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Best Way to Set Up 4 Speaker System


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 lsunderman

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Posted March 11 2012 - 01:25 PM

Hi. I have a room I'd like to wire with 4 bookshelf-sized speakers (one mounted in each corner), and, presumably, a subwoofer. Assuming I have all of the speakers and subwoofer that are the proper size for the room, what is the best set up for the wiring? There's no video input necessary, the inputs I need are an AM/FM radio, an XM satellite radio, and an auxiliary input (probably for an iPod or the like). Do I need a receiver? An amplifier? Both? Neither? How should the wiring work (i.e. speakers -> subwoofer -> receiver, etc.)? Thanks!

#2 of 16 Jim Mcc

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Posted March 11 2012 - 05:13 PM

I'm not sure what you're asking, but.... It sounds like you need an A/V receiver with a subwoofer output for a powered subwoofer. Then the speakers get wired to receiver. Then the sub connects to the sub. out on receiver with a subwoofer(RG6) cable. A lot of new receivers have inputs for your Ipod and Sat. radio

#3 of 16 lsunderman

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Posted March 11 2012 - 05:50 PM

Hi, thanks for the response. That sounds about right, I'm now just wondering whether I need a sub at all if I'm not going to be using it for any tv/movie watching or gaming. Any thoughts? Also, any suggestions on a receiver that might be right for this? All of the receivers I can find are made for surround sound, but the room I'm wiring doesn't really have a front or back, just four sides, and so I don't really see how I can designate some speakers as the front ones, others as the back ones. I'd really rather have them all play the sound equally. Also, are there any receivers that are high quality but don't have video inputs (and are therefore cheaper than their high quality audio + video counterparts)? Thanks again.

#4 of 16 Al.Anderson

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Posted March 11 2012 - 11:10 PM

You'll be running your system in what most brands call "all channel stereo". I'm pretty sure they all have that mode, but that's what you want to check for. There are stereo receivers out there, but since they are kinda targeted for old-school audiophiles they tend to be about as expensive as standard 5 or 7 channel receivers. Plus, you can configure a multi-channel system any way you want, so there's no reason to bother looking for a special receiver. The cost will wind up depending on the size of your room, which translates into how much power you'll need. Let us know and we can be more specific. Actually, you may have to go up a rung to get an XM connection. I'll add that I used to be a big XM listener, but have recently switch over to net radio. I miss the blues channel program, but I like the reduced cost ($0). If you think you might g=want to go that way, you can sample the stations by going to a manufacturer's web site. You'll need a network capable receiver.

#5 of 16 lsunderman

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Posted March 12 2012 - 09:04 AM

The room is 68 ft. X 56 ft. (although the 68' figure may be an overestimation by as many as 5-10 ft. because it includes the length of the bathroom, which won't be needing sound. What size speakers should I be looking at (I'm thinking 4, one mounted in each corner, but what size)? Also, what power receiver will I be needing? Also, any specific recommendations for speakers or receivers would be great. My budget (for speakers, receiver, wall mounts, and possible subwoofer, altogether) is about $1000. Thanks.

#6 of 16 Robert_J

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Posted March 12 2012 - 11:03 PM

What will this room be used for? Background music requires different equipment than party music.

#7 of 16 lsunderman

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Posted March 13 2012 - 05:38 AM

It will be an exercise/all-purpose athletic room, so I guess you could call the music background music.

#8 of 16 Robert_J

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Posted March 13 2012 - 06:59 AM

For that, I'd go for durability over sound quality in case the speakers were knocked over. Look at the PA speakers from some place like Guitar Center or Musician's Friend. I wouldn't even go with a receiver. I'd go with a power amp and a small mixer.

