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Speaker Wire
#415408 11/09/15 06:55 PM
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Hey

Just starting to wire a 5.1 setup in my unfinished basement. Assuming I should use 12/2 gauge wire as a safe bet for the speakers I decide on. Does it matter what brand name wire I choose? Seems too be some price differences and claims by the higher end ones. Should I worry about using a cheaper one? Thanks for the help.

Last edited by MeekaBear; 11/09/15 06:55 PM.
Re: Speaker Wire
MeekaBear #415409 11/09/15 07:13 PM
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I did 12 gauge wire in my basement. I ended up running over 600' of cable as it works out to be far easier to run wire when the walls are not up, than trying to run wires when they are.

If I was to do it all over again, I would have saved myself a whole heap of money and done it in 14 or 16 gauge.

Think of it from this perspective. Your house that has 120v15amp plugs run throughout is using 14gauge wire to feed them. Each plug is getting 1800watts of power. How many watts is your amp? Maybe 100-200. So if the wall outlets that are getting 10x the constant power can use 14 gague wire, how will your speakers need more? Save yourself some big dollars.

If you run smaller gauge wire, but more of it, (ie run double the number of cables to each drop) you now have the option to to use both pairs and in effect bi/wire to your speakers.

I ran the cable drops for 11.2 sound even though I don't have the speakers. Who knows if some day in the future I will want it. It cost me a small fraction more to run too much compared to even trying to run one new pair after the drywall is up. And if there was a bad cable at some point in the future, I have spare cable so I am not stuck.

Make sure however that you run the proper CL2 stuff. I used Monoprice but I am sure there are loads of options out there.


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Axiom: ADA1000, LFR1100, VP180, QS8, EP500, M3, M3comp
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Re: Speaker Wire
MeekaBear #415410 11/09/15 07:31 PM
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Thanks for the input as its great to hear input from people that actually went through the process and would tweak things differently had they had their time back.

I'm running some extra wire as well in case I decide to change or add to the setup. As for the CL2 never even crossed my mind to check on that standard as I was so concerned with deciding on a wire gauge. Hopefully I can find a supplier locally now with some decent cable so I can get at the drywall quickly.

Re: Speaker Wire
MeekaBear #415411 11/09/15 08:51 PM
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Your profile doesn't say where you are from. In the USA, the best price for pretty decent wire is Monoprice. I bought mine through http://www.cablesonsale.ca/

I went with the 12 gauge as it was on sale at the time, and pulled an insane amount of cable. I pulled two pairs for the Center, Surrounds & Rear Surrounds. four pair for the Fronts and single pairs for front and back heights. I figured the heights were just in case I decided at some point in the future to look into that Atmos/DTS-X.

Best of luck with your HT build. There are quite a few of us here that recently have built and I am sure if you have any questions not only about cable, but also sound proofing and design, there are lots of opinions available here


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AudioSource: Amp One/A
Re: Speaker Wire
MeekaBear #415412 11/09/15 08:59 PM
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I've been buying my speaker cable from Blue Jeans, and while reasonable, they're not the budget choice. I can't fault the quality, however, and as a bonus they're based in my state, so I get to feel like I'm supporting my own economy while also getting what I order fairly fast. I suppose the only real criticism I have is that I would prefer a more pliable cable. I think people have been happy with Axiom's own speaker cable in that regard, but I've never bought any to compare.

But no, I wouldn't worry about brand, other than I wouldn't personally want to support the ones that gouge and make claims that only enthusiasts buy into. Put the money you save toward other aspects of your system.

Re: Speaker Wire
MeekaBear #415414 11/09/15 09:44 PM
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I'm on the east coast of Canada. Locally no luck getting cables and www.cablesonsale.ca looks like a great option. Thanks.

Re: Speaker Wire
MeekaBear #415424 11/10/15 06:28 AM
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MB, welcome to Axiom. Probably the best info available online discussing speaker wiring is the site of a veteran audio professional found here . There's a table of recommended gauges and lengths as well as plenty of helpful advice to avoid the wire scams that pollute our hobby.

You can shop at a local supplier of electrical wire(there's no such thing as "speaker cable" in reality)or deal with a low cost online supplier such as MonoPrice.


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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.


Re: Speaker Wire
MeekaBear #415425 11/10/15 10:13 AM
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Yep, electrical wholesaler is best bet. Failing that, bulk spool 14/2 or 12/2 at home depot. I buy 14 or larger guage for my personal stuff. 12+ usually.

The pros pull 16/2 for stuctured audio installs in commercial settings. They pull what is cheap and gets it done. Pulled tons of it for P/A audio in stores and sportcheck's in house audio and subwoofer systems. Did a multizone whole house audio system in 16/2 in large million dollar home. No issues.

If you use a wound cable like belden or carol you will avoid a lot of issues associated with cheaper zip cord speaker wire in longer runs.


Last edited by Serenity_Now; 11/10/15 10:32 AM.
Re: Speaker Wire
MeekaBear #415508 11/17/15 11:33 PM
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What did you guys run for your subwoofer cables? Would it matter which sub I decided on?

Re: Speaker Wire
MeekaBear #415509 11/18/15 03:36 AM
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Just a decent quality "RCA" connection cable. I think that I got mine from Monoprice in the US. Went with decently thick version that I ran through my walls and to a faceplate where I wanted the sub. I'd say that it was at least 40 feet long. No issues, and it wasn't expensive either.


2-M60s, VP180, 8-M3s, SVS 20-39PCi, DIY Sub, 8-Shakers, JVC RS45, Anthem MRX-1120
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