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cheap good speaker wire

3805 Views 50 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Chu Gai
alas, monoprice my darling does not carry speaker wire.

i need about 100ft of wire to connnect my 5.1 system to my onkyo reciever. i just need some cheap stuff that is quality.


white or clear would be best as i'll need to hide it around the edges of the room

i've been looking at home depot and ebay

looks like about $30 for 100ft of 12-gauge. is 12-gauge what i want? any better than others?
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i'll have three 4ft lengths; and two 20ft lengths; plus i need more for other applications, but i digress
uzz...parts express carries spkr. wire in bulk rolls, as do other on-line vendors.

Gage required depends on the wire run length. You may not "need" 12 ga., but for the price, why not!?

Buy quality wire and forget about it.

Originally Posted by Zissou
Home Depot HD-14 extension cord.

guess what? i've actually got that. i bought some for some speakers awhile ago. i guess i'll just do it again. might be a bit to big and ugly though; have to take that into consideration. otherwise, i'll just lay down the cord and spray paint it with a cheap coat of something-other-than-orange-and-black.....thanks
Yeah painting it would work and for sound quality it's right up there with the snake oil companies.
why couldn't you just get SJ cord by the foot at Home Depot or any electrical supply house or Lowes or hardware cord. SJ or SO are both THHN stranded copper wire used for heavy duty extension cords or power cords and come in 2 wire, or 3 wire or 4 wire. The SJ is a thinner rubber jacket the SO is a thick outer jacket so go with the SJ style and is more flexable. They both have the hundreds of the thin copper stranded wire and are twisted around each other inside the outer jacket, not like lamp cord and will be colored coded , black and white. This way you should be able to buy exactly the length you want and it will also be cheaper and you don't have to cut off the rings. Usually the outer jacket is black, but you can get it in orange and yellow and at some electrical stores you can order other colors.
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huh. thanks. i've not heard of it. anyone else have similar thoughts?
About what, painting your speaker wires with Snake Oil to get better Audio reception?

I was just going to paint mine so my room would not look so ugly and you couldn't see the wires, but now Im going to look up snake oil on Google and see if I paint my speaker wires with snake oil if they sound better.
no silly; the cord you mentioned
but in the spirit of DIY, go for it!!!
Home Depot stuff is decent and rated for in wall use - if I remember correctly

Green - 12 AWG

Yellow - 14 AWG

Blue - 16 AWG

The only catch is that it does come with an extra outter shield that can be a %#$%$ to strip. The 12 AWG is not that flexible. The stuff is good and cheap! I recently used about 150 ' the 16 AWG stuff to connect a friends 5.1 system. Very flexible - worked like a champ.
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You can go to Wal Mart and get 14 AWG, 50' spool for about 9-10$. It's oxygen-free (if you buy in to that) but it is orange-yellow in color. What do you expect for about 19 cents a foot?
Any wire will work fine. You don't need 12 ga, and for your install sounds like you don't really want it either since hiding the wires is somewhat a concern. Thicker wire is harder to hide.

For 4 feet, you probably could use 22ga wire, but I'm not recommending it. Just get some plain old white "zip" cord (lamp wire) in 16-ga or any generic "speaker" wire in 16-ga if you want the clear jacket and you'll be good to go.

At your lengths, you could probably get away with 18-ga if hiding the wires is a really big deal.
Just make sure you remember to identify each of the two conductors so that you will not run into phase problems with the speakers. Use a VOM to verify each wire and than use a marker on each end to differentiate one wire from the other. Wire for speaker hookup will have a rib or a stripe, but you can do the same thing with a VOM (volt-ohm-meter) and a marker.
Welcome to da hood....
I can't seem to get the snake oil smell out of my speakers
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