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  1. #1

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    Default Noob Cabling Adventure with 14/4

    [Apologies if this has been discussed on this forum previously and if so, just a link would suffice rather than the extra finger exercise.]

    I am setting up a remote 8-ohm channel about 35 feet in cable length from the amp. So far as I've read elsewhere, using 14/4 would provide better performance than 2 pairs of 14/2 though I do not completely digest the technical explanation for this. Still, running the 14/4 would be less tedious for me (pulling wire, securing to rafters, etc.), but I have never used 4-conductor with audio and anticipate some complexity at the speaker end.

    When the 14/4 is stripped, are the conductors all separate or in 2 sheathed pairs?

    What is the standard connecting convention for the 4 colors? (I've only ever used cable with either a ridge marker or red/black combo before using the ridge or black on ground.) I realize it doesn't really matter but was curious nonetheless.

    Does 14/4 seem adequate for a 35 foot run? I'll need to do some soldering on a custom wall-mounted binding post junction near the amp where the 14/4 will take off on its run and anything larger than 14 wire will be a real bear to solder.

    How would you do it?

    Any ideas, comments and/or suggestions on my plan will be well-received. Life is complicated enough in its essence not to seriously consider the opinions of the experienced. TIA for any guidance.

    Chipster

  2. #2

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    Default

    I believe you pick the two most similar colors, and pair them up, (dark/light) or however you wish... here's a good link on how to dress them up. Someone else posted this link the other day, rather good read. As for why? I'm not sure. But it would certainly be easier to run the 14/4 as opposed to 2 runs of 14/2. Does the onwall speaker junction plate have terminals on the back? Spade type? I'd think that would be easiest of all, simply pair them up, put shrink wrap over, and slide it down until you solder, then move it back up until it covers your joint, and heat a little bit. Good luck.
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=94203
    Last edited by Jayce1971; 02-25-2014 at 10:44 PM. Reason: add link
    Home Theater- 5.1/DTS bliss-- Source: Sony BDP-S790; Pre/Pro: Golden Theater GTX-1; Amplifiers: Golden Theater GTA-1; Speakers: Main: RTi6's, Center: RTi6's, Surround: RTi12's, Sub: KSW-12Video: RCA Scenium rear projection 52" @ 1080i.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayce1971 View Post
    I believe you pick the two most similar colors, and pair them up, (dark/light) or however you wish... here's a good link on how to dress them up. Someone else posted this link the other day, rather good read.
    Thank you.
    As for why? I'm not sure. But it would certainly be easier to run the 14/4 as opposed to 2 runs of 14/2.
    Agreed. Hence, my developing bias towards the 14/4.
    Does the onwall speaker junction plate have terminals on the back? Spade type?
    Actually, I was planning on cannibalizing an existing coax plate that is in the immediate vicinity of the amp to mount the two pairs of binding posts. I prefer a solder joint to initiate the beginning of the 14/4 run since my experience has shown that solder joints are superior to press fit ones like spades, at least for AC power type applications. Also, I wouldn't need to cut another access hole in the wall simply for a dedicated speaker junction plate. They will most likely be individual posts (4) since I have been unable to locate any quality "pair" post configurations (the post pairs I've found are really cheaply constructed :( ). Also considered an identical mounting plate on the end of the 35' run, using 14/2 for the short distance from junction posts to each speaker but most of the separated conductors will be hidden anyway and it's more trouble than it's worth IMO.
    I'd think that would be easiest of all, simply pair them up, put shrink wrap over, and slide it down until you solder, then move it back up until it covers your joint, and heat a little bit.
    Exactly. My only concern is in overheating the nylon mounting thread of the binding post during tinning but I believe I can dampen the heat transfer enough with a pair of needle nose.
    Thanks for spotting the link and your input.

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    When you strip the 14/4 there will be 4 separate wires twisted around each other. Typically, the colors are red/black/white/green.It doesn't matter which wire you use as positive or negative as long as it's the same on both ends. most go with red+/black-, and white+/green-

    the 14/4 will do just fine for 35 feet. I have a run approximately 30 feet and works excellent. Happy listening.
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  5. #5

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    Default Gradually getting clearer

    Quote Originally Posted by ft_townman View Post
    When you strip the 14/4 there will be 4 separate wires twisted around each other. Typically, the colors are red/black/white/green.It doesn't matter which wire you use as positive or negative as long as it's the same on both ends. most go with red+/black-, and white+/green-

    the 14/4 will do just fine for 35 feet. I have a run approximately 30 feet and works excellent. Happy listening.
    Thanks for relating your own experience, ft_townman. It helps.

    I am picking up a few related bits of info here and there as I goog into the issue in more depth. For instance, as this will be an in-wall run, I should be careful to stay at least 3 feet away from any 110v run and try not to cross it (this changes my original plan to cannibalize an existing coax plate that runs next to 110v romex). Although this may be obvious to the majority of vets here, it's news to me. Once the cable reaches the attic (or basement) for the final run, affixing the cable should not be done with metal fasteners. I suppose it's the potential for inductance in both cases? Just guessing.

    Also, there's a minimum bend radius to be conscious of though I have yet to find this sort of detail documented with the manufacturer's cable specs (whether this would differ from mfr to mfr? dunno). Which brings me to a related question...

    If 14/4 can be merged into opposing pairs to produce an effective 11awg structure, what will 16/4 produce using the same configuration... 13awg? If the bending issue becomes restrictive, that could well do the trick for a 35 foot run, no? I'd need a cable for each channel of course, but the 16/4 would certainly bend tighter.

    As far as the copper purity itself, I don't know if my ear could tell the difference between the high-purity and ultra-purity anyway, though I noticed there are agencies that will provide trial cables for testing the differences. Sounds good in theory except that it can become subjective when it's a long run like this (and I doubt the supplier will provide 35-ft test cables). Even if I don't notice a difference between 10-foot samples, I may in a long distance like this... that sort of thing.

  6. #6

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    For long parallel runs of AC cable and A/V cables. While 3 inch separation should be OK (yes three inch) good practice suggests 1 or 2 feet of separation. Right angle crossing with no separation are fine.

    When using 14/4 or 16/4 as speaker cable connect the diagonal pairs for 11AWG or 13AWG. Reasonable bending is not a problem.

    This copper purity idea is just marketing! Just read some comments today in the 40,000 post audio engineering thread. Seems the the real world copper doesn't always work the way the claims say.

  7. #7

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    An easy to remember convention is...Red Hot! White Hot!

    Interconnect....Red Right!

    Green is a universal ground color, so if there are other colors, that's one to remember. Brown can be dirt, so that's an easy to remember ground alternate.

    CJ
    As seen on the AVS forum... "Radio Shack zip cord kicks butt."

  8. #8

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    You mentioned running it a good length and fastening to rafters, definitely sounds like it might be up a wall, across the ceiling, down another wall. Go with CL-3 rated cabling, and hope you never have to have it put to the test.

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