Question about wire gauge for in-wall and ceiling speakers

Hi All, I am new to the forum. I am just about to start a reform of my living room so I have an opportunity to rework my surround system and speakers. Currently, I have a Denon AVR-4300H receiver setup with Onkyo D-508C center speaker, Only Subwoofer, Denon tower speakers for the front with Denon Atomos front speakers on top. Currently, I also have two Onkyo D-508M's for the surround back and two small satellite speakers for high rear. My plan is to get rid of the Onkyo bookshelfs in the back and replace with the Polk RC65i in-wall speakers for the rear and then replace the satellite's with the Polk RC60i's in the ceiling.

A few questions, what gauge wire would you recommend for Polks running through the walls and ceiling. It is a relatively small room so will run less than 10 meters for each one. I want to make sure this is future-proof though as I don't think I will have another chance to go in to upgrade the wires in the future. Any thoughts.

Also, I am debating about putting an audio distribution wall plate in order to connect everything clean and easily with banana plugs. Is there anything to be aware of with using those in terms of sound degradation or anything? I am still debating about using a plate for HDMI as it seems that there is concern about video quality. It would actually be a very short run from my receiver to the wall plate, up through the wall to the next plate and then from the plate to the TV. Less than about 2-3 meters total. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with this in such a short run?



  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,245
    With runs of those lengths I wouldn't be concerned about signal degradation with in wall cables or switching plates. Just use good quality cable and connectors rated to carry the signal you want to pass through it and use things with bandwidth to carry the most recent HDMI 2.1 capacity.

    For speaker cables the minimum recommended is usually 16 AWG in wall rated speaker cable for those on a budget. You could go anything up to in wall rated 10 AWG cable if you're ok with paying a dollar a foot or so for raw cable. The Belden 5000 series range of speaker cables are good in my experience. "Name brand" raw cable for in wall use like Kimber or Audioquest are usually more costly.

    Personally, I'd be satisfied with 12 AWG speaker cable for runs that length. Definitely don't go for the cheapest not in wall rated cable you can find as that stuff will corrode inside the walls.
  • mrloren
    mrloren Posts: 2,391
    edited August 1
    Hello and welcome,

    The Belden cable is good, I have 21 year old 16awg running to my ceiling speakers, still work great.

    Other cable to consider is Furez

    If budget is not there, Monoprice and Amazon basic is not bad at all. Please stay away from any wire that says "CCA" on it. Make sure it has the 99.9% pure coper on it

    I'm not a fan of wall plates. I like direct wire runs. You can get wire wall plates then sleeve it coming out of the wall.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

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  • sirish19
    sirish19 Posts: 2
    Thanks for your comments guys. This is very helpful. Since this is not a very long run, I am not too concerned about price of cable so I won't skimp on that. I would rather have high-quality wires that I don't have to worry about so your recommendations are great. I will probably go with wall plates for the audio and then have a tube conduit for the HDMI just to ensure that I can replace the cables easily should the technology change.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 19,502
    Make sure you leave a pull string just in case ;)
  • gp4jesus
    gp4jesus Posts: 1,723
    @sirish19 welcome to Club Polk
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  • Jstas
    Jstas Posts: 14,368
    Fair warning, check your local building codes. Your speaker wire choice may be limited to what is rated for inside wall installations.

    I know when I did it, I got the heaviest gauge I could that was rated for in-wall/in-ceiling wire runs. I believe it was 14 gauge (no smaller than 16) and the insulated conductors were jacketed in a thick, gray, vinyl jacket as well with a pull string lead too.

    I believe it was either Southwire or Audtek, neither are a fancy pants wire company. I couldn't find esoteric wires from a boutique brand that were rated for in-wall installation to my local code standard.
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