Speaker Wire for Kenwood HTB-504??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Harnish, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    I've been reading reviews about the Kenwood HTB-504. I really need a basic surround sound setup and this seems to be the best one for the money. I'm considering buying it within the next few days (after I do some comparison shopping and allow my own ears to hear a few different systems).
    HowEVER...
    In several reviews on www.audioreview.com, I have noticed some people claiming that the speaker wire that comes with the 504 are crap. Some have mentioned getting a (number)-gauge speaker wire to replace those that come with the system. How can I determine the quality of speaker wire via the gauge numbers? Is it the higher the gauge number the better or is it the lower the gauge number the better? What else must I consider when replacing the speaker wire? Also, are there any other wires/cables I may need to replace the ones that come with the Kenwood HTB-504 system?
     
  2. JasonRH

    JasonRH Second Unit

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    Brian,

    The wire that comes with the system is pretty bad. I bought some 16 gauge wire and used it all around. The lower the gauge # the thicker the wire. 16 should be fine all around but for very long runs some people recommend 12 or 14 gauge. You can find it at places like radio shack in bundles or a local electronics shop in bundles or individual cuts. Good luck.
     
  3. Jason Wolters

    Jason Wolters Stunt Coordinator

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    Go to Radio Shack. Get some 16 guage wire. Anything larger will be awkward trying to fit into spring clips like the VR507 has for surround terminals. The HTB-504 will blow anything away that is in the same price range. Go for it.
     
  4. Albert M

    Albert M Stunt Coordinator

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    Home Depot has good quality speaker wire at a cheap price.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    When they make wire, the make a thick wire and run it through a press to make it smaller. The more times through the press, the smaller the wire.
    This is why a 12 ga wire is THICKER than a 16 ga wire. The 16 ga wire has been squished 16 times, but the 12 ga wire has only been squished 12 times. (funny, but true)
    There is roughly 2 kinds of wires: Speaker wires & Interconencts. And the wires that are included with most equipment tend to be poor quality.
    Speaker Wire: Several speaker sites (not sites trying to sell wire) recommend:
    1-10 feet: 16 ga wire
    10-20 feet: 14 ga wire
    20+ feet: 12 ga wire
    So you should use THICKER wire for the long runs.
    In truth: the rear speakers in your HT system do not carry critical music/dialog sounds so many people get away with the less expensive 16 ga wire for the long runs across the room.
    But Home Depot sells some good 12 speaker wire for about $0.39/ft, and www.partsexpress.com sells some very good Sound King wire for even less. Most of us just buy a spool of 12 speaker wire and use it everywhere.
    Interconnects: These are the wires that connect your devices together. They usually have RCA plugs on the ends.
    These cables are made with something called COAXIAL cable.
    Have you ever cut a piece of CATV coax? You see a center wire, some white insulator and some foil/braded "mesh" near the outside. This is a COAXIAL cable.
    When you send signals from your VCR/DVD to other devices, the signals are called "line level" or "un-amplified". They are very weak signals. You want to use a COAXIAL cable to connect things together because it's like encasing the signals in a "pipe" to protect the line level signals from interference.
    Some electronics include wires that are thin and look like Walkman headphone wires with RCA plugs on the end. These are un-shielded patch cables and should be avoided/thrown away.
    Does this help?
     
  6. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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  7. Jonathan Lofgren

    Jonathan Lofgren Stunt Coordinator

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    My dad just received an HTB-504 yesterday and he ordered some 14 ga wire from accessories 4 less. http://www.accessories4less.com/advs...BP&sPrice=2.99
    They have some recoton wire that's $2.99 for a 40 foot roll. I'm not sure how good it is, but it is definitely cheap.
     
  8. Jason Wolters

    Jason Wolters Stunt Coordinator

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    I have always thought that wire is wire. I still do. Ohms law does not care if the wire cost .39 cents per foot of $1000 per foot. The folks at Ovation software tend to agree. They say on the Avia DVD that buying expensive speaker wire is not necessary. Still many, many, many still do it.

    If Ohm's law still applies, than if the wire is smaller or less of a good conductor, it will offer more resistance. (Ever ohmed a piece of speaker wire, resistance is very minimal to begin with.) This simply means it will require more power (volume in this case) to produce the same result that a better conductor would.
     
  9. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    My personal opinion is, you will be able to realize full potential of the HTB with 16 gauge.
     
  10. Chad Parks

    Chad Parks Stunt Coordinator

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    You should probably hurry. The HTB504 has been discontinued, so if you find one you will be lucky.

