What kinds of cables are needed in a typical home theater ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-25-2013, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys .. So I'm setting up my very first home theater, and was wondering was kinds of cables, wires, sockets, ports, etc .. will I be needing ?

I know about the HDMI cables which will be needed for video stuff, but I'm clueless in all other departments ..

Here is my hardware:

Projectors: JVC RS-46 + Optoma HD131Xe
A/V Receiver: Denon-X4000
Speakers: 2x KEF Q900, KEF Q600, 2x Q300, 2x Q800DS
Sub: 2x PSA XV15

So what cables will I typically need to connect speakers, subs, etc to the receiver, and any other cabling accessories maybe ?

What kinds of banana plugs should I first try out ? (Yes I've searched and read a few threads on this) smile.gif
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-25-2013, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Another question ..

If I'm putting a cable inside the acoustic wall cladding layer, does it count has being in-ceiling ? What about if the cable has to be run through ducts ?

Above questions are for both speaker, subwoofer wires, and HDMI cables ..
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-25-2013, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmadka View Post

Another question ..

If I'm putting a cable inside the acoustic wall cladding layer, does it count has being in-ceiling ? What about if the cable has to be run through ducts ?

Above questions are for both speaker, subwoofer wires, and HDMI cables ..

Cables that run through ducts have an additional exposure to burning because air may be blowing on them when they are getting overheated.

Most fire codes prohibit running cables, even those rated for Plenum (ceiling) use, through HVAC ducting.

So, use cable with plenum rated jacketing in ceilings, and don't run it through HVAC ducts.

http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/inwallrating.htm
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-26-2013, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Problem is that the walls have already been built, so I can't do anything 'in-wall' at this point .. The best I can do is try to conceal the wires through either visible ducting (that runs along the edges of the walls), or maybe try to conceal it when I get someone to apply padding on my walls to acoustically treat the walls ...

Which option is here, and so which type of wires should I be looking for ?
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-26-2013, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmadka View Post

Problem is that the walls have already been built, so I can't do anything 'in-wall' at this point ..

People pull cables in existing walls all of the time. There are tools and construction materials that exist for just that purpose. My house was built with wet plaster over metal lath in 1933 and it has any number of cables pulled through it since I moved in about 30 years ago and from time to time since then. I think the last cable pull inside one of those walls happened about 3 years ago and was about 50 feet of 12 gauge speaker cable.
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The best I can do is try to conceal the wires through either visible ducting (that runs along the edges of the walls), or maybe try to conceal it when I get someone to apply padding on my walls to acoustically treat the walls ...

That too.
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Which option is here, and so which type of wires should I be looking for ?

I take it that you skipped reading the document I linked in my last post: http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/inwallrating.htm

That's about as good as it gets from me. I decline to rewrite it into a post for your convenience. ;-)
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-26-2013, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Cables that run through ducts have an additional exposure to burning because air may be blowing on them when they are getting overheated.
Actually, the moving air would tend to cool the wires down. NEC goes to great length to determine the ampacity of wires in open and enclosed environments.

edit: If a flame has already started, the moving air can indeed propagate the flame. Vertical flame rating being the most difficult.

The primary concern is with the burning insulation and the gases which evolve. PVC for example, outgasses HCl gas when it burns, inhaled it produces hydrochloric acid. Not very nice.

At work, I am forced to use Low smoke zero halogen cable for everything, it's a tunnel thing.
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Most fire codes prohibit running cables, even those rated for Plenum (ceiling) use, through HVAC ducting.
As per NEC 2008 Article 800, page 70-646:

800.154 Applications of Listed Communications Wires and Cables and Communications Raceways.
(A) Plenum. Cables installed in ducts, plenums, and other spaces used for environmental air shall be Type CMP. Abandoned cables shall not be permitted to remain....(further text not relevant to the current discussion.)

CMP means plenum rated.

Article 100: Definitions: page 70-29
Plenum. A compartment or chamber to which one or more air ducts are connected and that forms part of the air distribution system.

Most code agencies (even outside the USA) tend to follow NEC, so I am not aware of any fire codes which prohibit NEC statements.

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post #7 of 13 Old 11-26-2013, 12:37 PM
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Note however that many localities do not enforce NEC article 725 for residential installations. The reason the limited amount of in-wall wiring in a home and the risk of toxic fumes from the burning wiring is nil. In commercial it is usually enforced and most certainly in larger technical centers such as data centers, broadcast facilities, communications hub, etc.

