Speaker wire's versus RCA - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-27-2012, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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So I have a Yamaha RX-A710 in my living room with TV turntable etc etc and I have speaker wires run to another room where I could plug zone 2 speakers in but I would like to be able to use my old receiver in that other room instead so i can plug other things in as well.

just had a crazy idea... is there a way to convert the speaker wires into RCA connections so I can just use the Zone2 Audio RCA out ports on the new receiver going into an AUX channel on the old reciever in the other room? or do I need to run another cable which isn't going to happen.
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-27-2012, 04:04 PM
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They make speaker wire to RCA hi/low converters. About $20-$50 on eBay. They're mostly used for car audio, but people have used them in the home.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-28-2012, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I wonder what the difference between a $15 one and $160 one... maybe I need to goto a cartoys or something and ask them about it.

thanks
john
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-29-2012, 11:00 AM
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Speaker wire typically isn't shielded, so you'll get some noise using them to transmit line-level signals.

But yes, you can simply crimp RCA connectors onto the speaker wire and use them as RCA cables.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-29-2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

Speaker wire typically isn't shielded, so you'll get some noise using them to transmit line-level signals.
But yes, you can simply crimp RCA connectors onto the speaker wire and use them as RCA cables.

A circumvention for the lack of shielding is to place the speaker-to-line converters at the inputs to the next amplifier.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-29-2012, 12:34 PM
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If I understand the OP correctly, he wants to connect ths speaker wire directly to thw low level, preamp output for zone 2 from his main receiver, then use the "remote" amp to power speakers in the room. So converters aren't needed and won't help. Not being shielded still may be a problem, but AFAIK, you don't know until you try. And if new electronic noise crops up in the neighborhood, what works today might not work tomorrow. The hard part is connecting RCAs to speaker-sized wire.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-29-2012, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

If I understand the OP correctly, he wants to connect ths speaker wire directly to thw low level, preamp output for zone 2 from his main receiver, then use the "remote" amp to power speakers in the room. So converters aren't needed and won't help. Not being shielded still may be a problem, but AFAIK, you don't know until you try. And if new electronic noise crops up in the neighborhood, what works today might not work tomorrow. The hard part is connecting RCAs to speaker-sized wire.

If that is so and it may well be, then I agree.

Soldering speaker wire to RCA jacks can be facilitated by soldering smaller gauge wire between the connector and the speaker cable, using it to bridge the gap in mechanical sizes. Throw a little shrink tubing over it and... ;-)
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-02-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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ok so I don't need a high/low impedance converter like this one?
http://www.amazon.com/PAC-SNI-35-Adjustable-2-Channel-Converter/dp/B001EAWS3W/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

so the RX-A710 has a
EZONE2 OUT jacks
For connecting external amplifier used in Zone2 to output

so I just need RCA connectors to go from the RCA ports on my Yamaha to an Aux chanel on the old Kenwood in the other room... so it sound like I can just solder on RCA connectors to my existing speaker wires and plug it in directly? but it cant be as simple as that is it?

Originally I was thinking I needed two of those boxes one on each end of the speaker wire to make the speaker wire an RCA cable...

so now I'm not sure...

All this is to keep myself from having to get in the attic in July in Texas so you see my issue:-)
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-02-2012, 10:04 AM
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Noise comes into wiring in basically three ways:

1. Inductive coupling - an AC magnetic field near a wire makes a little transformer out of it. So running a wire past, say, a motor or power transformer of another device could induce a small AC voltage in that wire. What's important here is that you have to have the wire in question in a significant AC magnetic field. That doesn't happen around other power wires because there are two of them, and the fields around them mostly cancel each other. Another fact people don't seem to know is a shield around a wire is invisible to a magnetic field, and so is useless in this case.

2. Capacitive coupling - an electric field around another wire nearby creates a capacitor with the wire. What's important there is, capacitors pass high frequencies more easily than low ones, and 60Hz is a very low one. You could have problems around a switching power supply in a computer, but again, not so much around other wires. Shielding around wires does block capacitive coupling to the inner wires, but real capacitive coupling often isn't the big problem anyway.

3. RF pickup, the wire acts like an antenna - RF energy from big transmitters, like radio and TV stations nearby could be a big problem. Shielding will help keep the RF off the inner conductor, so long as the shield is well grounded, but the shield also becomes the antenna, so if it's not grounded well (from an RF standpoint) you've got a nice radio receiver there too. Same issue for local sources, but things like cordless phones and WiFi isn't usually an issue because they are well into the ultra-high frequency range which doesn't penetrate anything very well, and are very low power. Unless you run a wire right next to a device like this, it's probably not going to be an issue. Cell phones are different, and can be trouble, but the problem isn't the wire, it's the device receiving the signal.

So, wire shielding only helps keep capacitive coupling down, helps with RF if grounded, and not at all with inductive AC signals. What does help is that the device driving the wire has a low source impedance in the range of the interfering signal. So if you're using a preamp to drive a wire, and the preamp has a source Z of, say 100 ohms, it's pretty hard for an a signal entering the wire to have much effect, as it's looking at a 100 ohm load. If your preamp has a source impedance of 10K, that's a very tiny load, and an inducted signal won't be loaded much by it. The other important factor is that both sending and receiving devices share a solid common ground, which in a large home could be hard to do. Conduit isn't that great a ground, for example. If the receiving device is at a low ground potential, but the sending device is not grounded, it could be imposing a rather strong AC voltage on the wire. Shielded wire won't help here either.

The only way to really keep outside signals out of your wiring over long runs is to use balanced lines. That's where you have two signal wires, neither of which is grounded, and possibly an overall grounded shield. Since the wires are twisted together, they get the same interference. When they come to a balanced input, though, the input is looking only for differences between the wires, so anything common is ignored. As an example, the entire hard-wired phone system is balanced, unshielded twisted pairs over miles and miles. Mostly, no crosstalk. The key here is to use balanced lines, you have to have a balanced sending device, a balanced receiving device, and the correct wire. The OP doesn't have any of this.

So, it's not necessarily the shield or lack of it, it's the impedance of the circuit, grounding of the devices, and proximity to large interfering signals, and the input circuit of the receiving device.

With all that as variables, you pretty much can't predict if your unshielded wiring will work out. You just have to try it.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-02-2012, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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worked... only about 5 minutes total in the attic near the entrance so mission accomplished..

thanks for all the guidance.. oh by the way I just cut an RCA cable in half and soldered it onto the ends of the speaker wire
John
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