Help needed with speaker wire!!!!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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One of my fondest memories as a kid was going to the movies,so i'm on a quest to build my own dedicated theater at home and Ive hit a snag when it comes to speaker wire.

I was wondering what brand/type of speaker wires and/or cable do commercial theaters use most?

Please dont flame me I am a noob to all the technical stuff but the only way to learn is to ask.haha

any and all answers are welcome and will be very appreciated.
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post #2 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlock2991 View Post

One of my fondest memories as a kid was going to the movies,so i'm on a quest to build my own dedicated theater at home and Ive hit a snag when it comes to speaker wire.

I was wondering what brand/type of speaker wires and/or cable do commercial theaters use most?

Please dont flame me I am a noob to all the technical stuff but the only way to learn is to ask.haha

any and all answers are welcome and will be very appreciated.

Not sure how many people on AVS would know or care what commercial theaters use for speakerwire, but since you're building a HOME theater why not use speakerwire designed for home theater? Most likely any 12, 14, or 16 gauge speakerwire from Monoprice would do just fine.

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post #3 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlock2991 View Post

One of my fondest memories as a kid was going to the movies,so i'm on a quest to build my own dedicated theater at home and Ive hit a snag when it comes to speaker wire.

I was wondering what brand/type of speaker wires and/or cable do commercial theaters use most?

Please dont flame me I am a noob to all the technical stuff but the only way to learn is to ask.haha

any and all answers are welcome and will be very appreciated.

Not flaming you but there are 100's of posts regarding this on avs.

Just type in speaker wire and hit search.

You'll find what you need and more.

As holt pointed out, pretty much anything you find at Home depot (Locally) or monoprice (online) would do.

Test,

Mpray1983- "User error due to sneeze or fart occurred during measurement"
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post #4 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for your input.

the reason im asking about commercial theater wire is because im using pro cinema equipment and im really trying to replicate that true theater experience at its best.
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post #5 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 02:10 PM
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my "guess" is the theaters might us 70 volt speaker systems. If you are using pro equipment, you need to get the manuals and spec's to figure out what you need.
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post #6 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

my "guess" is the theaters might us 70 volt speaker systems. If you are using pro equipment, you need to get the manuals and spec's to figure out what you need.

I doubt most theatres use a 70V system. And even if they did, the wire would be the same.

There is no real advantage to using 70V in a typical theatre. In my opinion of disadvantages of 70V would outweigh the wiring advantage.

But I really don't know what type system is used.

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post #7 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 04:04 PM
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I have some wire that was used ~12yrs ago for a new Famous Players IMAX and it looks like a 12-14 guage. Tough grey shield and the wire itself seems to have lots of fine strands and is silver. Looks to me like standard speaker wire but is fairly stiff....again this stuff is over 12yrs old and Famous Players is long gone so who know what is used these days!
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post #8 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 04:11 PM
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Just go to Monoprice and buy the thickest speaker wire they sell. Which is 12 gauge. I just bought a 50' roll recently and it was like $11 or something like that. Very cheap. The thicker the better because that results in less resistance and better signal transfer.
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post #9 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 04:17 PM
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Bell'O 7000 Series SP7650 - Bulk speaker cable - 14 AWG

"The audio you hear is only as good as the signal that gets transferred over the speaker wire. Seven individual bundles of ultra thin wire strands are precisely wrapped together to provide extraordinary sound imaging".

Yessiree! 99% pure OXYGEN FREE


http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...u=05788281000P
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post #10 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krs View Post

Bell'O 7000 Series SP7650 - Bulk speaker cable - 14 AWG

"The audio you hear is only as good as the signal that gets transferred over the speaker wire. Seven individual bundles of ultra thin wire strands are precisely wrapped together to provide extraordinary sound imaging".

Yessiree! 99% pure OXYGEN FREE


http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...u=05788281000P

Damn, I hope you're joking and not gonna spend good money on that crap. Oxygen free is all marketing BS. Copper is copper. Unless they are filling the insides of the wire with filler air and not really 12 or 14g like they say it is, then it should be fine. This oxygen free stuff is all made up stuff to fool the uneducated.
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post #11 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlock2991 View Post

thanks for your input.

the reason im asking about commercial theater wire is because im using pro cinema equipment and im really trying to replicate that true theater experience at its best.

