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Outfitting a house with speakers in every room- any tips or advice?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So, my brother is building a house and wants to put in-wall speakers all over the place, but he doesn't know anything about purchasing speakers. The guys who will be doing the electrical work and cutting the drywall have recommended this setup for him:

Speakercraft Aim7 $400 per pair - kitchen, master bedroom, office, garage, rear surround
Speakercraft Aim5 $300 per pair - laundry room and all bed rooms that are not one the zone system
Speakercraft OE6One $550 per pair - patio - weatherproof
Speakercraft in room 10" Subwoofer $600
Speakercraft Cinemastick soundbar speaker for front Channels $800

Total speaker cost: $5150.00 including surround sound speakers

He showed these recommendations to me and I thought that it would be prudent to ask some of you fine gentlemen and ladies for your thoughts on this brand (Speakercraft) and this setup.

This particular shopping list is a little out of his price range, so his plan B was going to ultimate electronics and picking up whatever they reccomend. I think that he can do better than that. Any thoughts?

What I am looking for is
1. Some reputable sites that with good reviews/information (I checked consumer reports and their section on speakers is pretty pathetic.)
2. Any tips from people who have attempted something like this in the past.
3. Specific Speaker recommendations for:
2.0 In wall speakers $200-350
2.0 In ceiling speakers $200-350
5.1 system under $1500
2.0 Weatherproof outside speakers $400-550

Thanks everyone for reading my post!
post #2 of 8
it is not just speakers in every room, but how do you control them and the source material - how do you wire up that many speakers to a sound distribution system - and what keeps your amplifier from burning out when the speakers drop the applied impedance too low ?

There is a lot to learn about whole-house audio distribution. A place to start is an on-line distributer who also has quite a bit of informational / educational material available.

It's one source anyway, whether you use them or not, you can gain an understanding of what is required and what to ask for from a local installer if you go that route.
post #3 of 8
^The controls and source material can all be added after construction is complete, so it's not a big deal to not stress about them during the building stage. The main priority would be getting speaker wire, controls, and terminations where you need them. In this case maybe speaker installation too.

I don't have my much knowledge on speakers as I'm just getting into this 'hobby', but through my research Speakercraft seems to be pretty well regarded, though pricey. I know on the other end of the budget spectrum the Monoprice speakers are available, which is what I may be heading towards.
post #4 of 8
Please please please, let a professional do this.
There are too many things that can go wrong. Look at getting other opinions and quotes from other av companies in the area. There is a standard for wiring and most av techs and companies follow this industry standard. Cat 5e or cat 6 needs to be run as well as speaker wire. They are many options out there for running all the rooms in the house but you want to know how you want to use the system first.
Do you want each room to be separate from each other? Are do you want them all to play the same source?

But I would talk to other professionals in your area first.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok guys, I can't thank you enough for all of the feedback! These posts have really shaken my brother up and they are getting him to consider other options. He has been persuaded to focus on the 5.1, kitchen/dining room, and patio for now and will install/purchase the rest later when he has the money.

To answer a few of the questions posed:

His living room (where he wants to put in the 5.1) is 2187 cubic feet, but it is open in back with a kitchen/dining area behind it for a total of 5670 cubic feet.

He has multiple cat 5 or 6 wires as well as audio cords going to each room. (he also has redundancy in case of an issue later on)

He is planning on having the main floor and downstairs be on one zone (I think that is what it is called.) That includes the kitchen/dining room, entertainment room, living room (5.1), patio, laundry room. He wants them to be able to uses different sources. As for the upstairs there are control panels in each bedroom. I am not exactly sure on the details, but he has discussed them with a friend (the pro who wants him to use speakercraft.)

I don't think he had any idea about the necessity for an amp nor the cost of a whole house audio system so cheers for the heads-up on those issues.

His budget for the much alluded to nebulous 5.1 system is being upped from 1.5k to +3k and I am glad to have learned that I we should avoid in-wall/in-ceiling speakers for that system.

This weekend we are going to try and get out and listen to some speakers. Are there any other specific models or vendors you guys recommend for:

5.1 system (I guess it could be 7.1 if that is 'better') $3,000 Also, is the cinema-stick a good idea for this setup?
2.0 Weatherproof outside speakers $400-550
2.0 In wall speakers for the kitchen/dining room $400-450

Lastly, I would like to add that my brother is a recent college grad with humble tastes when it comes to speakers. We aren't audiophiles (yet) but we are music nuts! Up until now we have gotten by with logitech Z-2300's and sennheiser hd-600's, but he is looking for a significant upgrade...

Once again thank you all so much for your patience and expertise. I am confident that your responses have helped us out immeasurably!

This is also a response to my mirror post at: forums.audioholics.com/forums/showthread.php?p=782373#post782373 (I can't post URL's because I am a noob...
post #6 of 8
Holy crap that's expensive. All I did was get a bunch of wireless Sony Altus/s-air speakers... Works wonderfully
post #7 of 8
the reason i recommended you asking for a professional av person, was to get you some info that cannot be provided here on a forum.

other professionals, like myself, can't see the house, wiring, placements, etc. there is also a lot to talk about how the system will work, what kind of controls to use, the best placement for the speakers, etc.
i feel like i am providing inadequete information by not seeing and talking with the homeowner.

seeing that the house is wired, all the house music wiring usually goes to a central location, where the surround system will go or in a av closet, that means the secondary rooms not meant for a surround system.

the easiest way to do a surround system with house music is to use a receiver capable of powering both systems; like a Denon AVR-1911 or AVR-2311 or others.

but please talk to an av person, not the electrician, about your audio video needs. i dont go to my car mechanic when my fridge goes out.

Zone 1: the surround system room (living room)
Zone 2: the house music or background music rooms (kitchen/dining, patio, entertainment, laundry and bedrooms)
post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by ListeningHard View Post

Total speaker cost: $5150.00 including surround sound speakers

What I am looking for is
3. Specific Speaker recommendations for:
2.0 In wall speakers $200-350
2.0 In ceiling speakers $200-350
5.1 system under $1500
2.0 Weatherproof outside speakers $400-550

Thanks everyone for reading my post!

Rbhsound.com has been making all these types of speakers, especially custom install in-wall speakers for quite a while. The budget is probably higher than that speakercraft brand. Audioholics loves them and they sell the cheaper but limited EMP brand from that same northern Utah, USA location mail order direct. Ther are several other in-wall speaker brands.
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