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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I am new to this forum and I am currently remodeling my basement. My question is When I mount my wall palte behind the TV how many binding posts should I place in the wall plate and how many wires should I run up through the wall? I do not have a reciever or TV purchased yet. I am considering the 7:1 dolby but may go with te 6:1. This is all new to me so please forgive my ignorance.

I use to work for a wire and cable manufacturing and have some short lengths (less then 1Kft) of quality speaker cable 18awg.. Is 18awg sufficient or shuld I use something heavier?


Ed
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by edvarin
Hi All,

I am new to this forum and I am currently remodeling my basement. My question is When I mount my wall palte behind the TV how many binding posts should I place in the wall plate and how many wires should I run up through the wall? I do not have a reciever or TV purchased yet. I am considering the 7:1 dolby but may go with te 6:1. This is all new to me so please forgive my ignorance.

I use to work for a wire and cable manufacturing and have some short lengths (less then 1Kft) of quality speaker cable 18awg.. Is 18awg sufficient or shuld I use something heavier?


Ed
Well if you are going to run a receiver then you probably aren't bi-wiring so one pair for every speaker that you plan to run the wire in the wall for. For my setup I have 2 pairs of bananas as I am running a 5.1 system and the speaker wire for my mains is run along the floor. I sort of wish I had run the mains in the wall so think about that. If your center is wall mounted you could run that wire too, it all depends on your plan....have a plan, I didn't and there are things I would change and wish I did differently.


As for the speaker wire question use at least 14 awg and 12 awg would be even better. Also be sure to use a CL2/CL3 rated cable for in wall runs, most places that sell speaker wire will sell this. Many here recommend www.partsexpress.com for wire, I used Monster in-wall which means I probably spent too much. :D


Did I say have a plan?
 

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You won't regret running 12 awg. Without getting into a speaker wire discussion, choose a heavy guage first, then if you want to spend more then go for a higerend brand. i.e. go w/ Home Depot 12 gage before 18 gage Monster.


In the end, you'll be glad you ran the wires in the wall -- really glad. However, you won't want to have to redo/replace with better wire in the future.


Make sure you leave enough space around the binding posts for all the speaker wire. i.e. consider using more than one (or two) plates spread out a bit.


Set up for 7.1 even if you are only thinking about 5 or 6 speakers (besides the sub).


Don't forget the wire(s) for the sub. You can use either typical sub wiring with RCA plugs on both ends or coax. If you go the coax route, use quad shielded RG-6. Depending on the size of your room, you may want to consider running more than one line for the sub. First, down the road you may want to consider putting in more than one sub and secondly, location is important for a sub. So, if you cannot test the system ahead of time you may not know where (which wall) it'll sound the best. Although, the front wall, corner loaded, often sounds the best.


Go to partsexpress and look around. If you not sure exactly what you need give them a call. They can be very helpful (tech not sales).
 

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The messages about the wires are good. 18Ga is too small. But you're asking more about how many you should run, and you don't provide enough information for an answer. Especially, where is the receiver??


In Home Theater, there is usually no audio at all that goes to the TV. But you will have 3 speakers and maybe a subwoofer up there. So if audio is coming to the TV are from elsewhere, 3 pairs of speaker wires, plus a shielded audio lead for a sub, plus the video leads for the TV.


If the equipment rack is near the TV, then you'll be sending four speaker channels, plus an optional shielded lead for a sub.


Personally, I think you should avoid using the wall plate binding posts if the plate is on a hidden section of the wall. They add at least 2, maybe 4 connections in each wire run. An invitation for corrosion and loose or resistive connections. I use them on an exposed plate, but not on a hidden one. They can easily be added later if you rearrange the room. You can get one of those plates with a big round hole in it, or pull through the individual holes of a modular plate. LABEL THE WIRES at both ends. Label them before you pull another pair.


Also think seriously about using conduit. If you do, use bigger pipe than you think you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you DMF, Roger Q & Grasschopper, Let me provide you with some additional information:

I am remodeling my basement and the area I am making into a home theater is approx 24x12. This is half the width of my basement. I am still in the process of looking at HDTV, but have pretty much decided on the Sony 70inch with the “standâ€. All equipment i.e. Receiver (haven’t decided on one yet), Digital Cable Box, DVD & VCR will all be installed (hopefully) on the stand under the TV and will be accessible from the viewing area. (more about this later with questions)

I no little about surround sound, I would be willing to install a 7:1 if the board thinks 12 feet in width would be wide enough to hear the distinction in the 7:1.

My questions are:

1.) The layout for 7:1 would be 3 rear speakers (in back or to the side of the viewing area) which consists of a left rear, right rear and a center speaker, The center of the room would be 2 speakers (right and left), I would then have two front speakers (Right and Left) and then a sub woofer. (Am I correct?) The 6:1 setup would be the same except for the rear center speaker. (Am I correct?)

With either of the above am I correct in having two binding posts for the 3 rear speakers, the two center speakers and the two front speakers? Would the sub woofer be connected directly to the back of the receiver without going through the wall plate in back of the HDTV?

2.) What is the advantage of having all components mounted on a rack in a closet? I will have a closet in back of the HDTV, The closet will be narrow and long approx: 4x9, this is the same wall I was planning on placing the wall plates on. With all the components mounted in a closet it sounds like it would be difficult to turn components on, adjust volume, channel etc. Look forward to some advise on this, Especially since I work for a distributor of voice and data products I can purchase racks, cable etc at a substantial savings. If I am not violating any board rules (I am not the owner so I do not make anything on the products) should anyone need anything let me know and I would be happy to provide you with pricing.

