Wall thing comes down to building codes eh? If my home theater is in the basement and I have a drop ceiling then there should be no problems should there?

    I'm just using my standard Monster Cable stuff I bought long ago and some maganavox wire from the local Home Improvement store on my "other" system.
     
  20. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Wire running between the drop ceiling nd the actual fire-retardant ceiling are no problem - any kind will do. But I dont understand how you plan to get the wires from the amplifier up to the drop ceiling. Since you talk about wall plates, this seems to mean the wires will go INSIDE the stud space and UP the VERTICAL wall then out into the drop ceiling space?
    If that's the case, you are partially "in wall" and by U.S. code need CL-2 or CL-3, both work. www.partsexpress.com has of this in CarolCable 12/2 for .25cents a ft in 100-ft hanks.
     

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