Would this be "good" wire for 50' in wall run?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Bill Waxman, May 18, 2004.

  1. Bill Waxman

    Bill Waxman Auditioning

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    Hello all!
    (first post fyi)
    I need to run speaker wire in-wall to hook up surround speakers (approx 50' runs). I found the following wire on eBay and was wondering if this would be good/proper wire. The seller is asking about $100 for 250' of wire.


    Here's the link to the wire (Its Ebay Item 5700257450):
    cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=14966&item=5700257450&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

    I was also wondering if there was either a better quality wire at the same price or a similar quality wire at a lower price. Thank you in advance for your help in this matter. [​IMG]

    - Bill
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    It’s great wire, but it’s more than twice as much as you need. You could come out cheaper getting something more expensive by the foot if you got only what you needed

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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  4. Bill Waxman

    Bill Waxman Auditioning

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    Actually, I was thinking of using the rest of the wire to run wire out to my pool area for a couple outdoor "rock" speakers. Can this wire be used for this purpose as well? I figured I'd run some pvc tubing to keep it protected. But otherwise this is great for what I want to do, eh?

    While I'm thinking about it, I already have two wall plates with 5-way binding posts. What would be the 'best' way to connect the in-wall wire to the plates? (i.e. banana clips, spades, pushing the wire through the hole and clamping down, other?) Thanks again for the quick response. I've been reading this forum for a while now and I can see why it's one of the best!
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    It's great wire and a good price.

    Wall Plates: Dont.

    Pull enough wire to create a un-broken run from equipment to speakers. Buy blank wall-plates and drill holes just larger than the wires and thread the wires through the plates. This will give you a custom look.

    Later, if you really want, you can cut the wires off near the wall and install the covers with the binding posts. But pulling the extra wire gives you the most reliable run (no breaks) and gives you options for the future.

    If you do install plates with binding posts - try and just strip off the minimum insulation and use bare-wires on the posts on the back side. Warning: most binding posts have a side-hole only big enough for 14 ga. You CAN shove 12 ga into the holes but its a tight fit. If any copper strands stick out, trim them off. Years later these little strands can cause shorts if you dont.
     
  6. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    This is timely thread as I need 12 guage in wall as well.. This is what I've been considering as its the right amount but the price on that ebay stuff seems pretty good.

    http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/s...cable.html#lib

    This stuff is cheaper than the Parts express stuff.

    Which one would you go with? I could go either way and I'm thinking I doubt I will go wrong either way.

    The price for the LIberty is a bit more from what I can tell but I doubt you will get it for that low of a price. Ebay is kind of weird sometimes. FWIW, I don't care about the THX aspects of the Liberty.

    I only need 100 feet but buying more than I need never hurt me..plus it's only 10 more $$ as I think shipping would be a wash.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Either way Shane. The nice thing about the strand count being high is that it improves flexibility if you're making a continuous run from your smp or receiver to the surrounds.
     
  8. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Well I'm leaning on the Tributaries route. The high strand count and price is good. Their strand count is double that of the other manufacturers out there that I've seen. 900+ feedbacks all positive on ebay seems like a deal I can't pass up.
     
  9. Bill Waxman

    Bill Waxman Auditioning

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    Bob (or anyone else who has an opinion),

    When you state that installing the wire through blank drilled wall-plates "gives [me] options for the future," what options are you referring to? I've seen this recommendation several times, but never really saw any mention of the future options. My thoughts in using the plates with 4 pairs of binding posts were that any future plans for upgrading to a 6 or 7-speaker system could be covered. I will take your advice and install the bare wires to the inside posts.

    Also, will the wire from partsexpress work well for runs to outdoor speakers? One issue I am particularly worried about is that I live in Phoenix, AZ and want to make sure the summer heat won't damage the speaker wire. I plan on running the wire through pvc couple inches underground. My hopes were the pvc conduit would help protect the wire from damage.

    Again, I thank everyone for their advice ahead of time! [​IMG]
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    From a reliability/best possible connection standpoint, a un-broken run of wires is best.

    Pulling enough wire to make the run un-broken allows you to cut the wire off at the face plate later and install binding posts.

    So you have un-broken run now and the option of a face-plate with binding posts later.
     
  11. Bill Waxman

    Bill Waxman Auditioning

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    Ok Bob, I gotcha now. I'll do that, thank you.

    Anyone have issues with the wire for outdoor runs that I should know about, or would the 12-2 CL3-rated stuff be ok?
     
  12. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    It will work fine for outdoor, since you say you’re going to use conduit. Outdoor wire simply has a special insulation compound that makes it suitable for exposure to sunlight or direct burial.

    That said, at some point you may have to come out of the conduit to connect to the speaker, and the wire will be exposed. If that’s the case I suggest using a waterproof junction box and splice in some outdoor wire between it and the speaker. The black zip-cord they use for low voltage lighting will do the trick; you can get it in sizes up to 12 ga.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  13. Bill Waxman

    Bill Waxman Auditioning

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    Wayne (or anyone else),
    Where would the best place be to find a waterproof junction box? Would I need one for each speaker or would it come early in the run? Also, is black zip-cord simply an outdoor electrical power wire? Is this something I could easily get at Home Depot or is it a special wire best bought in a specialty shop or online? I appologize if I seem to be asking too much. I do appreciate the help though...
     
