Which cable for in wall?

phoenix_rising

Active Member
Hi guys,

I'm planning on running some speaker cable into conduit into chases into brick. I have around 76m of cable to lay

Surround 1 (KEF 34DS 150w @ 4ohm) = 12m
Surround 1 (KEF 34DS 150w @ 4ohm) = 12m
Surround 1 (KEF 34DS 150w @ 4ohm) = 12m
Surround 1 (KEF 34DS 150w @ 4ohm) = 12m
Atmos 1 (ci160QR 125w @ 8ohm) = 14m
Atmos 2 (ci160QR 125w @ 8ohm) = 14m

*I've over estimated some of these by a meter

I know i should be using CL2 or CL3 rated cable and in wall rated coaxial cable but i have 2 questions:

1. Should i use direct burial cable as the conduit will be plastered over, i know the true definition of this cable is to be buried straight in the dirt. So not sure thats it's necessary in this application

2. What gauge? Will 12awg hold up well for the 14m 8ohm and 14m 8ohm loads?

I've seen 2 that have caught my eye I'm leaning towards the mono price but wondering whether i "NEED" the outdoor burial grade...

Monoprice 12awg CL2 OFC
12awg CL3 Direct Burial outdoor OFC cable

The AWG calculators i've seen all say slightly different things!

GearIT states 12.1m :
2e46077e-1130-462f-943f-3e54071f4cba.__CR0,0,300,300_PT0_SX300_V1___.jpg


But Cambridge Audio states 18.2m (but max should be 15m)
speaker-cables.png


So advice on the gauge and the type would be really helpful. The last thing i want is my cable to rot/corrode due to living in conduit in the brick, or is this not something to be concerned about?
 
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Kapkirk

Active Member
Cant see why you cant use 14awg for all runs in a plastic conduit. A 45 ft run you will only lose about 0.12 ohms which is nothing to worry about. Use the 12 awg for long runs or larger speakers if you want.
 

Yorkshire AV

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
Get some install cables that's designed for the environment.

You can get 14/2 cable (or 14/4) which would be adequate for your runs :)
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor

phoenix_rising

Active Member
@Joe Fernand - Thanks for helping me with another question! :)

So just to clarify i will be plastering over the conduit.... This dosnt change your opinion i take it?
As the cable is buried in the wall as oposed to running through plasterboard i'm assuming your saying the CL2 or CL3 rating isn't as important? Could you argue that for my Atmos speakers running in the recess of a plasterboard ceiling that it is more important for CL2 or CL3 cable?

You dont
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
CL2 and CL3 are US standards which cover features such as max voltage and flame resistance for particular types of installation and property types in the US.

Whilst it is unlikely to be a requirement of your local building control officer in the UK if you are worried about flame and smoke from a burning cable you could look for a LSZH cable (VanDamme and Samson both have options) more importantly ensure you have, or understand the requirement for, fire hoods on your In-ceiling speakers (Atmos or otherwise).

Joe
 

phoenix_rising

Active Member
@Kapkirk - Thanks for your reply, The reason for me questioning it is not knowing how much impedance loss woud become a problem. If i buy the cable from Gear IT for example they provide their own max length chart included above and that clearly states that the max length of their 14awg is 7.3m ... and i plan on running it for 12m. Even their 12awg only gets me to 12m so i'd be bang the max line. As a side note, how did you calculate the impedance loss?

@Yorkshire AV - I hear what your saying, that's why im asking what cables are designed for my enviornment, as i'm not sure due to them being in wall and plastered over in conduit. What ratings should cable in this environment have?
 
