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Old 09-05-07, 07:20 PM   #13
Rakeesh's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Sonoran Desert
Posts: 6,884
Default Re: Upgrading speaker wire

Originally Posted by evilghost
Believe it or not coax is the best to run.
Coax is good for pre-amp (also called line or line out) wiring, but do NOT use coax for post-amp wiring.

How do you tell what is pre-amp and what is post-amp you might ask? Well, do the speakers at the other end of the wire have a volume knob on them? If then answer is no, then it is probably post-amp.

@SOAD_rule: You want braided wire, not that solid stuff you have in your second pic (it is far too brittle for what you are doing.) Also that cable doesn't appear to be polarity marked. You want to avoid mixing the positive and negative ends, and using those wires would make that difficult. It won't break anything if you get them backwards, but your speakers may be 180 degrees out of phase with each other (e.g. one speaker is pushing a crest while the other is pushing a valley at the same time,) causing them to either partially cancel each other out, or just plain sound awkward.

If you are running a length less than 50ft, use 18AWG or larger braided copper wire. Any other typical home setup (rarely ever above 100ft for any given speaker) should use 16AWG braided copper wire. If in doubt at all, just use 16AWG as it isn't expensive at all and is more than adequate for just about anything. Don't worry about whether it is oxygen free or not as that is a marketing gimmick and won't make any significant difference (if it is, that's fine, just don't pay too much for it.) This should work fine, and it is decently priced:

Regardless of what you do, cut all of the wires to be the same length for each set of speakers. For example, the front right, center, and front left should be the same length, the rear right and rear left should be the same length, and the back left and back right should be the same length. If they are off by an inch or two don't worry about it, just don't have them off by say several feet or so.

See this for more info:

They recommend no less than 16 AWG for any setup, which isn't a bad idea.

Your sub should support line level inputs, so use coax with RCA heads for that. If your sub and/or receiver doesn't do this, then you have a sh*tty sub and/or receiver and you have to connect it to the same wiring as your front left and right speakers. Or unless your sub is also your only amp...which is equally cheesy...usually such setups are technically really a 5.0 setup in that the sub doesn't have its own dedicated LFE channel.

Originally Posted by SOAD_rule
Also, does anyone have a good link for the placement of 5.1 speakers?

Room is shaped triangular at the top and is around 3 meteres by 6 meters long.

It will hopefully be focused for one person

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