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Help I have fallen into the surround sound business.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have recently started my own handyman business and I have found that many of my clients want surround sound but without spending thousands of dollars for the install. I am an electrian and have the experience to run wire in attics and behind wall with good skill. The prices I quote to run the wire is gaining customer satisfaction. I understand there are many budgets we can discuss, but my clients are seeking surround sound on a low budget. We're talking $500.00 for receiver and speakers.

So I want/have to learn the best in this area. I have found plenty on speaker placements. What I want is a receiver with at least 2 hdmi ins and seperate zone for outdoor or other placement speakers. Also what are good surround speakers, and what is good sub. Speakers and sub for 5.1 and 7.1.

What I don't want is receiver/dvd combos. I don't mind boxed packages, but my clients want different set ups. Some don't mind exterior speakers all around. Some don't mind exterior front and left, but want recessed rear speakers. Some want all recessed in wall, or in ceiling. I know this may be such a broad request, But any info would be great.
post #2 of 7
$500 is "budget value priced" for speakers and a receiver.

Two sources you should get real familiar with are PartsExpress.com and Monoprice.com.

both carry in-wall speakers that would fall in that category.

On receivers that is going to be a real challenge and your best strategy is to find discontinued or refurbished units. Yamaha is one brand to consider. You should get to know the on-line closeout sellers like Ubid and Overstock.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Bigmouthindc, thanks for the info. I know I am stretching it with the budget. I just don't want my clients to run down to Best Buy and buy any ol boxed package for $200 - $300. Also they are asking me on advice and now I am on this forum so I can give them the best information.
post #4 of 7

Like BIG said you need to get acquainted with Parts Express and Monoprice, especially Monoprice for wire and Parts Express for a source of budget speakers.

As for your comment:
"I am an electrician and have the experience to run wire in attics and behind wall with good skill. " I will apologize in advance if you are already on-board with the following >> the importance of running "CL rated" wire for in wall and attic use...
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
cuzed2, I def want to be compliant with code. The cable i have says "cmr/cl3r" Is this ok?
post #6 of 7

Not sure where this originally came from, but I had previously saved this write up.
Looks like you are in good shape with that designation:

General installation of wiring, including installation inside of walls, is governed by 725.61(E), the principal features of which are:

* (1) CL2 and CL3 are always permitted;
* (2) CL2X ("X" is a residential suffix, signifying a lower grade than plain CL2) or CL3X may be installed in raceways;
* (3) CL2X or CL3X, if under 1/4 inch in diameter, may be installed in a 1 or 2 family residential dwelling without a raceway; if non-concealed, it may also be installed in multifamily dwellings.

So, if a cable isn't marked CL2 or CL3, is it suitable for in-wall installation? It may be. The NEC allows cable of a higher rating to be substituted for a lower rating, and therefore, any of the following may be used: CM, CMP, CMR, CMG, CL2R, CL3R, CL2P, CL3P, PLTC. CMX also may be used where CL2X or CL3X is required.
post #7 of 7
$500 is very budget for what you are describing. I would not be worried about your customers going to best buy and getting something for $200-$300 because that simply cannot be done. I don't think they can even get an hdmi equipped receiver at Best Buy for that price.

If I were you I would look at Polk and Klipsch 5.1 speaker sets. They will run from $200 to $400 if you find a good deal and sometimes include subwoofers. otherwise, the in-wall and in-ceiling speakers others have mentioned are very affordable and look more expensive to the uninitiated. I prefer using regular speakers, but have been impressed with in-walls performance when set up correctly.

One thing to avoid is mixing and matching. The speakers don't necessarily need to be matched to the receiver, but all of the speakers should be sonically matched. This can easily be done by buying a set, or by buying all speakers from the same manufacturer and product line.

If your customers are not well versed in audio and just want a simple surround sound set up, your money might be better spent on a decent subwoofer. Many people that have watched a movie at my place have commented after how cool it was when the couch shook during an explosion. Not how crisp the dialog was, or how well balanced the sound field was, but how boomy the bass was.

Good luck figuring out what your customers want.

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