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Weird speaker cabling question

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Anonymous
April 9, 2004 4:29:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Sorry if this double-posts, I couldn't tell if it went through on my news
server or not.

Hi all, I heard someone mention the other day that if you wanted to get some
good speaker cable, that you could save money and still get good quality by
just going to the local hardware store and buying some 12/2 electrical cable
(or better), cutting the ends off, and putting on the connector of your
choice.

I am setting up some Community speakers that require amplification and I
wanted to make up my own cables with Speakon connectors. Could I really just
go up to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy 100' of 12/2 or 10/2 cabling and make
my own, or should I buy cables specifically made for audio? Is there really
a difference?

Also, I am assuming the conductors need to be twisted strand, not solid
core, if you were going to use this approach? And lastly, if you can only
find 12/3 cabling, is that a problem? Can you just not use the ground wire
and leave it alone on both ends of the cable?

Sorry if this is a dumb question but I really am not sure if he was just
pulling my leg or if this works OK.

-Ben
Anonymous
April 10, 2004 12:10:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:QZ6dnaTT77TOUuvd4p2dnA@speedfactory.net...
> Sorry if this double-posts, I couldn't tell if it went through on my news
> server or not.
>
> Hi all, I heard someone mention the other day that if you wanted to get
some
> good speaker cable, that you could save money and still get good quality
by
> just going to the local hardware store and buying some 12/2 electrical
cable
> (or better), cutting the ends off, and putting on the connector of your
> choice.

Pretty much.

>
> I am setting up some Community speakers that require amplification and I
> wanted to make up my own cables with Speakon connectors. Could I really
just
> go up to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy 100' of 12/2 or 10/2 cabling and
make
> my own, or should I buy cables specifically made for audio? Is there
really
> a difference?

You might be able to hear a difference but it will be very subtle. Honestly
speaking, you might even like the mone-made better.

>
> Also, I am assuming the conductors need to be twisted strand, not solid
> core, if you were going to use this approach?

Twisted strand is for flexibility really. If it's a fixed installation,
you'd be fine with solid core - in fact it may even be preferable.


And lastly, if you can only
> find 12/3 cabling, is that a problem? Can you just not use the ground wire
> and leave it alone on both ends of the cable?

You could but that really defeats the purpose of cost savings. You can
probably get single solid core and use 2 wires for a lot less $$

>
> Sorry if this is a dumb question but I really am not sure if he was just
> pulling my leg or if this works OK.

Who was pulling your leg?
cb
April 10, 2004 3:04:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:QZ6dnaTT77TOUuvd4p2dnA@speedfactory.net...
> Sorry if this double-posts, I couldn't tell if it went through on my
news
> server or not.
>
> Hi all, I heard someone mention the other day that if you wanted to
get some
> good speaker cable, that you could save money and still get good
quality by
> just going to the local hardware store and buying some 12/2
electrical cable
> (or better), cutting the ends off, and putting on the connector of
your
> choice.

(snip)

> -Ben
>
12/2 is fine, probably the best stuff you can wire speakers with
(so-called "high end" speaker cable is simply a scam.) My two systems
are wired entirely with Home Depot and similar 12/2 flex. Use flex
for ease of use and moving stuff around but solid is fine but only if
fixed in place. The is no difference electrically in this use. Some
speaker terminals are a bit small for 12 AWG - use banana plugs (ones
that take 12 gauge) or splice in a few inches of 16 gauge right near
the terminals (done both!)

Cheers,

Roger
Related resources
Anonymous
April 10, 2004 5:34:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

It will work and probably no better or worse than cable made for audio. If
the installation is permanent this will probably be okay but it will be a
bitch to push that amp into a rack again. If you plan on rolling that cable
up and reusing it again FORGET IT. You will never get it rolled up again in
anything less than a 30 gallon trash can.
Phil


"Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:QZ6dnaTT77TOUuvd4p2dnA@speedfactory.net...
> Sorry if this double-posts, I couldn't tell if it went through on my news
> server or not.
>
> Hi all, I heard someone mention the other day that if you wanted to get
some
> good speaker cable, that you could save money and still get good quality
by
> just going to the local hardware store and buying some 12/2 electrical
cable
> (or better), cutting the ends off, and putting on the connector of your
> choice.
>
> I am setting up some Community speakers that require amplification and I
> wanted to make up my own cables with Speakon connectors. Could I really
just
> go up to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy 100' of 12/2 or 10/2 cabling and
make
> my own, or should I buy cables specifically made for audio? Is there
really
> a difference?
>
> Also, I am assuming the conductors need to be twisted strand, not solid
> core, if you were going to use this approach? And lastly, if you can only
> find 12/3 cabling, is that a problem? Can you just not use the ground wire
> and leave it alone on both ends of the cable?
>
> Sorry if this is a dumb question but I really am not sure if he was just
> pulling my leg or if this works OK.
>
> -Ben
>
>
Anonymous
April 10, 2004 6:38:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"anybody-but-bush" <NOTRASH@YAHOO.com> wrote in news:TJSdc.3117$zj3.507
@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net:

