Trying to wire my rear speakers in a new place

tinpanalley

Golden Member
Jul 13, 2011
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I've got to get two 6 Ohm rear speakers wired for my 5.1 system 40ft and 25ft from the receiver. Does it matter much what gauge wire I use? I have 16gauge from a previous installation in another home before we bought our current apartment. Is that overkill? What are the factors/calculations needed to figure this out? I've always wanted to properly learn about how power controls speakers.

Thanks for any help!
 

WilliamM2

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2012
2,371
479
136
I've got to get two 6 Ohm rear speakers wired for my 5.1 system 40ft and 25ft from the receiver. Does it matter much what gauge wire I use? I have 16gauge from a previous installation in another home before we bought our current apartment. Is that overkill? What are the factors/calculations needed to figure this out? I've always wanted to properly learn about how power controls speakers.

Thanks for any help!

Not overkill, in fact you should probably use 14 gauge. But 16 should still work fine. Hopefully you are running it in the wall so it looks professional.
Check the first chart:


And if you are running it in the wall, it should also be in-wall rated. Although I wired my rear speakers 30 years ago with non in-wall rated wire, and I sleep fine at night.
 

Thump553

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
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I had no idea there was such a thing as in-wall rated wire. I put a pair of in-wall speakers in the kitchen 30+ years ago. I used regular lamp cord from Home Depot (I think they called it speaker wire because the jacket is clear). The run is kind of round about, I bet it is fifty feet or more. Again no issues.

Speaker wire carries very little power compared to regular household electrical wiring, right?
 

WilliamM2

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2012
2,371
479
136
I had no idea there was such a thing as in-wall rated wire. I put a pair of in-wall speakers in the kitchen 30+ years ago. I used regular lamp cord from Home Depot (I think they called it speaker wire because the jacket is clear). The run is kind of round about, I bet it is fifty feet or more. Again no issues.

Speaker wire carries very little power compared to regular household electrical wiring, right?
It isn't for power. The jacket is rated to NOT catch fire if the house burns, spreading the fire, and also creating noxious fumes.
It's like plenum rated network cables.

When I built my garage I ran speaker wire from one of the amps in the main system. In that case I used in-wall wire, because it had to be inspected.

I could have changed my surround wires in about 1/2 an hour, but why? If my walls are on fire, I think noxious fumes are the least of my issues. :)
 
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