AVS Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm helping a family member redecorate their living room, and it's becoming a small renovation: painting, new in-ceiling can lights, additional light switches. We're currently using a painter/drywaller/handyman along with an electrician.


Since we have guys cutting holes and putting in new wires, we were thinking of installing in-wall speaker wires to the existing 5.1 system, plus ethernet and coaxial cable along one wall. The goal here is to take advantage of the fact that these guys are here already, the walls are being repainted anyway, for example. So right now I'm trying to figure out if we'll save money this way versus doing it later, or using AV specialists.


I don't know whether there's such a thing as a "typical" cost for this, but here's all the info I have, and maybe some of you can provide some rough estimates.


This is in a Brooklyn apartment, 2nd floor. The living room is about 14x20, small by house standards, about average for an NYC apartment living room.


This will be 5.1, not 7.1.


The front speakers will be roughly in line with the top of the TV, 3-5 feet off the ground. The rear surrounds will be mounting up near the ceiling.


Currently the TV is a Samsung DLP sitting right on the component shelving. In the future there may be a flat panel, so we definitely want a vertical conduit along that front wall, for that purpose.


We also want to run coaxial cable and ethernet cable across the bottom of this front wall, into an adjacent room. That's about 10' in length.


There's a space in the left corner where I was thinking the subwoofer should go.


So...not including the cost for cable and mounting hardware, are there any ballpark figures I might expect to pay for this job?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
"Typical" costs can vary from $25 to $100+ per run, depending on the location and size of the project. I would expect that in NY, and since this is a small project, you would be at the upper end of that range. What is the electrician charging per drop (outlet, light fixture, etc)? That may be a good number to use. Also, ask him if he could give you a quick quote since he is on site and knows the level of effort involved. Your handyman may be cheaper, if you are satisfied with his work. You could buy the cable yourself and have him pull it. No need for an "AV Specialist" for this IMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm. Well, for the wiring alone they're asking $900, and then $300 for the work on the walls. I thought that was steep.


The three front speakers and subwoofer should all be very easy - everything is on that front wall. The two rears, which go up by the ceiling, I'm sure are more difficult. And the coax and ethernet go into an adjacent room, running along the floor.


I was thinking all the labor should be more like $500-700 total, plus parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I too and finishing a basement and would like to through my 2 cents and another question into the ring if I may. If you are just routing speaker cable through the walls, is there any reason you aren't doing it yourself? There are do it yourself web pages around if you are interested.


Secondly, and here is my question. I have lots of 12 and 14 gauge Monster SPeaker Cable that I intend ot use in my walls (which by the way happen to be in the basement). I know all about the impact of having electrical wires near them and what to do to avoid problems but what I can't get a straight answer on anywhere else is CAN I USE MY CURRENT SPEAKER CABLE IN WALLS? :-(


I have read all about CL rating and can't find anything on my cables that say any rating at all. I only know brand and gauge and the MOnsterCabel website is no help at all. I know that there is "In wall" cable sold by most vendors (which seems to be gray in all cases), but is that cable safe where the stuff that i have (clear jacketed standard MOnster cable) is unsafe? Part of me believes that this is a ploy to simply charge more for in wall cable when there is no appreciable difference. On the other hand, I don't want to burn down my house because I am feeling defiant.


HELP thou AV gurus!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
with wiring, don't take any chances. Many codes exist for the purpose of preventing fire situations. Most in wall wiring needs to be rated for the specific application.


As for the Monster Cable in wall cable, I would run a new thicker gauge (CL rated)wire now before going forward. You'll be doing it the right way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Makes sense... but supposed someone already dropped $200 on 12 and 14 gauge monster speaker cable (clear jacket so I assume not UL rated).... is there any way I can preserve my investment? Can I run the speaker cable through PVC conduit perhaps? ANy ideas/feedback would be much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,382 Posts
avsjosh -


Just a thought, but if this is an apartment, and you are planning on running cables INSIDE the walls, have you thought about the fact that you will probably have to leave them there when you move? It seems like a lot of money to put into an apartment that you are upgrading for the benefit of the landlord.


I would just run the cables on the outside of the walls and use some of that track you can get to cover them up. You should be able to paint the track to match the walls to make it less noticible. I personally wouldn't be putting that much money into an apartment.


Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Actually this is an unfinished (but soon to be finished) basement in a house that we own. I ain't movin' til I win the lottery or they put me in the ground. :)


I have done more research and it seems that one way around having "in wall" rated speaker wire is to run what I do have through non-combustable electrical conduit. Fortunately we have installed metal studs (with existing circular holes in each stud that conduit can be run through) rather than wooden, so I don't even have to drill.


I think I am closer to some answers but am still caught up on the two big issues:


(1) Will running 4 or 5 speaker cables (pumping about 100 watts power to each speaker) in the same conduit will there be any cross-cable interference (not to worry, I will be running them well away from power cabling or at least running it at right angles if needed)


(2) Is running good quality 12 and 14 gauge (Monster) speaker cable that is non-CL rated together in a conduit behind a wall less safe, as safe, or safer than running CL rated speaker cable on it's own behind a wall?


I realize that building codes vary wildly from state to state and since I am in Canada God knows what rules are in place here. Having said that, a fire is a fire, and safe is safe. If there is a safe way to run non CL rated speaker cable behind the wall, I will. If there is not, I guess I'll run some butt-ugly conduit outside of the wall and tell people that it's part of our plumbling. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
One possible problem from unrated cable is that it may be too flammable, so it may conduct fire from one place to another. Putting it in conduit won't help a whole lot.


I would recommend selling the Monster on eBay, and getting some 12 or 10 gauge NM-B Roamex or equivalent from the Home Depot for your speaker wiring. As long as you get stranded (not solid) cable, it'll serve you as well as the Monster.


Try Model 28829055 SKU 268860 (10/2 NM-B) at $125 for 250 ft, or Model 28829055 SKU 268860 (12/2 NM-B) at $67. Unless you're going to drive 200 watts or more for each channel, the 10-gauge probably isn't worth it.


That's just my opinion, of course. I'm sure others will differ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Thanks for the help! I have decided to play it safe and go with CL-3 rated in-wall speaker cable. I will ebay the extra non-inwall stuff, and/or use if on one of my other non-video sound systems.


Two last questions (I promise!)


(1) Is there any likely interference between speaker cables themselves if run close together (e.g. If I have 3 or 4 or more speaker cables carrying 100 watt loads and they are prtty much in direct contact with eachother running parallel)? I already learned enough to know that I need to run speaker cable well away from power cable (or at right angles if close proximity is necessary), but wasn't sure if speaker cable had enough EM issues to actually interefere with eachother.


(2) When using in wall rated speaker cable does conduit do anything useful besides make it easier to slide speaker cable through the wall later on? Is it likely to protect the cable a bit more from power cables or other intereference, or is it overkill?


THANKS EVERYONE!!!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top