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How do I connect pre-existingp prewiring to my speakers and receiver?

212 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  audiblesolutions
I bought a new house which was prewired for surround sound. Right now, there are wires that are covered with outlet plates. Can anyone help me with how I can connect those wires with my speakers and receiver?
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you want wall plates like this:


and then get the speaker wire terminators to go in them. install plates on wall, and connect wire from your reciever to the wall, and your speakers to the wall.

if the wires aren't labeled, look for markings on the wire, to make sure your + and - are consistant. then hook up one speaker at a time to figure out which wires go where.
Do I solder the terminating wire to the back of the plate or how do they connect?
i suppose you could solder them, but it's not necessary. the ones i've seen all have a small screw that clamps the wire inside the connector.

you buy the plate, and then you buy the adapters that go in the plate. you can get cable tv coax connectors, speaker wire, ethernet, phone, all kinds of stuff.
If the installer didn't label the wires at the home run, or the drywallers concealed wire at the speaker location you need a toner to ID everything:

as long as one of the wires in the pair has unique markings (and it should) and you know where in the walls the wires live (outlet plates) there is no reason you couldn't figure out what it what by trial and error.

that said, what kind of professional installer doesn't label wires at the home run and at multiple wire drops? i mean, what moron can't figure out the painfully obvious fact that without labels a dozen wires in a bundle at the home run is going to be a major pita for the homeowner?

after they ran the wires for our new home i called the installer and asked them to come back and label all these wires - a few dozen speaker/coax/rj45. he had the nerve to ask me "why?"
The installer that doesn't label with a Sharpie, or heat-shrink label is just shooting himself in the foot and canceling repeat business. He also losses money coming back and labeling everything.
In many spec homes not labeling is intentional. The company keeps a wire map but they want to make it as difficult as possible for anyone else. On the other hand install the speakers and use a battery to identify what wire goes to which speaker. We call this a pop-pop test. Use a AAA or D battery not the battery in your cordless drill.

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