Originally Posted by beanburito60
My next question is regarding tools. Can anyone recommend a good, basic cable cutter/stripper?
I suspect that both Monoprice or Lowes has something that will work.
Is it OK if I order one from monoprice, or should I go to a place like Lowes? Are there any other tools I would need?
These are fine. Just adjust them so that you don't nick the copper conductor.
Make a few test runs on some wire you can throw away.
This type of wire stripper looks neat, costs more and IME is more likely to nick the wire:
Its big advantage is that it self-adjusts to different wire gauges, but like I said in actual use it is more likely to nick wire.
You can buy about 3 of the adjustable kind for the same price and keep each one adjusted for a different gauge of wire. BTW, you can use wire strippers adjusted for 12 gauge on 14 gauge wire.
Monprice seems to only have strippers for network cable and none of them look right for speaker cable.
Of course you can strip wire with a sharp blade. Be careful!
Does it matter if I use 12 or 14 gauge wire?
The precise answer depends on the impedance curve of the speakers and the length of the cables.
When in doubt get 12 guage.
All commercial regular copper wire is pure enough for general electrical work including speaker wires and interconnects. Oxygen free wire doesn't hurt but I wouldn't pay a penny extra for it in this application.
You know for the slight additional dollar or two, I'd buy this stuff because it would look neater with the overjacket and all. If you ever wanted to put it inside a wall it would be the stuff to use: