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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, sorry if this isn't the right place, but I didn't see a section for DIY speaker cables.

I have been looking at some diy designs, cat5, silver wire, etc... but the simplest one looks to be just doubling up speaker wire. I plan on taking four strands of monoprice 12 awg speaker wire, and twisting the ends together (two reds together and two blacks together). My question is... do I need to braid these four cables together ie. like a cat5 design? Or do I just twists the ends together, and put banana plugs on the ends? I plan on covering the whole thing with a jacked & shrink tubing from parts express so it looks like one cable and not four individual cables...

Thanks
Travis
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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The higher signal level makes speaker wire less sensitive to noise. Twisting the wires is a technique to enhance noise rejection. Cat5 and Cat6 cables utilize twisted pairs in specific (and for Cat 6, VERY specific) patterns to make sure noise picked up over a long run doesn't hurt the overall data rate. But ethernet data is low power, low current, etc. Very susceptible to picking up RF or hum from nearby equipment or cables. Speakers don't have this problem.

However, all that being said, a light loose braid of the wires might look neat or keep them together without using Techflex, or some other sheath. So, for what it's worth . . .
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Oh, for a simple DIY design for long runs and high current, I like the Canare 4s11 (there are some more generic knock-offs that are similar in design as well). It's 4 conductor, 11 gauge wire in a + configuration all in one wide sheath. Just twist opposite sides together and put on a spade lug or banana connector on it and you're in business. You can also pick up "pants" for where the wires split out -- makes the cable look nice and finished.

I made a set of these for a customer once and they thought I bought them from a boutique store. They were amazed when I told them how simple it was (and how much money I saved them :D )
 

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Discussion Starter #4
so from this I take that I can braid if I want, but functionally all I have to do is twist the ends like you did for with the canare?
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Yes, that's my take on it. Just make sure if you use the 4s11 that you get an end that can take 10 gauge wire (effective gauge of twisting 2, 11 gauge wires together). If you use a different bundle of smaller wires, there are several online calculators and charts to show you the final gauge (and make sure you get an appropriate end connector).

I've used the F-Conn crimp connectors for speakers. Good, but I had to buy a crimping/compression tool to install them (~$30). They are nice because they sell screw on spade lugs and banana plugs. So the same compression "base" can be used for either.

My favorite, though, are GLS Audio Locking Banana Plugs. They have 2 set screws in the base, and they have a barrel that expands the tip. Once in and tightened, it's a secure connection.

Good luck. let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
awesome! thanks for the quick reply. I'll post pics. Since I already have 1/2 of it bought I am going to use monoprice 12 gauge wire, bu t will look at those GLS banana's...thanks
 

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an easy way to "twist" the wire, is tie one end to something solid, put the other end in the chuck of a power drill. slowly turn the drill on, and it "twists" the wires together. I've never tried this on speaker wire but I've done it on two single strands and it works pretty well.
 
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