Anybody recomment socket type to use for Audio?

Hi all, Can anybody recommend a socket type to use for embedding speaker cable through a wall?
I've got some new interior walls being built, and I'd like to run some speaker cable (surround sound...) before the plasterer starts. I'm not sure what type of socket/faceplate to use though.
In Maplin I've seen some socket/faceplates to be used when building speaker enclosures - but they would seem to look a little strange on a wall.
Thanks in advance, Ian
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Ian Mayo wrote:

Favourite types would be XLR, Speakon or DIN. I expect you can get these as faceplate types (try CPC, maplin etc) but if not you could buy plain faceplates (single or double) and drill them yourself for the connectors. It would be worth fitting deep boxes in the wall for ease of fitting the cables to the connectors.
Bob
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out at right angles from the wall, which (depending where they are) might look rather tacky. One radical alternative is to use just a blanking plate, which usually have a knockout for a flex outlet: then you can make a connection with big-ass choc-block, or hypertitaniumorientedstrandcolddrawnbyvirginsnitrogenfreesilversolder or whatever floats your golden-ears boat, in the nice deep box Bob suggests, and have the cable coming directly out of the face plate with no visible connector. That'd be fine for effectively-permanent domestic speakers. If you want a connector, but would prefer not too much sticking-out, those nice people at Studiospares (www.studiospares.com, 08456 331020) will sell you a right-angle speakon (or even two ;-) for a tad under 4 quid each the plug (581-120) and under 2 quid the socket (575-040). For small orders (under 25quid and 1kg weight) they'll only add 3quid p&p. Thrown in some guitar strings and you're laughing ;-) Speakon's aren't all that "domestic" looking, but they do latch securely and will pass the currents you want when you wind the volume up to 11 without any problem.
HHT, Stefek
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Not DIN, please. They are rubbish as a speaker connector, and no decent maker ever used them. And you'd have trouble trying to solder anything bigger than bell wire to one anyway.
Speakon is the one to use these days pro wise as it's good, strong cheap and will accept large cables.

I must admit not to having seen them ready made, but buying a blank plate to match your sockets and fitting one is pretty simple. And you're absolutely right about the deep boxes.
--
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Ian Mayo wrote:

The only thing I found was nasty DIN 2 pin speakre plugs,. Ok for a few watts...best I reckon is tyo use a plain plate and drill it to take serious binding posts - 4mm etc.
Normal rated T&E mains cable is adequately low resistnace, but you might want to lay cooker cable for the bass units:-)
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

You can also get surface mounting 4mm sockets that would look a bit less out of place than a binding post.
Like these from CPC:
http://tinyurl.com/riy3

As with most things like this - run more wires than you think you need now while it is easy! Just in case you fancy some bi-wiring experimentation of something like that.
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Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

I'm doing a 2 way wiring setup with TV, SAT, phone and 4 speaker connections (surround sound remotes) in 2 different places in my sister's lounge because she wants everything to work properly with 2 opposite orientations of the furniture. Mostly it's just a question of paralleling things up and using 2 outputs from the aeriel amp but there's a clever bit of jiggery pokery to be done with the lead from 'my' wall box to the surround sound amp so things are crossed over to keep the speakers in the right positions when the 'room' is turned 180 degrees. Now she might want the doorway moving as well, that's not my job though I'm the sparky, her other half's the builder.
--
James...
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wrote:

I used 6mm "cooker" cable when I was working with Nippro Acoustic in the late 70s to rig up the listening room prior to a review session conducted by the then editor of Popular Hi-Fi. Seemed pretty impressed from what I recall ... This was after trying all sorts of "wire" then available - including some beautiful silver plated thick multi-strand stuff that had some submarine application which came my way ...
However to return to the topic (!) - yes - screw posts or lockable XLR if you're serious about this ... forget jacks, "loudspeaker" DIN. Two pin mains sockets (10A) work quite well - but I'm sure their usage is against some regulation - and anyway you'ld need a really meaty Crown Amcron PA to run the electric bar heater ....
Barley Twist (Please put out the cats to reply direct)
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I can remember 3,5 and 15 amp 2 pin but not 10. Unless you mean US or continental style? The snag with using these would be finding suitable re-wireable plugs.
--
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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There have been a number of double-blind trials of speaker cable, and I recall a couple where mains T&E was the winner, and by far the cheapest.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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IIRC, with double blind tests no-one has been able to tell the difference between adequately specified cables, so it's the gauge that matters, and flex is usually more convenient than solid core. Maplin do a decent 2.48mm figure of eight for 0.69p/mtr or 39.99 for 100. XR72 or PA09
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writes:

