DIY speaker wire before drywall - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 22 Old 06-14-2013, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
sid369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Delaware
Posts: 648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Hi,

I may get an opportunity to be able to put some speaker wires before the drywall goes up. I have no idea what to do so some guidance will be appreciated.

I will basically go in the evening when the workers leave and try to do it myself.

Which wires should I buy? What should I do?

I though of doing it for the other room upstairs but I will probably use sonos so won't go through the trouble of pre-wiring the bedroom.
sid369 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 Old 06-15-2013, 12:19 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,220
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 298 Post(s)
Liked: 373
Well, if you pre-wire, you'll have a lot of options. If you don't, you won't...

Even if you want to use Sonos, keeping those boxes in a central location can be a good thing, and having in-ceiling / in-wall speakers make placement easier (and keeps everything hidden).

If anything, concentrate on the first floor rooms or anywhere that won't be accessible once the drywall goes up. Home run all of those to one location - either the wiring closet with the rest of the wiring, or to a cabinet / family room location wherever the "main" TV and A/V gear will go.

Also think about running more cat5e / cat6, especially runs for keypads in those rooms with speakers.

Wiring should be 16AWG or larger, in-wall rated speaker wire. Monoprice is a great source for this. If you wire for volume controls, you can use 4-conductor for the home run, and two-conductor cables from the VC to each speaker location. Or, running directly, you can loop a 4-conductor cable at the first speaker location and continue it on to the second (leave some slack at the first location. You'll cut and splice the wire at the first location to tap one pair. Or just home run individual 2-conductor cables.

If you don't expect to install those speakers immediately, loosely tack the wires in the ceiling across joists and photograph the hell out of the whole house. You need to keep the wires out of the way of the drywall crew so they don't damage them.

Are you at least having this conversation with your project manager before you go in?

Good luck!

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #3 of 22 Old 06-19-2013, 05:50 PM
Senior Member
 
canuck_fr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 283
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
+1 on all of Jeffs advice.

If you are thinking of wiring for speakers, you should also concentrate on their placement.

Take these two links for help:

http://www.htd.com/s.nl/ctype.KB/it.I/id.7362/KB.2987/.f?sc=44&category=8

http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/setup/connection-guide/home-theater-speaker-guide/index.html

Good luck on your project.
canuck_fr is offline  
post #4 of 22 Old 06-20-2013, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
sid369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Delaware
Posts: 648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Well, if you pre-wire, you'll have a lot of options. If you don't, you won't...

Even if you want to use Sonos, keeping those boxes in a central location can be a good thing, and having in-ceiling / in-wall speakers make placement easier (and keeps everything hidden).

If anything, concentrate on the first floor rooms or anywhere that won't be accessible once the drywall goes up. Home run all of those to one location - either the wiring closet with the rest of the wiring, or to a cabinet / family room location wherever the "main" TV and A/V gear will go.

Also think about running more cat5e / cat6, especially runs for keypads in those rooms with speakers.

Wiring should be 16AWG or larger, in-wall rated speaker wire. Monoprice is a great source for this. If you wire for volume controls, you can use 4-conductor for the home run, and two-conductor cables from the VC to each speaker location. Or, running directly, you can loop a 4-conductor cable at the first speaker location and continue it on to the second (leave some slack at the first location. You'll cut and splice the wire at the first location to tap one pair. Or just home run individual 2-conductor cables.

If you don't expect to install those speakers immediately, loosely tack the wires in the ceiling across joists and photograph the hell out of the whole house. You need to keep the wires out of the way of the drywall crew so they don't damage them.

Are you at least having this conversation with your project manager before you go in?

Good luck!

Jeff


I don't plan on using ceiling or in-wall speakers. What I want is for my 5.1 speakers. What I am trying to understand is one end of the wire will be in the back (for Surround left) and the other end of that wire I should bring to the front where the cabinet for the main tv A/V gear will go.

