What cables are you using for a hidden in wall clean look? I have B&W 802 D3s coming.

Just wondering what cables you guys are using for installing them in walls? Gauge, brands, ends, etc. etc.  Are you guys terminating them yourselves? Banana plugs or spades? 

I have a krell chorus 7200 and three 802 D3s coming in a couple of weeks.  I am looking to combine two channels per speaker.  

All of my other speakers are the older B&W SCMS speakers running from a marantz amp for surrounds. 

Thanks for the help guys.

Showing 3 responses by vicweast

In my AV setup I use DH Labs bulk cable, which I terminated on 5-channel in-wall banana plug connectors at one end and also at the 5 speakers which are in-ceiling (I tinned those conductors). Running from the amp to the wall, I use the same cable. I did this for only one reason: to give me more flexibility in moving my AV rig so that I can get behind it periodically. Instead of adding this additional break in the speaker wire (reduces audio quality), in retrospect I would have preferred to have excess cable on the floor behind the rig (a single continuous length).

I tried using the same cable with my audio-only two channel system, but I really prefer the AntiCables (solid copper with minimal dialectic). I am likely to upgrade those (pretty damn good) cables to a heavy gauge soft-temper silver in over-sized dialectic. ...Neither of which you should run inside a wall.

All the reading I have done on speaker cables guides me to use bare un-terminated ends. There are several papers on this, including one that discusses the difficulty of getting a predictable connection when using any termination (versus bare wire). However, for metals that oxidize in a manner that degrades the connection, you should consider the best termination spades/etc you can get as long as they help in reducing the oxidation problem. I have come to understand that silver wire does not have that problem as it oxidizes, as the result is said to be equivalent in conductance (in contrast to the more typical copper).

However... I also like swapping out tube amps for listening sessions, which introduces the benefits of banana connectors (quick switch, less wear and tear on binding posts) on the amp end of speaker cables. Everything at a price, eh?

@bcowen  My understanding about "plenum rated" cables is that code has to do with a fire combusting the insulation and thereby creating toxic smoke. The AntiCables seem to not fall into that category, but they are not plenum rated nor are they designed for that. 
@mgould This is one link: http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/inwallrating.htm

Here are a few quotes from that link:
"The main purpose of NEC is to prevent hazards to human health and safety from wiring, and these fall primarily in a few categories: electrical shock, tendency to start or perpetuate a fire, and production of toxic fumes when exposed to fire."

"To classify the types of cables suitable for reducing these risks in various applications, the NEC provides a system of ratings of cables. An example would be CL3, or "Class 3," which many people recognize as an "in-wall" rating because of the labeling on the spools of speaker wire found at home improvement stores."

"A "plenum," under Article 100 of NEC, is "a compartment or chamber to which one or more air ducts are connected and that forms part of the air distribution system." The most common "plenum" space one sees in a/v installations is a dropped ceiling space in a commercial building, being used as a ventilation return. Most residences do not have any significant plenum spaces, so this is rarely a consideration in a residential installation--but on occasion it can be. Plenum cables are required to have jackets and dielectrics which don't easily give off toxic fumes when burned--the reason being that a fire in one part of the building can, through the ventilation system, feed toxic fumes to the entire building."

...It is a good article if you are detail oriented.  And, it's always good to understand what is involved when you are "breaking the rules" (as in the electrical code etc). I have previously run speaker cables under the floor from an amp to speakers, but that was a long time ago in terms of where my knowledge is today. For a casual space, I'd run cables behind the scenes. For a critical listening set up: No way, out in the open and away from any other cables etc.