Help w/ prewired setup....

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by taxpayer, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. taxpayer

    taxpayer Auditioning

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    Good morning folks - I'm looking for a little insight as to my situation and how to complete the setup for my prewired surround sound system.

    We just recently purchased a home w/ prewired surround sound. My observations on the system setup:

    The wiring in the wall looks to be cl3 audio wire and has 4 (black, red, yellow, green) wires. I'm assuming this is either 14 or 16 guage? I also have a coax drop in the same box, which I guess is for a sub. I have 4 plate coverings in the ceiling and each has a black & red wire which I know is for plugging into the speakers when I get them mounted on the ceiling. At any rate, I wasn't looking for a high-end home theater system so purchased the Sony DVD Home Theater System DAV-DX375, 5.1 for $400.00. The sub is attached with speaker wire only, no separate power system.

    Now, my problem is I'm not entirely sure how to connect the system or if I've made an error and the prewiring is not compatable with the system I purchased. Each speaker has it's own port in the back of the receiver for its own speaker wire; however, the wiring from the wall only has 4 wires. Wouldn't I need a total of 4 pairs of wire +/- for each speaker as the instructions state? As mentioned, the audio wire from the wall only has 4 total wires so I 'm confused on what I'm supposed to do. Also, I have a separate box on the opposite site of the room which appears to be the place for connecting the sub - the audio wire and coax terminate in the box.

    Can anyone provide assistance on how I need to connect all of this or whether I need to take the system back?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Adam Gregorich

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    Each speaker needs one red and one black. This pair of speaker wire is usually contained in one 2 conductor speaker wire. This is what you found under the four plate coverings in the ceiling. You need to find where the other end of the wires are. That is where you need to hook the wire up to the Sony. When you said you only found 4 total wires are you referring to the actual speaker wire jacket (with two or four conductors in it), or only four conductors? (By conductor I mean a set individual wires like the red or black within a common jacket).
     
  3. taxpayer

    taxpayer Auditioning

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    Thanks, Adam.

    Yes, I did find a 2 conductor speaker wire (red/black) under each plate in the ceiling. I see that this red/black wire under the ceiling plates is the wire I'll use to actually connect to each speaker.

    With regard to the wire in the wall box, it is one larger jacketed wire containing four individual single wires colored blue, red, yellow, green. I guess you could say that it's similar to phone wire although much heavier wire. The outer jacket has the markings of CL3 audio wire. Other than the coax cable also in the box, this is the only wire I have found and assume that the conductor wire from the ceiling boxes ties into this audio wire from the wall box.

    Does this make sense?
     
  4. Adam Gregorich

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    It makes sense, no you just need to find where the 2 conductor in the ceiling goes to. You need to find the other end of that wire.
     
  5. taxpayer

    taxpayer Auditioning

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    Any clue what the cl3 cable in the wall box is for? Would it be possible that the conductors for all four ceiling boxes are wired in some way to connect to the cl3?

    thanks again.
     
  6. taxpayer

    taxpayer Auditioning

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    Here is a link to a similar picture of the wire in my wall box. I have exactly one of these and one coax cable.

    http://store.tca-inc.net/buinspwi.html

    The wires in the ceiling boxes are 2 conductor wire.

    I guess I need to contact the builder to find out who prewired the system and how in the heck I get this hooked up.
     
  7. Adam Gregorich

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    It is possible (but unlikely) that they are all connected if the 4 conductor is at light switch height. Contacting the builder would be best. Often time sub may hide things so you have to contact them and they can charge for the hook up and gear.
     
  8. Nick:G

    Nick:G Stunt Coordinator

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    If you're pre-wired for speakers all over the house, it is actually quite common for contractors to use 4-conductor wire. These are typically the runs between main termination (usually in the family/living room where all the gears goes) and stereo volume control locations. It is much easier for them to run a single-jacketed 4-conductor run than it is to run two individual 2-conductor runs in such applications. The red/black wires would represent one channel's +/- connections, whereas the white/green wires would represent the other.

    In your situation, the room you want to put the home theater in is probably pre-wired for only two speakers (most likely, they are stubbed out as rears). If this is the case, you'll be running separate wires of similar quality for your front three channels (left, center, right). Then, you would strip off about a couple of inches of the jacket for pre-wired run to give some slack to the individual wires so they can be plugged into the surround speaker terminals on the receiver. You'll probably need to use the receiver's built-in test tone (most receivers have this) to find out which speaker is left and which one is right.

    But if you're still in doubt, contact the builder or the subcontractor that did the pre-wire.
     
  9. Adam Gregorich

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    Nick, that's what I was initially thinking that it was a volume control location, but if that was the case there wouldn't be a coax cable in the same box, and there would be a four donductor coming from the gear, and 2 two conductor wires going to the speakers. There were no 2 conductor wires in that box.
     

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