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Chapter 5. Setting a Budget > Don’t Forget the Extras

Don’t Forget the Extras

This section helps you remember to factor in the little things that can push your system over budget. Many people forget that when building a system, they must purchase smaller items, such as speaker wire, cables, and even speaker stands.

Speaker Wire and Interconnect Cables

For a five-speaker surround system, you need five speaker wires of various lengths. Speaker wire ranges from very inexpensive wire that can be found at your local hardware store to very expensive audiophile wire that costs several hundred dollars. For most budget home theater systems, inexpensive cable is just fine. I recommend buying twelve gauge speaker wire, as it provides good, all-around performance and is reasonably priced. Remember that these speaker cables may be much longer than anticipated because you should route the wires in a manner they can best be concealed. Surround speakers especially require long lengths of speaker cable. If possible, the preferred solution is routing the surround speaker wires through the wall. An easy way to tell if it is possible to run speaker wires in the wall is to look at the way cable television has been routed. If your cable television is in your attic and is dropped down the wall to an outlet, you can probably run speaker wire in the same fashion. If that is not a possibility, you may consider buying flat speaker wire that can be concealed under carpet.


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