Can I use house wiring in place of speaker wire? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-09-2008
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Can I use house wiring in place of speaker wire?

I have ALOT of different kinds of wire. But I dont have any speaker wire. Not wanting buy wire, can I use any kinda wire to wire speakers?

Basically, about 5years ago, I bought a sorround sound system, but in order to hook up up all the satalite speakers, I need extra wire.. So I was thinking if i could use any wire.....
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Old 11-09-2008
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Well, copper wire is copper wire! i say go for it, dont know why it wouldnt work
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Old 11-09-2008
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As long as it is heavy enough gauge, and has a pretty good thread count I say go for it.
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Old 11-09-2008
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I dont think it will work very well. from what I have been to told you are supposed to use stranded wire for speakers. some how the more strands in the wire the better its supposed to be. when the low volt electricians wire the houses we work in they always use stranded wire an the smallest I have ever seen them use is 16 gage
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Old 11-09-2008
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yeah it depends on the type of house wire you are talking about. like i said It needs to have a good thread count, or amount of strands inside the insulation.
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Old 11-09-2008
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The thing about wires is the electricity runs on the outside of the wire. More small strands inside the shielding means more surface area for the electricity to move on.
Honestly If it's under 150 watts of peak, I think you'll be fine with it depending on what gauge wire it is.
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Old 11-09-2008
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I suspect he wants to use solid conductor romex. Thats going to be pretty awkward but it will work.
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Old 11-09-2008
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Take a paperclip and bend it out into a straight line. Then, bend it back and forth into an "L" and straight again. Count how many times you can do this before it breaks.

This is the same thing your doing in your truck. If you use solid strand wire it is not designed to bend. Vehicles are constantly getting hot, and getting cold. You go over bumps and the truck shakes. The wiring is constantly moving. Will it break? I don't know. But I'd sure hate to have to solve a problem due to this.
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Old 11-09-2008
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when i bought my truck it came with a jl 10 that was wired with electrical .... sounded good just didnt have enough bump for me so i put my system in and used the right wiring lol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jp7 View Post
Take a paperclip and bend it out into a straight line. Then, bend it back and forth into an "L" and straight again. Count how many times you can do this before it breaks.

This is the same thing your doing in your truck. If you use solid strand wire it is not designed to bend. Vehicles are constantly getting hot, and getting cold. You go over bumps and the truck shakes. The wiring is constantly moving. Will it break? I don't know. But I'd sure hate to have to solve a problem due to this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melt View Post
when i bought my truck it came with a jl 10 that was wired with electrical .... sounded good just didnt have enough bump for me so i put my system in and used the right wiring lol
Read the post. He is asking about home theatre surround sound speakers.

As to an answer Dave, like FireRanger said, its going to be awkward, but it will work, al long as the conductors fit into the receptacle.
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Old 11-09-2008
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Walmart sells cheap speaker wire. Scosche brand I think, but for around 10 bucks you'll have a 50 foot spool that works great.
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Old 11-09-2008
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I am using stranded wire.

The reason telephone lines, ethernet, and speaker wire use stranded wire instead of solid wire is because 1, more surface area. But also because (especialy in telephone wire and ethernet) nifference signals run on different lines of wire. That is why twisted pair and twisted telephone line is preferred. when you twist the wire, you make a very small magnetic field. in doing this, you cancel out any cross interference.

I imagine something similar applies to speaker wire.
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Old 11-09-2008
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Phone wire and the like are shielded wires stuffed iside a larger shielding. The reason they do it is for uniformity...so you don't have 6 wires to deal with you have one. Strip the outer shielding to get to the inner individual wires.

With sound systems the wire them selves won't pick up much interference unless it's a strong system, then what most recommend is with amps have the RCA and amp turn on lead go to one side of the car and the other side run your power wire.

This, however, won't need to apply to small car speakers.


Now, for a house...I wouldn't worry about it, as long as it won't move you are all right. But like said above go to walmart they sell speaker wire on the cheap.
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Old 11-10-2008
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Phone line and the like are not shielded.
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Old 11-10-2008
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they are, they have a cover over the wires. It might not be like you would find on say 16 gauge house wiring but there is a coating of some sort on the wires.
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Old 11-10-2008
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um, actually I hate to admit it, but Matt is correct. Telephone line isnt shileded. What 'shields' the wire inside from outside interference is the fact that the inner wires are twisted around eachother.
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Old 11-10-2008
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Thats not shielding. That insulation, no different than the plastic around any other piece of wire. Shielding is a metallic foil or braid inside that plastic insulation to block RF interference from getting in or out of the piece of cable. Same as the braid on the inside of a piece of antenna coax.
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Old 11-10-2008
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hears the thing it may work it may work for a while and for a second there i was going to hop on the band wagon to but in all seriousness it took me less then $30 to wire up my truck with amp speakers ect for what your going for you can get the cheap stuff at a dollar store for a dollar even the cheap stuff will probably work better than using the electrical wire that's just my opinion i could be wrong

in i know every time i try to cut corners as far as wiring goes it always bites you in the *** of coarse it could be my luck
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Old 11-10-2008
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Its not your bad luck. It is a proven fact with that doing it cheap and lazy will eventually fail when it comes to either electricity or water. Regardless of home, auto, engineering, or anything else.
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Old 11-10-2008
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This is true. Which is where 'over kill' is applied. Being my max wattage of my biggest speaker is only 100 watts. 16awg house wire is fine. As far as wiring for an auto, I am totally spoiled with 14awg extension cord LOL!

But I did manage to find some speaker wire in my garage. I am almost all wired up. I have 3 more speakers to do. Once its all wired and set, and everything works, I am going to redo it, and run the wires under the floor. No one can trip of the wires at the moment, but the look of a wire nest around the tv and stuff is a bit annoying. Plus I need to find a new location for my HTPC since being 'hidden' behind the high heat dissipating TV 10ft away is kind of a PITA...
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Old 11-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XeRo View Post
The thing about wires is the electricity runs on the outside of the wire. More small strands inside the shielding means more surface area for the electricity to move on.
Honestly If it's under 150 watts of peak, I think you'll be fine with it depending on what gauge wire it is.
The wire "skin effect" is due to high frequencies, much higher than the audio frequency spectrum. The problem, previously mentioned would be flexing of
a solid wire.
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