Speaker wire "formula"

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by DaveAr, May 21, 2003.

  1. DaveAr

    DaveAr Stunt Coordinator

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    What is the formula for configuring which speaker wire to use? EG; 10 / 12 /16 gauge? Number of feet from receiver?
    I looked at the site Parts Express mentioned here, nice, inexpensive,impressive. But which gauge, or manufacturer wire to use? They had Monster Flat wire. Carol wire, no name gauge wire. When I finally select my speakers I figure the run to the speakers may be as follows: Rear Surrounds: no more than 25-30'
    fronts: 10' Center: 8'
    What do you use for a Subwoofer?
    These are estimates, including "slack" wire for moving around.:b
     
  2. Adam Horak

    Adam Horak Stunt Coordinator

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    I would get the cheapest stuff you can find. Home Depot wire is pretty popular around here as it is dirt cheap. Thats what I use. Some will say quality wire can make a difference in a system, but most will tell you it doesnt make a difference. If there is a difference it is extremely small.

    I would recommend running 12ga to your rear speakers. Thats a pretty long run. 14ga would be fine for your fronts and center, but if you are buying 12ga for the rears anyway, you might as well use it for the other speakers.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Sounds like a 100 foot roll of 12 gauge ought to do just fine. If you're running in-wall, you should get wire that's CL2/3 rated in order to meet probable building codes. Pick up some spades and bananas and you're off to the races.

    For the sub, assuming it takes an RCA connection, you could simply buy some coax cable from say Radio Shack that's preterminated with F connectors and then just slap on some RCA-F adapters.
     
  4. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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  5. JeremyJP

    JeremyJP Auditioning

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    I ran my surrounds with cat5e rated wire. It is relatively expensive, but I got a deal on bulk cable for the rest of the wiring, so it didn't cost much. Many people can get free cat5e leftovers from work, so it might work.

    Each polarity for each speaker has a 4-pair cat5e dedicated to it. I stripped the 8 24gauge wires in a cat5 and twisted them together. Based on my calculations it is equivelant to approx. a 15.3gauge wire (~40% between 14 and 16 gauge). The twisted wires were screwed down into binding post jacks.

    It sounds great. Clean and crisp sound.
     

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