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How do I extend speaker wire?

IceBergSLiM

Lifer
Jul 11, 2000
29,953
2
0
I got a kinect for xmas and this means I have to shift my entire Home theatre 90 degrees. This means where the speaker wire currently comes out of the wall will need to be moved ~10 feet. Currently have the exposed wire running into banana plugs that go into my reciever.

Is there some way I can just extend this wire or do I have to rewire everything?

I'm not living hear very long so if this requires a rewire I'm not even going to bother.

Merry christmas and thanks for your help in advance.
 

velillen

Platinum Member
Jul 12, 2006
2,120
1
81
You can just buy more speaker wire. Strip the "positive" sides ad twist them together. Do the same with the "negative". Then just use electrical tape so somethign to make sure the exposed parts wont touch (ie the neg wont touch the positive).

Youc an also pick up some little like cap things. They are for twisting wires together and are cheap (like less than a buck each). Just ask your local hardware store for caps for twisting wire together and they should knwo what you mean.
 

BTA

Senior member
Jun 7, 2005
862
0
71
Best way? Go to home depot and get some butt connectors and a cheap crimp tool.

If you don't want to buy the tool, I guess some twist on connectors would be ok.
 

CallMeJoe

Diamond Member
Jul 30, 2004
6,936
1
0
Wire nuts or twist & tape are great ways to extend speaker wires, so long as you don't care if you kill your amplifier.

Wire nuts are intended for solid conductors and are not generally recommended for stranded-to-stranded connections. Twist & tape is nothing more than a catastrophic failure waiting to happen.

The previously mentioned crimp connectors (conventional or heat-shrink style) are far better for your purpose. Add a ratcheting terminal crimper and you get easy reliable splices that won't pull apart if someone trips over a wire or moves a speaker.

Another possibility is a soldered splice with heat-shrink insulation, but that requires a small degree of proficiency in soldering to produce a quality connection.
 

queequeg99

Senior member
Oct 17, 2001
571
5
81
If you've got some time on your hands, go to Best Buy and ask some guy in the audio department if they have any of the new Monster brand wire stretchers in stock.

But seriously, CallMeJoe's post is spot on. The soldered connection is best if you have a minimal amount of soldering skills (with an emphasis on minimal). But the crimp connectors are also just as good from a functional perspective (although they add a bit of a bulge to the cable where the connection is made).
 

CallMeJoe

Diamond Member
Jul 30, 2004
6,936
1
0
...The soldered connection is best if you have a minimal amount of soldering skills (with an emphasis on minimal). But the crimp connectors are also just as good from a functional perspective (although they add a bit of a bulge to the cable where the connection is made).
The added bulk is minimal for the heat-shrink version of the crimp connectors and can be reduced further by staggering the splice points on the wires.
 

joetekubi

Member
Nov 6, 2009
176
0
71
Wire nuts are intended for solid conductors and are not generally recommended for stranded-to-stranded connections.
Gotta disagree - I use wire nuts ALL the time for stranded speaker wire connections. They never screw up, never get loose. The one negative is that they don't have much mechanical hold. For the OP's use, I'd tie-wrap the two wires together for mechanical strength, then use wire nuts for each exposed ends.

I don't disagree that crimping or soldering is better in the long run.
 

Smoove910

Golden Member
Aug 2, 2006
1,232
5
81
butt connectors, with heat shrink tubing covering... Very professional looking and reliable
 

RaiderJ

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2001
7,582
1
76
Wire nuts or twist & tape are great ways to extend speaker wires, so long as you don't care if you kill your amplifier.

Wire nuts are intended for solid conductors and are not generally recommended for stranded-to-stranded connections. Twist & tape is nothing more than a catastrophic failure waiting to happen.

The previously mentioned crimp connectors (conventional or heat-shrink style) are far better for your purpose. Add a ratcheting terminal crimper and you get easy reliable splices that won't pull apart if someone trips over a wire or moves a speaker.

Another possibility is a soldered splice with heat-shrink insulation, but that requires a small degree of proficiency in soldering to produce a quality connection.
My first vote would be for the soldered method. Slide on some heatshrink, splice the cable, solder, then cover the joint with heatshrink. Repeat for other three joints.

Second vote would be for a strong crimped connection. Faster & easier, but not as good electrically as soldering. If you're moving inside of a year, this route is probably the most practical.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,243
4
76
When joining wires like speaker wires and you want to keep the wire splice in line and not have the wires sticking out like with a wire nut the best way to join them is called a western union splice. Named after the days when telegraph wires were strung up. They needed a splice that was strong enough to support the line itself and not break and it couldn't use much wire because there was little slack in the lines. If you practice it a couple times it is really easy to do and creates a splice that gets stronger when pulled on. Crimp connectors are okay but you have to use the correct ones. Use the splice below and cover with tape and your are fine. Connections like that have been working for decades.
H
 
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Emulex

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2001
9,759
0
71
what is the DB loss for doing that roughly? 3db like coax? just curious. i'm talking min db loss typical assumed. RG-6 we kinda go with 3db which can be alot when it comes to passive signals.
 

