So our fraternity house was burned down 2 years ago and has finally been rebuilt. I was an alumni then, but when I was active I was the only DJ in the house who knew a good amount about speakers. They've called me back to help setup a new sound system is the rebuilt house's main room (quite a large room, I think it's nearly 35' x 45'). We've already purchased these two speakers and this amp for now (due to budget). So for now this is a 2.0 system, next, we'll do 2.1, and then 4.1.
The room has already been pre-wired for 6 speakers (one in each corner and two centered on the longer sides). There is also a dedicated closet for the amps and the wiring goes into that room. However, this was wired with regular speaker cable (16-2) in a daisy-chain format. Basically the speaker wire hole closest to the amp closet is the only wire feeding into that closet. From that speaker hole it is wired to the nearest two, and then each is wired to the closest one, and so on. Since this is already pre-wired for 16-2, and the system we purchased uses passive speakers on 1/4", can I wire the 1/4" into this speaker wire?
Also, at what length does speaker wire start to degrade and lose it's quality (or does it just lose power)? The way it is piped currently, to reach the farthest speaker from the amp closet is roughly 100'. If I am unable to wire the 1/4" to this 16-2 wire, at what length does 1/4" to 1/4" wire start to degrade?
After several hours of reading on the web, I now know the answers.
My speaker manufacturer recommends 12-14 gauge wire, and looking at this chart for the distance, http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm, I see that 12 gauge would be ideal for my near 100ft run. I will rewire the room with 12 gauge.
The only part I still haven't found yet, is the difference between 12-gauge lamp wire (regular low-voltage wire) and 12-gauge "speaker wire."
The difference is that if you buy lamp wire you are unlikely to be in danger of being sold copper clad aluminum wire which is what you get sometimes if you buy "speaker wire".
Right, lamp cord generally has UL approval for legal reasons, and that keeps it from being adulterated too badly. Also, cable with an electrical code rating such as CL-2 is both pretty nice looking stuff, and has legally mandated contents.
My last speaker cable purchase was a 100' roll of CL-2 12 gauge from Monoprice and it looks very good.
Caveat: this stuff is going into walls. Makes great looking short jumpers. I'd run it along walls but not under carpets. If I needed something flat I'd go in a completely different direction but it would cost much more.
The other hot tip is that here is the back of your speakers:
Behringer's blurb says that they have both professional connectors and 1/4 inch jacks. The professional connectors take this plug:
This is the plug you want to use. It has many practical advantages over 1/4 plugs, mostly relating to usability and reliabity. There is a neat-looking metal version if you like bling
One of its practical advantages is that attaching it takes just a small Phillips screwdriver (no soldering) and due to its exceptionally good design, this yields an oustandingly durable and reliable electrical connection. .