Speaker Cable

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by john.S, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. john.S

    john.S Auditioning

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    Can somebody please answer these questions?

    What is the best? 12 Gauge or 14 gauge wire


    What is the best? Stranded or solid wire? I am looking to run speaker wire in my basement walls for a movie & sound room. What wire should I use? Do electric wires cause interference?


    Thank-you all help is 100% appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. RickRO

    RickRO Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    There are many opinions on this around here, but the general consensus is that 14 guage is fine and 12 for longer runs is better. If you can do 12 then do so. That is what I'm going to do. For in wall speaker wire this is what I'm going to use it is from Belden.

    [​IMG]

    It is used for in wall and if you strip the outer covering off you can terminate with it at the exit of the wall to your speaker.

    Might be overkill but better safe than sorry. It also meets my code requirements for in wall wiring.

    Here is Belden's web site.

    Good Luck

    Rick

    PS Stranded is more flexable solid less so. Stranded is easier to work with IMO.
     
  3. Joshua-S

    Joshua-S Auditioning

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    To make a comment on interferce with electrical. I worked for a company doing low voltage installs, which this is. Our rule of thumb was up and over any high voltage wires. My suggestion is to obviously use in wall wires which genrally have some type of fire rating and other types of shielding. And make sure your runs are as far away from electrical as possible. Now if that means making the run 20 ft longer, just do your best to avoid electrical and to keep the run as short as possible. 12 gauge stranded for anything over 50 ft I think is the standard, keeping with the audiophile mindset. Some will say 14 gauge for a home theater would be fine. I hope this helps.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    For in-wall, it has to be UL/CL3 to be to code in most places, AFAIK. As long as you don't run it parallel to power wires for any length, it should be OK. If you have to cross power lines, do it at 90 degrees is what I have been told.

    I agree with 12AWG if you are over 50ft. 14 should be sufficient for a 8 Ohm speaker for up to 80ft, but it is easier to just go with 12AWG and never have to worry about anything (like changing to a new speaker that is less than 8 Ohms).
     
  5. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    From what I remember of Physics 202, stranded will help reduce interference if you do go near other electrical wires.
     
  6. Joshua-S

    Joshua-S Auditioning

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    i acutally just read in a book that 14g is good up till 100ft. 12 gauge to 200 and 10 gauge any longer. I hope this helps
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Well Stranded wire is more flexable for in-room use. Since you are going in-wall, solid wire is fine. "Carol" is a good brand that is CL3 rated for in-wall use.

    A speaker site that was trying to get their speakers to sound good (and not sell wires) suggested:

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

    For a while, it was hard to get in-wall rated 12 ga speaker wire. What many high-end installers used was 4-conductor, 14 ga. They took 2 of the wires and twisted the ends to create 1 wire, and twisted the other pair to create the other wire. This creates something like an effective ... 9/10 ga speaker wire.

    If you are using regular speakers (not in-walls), I suggest this:

    - Install electrical outlet box's and run the speaker wires through these.

    - Pull enough wire to create a un-broken run between your amp and speakers.

    - Buy a blank wall-plate cover and drill holes and thread the wires through. Later, you can buy the expensive wall-plate covers with binding posts, but the un-broken run gives you less breaks and options for later.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    John G -- great link! Should be required reading. [​IMG]

    Not that I think it would end the endless debate!
     

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