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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All-

I'm adding surrounds to my 7.2 system and since the wires for the speakers will all run up one wall, and then branch out to get to the other side of the room, the wire on the right side will need to be about 20 feet longer then the wire on the left side needs to be.

I've read different opinions about if the wire legnth for each set of speakers needs to be the same.

For example, the surround right speaker wire needs to be 50 feet. The surround left speaker could get away with 30 feet of wire. Do I need to cut both wires at 50 feet, and then coil the excess for the left side?
If so, what's the best way to deal with the excess 20 feet? A coil? A figure 8?

Thanks for your time

-Josh
 

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Honestly I've seen more problems with coiling wire than the minute differences that can be corrected with time delay/distance settings in pretty much all receivers. Just run the wires with the length needed and you will be fine.
 

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If you are using 16ga, 14ga or 12ga speaker wire then it shouldn't be noticeable. If you have 18ga or 20ga or smaller wire then I would make the wires the same length or upgrade the wire to a bigger size.
 

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What is the reasoning behind your suggestion? If anything I would suggest with the smaller gauge wire to keep the runs as short as possible.
 

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Hi Josh,

First welcome to the Forum!

Mismatched speaker cable lengths are more of an issue with the front left and right speakers, if anything. The rear surround speakers only provide ambient effects (for movies anyway), so it isn’t critical with them. I have a much worse length discrepancy than you do, probably 50 ft. or so, and it hasn’t been a problem. Worse case, you could get a slight decrease in volume from the speaker with the longer wire, but this is easily corrected with the receiver’s calibration settings. I'd suggest using at least 14 ga. wire.


Regards,
Wayne
 

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What is the reasoning behind your suggestion? If anything I would suggest with the smaller gauge wire to keep the runs as short as possible.
Small gauge wire will noticeably attenuate the sound. If you use smaller gauge wire you will want to use equal lengths on speaker pairs to prevent them from being different volumes and even may have the high frequencies reduced a bit.

When wiring SubWoofers, use the largest wire you can get, even for short runs. Subs need "Damping" which the amplifier provides to prevent the speaker cone from ringing-on after the sound stops. Small gauge wire will defeat the damping and the amp will not be able to control the speaker. This results in the bass sounding muddy and loose when you want the bass to be Thick and Tight.
 

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The reason for my question is exactly what Kal followed up with, if you are having vol differences that great you need to upgrade the wire, 16awg is the smallest I will ever run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for your replies.

Some of the posts seem to think that the size wire I use makes a difference in this case, so I'll happily provide some more details and see if the new information changes anyone's opinion:

The wire I'm using for all 4 speakers is 12AWG
http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10239&cs_id=1023901&p_id=2790&seq=1&format=2

The minimum legnths I would need for each speaker are:
surround right: 50'
surround left: 30'
Rear Right: 70'
Rear left: 60'

So judging from the replies to my question, I'm just planning on cutting the wire to the size I need for each speaker. If somone has a different opinion or suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks for your help
-Josh
 

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12awg is more than enough size to reach without any audible loss you could go with 14 and still not notice any issues.
 

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To follow up on the other slightly off-topic comment. When I remodeled my sunken living room, I ran my wires below the baseboard in the gap created between the wood floor and the sub floor. When I got to where I wanted a speaker I ran the wire up behind plasterboard and put in a "no box" banana jack outlet & faceplate. Everything looks professional, and I have a happy life (happy wife).

BTW I to only use 12 ga wire, as the cost differential for me is inconsequential.

Paul
 
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