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post #1 of 23 Old 06-30-2014, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Speaker Wire Suggestions / Brand

I am having two ceiling speakers installed this weekend and best buy never added speaker wire to the install. What type of cable should i get to run through my attic and down a wall to my receiver? i live in south florida where it gets hot. need probably 100ft. thanks he tried to dell me audio quest slip 16/2 for 99.99 100ft.
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post #2 of 23 Old 06-30-2014, 07:32 PM
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Monoprice or similar from a hardware store. A Yank will need to tell you if you need it rated specifically for in wall/ceiling use.
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post #3 of 23 Old 07-01-2014, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Monoprice or similar from a hardware store. A Yank will need to tell you if you need it rated specifically for in wall/ceiling use.
Code in your area may demand wire rated CL2 or CL3 which means the insulation handles fire more gracefully. I use 12 gauge regular coarse stranded power cable rated THHN which is code, too. These days the wire rated for low voltage wiring seems to have loose tolerances, but wire rated for higher power line voltages such as THHN has legal requirements on it and should be more reliable.
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post #4 of 23 Old 07-01-2014, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by millertime83 View Post
I am having two ceiling speakers installed this weekend and best buy never added speaker wire to the install. What type of cable should i get to run through my attic and down a wall to my receiver? i live in south florida where it gets hot. need probably 100ft. thanks he tried to dell me audio quest slip 16/2 for 99.99 100ft.
Audio Quest speaker wire is overpriced and doesn't have any audible benefits like they would have you believe. Also, I would suggest using thicker wire for a run that long - 14ga or 12ga.

I used Beldon wire for my in-wall runs and liked it very much. A quick search shows that you can get Beldon 14ga in-wall (thicker wire) for less than half that quoted price:

http://www.parts-express.com/belden-...-usa--102-1152

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post #5 of 23 Old 07-01-2014, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks everyone. so there isnt any one brand wire better than another huh? monster or Audioquest, or store brand
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post #6 of 23 Old 07-01-2014, 12:36 PM
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thanks everyone. so there isnt any one brand wire better than another huh? monster or Audioquest, or store brand

Monoprice #2789 is 100 feet of pure copper wire for under $30. For in-wall use #2817 , which costs about $3 extra and is jacketed.

Either one will be very good.
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post #7 of 23 Old 07-01-2014, 12:43 PM
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The outdoor low-voltage (Malibu) cable at Depot is good. Looks like zipcord but with thicker insulation, so should be okay for Code. Small stranding, very flexible.
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post #8 of 23 Old 07-01-2014, 12:49 PM
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.... so there isnt any one brand wire better than another huh? monster or Audioquest, or store brand
Correct. So, buy by price for the gauge you need and rating if required.
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post #9 of 23 Old 07-01-2014, 05:32 PM
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The outdoor low-voltage (Malibu) cable at Depot is good. Looks like zipcord but with thicker insulation, so should be okay for Code. Small stranding, very flexible.
Code for low voltage wire is based on the fire behavior of the insulation. I don't think that the clear plastic stuff cuts the mustard.
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post #10 of 23 Old 07-02-2014, 05:57 AM
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I agree - if you are installing in-wall you should use "in-wall rated" speaker wire which will have a "CL" rating - you can buy this stuff by the foot (about 45 cents per foot) at home stores or buy a 100ft roll - any name brand should be fine as long as it is truly the gauge of pure copper advertised.

http://t.homedepot.com/p/Cerrowire-1...02C/202519081/

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post #11 of 23 Old 07-02-2014, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
Code for low voltage wire is based on the fire behavior of the insulation. I don't think that the clear plastic stuff cuts the mustard.
Agreed... Building codes in your area may require that little "CL" rating printed on the wire. Looks alone are not enough for some inspectors. In my limited experience most building inspectors don't care about low voltage. I've had about 25 inspections on my own home and low voltage/speaker wire has never been an issue. If I were installing as a business I would never risk my license by installing anything illegal. The cl rating in practice means that the wire is fire rated plus can withstand being pulled through/over/under rough areas without issue.
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post #12 of 23 Old 07-03-2014, 12:53 AM
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Agreed... Building codes in your area may require that little "CL" rating printed on the wire. Looks alone are not enough for some inspectors. In my limited experience most building inspectors don't care about low voltage. I've had about 25 inspections on my own home and low voltage/speaker wire has never been an issue. If I were installing as a business I would never risk my license by installing anything illegal. The cl rating in practice means that the wire is fire rated plus can withstand being pulled through/over/under rough areas without issue.
AFAIK stranded THHN rated wire while overkill, is also legal. I haven't seen it in jacketed form very often. It is IME less convenient to pull and terminate than CL2 or CL3. It is also more coarsely stranded. The nylon jacket is fairly stiff which contributes to more of the same kind of problems, but it is far easier to use than solid wire and takes moderate flexing pretty well.

A 500 foot spool of single conductor THHN 12 gauge runs about $130-150 so it is not pricey. 50 foot coils are more like $25-20.