    I was considering going that route, but I ended up buying a Onkyo 494 and the Klipsch Quintet Micro. Those pieces cost more money, but it's definitely worth it.
     
  11. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    I got the Kenwood HTB-401 for Christmas just over 2 years ago and I still love it. It came with the 2080 receiver with the usual 100W x 5 for power and Dolby Digital and Pro Logic. I just upgraded from the original mains to JBL S26 and it sounds terrific. My eventual goal is to move the new S26's to surrounds and get some S38's for mains and the S - center. But anyway, the Kenwood HTB is a great buy, I would highly recommend it!
     
  12. Brian Johnson

    Brian Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Having hooked up & wired my first system. I also bought the 12g from partsexpress(why does it look like im typing a porn site everytime i type it??). Couldnt beat the price. However running 12g across the room trying to conceal it is the trick. The only part of the wire you can see now is under the carpet. I had to run (from receiver) down the side walls, around the fireplace, under the carpet, up the walls (which I hid behind my corner trim pieces) to the speakers. A real pain. I also suggest running the wire for surrounds first. I (not knowing any better) cut the FL,C,FR speakers first. When I got to the last surround I was like 2 feet short(LOL) It made it too the receiver, but I couldnt tuck it away like I did with the others. I had to splice on another two feet(yeah, I know its not recommended) so I could conceal the rest.

    Secondy, I have no idea how good the kenwood HTB is for the price, I would bet the speakers are sh** and if you have to go & buy new speaker wire,quality cables,etc, I would recommend buying seperate.
     
  13. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Johnson_B: Your opinion is your own, but let me tell you a little about the history of the system you claim is sh**.

    "Stereophile Guide to Home Theater" did a review of the Kenwood HTB system. They took just those sh** speakers and compared them to a budget set of NHT speakers (retailing for over $1100) and the Kenwood speakers held their own quite well for both music and movies.

    One of the Administrators of this forum went to his in-laws house last year to hook up their new Kenwood HTB system. After listening to it, he went home and listened to his own system costing over $10,000. While his system was better sounding, it was not 20 times better, and he posted his impressions which caused several weeks of interest on this fourm.

    Kenwood is a company that was high-end, but sold to overseas investors who nearly ruined it's products and reputation. The name was purchased back several years ago and the company has been working hard to regain market share. It has done so by offering very good quality products for the money. The speakers ARE budget: they are pressed-wood cabinents, they have spring clips for the wires, but they have decent drivers in well-designed enclosures to create a nice, tone-matched system.

    And the receiver: Does your receiver allow you to dim it's display? Does it have spring-doors for the optical inputs? Does it offer SVideo switching for EVERY video input? Do you have pre-outs for all channels? Does it offer DTS & Dolby ProLogic II?

    If you bought the sh** Kenwood HTB system, you would have all this and more.
     
  14. Brian Johnson

    Brian Johnson Supporting Actor

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    I didnt mean to make anyone mad, just stating my case. I almost bought the kenwood receiver. The receiver is great, it matches my denon nose to nose.

    (was a link comparing mine w/ kenwoods but it didnt work)

    However I was mentioning speakers in my previous post, the speakers sounded terrible. Maybe they had it setup wrong in the store, but that was my initial impression.
     
  15. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    Good post Bob! I agree with everything you said. Kenwood is indeed a competent company again, and for the price of the HTB's you get a great quality starter system. Heck I think all of Kenwoods components, especially the receivers are excellent.
     
  16. Butch C

    Butch C Second Unit

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    Home depot sells white wire hider channels for about $4 for a 5 ft straight run section.

    Im 10ft from my mains and center and the surrounds are 7+ ft from the listening position. Rectangle room.

    I used 70 ft of Home Depot 12 gague @ 35 cents a ft. (is it me or does a keyboard not have the cents sign?)

    7 of the wire hiders...cut down in some sections.

    Still had to run one of the surrounds under the carpet to the opposite side of the room.

    The room looks great and the system sounds better than the dental floss that they supplied me with.
     
  17. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Johnson: Sorry if I over-reacted. I'm a little sensitive on this set because I casually mentioned it to a friend who ran out and bought it without an audition. I was over at his house a week ago hooking it all up and level-adjusting.

    So here he is with a new Sony $3K HDTV and a $500 Kenwood HTB. I was worried he would not like it, but he was very pleased when I left and still pleased when I him a week later.

    I have delt with this long enough to know that tastes in speakers are like tastes in ice-cream: What I think is "best" may not even be the same flavor that someone else likes. So recommending something that he bought "un-heard" was a bit risky.

    And I may have grumped at you a bit because of my nerviousness. Apologies :b
     

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