I have a 5 year-old set of Energy speakers (5.1 channel), and need to replace some/all wires due to move to different house. What is a good wire for price/performance for running in walls and under the floor?
Blue Jeans Cable sells Belden 5000 speaker wire, your choice of 10 or 12 gauge for between $0.38 and $0.79 per foot. It's UL-listed and NEC-rated for in-wall.
You can probably find something similar locally at Home Depot if you're in a hurry. It may not have a well-known name like Belden, but it'll most likely perform just the same and may even cost less.
Check out Roger Russell's table of cable gauge needed for the length of run you want. I'm not familiar with your particular speakers, but many 8-ohm speakers will dip to 4-ohms or lower at certain frequencies, necessitating thicker cable than you might expect. Since Blue Jeans' cable is so inexpensive, I just stuck with the 2-ohm column in Roger's table.
(I just ordered from them late last night and they shipped via USPS Express Mail this morning. My order included custom length optical and subwoofer cables, so I'm pretty impressed with their turn-around time. Now if only USPS will get it to me Saturday instead of making me wait until Monday! )
For my installation I could have gone with 16-gauge for my front speakers (as could most people, I imagine), but I "splurged" for the 12-gauge since that's the thinnest Blue Jeans sells. In fact, even when I get around to buying and running new cables around the perimiter of my room to the rear surrounds I'll be just barely over the limit of the 12-gauge in a worst-case (2-ohm) scenario.
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