I think it would help if you list your equipment so we have a better understanding of what you're talking about. The only considerations are how much current is going through these wires so that the insulation can handle it and not burn through it. But for speaker wires, getting the 12 gauge wires should be fine.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
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post #12 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonLavs View Post

Damn, I hope you're joking

Yep. I was. Googled "true theater speaker wire". Thought the Sears link gave it up as a joke, but added the yippee to lock it down.
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post #13 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 04:54 PM
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Nothing magical about speaker wire. Just buy the lowest gauge that's practical/affordable. This would typically be anywhere from 10 to 16 guage with the lower number being better especially for long cable runs.
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post #14 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discopaul View Post

Nothing magical about speaker wire. Just buy the lowest gauge that's practical/affordable. This would typically be anywhere from 10 to 16 guage with the lower number being better especially for long cable runs.

What about banana plugs? Would something like this OK to use? I have Vienna Acoustics speakers that will be conncected to Denon AVR-4311.

http://cgi.ebay.com/20-PACK-GLS-Audi...40081347832909
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post #15 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelhryu View Post

What about banana plugs? Would something like this OK to use? I have Vienna Acoustics speakers that will be conncected to Denon AVR-4311.

http://cgi.ebay.com/20-PACK-GLS-Audi...40081347832909

Sure they'll be fine. If possible however I would just attach the bare wire leads to the speaker terminals.
I would use the $30 to buy some fine cds.
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post #16 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krs View Post

Bell'O 7000 Series SP7650 - Bulk speaker cable - 14 AWG

"The audio you hear is only as good as the signal that gets transferred over the speaker wire. Seven individual bundles of ultra thin wire strands are precisely wrapped together to provide extraordinary sound imaging".

Yessiree! 99% pure OXYGEN FREE


http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...u=05788281000P

there was a thread somewhere in avs about an HDMI cable on amazon that cost close to 10K, not to mention some insane speaker wire holder at $500 a pair.
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post #17 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonLavs View Post

Damn, I hope you're joking and not gonna spend good money on that crap. Oxygen free is all marketing BS. Copper is copper.

marketing BS? oxygen free is the only way to replicate that "true theater experience at its best." otherwise its just a true theater experience at its not so best. i'm talking about that sweet analog warmth and "punch" you only get that with the oxygen free deal.

p.s. i'm looking for a pro cinema popcorn machine, red with the big wheels, just need confirmation it runs on theater grade 220v, not the home grade 110v bullcrap. thanks and "god bless"
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post #18 of 37 Old 01-12-2011, 12:32 AM
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Apart from "oxygen free" which I personally feel is unimportant, but definitely will not hurt to get "the ultimate sound" would just like to explain to the OP why the more strands of copper the cable has the better... Actually... it's better explained by the likes of wikipedia or something.
Google "skin effect"
Basicly, the larger the diameter, with the most finest strands of copper, the better.
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post #19 of 37 Old 01-12-2011, 02:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlock2991 View Post

thanks for your input.

the reason im asking about commercial theater wire is because im using pro cinema equipment and im really trying to replicate that true theater experience at its best.

I'm using some speakers in my home that are installed in cinemas/theaters as well. I'm also using some Crown K2 amps and an EV active crossover.

For wire, I am using some low voltage outdoor wiring (12g) that I bought at Home Depot.

Works and sounds fantastic. Don't fret the wire too much.
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post #20 of 37 Old 01-12-2011, 04:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for your input!!!

It helped put my mind at ease.
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post #21 of 37 Old 01-12-2011, 04:46 AM
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If you're running speaker wire in your walls, you might want to follow code and buy CL2 rated wire. That's what I used in my build. I also ran it through conduit to allow changing/adding if necessary (which I doubt). I ran double wires to my L/C/R outlets since my current speakers allow for bi-wiring. I'm not using that feature currently.

If you're using 8 ohm speakers, 14 gauge will be fine for runs up to 80 feet. I doubt you'll have runs anywhere near that long. I would be fine for runs up to 40 feet with 4 ohm speakers. There would be no reason to use anything bigger, like 12 gauge.

Do some calculations. In my 16x20 home theater, to wire 7.1, including double runs to L/C/R, it took 300' of speaker wire!
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post #22 of 37 Old 01-12-2011, 07:40 AM
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post #23 of 37 Old 01-13-2011, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by test4echo101 View Post

Not flaming you but there are 100's of posts regarding this on avs.

