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#249464 - 02/28/09 08:12 AM Best way to join speaker wire?
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4019
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Hey guys, I need to extend the length of my speaker wire so therefore joining two is the only way to do it and I need some advice. The only advice that I have received is from someone in the business that said to intertwine them and then use blue merrets (can't remember why he specified blue ones).

Something that I thought of is that I have a banana plug wall plate, and I was wondering if I could somehow take the connectors off of the plastic plate (or break the plastic plate surrounding the connectors)and use those inside the wall??

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.
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#249469 - 02/28/09 08:37 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10873
Loc: Central NH
Hey Cam:
Personally, I would Just fan out the strands a bit on both ends, intertwine them, and twist them. Then a cap or electrical tape or shrink tube.

Then, bend the splices "flat" to the wire and wrap the whole think with tape or shrink tube.

It's not like you're wiring AC or anything...you just want to prevent loose strands from touching or it pulling apart easily.
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#249471 - 02/28/09 09:38 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4019
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Thanks for the advice Mark, I'll give that a try, or at least get someone who's not digit inept.

My main worry was that I would possibly be losing sound quality.
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#249473 - 02/28/09 09:45 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
Another vote for shrink wrap/tube. They tend to look better than a wad of electrical tape or marr connectors. I wonder if you could find a small plug-in connector male/female to do the job?
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#249474 - 02/28/09 09:46 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Adrian]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
Don't forget an outer layer of duct tape for that Red/Green look.
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#249486 - 02/28/09 11:22 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: fredk]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
But connectors and shrink rap is what I'd use.
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#249502 - 02/28/09 12:43 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: michael_d]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
From the peanut gallery: hold the two ends at 90 degrees with the insulation of each almost touching at the X point. Twist the wires tightly trying to maintain the 90 degree split on the unwound portion. Once you (or a digit friendly assistant) have the entire length (no more than an inch needed) add a yellow or red wire nut. Cheap stuff, but the color corresponds to the size wire it will hold. Make sure you twist in a clockwise manner or the wire cap will untwist your pretty wind and risk a wire sliding our. The point of the 90 degree twist is that it will hold the wire very firmly even without a wire nut. If you hold the wires parallel and just twist the resulting weave is easily pulled apart. (give it a try!) The 90 degree twist is very secure and with the wire nut (or without) you wont have to worry about it getting pulled apart if abused by feet, furniture, or the drunk squirrel that is always lurking around here. \:o

The shrink wrap is a great idea (and still cheap) and looks much better than any other option I know of. If you go that route, and twist lock as described, I would skip the wire nut to keep the look very clean. Unless the wire is completely hidden, then I'd save the time and just put the wire nut and wrap of tape. You can also get some silver solder if you really want to do it "right" but from what I have learned here, you will gain nothing.
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Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#249518 - 02/28/09 01:37 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Zimm]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10873
Loc: Central NH
....unless you have them levitating wyres...
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#249525 - 02/28/09 01:54 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
Right, then your F'd. You can't ever get them to levitate at the same level to put them in the shrink wrap. That's why the Deaf Monk has to do it in the volcano where gravity and magnetism inverticate.

Keep up kids, this aint rocket science.

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Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#249526 - 02/28/09 02:01 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Zimm]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
You could just skip the work and get these...they will make your system sound like angles are signing in your room.


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Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#249528 - 02/28/09 02:03 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Zimm]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11187
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Angles are signing?

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#249529 - 02/28/09 02:11 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Zimm]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
If I may be so bold... ;\) Although they're not actually incorrect. Oh well, never let the truth get in the way of a good idea. \:D

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#249532 - 02/28/09 02:47 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Kruncher]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Quote:

If I may be so bold...


You many not. If you have never heard a 90 degree angle sing, that is your loss. Besides, I don't think the program would pick up angle as an erroneous form of angel. But keep picking on my spelling/typing in the ever so clinical world of the speaker forum and I'll start using that text code stuff the kids like and really make all you spelling geeks' heads explode. BFF, IMG nFl.
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#249535 - 02/28/09 03:15 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Zimm]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11187
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
It wasn't the spelling so much as the double-mistype of angel as angle and sing as sign that made me comment, and it wasn't really to correct so much as to have you run with it. You many or many not have cared for the explanation, but there it is.

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#249538 - 02/28/09 03:28 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: CV]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
;\)

I'm just kidding. And to think, I write for a living; irony anyone? And granted, an angle signing is much harder to envision than an angel singing.
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Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#249539 - 02/28/09 03:29 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Zimm]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
Hey, I've heard plenty of angles sing. At least it sounded like it to me when I did well on trig tests. \:D

And I did say that you weren't wrong. Just having a little fun is all. Now don't go getting all l33t on our a$$e$. ;\)

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#249540 - 02/28/09 03:31 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Kruncher]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
\:\/
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Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#249649 - 03/01/09 11:58 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Zimm]
OhioKyle Offline
buff

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 48
And here I thought it referred to syncing the sine waves to account for the angles of refraction in the room to optimize the listeners auditory perception...

