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Speaker Setup

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Chris Vineyard, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. Chris Vineyard

    Chris Vineyard Auditioning

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    I received a Kenwood VR-6070 as a gift last Christmas and am in the process of trying to set up a home theater. I am also in the process of remodeling my living room, so I would like to run all my speaker cable in the wall to get them out of the way. Here's the problem, I don't know what I'm doing. Can I use the pre out's to achieve 7.1 or shout I use the standard outs. With the standard out's can I achieve 7.1 or 6.1. The issue is having enough speaker cable and in the right place. Also, all my connections are in wall so I want to get them correct from the start. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Andy Goldstein

    Andy Goldstein Stunt Coordinator

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    the pre-outs are at line level, not speaker level. they are used to feed seperate power amps, which then feed the speakers.

    ag.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Chris. Welcome to HTF!

    Here is some stock advice:

    Wires:

    Since you are running in-wall, you need CL or in-wall rated speaker wire. This stuff has a fire-resistant insulator that wont act like a fuse to speed a fire through your house.

    You want to run 12 ga wire for the long runs. If you cannot find in-wall 12 ga, get 4-conductor wire (14 or 16 ga) and twist the ends of 2 of the wires to make 1 thick wire. Repeat to give yourself a pair.

    Note: www.partsexpress.com carries in-wall 12 ga wire by Carol. You can also get the 4-conductor speaker wire at places like Home Depot. Buy a spool.

    Installing:

    Run all your wires to plastic electrical outlet box's both behind your equipment and at the back of your room. Your hardware store will carry these. They are rather simple to install.

    Dont start with fancy wall-plate covers. Pull enough wires to create a un-broken run between your equipment and speakers. Buy blank wall-plate covers ($0.50 ea) and drill holes to thread the wires through for a 'custom' look. Later, you can cut the wires off near the walls and install wall-plates with binding posts. But pulling extra wire now gives you options for later.

    (Note: Wire is cheap compared to your labor. Dont hesitate to pull extra.)

    Label, Label, Label. Put labels at each end of the wires and a foot back. Put more lables just inside the wall-plates (as you will likely cut/wear off the labels on the ends).

    Are your walls open/exposed? If so, do this: buy large insulated staples and use them to zig-zag the wires between the studs. BUT - only nail in the staples in part-way. Years from now you might need some slack. Tug the exposed wire to pop the first staple and you get about 8" of slack. Tug again for more.

    Plan to run 3 sets of wires to the rear wall for left/center/right speakers. With a separate box, run 2 sets of wires to the sides of the room for side speakers. Shove several feet of excess wire into the walls for when you buy a system & speakers that support 7.1. (You wont regret the built-in capacity).

    Subwoofer Cable

    Subwoofer signals are line-level. So you need coax. Just go down to Radio Shack/HomeDepot and buy pre-terminated CATV coax and make a un-broken run from your equipment, through the wall, to the corner with the longest pair of un-broken walls. Leave lots of slack so you can play with subwoofer positions. (This can go 3/5 along a wall so be plentiful with the slack.). Buy a pair of "F-to-RCA-Male" adaptors from Radio Shack and you suddenly have a very long subwoofer cable.

    Post Installation

    Once all the wires are in and the room is re-modeled, leave the excess wire alone to start. Just trim the ends and hook things up while you play with speaker placement. Read our Primer/FAQ about placement, level adjusting, etc.

    When you have picked out the final resting places for everything, trim the speaker wires and subwoofer cable to fit. BUT: leave 12-18" of slack so you can trim the ends off every 2 years. (The exposed copper will oxidize so a annual trim/strip of all your speaker wires is fairly common.)

    Hope this helps.
     

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