[mythtv-users] New house - any advise?

Chris Ribe chrisribe at gmail.com
Tue Jan 16 19:59:47 UTC 2007

> One way to cut down on costs for these zones is to run CAT5 instead of
> speaker cable. You can save a lot of money this way if you can find
> cheap CAT5 locally via ebay/craigslist. My dad found a guy that ended
> up costing about $100 for 250ft of CAT5 turned speaker wire (two runs
> for pos two runs for neg). An advantage of CAT5 over speaker wire is
> that the insulation is better, and since the strands are individually
> insulated you don't have to worry as much about moisture causing cable
> rot, which can be a big concern for in wall speaker wiring. Plus the
> copper is really high quality so the sound quality is very good.

Veering off topic here, but this sound like a really questionable idea.
CAT5 is cheaper than speaker wire because copper is expensive, and CAT5
doesn't contain much copper.   It just isn't designed for a high current
application like driving speakers.

Assuming you use all 8 strands in one wire as a single speaker wire (which
is the wrong way to do it, but nevermind that for now), and run 2 pieces of
CAT5 per speaker, the cross sectional area of your conductors is equivalent
to that of 18ga. speaker wire, and your cost (if purchased new) is about
twice as much as 14ga. in wall speaker wire!

If you can source lots of CAT5 for next to nothing, go ahead and use it, I'd
suggest following a couple guidelines:  a) Use the twisted pairs like God
intended and always split them between a positive and negative signal
b) Use at least 32 conductors per audio channel (positive and negative
combined) to get the equivalent of 16ga. speaker wire.
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