Cat5 UTP used as speaker wire? Bad idea?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by BlazinBlazer Guy, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    I'm in the process of remodelling my basement and will be running a bunch of wires through walls and in the ceiling before we drywall it, and I want to set up my surround sound cable runs for when I finally get all the pieces together. I'm not running anything fancy, just enough to get the job done in a small-ish basement.

    Since I'm already going to be buying a shit-ton of Cat5e UTP riser cable for my computer drops throughout the house, I thought maybe I could spare the cost of speaker wire and use the data cable for audio signals. I'd only be running one channel per wire, so that'd leave me as much as two pairs for each +/- side of the channel. Is this a bad idea? Why so, if it is?

    I'm hoping to buy the cable really soon; so any advice is greatly appreciated. :bigthumb:
     
  2. DaIceMan

    DaIceMan Jack Bauer > *.*

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    Most cat5e cable is only 8pr 24awg. That would be a VERY small cable for audio, even if you used more than one strand.

    Member Services has a link to www.firefold.com they have speaker wire in bulk. Other places like Parts Express or MCM Electronics will as well, so check out prices there also.
     
  3. amill94

    amill94 OT Supporter

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    Just spend the extra $50 on some speaker wire. I've seen electricians pre-wire living rooms and basements with cat 5 for speaker wire. It works...but I doubt it holds the ability to transfer enough power for large speakers. Don't use the generic wire b/c most times it oxidizes after a few months and turns green. Get a good wire since it will be in the wall for a long time and not easily changeable.
     
  4. ngsm13

    ngsm13 New Member

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  5. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    Makes sense. All of these cables are going to be run through PVC conduit to make change-outs easier anyway, but I guess I'd rather just get some good speaker wire and run it than have to re-pull in 6 months' time if it's that big of an issue. :bigthumb:
     

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