Wire installation

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ZachW, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. ZachW

    ZachW Stunt Coordinator

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    Excuse my ignorance, but I have no idea how I'm supposed to wire speakers to the receiver. I need a total of 200 ft in total wiring, but do I need double the wire because I need to connect both the + and - inputs? The total distance I have to cover in my house will be 200 ft, but since both the + & - inputs need to be connected to the corresponding inputs on the receiver do I need a total of 400 ft? Here's the wire I'm getting
    thanks
     
  2. ZachW

    ZachW Stunt Coordinator

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    Please help fast because I'm planning to order the wire as soon as my questions are answered. thanks
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Zach,

    Speaker wire is dual conductor, as you can see in the picture at the link you posted. In other words, the 200 ft. you measured will cover both the (+) and the (-). You will have to have a run for each speaker, however.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Some other tips:
    Run 3 runs of speaker wire to the rear of your room. This will set you up for the rear-center speaker that is becoming popular.
    The 2 speaker wires in the wire are identical, but one of the wires has a marking on the outer case. It's important that you hook the marked wire to the RED posts, and the other wire to the black. If your speakers have a +/- indicator, the marked/red wire should connect to the "+" post.
    (In truth, you could do it the other way, but you need to be consistant.)
    It is even more important to do a neat wire job with speaker wire. Do not leave strands of copper poking out. These will cause a short later on and can ruin your equipment. To help with this I really like the dual banana plugs from Radio Shack (2xx-308) for behind the speakers. For behind the receiver, the single bananas dont stick out as far (2xx-306). Buy 1 set of the dual banana plugs and bring them home to see if they fit the spacing on your binding posts. The spacing is NOT standardized.
    You should also have your receiver on the BOTTOM shelf of your rack so the speaker wires dont obscure or go near the rest of the equipment. They ARE power wires.
    Good Luck.
     
  5. Rick Chaisse

    Rick Chaisse Extra

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    Hi Zach,
    Here's a couple more important tips. Make sure the wire going to all three front speakers is exactly the same length.
    Also, the wires going to the rear speakers should be the same length, and if possible, a multiple of the length of the front speakers. In other words, if the front wire is 12ft. the rear should be 24 or, more than likely, 48ft. This all has to do with phase relationship. System that have phase problems have an unpleasant 'hardness' to the music.
    Another tip, don't use wire that resembles lamp cord. The two wires running parallel like that creates a high capacitance wire, which affects the rise time of the signal and you lose the 'sparkle' in the sound. Use wire that has an outside jacket and the wires inside are twisting down the length of the wire.
    Good luck.
    Rick
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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  8. Rick Chaisse

    Rick Chaisse Extra

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    Let's see.. how do I respond to these comments without starting a pissing contest.
    First of all, a friend of mine did the math on the balanced wire length also. He took your position until I demonstrated that, in reality, the difference is very apparent. I have my own theory as to why. The important thing is that, if you are open to the recommendation, please use it.
    As for the copper oxidizing, I agree. that's why I use Beldon's wire. They use an alloy that they've put together specifically for audio and it will last for many years.
    The issue of sparkle has to do with transients and their relation to the body of music. This is a factor regardless of the speakers you use. ( I've never seen a speaker that didn't sound significantly better using low capacitance wire ).
    Again, I'm just passing on a recommendation. You can decide whether or not to accept it, but please don't deny other people by denouncing it.
    Thank you all for your time.
    Rick
     
  9. Merconium

    Merconium Agent

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    Rick, I guess that my (and others') issue is that the electrons are traveling to the speaker at near lightspeed (literally.) I don't see that a few feet could possibly be heard; you'd need to be off by miles to hear a millisecond difference.
     
  10. Rick Chaisse

    Rick Chaisse Extra

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    Yes, Jeff, I know the argument. I have done extensive analysis on this from a listening perspective and my only thoughts about why I can hear the difference is that rather than looking at how fast the electrons are traveling, think about it as the sound waves leaving the speakers at different times. One other factor with different lengths is, of course, the change in impedance, but this acts on the dynamics more than the phase.
    By the way, I'm not the only one that has observed this. I initially read it in several technical journals and when I taught audio engineering at U.C. Santa Cruz, one class was dedicated to the experimentation of different lengths of wires and their effect on the stereo image. We injected a mono sound track and as we cut even small lengths of wire from one side, the center of the image shifted. Go figure.
    I use this theory when I install Home Theater systems and the results are amazing.
    Like I said before, it's a recommendation. I don't really want, or have the time to spend debating it. I can just suggest that you try it and make your own judgement call.
    Great site !!
    Rick
     
  11. GeorgeTW

    GeorgeTW Stunt Coordinator

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    In the audio frequencies, the equations for conductor resisitivity do not even see differances over a couple of feet. ( .000000017 vs .000000016 )
    When moving from KHz to MHz (video), then the differances are more critical.
    As a corporate AV projectionist, I have personally witnessed color-shifting over component RGB cables if their overall lengths were not within 2" of each other. This is why I don't recommend home-repair of video wire. Cable length and termination become a real issue if a client will only rent a low-cost LCD ( because part of what makes a projector 'low cost' is the lack of fine convergance control).

    As far as the capacitive comment is concerned, there is a fix for this. Most folks puchase low-capacitance cable because that is the cheaper solution. Another fix is to introduce an inductor to counter the capacitance.
    Recall that Capacitance Reactance, and Inductance Reactance are opposing forces, and careful selection of a proper inductor (on a long speaker run) can reduce the filtering effect (loss of sparkle).

    On the oxidation comment, and on the birdcage effect, there is a simple solution. TIN the leads. A properly tinned wire will not spread strands, and will not oxidize because the tinning process actually bonds the solder to the copper.
    Tinning is not difficult, the most important ingrediant is the use of flux.
    Flux does a number of things. It removes the thin layer of oxide & atmospheric gas layer from the area to be soldered. It also improves the flow of heat, allowing solder to flow evenly over the 'work' .

    Anyway, if you are handy with a soldering pencil, and you plan on a semi-permnanent installation, tinning the speaker leads is good insurance against problems.
     
  12. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  13. GeorgeTW

    GeorgeTW Stunt Coordinator

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    In other words, you don't want to have to change your name to ElStagnanto? [​IMG]
     
  14. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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