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Old 08-28-2009, 08:40 AM   #1
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Speaker wire in walls


Hey there... I've been redoing a kitchen, and the sheetrock is down, and the other side of one wall is my living room... so I'm thinking a good time to run some surround sound wiring like I've always wanted to do.

Anything I need to worry about here in regards to electrical wiring in that wall as well? I'm assuming to run the speaker wire through different openings in the studs (metal studs here) than the Romex... can the speaker wire be run close to the ground? Can they cross paths at any point? Do building codes have anything to say about speaker wire in walls?

Also, regarding speaker wire gauge.... am I wrong to assume that the thicker the better? Can you be "too thick"?
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:00 PM   #2
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Speaker wire in walls


i don't know about what the code regs are regarding speaker wire, but you will have no problem with the wires if they cross paths with each other, or even with some romex. I know there is speaker wire you can buy that is "in wall rated". it has 2 or 4 insulated wires in a gray jacket of some sort, and I want to say the 2 wire is something like 14 or 16 gauge, the 4 wire is usually thinner.

I don't think it's possible to go "too thick", but I think at some point you are simply wasting your dough on heavier gauge, thicker wire cost a lot more, and unless your house is huge and the speakers are FAR awa from the source, you are not getting any benefit by using welding cable for speaker wires....
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:45 AM   #3
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Speaker wire in walls


Use #12 monster cable.
NEC does not address speaker wires
Do not run your speaker wire in parallel to power wires. the metal studs are not a problem, but use plastic inserts to protect the wire from the metal edges. They can be bought at electrical supply houses that will snap into the holes of the metal studs. Running the wire at a 90 degree angle to the romex is fine.

Keep the two wires the exact same length to obtain maximum performance
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:24 AM   #4
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Speaker wire in walls


The above poster is obviously much ,more knowledgeable that I am on this topic, but I will respectfully challenge his Monster Cables recommendation .

I was doing a very similar project last year, and spent a lot of time lurking on some of the Home Theatre and AV chatrooms. Unless something has changed in the last 12 months, those guys will ALWAYS say to stay away from Monster Cables, as you are GROSSLY overpaying. These guys for the most part are pretty hard core too
You don't have to take my word for it. Check out some of those forums before you pay the Monster premium
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:39 AM   #5
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Speaker wire in walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Chips View Post
The above poster is obviously much ,more knowledgeable that I am on this topic, but I will respectfully challenge his Monster Cables recommendation .

I was doing a very similar project last year, and spent a lot of time lurking on some of the Home Theatre and AV chatrooms. Unless something has changed in the last 12 months, those guys will ALWAYS say to stay away from Monster Cables, as you are GROSSLY overpaying. These guys for the most part are pretty hard core too
You don't have to take my word for it. Check out some of those forums before you pay the Monster premium
X2
Stay away from Monster. Way overpriced. I usually get my wire from monoprice.com. Wire size will be typically selected by the length of the run. 14AWG will be sufficient up to around 75ft, but for a few dollars more, 12AWG would take care of very long runs with no problems.

Last edited by jerryh3; 08-29-2009 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:42 PM   #6
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Speaker wire in walls


Mr chips

Jerrh3 post is right on the money. I had good luck with pain old speaker
wire which I pickup from a electrical supply house.

When running the cable, drill seperate holes for it, and try to keep about
one inch from any electrical cables, and cross them at right angles.

"trust me the older you get the less you going to hear, it a fact of life"
said the father with the hearing aid to his son.

WARNING: spelling error in above, should read: Monster Cable

Last edited by Ranger31; 08-31-2009 at 12:48 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
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Speaker wire in walls


Thank you all for the posts and comments... sidetracked with an electrical outlet that will be covered by a new bank of cabinets on teh other side of the wall that I have to now figure out, but I will update you with what I ended up doing... sounds like 12/14 gauge in wall plain ol' wire will do, protecting it from fraying on the metal stud edges.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:19 PM   #8
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Speaker wire in walls


Thanks for the monoprice suggestion, used them for an HDMI cable a few months back, so know them well and trust em. In terms of gauge, I'm thinking 14 should do it... longest run from receiver will be about 30 feet.

I'm assuming you fish this in closed walls with a Romex-type fish wire? Also... any need to buy the outer insulated kind or the regular (2 links below)

Not a huge difference in price (although out of stock):
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...=2#description

or this:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:02 PM   #9
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Speaker wire in walls


LeviDIY

Last job I did, I did not use an Audio/Video Wall Plate.
To me, it just another connections that can cause problems.
Remember, audio/video run at very low voltage, resistance at the point
of connection is your enemy.

Now what do I like, Arlington 1 - 800 - 233 -477
or use this link. www.arlnew.com The stuff they have come up with will amaze you. Try to get their catalog.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:50 PM   #10
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Speaker wire in walls


mattyp

Thanks for sharing the information on the different between CL2 and CL3.

I am just wondering how you found this out, when it comes to passing
an electrical inspections.

And yes CL3 rating would be the best choice.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:09 AM   #11
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Speaker wire in walls


mattyP


No and no to both of your question. This Thread was start by LeviDIY
Better he should ask the questions.

Last edited by Ranger31; 09-02-2009 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:37 PM   #12
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Speaker wire in walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyp View Post
You want to know how I found this out? Would you like me to send you the information on my source?
I would. Name one situation were cl2 would not pass inspection in a residential setting.
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:56 PM   #13
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Speaker wire in walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
Use #12 monster cable.
NEC does not address speaker wires
So NEC 640 & 725 do not apply?
They specifically mention audio equipment & loudspeakers/speakers & connections "between equipment"
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