In-wall wiring questions (*not* wire selection)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Neil Weinstock, Jan 17, 2002.

  1. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm getting ready for a couple of different wiring jobs, one for my surrounds (time to get the wires off my floor! [​IMG]) and one for my sister's mains, which will be wall-mounted. I already have the wire (14 gauge in-wall variety), but have questions on how to terminate them:
    1) For my surrounds, I'm gonna have wall plates with binding posts by the receiver and each surround. What type of connection to the speaker wire should I use inside the walls? I'm looking for the most reliable and trouble-free type of connection between the wire and the plate. I'm thinking that spade lugs soldered to the wire are probably best. Any thoughts?
    2) For wall-mounted speakers, how do you get the wire from inside the wall to the speakers? Especially for small speakers, it makes no sense to have a full-size wall plate there. Do you just put a grommet in the wall and run the in-wall wire right out to the speaker? Do any wall mounts have a built-in guide to take the wire from the wall to the speaker?
    That's it for now. Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Honestly, the fewer the connections, the better.

    If you can, do not terminate the wire inside the wall; run it to the speaker directly.

    I was given that advice...and ignored.

    I was wrong

    can't tell you how many hours i wasted tracking down disconnected wires

    So I will say minimize the amount where ever you can

    Thank Me later

    Grant
     
  3. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, that's certainly one approach. It would work fine where my surrounds are, but would be a bit tougher by the receiver, since that in-wall wire is so stiff. I'll consider that advice, though.

    May I ask how your in-wall connections were done, and how or why they came apart?
     
  4. Michael Botvinick

    Michael Botvinick Stunt Coordinator

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    I too used wall plates for my in ceiling and in wall speakers with banana plugs on the plates with 14gauge wire. But if I could do it again, then for the wall speakers I would not terminate them and run them direct if possible. There is truth in using as few termination points as possible. Ofcourse the in-celing speakers are not run direct because i cut around the plate when I installed them in the new house.

    -Michael
     
  5. Michael Botvinick

    Michael Botvinick Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry, typo above. My in-ceiling speakers ARE NOW run directly to the amp since I did not need the plates once they were installed
     
  6. henning hoffmann

    henning hoffmann Stunt Coordinator

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    I used wall plates all around. No complaints.

    Well, except that I can't find decently priced re-usable banana plugs. (No soldering!)
     
  7. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    For you folks who used wall plates, how did you connect the in-wall wires to the plates? I suppose I should also ask if you used any particular type of plates?

    With the plate system that Parts Express sells, the binding posts are double sided, so if you want binding posts on the outside (which I do), then you also get them inside the wall. That leaves, bare wire, bananas, pins, or spades. I wouldn't think you'd actually solder the wire to the binding post?

    By the way, I've used the banana plugs from Parts Express with good success, though I would never use them in-wall because they do loosen over time.
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    If you already have sheatrock installed, you need to cut a big enough hole to fish wire through. You may as well go the whole route and install plastic electrical outlet box's.

    I would echo the suggestion that you pull enough wire to run a un-broken wire from amp to speaker. Buy blank outlet covers and drill holes through them and thread the wire through this to give a nice clean appearance.

    Later, you can cut the wires off and install plates with binding posts if you want.

    If you go the route with binding posts, bare wire is the best way to connect the back side. Any connector you attach will be subjected to constant stress when you shove the wires and plates back into the hole. Solder joints will break, etc.

    I would only recommend a spade type lug if you have the proper tools to crimp it. While these work find for a solid wire, I dont think they work well for stranded speaker wire. (But I'm not positive about this).

    Bare wire into the hole on the back of the binding post seems the least breaks that can come loose.
     
  9. henning hoffmann

    henning hoffmann Stunt Coordinator

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    Yup, bare wire, that's what I did.
     
  10. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, that's just the info I was looking for. I think I'll definitely wire straight out the wall to my surrounds; the wire will probably poke through the baseboard molding and go right into the wire channel of the speaker stand. Should be very unobtrusive.

    I tried going bare wire into the binding posts on my speakers last night, and it did seem pretty secure. I guess that seems like the way to go.
     
  11. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Neil,

    In-wall wire stiff? Exactly what wire is being run in the walls? The stiff stuff is sometimes used by electricians and it is decidedly inferior to typical in-wall wire that is run. The usual wire that is run is not stiff at all but pliable with a nice smooth jacket for easy pulling.

    Get yourself some quality wire to run in the walls. There's some good Monster and Tributaries that I use often. I've also used Pro-Flex which is fairly inexpensive and does a good job. For convenience I usually terminate bare wire onto 5 way binding posts on the inside and use banana plugs to connect from the wall plate to the amplifier. Banana plugs don't provide the *best* connection but for convenience they can't be beat. You can get good Decora style wallplates from Niles. Good luck.
     
  12. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    For an outlet plate that allows you to run the wire straight to the speakers, the suggestion to drill a hole in a blank plate is good. Or:

    1. Get a plate designed for coax cable. Remove and toss out the two-sided coax jack, leaving a plate with a nice small round hole in it.

    2. For a bunch of wires (such as at the receiver side where 2, 4, 6, etc. cables are coming in), try a rectangular plate made for light switches or outlets (called Decor or something like that). Gives you a fairly big rectangluar hole to work with.
     

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