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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any idea where I should be looking to buy speaker wire? I need about 150 feet of FLAT speaker wire to run my four surround speakers, I will be running the wire under the carpet. The two rears will need about 35 feet each and the sides I am estimating about 25 feet each.


From what I read 16 gauge should be good? If it matters, the receiver is a Pioneer elite 94THX and the surrounds are Klipsch reference RS42's.


It doesnt seem that monoprice has what I need.


Thanks!
 

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Amazon.com sells flat speaker wire in up to 50 foot runs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bofa89 /forum/post/0


Yea I did see that, I suppose I could buy 4 seperate spools. Does it matter what brand I buy etc.? I see the prices vary greatly!

It almost doesn't matter what brand is it. But for length you need, I would take 14 or even 12ga.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 /forum/post/19560588


It almost doesn't matter what brand is it. But for length you need, I would take 14 or even 12ga.

I agree.
 

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Only thing i would look for is that the wire you choose is stranded. That is made of lots of little wires 'braided' together to make up the wires instead of the solid copper 'bar' version.


For pictorial reference:

Stranded

Solid


Really 2 reasons for this, the first most likely being much more important in almost all applications.


1) the solid stuff is a major league pain to get into speaker binding posts or banana plugs, it really sucks, you have to use pliers usually to folder it over into a shape that fits into the connector and even then the connection quality is suspect. The one time i used such cable i ended up soldering on a wire stub to use for connection.


2) a solid bar like that at a given 'gauge' will have a higher resistance and carry less current prior to heating than a stranded cable of the same 'gauge'. Again this is likely not an issue unless your run is super long.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by xianthax
....


2) a solid bar like that at a given 'gauge' will have a higher resistance and carry less current prior to heating than a stranded cable of the same 'gauge'. Again this is likely not an issue unless your run is super long.
Why would that be the case unless the stranded is just rounded up or down to the gage numbers. The stranded could also be under stranded and be under gage, no? In that case it would be higher in resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the help guys. I think I will go with 14 simply for the peace of mind and I also plan on buying braided after reading all the complaints about the flat copper.
 

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



Why would that be the case unless the stranded is just rounded up or down to the gage numbers. The stranded could also be under stranded and be under gage, no? In that case it would be higher in resistance.

Braided wire has more contact points with binding post, and thus lower initial contact resistance. It also has lower rate of resistance increase at contact over time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ /forum/post/19565091


Why would that be the case unless the stranded is just rounded up or down to the gage numbers. The stranded could also be under stranded and be under gage, no? In that case it would be higher in resistance.

For a particular gauge a stranded cable has a larger diameter, assuming it 'following the rules', that is the gauge should be measured by the amount cross sectional copper, since stranded cable has little air gaps in places it has to have a larger diameter to get the same amount of copper.


The reasoning is mostly due to the skin effect and as i mentioned its really not a big issue and doesn't matter at all in many/most applications.


Simply speaking at frequency increase current will tend to travel more and more on the outside skin of the conductor. At the lower end of the audio band this is not an issue at all. At 60hz the skin depth is like 8.5mm so you would need a massive wire to see its impact. At 20khz the depth is ~20mils so any single conductor larger than 18 gauge will begin to see the effect resulting in higher impedance at these frequencies. All this means is you would see a small high frequency roll off, and I do mean small, few tenths of a dB in most cases unless the cable is quite long. There is usually a small heat dissipation improvement as well, lower temp = lower resistance, but again, in almost all applications this is negligible.


So again, 99.999% of the time this is all academic and shouldn't impact anyones purchasing decisions at all.


The increased flexibility of the cable and easier terminations however, are good reasons to use stranded cable.
 

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There isn't a significant difference between solid wire and stranded wire when it comes to skin depth. They both work pretty much the same. You need Litz wire, where the individual stands are insulated, to overcome the problem, which is hardly significant at audio frequencies. If it is, there are always tone controls and equalization.
 

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Check Parts Express, someone makes a braided flat, woven type speaker cable for apps like this. So check them.


Keep in mind that if it's in a traffic pattern area of the carpet, it's entirely likely that you'll be able to tell it's there, unless you take steps to mitigate the slight hump.


I was involved with a remodel of 600 rooms of a Hyatt, whereby the Architect decided to change the wall that the entertainment center was on. Where the was no power or signal provisions. Nice. We had to route power and coax (rf) on the floor, across the room. It was a total disaster. Flat coax, and flat power, glued to the floor, with a metallic shield over the top. Disaster, we did what we could as an electrical contractor, but we had to install it according to spec. Never, having been involved around the electrical in


Anyway, if it's a traffic area, smooth the transition as best you can. Techniques include a slight pad channel notch to accommodate the cable, a set of three varying width set of tape coverings...widest first then narrowing widths to follow.


And if it's not in a critical area, no biggie.


Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH /forum/post/19570466


Check Parts Express, someone makes a braided flat, woven type speaker cable for apps like this. So check them.


Keep in mind that if it's in a traffic pattern area of the carpet, it's entirely likely that you'll be able to tell it's there, unless you take steps to mitigate the slight hump.


I was involved with a remodel of 600 rooms of a Hyatt, whereby the Architect decided to change the wall that the entertainment center was on. Where the was no power or signal provisions. Nice. We had to route power and coax (rf) on the floor, across the room. It was a total disaster. Flat coax, and flat power, glued to the floor, with a metallic shield over the top. Disaster, we did what we could as an electrical contractor, but we had to install it according to spec. Never, having been involved around the electrical in


Anyway, if it's a traffic area, smooth the transition as best you can. Techniques include a slight pad channel notch to accommodate the cable, a set of three varying width set of tape coverings...widest first then narrowing widths to follow.


And if it's not in a critical area, no biggie.


Good luck

Yea I plan to run it along walls in the carpet, thats why the run to the rears are so long. I also have shag carpet so I believe it wont be as noticeable if at all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bofa89 /forum/post/19571259


Yea I plan to run it along walls in the carpet, thats why the run to the rears are so long. I also have shag carpet so I believe it wont be as noticeable if at all.

Turning corners is pretty much impossible with the stuff, what i've done in the past is to cut it at the needed angle to make the corner and solder it back together, then use heat-shrink or electrical tape to in insulate.
 

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Cables and speaker wire sales are full of witch craft.

No need to pay a lot, but might as well buy a decent cable.


To that end - Blue Jeans is hard to beat for excellent cable at a good price.


I buy from them often - they ship right away.
 

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Monoprice.com has great prices on speaker wire. I bought a 300ft of 14 gauge wire for 78 bucks shipped....
 
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