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Old 02-06-2012, 10:52 AM   #1
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Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic


Hi all,
I plan on installing 7.1 home theater speaker wires in the attic, using a 7.1 connector box from Home Depot/Lowes at the Receiver end. From there, connect receiver to in-wall box with original factory speaker wires. From the box, use new cable in attic and to outlets at each speaker location. Install a "speaker outlet box" at each speaker location and reconnect to factory speakers with original speaker wires. I am using Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1 Speakers to connect to Denon AVR-2312CI. The total run length from the receiver to the surround back would be about 50ft.
Heres the issue. The temperature in the attic is over 110F in summer.
I have read a number of posts about Plenum rated wires, Shielded wires etc., but not sure what to use.
I would probably buy a spool from monoprice and run it for all the speakers.






Here are some of the questions that came to my mind.
  1. Do the speaker wires need to be fire-rated?
  2. What gauge of wire need to be used?
  3. Do the wires need to be "shielded" type?
  4. Will there be intereference if all the cables are bundled together in the attic?
  5. Do the cables need to run inside a conduit in the attic?
Any help is appreciated.
Thanks!

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Old 02-06-2012, 11:16 AM   #2
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Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic


I would use conduit in an attic in case of critters get in there and decide to chew on them and would also check with the manufacture of the speakers and they should be able to tell you what gauge wire is required and once you know that you could look for wire and ask the company selling the wire what you can use at that temp.

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Old 02-06-2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic


I just used monoprice regular speaker wire in my attic for my garage...I live in the south so it gets hot up there and i havent had any issues...you should also buy your 7.1 plate from monoprice, you will save a lot
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic


Use the in-wall speaker wire from Monoprice. It meets code (fire-resistant sheathing). I would go with 14 ga. It's potentially overkill given the length of your runs but it's only a few bucks more and if you ever upgrade your components you won't need to run lower gauge wire.

You can bundle the wires together without fear of interference but don't run them with parallel to electrical wires any closer than 12". They can cross electrical wires at roughly perpendicular without any interference.

Conduit would be good also because if you ever want to run new wire in future, such as for IP speakers, it will probably make it a little easier.

Be careful what other accessories you buy from Monoprice. While their wire and cables and basic connectors are great, some of their electronics, like in-wall volume controls, are a bit cheesy.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:20 PM   #5
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Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic


Just today I ordered a 250 foot spool: Class 2 14/4 $128 from amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Premium-250ft-.../dp/B003YDWUXK
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:19 PM   #6
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Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic


Conduit would be GREAT if you can do it. The blue "smurf tube" is good for this type of application. Then pull in your speaker wire plus a spare string for future use.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic


Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Just today I ordered a 250 foot spool: Class 2 14/4 $128 from amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Premium-250ft-.../dp/B003YDWUXK
The idea of 14/4 is great in terms of the horizontal run in the attic.
However, what would you do when you want to split it into Left and Right Back speakers? Strip the outer sheathing and run individual cables back into the wall?

Last edited by megablok; 02-23-2012 at 02:07 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #8
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Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic


Quote:
Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
Conduit would be GREAT if you can do it. The blue "smurf tube" is good for this type of application. Then pull in your speaker wire plus a spare string for future use.
What is a smurf tube?
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironlight View Post
Use the in-wall speaker wire from Monoprice. It meets code (fire-resistant sheathing). I would go with 14 ga. It's potentially overkill given the length of your runs but it's only a few bucks more and if you ever upgrade your components you won't need to run lower gauge wire.
What does this mean? Doesnt thicker wire mean better?

Last edited by megablok; 02-23-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic


Quote:
Originally Posted by megablok View Post
The idea of 14/4 is great in terms of the horizontal run in the attic.
Or as a "home run" to other areas of the house.
Then (f'rinstance) you can split it all again and run a set to each bedroom.
Once there...you can run it through an A/B switch and volume control too.
(use the "B" selector for the local source audio)

Quote:
However, what would you do when you want to split it into Left and Right Back speakers? Strip the outer sheathing and run individual cables back into the wall?
Yes; exactly that. Pick a pair of colors for each channel...
and wind the other pair around the sheathing.

smurf tube (because it's blue):
Attached Thumbnails
Type of Speaker Cables to use in hot attic-smurftube.jpg  


Last edited by TarheelTerp; 02-23-2012 at 02:17 PM.
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