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Ways to Hide Speaker Wire?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to throw this out to everyone to see if you have any ideas that I have not thought of. Sadly I think I might be SOL.

I am buying a house and am having trouble thinking about how to setup my surround sound.

Basically thing of the main room as a big square. The seating will be the the middle of this square with the entertainment center directly in front of it.

The flooring is all wood and no crawl space so I can not hide the wires under carpet or wire it myself under the house.

Anyway I think to do it will involve wires running across a good bit of floor.

The only thing I could think of doing is buying a huge area rug to hide them under.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 23
There are wireless methods. For example, the panny SA-BX500
http://www.panasonic.net/avc/blu-ray..._features.html supports a wireless kit for rear speakers (SH-FX67).
post #3 of 23
No Attic?
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
The problem with wireless is I have no way to plug in the wireless receiver being that everything will be situated in the middle of the room.

There is an attic. How do you drop the wires?
post #5 of 23
Rug with thin wire. Plus a rug will help with high frequency reflections off the floor.

I had my surround sound setup in a room with hardwood floors in the house before this one. I'll never do it again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Player2 View Post

The problem with wireless is I have no way to plug in the wireless receiver being that everything will be situated in the middle of the room.

There is an attic. How do you drop the wires?

No need to drop wires with in-ceiling or in-wall speakers.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am thinking the rug is the way to go as well.

If I did in wall speakers or used the back wall to drop the wire behind the rear speakers would be a good 5 feet or so behind me.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Player2 View Post

The problem with wireless is I have no way to plug in the wireless receiver being that everything will be situated in the middle of the room.

There is an attic. How do you drop the wires?

You drill a hole at the bottom of the wall. You go up in the attic and drill a hole above the hole you drilled in the wall. You then tie a small chain to some twine and drop it down from the hole in the attic. Tape the wires to the chain and pull up. Wire is then in the attic and repeat for rear surrounds.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
I understand the process.

What I am saying is the rear speakers are not against a wall. They are sitting in the middle of the square room.
post #9 of 23
Area rug and flat wire is probably your best bet.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Player2 View Post

If I did in wall speakers or used the back wall to drop the wire behind the rear speakers would be a good 5 feet or so behind me.

And the problem with that is...

You want your surrounds the same distance from you as your mains and center. You should be in the middle of everything.

How far are you from your mains?
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Player2 View Post

I understand the process.

What I am saying is the rear speakers are not against a wall. They are sitting in the middle of the square room.

Oh my bad. Are you sure you don't want them on the back wall?
post #12 of 23
Is this still true, with modern per-speaker time-delay compensation? It sounds like 1980s HT setup advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by XanderMoser View Post

You want your surrounds the same distance from you as your mains and center. You should be in the middle of everything.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooLittleTimeZZZ View Post

Is this still true, with modern per-speaker time-delay compensation? It sounds like 1980s HT setup advice

I was thinking the same thing. I will admit I am not a huge audio person, but it seems that most setups have the rear speakers next to the sofa or whatever is directly across from the TV/Front Speakers.

Putting them on the rear wall is something to think about though.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooLittleTimeZZZ View Post

Is this still true, with modern per-speaker time-delay compensation? It sounds like 1980s HT setup advice

yes, it's still true. the way sound travels through air, and the way your brain interprets what you hear haven't changed in the past 20 years or so.

Has someone said otherwise?
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Player2 View Post

I just wanted to throw this out to everyone to see if you have any ideas that I have not thought of. Sadly I think I might be SOL.

I am buying a house and am having trouble thinking about how to setup my surround sound.

Basically thing of the main room as a big square. The seating will be the the middle of this square with the entertainment center directly in front of it.

The flooring is all wood and no crawl space so I can not hide the wires under carpet or wire it myself under the house.

What about the ceiling? No attic, either?
post #16 of 23
Are you speculating, or do you have more specifics about "the way sound travles through air"?

AFAIK, the effects of speaker distance are:

1. Time delay - corrected by receiver
2. Sound pressure loss w/distance - corrected by receiver

What other effect(s) are you referring to that the receiver doesn't correct for?