Yup, I'd go along with that. An initial cheap and effective upgrade to just about any purchased hi-fi would be to replace the puny supplied speaker wire with either T&E or one of the QED 79 strand type cables. IME makes an audible difference. The only exception to this would be if you have one of the more esoteric amps (I think some of the Naims) which apparently need cable resistance for stability . Or if you're buying into true esoterica, in which case get yer cheque book out, buy whatever's flavour of the month, and don't ask if it's a value-for-money upgrade...
The only issue that I have with using T&E is when it's routed under floorboards as part of an installation. I'd be worried that some less-than-able person in the future might decide that it's be good to connect up to a convenient ring for whatever reason.
In this case I think it's prudent to mark the cable visibly by twisting coloured electrician's tape around it every foot or so. Just to indicate that it might not be a standard part of the house wiring....
cheers Richard -- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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They need high inductance cable. Strange when most makers simply include an inductor inside the amp. But the 'magic' of only working properly with exotic cable is the sort of thing that sells product like Naim to the gullible.
--
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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We used to use mains cable at the radio station at which I worked, for the studio monitors. It's really good as speaker cable, and it has a twist too! My personal favourite was the blue 10A "arctic grade" we used in one refurbishment; easy to lay and gorgeously flexible. There's an interesting "aside" in this week's New Scientist; Feedback column:
<quote>
At the UK's annual hi-fi show held recently in two hotels at London's Heathrow airport, several exhibitors were selling exotic cables to connect amplifiers to loudspeakers. The price of these cables was staggering. A 6-metre length of oxygen-free copper could cost as much as 30,000 - and no, those four zeros are not a misprint.
We cannot comment on whether these cables really do make music sound better, because none of the exhibitors offered a controlled blind test - switching the same music between cheap and expensive cables without the listener knowing which was which.
But now that the show is over, we can reveal a secret.
One of the most popular demonstrations at the show was staged by British company Quad, to mark 50 years of making its world-famous hi-fi equipment. Recording engineer Tony Faulkner demonstrated Quad's latest loudspeakers. He explained how he used them to monitor the sound while making a recording of Saint-Saens's complete works for piano and orchestra, which recently won the coveted Record of the Year award from Gramophone magazine.
As hi-fi buffs enthused over the sound, we spotted that the speakers were connected by some orange wires that looked strangely familiar.
"Yes, they would look familiar if you have a garden," Faulkener told us, "Before the show opened we went over the road to the DIY superstore and bought one of those 20 extension leads that Black and Decker sells for electric hedge-cutters. They are made from good, thick copper wire, look nice and sound good to me. The show's been running for three days and no one in the audience has noticed."
<endquote>
Back to the plot. Might I suggest a variation on a suggestion already made? Blank wall plate with holes drilled, and 4mm *sockets* mounted. Fit 4mm banana *plugs* to the appropriate end of the speaker cable. Speakons are brilliant, but a little overkill for domestic use IMO - especially for surrounds.
Hwyl!
M.
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That cable is commonly 1mm, but to my mind is rather large and unwieldy due to the thick insulation required to protect it in use. Maplin do a figure of eight 2.5mm cable which is neater and only 70p a meter.
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Dave Plowman wrote:

Dave, is this cable in the Audio Cable section or another?
I've been trying to find a source of speaker cable where I can buy it by the roll and speaking to hifi places just has my wallet screaming in agony. I want to do a couple of long runs and reading the above posts has convinced me what I already felt, that "normal" cable will be fine (especially as I don't have the best hearing in the world)
But as I'm reading the cable specs I can find one that translates into "figure of eight 2.5mm). Any pointers to either what Maplin has or how I go to an electical shop and as for ... cable please.
TIA
--
Big Tim
RD400E, Bandit 12, XR400R (in length of service order)
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It's XR72 at 0.69 per metre, or PA09 for a 100 metre drum at 39.99.
It's actually 2.48mm (79/0.2mm) which might have caused confusion in a search.
--
*You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Dave Plowman wrote:

Thanks Dave.
--
Big Tim
RD400E, Bandit 12, XR400R (in length of service order)
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scam is bizarre but fantastically profitable for both the retailers and their suppliers.
Less stupid prices you'll find at Studiospares (see www.studiospares.com). Specifically for figure-of-8, you get - a transparent 1.3mmsq, fine for lower power short runs, 39p/m short lengths, 34p/m over 50m, 29p/m for 200m+ - code 548-300 - a white fig-8 2.5mmsq 79-conductor (quite a lot "better" esp. for longer runs, bass drivers, etc) for very little more: 41p/m short bits, 35p/m over 50m, 31p/m for 200m+ - code 543-141 - a black fig-8 3mmsq jobbie, nominally "higher spec" than the previous, costing 62p/m short bits, 56p/m 50+m, 49p/m for 200m+ - code 548-420
They've round speaker cables too, 2-core, 4-core and 8-core... Yeah, there's VAT and shipping to pay: shipping cheaper for Web orders.
HTH, Stefek
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