speaker wire help

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  • ck44rotel
    Junior Member
    • Jun 2003
    • 6

    speaker wire help

    I'm getting ready to add a set of rear speakers and hopefully a center soon. My question: Should I use the same speaker cable that I used for my front speakers? It seems obvious to me that I should, but the thought of having a braided speaker wire running all over my room isn't appealing. Currently, I'm using Ixos 6006 wire for my front speakers. Any tricks to hiding the wire or work arounds?

  • Burke Strickland
    • Sep 2001
    • 3161

    Should I use the same speaker cable that I used for my front speakers?
    Chris -- If you use the same cable for the rears as you are now using for the mains, then what will be connected to the mains? (That's a joke -- I know you mean same KIND of cable.) :>)

    Actually, same kind of cable may NOT be best. If you have a very short run of small diameter cable (such as 18 gauge) running to your front speakers but will have a very long run to the rears, you would actually need larger diameter cable (lower gauge number -- 12 or 14) to make sure you don't get signal loss over the longer distance. Also if you are using an expensive designer boutique cable up front, a less expensive 12 or 14 gauge cable would probably work fine for the surrounds, particularly if this is for movie surround effects and not critical listening of SACD or DVD-A.

    I am using $600 / pair 10 foot long "designer" cable for my front speakers (paid much less than that, buying it at the same time as my power amp since it is made by the same company and supposedly designed to work as an extension of the amp, and I got a special "deal" on it.) But I am using $0.60 / foot cable off a spool from Home Depot for my rears and they work fine. (IOW -- my surround cable lists at two orders of magnitude less cost than my front cables. The maker of the amp I am using for the surrounds made no recommendation regarding speaker cable.)

    If you are planning to use banana plugs or spades instead of bare wire for the connections, one thing to be said for "pre-assembled" cable is that it typically is terminated more robustly than DIY unless you buy special tools to attach the fittings, and is probably less susceptible to corrosion if it is housed in non-air-permeable materials.

    In addition to your local sources, you might want to check with the sponsors of this forum to see what they can do for you in terms of speaker cable.


    PS -- as for hiding the cable, if you own your home, you can run the speaker cable through the walls and ceiling to keep it out of view. Or if that is too much trouble or you are in an apartment, there are "flat" cables with paintable covering materials that can be used. (Some people run the "flat" cable under their carpet, although in high traffic areas that runs the risk of having the wire strands break from the pressure of foot traffic on it.)

    What you DON'T say may be held against you...


    • ck44rotel
      Junior Member
      • Jun 2003
      • 6

      Thanks for the help Burke. This is my first system and my first attempt at setting up surround sound. I wanted to mention that this forum has been a big help in answering newbie questions and providing advice.



      • Rock Dog
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Jan 2003
        • 417

        You don't need to have an elaborate or expensive cable for the rears. Think about the data they are getting. The biggest thing to consider is not to skip on AWG. Get at decent gauge wire for back there.

        There is very little music. Just ambient orchestral sound at best. Even with 5.1 music, it's very rare that the full range of the music is sent to the rears.

        Most of the information in movies is ricochets (sp?), flybys, and restraunt background noise or chatter, and that sort of thing.

        Most of the time the rears (unless you're running Def Tech BP7000s with 14" woofers ) are set to "small" so there is no need for a wire that will, push the really low frequencies.

        I agree with Burke. Talk to Lex, a.k.a. Doug from CatCables. He had a great suggestion for me, regarding this exact issue. And as soon as I get caught up on some bills (lost my overtime/play money ) I am going to order the stuff he suggested from CatCables. :T


        The easiest way to find something lost around the house, is to buy a replacement.

        Hey You! Make sure you stop by the HTguide Off-Topic section. It's FUN!!!


        As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.

        Hey You! Make sure you stop by the HTguide After Midnight section. It's FUN!!!


        • Lex
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Apr 2001
          • 27461

          Thanks Thomas.

          I'm glad the forum has been useful to you for learning Chris! That's our job. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you, I'd be glad to put on my "cable hat" and talk speaker cables.

          "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer


          • leeda2
            • May 2003
            • 40

            is there anything wrong with using the standard monster ht speaker wire for the main speakers? i know that many on this forum favor slightly more expensive brands. anyone have any suggestions for similarly priced wires with equal or better "performance"?


            • Andrew Pratt
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Aug 2000
              • 16507

              Leeda monster doesn't make a bad product its just that for the same or less money there are usually better performing products available. So if you've already got monster speaker cables relax they're likely good enough for your needs...providing they're not 14 gauge and you're talking about 30 foot runs to large tower speakers In future though there's a variety of options to choose from ...you can get regular 12 guage "zip" cord from places like Home Depot that will be very reasonably priced and look identical to Monster or you can move up to more brand name options which will definatly cost more and might sound better. I use 12 guage in wall approved cable from Home Depot. It happens to be very affordable and is in wall approved which means I don't have anything to worry about with regard to fire since I run my three surround cables though my ceiling...its not pretty though in an ugly green jacket but all my cable runs are hidden from view.


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