> It will work and probably no better or worse than cable made for audio.
If
> the installation is permanent this will probably be okay but it will be
a
> bitch to push that amp into a rack again. If you plan on rolling that
cable
> up and reusing it again FORGET IT. You will never get it rolled up again
in
> anything less than a 30 gallon trash can.
> Phil
>
>

Phil is right. The stuff from home depot can be a real bear to work with.
I favor the SoundKing brand wire from Parts Express, etc. Quite flexible
and it is cheap.

Speakon connectors are nice. I prefer the Amphenol version however.

r


> "Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:QZ6dnaTT77TOUuvd4p2dnA@speedfactory.net...
>> Sorry if this double-posts, I couldn't tell if it went through on my
news
>> server or not.
>>
>> Hi all, I heard someone mention the other day that if you wanted to get
> some
>> good speaker cable, that you could save money and still get good
quality
> by
>> just going to the local hardware store and buying some 12/2 electrical
> cable
>> (or better), cutting the ends off, and putting on the connector of your
>> choice.
>>
>> I am setting up some Community speakers that require amplification and
I
>> wanted to make up my own cables with Speakon connectors. Could I really
> just
>> go up to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy 100' of 12/2 or 10/2 cabling and
> make
>> my own, or should I buy cables specifically made for audio? Is there
> really
>> a difference?
>>
>> Also, I am assuming the conductors need to be twisted strand, not solid
>> core, if you were going to use this approach? And lastly, if you can
only
>> find 12/3 cabling, is that a problem? Can you just not use the ground
wire
>> and leave it alone on both ends of the cable?
>>
>> Sorry if this is a dumb question but I really am not sure if he was
just
>> pulling my leg or if this works OK.
>>
>> -Ben
>>
>>
>
>



--
Nothing beats the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with DLT tapes.
Anonymous
April 10, 2004 9:07:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

>
>I am setting up some Community speakers that require amplification and I
>wanted to make up my own cables with Speakon connectors. Could I really just
>go up to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy 100' of 12/2 or 10/2 cabling and make
>my own, or should I buy cables specifically made for audio? Is there really
>a difference?

12/2 will be fine.

>
>Also, I am assuming the conductors need to be twisted strand, not solid
>core, if you were going to use this approach? And lastly, if you can only
>find 12/3 cabling, is that a problem? Can you just not use the ground wire
>and leave it alone on both ends of the cable?

Twisted not electrically required. Maybe preferable for flexibility.
But if this is a permanent installation?

>
>Sorry if this is a dumb question but I really am not sure if he was just
>pulling my leg or if this works OK.

The people who want you to choose cable for qualities other than
power-handling and flexibility (if required) are the ones pulling your
leg.
Anonymous
April 11, 2004 11:00:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Hey Laurence, I have talked to you a few times on the Cubase group. Nice to
see you on this one as well. This is a permanent install for a *new* studio
being built and finished in the basement of my *new* house which will be
done in June! Can't wait. The output of the PC sound card will feed these
speakers (via amplification first of course), a permanent in-wall wiring
job.

You would be a good person to answer this...do you have any experience with
some good audio source selectors, say to select between the sound card
output going to near field monitors on the desk top versus switching the
output over to this cabling and amp to the main PA speakers? I know RS makes
a cheap switchbox but I am sure it is not good quality-wise, and it only has
RCA ins and outs.

-Ben

"Laurence Payne" <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:rn6g70521e0n7ga5aqbtuhnpmeoeiv7atu@4ax.com...
>
> >
> >I am setting up some Community speakers that require amplification and I
> >wanted to make up my own cables with Speakon connectors. Could I really
just
> >go up to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy 100' of 12/2 or 10/2 cabling and
make
> >my own, or should I buy cables specifically made for audio? Is there
really
> >a difference?
>
> 12/2 will be fine.
>
> >
> >Also, I am assuming the conductors need to be twisted strand, not solid
> >core, if you were going to use this approach? And lastly, if you can only
> >find 12/3 cabling, is that a problem? Can you just not use the ground
wire
> >and leave it alone on both ends of the cable?
>
> Twisted not electrically required. Maybe preferable for flexibility.
> But if this is a permanent installation?
>
> >
> >Sorry if this is a dumb question but I really am not sure if he was just
> >pulling my leg or if this works OK.
>
> The people who want you to choose cable for qualities other than
> power-handling and flexibility (if required) are the ones pulling your
> leg.
Anonymous
April 12, 2004 10:25:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> writes:

> Sorry if this double-posts, I couldn't tell if it went through on my news
> server or not.
>
> Hi all, I heard someone mention the other day that if you wanted to get some
> good speaker cable, that you could save money and still get good quality by
> just going to the local hardware store and buying some 12/2 electrical cable
> (or better), cutting the ends off, and putting on the connector of your
> choice.

