Stereo/TV sound wiring to speakers

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Old 01-27-19, 07:48 AM
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Exclamation Stereo/TV sound wiring to speakers

Hi,

Wiring my den for surround sound before we hang the sheetrock. The TV will be on one long wall with a stereo below, two speakers either side of the stereo, a bass in the opposite corner, and speaker behind the sofa - opposite the TV. I need to get my wires in and will put in an extra run to the other opposite corner just in case.

The problem is the TV wall has plumbing right there and since it's a load bearing wall, has double joists that I can't get through from the basement w/o causing weakness. There is one place I can possibly come up, but there is already a lot of 110V wiring there.

My questions:

What are the risks of picking up interference from the 110V wires if I cross them perpendicularly or have to run parallel for a couple of feet?

I can go up into the attic and come down the wall behind the TV, but that will make the runs as much 65 feet. Is that going to cause significant signal loss (don't know what watt system we'll have)?

Also, what gauge wire should I be using, 14g, 12g, or what?

Any special type of wire (I won't use aluminum clad)?
I was looking at this: KL3 Kable 14/2 Audiophile CL3/UL In Wall Speaker Wire - Merchandise

Thanks guys!
 
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Old 01-27-19, 08:38 AM
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Speaker wires crossing 120v perpendicular won't pick up much and nothing I've ever noticed. Running the speaker wires parallel to the AC wires should be avoided or space the speaker wires as far away as possible. They don't have to be very far away though. Even a few inches gives you a lot of noise protection. You don't want them touching along their length.

I would try to keep the wire length as short as possible. With longer wiring runs I like to go up in wire size. What size you'll need or want depends on your amplifier's power and your speaker's efficiency. I think most people would be putting less than 2 amps through their speaker wires but if you're going for THX audio levels you could have considerably more. I would say that 14 ga will be sufficient. The only one really to watch is your sub line. Will your sub be self powered or driven by an amp in the equipment rack?
 
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Old 01-27-19, 08:56 AM
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Thanks Pilot Dane. Most likely a self-powered sub woofer.
 
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Old 01-27-19, 09:43 AM
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For most of my sound installations..... unless it's a really high end system or the customer specs wire size..... I use #16 wiring. You can use #16 for the close ones and #14 for the longer distances. It never hurts to run a larger than anticipated size.

You won't find aluminum in any of this wiring. What you are probably used to seeing is tin plated copper which can look like aluminum.

For a self powered sub you may need to run a shielded audio cable.
 
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Old 01-27-19, 02:06 PM
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No - not referring to tin plated copper. I'm referring to copper clad aluminum. Have a look at cheap Cat6 cables and you'll see it exists.

Why shielded for a self-powered subwoofer?
 
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Old 01-27-19, 03:52 PM
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In small gauge wiring (#22- #24) for phones, data cables and USB..... cables from China may use copper coated aluminum.
I have never seen copper coated speaker cabling.

Why shielded for a self-powered subwoofer?
The powered subs I install use a low level audio cable from the processor to the speaker.
 
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