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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone - Love the site:)


I'm just starting to put together my setup and I have two questions for which I could not find specific answers. I'm on a bit of a budget and wanted to get your opinions.


My current plan is the Onkyo 797 (when available) and JBL speakers (S26s, SCenter, N24orN26 & PB12). I will also run wires to a set of powered speakers in a 2nd room.


Q1 - With HT and specifically DPLII, how important is it that the surrounds match the fronts? I will be hanging the surrounds on the walls and wonder if the N24s will do the job, or should I go with the N26s?

- Price does not matter here, but size does. The N24 will fit the room better.


Q2 - I'm in a condo, which makes running wires through the walls very difficult (I'm not ready to try it yet). I tried an X10 2.5GHz setup, but there's a lot of interference (condo thing again), so I'm going to run wire. A have some twisted pair (phone line) wire which could do the trick. It's small and has 4 wires for the stereo signal, but how will it sound? They're Jazz Monaco flat speakers for the bathroom, so fidelity is not the goal here.

- What is the smallest gauge wire you would recommend for sending a stereo signal about 40ft?


Thanks for all your help :cool:
 

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The matching of the rears to the front is not as important as the left and right matching the center. If you are on a small budget you can actually get away with lower quality rears so that you can focus on getting better speakers for the front. With pro logic the rears can be of drastically lower quality than the mains and still provide decent surround imaging, since the rears arent a full channel in themselves. Id say to you get the absolute best front speakers you can buy then devide that total by 5 and use that for the rear until you can save up again later to get something better.


If money is not that much of an issue ignore everything Ive just said.
 

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It is always best to have matching speakers all the way around. If, however, you want to compromise one then the rears are the ones to sacrifice. They are definitely not as critical as the others.


What ciper said about the signal going to the rears is accurate but IMHO misleading. While DPL is limited in the bandwidth to the rears, DPLII is nowhere near as limited. Also Dolby Digital, DTS, DVD-A, and SACD are all full range to all 5 speakers and will be able to really use the rears to their fullest. If possible I would go with the '26s.


As for using using twisted pair for your speaker cable...

There are a few people using CAT 5 (100Mb ethernet) for this, but there are some issues with which pairs you use where. I would search the forums for more on this as it was a hot topic just a couple weeks ago. Phone cord is not as good (I believe it's considered CAT 2) at rejecting interference and carying the higher-frequency data signals (100MHz), but I don't know how it would relate to speaker-level audio signals.


If you want inexpensive cable that's good, easy, and unobtrusive you can use 14ga lamp cord or flat speaker wire, both of which are typically available at Home Depot at very reasonable prices. You can also get plastic conduits or channel guides that can be used to hide speaker cable as it runs along the wall or floor.


jake
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll definitely search for the information on CAT-5. I think I might have some of that laying around too.
 

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Hey jakehall,


If you're not tied to the JBL line why don't you take a listen to a Paradigm set-up (try 4 atoms and a cc150 (approx. $650) or 2 Titans 2 Atoms and a CC150 (approx. $700) both with the PDR-12 sub). I think you will find them much more revealing than the JBLs. At least it will give you an idea of what you like from in speakers and will broaden your knowledge of whats out there (if you've never heard Paradigm or better class speakers before).


Kirk
 

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JupiterJ,


Just a reminder: speakers are low impedance devices which need a lot of current. People who use cat5 cables for speakers usually bundle quite a few together in order to get the resistance down. Tweakers also worry about how they're twisted around one another.


I recall there being several discussions about this in the AVS "improvements" forum. A search should turn up some useful information.
 

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Ive never thought about using cat5 for speakers but, a few suggestions that seem reasonable, be sure to use the same color for the signals, like blue and blue white as these pairs are the twisted ones. Since you are running stereo try using 4 wires for each. like use all solids for plus (green and orange for left, blue and brown for white) and use all the strips for negative. This would give the best signal protection right?
 
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