See this thread in the Audio Theory forum for more on this issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glaufman View Post

yes, it's still true. the way sound travels through air, and the way your brain interprets what you hear haven't changed in the past 20 years or so.

Has someone said otherwise?
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooLittleTimeZZZ View Post

Are you speculating, or do you have more specifics about "the way sound travles through air"?

AFAIK, the effects of speaker distance are:

1. Time delay - corrected by receiver
2. Sound pressure loss w/distance - corrected by receiver

What other effect(s) are you referring to that the receiver doesn't correct for?

See this thread in the Audio Theory forum for more on this issue.

I happen to agree with sivadselim in that thread. There are tons of secondary effects that can't be underestimated. Sure, time delay may be the most iimportant. But as you alluded to yourself, reflections, and reverberations are extremely important to a proper enveloping sound field. Just as a room that's too treated can sound dead, just as sitting 10 ft from a 10 ft screen isn't the same as sitting 1 ft from a 1ft screen, there's more to hearing (and the brain's interpretation) than the first order effect of speaker distance and time delay. Just as you cna create some cool surround effects with a single array in front, but you can't creat the same effect as faving 9, 7, 6, 5, or even 4, speakers around the room.

Of course, the effect you WANT depends on what YOU want, so depending on how you're system is to be used, YMMV.

If you're looking for how sound travels through air, try the acoustics threads, or read Toole.
If you're looking for specifics on how the physical properties of how sound travels through air haven't changed over the past 30 yrs, well, then, we'd have to begin with a debate on whether or not you can logically prove a negative...
post #18 of 23
Take your baseboard trim off and run the wires/cables in the space between the wall and the floor or just behind the baseboard if it will fit, and then drill a hole where you want your cable to come out of the wall, and 'fish' the cable to the hole from the inside. You can even install a wall plate (monoprice has many kinds, for speaker wire, HDMI, etc.) to make it look pretty and professional.

I'm thinking of doing this in my new house before installing my bamboo floors to make it even easier.
post #19 of 23
Do you mind cutting your wood floor?
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooLittleTimeZZZ View Post

Is this still true, with modern per-speaker time-delay compensation? It sounds like 1980s HT setup advice

Yes, it is true. It is not the most important thing in a home theater setup, but is definitely something to consider. If you have a choice, it is a wise idea to go with all speakers as equidistant as possible.

If some speakers are much closer than others, they will sound much different due to the different amount of room interactions between the speakers.

Plus, having surround speakers next to the listening position is a terrible idea in my opinion. It makes surround effects very noticeable and "fake" sounding. Having them farther away from you creates a much better surround field. You're not losing any "imaging" either, if that's what you want to call it. You actually gain some.

Lets say your surrounds are next to your couch. You sit slightly off center so your wife can sit next to you. You are now 4 feet from the right surround and 6 feet from the left surround. That's only 2 feet, right? So a delay of about 2 milliseconds. But you have to take into account the difference in amplitude. One of them is 50% farther away from you than the other. That's about a 3 db difference. Ouch.

Now let's pretend you mounted your surounds the same distance away from you as your mains, say...12 feet from seating position. Now when you sit off center, one surround is 13 feet away, the other is 11 feet. Still a 2 millisecond delay. BUT, the difference in amplitude is now negligible. You've created a much more spacious and enveloping surround field.

Hope that makes some sense.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooLittleTimeZZZ View Post

Are you speculating, or do you have more specifics about "the way sound travles through air"?

AFAIK, the effects of speaker distance are:

1. Time delay - corrected by receiver
2. Sound pressure loss w/distance - corrected by receiver

3. The further away you are from the speaker, the lower the direct/reflected sound ratio becomes. More distance, less speaker sound, more room sound.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

3. The further away you are from the speaker, the lower the direct/reflected sound ratio becomes. More distance, less speaker sound, more room sound.

Precisely.
post #23 of 23
Remove the baseboards, run the wire in the space between the drywall and floor, fish the wire up through the wall and the ceiling if needed. Not hard at all just time consuming and some preparation.



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