It will work. A normal electrical wire normally no better or worse than
cable made for audio.

> I am setting up some Community speakers that require amplification and I
> wanted to make up my own cables with Speakon connectors.

That electical wire shoudl work there nicely.

> Could I really just
> go up to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy 100' of 12/2 or 10/2 cabling and make
> my own, or should I buy cables specifically made for audio? Is there really
> a difference?

On audio quality there should not be any difference you could hear.
If the wires are for a touring PA system application, then
some professional audio cables could be propably nicer to work
with (more flexible, can take hard use, easy to coil etc..).

> Also, I am assuming the conductors need to be twisted strand, not solid
> core, if you were going to use this approach?

For audio quality it should not matter if wires are twisted strand or
solid core.
If you should choose twisted strand or solid core depending on your
intended application. If everything is permanently installed and
wires are not moved after installation, then both solid core and
twisted strand type will work well. If your application is not
permanent and the wires ate going to be moved, then use
twisted strand type cable, because it can take much more bending
before breaking than the solid core cable.

> And lastly, if you can only
> find 12/3 cabling, is that a problem? Can you just not use the ground wire
> and leave it alone on both ends of the cable?

Just not to use groudn wire on speaker cable is OK approach.

> Sorry if this is a dumb question but I really am not sure if he was just
> pulling my leg or if this works OK.

It will work OK. I have often seen rubber insulated thick electrical
wire as the speaker wire from the amplifier rack to speaker stack
in professional sound applications. And it works well.

--
Tomi Engdahl (http://www.iki.fi/then/)
Take a look at my electronics web links and documents at
http://www.epanorama.net/
April 12, 2004 11:46:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<QZ6dnaTT77TOUuvd4p2dnA@speedfactory.net>...
> Sorry if this double-posts, I couldn't tell if it went through on my news
> server or not.
>
> Hi all, I heard someone mention the other day that if you wanted to get some
> good speaker cable, that you could save money and still get good quality by
> just going to the local hardware store and buying some 12/2 electrical cable
> (or better), cutting the ends off, and putting on the connector of your
> choice.
>
> I am setting up some Community speakers that require amplification and I
> wanted to make up my own cables with Speakon connectors. Could I really just
> go up to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy 100' of 12/2 or 10/2 cabling and make
> my own, or should I buy cables specifically made for audio? Is there really
> a difference?
>
> Also, I am assuming the conductors need to be twisted strand, not solid
> core, if you were going to use this approach? And lastly, if you can only
> find 12/3 cabling, is that a problem? Can you just not use the ground wire
> and leave it alone on both ends of the cable?
>
> Sorry if this is a dumb question but I really am not sure if he was just
> pulling my leg or if this works OK.
>
> -Ben

Save the solid wire for actual electrical work, i.e., stuff that's
wired to the circuit breaker box. For speaker wire use stranded,
even in permanent installations. If you ever need to move the
speakers or the amplifiers for any reason, you'll be glad that the
wire is flexible.
Anonymous
April 13, 2004 4:29:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sun, 11 Apr 2004 07:00:45 -0400, "Ben Hanson"
<transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote:

>You would be a good person to answer this...do you have any experience with
>some good audio source selectors, say to select between the sound card
>output going to near field monitors on the desk top versus switching the
>output over to this cabling and amp to the main PA speakers? I know RS makes
>a cheap switchbox but I am sure it is not good quality-wise, and it only has
>RCA ins and outs.

A patchbay maybe?
Anonymous
April 13, 2004 4:30:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 12 Apr 2004 18:25:51 +0300, Tomi Holger Engdahl
<then@solarflare.cs.hut.fi> wrote:

>> Sorry if this is a dumb question but I really am not sure if he was just
>> pulling my leg or if this works OK.
>
>It will work OK. I have often seen rubber insulated thick electrical
>wire as the speaker wire from the amplifier rack to speaker stack
>in professional sound applications. And it works well.

Rubber? What century was that in?
(But I know what you mean ;-)
Anonymous
April 13, 2004 11:14:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 12 Apr 2004 19:46:24 -0700, unitron@coastalnet.com (unitron) wrote:

> Save the solid wire for actual electrical work, i.e., stuff that's
>wired to the circuit breaker box. For speaker wire use stranded,
>even in permanent installations. If you ever need to move the
>speakers or the amplifiers for any reason, you'll be glad that the
>wire is flexible.

Depends how permanent "permanent" is :-)
!