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#150393 - 10/30/06 01:53 AM Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrounds
muttsinparadise Offline
buff

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Hawaii
Question for the wire experts. It seems that the Belden 5000UE 12-gauge is frequently recommended for surround runs. If I'm passing the wires through the attic and walls where they will cross power cables at least once and run parallel to them for a few feet in the walls, would it be better to use the shielded version (5000FE in Belden manual)? Also, are connectors more difficult to attach to shielded twisted pair ?

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#150394 - 10/30/06 12:41 PM Re: Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrou [Re: muttsinparadise]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
You really want to try to avoid running wires anywhere near power cords.

If you have to, go with the shielded cable. Whether the cable is shielded or not won't make it harder to attach connectors. You can just strip away whatever isn't wire.

Hope that helps!

Good luck with your Axiom HT setup!
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#150395 - 10/30/06 12:56 PM Re: Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrou [Re: danmagicman7]
muttsinparadise Offline
buff

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Hawaii
Thanks for advice. I'm routing my surround wires away from power cords as much as possible, but there are inevitable crossing points, and a few sections where the wall routing will be within inches (unavoidable in my case). Now to find the difference in price between the unshielded and shielded versions. At $.40/ft, Bluejeans has good price on the unshielded - would anybody know where to get a good price on the shielded equivalent? Also, I've read (I think on Axiom forums) that the use of garden hose as shielding might work for in-wall runs next to power cord. Can anyone confirm, and I'm assuming this would be a metal-braided form of hose?

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#150396 - 10/30/06 01:56 PM Re: Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrou [Re: muttsinparadise]
jakeman Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 852
Loc: Toronto
How long are your runs?
_________________________
John

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#150397 - 10/30/06 02:22 PM Re: Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrou [Re: danmagicman7]
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
At least avoid running cables over a long way in parallel and close to mains... cross them at 90 degree angles, and don't worry about shielding unless your neighbour looks like this.

Bren R.

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#150398 - 10/30/06 04:53 PM Re: Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrou [Re: BrenR]
muttsinparadise Offline
buff

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Hawaii
John, I have ~3200 cuft room, with surround runs 25-32 feet. And fortunately no nuclear reactors outside my windows!

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#150399 - 10/30/06 07:53 PM Re: Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrou [Re: muttsinparadise]
jakeman Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 852
Loc: Toronto
You should be good to go with 12AWG unshielded. For the small extra money, I run 10 guage unshielded zipcord and my runs are 20ft to 45 ft.
_________________________
John

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#150400 - 10/30/06 11:03 PM Re: Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrou [Re: jakeman]
muttsinparadise Offline
buff

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Hawaii
thanks, looks like the consensus is that shielded runs won't provide additional benefit from power cord interference.

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#150401 - 10/30/06 11:55 PM Re: Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrou [Re: muttsinparadise]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10387
Mark, add me to the consensus. Since you mentioned Blue Jeans , note that the brief explanation on their site points out that shielding isn't necessary for speaker wire because of the relatively high current being delivered into a relatively low speaker impedance. For example, the typical 1 watt used for a comfortably loud average listening level into 4ohms would involve a current of 0.5 ampere( square root of 1/4, from Ohm's Law), while a brief peak needing 100 watts would involve 5 amperes of current. These numbers might not seem too big, but grossly inflated current numbers are sometimes trumpeted in manufacturer hype about "high current" amplification, and should be disregarded as meaningless; Dr. Ohm decides this, not them. The current is nevertheless far more than that in a line level coaxial cable driving the thousands of ohms of impedance in an amplifier and can't be affected by any EMI field normally found in a home(except maybe one with Bren's nuclear reactor in it).

So, that 5000UE would be fine, as would any similar wire from other sources which might be available to you locally at lower cost. Actually, for the length of runs that you mention 12ga wouldn't be essential and 14ga would serve. For a general explanation of speaker wire by a veteran audio professional, including a table of suggested gauges, you might study this site if you haven't already done so.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#150402 - 10/31/06 12:16 AM Re: Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrou [Re: JohnK]
muttsinparadise Offline
buff

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Hawaii
John, I'm feeling a little dense here. I understand your last argument, but if shielding is not necessary to prevent noise contamination from sources in the home, then why the concern for steering clear of power cords ?

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#150403 - 10/31/06 12:30 AM Re: Shielded vs Unshielded Speaker Wire for Surrou [Re: muttsinparadise]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10387
No, that concern only has some validity when the very low-level signals(on the order of a thousand times weaker than speaker-level signals)carried in a coaxial cable from a player, etc. are involved(as Blue Jeans indicates). Hence the emphasis on shielding in such cables and suggestions to avoid proximity to power cords as an additional precaution.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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