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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an upstairs bunkroom (no crawlspace) in which I'm turning it into a dedicated home theater room. It measures 12.5' x 18.0' with a 7.0' ceiling. The house is being built and will be done in May so I'm getting real excited at finally getting my own dedicated room. I have a sound system but don't have the projector as of yet (probably the AE300).


I visited a home theater place that does consultation/design/etc. I told him that I had free standing speakers and wall surrounds and needed wire run to them. I also need cables running from the component rack to the mounted projector. He said that he would run component/s-video/tos-link/cable-tv. The wire and cables that he suggested were 'Signature' I have never heard of these, are they premium cables or just generic? He said he would be able to 'fish' all the wires in the wall/ceiling.


He first quoted me a price of $700 and didn't even tell me what brand of wires would be run or what guage. I thought that was rather high. He then saw my concern on my face I guess and then asked me if I knew someone who could do it cheaper. I said that I did have another personal contact. He then asked me how much I thought it would cost and I said $500 without knowing what a fair/good deal was. He quickly said he would do it for $500. Makes me wonder how much he would do it for?


I then asked what brand the wires/cables were and he said he used 'Signature' and 16 guage wire for the speakers. I really feel that 16 guage is too thin but maybe that is my own bias and thicker cable is not needed? I then said that it would be a must to run 12 guage wire all the way around. He then quoted me a price of $650.


Here are my questions:


1. Is this guy giving me a good deal or not? Seems a little high still?


2. Besides component/s-video/tos-link (dont know what this is?) what other wires should I have run? Firewire? DVI? I want HDTV.


3. He said that the speaker wire doesn't need to be in a fire protected jacket because it is low voltage? Seems to me I've read that this is not the case and it should be a different type of wire that is run in ceilings/walls.


4. I'm not interested in wire hiders and putting the wires under carpet. I want a professional job. Is this job doable myself with little no how?


Thanks for any input. Much appreciated
 

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The guy sounds fishy to me. He kept fishing for the highest price you would pay. That doens't sound honest. Obviously people can't work for less than what the wire costs, and they need to make some sort of profit on the labor. I'm always very leary when the price floats around.


You city code may or may not require plenum rated wire. You should call and find out to make sure you house stays in code for insurance reasons.


I would also tend to disbelive folks who say they can fish the wire without making any cuts since you don't have any crawl space. I ended up with 3 cutouts in my room and the repair was easy enough but time consuming and messy. Anyone who claims no cuts should give that to you in writting.


I don't know anything about "Signature" wire. You might take a hard look at Kimber Kable. Thats what I ended up using for all of the speakers but there are lots of choices. I wouldn't get caught up in any $50.00 a foot special cables but try to stick with a name brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input. However, I made no mention of him not making any cuts. He did say he would have to and that he would put it back the way it was.


As for city code on the wiring who do I contact? The building inspectors of the state?
 

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In case you actually believe that you would be able to hear the difference between 12 gauge and 16 gauge speaker wire and whether you could hear the difference between generic and the expensive 'name brand' stuff, go ahead and do the experiment. Prior to running any cable in the walls, just buy some and hook it up (the generic speaker wire is cheap enough and make sure the name brand stuff is returnable). If you can hear ANY difference whatsoever, go with what sounds best. If, on the other hand no difference can be discerned (and you should probably be doing 'blind' tests here so that you can be subjective) then go with the cheapest solution. My .02 cents. ;)
 
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