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Overview of Audio Cable

Audio Cable

    Audio cables are run from your main control station (TV, amplifier, DVD player, etc) to your speakers through the room or house. Audio cable is wired directly into the speaker or amp, or the cable is terminated using various connectors that are plugged directly into audio/video keystone jacks. The jacks mount onto home theater wall plates, wall plates and surface mount boxes, which provide a high level of flexibility when building your home theater setup.

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Audio Cable and Safety

    While you may opt for generic speaker cable, it may not be such a good idea. Cable marked CL2 or CL3 is specifically designed for in wall installations and adheres to rigorous standards for testing by the National Electrical Code (NEC). Additionally, many state laws require that any in-wall audio cable must be CL2 or CL3 cable.

If you are installing your audio cables in riser closets or plenum spaces, be sure to look for CMR and CMP cables. These speaker wires are rated to measure the heat generated from the wire and how quickly the cable will catch fire and spread when exposed to a flame. Cable marked with these ratings, CMR and CMP, are intended to self-extinguish and emit a low amount of hazardous smoke and toxic emissions.

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Performance of Audio Cable

In general, wiring your speaker in a home theater is simple—there is a positive wire and a negative wire that run from an amplifier to a speaker. Your speakers will be placed in different points and the cable runs behind the drywall from amp to speaker.

Depending on what the cable will be used for and how far it will be run will determine what type of wire you will need. All of our audio cable meets and exceed industry performance standards—pure copper conductors, adequate or higher stand count, and proper safety ratings. You may also choose your audio cables based on their gauge size. Most speakers only require 2 conductors, a positive and negative, but there are cases where 4-conductor is needed such as setups that require volume and tone controls. For that you will want 4-conductor cables.

The lower the AWG, the thicker the cable. While in single room setups an 18 AWG wire will be sufficient, in multiple room setups with longer runs, you will opt for a larger gauge size such as our 16/2 or 14/2 audio cable.

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Source: 

ProCo Sound. Whitepapers: "Understanding Speaker Cables"


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