Extending Speaker Wire-How To - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-28-2013, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
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If I had to extend speaker wire because I measured them wrong and cut them too short, how would I go about doing that? Intertwine the two together positive and negative and wrap in electrical tape?

Will it degrade the sound/signal quality at all?

Thank you.

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post #2 of 12 Old 10-28-2013, 02:26 AM
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Use wire nuts or solder and not tape. It will not degrade the sound when properly using wire nuts or solder.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-28-2013, 05:28 PM
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Click the link in my signature to find a guide for spicing speaker wire.

Regards,
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-28-2013, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you guys!

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post #5 of 12 Old 10-29-2013, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Went to put the wires in the back of the abra and three of them their labels wore off. What is the best way to figure out which speaker wire goes to the correct speaker?

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post #6 of 12 Old 10-29-2013, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Went to put the wires in the back of the abra and three of them their labels wore off. What is the best way to figure out which speaker wire goes to the correct speaker?

Wires in a cable are distinguished from each other by several means, of which labels are just one.

(1) Do the wires have different colors of insulation, or stripes on the insulation, or have different colors of metal (e.g. bare copper versus tinned copper)?

(2) Are the wires molded into a ribbon, in which case one edge of the ribbon is marked, usually with a rib or a stripe.

(3) Are there molded ribs on the outside of the wire;s insulation?

(4) Use an ohm meter or continuity checker to see which ends of the wires have continuity or electrical connection to each other.

(5) Are the wires connected to connectors, in which case you can figure out which pin at one end goes with what pin on the other?
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-29-2013, 07:51 AM
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My #1 method of extending speaker wire, by far, is using butt splices. It is done best with the proper crimping tool such as Sta-kon et al. It can be accomplished with some other tools like side cutters (lineman's pliers) with the handle side of the pivot. To minimize the appearance you can slide shrink tubing, large enough to go back over both splices, prior to splicing. Then most any heat source will shrink the tubing.

I should know. I probably built, programmed and maintained the 100 ft long machine that made your tubing.

Patrick
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-30-2013, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Went to put the wires in the back of the abra and three of them their labels wore off. What is the best way to figure out which speaker wire goes to the correct speaker?

Use a 9V battery with a quick touch / release to make the speaker on the other end click. It is very low power so it shouldn't hurt the speaker but don't touch to long to be sure. I have used this for in-wall speakers many times, but I don't think I would do it for very expensive speakers - I would probably use an audio source and hook up one speaker at a time to re-label them.

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-30-2013, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

If I had to extend speaker wire because I measured them wrong and cut them too short, how would I go about doing that? Intertwine the two together positive and negative and wrap in electrical tape?

Will it degrade the sound/signal quality at all?

I would tightly twist freshly stripped ends "in-line" - not at 90 degrees - so the wire was still straight and wouldn't have a bulge that would look bad or get caught when pulling the wire.

======== XXXXX ===================
===================XXXXXX========

Before twisting, slide on heat shrink tubing and move it down the wire as far as possible and solder the connection. Pull the heat shrink over the soldered connection and heat - perfect extension. I would also stagger the splices on the + and - conductors by couple of inches so the wire doesn't have a "fat spot" and still remains somewhat more flexible.

This won't degrade the sound any more than the soldered connections at the ends of the wire if you have spades / bananas, etc. Not ideal, but not a big deal either.

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post #10 of 12 Old 10-30-2013, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt View Post

Click the link in my signature to find a guide for spicing speaker wire.

Nice guides - I like your note about staggering the butt connections or solder connections, I always do that and it makes a much cleaner splice. One suggestion - why twist the wires at 90 degrees to the wire direction before soldering - why not twist the wires together straight (in-line with the wire direction) so that the joint doesn't stick out. I've found that the 2 twisted wires are often about as thick as the missing insulation and that the solder joint will almost disappear after the heat-shrink is applied.
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-30-2013, 04:50 PM
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The 90 degree twist is used primarily for splicing or coupling wiring used for power and then a metal lined wire nut is screwed down over the joint. That joint types privies equal current transfer as the in-line Western Union splice that is then soldered (when using stranded stranded wire). The in line splice is neater and as mentioned, easily covered and concealed.
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-31-2013, 11:45 AM
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+1 for wire nuts. The ones used for splicing, not the people talking about them. smile.gif

The main reason I use a tight in-line splice is to allow a cable to be pulled through conduit or routed without obvious bulges. There is a special braiding technique that prevents the splice from separating when the wires are pulled. Unfortunately, I never remember how to do it, and end up doing a normal sloppy braid and soldering the wires so they don't separate when I pull them through conduit or whatever.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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