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Author Topic: In wall speaker cables  (Read 1019 times)

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Offline kindms

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In wall speaker cables
« on: January 13, 2019, 02:15:45 PM »
anyone ever run in wall speaker cables to plates etc ??

I'm at the stage in my basement remodel where I am considering running cables for what would be the rears of a 5.1 or 7.1 system. currently only have 5.1

I just did data and coax. So running cables isnt a big deal for me to do. But my issue is that either path I would want to take for rear left and right would parallel electrical for more than i would be comfortable with

am i over thinking it ? is there a in wall shielded quad wire you might recommend ?

t
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Offline mcfoster

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Re: In wall speaker cables
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 08:06:40 PM »
I used to prewire houses and was CEDIA certified for some time, that being said don't trust a word I say. I have never heard a peep out of anything after install and never had a complaint about A/C noise. You need to use a CL2 or CL3 twisted pair for in wall, by electric code and wherever you encounter electrical, you should cross at 90 degrees and get away from it as much as possible. That being said, much of the work the company I used to work for was retrofit and no one really knew what A/C was where. There was never a problem thankfully. There are best practices, and then there is reality. Good luck, wire it up! -marc
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Offline voltronic

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Re: In wall speaker cables
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 08:14:10 PM »
I use the 12-gauge Belden 5000UE available here for all of my speaker cable, and I really like it.  It is in-wall rated, though I haven't used it that way.
https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/index.htm

That page (and many other places) makes a convincing argument that shielding isn't typically necessary for speaker cables, as long as you have sufficient diameter.

If you really are dead set on shielded cable, Belden has the 5000FE, but I can only find it for sale in large quantity spools.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 08:16:57 PM by voltronic »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: In wall speaker cables
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 08:25:25 PM »
Another reason not to shield speaker cables is that it will increase the capacitance significantly, which may lead to audible adverse affects on the treble register.

If you get a twisted-pair cable as mcfoster recommends like the Belden 5000UE I linked, you should be fine.  In an extreme EMI environment you could always run it through steel conduit, but that's probably the definition of overkill.
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Offline kindms

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Re: In wall speaker cables
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 05:56:08 PM »
Thanks for the insights

voltronic. RE: Shielding.

No need for it I was just using the term to see if there was a more advantageous "type" of in-wall cable when running close to electrical lines

I ran Plenum ethernet cat6a so thats sort of where i was coming from. I know i dont need the plenum unless im going between floors but i used it to do the other rooms in the house so I stuck with the same cable. But i was able to run mostly away from power and only cross it at 90 for the most part.

kind of funny when you acquire stuff over the years. I was running ethernet and asked the wife, do you think I should pull COAX. We just recently cut the cord. She was like ya probably if it isnt a big deal LOL. I have a giant spool of it thats been around for a while and a bunch of compression ends. so I ended up pulling 3 ethernet and 2 coax. 1&1 to back of wall mounted TV and 2 and 1 for what would be the back of the stereo area. looking through the ethernet stuff looks like i have enough shielded cat6 keystone jacks etc to do it all without having to order anything. Always nice not to have to spend more $
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Offline 108Ω

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Re: In wall speaker cables
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2019, 06:19:18 AM »
CAT5 doubling up the conductors should be fine in most applications           ymmv. (especially if heat is electric)
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Offline voltronic

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Re: In wall speaker cables
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 06:36:59 AM »
CAT5 doubling up the conductors should be fine in most applications           ymmv. (especially if heat is electric)

For speaker cable?  I would still want more cable diameter than that, and go with actual speaker cable.  Having a bunch of small-gauge conductors is going to have much more electrical resistance than one large-gauge conductor.  I would consider cat5/6 for line-level connections.
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Offline kindms

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Re: In wall speaker cables
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 10:30:49 AM »
i went with 14-4 CL3 should be here in a few days. i appreciate the help.

Now i just need to get the drill out again. :)

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Offline 108Ω

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Re: In wall speaker cables
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 01:05:13 AM »
^^  A good choice for a hassle-free set up and no concerns about local codes.

Re: doubled CAT5
Plenum Cat5 is 22 ga., Doubled equiv. Is 19ga., adequate for most home applications
However, in wall, it's better to have fine strands, and higher guage means better power and transparency

I still have kapton covered, silver plated 4ga. Boeing 727 control cable for the short, open run from my tube amp to my speakers.
It is massive overkill and is there for my amusement.
Swapping in doubled 500' ft of CAT5 several times never changed sound or showed any sign of cable temperature (measured) change.

Practically and inside of a closed wall, doubled 14 ga., stranded wire means no headaches.
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Offline kindms

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Re: In wall speaker cables
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2019, 08:27:07 PM »
so pulled the speaker cables this evening. went pretty well sans a tough corner or 2. so now Ill do wall plates for the terminations.

pretty beefy cable.

If I had game planned my renovation better I think things would have been a little cleaner but its dragged out for far to long already so I'll be glad throwing up drywall this week

I had to parallel some power for a bit but tried to minimize as best I could and only crossed at 90. tried to keep distance as best I could as well. So hopefully it isnt an issue. Worst case I only wasted a few bucks I guess

thanks again everyone
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Little Bear tube Pre >Outlaw Audio 2200 Monoblocks > VR-2's

 

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