0roo0roo

No Lifer
Sep 21, 2002
64,847
62
91
When joining wires like speaker wires and you want to keep the wire splice in line and not have the wires sticking out like with a wire nut the best way to join them is called a western union splice. Named after the days when telegraph wires were strung up. They needed a splice that was strong enough to support the line itself and not break and it couldn't use much wire because there was little slack in the lines. If you practice it a couple times it is really easy to do and creates a splice that gets stronger when pulled on. Crimp connectors are okay but you have to use the correct ones. Use the splice below and cover with tape and your are fine. Connections like that have been working for decades.
H
looks good for solid connectors, small guage speaker wire on the other hand, i don't see really working wel with that kinda splice unless you add some solder after.
 

kornphlake

Golden Member
Dec 30, 2003
1,560
6
81
Speaker wire is cheap enough why not just replace the whole run with a longer cable? If it were me I don't think I'd have problems splicing the cables, but in the long run an uninterrupted cable run will be less likely to be a problem.
 

0roo0roo

No Lifer
Sep 21, 2002
64,847
62
91
cuz on cheap ht or pc speakers the wires are soldered in at the speaker end, rather than having connectors much of the time, you'd have to splice regardless
 

CallMeJoe

Diamond Member
Jul 30, 2004
6,936
1
0
cuz on cheap ht or pc speakers the wires are soldered in at the speaker end, rather than having connectors much of the time, you'd have to splice regardless
:thumbsup: Some HT speakers also have specialized connectors molded onto the wire supplied with the set. Since the connectors are not standardized and are thereby not easily replaceable, splicing is the only option.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,243
4
76
what is the DB loss for doing that roughly? 3db like coax? just curious. i'm talking min db loss typical assumed. RG-6 we kinda go with 3db which can be alot when it comes to passive signals.
It really depends on the connection, frequencies and power involved, wire type. It really is something that is more case specific. When the splice I showed was created as a splice method the wires typically carried DC of 6 volts at about 40 amps.This was before transistors or even vacuum tubes. The sending line provided the signal and the power to close the solenoid on the other end to equal a dot or dash. If the power loss was too great you would get poor communication . They invented a repeater that consisted of a dry cell battery and relay placed along the lines . When a signal was received it closed a relay that sent voltage from the battery onto the next segment of the line. Some say that is where the relay got its name. Because it was used to relay the message to the next segment of the line.

The splices had to hold up in areas that might be miles from anyone able to fix it so it was a very reliable connection. There is even data that says as the connection ages it becomes even better due to cold metal transfer, something they knew nothing of then. I was taught the splice by a very old ham radio operator. That guy could literally build radios out of razor blades , a pencil and a copper wire.
 
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cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,427
209
106
I had to do this for my surrounds because I had spare wire and didn't want to buy a spool of it so I soldered the ends together and covered the soldered points with electrical tape. Has worked for well over 10 years now.
 

OlyAR15

Senior member
Oct 23, 2014
539
29
91
Best way to do it is to buy a similar wire you're using then make it join together there's a lot of tutorial in youtube about it. Hope it helps.
This is an 8 year old thread. Pretty sure he figured it out by now.
 

rstrohkirch

Golden Member
May 31, 2005
1,675
130
106
After all these years he has an answer. His wife will be thrilled he can finally finish the project.
 

Lewy

Member
Aug 22, 2001
69
0
66
I got a kinect for xmas and this means I have to shift my entire Home theatre 90 degrees. This means where the speaker wire currently comes out of the wall will need to be moved ~10 feet. Currently have the exposed wire running into banana plugs that go into my reciever.

Is there some way I can just extend this wire or do I have to rewire everything?

I'm not living hear very long so if this requires a rewire I'm not even going to bother.

Merry christmas and thanks for your help in advance.
I got a kinect for xmas and this means I have to shift my entire Home theatre 90 degrees. This means where the speaker wire currently comes out of the wall will need to be moved ~10 feet. Currently have the exposed wire running into banana plugs that go into my reciever.

Is there some way I can just extend this wire or do I have to rewire everything?

I'm not living hear very long so if this requires a rewire I'm not even going to bother.

Merry christmas and thanks for your help in advance.
 

Lewy

Member
Aug 22, 2001
69
0
66
I got a kinect for xmas and this means I have to shift my entire Home theatre 90 degrees. This means where the speaker wire currently comes out of the wall will need to be moved ~10 feet. Currently have the exposed wire running into banana plugs that go into my reciever.

Is there some way I can just extend this wire or do I have to rewire everything?

I'm not living hear very long so if this requires a rewire I'm not even going to bother.

Merry christmas and thanks for your help in advance.
I'm a retired EE and a former Navy electronics technician and I recently found a new type of twist connector line made specifically for speaker wire, posi-lock, which was highly recommended by Crutchfield to me. They make them in different sizes etc and you can get a bunch for about $7. I just love them. https://www.posi-products.com/
Amazon probably sells the too but they have a vendor list and Crutchfield would help if you call.
 

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