#9 of 16 lsunderman

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Posted March 13 2012 - 01:39 PM

For the speakers, I don't think getting hit or knocked down will be much of an issue. They'll be mounted pretty high up and there won't be much risk of them being hit by anything. So while I definitely don't want anything too delicate, I think PA speakers may be a more durable than I need. I'm no audiophile, but I do want some decent quality sound. As for the no receiver idea, I think that would probably be ok, as long as it would take a few inputs (3-4) and could output to 3 speakers. My only issue with that is that it wouldn't be as user-friendly as a receiver. Any suggestions for a power amp and mixer that might work? Also, any speaker suggestions? I've been looking at some bookshelf speakers, but I don't know what size I need, or what brands I should be looking at. Thanks.

#10 of 16 Robert_J

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Posted March 14 2012 - 12:49 AM

How loud do you want this? Will you have to be louder than a couple of treadmills? Will there be some type of exercise floor with aerobics that needs music? Here's some bookshelf speakers similar to what I use - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=300-640 They can get loud in my theater room but you will be pushing it in a room that size if you want some volume in the middle of the room. Here's an example of the PA type speaker I was suggesting - http://www.parts-exp...number=248-6476 Either set of speakers could be powered by an amp like this - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=248-749 Being a pro audio amp, they are made to drive a 4 ohm load (two 8 ohm speakers per channel) all day long. Or a multi-channel receiver could do the same thing and you would have a remote control with it.

#11 of 16 lsunderman

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Posted March 14 2012 - 10:13 AM

Hi again. Thanks for your help so far. I'm thinking I will need a receiver because I definitely want to be able to use a remote with it. Any idea what kind of power I should be looking at for 4 bookshelf speakers? (Would this one http://www.amazon.co...=dp_ob_title_ce work? Power is 105W x 5) As for the speakers, I don't really want to have to assemble them. For size though, the speakers you linked to are 6.5", is that about right for the room I have? They don't need to work over many machines, it'll mostly be weight exercises and maybe some occasional yoga/etc. in the room, all of which are pretty quiet. The music also doesn't need to be incredibly loud, although having the option to turn up the volume every once in a while would be nice. So, do you think around 6.5" is the right size for room and its uses?

#12 of 16 Robert_J

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Posted March 14 2012 - 10:51 PM

It's not about power and speaker size, it's about sensitivity. Let's say speaker A is rated at 84db @ 1 watt. Speaker B is rated at 87db @ 1 watt. Speaker B requires 1/2 the power of speaker A to produce the same amount of sound. Your room is a little over 3,800 square feet. With some more sensitive speakers like these from JBL (90db @ 1 watt) - http://www.amazon.co...1808247&sr=1-10 will work. Don't expect any bass response. In fact, I'd set up the system like I had a sub and cross them over at 50hz. Even though this is strictly an audio system, you will need a TV during setup so that you can follow the on-screen GUI instructions.

#13 of 16 lsunderman

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Posted March 15 2012 - 05:50 PM

Thanks! Those speakers look great. As for the subwoofer, what size should I be looking at? I don't need it to be overpowering, just something to give the music a little body—definitely don't want the walls shaking or anything. And for a receiver, would the one I linked to above work?

#14 of 16 Robert_J

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Posted March 16 2012 - 02:25 AM

What's your budget for the subs? You will need more than one. I would recommend one per speaker to spread the bass around. Subs start at $75 and go up to $20,000 each.

#15 of 16 lsunderman

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Posted March 16 2012 - 05:47 PM

My budget is ~$1000. I'd like to invest most of that in some good speakers, and the receiver will probably be around $200. The wall mounts for the speakers and other small expenses like wiring may be up to $100, so that really doesn't leave much room for a sub, maybe $100 to $200 depending on the speakers (and the budget could go as high as $1200 or $1300, if necessary). There's also not a whole lot of room for a subwoofer except on one side of he room. Would a decent sub on one side of the room be sufficient? Like I said, bass isn't a huge deal, and I may be getting some bass out of the speakers anyways. Thanks again.

#16 of 16 Robert_J

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Posted March 18 2012 - 02:12 PM

the budget could go as high as $1200 or $1300, if necessary

That should have been your budget to begin with. You won't get much bass from those speakers. I'd use at least one of these http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=300-629 on each end of the room.