Built-in Speakers From Previous Homeowner - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-15-2009, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I moved into the house I'm am currently living in a couple of years ago and now have taken an interest in setting up a decent sound system for my TV. I notice the family room in the house has two built-in speakers in the ceiling, and 4 wires (attached in pairs) coming from the wall on the opposite end of the room. There is also a switch in the room that doesn't seem to do anything. I believe all of these things can be used to use the speakers, but I don't know what to do. Attached is a picture of the speakers looks like, as another one for the wires. The wire ends are bare for some reason, and I have tried before sticking them in "Audio Out" jacks of TVs and DVD Players with no luck.

Any help is appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-15-2009, 03:46 PM
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I don’t think just sticking them into the TV or DVD audio out would do anything, you need to connect the wires properly to a receiver with speaker binding posts to see if work. Do you have something else you can use to test them?
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-15-2009, 03:55 PM
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An Inexpensive stereo receiver can be bought at a pawnshop or best buy, even better would be an inexpensie 5.1 receiver in case you add more speakers in the future.

One shall stand... One Shall Fall... - Optimus Prime
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-15-2009, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ickysmits View Post

I don't think just sticking them into the TV or DVD audio out would do anything, you need to connect the wires properly to a receiver with speaker binding posts to see if work. Do you have something else you can use to test them?

What are "speaker binding posts"? I have no idea when it comes to home theatre systems - that's why I came here for help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs View Post

An Inexpensive stereo receiver can be bought at a pawnshop or best buy, even better would be an inexpensie 5.1 receiver in case you add more speakers in the future.

I am sure that receivers may be inexpensive, but I am not sure what kind of wires can or can't go into them. I want to be sure if the wires that seems to be coming from the in-wall speakers can go in, or if I have to do something with these wires before I buy any receiver.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-15-2009, 07:44 PM
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Most receivers are able to accept the wire you have. Just buy a receiver and hook the wire to the surround outputs and try them out.

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post #6 of 8 Old 03-15-2009, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adalect View Post

I moved into the house I'm am currently living in a couple of years ago and now have taken an interest in setting up a decent sound system for my TV. I notice the family room in the house has two built-in speakers in the ceiling, and 4 wires (attached in pairs) coming from the wall on the opposite end of the room. There is also a switch in the room that doesn't seem to do anything. I believe all of these things can be used to use the speakers, but I don't know what to do. Attached is a picture of the speakers looks like, as another one for the wires. The wire ends are bare for some reason, and I have tried before sticking them in "Audio Out" jacks of TVs and DVD Players with no luck.

Any help is appreciated.

I would pull the speakers, switch and test the wires to them to see if indeed they are connected to exposed wires and in what order before I just hooked something to a receiver. The speakers could be wired in parallel, series or not at all or grounded...oops there goes the receiver. I wouldn't hook up anything I didn't know for sure what was on the other end.
If you're not sure what to do, go no further til you can find someone who does.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-15-2009, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirsty View Post

Most receivers are able to accept the wire you have. Just buy a receiver and hook the wire to the surround outputs and try them out.

Do I need to do anything to the wire beforehand? I don't think that any electronic accepts wires like the ones the wall had (check the photo in the first post if you don't know what I'm talking about). And if it did, which jack do I stick the wire in?

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As a side note, does anybody know why there are 4 wires when there are only 2 speakers?
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-16-2009, 12:42 AM
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It might be best to take the advice just above your last post. Is there anyone who can help you sort this out? The switch probably doesn’t have anything to do with the speakers or the wire, but you never know. The previous owner may have even taken the speakers out and just left the grill.

For the sake of explanation:
Each speaker uses two wires to connect to binding posts…to bind the wire to the post. There are different methods to connect wires to speakers, but they sometimes look like this behind the speaker:



The top twists up, you insert the wire, and you tighted the top to bind the wire to the post. The red is + and usually corresponds to the wire with a stripe and the black is – and usually corresponds with the wire without a stripe.

The wire then goes to the back of a receiver, with amplification, to power the speaker (speakers are usually passive). The back of one receiver looks like this, but there are many different types:




The ends of the wire coming out of the hole would connect to one of the “speaker outputs” labeled in the bottom center of the receiver in this example, depending on how you use them.

If those speakers are at the opposite side of the room to the TV they were probably intended as surround speakers in a 5.1 setup. I’m just assuming though. If so, you’d still need a 5.1 receiver, a pair of front speakers, a center speaker, and a subwoofer. Maybe you can go to an audio shop and see how all this is put together. They might have a service to sort out the wires and install everything for a small fee. If you post your city you’ll get some recommendations for places to visit.
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