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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to do some form of whole-house audio, and I don't know if I should plan on getting in-wall/in-ceiling speakers or just put wall plates with speaker wire posts so I can use surface-mount speakers. Any advice for a newbie?


Edit: More info... at this very moment, my house is still under construction. I think I have another couple/three weeks before the sheetrock is up.
 

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If it is just for casual listening, then definatly go in wall. This from a decorative standpoint. Who wants boxes hanging on the wall.


Now if it is for you listening area, that is another story. there are many things to consider, cost being one of the most important.


It really just depends on your application.
 

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The only thing you really need to worry about prior to sheetrock is getting the speaker wires run to the right place. With that, you can decide on the type of speakers and install them after the house is complete. You would not want to install speakers until all of the sheetrock, texturing, painting etc was done, otherwise something would surely get damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
True, but if I do wall mounted, I'd probably just wire to a box now so the sheetrockers can just cut around it like all the other electrical boxes. A little less guesswork when it comes time to poke holes in a nice finished wall looking for those wires...
 

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You can have the best of both worlds by installing back boxes in the walls/ceilings now, that the sheetrockers can cut around, so you'll have flush mounted speakers in enclosures. I believe sonance, niles and maybe some others make wood (MDF) back boxes, which while marketed for their specific speakers, can probably be used with most in-wall or in-ceiling speakers so long as the hole is the right size. Most in-wall/ceiling speakers are not infinite baffle but are designed to be loaded by the wall or ceiling stud/joist pocket space, as the case may be, so provided you fill the back box with some insulation (which should be scattered about your house in abundance), they should sound fine with less wall resonances and transmitted sound. I would avoid the stamped sheet metal variety of back box. For any serious listening you will need some bass reinforcement but for casual listening and non-home-theater applications, this may be the way to go.


The most important question is, how close are you to sheetrocking? You may not have enough time to get the boxes and install them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
They still need to run my ductwork, central vac and electrical before sheetrocking the walls. I figure 3 weeks or so. I'll need to let my builder know if I want whole-house audio wiring and figure our when that can be done.
 

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Be careful, I know in my first house the building happened quite fast. I showed up one day to check progress and the sheetrock had arrived. I still remember installing those back boxes and speaker wire by flashlight. Fortunately, it was only 5 boxes for 5.1 satellites in the family room.


It worked out great.
 

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Either way you'll end up with a hole in your sheetrock. I'd go for inwalls for any area where a speaker isn't part of the decoration (ie the media room). For rooms where speakers are the decoration, go with on wall mountings. And if you decide to go inwall (which I did for my back surrounds) you'll just have a couple of extra faceplates on the wall.
 
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