Help with wire purchase! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-24-2014, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone! I'm not sure if this is the right forum for my question, but if I could get some feedback I'd be great full! So, I'm planning to go buy all my wires and cables for my new home theatre. I know already that the salesman are going to try to get me to buy an over priced power bar (something like monster). So, firstly, are these bars really necessary, and if they are what should be a reasonable price to pay?

Thanks in advance for replies!!!
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-25-2014, 07:36 AM
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You can get a really nice 12 outlet power bar at Costco. It's by Belkin, it has surge suppression, coax protection and 2 USB power outlets. It's $20 CDN. You don't need more (unless you go to a UPS to survive power outages -- recommended for projectors).

Speaker wire can be bought as a bulk roll of 12 gauge wire from Home Depot. A 250' roll is $72 CDN. You'll never need anything more.

Interconnects (analog) are a bit trickier. They carry low voltage and are more susceptible to interference. All interconnects should be shielded. Don't go too cheap here, but you certainly don't need to break the bank on them. Monoprice is a good reputable place to buy cables without getting ripped off.

Digital interconnects (like SPDIF or USB cables) are definitely a place where you can be ripped off. You don't need to spend too much there, either. And for what it's worth, gold plated connectors on optical cables is just a blatant rip off!

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-25-2014, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbythechef View Post

So, firstly, are these bars really necessary, and if they are what should be a reasonable price to pay?

Thanks in advance for replies!!!

No, they are not necessary.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-02-2014, 05:53 AM
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I've seen a noticeable improvement in picture quality with the addition of quality power conditioners and they have saved my equipment from power spikes on more than one occasion. I have a Furman IT Reference protector/conditioner in my main theater along with Monster Power HTS3500 for mundane equipment and a Monster Power HTS300MK2 in the kids' theater along with a Monster conditioner on the projector that really cleans up the picture.

I use them even though I have strong constant power since we have our own transformer and a relatively short feed from the transformer to our service entrance. I also have separate breaker boxes for each theater.

When everything switched over to hdmi I got expensive Audioquest hdmi cables at first but have replaced them with $15 Monoprice hdmi cables with Redmere technology. Make sure to go no shorter than 6' with each hdmi cable.

In the kids' theater I wired up the speakers with twisted 14/3 electrical wire. The main theater has gone thru several different speaker cables but I have ended up with Audioquest Type8 with silver bfa connectorsfor the fronts and Type 4 for the surrounds. There is a substantial improvement in sound quality using better speaker cables.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-02-2014, 11:53 AM
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No offense to edflwler, but there will be no audible differences between different speaker wires with equivalent AWG copper sizes. And exotic materials will make no difference, either.

Any perceived differences in sound quality are due to placebo effects, confirmation bias or faulty comparison procedures.

Same is true for perceived picture quality improvements of digital signals. No cable will improve the quality of the HDMI signal, and any degradation would be stark and obvious (white speckles / dropouts, blue-screen loss of signal, etc.).

And even if there *were* differences as touted by snake oil salesman offering such products, your dollars would be better spent on the TV, projector or speakers - where there are absolute, measured, audible or visual differences and no "belief" in pseudoscience is required...
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-02-2014, 12:28 PM
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No offense taken, predictable response really.

It is edfowler BTW, not edflwler.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-02-2014, 01:38 PM
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IMO Home depot 12 ga speaker cable usually fine . Nothing wrong with 14/2 most runs under ~35-40ft depending on amp power ex: you can use 14/2 @1500wpc/8 ohms and 100ft no problems or audible loss.

Even 16ga Home depot zip cord is fine also in some applications it will handle 500 watts @ 8ohms@100ft. .


If installed into walls Belden makes some reasonably priced speaker cable that meets insurance and building codes Home depot *may have that or something like that as well if not Mono Price has the Belden installer wire . You can similarly get reasonably priced cables for long interconnects and HDMI cables the Monoprice / Redmere type cables mentioned are supposed to be decent for long HDMi runs . Many professional installers use Belden cable .


I use 12 ga Home Depot cable and 16ga Home depot zip cord for speaker wire in the studio @450WPC the reproduction is reasonably accurate in there .


I would recommend to read this by Roger Russel he was a sound engineer for many years at McIntosh labs yes that McIntosh not apple he knows a thing or two about audio and does not advocate overpriced boutique cables . here is another wire size calculator

IMO and many engineers will also agree, Any decent not expensive audio interconnect will work fine such as Amazon basics , Mono price or Blue Jeans, B.J. makes custom lengths also .

If using balanced interconnects (XLR) you can get supplies on line from Broadcast Supply houses ,Music stores or Mono price again those need not be real expensive either. ~$15.00 for a 12' balanced interconnect is not unreasonable. HDMI cables need not be over $1.50 a foot to work fine I have some $5.95 6' HDMI cables that work just as good as ones costing a lot more.

Many folks rightly say "you can't hear the wire "
ofc you don't want .98¢ interconnects but just a few dollars ea. will work on short runs . 5.1 , 7.1 ,X.1 etc home theater program sources are loosy compressed codecs anyway and have lost at least 50-90 % of their original resolution same for mp*** so they have been altered quite a bit to begin with it would take an extremely bad or undersize cable to further alter it in any audible way.

There are some boutique cables that *may alter *the
capacitance a little and *possibly * alter the sound but keep in mind different is not necessarily better . Personally I would consider any change made by a given wire compared to another otherwise electrically adequate wire a faulty wire regardless of the cost .

Some say they can hear the wire, maybe they can or maybe they think they can ,that could make for a long debate . It's your money but rather than reading advertisements and testimonials with no scientific proof cited in their claims I would consider what the pros use which are not usually the overpriced boutique cables.

The Costco power bar sounds reasonable I use similar products .

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post #8 of 11 Old 03-03-2014, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
predictable response really.

Yours or his?
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-03-2014, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

Yours or his?

I think it's fair to say both. biggrin.gif
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-03-2014, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edfowler View Post

There is a substantial improvement in sound quality using better speaker cables.
I agree. Personally, I am using this cable to bi-wire my speakers to my power amp.
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-03-2014, 01:06 PM
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So, what makes these better speaker cables sound better?
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