Guys, my wife and i are going to be starting to build a new home this year and i'm going to do all the prewiring myself. I need suggestions on what gauge/brand wire i should be using. Is heavier gauge always better? (such as 12 gauge) Should my wire runs be ran in conduit? Do i want in-wall or in-ceiling speakers or do i want freestanding? (even for surround) This prewire will be used in my family room which will be used not only for music but also movies/tv etc. Any suggestions would be really helpful. I want to do this once and do it right..........thanks, Matt.....
Oh boy, here we go, again, with the speaker wire debate.
I'll chime in later with my 1 cent.
Checkout www.partsexpress.com And www.mcminone.com All kinds of UL listed in wall wire. 12 ga will do it. These 2 places have all teh connectors, wall covers etc. Simple. But since it's a new house it has to be UL listed components for the use you have in mind, since it will be inspected by the local authoritys, they can and will flunk if he catches stuff that don't belong in teh walls. ie non UL listed for such use. Soem great stuff is also from Speakercraft for in wall speakers small commercial stuff Also www.legacyaudio.com Has some great on/in wall stuff You will find all your wiring needs at Parts Express and MCM boxes, wires, connectors etc. 12 ga will do it all
If you're going In-Wall these will put the wire debate to rest:
Good pointers from DUP and Mchale. Also, be sure not to run the speaker wire close to any electrical cables...keep them at least 12 inches (preferably much more) apart. If you must secure the cable donot staple them. Instead buy the heavy duty, insulated U-shaped nails...available at any hardware store. If you install ceiling speakers it would be best not to install florescent lights. Otherwise be sure to adequately shield the speakers. And be sure to keep any light away from the speakers, due to the heat.
Good suggestions from all.
I use a ~24-foot run of 12-gauge stranded wire for speaker cables. I made it that way for a large room, but there is extra length coiled up behind the equipment cabinet, more for one channel than the other because the cabinet is at the right hand side of the room as viewed from the listening chair.
I also had used a 10-gauge 8-foot run in a small apartment, putting the power amp closer to the speakers.
The shorter, larger wire (10-gauge) sounded better than the longer, slightly smaller gauge wire.
It will depend upon your length of cable run you need to reach the speakers, the impedance of the speakers and the output impedance of the amplifier, which determines the damping factor you want to achieve from the amp-wire-speaker combination. A rough rule of thumb is a factor of 10-20 or greater.