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IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Personally I'd run 10 AWG for those length runs, you will also need to be careful with capacitance depending on your amplifier output characteristics

BTW I tried and used the Monoprice cable with my subs (power amp to passive sub) and it was very, very difficult to work with, it made naim cable look easy and flexible and actually didnt sound great (It lost dynamics and a bit of weight to the subs) I settled on Van Damme 6mm squared cable which is 10 AWG for the subs and I suspect it would be good for speakers as well. Its thick but very flexible and not too pricey. Assuming you stay in the house I'd over spec, but that just me :)

Buy cheap buy twice ?
 

phoenix_rising

Active Member
@IWC Dopplel - Thanks for your experience on it. What exactly did you find tough to work with? Was it the stiffness of the jacket or getting to the 2 cores that was problematic? I wont be running it for subs tbh but it is indeed concerning that you found lost dynamic.

In regard to the capacitance, My amps not great but rated at 8ohm and supports 4ohm, I'm hoping it'll just about hold up. (Denon X5200W)

The problem for me moving to 10awg is finding some in wall rated and OFC at that size that isn't going to be a total pig to tame into conduit. I'm on a tight budget which dosnt help in the slightest.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
There are thousands of systems running with the 2x2.5mm without issues.

The 2x4.00mm at a push but 2x6.0mm is overkill and will be a pain to work with, it has an OD of 14.0mm a 100m drum weighs 25Kg (ex the drum).

Joe
 

phoenix_rising

Active Member
My dilemma is that the 12awg i've eyed up is technically 2.05mm and i can get it for £75 for 100m
the cheapest 2.5mm 100 spools ive seen are more than double that or treble that in most cases. This cable is only going to be used for my surrounds and atmos speakers... so i'm wondering whether ithe 12awg should cut it tbh. I wont be playing at reference levels in my house lol.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Hi my experience with the Monoprice oxygen free cable was how stiff and inflexible it was the worst cable I have ever used for flexibility. I fitted it with 3 subs, cable tied it to existing speaker cables even then it wouldn't stay 'neat' I took it out and flexed it to get the jacket moving which seemed to help but even then..... I then bought some alternative cheap 12ag cable and found that gave a small but noticeable difference. I then scratched an itch to see if the well reviewed Van Damme 6mm2 would make any difference with one sub as a test. It was an improvement particularly with dynamics the sub sounded cleaner and 'weightier'. I agree this is a sub and the amp is powerful so I suspect the level of current (4 Ohms sub) is higher than on other channels. However this was only on a 4m length. Ofcourse any cable will work, 1.5mm will work, less will work. If its just surrounds then maybe even 12m with 2.5 mm squared will be sufficient and you would have zero benefit from going larger. I guess it depends on your budget and the risk of waisting money.

Personally the 6mm sq Van Damme cable is a little thicker but a piece of cake to instal compared to the Monoprice 4mm sq and I get fed up of buying thing twice or leaving something on the table.

I have experimented with many cables over the last 30 years and whilst they do make a small and sometimes worthwhile difference I am very aware that being too 'mean' isnt always the best answer. My Monoprice and amazon are rolled up for spares for erm.. something.....

I use naim cable with my main and surrounds as I use naim amps and over the years I have ended up finding the hard way that with naim amps that this just works and is (probably) worth the cost. Every time I have tried a cheap alternative I have been underwhelmed. I guess it depends on your long term plans and budget
 

phoenix_rising

Active Member
Great info, and thanks for that. It's disheartening as my options for a sub £100 spool are diminshing but i respect an honest opinion. If you need a home for that spool of nasty cable... I can PM you my address ;)

If anyone has had any experience with the Gear IT Pro cable i'd love to hear it.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
I can check at the weekend, I bought a 10m run for 3 subs, the longest single length was just over 4m, happy to check at the weekend as I will be needing to get into the box as I have another little job to do. I can dig to 2 types of 4m cable if you want to try ?
 

phoenix_rising

Active Member
@IWC Dopplel

Thanks, But don't worry. my sub is active and my speaker lengths are all longer than 4m. I will be needing some coax cable to finish the install but i dont think the 4m lengths will help me if their speaker cable. Lovely that you've offered it out though. Top man.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Not for Residential installs. The EcoFlex uses less/thicker copper cores combined with the less flexible outer jacket, makes it a bit more work to pull.

Joe
 

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