Just call your city hall or building and safety department. They will tell you if you need to follow the NEC for low voltage wiring.

Fortunately proper UL rated in-wall low voltage wire is very easy to get these days even at home centers.

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post #8 of 13 Old 11-26-2013, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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^^ Will do that ..

But got another question .. Which speaker wire do I need ? The 2-conductor one, or the 4-conductor one ? .. tongue.gif
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-26-2013, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Note however that many localities do not enforce NEC article 725 for residential installations. The reason the limited amount of in-wall wiring in a home and the risk of toxic fumes from the burning wiring is nil. In commercial it is usually enforced and most certainly in larger technical centers such as data centers, broadcast facilities, communications hub, etc.

Just call your city hall or building and safety department. They will tell you if you need to follow the NEC for low voltage wiring.

Fortunately proper UL rated in-wall low voltage wire is very easy to get these days even at home centers.
I was trying to keep it simple..eek.gif 725 allows CL2P and CL3P in plenum, and riser is more verbose.CL2R, CL3R, and the p's..

If he's gonna call building/safety for these questions, maybe he should get a burner phone.. to remain anonymous.

The inspector here required firestop for romex as well as my 75 ohm cable/speakers/thermostats/cat5e/telephone.

I didn't argue.

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post #10 of 13 Old 11-26-2013, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jneutron View Post

I was trying to keep it simple..eek.gif

And now, for something completely different. It's........... biggrin.gif
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-26-2013, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmadka View Post

So what cables will I typically need to connect speakers, subs, etc to the receiver, and any other cabling accessories maybe ?

What kinds of banana plugs should I first try out ? (Yes I've searched and read a few threads on this) smile.gif

I don't recommend that you spend a lot on cables, but buying medium quality cables can be worth it if you keep them for years and reuse them. You will typically need some 1m/3ft RCA cables - these should run from $10 to $30 per pair depending on how nice you want - look for deals on Amazon and search for these brands: Blue Jeans Cables, Belkin, Cables to Go, Monoprice, Mediabridge, etc

I've had very good luck with the Mediabridge HDMI cables - many will scoff at the $10 price but I have 10+ of these and always get excellent performance and have never had any issues:
http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-High-Speed-Cable-Ethernet/dp/B001MZXUI6

I love to find "high end" cables on clearance - here is my latest find for a $100 2m HDMI cable for $19.99 - nice build but I can't tell the difference between this and the $10 cable:
http://www.audioadvisor.com/Pangea-Audio-HD-26L-High-Speed-HDMI-Cable/productinfo/PGHD26L/2/#.UpUsQMRJOTN

You can also get the entry level cables from some "high end" cable companies for surprising prices - I have some of these Audioquest 1m RCA cables - they are only $30 and are very nice construction:
http://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-Sidewinder-audio-cable-stereo/dp/B0006VMC2C

For speaker wire, I actually like these banana connectors with standard 12 gauge speaker wire:
http://www.amazon.com/GLS-Audio-Premium-Gauge-Speaker/dp/B006JSEHJC
http://www.amazon.com/GLS-Audio-Locking-Generation-Connector/dp/B000O8AHLA

But if you want really nice speaker cables at a reasonable price, get some Beldon 10awg wires from Blue Jeans Cables with the ultrasonically welded spades / bananas - these are fantastic. They are not soldered or crimped - the terminations are actually welded - copper cable to the gold plated terminators forming a single conductor end to end. I cannot imagine getting better cables for even 10x the price:
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/ultrasonic-welding.htm

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-26-2013, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmadka View Post

Which speaker wire do I need ? The 2-conductor one, or the 4-conductor one ? .. tongue.gif

Two conductor if you are running the cable to a single speaker. If you are doing a really long in-wall run and you don't mind splitting the outer jacket to two speakers that are close to each other you can use 4 conductor and save a little money, but this usually makes the run longer and the thicker wire is harder to bend in tight spots. I would suggest all 2 conductor - one for each speaker. That is what I did for my system - 2 conductor Belden 10awg from Blue Jeans Cables with welded locking bananas for the fronts (non in-wall) and the rears (all in-wall runs). Used the Belden 10awg wire for all runs thinking that the added conductivity was cheap compared to the time running the wire / cost of the amplifiers and speakers. If you are doing long runs to the rear of the room (25ft+) you really should be using at least 12awg especially considering the cost of your speakers.

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-27-2013, 10:42 AM
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ahmadka;
There is a sticky called ....ta da ....Setting Up Your Home Theater Audio 101

Have you read it or the links there?

Specifically;
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