Speaker Wire

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Chris KAudio, May 12, 2004.

  1. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    I know I know... everyone has their own opinion... but I need some advice.

    I am going to have to buy some speaker cable soon. If my choices are Radio Shack, Best Buy, or Circuit City, what should I buy and where should I buy it at?

    I know I need 12gauge, thats all I know. I think i will just buy a spool of 100' just to make sure I have enough.

    Also, I have Athena F2's, and the center channel.
    Do I need banana plugs to connect these to my speakers?

    PS - I have read the faqs on this site.
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    A 100 foot spool is the most cost effective way to do this. If those are your choices, then buy the cheapest. I don't know how your speakers are terminated. Everybody has got their own thing about how to terminate the wires. I'm personally not a fan of either pins or plain wire as I consider it messy and prone to problems of various sorts and degrees. I happen to like spades on the speakers and bananas on the receiver.
    Online alternatives would be SoundKing over at Partsexpress or Knukonceptz if you're tired of seeing clear vinyl insulation and want something a little different. Costs are somewhere in the vicinity of under $0.50 a foot to which you've got to add s/h.
     
  3. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks... anybody else have any input?
     
  4. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Second Unit

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    I bought a 100' spool of 14-gauge RCA speaker wire at Home Depot. I believe it cost me $35. It works great.

    I had 16-guage Monster wire all around before, but due to a change in my room layout, I needed to buy more wire, so I decided to just do 14-gauge all around while I was at it.

    I think it's a good idea to use longer lengths of wire than you actually need (within reason), just for flexibility in case you need to move speakers around down the road.
     
  5. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    Great, thanks for the advice.
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Since you’re getting a 100’ spool, I assume your doing the rears as well as the fronts. Keep in mind that you will probably need in-wall rated wire for the rears.

    That wire will certainly work for the fronts too, but if the front wiring is going to be exposed you might want to take a different route, since in-wall wire is typically unattractive. It’s also less flexible compared to other speaker wire, due to fewer strands used.

    If the front wire is going to be exposed, you might look into something like Radio Shack’s Megacable. It’s finely stranded and very supple, and it’s very attractive. It’s a bit pricey – about $1 a foot, I think – but typically front runs are short, so it doesn’t add up to a whole lot.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm... I am living in an apartment and will be having the speaker wire run along the wall for my rears and obviously the speaker wire for the frond and center and sub will be running behind the TV....

    so now what do you guys suggest?

    I dont need expensive cabling...
     
  8. Alan Wise

    Alan Wise Stunt Coordinator

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    There are many threads here regarding speaker wire. I read them and then went to Home Depot and bought 14 gauge speaker wire that they have in bulk. It costs $0.26 per foot and the salesman cuts it to whatever length you want. I then purchased gold plated spade contacts from Radio Shack. I measured my seven lines, and cut them to length accordingly. I crimped on my contacts, and then soldered them for added integrity. Finally, before routing the wires, I labeled each one (directly behind my receiver) with a Sharpie on white electrical tape.
    I've used Monster brand speaker wire in the past, and I can't even slightly tell the difference if any between it and the Home Depot stuff.
    Also, I love the advetising lines that state "Oxygen Free". Oxygen free is standard, even on the cheap stuff. It's the packaging and advertising that cost you the money.

    Good Luck, Al. Wise
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Was not an answer provided in the context of your question?
     
  10. DaveDickey

    DaveDickey Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris, I too have the F2's in front along with the Athena center and surrounds. Rather than pretend to be a speaker wire expert, I'll just tell you what I did with my setup. Everything works flawlessly.

    I bought a 100' spool of Original Monster Cable for the mains and center, and a 100' spool of Monster XP (the flat White stuff) for the surrounds. I then bought 20 gold-plated banana plugs and threw it all together. Tha Athenas work great with the banana setup - nice & snug [​IMG]

    Some people will tell you to buy the cheapest lamp cord you can find. Others will tell you "you get what you pay for."
    Since I'm not an electrical engineer, I chose the middle road...medium quality, medium price. No complaints.

    Have fun stripping those wires! Dave
     
  11. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks a lot! so I assume I need 2 pairs of gold-plated banana plugs for each speaker....

    so 2 fronts, center, sub, 2 surrounds = 6X2 = 12?
     
  12. DaveDickey

    DaveDickey Stunt Coordinator

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    You'll need four bananas for each speaker. Two for the speaker and two for the receiver. You can also buy double bananas: Both the pos and neg are in the same housing. The Athenas will accept this type of plug, but make sure your receiver will also before you buy.
     

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