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What outdoor speaker wire have you used?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
What outdoor speaker wire have you used in your applications? I am in Las Vegas and will be running 100+ ft (total) of speaker wire to 4 speakers. I am looking for something durable, given the extreme weather conditions here. Wondering if anyone has any advice? Maybe you bought one type of wire, but regret it and would have bought another type?

Also, on a side note, what type of finish did you have when running the wire into the house? Did you just drill a hole big enough or did you put a junction box?

Thanks!


Gary
post #2 of 18
I used regular 16 ga "clear" stuff from a big box store, but buried it in a low-tech conduit for protection from water and overzealous gardeners. The conduit was actually a piece of ordinary garden hose. I pulled in 3 of the 16 ga pairs for the fronts, along with 2 14 ga for a front passive sub, but never put a front sub in; we use an active sub on the patio near the rear of the viewing area instead. I used the 14 ga for some low voltage "screen wash" lamps that we dim to off during the feature. Installation hint: pull all the wires through the hose at once, and while it's straight and flat on the ground. Then you can bend it to whatever shape you need to make the path from the equipment to the speaker locations.

The screen end of the hose terminates in an ordinary single gang outdoor junction box with an all-weather cover and banana jacks for the speakers. The house end comes up next to the "projection booth" inside. You don't need a junction box if the wiring is permanent IMO. We used one at the screen end because we only put the speakers out on movie nights. You can see some of this in my gallery.

Hope that gives you some ideas...

Mike
post #3 of 18
You can get outdoor rated speker wire at BestBuy and Radios Shack. The BestBuy stuff may not actually say "outdoor" on it though. Look for the wire at whatever guage you want, in white-ish PVC jacket. My rear fence is PVC as are the underground drain pipes for my gutter. Go here for what RadioShack offers: http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2049737
post #4 of 18
I used low voltage outdoor lighting wire (16ga) from Home Depot. Rated for outdoor use, much cheaper than speaker wire, and works like a charm!
post #5 of 18
Dang, Steve, what a GREAT idea!
post #6 of 18
Quote:
I used low voltage outdoor lighting wire (16ga) from Home Depot. Rated for outdoor use, much cheaper than speaker wire, and works like a charm!

Me too.

Tom
post #7 of 18
I am in the process of planning setup and will most likely being using PVC covered 14/4(Quad). Doing this will only require one run for two speakers. I found 100' of 14/4 for about $50 plus shipping.
post #8 of 18
Low Voltage 12 guage light wire from the Depot. we run about 100' for each front and the cost is about $60.00. Only down side is the standard bananna clips don't seem to fit the shielding.
post #9 of 18
I run HomeDepot low voltage wiring also, works great.
Kendallizm
post #10 of 18
Hi,
new to this forum and new to outdoor speaker setups.
I have a whole bunch of low voltage wire 16 guage already buried in spots in my backyard where I want to put a couple of outdoor rock speakers. I would like to utilize this wire since it's already buried and running under a sidewalk etc so that will save me money on new speaker cable and work to bury it and go under sidewalk. Cable runs are about 50 feet each.

My question is the Malibu low voltage cable is all black (no red or black), so which is end goes into the positive and negative inputs to both the speakers and the receiver?
thanks,
Adam
post #11 of 18
The jacketing on one conductor has little ridges along the length of the wire. The other side is smooth. It makes no difference which one you use for the red contact on the speaker output as long as you use the same side on the speaker end.
post #12 of 18
thank you, that makes sense. I noticed that one set of cables that one wire has ridges, and the other doesn't. But on the other set both wires are smooth, But both sets share one thing in common is that there is writing (stating low voltage, 16 gauge) on one wire and the other has no writing.
So I will try and plug the writing end to red and non-writing into the black to make things easy.
If I happen to screw it up, will I be able to tell pretty easy? Like will speaker sound really distorted etc?
Thanks again....
Every penny counts, so not buying any more wire helps
post #13 of 18
My experience on the rare occasion when the wires of one speaker gets crossed is negligible. You may or may not notice it. Especially outside. One of the speakers will be out of phase but the way sound bounces around and the length of time it takes to get to your ears outdoors may or may not make much of difference. I usually don't notice it until I have some other reason to look at the connection (like it's come loose and not working at all).
post #14 of 18
If the outdoor speakers are located in such a way that you can hear a true stereo signal between them the best way to tell if they are in phase is to listen to a strong bass line or vocal (if using the marking on the cable is not sufficient).

You will not damage or cause distortion if one speaker is out of phase. What you will hear is a reduced amount of bass or vocals that are not centralized between the 2 speakers. If you suspect that is happening, reverse the wires on ONE end of ONE cable only. It does not matter which speaker. Notice the difference? You need to be equidistant between the two speakers to make this judgement as being in front of just one speaker will not allow you to hear the phase difference.
post #15 of 18
When your using low voltage lighting cable for speakers, how do you know positive and negative
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonyjames711 View Post

When your using low voltage lighting cable for speakers, how do you know positive and negative

I knew by looking at the wire. You could have known by reading the thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

The jacketing on one conductor has little ridges along the length of the wire. The other side is smooth. It makes no difference which one you use for the red contact on the speaker output as long as you use the same side on the speaker end.
post #17 of 18
Thank you for such a great idea on the low voltage wires!!! What an easy way to save a few bucks.
post #18 of 18
I got some 12-2 Low Voltage Landscaping wire (500 ft) off of ebay for $150 or so. Works great!
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