HT Basic Questions

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Karim_M, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. Karim_M

    Karim_M Extra

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    Hey Guys! I just bought a new house that's being built as we speak. The builder has an add-on option to pre-wire the speaker wire underneath the hardware and I would like to exercise this option to save me the trouble in a few weeks.

    I'm meeting with the man in-charge of the mechanical aspects of the house, so I want to discuss this with him. Apparently, I can't provide the wire to him.

    What should I look for with regards to the wiring and what needs to be pre-wired?

    KM
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Moving this to HT Construction area. You will get good help there.
     
  3. Karim_M

    Karim_M Extra

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    Thanks! I really need to get this sorted out before the end of the week.

    KM
     
  4. Kevin R

    Kevin R Auditioning

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    If you plan on living in the house more than 2 years, the answer to your question "what needs to be pre-wired" is EVERYTHING :)

    You are really going to have to look at how you use the house, but some major important things are

    1. Central (all single runs direct to a central location preferrably in the house) Cat5 Network and RG6 Coax Cable ran to every room in the house (I recommend 2 RG6 to each if you can afford it for Tivo or Sat & Cable etc)

    2. Surround speaker wire (7.1 preferred) for ANY room that might some day ever have a stereo system in it (Den, Family room, Master bedroom, basement)

    3. More wire - more wire (think about multiple zones, outside speakers, outside TV, garage, I have done this 3 times and every time think I have done enough only to decide I wish I had done a few more things. (who knew the billiards room would turn into the dedicated HT room)
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Karim,

    First you need to determine your speaker locations. Tell them you want 12 gauge wire run to those locations. If they complain, you can go with 14 gauge; don’t let them put in anything smaller than that. They’ll need to be using in-wall rated wire, not the stuff with the clear insulation you usually see.

    Normally I prefer to have enough wire run to come out of the wall and go directly to the speaker. However, this is usually impractical with new construction, because someone will often come behind the wiring contractor – sheetrockers, painters, etc. – and end up cutting or damaging the wire. So have them put in electrical boxes and leave some slack inside. You can later add termination panels (banana plugs) or splice in an extra length to make it to the speaker.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    - Have them run 3 sets of speaker wires to the rear of the room. That rear-center speaker is becoming popular.

    - Make sure the wire they use is CL3/in-wall rated. Some fire codes require this.

    - Subwoofer: Locate the corner with the two longest, un-broken walls. If this is not near to where you plan to setup your equipment, ask the contractor to run ordinary RG6 coax to this location and to the area behind your equipment. Some "F" connectors and 2 "F-to-RCA-Male" adaptors from radio shack and you have a dandy subwoofer connection. (A subwoofer IS a speaker - right?)

    I echo Wayne's suggestion, but suggest you insist that all wires run through electrical outlet box's, and several feet of extra wire be pulled on both sides to create a un-broken connection.

    Wall Plate: Yes, the Decora wall plates look nice with binding posts. But consider this: buy blank outlet covers and drill holes to run the speaker wires through. You can always cut the wires off later and install wall plates later. Leaving the wires long gives you the best connection type at the start, and gives you options later.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Karim_M

    Karim_M Extra

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    Okay Wow lol I've got a ton of questions now. You guys are good!

    It's a townhouse and I only plan on having speakers wired in the living room for a "home theatre".

    If you can imagine this the TV is going to be up against a wall. With the centre channel and left and right front channels close by. The receiver and all other equipment will also be located right near the TV.

    Facing the TV is a couch, with the rear surrounds left and right located slightly behind those. The floorplan for the house doesnt really allow me to do anything spectacular with the speakers so my guess is that they'll be floor standing. The flooring by the way is hardwood.

    Now I am going to have digital cable setup, but that is all located close to the outlet so nothing will change there.

    I think the only wiring that needs to be done is to the rear speaker wiring. So I will need to wire from the location of the receiver to the general location of each rear speaker right? Do I wire underneath the hardwood and have it come up or is it wired through the wall and then I'll run it along the floor when the speakers arrive?

    Isn't that all the wiring I need? What is RG6 coax and what is it for?

    Sorry for the stupid questions but I am an amateur at HT Design.

    Is 12 gauge wiring the best for speakers? Are there certain things to look for in the wiring?

    Now would the subwoofer located near the TV so the wiring doesn't need to be pre-done?

    KM
     
  8. Karim_M

    Karim_M Extra

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    Any ideas?

    KM
     
  9. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Typically it’s the cable that carries your CATV signal. However, it also makes for a good, inexpensive in-wall signal cable for subwoofers. As Bob noted, you can have them run some RG-6 from the equipment location to a box where your sub will be located. This way you won’t have a cable stretched across the floor from your receiver to your sub.

    Also, have them install an electrical outlet where the sub is, too. It should be on the same circuit as the plug where the equipment will be plugged in.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  10. Karim_M

    Karim_M Extra

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    What is an optimum position for the sub?

    KM
     
  11. SteveLeach

    SteveLeach Stunt Coordinator

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    You might also consider running wires for a center "height" or "envelope" speaker. There is at least one SACD, can't remember the name, with this track encoded on it.

    Who knows if this will eventually be "the standard", but as wire is cheap and the drywall isn't up, why not.
     
  12. Karim_M

    Karim_M Extra

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    Where would that speaker be mounted? Also what is the best position for a sub?

    KM
     
  13. Karim_M

    Karim_M Extra

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    Any ideas?

    KM
     

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