Whole House Audio System

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Zach R, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. Zach R

    Zach R Auditioning

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    Hello all...

    We are building a new house and would like to go ahead and run the wire for in-ceiling speakers. However we are having a hard time trying to figure out where to put them, and more importantly the volume control and which speakers each volume control controls. We would like sound in the entire house. The family room will be the hub of the system and will be wired for surround sound so we wont need ceiling speakers in there. Any assistance would be greatly appriciated.

    Here is a link to the floor plan.
    http://www.izibsolutions.com/ourhouse/house.jpg
    Thanks,
    Zach
     
  2. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...46#post2898046
    Check out this thread on the same subject. As far as where to install the in-ceilings, there is no hard and fast rule as most of the time you will moving around but think about where you sit and where you would like the sound to come from. In the master bedroom, I would either have them facing you or just behind the bed.
    Volume controls or keypads should be in a convienent location that is easy to get to, close to a light switch for example or on one side of the wall at the head of the bed so that you can turn the system off without getting out of bed.
    If there is one bit of advice I can give you, it is to consider doing the true multi-zone music system. I am using a receiver with volume controls and unless it is zone 2 equipped, you must listen to the same thing in all rooms and the room that the receiver is in must be playing as well. Perhaps the greatest drawback to going the receiver route is that there will not be enough power to run all the speakers in all the zones at the same time.
     
  3. Zach R

    Zach R Auditioning

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    From looking at that other thread... Do I need to run cat5 cable to the volume control? I was under the impression I only needed to run speaker wire from the receiver to the volume control, then on to the speakers.
     
  4. Zach R

    Zach R Auditioning

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    From looking at that other thread... Do I need to run cat5 cable to the volume control? I was under the impression I only needed to run speaker wire from the receiver to the volume control, then on to the speakers.
     
  5. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    I would do it before the walls go up just in case you want to later run a keypad based system like the Russound. This way when, not if, you find the receiver based system to not fit your needs you will be covered. Cat5 is cheap, installing it after the drywall goes up is not.
     
  6. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Hi Zach
    A while back I was considering a job with a custom firm that installed systems like you are talking about. I am an engineer but they wanted to use me as a salesman
    I couldn't believe the amount they were charging- incredible how little you got for the price of a new car.
    A few tips that should helpin the long run.
    If you have a little time before the walls go up and are doing it yourself
    Rule 1. run as much wire as possible. Need 1 run 5. Wire is cheap and easy - not so when you have walls.
    If you can't decide on 1 place, wire to both and leave in the wall with notes where it is if you want it later.

    Rule 2. Buy a P touch labelmaker or equivilant and label right way in a couple places and so you can figure it out in 10 years when you want new speakers or something.

    Rule 3. Do Not terminate the speaker wires at the main junction into wall plates. You most likely will never see them and the more junctions; the more places something can go wrong. Make sure they will go to the reciever or amp or directly to the speaker if they are not in walls.
    Rule 4. Terminate phone, cable, sat ethernet etc all in the same place
    Rule 5. It's me & my wife so I have 2 zones. A zone per person is safe but 6 zones for 3 people is over kill.
    A pair of speakers per room is safe but you don't want them bleeding over and 'battle of the bands'. If 2 pairs of speakers are close together don't make them different zones unless you want a mess.
    Hope those help and feel free if you have a question
    Grant
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Great info, Grant – I’m saving it for future reference. [​IMG]

    No one discusses this much, but IMO most secondary zones should be mono, even if you use two speakers, since they’re primarily for background music. Stereo is only fully realized and enjoyed when the listener is in the so-called “sweet spot,” and that virtually never happens with secondary zones, especially if they are using ceiling speakers.

    Regards,
    Wayne
     
  8. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    Grant, would that be close to what the Sonos system would cost? I mean wiring outside is ugly, inside is destructive and possibly difficult to fix if something goes wring; if the price is that high maybe there's a case for wireless
     
  9. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Thanks Wayne!
    I appreciate the good words and hope I save someone some of the pain I went through.
    I stayed away from ceiling speakers since we have neighbors above us and used up to 6 layers of insulaton to isolate them out. But on the whole I agree with you on that point.
    Volume Controls can be a pain I've had at least 3 go out on me. If something goes wrong, check that 1st.
    I started in 1995 and the whole house audio wasn't even a term but I've always wanted it and bulled my way through.
    I talked to a store which started doing installations and the owner would special order things for me that normally would be unavailable at that time.
    Now you can buy some of it at best buy.

    FeisalK
    Bascially in wall wiring to the 5.1 speakers in the Main room and stereo in 2 or 3 rooms would cost $5k , 10k throw in HW.... up to $150k for major complex ones.
    They used HQ units but that's crazy and I know I would tell people that.
    I'm an engineer dammit not a salesman in a bad suit.
    ( My wife got me to interview once at a GoodGuys and they actually gave a test. I went through all but the last which through me a little.
    Then the guy said it wasn't part of the test but a question the head of the technical department through in there if anyone managed all the other ones.
    They still didn't call me back)
     

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