Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


08:08PM | 12/22/03
Member Since: 09/23/03
22 lifetime posts
I was considering putting some some theatre speaker outlets into my living room in case I wanted to add surround sound speakers. What type of wire is recommended?

Any other advice you can give would be helpful.


06:15PM | 12/27/03
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
There are too many factors to give you an answer. For absolute, optimal, stereophonic sound, you should configure this choice with the system you choose. It will also depend on how long a run you have and how much money you have to spend.

The gauge (size) of wire will mostly depend on the size of your speakers, the power of your system, and the length of the run. Low wattage, weak speakers, and short runs--thin wire suffices. (You could theoretically diminish a signal if you use too big a wire on a weak system, although I have not experienced it). High wattage, big speakers, and long runs--thick gauge wire.

The type of wire also depends on your budget. Monster cable is a recognized premier speaker wire because it is not only pure copper, but it is sealed from oxygen and will not oxidize and has premium connectors at each end. But it is very expensive: for long runs, the wire could be more expensive than the system. There are also bigger speaker wires that are not only sealed well like Monster cable, but also shielded from interference. On the low-budget end, I have used 16 gauge electrical cord wire (lamp cord wire) for speakers with great results and 18 gauge wire with adequate results.

If you do not have your system yet, or you plan to upgrade soon, but you want to wire it while the walls are down during a remodel so that you don't have exposed wires on your walls, then I would suggest not wiring the entire run, but instead just the short run from the spot on the wall to either the floor or the ceiling. You could even just leave strings connecting the speaker box to the baseboard or up to crown molding behind the wall. That way you can "fish" the speaker wire through the wall from the floor or the ceiling when you get the system. You can also change out the speaker wire as needed if you do not do the entire run behind the walls.

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