Thanks for all the responses I am sure I will have many more questions as my project advances, would like to be viewing my first movie by the 3rd week of February
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
couple of more questions:

What is bi-wiring?

RG6QS for the sub? Like I said in my earlier post I use to work for a wire and cable manufacturer and I have multiple reels (shorts
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dan,

All coax and RG6 is plenum rated, the speaker wire is CL2/3 rated but from the advise I been getting on this board it is to small a awg. I have some calls into my old employer to see if there are any short lengths of 12awg around.,. Should have grabbed it while I could.
 

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Plenum rated is not necessary. But if you have it you can use it. (Just be careful about bends - it tends to kink.)


Wrong on the speaker arrangement. All HT has three speakers up front. LF, Center, and RF. These are the critical speakers and will carry about 70% of the load. 7.1 means 3 front, 2 sides, and 2 rear and a sub (.1). In fact, the rears are not really used much yet. So 5.1 (no rears) is good enough for most material.


The problem with putting all your components under the TV is that they will be in the line of sight at all times. You want as few distractions as possible, so most people set the electronics rack to the side or behind. In a 24x12 room there are plenty of places to put the rack. IMO there is little reason to shove the stuff in a closet (other than keeping it out of the line of sight) and doing so will cause problems with the remote.


Look at the Home Theater forum, especially the primer:
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=54755

You have to register and get approved, but they have an excellent overview and starter faqs.
 

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For additional info on 7.1 and speaker configuration, you can check out


Dolby Digital's website
http://www.dolbydigital.com/Consumer...ainment/Setup/


and their is some info on Paradigm's website
http://www.paradigm.com/Website/AllA...meTheater.html


and Crutchfield's website
http://www.crutchfieldadvisor.com/S-...placement.html


I don't understand you subwoofer cabling question? I'll take a stab. If your sub will be located close to your receiver and the sight of the cables is not an issue then you can run the cable from sub directly to receiver/amp.


If you put in a rack system then you can get a RF remote. Home Theater Master and Pronto are probably the two leading RF remote mfg'ers for HT.


If you're going to have a dedicated HT have you considered getting a front projector and screen vs. a TV?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by edvarin
Dan,

All coax and RG6 is plenum rated, the speaker wire is CL2/3 rated but from the advise I been getting on this board it is to small a awg.
Not true:

Plenum cable is coated with a fire-retardant coating (usually Teflon) so that in case of a fire it does not give off toxic gasses and smoke as it burns. Most RG-59&6 has a PVC jacket.


Plenum is designed for commercial buildings, but there is no reason why you wouldn't use in your home. When ordering or buying cable plenum product has a different SKU.
 

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Actually, there is reason not to use it in the home. The jacket is stiff and can kink on the tight and blind pulls used in home wiring. Kinking is death on CAT5, and can even cause bad things to happen to audio leads. (Also more expensive.)


You *can* use plenum. Just be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
On the inside,

When I referenced all RG6 and Cat5 is plenum rated I did not mean all commercially available cable is Plenum rated. WHat I meant is all the cable I am installing in my home is plenum rated. Plenum rated does not have anything to do with toxic gases or smoke. It is not coated with Teflon. Plenum rated cable is a cable designed for plenum area's IE Air Ducts, Drop Ceiling etc. The cable is designed to "almost self extinguish" and not burn with a flame. It usually chars and self extinguishes. The reason for this is so fires does not spread to other areas of a building through the plenum or air ducts. The cable you referencecd above is known as a Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) cable. These are designed not to give of toxic fumes. I worked as a Product Specialist for a wire and cable manufacturer up until last April.

It is correct that plenum products are not as flexible as riser rated PVC, there are also plenum PVC's available.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Roger Q,

I have considered the projector but have many questions.. Also I ordered new furniture with a 8-10 week delivery and guess what, it arrived in two weeks and the store wants to deliver. I am still moving walls. If you could e-mail me at [email protected](dot)net I would like to put together a list of questions.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Guys,

One more question, how are you attaching the speaker wres to the speakers? Are you bringing them through a wall or are you using binding posts on this side also? Are binding posts better then RCA jacks?

Ed
 

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In my setup, my speaker wires run direct from my receiver to my Front, Left and Center Channel speakers. Both ends of speaker wires are terminated with bananna plugs. For my surround channels and zone2 speakers, all the wiring is in-wall. The speaker wiring runs from a central location, behind my A/V rack to the individual speaker locations. The central location behind the A/V rack has wallplates with female bananna plugs. I run speaker wires with bananna plugs on both ends, from the receiver to the wall plates.
 

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At the speaker, a couple different systems. For the permanent wall-mounts bare wire through the posts. For the mains I have the Monster X-Terminators. Absolutely love them, but bought them way back before the price went to $60 a pair (per speaker). For the other speakers that are potentially movable, I'm using some banana plugs. Not sure how they will do long-term, but they sure make connection easy. I also like banana plugs at the amp end. (Look for the single plugs. The pairs may work, but post spacing is not guaranteed. And the ones I've seen look cheap.)


Absolutely nothing wrong with bare wire to the speakers.


As I said before, you can pull the wire stright out of the wall unless you're concerned about esthetics (or sealing the wall). If you do a connection at the wall plate, use binding posts just so there's no chance of ever plugging a speaker output into a low-level input.


For modular plates I like the Leviton system. Home Depot carries it, but if you're in the biz, you can probably get a commercial rate pretty easy.
 
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