  14. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Bill, you’ll need to use a junction box any place where there is a transition from the conduit to exposure. You can find waterproof junction boxes on the electrical aisle at the hardware store. You’ll have to make sure any conduit you use can be connected to the box.

    The black zip cord can be found at Home Depot or any other hardware store, with the low voltage lighting supplies. It’s suitable for sunlight and direct burial. In fact, it would be easiest to use this entirely for your outdoor run, but I understand you’ve already invested in the other wire.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  15. Bill Waxman

    Bill Waxman Auditioning

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    Wayne,

    Thank you for the information. I'll go take a look at junction boxes and see what would work best. Also, I'll check out the black zip cord and if it'll be that much easier to just run that, there are all kinds of other house projects I can use the speaker wire for.

    This may be the wrong forum to discuss this, but in using the outdoor wiring, are "rock" speakers the best choice, or are there other, better outdoor speaker solutions that I may want to consider? These would be going into a small backyard that mostly consists of my pool.

    Thank you again for your help. [​IMG]
     
  16. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Bill,

    It’s difficult to say if there are “better” outdoor speakers than the rocks without knowing what your expectations are. If you’re primarily interested in just getting some sound out there, they’ll do fine. However, if you’re interested in real high fidelity or perhaps high volume levels or deep bass, I expect you’ll be disappointed in them.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  17. Bill Waxman

    Bill Waxman Auditioning

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    Wayne,

    Sorry about being too general. I am basically just looking for a couple/set of speakers that can provide enough sound to fill a small (approx 20' x 60') backyard that mainly consists of a pool, the rocks around it and a small patio. The entire backyard is walled in with brick(very common in Phoenix). I'm looking for speakers that could get loud enough to be heard well throughout the backyard area. The quality doesn't need to be spectacular, just not so poor that you can't understand the words or the music. (Sorry, not sure specific that is...)

    I have a little experience with home theater sound, but I'm not too sure how much sound may or may not be lost when applying speaker specs to an open-air outdoor setup. I understand basic concepts concerning speakers, but I'm at a loss for situations like this. I'm generally looking for specs or numbers I need to look for in speakers.

    Thanks again for your help.
    Bill
     
  18. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Bill,

    The first thing you can expect to lose is bass response, since there is no “cabin gain” like you get from a room inside the house. Naturally, you also could not expect to get volume levels as loud as indoors, but you’d be surprised how well sound will carry outside.

    The more speakers you have, the better coverage is from a standpoint of consistent sound level throughout the area. In other words, if you used only one, the volume would be strong close to it, and weak at the farthest distance. In order to get a good level at the farthest parameter, the level would be uncomfortably loud for people close to it. With background music, you want to keep the volume as consistent as possible throughout the entire listening area.

    I would expect that a pair of speakers would do just fine for a yard that size. It’s a good place to start, at least. It should be easy enough to hook them up for a trial run; you could move around the yard and determine if third might be in order. If you can place them near the brick walls, the sound can reflect and disperse back towards the yard.

    Another thing, you want to run a mono signal for background music. Stereo is only useful where the listeners are in the “sweet spot.” In background music situations, stereo is not the ticket.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  19. Bill Waxman

    Bill Waxman Auditioning

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    Wayne,

    I looked up the difference between a stereo and mono hookup. I found that the difference between the two is that a mono signal reproduces the same sound from both/all the speakers thus the sound is the same no matter where in the area a person is (maybe a touch louder when closer to the speaker), and a stereo signal actually sends independent signals to each/all the speakers and can create a "sweet spot" and create different areas of sound as one moves around the area. I can see why it would be important to a mono signal.

    My question is how one creates a mono signal using home theater type equipment. According to some research bridging an amp could send a mono signal or just sending a mono signal directly from the receiver would obviously do the same thing. How exactly would I go about creating a mono signal using a slightly older 50wx5 onkyo receiver?
     
  20. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Bill,

    The easiest way to create a mono signal is to use a “y” adapter, although technically it is frowned upon.

    The correct way is to use a summing network. Funny thing – I did a Google search and found lots of information on them but could not find one that you could actually buy. They’re easy to make if you can solder – when I was installing pro audio systems we used to insert a pair of in-line 10k resistors for the L/R (+) signals, although pro audio manufacturer Rane does it a little different in this white paper at their website.

    But if you want to buy one it may take some effort to find one. Try a car or pro audio dealer. If all else fails, look for a local company that installs pro or commercial audio systems. They’re pretty common in that field.

    Barring that, you could try using a pair of RCA “y” cables back to back: The first “y” would be a two males to a single female, the second a male to two females. This will combine the signal, and then split it again for the inputs into your old Onkyo receiver. Even with the summing network, you’ll have to use an adapter to split the now-mono signal for inputting into the receiver.

    I would have to know more about your equipment to advise further. If you’re using a DVD player for your music source, and already have it connected via a digital cable to your receiver, then you could use the “y’s” or summing network on the player’s analog outputs, and send them to a separate input. If that’s not the case, if you’re using another music source with only analog outputs, we’ll have to do something else; otherwise you're going to have mono sound for your in-house listening.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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