Hiding speaker wire tricks?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Brad_c_g, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Brad_c_g

    Brad_c_g Agent

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    Besides the obvious of running the wire through the walls, what are some other tricks you have used to hide the speaker wire as best as possible so people don't notice it? Running along the floor isn't an option as its hardwood floors. any pictures of what others have done would be great. I was thinking like some 1/4 pcv pipe painted to blend in but this might be tacky.

    any pics or ideas would be great.
     
  2. Mathew Shelby

    Mathew Shelby Second Unit

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    I used flat, adhesive backed, paintable speaker wire for my rental apartment. If I remember correctly, it only cost like $.18/sq. ft more.
     
  3. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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    If anyone can help give tips here that would help me out as well. I especially would like to know, how to hide it when it has to cross a walkway, like a hallway space. I have carpet and was thinking about a floor rug, but maybe someone else has a brighter idea. Thanks
     
  4. Jack Shappa

    Jack Shappa Second Unit

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    You can run it in corners, and paint it to match the wall, or cover it with moulding. Run it along the edge of the doorjam instead of right across the threshold... Or get creative and put a little head and tail on it and everyone will think its an artisitic rendering of a snake.

    Or you could run them directly from amp to speakers, I mean in a straight line, pulled tight, suspended in the air. It might look cool on Halloween.

    - Cryo
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Juan,

    If by “I have carpet” you mean wall-to-wall carpet, it’s not too hard to run the wire across the doorway under the carpet. Let me know if this is what you have and I’ll give you some instructions.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    Here is alink to what I did. Basically cut my own base molding to provide a hidden route for cables and wires. Mine was a cinch since the walls are fabric and I could adhere the Base Molding with Velcro. However, some regular Base molding could be held in place with nails.

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ghlight=secret
     
  7. Mathew Shelby

    Mathew Shelby Second Unit

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    Darren,
    That looks interesting. Is the baseboard done in the same method all the way around the room, or is it just that section to allow you to pull the wires out if need be?
     
  8. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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    hey, Wayne, yes wall to wall. Thanks for your help.
     
  9. MikeTC

    MikeTC Stunt Coordinator

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    Wires/cables running on the outside of a wall,column or floor just don't look professional to me. I once helped a friend with hiding speaker wires when he mounted a speaker on a drywall covered column. We used a router and routed a channel on the drywall, then lay a speaker wire in it and fill it with tape and spackle. It looks and works great.
     
  10. Torgny Nilsson

    Torgny Nilsson Second Unit

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    I have the same problem. I found some interesting flat cable at Smarthome.com that might work, but I have no idea how it compares to other speaker cables. You can check it out at

    http://smarthome.com/8470.html
     
  11. Brad_c_g

    Brad_c_g Agent

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    Thank you everyone for the replies, you got the hamster turning now! I got a few ideas from this.

     
  12. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Brad, I had the same type of problem. I too have hardwood floors and needed to disguise my surround wiring. The owners would flip if I started drilling into an 81 year old building. I painted to match some simple trim/ridge moldings. Then ran the wire across the walls. It is not 100% out of view, but made a world of difference.
     
  13. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Juan,

    You’ll need to get a thin aluminum rod from Home Depot in the metal stock section of the hardware department - the thinner the better, but not less than say, a wire clothes hanger. Make sure it’s longer than the doorway is wide.

    The first thing you will need to do for this project is pull back the carpet from the doorway and cut a notch in the carpet tack strip on both sides of the doorway; you don’t want the speaker wire laying on it. The cutaway should be the width of the speaker wire. This can be accomplished with a hammer and chisel (or if not, a screwdriver will do).

    Separate the two joined conductors of the speaker wire and cut one of the leads a few inches short. Then cut the ends of both leads at an angle.

    Next, we’re going to tape the speaker wire to one end of the rod so that it looks like you have a “wand” at the end of it.

    Here’s how we do this: The lead we cut short should be an inch or so above the end of the rod. The tape will be spiral-wrapped around both the speaker wire and the rod, starting just above the longer lead and continuing down over the shorter lead, to the end of the rod. Make sense? The reason for the peculiar cut(s) is to stagger the wire and provide a smooth taper, to keep it from snagging anything (i.e., the underlying pad) when you pull it under the carpet.

    Now push the rod under the carpet across the doorway to the other side. If your aim is good the rod will “land” right between the opening in the tack strip you made. Once you can grab it and pull it through, the wires will follow under the carpet. It might help to have a helper on the other side of the doorway, to guide the wire through the gap in the tack strip, and to push it through as you pull. If you’re pulling a pair of wires, he can make sure they go under side-by-side, which will guarantee the lowest under-carpet profile.

    Good luck!

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  14. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    Mathew,

    I used this accessable moulding on both walls perpendicular to the screen. The wall left of the screen only hides an extension cable, where as the right side conceals the Bass cable to the Bass Shaker amp and SVS Subwoofer, the 65ft component cable to the projector, an extension cord for rope lighting and a pair of speaker wire runs to the rear center channel speakers.

    This is totally undetectable and makes access a snap. Actually a easy modification to one's exsisting base moulding would prove similar results:

    1.) Carefully remove exsisting base moulding using small pry tool.

    2.) Once moulding is removed this will reveal the sheetrock underneath. Using a drywall knife/razor knife cut away approx. 1" of sheetrock running parallel to floor.

    3.) Remove cut sheetrock strip. This now give you a 1" wide and 1/2 deep (dependent on actual drywall thickness) channel in which to run your speaker cable/wires.

    4.) Using nail brads or plastic cable guides attach the wires to the revealed 2X4 stud.

    5.) Replace moulding.
     
  15. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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    Wayne, and Darren, thanks for your suggestions.. If I can manage to do so without the little lady finding out, both used in conjuction will be what I do.

    One more question Wayne... How hard is it to pull carpet off the tack strip on a corner... I will have to run across a hallway where the walls are like this..

    | |
    | |__________
    | |_____|
     
  16. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Juan,

    I’ll send you an e-mail with a picture diagram. That will be easier than trying to explain everything. Give me a day or two.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  17. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    I ran Home Depot 12 gauge speaker wire between my baseboard and carpet, I just pushed it in their with a flat head screw driver. I did this until I was right underneath my surrounds. I then connected it to Acoustic Research Speaker Micro Flat speaker wire which runs up the wall (it's sticky on one side and only .5mm thick). I put tape over it, spackled, sanded, and repainted. I'm very pleased with the clean look. I just hate the look of wires.

    Click below for larger picture:

    [​IMG]

    What do you think?
     
  19. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Nicely done, Frank! [​IMG]
     
  20. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    Thanks. I'm going to be doing it again soon with a pair of those Wharfedale picture frame speakers I'm putting in our pool room.
     

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