building house

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by jonathanMo, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. jonathanMo

    jonathanMo Auditioning

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    I am in the process of building a house and i would like to pre-wire the living room with surround and put 2 speakers out underneath the overhang by the back porch. I would like to play music through both sets of speakers at the same time or one at a time. i also want to have remote volume. Should i go with speakers mounted in the wall withe grills flush or hanging on the wall?Please make suggestions for equipment for me to rough wire before sheetrock

    thanks

    Jonny
     
  2. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    How elaborate of a system are you talking about? What is your budget? Do you think that you might want speakers in any other part of your house? These are questions you need to answer before you decide on pre-wiring.
    It is easier to run wire before the walls go up, so now is the time to decide if you might want music in other parts of the house: master bath, bedrooms, basement rec room, as well as on the back porch.
    If you only want surround in the living room and two channel music on the porch, you can get a receiver that has zone 2 capabilities, such as many by Yamaha or Denon and set up a volume control for the outside. You will need to run at least two runs of 16/2 gauge wire for each speaker: one to each sp. and then one to the amp output on the receiver, all connected through an impedence matching volume control.
    The other, more elaborate solution is true whole house audio using a dedicated product from companies like Russound or Niles that have four to twelve channels and are controlled by keypads. You must also run cat5 for the keypads but this system is hard to beat in terms of usabilty and flexibilty. You might be playing a CD in one room while the wife and kids enjoy XM or FM in another room.
    Sorry to get off on a tangent but I just went through this and wish someone had explained all the options. I ended up with a decent whole house audio but it is not as flexible as I would have liked.
    As far as speakers, the room itself will have an impact or what you get and where it will go. Is the room open to other areas, how high are the ceilings? The best option is bookshelf speakers on stands with a separate subwoofer and surrounds either behind and slightly above the seating position or on a back wall, if the living room is a seperate room. I.M.O. in walls would be an option here.
     
  3. jonathanMo

    jonathanMo Auditioning

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    The room the surround is going in is 20x10 with 7'6" ceilings, the couch will be at the opposite end of the room as the tv (20'). So you think I should get bookshelf speakers for the front and back and a center channel and sub? Will i just need to run the 16/2 speaker fron the outlet behind the reciver to each speaker? How about the out side speakers?
     
  4. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    If you just want surround in this room then i'll change my recommendations somewhat. I would (and did) run a 12 gauge wire that is CL3 rated for in-wall use and you might possibly run a conduit in case you ever need to replace the wire for some reason.
    As for speakers I would use bookshelf for the fronts and a center and sub but there are many possibilities for the surrounds: matching speakers as your fronts, bi-pole or di-pole hanging on the wall, or, if you think speakers hanging will be in the way, you could go with in-wall or in-ceiling. I have a pair of Def Tech bi-poles mounted flush with the wall on the sides and behind the listening position about 5 ft. above the floor and they sound great. I have Polk in-ceiling speakers in a seperate room in a 2 chanel stereo system and they sound great, I would think that they would sound good for surrounds as well. The thing with in-walls or in-ceiling mounting is you had better like where they are because they are a bitch to move.
    As for wall plates, I don't recommend them. They make for a clean install but it is better not to have so many breaks in the wiring path. I did use a wall mount for my surrounds connected to a single gang box but cut a hole for the wire to fit through, there are two "phone" type screw mounts to set the keyhole mounts on the back of the speaker onto.
    Also, very important, run a longer wire than you think you need, it is better to cut than to make em longer. Good luck with your project!

    Almost forgot: Do run CL3 rated 16 gauge to the porch speakers because the volume controls will not easily accept a bigger gauge wire.
     
  5. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Take a look at the www.dolbylabs.com site for the room layout. Most newcomers to HT don't realize that the surround speakers are nearly opposite the seats, rather than behind them. Also your seats should be several feet forward of the back wall. Ideally, anyway.
     
  6. Kyle McCabe

    Kyle McCabe Stunt Coordinator

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    I know this thread is starting to get old, but I just wanted to throw in my .02.

    I think that flush-mounted speakers can be really awesome, especially for commercial applications where seats are typically bolted to the floor. But for a home setup, I would almost stay away from the option. The reason being is that, if you're an audiophile, you'll get the urge to fine tune the direction of the speakers. That's why I would lean toward a swivel-mounted setup.

    I've been wrong plenty of times before, so I'm not preaching this as gospel. Just sharing what I would probably do. ;-)

    Regards,

    Kyle
     

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