So I have to do this for all 5 speakers with 5 separate wires correct? Also, I see the bare lumbar, do I staple the wire to the lumbar? Is there a youtube video that shows how to do this.
sid369 is offline  
post #5 of 22 Old 06-20-2013, 10:44 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,220
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 298 Post(s)
Liked: 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by sid369 View Post

I don't plan on using ceiling or in-wall speakers. What I want is for my 5.1 speakers. What I am trying to understand is one end of the wire will be in the back (for Surround left) and the other end of that wire I should bring to the front where the cabinet for the main tv A/V gear will go.

Sorry, you mentioned "other rooms" and pre-wiring so I assumed you meant for a WHA system. Which if you're going to be running wire anyway, you should really think about...

For a single room 5.1 system, yes, all speaker wires need to come to the cabinet where the AV gear wll go.
Quote:
So I have to do this for all 5 speakers with 5 separate wires correct? Also, I see the bare lumbar, do I staple the wire to the lumbar? Is there a youtube video that shows how to do this.

Yes, a wire for every speaker... If you're not using in-wall / in-ceiling, you should bring the speaker wire down to a low-volt ring at outlet-height, coil up 1-2' of cable and secure it to the ring with a velcro loop or zip tie (don't pull it too tight). You don't have to staple the wire in place, and should avoid that if you can - but you must make sure the wire stays out of the way of the drywall crew so it doesn't get damaged. Loosely securing it with wire staples (hammered in place) is a better choice there...

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #6 of 22 Old 06-20-2013, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
sid369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Delaware
Posts: 648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Sorry, you mentioned "other rooms" and pre-wiring so I assumed you meant for a WHA system. Which if you're going to be running wire anyway, you should really think about...

For a single room 5.1 system, yes, all speaker wires need to come to the cabinet where the AV gear wll go.
Yes, a wire for every speaker... If you're not using in-wall / in-ceiling, you should bring the speaker wire down to a low-volt ring at outlet-height, coil up 1-2' of cable and secure it to the ring with a velcro loop or zip tie (don't pull it too tight). You don't have to staple the wire in place, and should avoid that if you can - but you must make sure the wire stays out of the way of the drywall crew so it doesn't get damaged. Loosely securing it with wire staples (hammered in place) is a better choice there...

Do you know any website that shows how to do it?
sid369 is offline  
post #7 of 22 Old 06-20-2013, 12:17 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,220
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 298 Post(s)
Liked: 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by sid369 View Post

Do you know any website that shows how to do it?

Search for "low voltage cable installation" or "speaker pre-wiring" - I found this one which is a general video, but really, if you need more assistance than that, I suggest you get someone to help you locally...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtsnmrQBoXA

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #8 of 22 Old 06-21-2013, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
sid369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Delaware
Posts: 648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Search for "low voltage cable installation" or "speaker pre-wiring" - I found this one which is a general video, but really, if you need more assistance than that, I suggest you get someone to help you locally...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtsnmrQBoXA

I found someone who will help put the wires, but I need to order the speaker wires today. can anyone suggest what brand or wires should I buy. I will most likely use Amazon and it will ship the fastest.

Also, Should I buy any other cables etc, that may have future if so what cables?
sid369 is offline  
post #9 of 22 Old 06-21-2013, 08:19 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,220
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 298 Post(s)
Liked: 373
Monoprice. In-wall rated (CL2 or CL3) 14AWG speaker wire.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239&cs_id=1023902&p_id=2821&seq=1&format=2

And yes, if you're pulling wires around the house, you should be adding cat6 cables to lots of places. Read this for ideas:

http://cocoontech.com/forums/files/file/64-wiring-your-new-house-101/

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #10 of 22 Old 06-22-2013, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
sid369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Delaware
Posts: 648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Monoprice. In-wall rated (CL2 or CL3) 14AWG speaker wire.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239&cs_id=1023902&p_id=2821&seq=1&format=2

And yes, if you're pulling wires around the house, you should be adding cat6 cables to lots of places. Read this for ideas:

http://cocoontech.com/forums/files/file/64-wiring-your-new-house-101/

I ordered the monoprice cables.

I tried the other link but it says to register to download the file.