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#249683 - 03/01/09 05:17 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: OhioKyle]
Haoleb Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 1488
Loc: Maine
The best way to do it is by using a splice called the western union, then soldering it and covering in heat shrink tubing..

Depending on wire gauge you'll likely need a soldering gun (with 100+ watts) vs a simple iron to get a good joint.


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#249988 - 03/03/09 10:31 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Haoleb]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
That's pretty cool, Haoleb. If/when I have to splice wire, that's usually how I do it. I just didn't know it had an official name, 'the western union'. Cool!

When it comes to speaker wires though, I don't splice. I'm sort of OCD about *not* splicing speaker wire. I know it doesn't matter, but I don't like splices in speaker wire. I just can't handle it.

If I re-arrange speakers and find that I need longer wires, I order another spool of bulk wire and re-cut it to the appropriate length.
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#250028 - 03/03/09 03:29 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
I don't know, THE Internet says the Western Union splice is actually done in the 90 degree fashion I mentioned - kinda! Splice (And it is written on 1910 parchment, so it must be right, right?)

Seriously, the above picture looks fine to if you solder it. If you don't, and then you pull in opposite directions, I don't think the wire locks together was well as twisting in 90 degree angles. But, the major difference is that the above picture gives a much nicer flat appearance than my suggestion (which creates a pig-tail), so I admit defeat in today's battle of wire splice knowledge. \:\(
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Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#250468 - 03/06/09 12:25 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Zimm]
Haoleb Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 1488
Loc: Maine
Yeah, The way its shown in your link is how I do it... Starting out holding the wires so they cross at an X shape But you basically end up with the same thing. That's a better illustration than what I found though.

The main idea is that it gives you, like you said, a very flat and even splice. Any splice should be soldered. Just twisting the wires together and putting tape or head shrink over it is unacceptable.
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#250600 - 03/06/09 05:55 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Haoleb]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Originally Posted By: Haoleb
Just twisting the wires together and putting tape or head shrink over it is unacceptable.

Oh, no you didn't just say that. \:o


If wasn't so lazy I would point you to the thread where I was beaten about the head and shoulders until I came to understand that wire does not matter - it is just a guide for the electromagnetic field that rides it. Or something like that.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#250935 - 03/09/09 11:39 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Zimm]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4019
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
If I join my speaker wire using the Western Union method, could I just fold the joined wire over and then cover with a merret and electrical tape? That way the wire can't pull apart with tension.
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Does a dyslexic atheist not believe in dog?

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#250969 - 03/09/09 03:23 PM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
I don't know, but Haoleb said "Just twisting the wires together and putting tape or head shrink over it is unacceptable." I would think it is fine, but hopefully he will elaborate so you can determine the risk/reward factor.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#251032 - 03/10/09 01:57 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Zimm]
Haoleb Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 1488
Loc: Maine
Making a good joint is about having a strong electrical and mechanical connection. I assume by merret you mean wire nuts, I personally wouldnt use them for anything... period. Also, they are best suited for solid core conductors vs stranded. Of course, time doesnt always allow to make a perfect connection since heatshrinking and soldering each and every connection is a very time consuming process which is why there are things like wire nuts and butt connectors and so on... which is fine. But if you want the best and strongest joint for something like joining speaker wire I still think the suggested method is the best.
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#251044 - 03/10/09 07:45 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: Haoleb]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10873
Loc: Central NH
I think simple works... it's just speaker wire. It's not running AC, and no one should be tugging on it anyway.

Jeez, when I was a kid, I sometimes had to use three scraps of brown 18 guage lampcord to reach 20 feet.

I also walked to school in the snow, uphill, both ways, but that's another story...

(Channeling Murph's future "Grouchy Old Man with a Hat"...)
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::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#251080 - 03/10/09 10:27 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
But audio is AC. ;\)

There was an article posted to the 'holics website today on attaching connects to cable. While not exactly on topic it was still a good read: http://www.audioholics.com/education/cables/crimping-and-soldering
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#251082 - 03/10/09 10:37 AM Re: Best way to join speaker wire? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6802
Loc: PEI, Canada
 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I think simple works... it's just speaker wire. It's not running AC, and no one should be tugging on it anyway.

Jeez, when I was a kid, I sometimes had to use three scraps of brown 18 guage lampcord to reach 20 feet.

I also walked to school in the snow, uphill, both ways, but that's another story...

(Channeling Murph's future "Grouchy Old Man with a Hat"...)



((Shakes cane accusingly and mumbles something incoherent...))
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