Originally Posted by TempestGuy
Thanks for the input. Just to clarify, the house is already built; we don't have it down to studs or anything.
Yeah, you said that right at the top and by the time I made my second reply I forgot it...
And then you said "pre-wire", which really only applies to unfinished spaces...
The kitchen and eating area are easier to "prewire" right now because we're working on the ceiling there anyway to adjust lights, and we'll have the carpets off in the rooms above. Neither is the case in the dining room though, so it won't be particularly easier to wire them now than any other time. (And we've got a ton we need to do before moving in.) There's an attic above the living room / dining room there, and a crawlspace below the whole house. So when we do wire those rooms, assuming we use in-ceiling speakers, we would run the wires through the attic to the interior wall there, drop them right down into the crawlspace, and then straight over to the rack. Right now the plan for the rack is that red square in the family room. I'm going to leave enough slack in the cables though that if we choose to relocate it to the closet in the office later one, we can do that. Sound reasonable?
Yep! Just note that dropping wires from an attic down to a crawlspace through an interior wall, while the "simplest route", can still be a real challenge without an opening. If you're going to have the ceilings open, you might want to open a hole in one wall to make that all a lot easier. If you're going to have someone patching drywall / painting anyway - another hole or three isn't going to cost much.
So you would suggest grouping the eating area speakers closer together over the table, and the kitchen ones over the island?
I'd group them so the speakers tend to be equidistant from the likely listening positions. Over the table in the dining room as I mentioned. In your kitchen, either over the island, or at the 2 and 8 o'clock points (like what is shown in your diagram for the eating area).
Would be great if anyone else has input (especially from experience!) since as you say that's exactly the opposite of what that crutchfield thing suggests. (I do agree that dining room listening would generally be lower volume, but kitchen area might not be. Even the eating area zone would often be used when preparing meals, or just for general ambiance.)
I simply don't buy the argument. Reflection from the table is going to happen regardless of the speaker position, so it's not like moving it to the corners gets rid of it (and regardless, the effect is probably not worth worrying about). But moving the speakers to the corners of a room certainly will change the sound, and as I said earlier, I think getting the speakers a similar distance from all ears is more important, IMO...
Guh. Reading a bit more about WHA though is making me realize it would be convenient to have volume controls in the kitchen zones. (Both for the convenience of adjusting the volume there, and potentially for impedance matching, depending on how I end up hooking things up.) That makes the wiring trickier since the most convenient spot for them would be in the exterior wall above the counter. Hmmmmmmmm.
Drywall repair is cheap, especially if "the guy" is already in the house. And you wanted to paint those rooms anyway, right? (seriously, if you're doing ceiling repairs and pulling carpets - paint everything while the mess is made!).
If you do open up any volume control locations - run a cat5e / cat6 line along with any speaker wire - that can give you future potential for keypads / touchscreens in those locations. May not need them for a few years, but again, you won't want to open up those holes later!