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What kinds of cables are needed in a typical home theater ?

1918 Views 12 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Andre
Hi guys .. So I'm setting up my very first home theater, and was wondering was kinds of cables, wires, sockets, ports, etc .. will I be needing ?

I know about the HDMI cables which will be needed for video stuff, but I'm clueless in all other departments ..

Here is my hardware:

Projectors: JVC RS-46 + Optoma HD131Xe
A/V Receiver: Denon-X4000
Speakers: 2x KEF Q900, KEF Q600, 2x Q300, 2x Q800DS
Sub: 2x PSA XV15

So what cables will I typically need to connect speakers, subs, etc to the receiver, and any other cabling accessories maybe ?

What kinds of banana plugs should I first try out ? (Yes I've searched and read a few threads on this) :)
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HDMI from Sources such as the Bluray/cable/satallite to the reciever
digial (coax or fiber) from CD players to Receiver
HDMI from Receiver to Projectors
Speaker wire (12-18 gauge) from Receiver to Speakers
Subwoofer cable (RG-6 75 ohm) from receiver to subs
Can you give me some sample links to 'Speaker wire' and 'Subwoofer wire', as I don't know what they are ..

Also, what type of banana plugs go on the back of speakers, subwoofers, and a/v receivers ? That Monoprice rep kept telling me to ask my equipment's manufacturer :p


Banana plugs use closed (wire is inserted into the rear of the plug for the receiver for sure. at the speakers the open type (wire is inserted into the side of the plug housing) may make things easier due to the 90deg angle, but nether works better then the other.
When everything is connected, go banana plugs conduct current on touch as well, when the person's feet are earthed (standing bare feet on a marble floor) ?
If I'm putting a cable inside the acoustic wall cladding layer, does it count has being in-ceiling ? What about if the cable has to be run through ducts ?

Above questions are for both speaker, subwoofer wires, and HDMI cables ..
CL4 is the "in wall" rating for cables. I ran 16-4 wire for my speakers up the wall, through the attic and down the wall into boxes. Banana plugs on each end, very simple. If it's in the wall/in the attic, it must be CL4 rated for insurance problems. I got my wire from a local installer who buys it in 1000 ft boxes. He sold me what I needed for 10 cents a foot. That was a deal. I can't imagine running cables throug duct work is a good idea. If you mean conduit, that would be different, PVC pipe would be easier to work with.
Problem is that the walls have already been built, so I can't do anything 'in-wall' at this point .. The best I can do is try to conceal the wires through either visible ducting (that runs along the edges of the walls), or maybe try to conceal it when I get someone to apply padding on my walls to acoustically treat the walls ...

Which option is here, and so which type of wires should I be looking for ?
When everything is connected, go banana plugs conduct current on touch as well, when the person's feet are earthed (standing bare feet on a marble floor) ?
Are you asking if you will get a shock from the speaker wires? Not from the Denon, well maybe if you stood in water and put the bare ends in by your feet (not sure though since I have never tired it).

You don't need CL2 (plenum) rated wire for exterior wall use. That doesn't mean you can't as Tonto said is a building code/insurance. You can get CL2 rated speaker wire at monoprice as well


There are lots of different ways to hide your cables in a finished room. You can remove the baseboards and hide them underneath. You can go under the floor depending on the location of the room and access. You can buy conduit. Or you can leave the wire exposed and dress it up with cable braiding
Would it be okay to just buy the CL2 rated wires, regardless of how I end up using them ?
Got another question .. Which speaker wire do I need ? The 2-conductor one, or the 4-conductor one ? .. :p
2 conductor. 4+ conductor is great for running in walls so instead of pulling 1 cable for each speaker you can run 1 and then split it from a wall plate close to where they are
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