Video: Installing Surround Sound Speakers

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admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
We know you're out there. Yes, you. The guy who bought that 5.1 surround sound system in Christmas of 2006 but still hasn't hooked up the rear speakers. It's too hard, you say! There, there, we feel your pain. But it's not really all that bad. In fact, we decided to put our money - uh, make that our bodies - where our mouths are. Audioholics takes itself up into the attic... in the middle of summer... in Florida... to help YOU learn how to install your surround sound speakers. Yeah, we love ya.


Discuss "Installing Surround Sound Speakers" here. Read the article.
 
Adam

Adam

Audioholic Jedi
Excellent! Informative, funny...good stuff.

The section on the wall plate for the speaker jacks will come in handy for me because I'll be installing some soon. I thought that I'd need a wall box based on some other things that I'd read, but it looks like you just screwed the cover plate over a hole in the wall. That's easier for me to do!

Thanks for the video!
 
Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
Just check your local codes - we're not responsible for any violations, fires, etc... lol.
 
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lonwa

Audioholic Intern
Fire Breaks?

Great video, I will be wiring up my new house shortly.

One question I have that was not addressed in the video, is how do you get the cables through a fire break in the wall (i.e. when its halfway down the wall)?

Thanks for the help,


Lonwa
 
M

MDS

Audioholic Spartan
One question I have that was not addressed in the video, is how do you get the cables through a fire break in the wall (i.e. when its halfway down the wall)?
With a giant drill bit or you can cut out a piece of the drywall near the firebreak and then drill your hole in the firebreak and repatch the drywall.
 
M

MDS

Audioholic Spartan
The section on the wall plate for the speaker jacks will come in handy for me because I'll be installing some soon. I thought that I'd need a wall box based on some other things that I'd read, but it looks like you just screwed the cover plate over a hole in the wall. That's easier for me to do!
You can certainly do it that way if you want but I think it is cleaner with a retro-ring. The retro-ring has dog legs that clamp to the drywall and then you screw the wall plate into it.

I am not a fan of the Leviton binding posts. For 12/2 they may not be so bad because the wire is thick but the tiny little set screw does not hold 16/2 very well. I bought wall plates with binding posts from PartsExpress and IMO they are much better. They have binding posts on both sides and you can either use bananas on the back or bare wire but you screw down the binding post the same way you would on the back of your receiver.

One other thing I'd suggest, although most people probably wouldn't bother. While you are up in the attic sweating buckets, use a Sharpie marker and write 'left surround' or whatever on the joist above the wire you just ran. If you ever have to go up there again you won't have to do the wire trick to locate it again.
 
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ParadigmDawg

ParadigmDawg

Audioholic Overlord
That was a great, informative video with good use of humor. I think this will show people that it is easier than they think. I was nervous when I did my first in-wall/attic wiring job but it is much easier than it seems.
 
D

Dolby CP-200

Banned
Another happy customer:) that’s all well if most of us had plasterboard wall to knock a few holes in and it all looked so easy.
 
Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
I would HIGHLY recommend people build on what they see here. Those retro rings are a great example. I typically use those, or aftermarket retro-boxes in almost every install I do. In this case I 'rednecked' it for the video as I didn't have one handy.
 
Matt34

Matt34

Moderator
Great video! I'm going to sit down and watch the "Best of CEDIA" tonight. I've tried to watch it but haven't had any time.


Couple of suggestions:

I think perhaps we need a section dedicated to just videos, it would be easy to keep track of them.

Make them downloadable like the podcasts, I've watched the first 10 minutes of the CEDIA video but wasn't able to finish it, now I have to start from the beginning.
 
L

leroi

Audiophyte
Hi All!!!

Hi Everyone:

I'm just saying a sleepy helloo to all the members and guest online. Thanks for having me on board. I do hope our association will invaluable to all involved. See you later.

leroi
 
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blacksquid

Audioholic Intern
I would HIGHLY recommend people build on what they see here. Those retro rings are a great example. I typically use those, or aftermarket retro-boxes in almost every install I do. In this case I 'rednecked' it for the video as I didn't have one handy.
Hi, I have a new construction going on and I have run all of my audio and video cables in the walls and ceilings. Would you also recommend the retro rings/boxes for new construction as well or is there another product out there that will allow me to mount the numerous face plates that I have? Thanks!
 
M

MDS

Audioholic Spartan
Normal j-boxes are typically used for new construction. Those are the plastic boxes behind your wall outlets and switches. The problem with using them is when you have a lot of wires going to the same place it is very cramped and makes it difficult to get them all in there. I think it is very problematic for things like RG6 coax cable which is very thick and requires a minimum bend radius of two inches - just try to cram two or three of them into a jbox; you won't be able to do it without crushing them and risking breaking the center conductor.

A retro ring is used after construction because once the drywall is up you can't get in there and nail a j-box to the stud. An advantage to a retro ring is that it is not an enclosed box and there is plenty of space in the wall cavity for multiple wires without having to bend them excessively.

As an example, I have a double gang wall plate in my living room and the builders ran 9 16/2 speaker wires, 4 16/4 speaker wires, 2 RG6 coax, and 2 CAT5 and jammed them all into the double gang j-box. Not all of the wires are used and it was a mess. With the retro ring, the unused wires are now hanging freely in the wall cavity and only the wires that are used are attached to the wall plate.
 
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blacksquid

Audioholic Intern
Thanks! That confirms what I've been thinking. I've got a 5.1 setup in my HT but added the wiring to support 7.1. I ran 12/2 throughout my house just for consistency sake and because the price at MonoPrice for bulk cable was so good. So, with 7 12/2 speaker cables, 2 RCA sub-woofer cables, and the 3 RCA cables for component video it's pretty crowded. I think I'll use a double gang retrofit ring for the HT cabling.
 

kzook19

Audiophyte
Feeding wire UPWARDS

Great video! I picked up a lot of time-saving tips and tricks.

I have a 2-story house (3 including the basement), with my 7.1 HT on the ground floor. I plan to do a similar approach, except that my wiring will be beneath the HT room, instead of above it.

Any suggestions for feeding the soround speaker wire upwards and out of the tiny drywall holes? I suppose that you'd need to connect the wire to something rigid, like a straightened clothes hanger or.......something :rolleyes:.

Any help is greatly appreicated.

Thanks, Kevin
 
unreal.freak

unreal.freak

Senior Audioholic
another thing that would be good to know, if you are going to run wire in a wall that is an exterior wall of the home, get ready to deal with insulation. Most homes have insulation in all exterior walls, some have it in a few interior walls.
Maybe a little more emphysis on being carfull not to cut or drill into live wires behind that drywall :p

Great Work Guys,
Tommy
 

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