Cables for rear surrounds


I've got about a 50' distance to get my surrounds wired up from my receiver. Thinking of using 16 gauge pure copper insulated wire with banana plugs. Should I cut any excess lengths which may be about 10' or so. Or does it really matter?? Any tips other than the obvious in wiring for surrounds?

suncore
If you have to terminate the ends anyway, you might as well trim off what you don't need. Just trim off the same amount from each side (not that it likely matters). If they are factory terminated, don't worry about it.16 Gauge will be fine. And if you are terminating them yourself, use BFA style banana plugs. They are inexpensive and AWESOME! 


Yes, I will be terminating myself using banana plugs. Thanks for the tips. 

+1 reubent -- and to amplify his recommendation, BFA-style banana plugs are different from the banana plugs you usually think of. They have considerably better contact area and the tension of them is easy to adjust so that you get a close fit.
Even inexpensive ones like these should work well in your application.
https://www.amazon.com/KnuKonceptz-eKs-Style-Banana-Plugs/dp/B008D2TC4M/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&...
suncore,

If you have the ability to solder, you might want to try these:

https://www.dysonaudio.com/products/new-dyson-audio-24k-beryllium-copper-low-mass-bfa-z-plug-bananas...

I've used similar, and they are awesome! Nordost Z-plugs are essentially the same as these and they are used on multi-thousand dollar speaker cables.
I'll third, or fourth, the BFA banana plugs suggestion. They are superior in sound quality and connection to spades and old style bananas as well as bare wire. Well, in my experience at least
I don't know the answer, I'm just asking: Is 16g enough wire for a 50' run, or should suncore consider 14g, or even 12g?
Hey bdp24 good observation -  never occurred to me that 16 gauge may not be good for 50' run of cable. Anyone think 14g would be better?
Anyone think 14g would be better?
Yes, I do. Depending on which of the PSB speakers that are listed in your system description you would be using for surrounds it appears that their impedance is either 4 ohms nominal, or 6 ohms nominal and 4 ohms minimum. IMO, in general it would be good practice to keep speaker cable resistance to about 5% or less of speaker impedance, and preferably less. It can be calculated from this wire gauge table that the combined 100 foot length of two 50 foot conductors of 16 gauge copper wire has a resistance of about 0.4 ohms, or 10% of a 4 ohm speaker impedance. 14 gauge would reduce that to about 0.25 ohms, or about 6% of a 4 ohm speaker impedance. Still not ideal, but probably good enough.

Another issue that can arise when using long cables is inductance, which can result on upper treble rolloff and sluggish transients with some speakers. In this case, though, I suspect that the impedance of the speakers probably rises significantly in the upper part of the treble region, which together with the fact that you are just using them for surrounds will probably reduce that effect to insignificance.

Regards,
-- Al

Check out table one in this article

http://www.audioholics.com/audio-video-cables/speaker-cable-gauge

Depending on the speaker Impedance, you might want 12 AWG. I used Blue Jean Cable for my surrounds
+1 to almarg & murphyb74.  Here's another chart:  http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable.  I went to 10 AWG KnuKonceptz cable all around with soldered Audioquest spade terminations and picked up audibly better definition and frequency response.  All of my speakers are 8 ohm nominal impedance and my rear surrounds are 40 and 45 foot runs, respectively.

There are some older threads that address the topic of different speaker cable lengths.  You can decide for yourself after you read through them.  good luck & happy listening!
I see some recommendations for BFA terminations, but I have found them very brittle and prone to breakage. I much prefer spades.
B
gdnrbob,

I've had the opposite experience. I've never experienced an issue with BFA connectors. I've used 5-6 different ones, all the low mass type without fancy screw-on collars,etc. I've never had one bend or break and I've never had one fall out or even become loose. I can't say the same about spades. I've had them come loose on several occasions. 

I can't speak for all of the various manufacturers of BFA type banana connectors. But the ones I've used, starting with Nordost Z-Plugs, have been rock solid.

The only time I would choose spades over BFA bananas is if I had to place the speaker directly against the wall. BFAs require a couple of inches of clearance for most speakers.


Agree completely with reubent's comment about BFA connectors. I've put together quite a few speaker cable pairs for myself and others and the various brands of BFA connectors I've used have been the easiest to work with, the easiest to use and the most reliable. 
DH Labs has a "Z Plug" Banana that is affordably priced compared to Nordost and others.  I have the silver version, and they are very easy to use DIY.  Their Odyssey 14 awg cable would also be good choice for long-run rear channels.  I think it is made in USA as well.
sincere - I would go with Kimber Kwik 12 speaker cable.  IT is good copper, inexpensive, easy to pull, big enough gauge and sounds great!  Good Luck