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3313 posts

Uber Geek

#61035 7-May-2010 14:28
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I need to install cabling for a set of rear speakers in a near new house (why they didn’t do it during building is a mystery). 


Plan A - Draw the cable up through one wall, across the roof, and down the other wall.  They did install sky aerial cable to both sides of the room so I was going to use those outlets and the cable to help draw the speaker cable through. 


Plan B - Lift the carpet and run it around the edges, although I am not sure if it’s possible to get the carpet put down again without replacing the fixings or getting a pro in?


I am not a huge audiophile and compared to most here currently have a pretty basic Sony amp and satellite rear speakers (still shakes the windows!), but who knows what the future holds and I will only be doing this once!


It’s a fair distance (about 12 metres using the roof option) and decent cable is large (potentially hard to feed through the walls) and lots of $$


Cat-5 cabling has been mentioned in a couple of posts as used for speaker wire by twisting all white wires for (-) and all coloured wires for (+).  This is attractive as Cat-5 is a bit more flexible for feeding through difficult spaces, one cable will do both rears, and it is waaayyy cheaper.


Interested in any stray thoughts or advice….Laughing

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7095 posts

Uber Geek


  #327740 7-May-2010 15:09
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My $0.02

Go up through the walls.  You risk needing to get the carpets restreched if you opt for the carpet route.
Have you been up in your ceiling, is there much room to move?  Expect to get well annoyed for half a day, but then it will be all done.  Do you have a wooden floor?  Down and under is often a viable option too.

Get some speaker cable.  Do the job properly.  Speaker cable will bend but don't kid yourself that having ultra bendy cable will make your job any easier really.

Rough idea of size required is here:

Warning....Don't fish around in a wall with a coat hanger etc unless you're certain there are no mains plugs/cables anywhere in the vicinity.

Also, up to you if you want to terminate at face plates or not.  I prefer to keep my cable all in one piece from start to finish.  Less points for physical failure that way, and with a TV or stereo or speaker in front of the wall penetration you can't see the fance wall plates anyway.

219 posts

Master Geek

  #327797 7-May-2010 18:51
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Speaker cable isn't expensive, you shouldn't pay more than $5/m unless you're running ridiculous lengths. For the lengths you're talking I'd go at least grade 16 maybe 14 awg if you want a bit of safety factor.

Desktop: i7 920, GTX 275, asus P6T, antec 1200, 6gb ram, 1tb spinpoint f1, 1tb spinpoint f3, Logitech Z2300, Zero DAC, Shure SRH440
Laptop: Toshiba satellite, T5300, Go 7300
Home Theatre: 32" loewe CRT, Harmon kardon amp, dvd player, image 418 speakers, rega planar 25 turntable :)


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Master Geek

  #327909 8-May-2010 10:07
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Get some speaker cable.  Do the job properly.  Speaker cable will bend but don't kid yourself that having ultra bendy cable will make your job any easier really.

Rough idea of size required is here:

+1 for doing it with speaker cable rather than cat5.  From the DSE link supplied above, I'm using the W1211 one for mine, with the longest cable being around 11m long.  It's more than bendy enough to get around the various corners etc, and is nice and thick for the long distance - one strand definitely being thicker than four strands of cat5 twisted together.  Yes it's more expensive per metre than cat5, but it's a far better solution.

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Master Geek

  #328427 10-May-2010 11:13
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Another +1 for doing it with speaker cable rather than Cat-5. I've just done this at home and the cable I used wasn't much thicker than Cat-5. It was 16AWG, so good for a 50ft (18m) run with 8 Ohm speakers.

JB HiFi are doing AudioQuest 16AWG cable for $3 per meter, so it cost me $90 for the 30m that I needed. Routed it across the ceiling cavity and then down both walls.

As Jaxson says, don't terminate the cable in faceplates unless you have to. Mine come out of the wall directly behind the speaker. The speakers are mounted on nice wooden blocks; the cable comes through a hole in the block and attaches to the speaker. One piece of cable from amp to speaker.

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