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post #13 of 23 Old 07-03-2014, 06:18 AM
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Very pleased with my Honeywell Audacious in wall CL3 rated cable. It's 14 ga, 105 strand pure copper. Got it 2 years ago at tselectronic . Bad thing you have to buy 500 feet and price rose from 90$ to 130$ per unreel box. Very easy to work with.
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post #14 of 23 Old 07-03-2014, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urapnes1 View Post
Agreed... Building codes in your area may require that little "CL" rating printed on the wire. Looks alone are not enough for some inspectors. In my limited experience most building inspectors don't care about low voltage. I've had about 25 inspections on my own home and low voltage/speaker wire has never been an issue. If I were installing as a business I would never risk my license by installing anything illegal. The cl rating in practice means that the wire is fire rated plus can withstand being pulled through/over/under rough areas without issue.
That's true for residential. Some localities don't enforce NEC article 725 in residential because it really isn't a hazard in a home. I'm in Los Angeles county and they didn't care about low voltage when I built my HT addition. But you should check first if getting an inspection. If they do enforce it, you will have to scrap and replace non-compliant wire

If you are just putting in some speakers over the wekend I wouldn't worry about it. And no, it won't void your fire insurance. The voilation must be determined to be the cause of the fire for that to happen.

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post #15 of 23 Old 07-03-2014, 10:04 AM
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AFAIK stranded THHN rated wire while overkill, is also legal.

Hah! I got red tagged for that on a job at Disney World in 1989. We used #10 THHN for tthe surround speaker wire in one of the mixing theaters. And it was in aluminum flex to boot! The inspector said, and I will never forget it:

"That's not a listed use for that wire"

I was dumbfounded!

I finally did get it waived by higher ups but this guy was by the book period!

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post #16 of 23 Old 07-03-2014, 06:57 PM
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Moral of that story:

(1) "Code" is not always what it says in the Book -- it's what The Man says it is (sometimes he can't find the Book).

(2) Disney has $$$ to burn.
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post #17 of 23 Old 07-03-2014, 07:50 PM
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Moral of that story:

(1) "Code" is not always what it says in the Book -- it's what The Man says it is (sometimes he can't find the Book).

(2) Disney has $$$ to burn.
Code also varies from city to city. There is no universal rule.

In my opinion, skip the city, put in decent wire, pop some popcorn crack open a beer and kick back and enjoy. I go to the city when changing out the main panel, doing an addition, or anything structural. Adding low voltage...pass. Again....my opinion.
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post #18 of 23 Old 07-03-2014, 07:52 PM
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Moral of that story:

(1) "Code" is not always what it says in the Book -- it's what The Man says it is (sometimes he can't find the Book).

(2) Disney has $$$ to burn.
Also, it is unwise to try to prove the inspector wrong. Generally speaking. You will regret it. Certainly not worth the bother for $100 spool of wire.
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post #19 of 23 Old 07-04-2014, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by urapnes1 View Post
Also, it is unwise to try to prove the inspector wrong. Generally speaking. You will regret it. Certainly not worth the bother for $100 spool of wire.
If the cost of a pulled, terminated wire was just materials cost... ;-)
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post #20 of 23 Old 07-04-2014, 01:17 PM
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Also, it is unwise to try to prove the inspector wrong. Generally speaking. You will regret it. Certainly not worth the bother for $100 spool of wire.
And large code departments such as RCID which oversees Disney World also have chief inspectors which often hold a PE as in this case. He stepped in and educated the rookie on his staff.

It's quite routine to challenge inspectors on large billion dollar projects especially when they are wrong. Big projects mean big tax revenues. City councils, to which the inspectors work for, won't tolerate a rogue inspector derailing a mega buck project based on their ego alone.

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post #21 of 23 Old 07-04-2014, 01:57 PM
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And large code departments such as RCID which oversees Disney World also have chief inspectors which often hold a PE as in this case. He stepped in and educated the rookie on his staff.

It's quite routine to challenge inspectors on large billion dollar projects especially when they are wrong. Big projects mean big tax revenues. City councils, to which the inspectors work for, won't tolerate a rogue inspector derailing a mega buck project based on their ego alone.
100% agree. But I still wouldn't recommend pissing of an inspector over trivial items. Big ticket items, absolutely, small stuff...not so much. I have dealt with Los Angeles building and safety quite a bit, and am good friends with a former inspector who is now chief elec inspector at LAX. Best advice is to pick your battles wisely.
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post #22 of 23 Old 07-04-2014, 05:33 PM
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100% agree. But I still wouldn't recommend pissing of an inspector over trivial items. Big ticket items, absolutely, small stuff...not so much. I have dealt with Los Angeles building and safety quite a bit, and am good friends with a former inspector who is now chief elec inspector at LAX. Best advice is to pick your battles wisely.
I know that.

But failing to sign off on electrical and hold up the occupancy certificate on a completed post production facility that is part of a theme park tour (Disney MGM Studio Theme Part, built 1989-1989) over the use of THHN as speaker wire, in conduit no less, is not a trivial item.

Like I said this guy was a novice and in way over his head. And I as the head of broadcast systems engineering, didn't piss him off. I just quietly sent his report up the ladder. And it got fixed real quick! No the wire remained as is. He got fixed!

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post #23 of 23 Old 07-05-2014, 04:27 PM
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A cool, measured response to an exasperating situation..

Glimmie, that must be why they pay you the Big Bucks.

Challenging inspectors may be fine if you're a megacorporation with a PE on staff.

The rest of us have to be careful hanging DRYWALL on our own without getting the City Gestapo mad.
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