Recommended Speaker Wire

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Jeremy B., Dec 27, 2003.

  1. Jeremy B.

    Jeremy B. Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Guys........of course I am a "newbie" like a lot of other people around here, so I am not much in tune on speaker wires. Here is my dilemma.......

    I am building a house this winter, which is going to have my family room pre-wired for my rears. I am afraid they are going to use just some old plain "run of the mill", cheap speaker wire from the main front wall to the back. Is there any wires you would recommend/prefer that I can make sure they use? Thanks in advance for the help!
     
  2. Leigh_M

    Leigh_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I use 12 gauge speaker wire from Home Depot and I have no complaints. I read a technical article a while back from an electrical engineer who had done much testing and found no difference, except gauge, between different speaker wires.
     
  3. TylerZ

    TylerZ Stunt Coordinator

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    Why not ask the builder what gauge wire the electrician will be using? It should be in the electrical specs. After all, you are paying him right? If it's not 12 GA then ask what the upgrade charge will be. Do it asap because once the wire is run, it'll cost even more to have it changed. Just a thought, you might want wire run for a rear center while you're at it.
     
  4. Jeremy B.

    Jeremy B. Stunt Coordinator

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    Is a rear center, 6.1, going to make that much difference in a 20' x 18' room, with a $1000 "beginner" setup?
     
  5. TylerZ

    TylerZ Stunt Coordinator

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    You probably won't be keeping that 'beginner' setup forever. Believe me, in this hobby the upgrade bug WILL eventually bite. And when it does you'll be ready.
     
  6. Jeremy B.

    Jeremy B. Stunt Coordinator

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    Very good point! Thanks a lot for the input everyone!
     
  7. Thomas Willard

    Thomas Willard Stunt Coordinator

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    Since you are only going to install the speaker wire once, using 12 gauge stranded won't cost that much more than 16 gauge, but I doubt you would notice the difference. Certainly don't waste money on name brand speaker wire. Copper wire is copper wire.
     
  8. GraysonAng

    GraysonAng Stunt Coordinator

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    What about these wires?

    Teptronics.com has the following Pyramid speaker wire:
    12 gauge, 50 feet for 6.99 (teptronics.com/rsw1250.html)
    12 gauge, 100 feet for 13.50 (teptronics.com/rsw12100.html)

    This is considerably cheaper than home depot and sound king. From what I've been reading, as long as it's 12 gauge, it should sound comparable. Is this true?
     
  9. Jim-L

    Jim-L Auditioning

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    I have not seen the teptronics, but it looks like a great price.

    I went with the 12 gauge from Parts Express.
     
  10. Brad_C

    Brad_C Auditioning

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    I heard some copper wire turns green over time, is that an issue to look out for?
     
  11. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    Yes some copper wire will turn green. I am not sure how it effects the sound quality, I have not had any green wire.
     
  12. Mike Reeter

    Mike Reeter Agent

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    Yes,Green wire is a killer,oxidation,when air meets cooper...If "I" were running a permament in-wall set-up,I would use an Oxygen free,pure cooper wire...

    Most of your average wire is full of tin,or tinning,even though it has a cooper appearance,in time it will degrade your signal...

    Good speaker wire has the the exterior coatings "formed" around the multiple strands of pure cooper,with the Teflon or whatever coating adhered to the wire,oxygen can not get into the cooper...

    Another reason why you should always terminate your wire ends;banana plugs,spades,whatever...keeps the oxygen out,and makes for a better connection..."I" would spend just a little more for better wire on the get go,a very small expense when compared to rest of your building project...or trying to replace some junk wire 10-15 years down the road...My 2c I can't attach anything yet,try Accessories4less.com. search for bulk speaker wire IXOS has some good in-wall worth the money...Good Luck on building your home,wife and I built two homes within five years...
     
  13. Scott Sabin

    Scott Sabin Stunt Coordinator

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    Green speaker wire is caused by air reacting with the PVC sheathing, not the copper. By the way, this type of wire is prohibited by the NEC for in-wall use.

    Unfortunately, when you start talking with your builder about "upgrading" the speaker wire, he'll start ringing up the cash register, even though the cost increase to him will be minimal. But ask him how much, and then decide. Some builders wiull allow you to wire yourself after the inspection has occurred and before the drywall goes up, but you usually have a very small window to do this, and many builders won't allow you to do anything on site.

    If the cost is too high, ask for the price of using 12 AWG Romex for the speaker wire. This is probably even cheaper than 16 ga speaker wire, and most likely better.

    Finally, you should consider the cost the builder wants to charge you versus how easy it would be for you to do this yourself. If you have a basement, for instance, right underneather these walls, adding speaker wire under the floor joists is a fairly simple process to do yourself, if you are so inclined. And if you decide to have the builder do it, pre-wire for 3 or even 4 rear speakers.
     
  14. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    I just had the same situation. They were going to use cheap 16 Ga. wire. I talked to my super and I ran the stuff myself after the inspection. I had everything ready and just waited on his call. They will probably also use cheap connecting wall plates too. Actually they put up single hole cable plates on the wall and I wt and bought new ones. I will know better on the next house.
     
  15. GraysonAng

    GraysonAng Stunt Coordinator

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    How do you know that the Pyramid wire will turn green and the Home Depot and Soundking wire won't?
     
  16. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    Ensure the job is done by a licensed pro to applicable building codes and relax. It'll be good enough. If oxidation is a serious concern for you, tin the ends with solder.

    There must be half-a-dozen different threads going on right now about speaker wire. Us old guys use lamp cord. Yours is a *slightly* different case because it's in-wall.

    Me? I'm gonna replace all mine with rusty coat-hangers.
     
  17. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    My SoundKing wire has not turned green. [​IMG]
     
  18. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    You can probably just buy the spool of 12ga wire from Sound King and give it to the installer rather than let him buy it (and mark up the price).

    Some areas have building codes that require in-wall rated wires. Ask your installer if this is the case. If so, buy the Carol 12ga in-wall rated wire ($20/100 ft)

    A lot of people buy the 4-conductor 14 ga wire and twist 2 of the ends together for the positive and the other 2 ends for the negative. $34/100 ft. The 2 wires give an effective 10 ga thickness.

    STRONG SUGGESTION: Have the installer run the wires through plastic electrical outlet box's. Have him pull 10 feet or so extra on each side. (Label, Label, Label).

    The goal is to have a un-broken run between your speakers and amp. Buy a blank wall-plate for about $1 and drill holes and thread the wires through.

    Later, if you want to cut the wires back, you can buy your own wall-plates with binding-posts for a 'professional' look. But pulling the extra wire give you options for later.

    Good Luck.
     
  19. Charlie B. Ch.

    Charlie B. Ch. Stunt Coordinator

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    I am using this 11 gauge Canare speaker wire. Basically two 14 gauge speaker wire twisted together. I bought it because it was not that more expensive than the Home Depot's wire and some claimed that the Canare Quad speaker wire make an improvement in the system. Personally, I could not hear any difference but the speaker wire looks very "substantial."
     
  20. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    So wire is wire? Monster is just over rated and over priced? I will be doing a new run soon but don't want to spend a ton on wire if I don't need too. What about digital and sub connections?
     

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