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My family just moved into a new home, one of their big selling points was the house is pre-wired for surround sound. From my lurking here ..it looks like the builder just had an electician throw some wire in the walls at any location he desired. So I'm going to be asking a lot of basic questions over the next few days.


Basic layout is a central TV niche , that has a large wall plate. There are 2 small wall pates on eah side of the tv nich for speakers, and 3 plates ( on on each side, and on centered ) on the back wall of the room.


The electrician ran cat5e wire between the main box in the tv niche, and all the other wall plates. Is this common to use cat5e for speaker wire? It seems most of my searches show you guys running actual speaker wire that is fairly larger guage.


Thanks


Larry
 

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Cat 5e wires are something like 24 gauge I think - that won't work too well for speakers. Unless the intention was to strip and twist all the little wires inside the cable together into one effectively bigger wire? I've heard of bi-wiring (doing that with 2 regular speaker wires), but haven't heard of doing it with cat 5e. I'm not sure how well that would work.
 

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I'm debating whether to use cat5e as speaker wire myself. If you strip and twist together all 8 of the internal wires, you come up with a wire that doesn't seem any thicker than 14 guage. I'm worried about that. I'm not worried about quality though. Cat5e has had a lot of research put into it as a digital transmition cable. Any sorts of crosstalk issues have been solved. It's high quality copper, oxygen free, and should do a great job over a short run to a surround speaker.
 

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Hi,


I have always used CAT 5 cable for speaker cable. It is inexpensive and works well. The only downside is stripping of the cable.


What I recommend doing is using either 2 or 3 runs of cable and splicing all of the solid color wires together as the postive cable and the striped ones together for the negative. There are lots of diy sites on the net about making speaker cable and this is what is normally suggested.


Hope this helps.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwcato /forum/post/0


It seems most of my searches show you guys running actual speaker wire that is fairly larger guage.


Thanks


Larry

Larry I used 12 GA wire for my speakers. It isn't really THAT expensive but it does cover a lot more SPACE than the smaller CAT5 runs do.


They tell me the larger gauge allows the utilization of the "skin effect"-an effect that allows more energy to get to the speakers without loosing energy through heating.


Good luck!

Tom

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Quote:
Is this common to use cat5e for speaker wire?

No. You can, however, run balanced audio through it, and use powered speakers at each speaker location. You can also run HDMI over it, if you want.
 
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