I was hoping to get some ideas as to what other wires i can get in that i may be able to use in the future, surveillance cameras, Automation etc.
sid369 is offline  
post #11 of 22 Old 06-22-2013, 07:29 AM
Advanced Member
 
Phil17108's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Orange County California
Posts: 961
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 54
I used the same and found that
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10401&cs_id=1040115&p_id=2944&seq=1&format=2
made the connection at the AVR easer to do. This is the red one, there is a black one for 18 cents more??? same thing just black
Phil17108 is offline  
post #12 of 22 Old 06-22-2013, 09:55 AM
AVS Special Member
 
AV_Integrated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
Posts: 3,422
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 314 Post(s)
Liked: 367
Have you ever run wires before?

I ask, because if this is new construction, then it is extremely rare for a builder to allow someone into the home to run wires. The liability is that if you are inexperienced, you may not put the wiring in to code, and could actually cut holes which could require structure to be rebuilt.

So, you will need to familiarize yourself with the size of the holes you are allowed to drill, how far you should be from electrical pathways, understand you may not use the holes which high voltage is going through, make sure you are using in-wall rated cable, etc.

On top of this, you want to know what it is you really want to do and put together a game plan. It is good to come up with ideas, and generally the current rule is to pull cat-6 cable to any location you may want to use for anything in the future. IP cameras, security, video destinations, etc. all can work pretty well with feeds from cat-6 cabling. It also works as network cable should you need it. Some locations should get multiple cat-6 cable pulls to them (video locations, like TVs). Others just one (IP security cameras).

I've pulled for things like fireplace control, blinds, keypads, touchpanels, networking, phones, intercom, and cameras in my home with spares and future connectivity available should I need/want it. Wire is relatively inexpensive, so over-wiring is a good idea. But, you will want a space where you can properly utilize the wire, and typically in a main room, right under a TV or in a theater is a lousy location.

So, you want a game plan, and you want to be aware that this is a unique opportunity. If your intent is to 'sneak in' the wires, you better believe that the builder will see them, know they are there, and I have heard of builders ripping out wiring that they did not install, so be aware of that.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
AV_Integrated is online now  
post #13 of 22 Old 06-22-2013, 10:40 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,220
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 298 Post(s)
Liked: 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by sid369 View Post

I tried the other link but it says to register to download the file.

I was hoping to get some ideas as to what other wires i can get in that i may be able to use in the future, surveillance cameras, Automation etc.

Then register for the Cocoontech forum and download the file... That is the best resource around for exactly your question.

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #14 of 22 Old 06-22-2013, 10:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sid369 View Post


I tried the other link but it says to register to download the file.

I was hoping to get some ideas as to what other wires i can get in that i may be able to use in the future, surveillance cameras, Automation etc.

Implied-facepalm1.jpg

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #15 of 22 Old 06-24-2013, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
sid369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Delaware
Posts: 648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

Have you ever run wires before?

I ask, because if this is new construction, then it is extremely rare for a builder to allow someone into the home to run wires. The liability is that if you are inexperienced, you may not put the wiring in to code, and could actually cut holes which could require structure to be rebuilt.

So, you will need to familiarize yourself with the size of the holes you are allowed to drill, how far you should be from electrical pathways, understand you may not use the holes which high voltage is going through, make sure you are using in-wall rated cable, etc.

On top of this, you want to know what it is you really want to do and put together a game plan. It is good to come up with ideas, and generally the current rule is to pull cat-6 cable to any location you may want to use for anything in the future. IP cameras, security, video destinations, etc. all can work pretty well with feeds from cat-6 cabling. It also works as network cable should you need it. Some locations should get multiple cat-6 cable pulls to them (video locations, like TVs). Others just one (IP security cameras).

I've pulled for things like fireplace control, blinds, keypads, touchpanels, networking, phones, intercom, and cameras in my home with spares and future connectivity available should I need/want it. Wire is relatively inexpensive, so over-wiring is a good idea. But, you will want a space where you can properly utilize the wire, and typically in a main room, right under a TV or in a theater is a lousy location.

