or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Audio theory, Setup and Chat › Speaker Wire Questions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Speaker Wire Questions

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
Getting ready for insulation and drywall in my theater room. Is it ok to run speaker wire on the outside of the batt insulation between that and the drywall?

Will I need any kind of wall plate for the rears in a 7.1 setup or Does the speaker wire just run from the rears to the receiver in the ceiling?

I know Monoprice has good stuff, was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction for good speaker wire. Infinity system with an Onkyo 809. And if distance plays an issue like it does with HDMI.

Thanks.
post #2 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Getting ready for insulation and drywall in my theater room. Is it ok to run speaker wire on the outside of the batt insulation between that and the drywall?

Electrical code for running power cables can be used as a common sense guide for avoiding damage to signal cables. I believe that code says run the wires 1 1/4" back from the front edge of the studs or using nail plates to protect it:

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021190076.pdf
Quote:
Will I need any kind of wall plate for the rears in a 7.1 setup or Does the speaker wire just run from the rears to the receiver in the ceiling?

No. You have a lot more latittude for running low voltage wiring. May I suggest these?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10425&cs_id=1042509&p_id=6168&seq=1&format=2


Quote:
I know Monoprice has good stuff, was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction for good speaker wire. Infinity system with an Onkyo 809.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239&cs_id=1023901&p_id=2817&seq=1&format=2


Quote:
And if distance plays an issue like it does with HDMI.

In the sense that you should match your speaker cable's gauge to the length, yes.

But, if your speaker cables run a little too long and too thin the speakers won't flat stop working like happens with HDMI.
post #3 of 101
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks for such an in depth response. I'm guessing that speaker wire can be cut and used for each speaker.
post #4 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Wow thanks for such an in depth response. I'm guessing that speaker wire can be cut and used for each speaker.

Right. A good heavy set of scissors will cut through the soft copper strands and plastic insulation. You can strip back the plastic insulation with a sharp paring knife or razor or xacto knife.



http://www.ehow.com/how_7690762_set-up-speaker-wires.html
post #5 of 101
Having worked on the road for a number of years as a sound engineer I've had the pleasure of stripping back a kajillion pieces of insulation. The best and quickest tool for the job was a Bic lighter. Melt in just the right spot, twist and tug. Fast, effective and nothing sharp laying around to tempt the angry dude who thinks the drummer is flirting with his girlfriend. It also came in handy during breaks behind the venue.
post #6 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

It also came in handy during breaks behind the venue.

In TV production we call this the "geni (generator) check." smile.gif
post #7 of 101
Thread Starter 
Would you recommend running the speaker wire for the rears and sides through some type of conduit whether it be the blue stuff or pvc?
post #8 of 101
I would just to make it easy to pull and update/replace later. Otherwise they'll probably staple it in place and you won't be able to replace it if something breaks later, or you want to add a line, etc. Installers will resist as it is more work for them (and thus more cost to you, labor in addition to the conduit cost). Type does not realy matter and as Arny has said code is much less stringent for low-voltage wiring.

I'll spare the story of the friend who used conduit only to have the drywallers put a line of screws through it, wires and all. Not found until he tried to hook up speakers many weeks later... Conduit would not have mattered in his case.
post #9 of 101
Thread Starter 
Yeah I hadn't thought of that good idea. Wow that really stinks about your friend I would of been very upset. What size conduit would you recommend?
post #10 of 101
Standard is 1/2" around here. I would use at least 3/4" to provide room for larger wires. In our church we used 1" and 1.5" for multiple runs. Look at the speaker wire you plan to use and provide some margin. The price of the actual (plastic) conduit is probably in the mud (you can have them quote a couple of sizes); it's mostly the labor to run it that costs. Metal conduit costs more but has the advantage of shielding the cables. That is not usually an issue for speaker runs, especially in a house where they are not too long.
post #11 of 101
As mentioned earlier, just be sure there is a nail plate over the hole in every stud where the wires run.
post #12 of 101
Thread Starter 
Is it code does anyone know to staple the speaker wire/HDMI to the ceiling joists?
post #13 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Standard is 1/2" around here. I would use at least 3/4" to provide room for larger wires. In our church we used 1" and 1.5" for multiple runs. Look at the speaker wire you plan to use and provide some margin. The price of the actual (plastic) conduit is probably in the mud (you can have them quote a couple of sizes); it's mostly the labor to run it that costs. Metal conduit costs more but has the advantage of shielding the cables. That is not usually an issue for speaker runs, especially in a house where they are not too long.

Last time I bought any 1/2" or 3/4" conduit it was pretty much down in the mud as well. One plus to metal conduit is that it provides better protection from dry wall screws and the like.
post #14 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Is it code does anyone know to staple the speaker wire/HDMI to the ceiling joists?

Yes, subject to former comments about nail plates.

A lot of modern ceiling joists have punched out holes or other passage ways an inch or two back from the finish edge.
post #15 of 101
Thread Starter 
Should I use a staple gun, will that pinch the cable/speaker wire? I could get nail staples if so.
post #16 of 101
Try the staple gun, just make sure you keep the wire centered as you don't want to puncture it with the staple. If you have the ability to adjust the strength, adjust it so it doesn't crimp the cable. If none of this works, use nail staples.
post #17 of 101
An Arrow T-25 staple gun shoots staples specifically made for cable no more than 1/4 in diameter. The staples are curved, not flat on the top. Pros have been ising these for decades.
post #18 of 101
You can get away with stapling speaker cables if you do it correctly. But do not staple a HDMI cable. Use fasteners that will not deform the cable.
post #19 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Should I use a staple gun, will that pinch the cable/speaker wire? I could get nail staples if so.

