I'm 26, and old enough to have grown up in a time where I never had to install proper good old fashioned speaker wire, having made it through life using boom boxes, then shelf mini hifis with attached speakers, next jumbo stereos with a proprietary non-removable speaker wire snuck under the cabinet, over to PC speakers with self powered 3.5mm green connections, and finally soundbars.
I know have a proper receiver, and need to know the basics of dealing with regular, non banana plug, speaker wire. I bought a thick ( low gauge ? ) heavily insulated monstercable 50' spindle on clearance at RadioShack. Looks thick enough that pets won't chew it. I'm wondering if both left and right wires need to be the EXACT same length or if due to the stereo itself being on one side of the TV, having a 6' left cable and 12' right speaker cable wouldn't make a difference in sound quality.
Then, I'm wondering if speaker cables, in addition to having a positive and negative to match up, do the colors of the cable sides really matter, or are they just for simplicity, for example as long as stripe matches stripe and non-stripe matches non-stripe, does it matter whether you picked stripe as "negative" or "positive"? And I've heard something about phase, does it matter which side of the portion of cable I use as the speaker end or the receiver end? Do the cables have a direction, like, the words printed on the cable should read left to right from receiver to speaker, etc.?
Finally, the appropriate length to strip for terminals. I notice the terminals basically have like a cookie cutter circle for the bare wire to rest on, with the other circle above clamping down once you tighten up, but I'm wondering do I need the bare strip to be long enough to touch not just the front of the O but go all the way across like a vertical line touching the "top" of the circle and even sticking out a millimeter or two from it, you know?
Any advice is much appreciated.