So, you want a game plan, and you want to be aware that this is a unique opportunity. If your intent is to 'sneak in' the wires, you better believe that the builder will see them, know they are there, and I have heard of builders ripping out wiring that they did not install, so be aware of that.

I will have someone who knows what to do to come in and do it. I don't want to take on this as I don't know about codes etc. I like the idea of cat6 cabling, but I think that the builder might rip them off because we did not get any from them and they may notice it.
sid369 is offline  
post #16 of 22 Old 01-02-2014, 06:09 PM
Newbie
 
lb76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10

Pre- construction and we just ran the speaker wires to areas we want the speaker and left them coiled up in a mud ring.  We have Kef T101 right, left and center.  My question is now once the wall goes up and we have this big mud ring there with one speaker wire coming out, its a pretty big hole btw, how do place the speaker right over this hole and mud ring to cover hole and hide the wire?  Do they make smaller low voltage mud rings?

 

Thanks,

lb76 is offline  
post #17 of 22 Old 01-02-2014, 06:42 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,220
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 298 Post(s)
Liked: 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by lb76 View Post

Pre- construction and we just ran the speaker wires to areas we want the speaker and left them coiled up in a mud ring.  We have Kef T101 right, left and center.  My question is now once the wall goes up and we have this big mud ring there with one speaker wire coming out, its a pretty big hole btw, how do place the speaker right over this hole and mud ring to cover hole and hide the wire?  Do they make smaller low voltage mud rings?

That is why I don't recommend the use of low-volt mud rings for in-wall / in-ceiling speaker locations... If the walls aren't up yet, yank down the mud ring, and lightly staple the cable zig-zag across two studs / joists, away from the face edge so it doesn't get caught by the drywall. Measure and photograph the location(s). Then when you want to install speakers, use those photos to guide you to the location, cut the correct sized hole and install the speaker.

If the drywall is already up, you'll have to carefully remove the mud ring, then use that hole as one edge of the speaker cut-out. Then hope the speaker can be installed that close to the stud/joist so that the bezel covers the portion of the original hole along the lumber edge...

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #18 of 22 Old 01-03-2014, 05:01 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked: 81
Those appear to be very small speakers. If the speaker won't cover the mud ring, I'd rip out the mud rings, have the painter fix the holes and paint, and start over. Hand the speaker to the painter so he knows where the mounting holes need to be, and where the cable needs to come out. He can leave the cable coming out of the wall, dry walling and painting around it.

As Jeff said, it,s easier without mud rings. Just bury the cable behind drywall, and cut a small hole in the wall to fish out the cable. Speaker covers the small hole.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #19 of 22 Old 01-03-2014, 06:14 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked: 81
If you prefer/need a nice-looking cable penetration, use a drywall grommet/bushing.



Or, use a single gang low voltage ring, with a cover plate that uses binding posts.





Smaller wallplates are available on ebay, and/or from China/UK/Aus/NZ.


Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #20 of 22 Old 01-03-2014, 10:31 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,220
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 298 Post(s)
Liked: 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

If you prefer/need a nice-looking cable penetration, use a drywall grommet/bushing.


FYI, Midlite just sent me a sample of their new Speedport.



http://midlite.com/products.aspx?catId=765

Which would be another potential solution for mounted speakers... Note the center screw hole for mounting (hanging) a camera or similar items...

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #21 of 22 Old 01-03-2014, 10:47 AM
Advanced Member
 
Phil17108's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Orange County California
Posts: 961
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

FYI, Midlite just sent me a sample of their new Speedport.



http://midlite.com/products.aspx?catId=765

Which would be another potential solution for mounted speakers... Note the center screw hole for mounting (hanging) a camera or similar items...

Thats some nice stuff, I sure could have made use of it during my last redo/upgrade. I have used about every thing ells even making my own drilling holes in blank face plates.
Phil17108 is offline  
post #22 of 22 Old 01-03-2014, 01:46 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked: 81
That Midlite Speedport looks like a nice product.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
Reply Home A/V Distribution

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off