IME this kind of stapler solves problems relating to pinching the wire being stapled:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_92986-1781-MSG-501_0__?productId=1112649



post #20 of 101
Thread Starter 
Awesome advice guys thanks a lot. One question that is probably really elementary to you all but how do I get the speaker wire through the drywall once the drywall is up. I don't want to do face plates as it is just 1 speaker wire and that is where the speakers will be permanently.
post #21 of 101
You don't. At least not without a lot of difficulty... It needs to go through studs, inside insulation (if present), etc. and that is almost impossible with drywall in place. You might be able to take the wire into the attic ceiling if its accessible and snake up and down through the walls, but even that can be painful. The best aesthetic solution I have found is to hide wires under molding (existing or buy wire routing channels to run along floor or ceiling; they come in various colors and styles, and can be painted to match the walls if desired).

I have seen a case where the homeowner insisted so strips were cut, wires run, and drywall patched. It was expensive and hard to make all those seams invisible over time. A casual glance would not find them, but you could see the lines if you knew where to look or caught the light at the right angle. Maybe a better drywaller good have done the trick, but over time as the house settled they became more obvious.
post #22 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Awesome advice guys thanks a lot. One question that is probably really elementary to you all but how do I get the speaker wire through the drywall once the drywall is up.

Depending what sort of structures you need to traverse, pulling wires is a ton more work once the drywall is up.

Vertical runs on a wall are often relatively easy.
Horizontal runs that traverse studs are far more difficult.
Going around corners are that much more difficult, yet.

Common tools that can help are fish tapes and fish sticks.

If things are simple it is probably better to not worry about refinishishing the wall while you are installing the cable, but just get the job done and then worry about appearance.

If the wall is not exposed or finished on one side - so much the better.

There are things that are worse then drywall - wet plaster, tile, masonry, or stone walls.
post #23 of 101
Thread Starter 
I would have everything run through the studs and everything to the point where I want the wire to be as it is new construction. Getting it through the DW is apparently over my head however. Just drill a hole in the DW and fish it through with a hook or something?
post #24 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

I would have everything run through the studs and everything to the point where I want the wire to be as it is new construction. Getting it through the DW is apparently over my head however. Just drill a hole in the DW and fish it through with a hook or something?

If you are going across the studs, that is about it.

There is a device called a stud finder that is actually a metal detector. You can use it to find the rows of dry wall screws that attach the dry wall to the studs. I could tell you how to use them but they come with instruction sheets.



Since this is low voltage wiring you don't have to put in regular electrical boxes. All you have to do is put in a old work frame to support the wall plate:



Once you know where the studs are, use a hole saw to punch a hole between each pair of studs. Use a dry wall knife and/or dry wall saw to enlarge a round hole into a rectangular hole for the old work frame.





Before you mount the frame, use a 1/2" drill about 12-18" long, angle it through the hole and into into the stud to make a hole in it that goes into the next set of studs. Push the wire through into the cavity between the next set of studs. If you are not mounting a wall plate, just cut a hole with the hole saw and drill the hole in the next stud, etc.

When the cable is pulled with at least 6" of slack at each end, cut out the rectangular holes for the old word frames and mount them. Terminate the wires on the wall plates, and tighten them down.
post #25 of 101
post #26 of 101
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the in depth responses. For the speaker wire I'm looking to do something like this found on another post:


How would I get the speaker wire through the drywall once it's up, through that hole?
post #27 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Thanks for the in depth responses. For the speaker wire I'm looking to do something like this found on another post:


How would I get the speaker wire through the drywall once it's up, through that hole?

I'm starting to wonder whether you have a literacy issue. ;-)

One more time: You probably can't get speaker wire through the drywall once its up, without making some kind of a mess. If you are willing to make a mess, then its pretty easy. One of the nice things about drywall is that fixing the mess isn't mission impossible. It's approximately 10 to 50 times more work to put wiring into a wall once the wall is up and painted.

I'm among other things a professional network installer, and I've worked with tried to learn from the best in the business. I've done this dozens of times It is like uncracking an egg. Live with it!
post #28 of 101
Thread Starter 
Yeah I wonder the same thing sometimes. There are some things that I just don't get or it goes over my head. This happens to be a lot of them. I just can't wrap my brain around how to fish speaker wire through drywall once it's up. I don't want face plates or any hole too big for one speaker wire to come through, and I just don't see how the wire gets through the drywall like that picture without drilling a hole and fishing it through somehow, which I don't have a problem with.
post #29 of 101
Thread Starter 
Is there any benefit to bi wiring? My L and R front tower speakers have bi wiring capabilities. Will it make them sound noticeably better in any way? The receiver I will have is the Onkyo 809.
post #30 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Is there any benefit to bi wiring? My L and R front tower speakers have bi wiring capabilities. Will it make them sound noticeably better in any way?.
No.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Audio theory, Setup and Chat
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Audio theory, Setup and Chat › Speaker Wire Questions