Just type in speaker wire and hit search.

You'll find what you need and more.

As holt pointed out, pretty much anything you find at Home depot (Locally) or monoprice (online) would do.

Test,

The Home Depot speaker wire I bought turned green. I've read that if they use a PVC jacket that will happen.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #24 of 37 Old 01-13-2011, 08:29 PM
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To buy higher grade cable than that which is inside your speaker is a waste.
You only need the proper gauge from the receiver to the speakers. Every
thing goes to the network and wires in your speaker - no type of fancy or
expensive cable, will be able to transfigure that.

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post #25 of 37 Old 01-13-2011, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

- no type of fancy or
expensive cable, will be able to transfigure that.

Sure it will.
As you say, the correct gauge from receiver to speaker (further, the fatter) but that alone is not what gives the best result. Any type of data running down copper, tends to be more attracted to the surface area, than the core of the copper. Because the data traveling to the speakers is very important, the more strands of copper in one cable, the more surface area it has to travel down. The most stands, of the thinnest copper you can find, is best what determines a quality cable

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definit...541369,00.html
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post #26 of 37 Old 01-13-2011, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Teh Pwner View Post

Sure it will.
As you say, the correct gauge from receiver to speaker (further, the fatter) but that alone is not what gives the best result. Any type of data running down copper, tends to be more attracted to the surface area, than the core of the copper. Because the data traveling to the speakers is very important, the more strands of copper in one cable, the more surface area it has to travel down. The most stands, of the thinnest copper you can find, is best what determines a quality cable

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definit...541369,00.html

I'm not saying this is right or wrong but it's the first I've heard this. And even if it is true (which it very well may be) you and I could never hear the difference in it.

OP: Just make sure you use the correct gauge wire for the length of run you are doing. As others have already said the further the run the thicker the gauge needs to be.

Since this is in your home it's a safe bet that 12 gauge would be a bit of overkill.

As to which brand, it makes no difference. You can use low voltage outdoor light wire if you want. With that said I also have heard and seen that the Home Depot brand of speaker wire turns green. At least the sheath itself does.
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post #27 of 37 Old 01-14-2011, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teh Pwner View Post

Sure it will.
As you say, the correct gauge from receiver to speaker (further, the fatter) but that alone is not what gives the best result. Any type of data running down copper, tends to be more attracted to the surface area, than the core of the copper. Because the data traveling to the speakers is very important, the more strands of copper in one cable, the more surface area it has to travel down. The most stands, of the thinnest copper you can find, is best what determines a quality cable

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definit...541369,00.html

spend a bit of time poking around here at avs, and you'll see why this isn't relevant to the application at hand...

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post #28 of 37 Old 01-14-2011, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teh Pwner View Post

Sure it will.
As you say, the correct gauge from receiver to speaker (further, the fatter) but that alone is not what gives the best result. Any type of data running down copper, tends to be more attracted to the surface area, than the core of the copper. Because the data traveling to the speakers is very important, the more strands of copper in one cable, the more surface area it has to travel down. The most stands, of the thinnest copper you can find, is best what determines a quality cable

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definit...541369,00.html

Skin effect only occurs at frequencies far, far higher than what's traveling through your speaker wires. The only thing that matters with speaker wire, assuming that it's competently manufactured, is that the gauge is adequate for your distance/power requirements.

That said, I'd avoid speaker wire from Ebay unless it's a brand name product. I've discovered that a huge amount of the car audio wiring kits sold on Ebay have fraudulently labeled wire thicknesses. I have no idea if this same nonsense is going on for just speaker wire purchases, but I suspect that it is.

Monoprice and Parts Express are the two places that I buy all of my interconnects.
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post #29 of 37 Old 01-14-2011, 11:14 AM
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Skin effect occurs when an AC current runs through copper. Period.
I'm not saying that a human can hear the difference, but don't forget what the OPs original question was, yeah?
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post #30 of 37 Old 01-14-2011, 11:30 AM
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^^^

the op's original question has zero to do with what you have chosen to "share" with us...

however, skin effect has zero effect at frequencies in the audio range... like i suggested to you earlier, poke around a bit here, and you'll find this out...

the op has gotten good advice... don't confuse the issue with "mis-applied science that doesn't matter"... we have a hard enough time around here trying to convince people to listen to "properly applied science that does matter"...

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