Newbie / speaker wire installation help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich Sherman, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. Rich Sherman

    Rich Sherman Auditioning

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    This is my first post, so be gentle. hehe

    I've been reading and reading and can't find any suggestions / advice on speaker wire installation in new construction.

    My new house is being built as I type this, and I have the opportunity to run all my own low voltage cable (phone, cable, sat dish etc.) My HT will be the 22' by 15' family room with the entertainment unit on the 15' wall. I plan on using 12 ga for everything, but need some advice on how to install final connections. Do I:

    1. Install a multi-gang box behind the entertainment center specifically for my 6.1 discrete receiver speaker connects using gold binding post type connectors or something else?

    2. Install single gang boxes at each speaker placement with gold binding posts or do I just connect the cable directly to the speakers?

    3. Should I run the sub wire to the rear, side, or front of the room?

    4. Should I run the wire for the side speakers (7.1) for future?

    I'd like to make it as pretty as possible. As of now, I only have my receiver, a Denon AVR-3802. No speakers or TV yet, but the TV will be a minimum of 47" rear HD ready widescreen.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions. BTW, great forum, very informative!

    Rich S.
     
  2. Jim_Stu

    Jim_Stu Stunt Coordinator

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    Rich,

    1- Multi-gang near the amp, with a pair of female banana

    plug fittings for each channel.

    2- Yes, install handy box with pair of female banana plug

    fittings near each speaker location. A nice alternative

    is the higher quality built-in speakers for the surround

    channels.

    3- Front corner of room.

    4- Yes

    Most importantly plan on getting an Avia DVD and a Sound

    Pressure Level meter to set it all up with.
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hi rich! welcome to htf!
    this is really personal preference. i've never done this type of install myself, but i think i would prefer having the binding posts on the wall. then you can connect the speakers to the terminals. to me, this provides a more polished professional look.
    i think others have said that the binding posts just cause more problems then they're worth...especially when it comes to connecting the wire to the back of the plate.
    i would definitely wire for the future. put the boxes wherever you think they'll be necessary. obviously, you can just cover it with a wall-plate if not needed.
    for the sub, that's going to be a little tougher. different rooms have different characteristics and moving your sub around may be necessary to achieve the best results. obviously, that'll be a problem for you. as a general rule, most subs seem to perform pretty well in any given corner, but i can't give you a definitive answer there.
    finally, i'm sure you're running the appropriate type of in-wall wire right? [​IMG]
     
  4. Rich Sherman

    Rich Sherman Auditioning

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    Jim-

    Thanks for your input. Any reason for banana over binding posts? Better / more reliable connection?

    Sound Pressure Level meter? That one's a little over my head.

    Ted-

    Thanks for your advice as well. I just started doing my research on the cable type, and have seen some rating for "In Wall". I've seen a lot of posts suggesting the Home Depot 12 ga. as a cable of choice due to its low cost. I haven't bought any yet.

    I used to be in the Security / Fire Alarm field and have 1000's of feet of 18 ga. laying around. Too bad it's pretty useless for this. I'll use it for my Alarm system.

    RIch S.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    you're welcome!

    the spl is a pretty useful tool. it'll allow you to measure the amount of sound coming out of your speakers. this will allow you to calibrate your speakers and ensure that the same "amount" of sound is coming out of each. you can get the ubiquitous (sp?) radio shack analog model for about 35 bucks.

    the avia/video essentials dvd help to calibrate the audio and video portion.
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Rich. Welcome to HTF!
    There is a separate area, "Building a Home Theater Area" that might be more focused on this issue. Browse over there first, then post specific questions.
    I'll give you a little bit of advice.
    My first advice is: When in doubt, run extra.
    Wire is cheap compared to the time/effort it takes to install it. Some people run 2-3" tubing and put their wires & a "fish wire" through this so they can later pull more wires.
    Wall Outlets - Run everything to electrical wall-outlet box's. At first, plan to run un-broken speaker wires through blank cover plates. (Drill holes through the $0.39 plates). Later, you can cut the wires and install cover plates with binding posts.
    Subwoofer Placement: Find the corner with the longest, un-broken walls coming out of it. This is usually the place you get the most wall-reflections from. Run some ordinary RG6 CATV coax here, and leave 8-10 feet sticking out of the wall-outlet. This gives you lots of slack to play with the sub position. Once you find the final place, you can cut the coax to fit.
    Speaker Wires: Remember to run 3 sets of speaker wires to the rears (for that rear-center speaker). You should also run some RG6 coax to the rear so you can later add bass-shakers under your couch.
    As you suggested: run wires to the L/R sides of the room as well to allow for side speakers.
    Video Cables: Many people later upgrade from a RPTV to a ceiling-mounted projector. It's a cheap investment now to run one each:
    - Composite video cable
    - SVideo Cable
    - Component video cable
    from behind your equipment, up and back across your ceiling. Run the wires near a ceiling joist where you might mount a bracket for the projector. If possible, install a electrical outlet on the ceiling in the center near the back wall, and in the ceiling above where the TV/Screen will go. Later, when you go for a projector, you already have all possible types of wires in place.
    (Dont even bother putting plugs/connectors on the wires right now. That can be done later).
    Run these wires as well to a electrical outlet box, leave several feet of slack and cover with a blank wall plate. It's an investment for the future.
    Smart Home Cabling: A company called "CoastCom" has a bundle with 2 RG6 coax and 2 Catagory 5 network cables in a single/thick bundle. Runs about $0.60/ft. It's called the "Smart Home" cable.
    Pick a central location in your house with electrical outlet near by. Run the Smart Home cable from here in a star pattern to every room. Terminate at electrical outlet box's.
    Run your CATV service here, run dual RG6 coax from a DSS dish here, plan to install a computer hub and a nice Channel Plus splitter/amp/patch panel.
    Now you can run CATV, DSS, network to any room in the house.
    Look for a company called "Panduit". They make modular wall-plates for "F" connectors and Cat 5 network plugs. Use these in each room to provide access to the signals.
    Whew... hope this helps.
     

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