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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a very long piece of 4 conductor phone wire (red, black, yellow, green) and I was wondering if it could be used as a right/left stereo speaker setup.
Currently I have the red and black on the left speaker and the yellow and green on the right speaker.
Should I replace it with proper wire? Will that give me better sound? It sounds good but it is really quiet.
 

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but it is really quiet.
Not surprised! Phone wire is about 28 or 30 gauge so you're probably losing half your power (depending on length of course) to resistance. Buy some 16 or 18 gauge speaker wire.
 

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Cheapest high gauge copper wire - extension cord from your local dollar store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have about 50 feet of distance from the stereo to the speakers, as for the total length of wire it depends on how many coroners it has to go around. I really don't remember how I ran it. But yeah I'll go to Rona and pick up some proper wire. :)
 

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They might have some wire labelled as speaker wire. Home Depot does. I'd get minimum #16 gauge. For a 50' run, #14 would be better. If it's being run in or through walls, it should be fire rated.
 

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Buy some 16 or 18 gauge speaker wire.
When I installed my speakers, I used 14 gauge lamp cord. According to an article I read in the old Radio Electronics magazine, tests showed lamp cord was just as good as those super expensive cables.
 

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But yeah I'll go to Rona and pick up some proper wire.
Rona charges twice as much as Home Depot. I picked up 25 metres of 16 gauge (not fire-rated) at Christmas and they will cut any length you want. Home Depot was 64 cents/metre and Rona worked out to almost exactly double.
 

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Will Home Depot also tin the connectors by chance? I need to get some wire, and I'd either have to find someone to get the ends tinned for me, or see what other connection options I have (my speaker terminals are spring-clip ones)
 

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I think that section just sells bulk cable. You can buy packaged speaker wire in precut lengths, but I don't know if the ends are tinned.
 

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When renovating a few years ago (networking every wall and corner I could),
I got for next to nothing a few 1000' rolls of plenum Cat6 cable.

Ended up using it as speaker cable as well: solid colour wire (+), striped (-).
I think it is the equivalent of 17ga or something. Runs were 20-25' max.

Working fine...
 

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Will Home Depot also tin the connectors by chance?
It's better not to tin the ends. Compression connectors on bare copper make a better electrical and mechanical connection. That can be separately installed connectors or the speaker binding posts. If tinning is a must, for whatever reason, use silver solder. However, the heat required may damage the insulation. Lead based solder is too soft and creates a bad electrical connection.
 

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^^^^
When I tin wires for use in compression connectors, I only tin the end, leaving most of the exposed wire bare copper. This keeps the wire from unravelling, while allowing the loose strands to fit properly in the connector.
 

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It's better not to tin the ends. Compression connectors on bare copper make a better electrical and mechanical connection. That can be separately installed connectors or the speaker binding posts. If tinning is a must, for whatever reason, use silver solder. However, the heat required may damage the insulation. Lead based solder is too soft and creates a bad electrical connection.
Will compression connectors work with spring clips? I don't have binding posts on my speakers or AVR
 

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Pin type connectors will work with spring clips. Fat Banana plugs won't. I see lots on eBay but most are the expensive, gold plated screw type. I find that the screws on these these can become loose and need tightening. The compression type pin connectors are better and simpler. A decent crimping tool is needed though.

I was just in Home Depot. They have 100' 14/2 speaker wire for $40. Looks a lot like lamp cord. They might have it cut to length but I find most wire is more expensive that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just checked the phone line that I have connected to my speakers and it says 26 AWG. I just made it a little bit (not a lot) louder but cutting and stripping the ends. :)
 

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Four, you twisted 2 pair together to get to 17 gauge right?

For reference,

24ga cat5/6 = 0.205, 2 pair = 0.82 mm² (most common)
23ga cat5/6 = 0.258, 2 pair = 1.032 mm²
22ga cat5/6 = 0.326, 2 pair = 1.304 mm²
18 ga = 0.823 mm²
17 ga = 1.04 mm²
16 ga = 1.31 mm²
14 ga = 2.08 mm²
12 ga = 3.31 mm²

So if using cat5 make sure it is 22ga otherwise you are running 18 gauge equivalent.
 
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