Wire for Speakers Question

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by wpgWiggum, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. wpgWiggum

    wpgWiggum Extra

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, While this is one of my first posts, I have read quite a bit on these forums and have learned quite a bit.

    My question today is this: I recently bought my first house, and need a lot of speaker wire. My dad has access to a lot of 12ga automotive wire and he believes it would be a good substitute to the wire I was going to buy at home depot. He thinks the strands of wire are a bit thicker then the strands found in speaker wire (but his knowledge may be outdated).

    Will I loose anything by using the automotive wire, or should I go out and get the roll from Home Depot?

    If it helps, I'm using 4 Harmon Kardon HKB4 speakers and 2 HKC speakers, with an older Yamaha RX-V540 receiver.

    Thanks for your help!!
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,061
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Anything going in-wall for the rear speakers needs to be CL-2 or CL-3 rated.

    Your automotive wire will work fine for anything in-room, like for the center and L/R. However...
    ...if this is standard “hook-up wire” for cars, then yes, it will have fewer strands, and they will be thicker. The wire is functional from a performance perspective, but from a practical perspective it’s is going to be stiffer and probably won’t lay down of the floor all nice and smooth like the supple, highly-stranded speaker wire will.

    If you use it you might want to twist two strands together to make a “single” cable, rather than two loose wires. You can easily do this by chucking up the wires in a bench vice at one end, and an electric drill at the other. Keep them stretched tight while you run the drill motor, and keep them stretched while you release them from the chuck.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. wpgWiggum

    wpgWiggum Extra

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info, but I have to ask a bit more,

    You say I need a CL-2 or CL-3 rating for going in-wall for the rear speakers. Is there a reason I need a rated cable?

    I plan on having all my wires from the speakers go into the wall, down under the existing flooring, then back up to where my receiver will be. I'm not too worried about the wires being stiffer, as once they are in place they won't be moving.

    Good idea about twisting the two strands, never thought of that, but will be sure to use the suggestion!

    Thanks again!
     
  4. John Titan

    John Titan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    CL-3 Is a fire rating. So that if there is a fire in your house the plastic sheeting won't act as kindling. It's usually a code violation in most places if you run standard speaker wire behind the wall.( regular wire can be run in-wall as long as it is in some type conduit or greenfield)
     

Share This Page