I've read some of the posts in this forum regarding Outdoor speaker wire, I am sure I havent' read them all--but I still have some looming questions. Forgive me if I missed the posts that already discusses my questions-just point me to them as necessary.
Although probably irrellevant to the question or answer, I am using Polk Atrium 45s. I set them up on my old AVR (on Speaker B).
I mounted them on the split rail fence posts on eiother side of my pool. I like the positioning--you get good stereo separation when in the normal seating area, and you can still hear them nice from all areas of the pool without them being too loud for anybody (since there is no seating area near the speakers), only those in the pool would hear them louder. When I had them mounted under the deck, it just didn't work at all.
I don't have any wire buried yet, just playing around with positioning and wire routing still. Eventually I'll add an outdoor volume control, and/or perhaps an IR repeater
I'm painting them Hunter Green now, when its all done I'll post some pics.
Anyway back to my questions:
The farthest speaker (from the AVR) requires about about 125' of cable. This allows for some routing to hide the wire. The closer speaker probably is about 75'.
I understand that longer lengths require thicker gauges, but 'longer' seems to be subjective (whats the cutoff of when I should switch from 16 to 14, etc).
With respect to outdoor wiring, what is the best guage wire to get for these lengths. Since I am not concerned about subtle nuances as I would be in my Home Theater, etc, I still want to get the best sound I can from them (cost:performace ratio). I wasn't sure if the guage was 'as' important here, especially since the power to the speakers is not as high as in my HT. I was thinking about using 14 or 12. Is that right? or would 16 be good enough?
Oh I should note that while the AVR has 5 way binding posts for the main speakers, it only has spring clips for the Speaker B connection. Not sure if that has any bearing on guage capacity, but I do plan on upgrading the system in the future-perhaps another Onkyo SR805 so I can make better use of zones, etc.
Do I need to use 125' of cable on the closer speaker to make both runs equal length or is that unnecessary in this application?
Do I need to treat the cable at the binding posts with a blob of silicon or anything for weather proofing?
And finally, what makes Direct Burial cable, well, directly buriable(sp?)? What is the goal here-can one use CL2 rated wire instead, or perhaps just plain jane indoor speaker wire or even lamp cord?
My plan was to bury this in the mulched area amonst existing low voltage lighting. Perhaps just below the surface-essentially just covered by the mulch. I wasn't planning on running conduit or trenching-that's just too big a task right now (having a big party this Sat). There is no digging or garden tools or equipment being used in or near the area (no weed wackers, etc).