Wiring speaker wires in the wall. Are expensive speaker wires worth it?

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Old 11-23-13, 06:45 PM
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Wiring speaker wires in the wall. Are expensive speaker wires worth it?

Was at Home Depot the other day checking out some speaker wires for in-wall wiring. I found a generic type of brand and the packaging said that it was rated for in-wall use. The speaker wire was a 14-2 gauge, but it was also unshielded.

I was wondering if it would be worth it to buy the super expensive Monster, or other, type of speaker wires. Does shielding matter on a speaker wire? What gauge wire is best to use?
 
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Old 11-23-13, 08:11 PM
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The speaker wiring doesn't need to be shielded and most systems prefer you do not use shielded speaker wiring.

There is a lot of hype surrounding audio connection cables. A good cable in the low level chain (preamp) is a good idea. I don't believe in using Monster type cable in the walls for speaker wiring.

I pre-wire a lot of homes for audio systems. I use 16-2, 14-2 or 12-2 gray jacketed cable based on distance or use. A non powered subwoofer needs 12-2 wiring. Wheras basic satellite or small inwall speakers are perfectly fine on 16-2

14-2 is a good choice for an in-wall speaker system.
 
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Old 11-23-13, 08:57 PM
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Is there any disadvantage, other than cost, of pre-wiring 12-2 speaker wires in the walls as opposed to 14-2 speaker wires? I'm mostly doing a 5.1 audio system and I'm thinking about just going with 12-2 everywhere for the entire audio system.

Oh btw, I heard that it isn't a good idea to put electrical wires too close to audio and video cables/wires. So with that in mind, I purposely put the electrical wires in a stud cavity next to the stud cavity housing my A/V cables so that the electrical wires wouldn't cause interference issues. My question is... Is it ok to put audio wires and video wires in the same stud cavity? Would there be any noticeable interference issues?
 
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Old 11-23-13, 10:28 PM
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Absolutely not. The larger the wire size the better. It may certainly not be noticeable but it will never be detrimental.

Running audio and video wires together is ok.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 06:22 AM
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Speaker wires and cables do not need shielding, although shielding can help if the speaker cables must run parallel and close to low level audio or video cables.

There is no difference in performance between romex cables, monster cables, or oxygen cables of the same gauge.

My personal suggestion is 14 gauge for speaker runs up to 30 feet including the portions from the wall plates to the amplifier and speakers. Some experts recommend 12 gauge for 20 feet and over.
 
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Old 11-26-13, 04:31 AM
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Actually, Romex is solid while the others are stranded and that does make a difference. Signals travel on the outside of the wires and stranded wires have more surface area. To go further, testing has shown that Monster and other "audiophile" cables are technically better -- mostly because of more and finer strands and thus more surface area -- but in most knowledgeable people's opinions the difference is mostly on paper. Very few people can hear the difference, including those with trained ears.

Years ago a radio station in central Florida claimed to have invented a scented radio transmitter. They claimed they were broadcasting the scent of oranges and invited listeners to call in if they could smell it. The phone lines were jammed. Of course there was no scented transmitter. It was, however, orange blossom season.

The power of suggestion on the masses is formidable. Methinks that's how people can hear the difference between audio cables.
 
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Old 11-26-13, 07:09 AM
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Methinks that's how people can hear the difference between audio cables.
I've definitely heard differences that defy reason. A true "high fidelity" system requires a system approach to quality upgrades. You most likely won't hear speaker cable differences in a mass produced home theater system assembled from components where price was the primary factor.

12ga is overkill for surround speakers that have the bass frequencies stripped by the receiver & sent to a sub.

JMO
 
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