Suggestions for DIY speaker cable

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MannyE, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    I would like to make my own spaeaker cables out of something very flexible like microphone cable.

    Anyone have Belden or other stock number suggestions for this type of wire? I'm figuring on AR banana plugs to terminate, or tranfer the spades I have now. I can;t hear a difference between the spades and the bananas so I'm thinking of switching to the easier BPs

    I'm torn between getting single conductor cables, twisting them together and sheathing with a braided cover (a la megabuck firehoses) or a dual conductor cable and just terminating and be done with it.

    I want it to be very flexible so I can easily route it and use some double stick tape to keep it in place. The Monster stuff I'm using right now needs to be nailed in place and I don't want to make holes in my walls or floor. It's also so stiff (well not sooooo stiff, but stiffer than mic cable if ya know what I mean) it "pops" out from against the wall and keeps getting in the way.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Manny,

    Hate to break it to you, but mic cable (or any other signal cable) is wholly unsuitable for speaker connections. In addition, it will not work well (if at all) with banana plugs.

    While mic cable is may look substantial, the center conductors carrying the signal are only 20-22ga. Wire this thin will add a lot of resistance, which will adversely affect the way your speakers sound. In addition, small-gauge wire will rob power, especially for long runs like you are talking about.

    It is always best to use the heaviest gauge wire you can for speaker cable, preferably 12ga. I realize your application requires some limitations in wire size, but if you were planning to use double mice cables, you should just as easily be able to use 16ga. zip cord. You can get it in white, dark brown or black – hopefully one of those will be an aesthetic blend for your installation.

    As far as attaching it to the wall, it seems strange you don’t want any holes, or to nail down the wire. I assure you, at the end of the road, double-sided tape will leave just as much unsightly damage once you try to remove it from the wall. Not to mention, it’s going to make for an ugly installation. The members here (myself included) could give you tips on dropping in-wall that would require holes no larger than the wire is thick.

    If you really don’t want to do that, and since you are willing to use double-sided tape, you might try what I did recently on a job I did that required surface-mounted runs: a hot glue gun. This let me cleanly and invisibly tack the wire down at any place it wanted to “pop up” off the surface of the wall. I used white zip-cord, painted with a wood-stain marker, which made for a practically invisible run up the corner or a wood-paneled wall. For durability, I secured the wire at the top and bottom of the wall with tiny finishing nails; thus the hot glue merely held the wire in place against the wall.

    Of course, it’s anyone’s guess what the glue will be leave behind if the wire is ever pulled off the wall, but it certainly can’t be any worse than what double-sided tape would leave behind.

    Happy Holidays,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks very much for the info! I have shown your post to the wife and you've just made my life a whole lot easier!
     

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