Speaker Wire On a fair budget.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Keith_Current, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. Keith_Current

    Keith_Current Auditioning

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    Hello again,

    While my brother in Law is installing my Floating floor I plan on working on the wiring prep-work using PVC pipes and hide them in the Drop Ceiling.

    So Im searching for Good speaker wire so many types. I do remember when looking for speaker wire you want your wire to be braided n a 45 degree angle. I plan to create my own Component A/V cables for my Equipment. So I just need to find a good wire that wont break the budget.

    Could some of you wire junkies give me some Specs on what to look for and what to avoid?

    thanks in Advance.
    [​IMG]

    -Keith
     
  2. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    I'm not a wire junkie but I would recommend a good 14 to 16 gauge CL3 rated wire. CL3 is a fire code for in wall/ceiling use.
     
  3. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    I would recommend even heavier - 12 guage - and well shielded. Also look for good terminations, ones that will give a nice secure connection to both the wire and the speaker. I used Monster solderless banana pins and they work great. Easy to use and an excellent degree of contact with 12 guage cable. That's actually the limit of what they'll accept. Just brush the exposed strands down over the Monster collar so it looks like a water fall splaying across the sides, nice and even. Screw on the head and you're done. I've taken the time to dress mine up further with braided sleeving and speaker pants from Parts Express. Looks great and I don't have any apparent performance issues.

    I'll post pictures later if you're interested.
     
  4. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    If he uses a PVC conduit, it might not be necessary to have the speaker wire to be in-wall rated. I dunno for sure though...

    About finding "shielded" speaker wire... I always thought that signal wire should be shielded from RF and not speaker wire. I guess if you are worried you could go with a coaxial wire which will be shielded and that should be fine to act as speaker wire though you would need quite a bit... hehe, Oh and cross your wires at 90 degree angles too i suppose.

    I think if it were me, I'd buy the wire in a 500ft spool and probably go with 12 or 14 gauge.

    Parts Express sells this for $130:

    12 GA 2 COND SPEAKER WIRE 500' High quality architectural speaker cable made for home and office sound systems. UL approved CMR or CL3R rating makes it acceptable for most building and electrical codes. Gray PVC jacket with color coded S-R PVC (red, black) stranded wires. Made in USA.

    If that won't work with the conduit, then you could go for 14 gauge 4 cond wire and it should be ok.

    You can have the wire coming out of a hole/grommet in the wall, or use a binding post wall plate.

    Terminating the ends with banana plugs makes it easier, though if u wanted to save money, you could just coat the ends with solder so the ends don't fray apart and connect the ends directly to your amplifier.

    I do this to save money. [​IMG]
     
  5. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    If you really wanted to go nuts, you could use braided cat5, or do some crazy stuff with $1/ft Belden coax but I don't really think that's all that necessary for surrounds.

    I guess I'm not a firm believer that "braided" speaker wire sounds different than non-braided.
     
  6. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    I ended up going direct to minimize the breaks in the connection. The wall plates look nice, though. If coming out of a wall and you want to maintain a single run there are cable shields that work really well. Looks like a small ventilation cover with a hooded opening from the bottom. You could paint it to match your paint and it would be essentially invisible.
     
  7. Don.l

    Don.l Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't buy the Monster cables. They are over rated. However, they do have a good speaker wire in that the wire is weaved at a 45 degree angle and tight. You can get something similar for a lot less. I just got mine at the Home Depot. It is like 14 gauge and is nice and thick. Just my opinion.

    Don
     
  8. Keith_Current

    Keith_Current Auditioning

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    Excellent information folks.. [​IMG] thanks again for all the feedback.

    Its funny about theCat5 Braided I know a friend who created a Monster cable (not the company name) of Cat5. Wow it was insanely huge to work with.

    How many cat5 cables did you braid?
     
  9. Keith_Current

    Keith_Current Auditioning

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    Jay Mitchosky

    I would like to see the plugs if you have the photos.
    My buddy is trying to convince me to do braided Cat5 but Im more inclined to get 12 ga wire.
     

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