which is better for multi zone..running speaker wire or ca5/6 cable? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-30-2012, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I am building a 6-10 audio system in my house and was wondering which is better, or the pros / cons of each,

1. Use two 12-channel amps and run speaker wire to each location OR
2. Run Ethernet cable to each location and use a local single amp next to the speakers?

systems I'm researching
-itunes, airport express and phone/tablet app
-squeezebox server with sound cards, and hopefully a phone/tablet app

Thanks

Capall
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-30-2012, 04:39 PM
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#1 is much better; limited quality of zone amps.

I'd run category cable to keypad locations, for control from each zone.

Run the speaker cable past the keypad location, and you'll be wired for both options.

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-30-2012, 06:54 PM
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+1. Do exactly what Neurorad suggests. That will set you up for any of the options, and is what is recommended by the CEA standards for whole house audio... Running a cat5e to the potential keypad location is key to the future potential.

Jeff


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post #4 of 7 Old 09-14-2012, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys,
Why would running long lengths of speaker wire be better than long lengths of cat5/6. Will the analog sound in the speaker cable not be affected by the long run?
Thanks
derek

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post #5 of 7 Old 09-15-2012, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capaill View Post

Thanks guys,
Why would running long lengths of speaker wire be better than long lengths of cat5/6. Will the analog sound in the speaker cable not be affected by the long run?

Speaker wire is a much heavier gauge than category cable - it's sized for the home run distances... The difference is that a central amp (generally much larger per channel) can drive a lot of power into speaker wire, whereas a category-based setup is just providing DC power to a small amp located in each keypad...

Jeff


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post #6 of 7 Old 09-17-2012, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks, makes sense, however if I was not using keypads, and just using a phone or table app for music selection, then would it be about the same quality for either run types?

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post #7 of 7 Old 09-17-2012, 12:21 PM
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thanks, makes sense, however if I was not using keypads, and just using a phone or table app for music selection, then would it be about the same quality for either run types?

No. Speaker cable is much larger than a cat5e wire (even if you tied 4 conductors together). The power that can be delivered to the speakers over typical house-sized distances will be extremely limited over cat5e vs. a cheap 16AWG speaker wire.


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