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Old 02-26-2009, 03:07 PM   #1
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Speaker / Audio wire in-wall


Hi;
Am I allowed by NEC to run low-voltage speaker wire and audio cable inside the walls, or do I need to buy a specifically approved in-wall cable.
This is strictly for home stereo system that I am wiring to in-wall jacks, using plastic outlet box and modular connectors/plate.

Thanks

FW

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Old 02-26-2009, 04:04 PM   #2
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Speaker / Audio wire in-wall


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Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
Hi;
Am I allowed by NEC to run low-voltage speaker wire and audio cable inside the walls, or do I need to buy a specifically approved in-wall cable.
This is strictly for home stereo system that I am wiring to in-wall jacks, using plastic outlet box and modular connectors/plate.

Thanks

FW

Speaker wire would need to be CL2 or CL3 rated.

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Old 02-26-2009, 07:40 PM   #3
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Speaker / Audio wire in-wall


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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
Speaker wire would need to be CL2 or CL3 rated.
Thanks. What about other audio cable. I have a LINE level signal I need to bring from my PC to the amp, and it is going to go through the wall too.
There would be much less current in that wire than in the speaker wire, so I would think it would fall under the telephone or Cat5 category, which I believe is not restricted.

Even for my speaker system, it is not at all likely that I will have enough current to create any sort of hazard in the speaker wires, but I want to follow code.

Edit: I looked up CL2 speaker wire. What a ripoff! For 250ft, I would pay $109. Forget this. I'll use Romex!
I can run the romex from one wall jack to the other, and use regular speaker wire for cables from the wall plugs to the equipment.

FW
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:20 AM   #4
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Speaker / Audio wire in-wall


Yup, romex is good. 12 awg average for 50+ foot runs. In wall rated cat 5 for the pc to amp.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:27 AM   #5
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Speaker / Audio wire in-wall


for audio signals, shouldn't the wires be insulated against other interfering wires that may be nearby? something like coax?

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Old 02-27-2009, 08:44 AM   #6
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Speaker / Audio wire in-wall


If you are going to run Line Level audio in wall, cheapest and best solution would be to run a set of coax lines (left/right) and put RCA ends on the cable. Get something like RG6 Quad shield and you should be fine. Don't use Cat5 cable for line level audio!
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:50 AM   #7
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Speaker / Audio wire in-wall


tnkx theatretch85, i was hoping you'd chime in. Po)

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Old 02-27-2009, 09:38 AM   #8
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Speaker / Audio wire in-wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
If you are going to run Line Level audio in wall, cheapest and best solution would be to run a set of coax lines (left/right) and put RCA ends on the cable. Get something like RG6 Quad shield and you should be fine. Don't use Cat5 cable for line level audio!
I do have shielded audio cable that I was going to use. I also have RG6 coax that I could use.
Sorry for the misunderstanding about Cat5. I wasn't planning to run it for the audio, just comparing with low-level audio cable for code purposes.

FW
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:41 AM   #9
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Speaker / Audio wire in-wall


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for audio signals, shouldn't the wires be insulated against other interfering wires that may be nearby? something like coax?
It might not be possible to maintain complete separation between the various kinds of stuff in the wall -- AC power cables, speaker cables, and line level (audio, HDMI, VGA, regular video, etc.) cables. Even if shielded, the line level cables should run a foot away from the others but may still have to be juxtaposed to emerge from a wall or pass through the cripples above a door.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:54 AM   #10
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Speaker / Audio wire in-wall


Get solid core coaxial if you go for it. Although, that little 18 awg may give you flat, light sound for long runs

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