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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm building a new house and did the all the stereo and HT wiring myself. Now that the drywall is on I find I've made a serious mistake. I'm hoping the experience on this forum can help me out.


When wiring my two 5.1 rooms, I ran a single length of 14ga speaker wire from where the receiver will go to each speaker plate- including the subwoofer. Clearly, I needed to either run a subwoofer cable (for line-level input) or a pair of speaker wires (for speaker-level input, which would also involve running wire from the subwoofer location to each of the mains).


So now I face a decision: Should I (1) forget about using the plate that I had thought would drive the subwoofer and just place the subwoofer close to the receiver so I don't have to go through the wall with the cable, or (2) try to attach RCA jacks to either end of one of the wires in the existing speaker wire to carry a line-level signal, or (3) rip out the drywall and wire it like it should have been to begin with?


Help! Thanks in advance.


-Charlie
 

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Whoops!


I know this will be painful, but rip out the drywall and run a subwoofer cable in place of the speaker wire. When the work is complete you'll be glad you did it, both now and in the years to come.


BTW, maybe you can leave the existing speaker wire and simply run the subwoofer cable with minimal damage to the drywall (for example, run it behind the baseboard). You can also cut little rectangles out of the drywall at the stud locations, and notch the studs to create a channel for the cable. Afterwards, it's a simple patch job to put the rectangles back in. Sure beats destroying the entire wall.
 

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Depending on how you fastened down the wire you already ran, you may be able to use that 'already-run' wire as a tether to drag the wire you now need to have run. Just a thought.
 

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Put RCAs on the speaker wire and try it; you have nothing to lose. In a pinch, I used a 20' run of Radio Shack speaker wire terminated with male RCAs to a powered subwoofer. I forgot about it, and inadvertantly used it for a year in a system that included $20,000 worth of speakers. I had no hum whatsoever, and the eventual switch to a $200 cable netted absolutely no audio difference...and I can tell. ;)


It's not ideal, but you may actually get away with it. Don't rip up the drywall just yet, and if anyone asks you why you're running (GOD FORBID!) speaker wire passing a low level signal, just tell them it's the latest audiophile rage, and it quadruples the damping factor, time aligns the sub with the mains, and reduces male pattern baldness...
 

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As Paul mentioned you should have no problem terminating the speaker wire with RCA's and using it. Since your speaker wire is presumably not the shielded type the possiblity exists that you may hear an unacceptable level of interference through the sub if it's picked up by the wire, but chances are you won't and everything will be groovy. There are many golden eared audiophiles who actually do use similar simple RCA terminated unshielded two wire interconnects on purpose(!) for far more delicate full freq. uses (ie. source to pre-amp) with reportedly fine results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Paul Scarpelli
Put RCAs on the speaker wire and try it; you have nothing to lose. In a pinch, I used a 20' run of Radio Shack speaker wire terminated with male RCAs to a powered subwoofer. I forgot about it, and inadvertantly used it for a year in a system that included $20,000 worth of speakers. I had no hum whatsoever, and the eventual switch to a $200 cable netted absolutely no audio difference...and I can tell. ;)
Perfect! Just the answer I was fishing for! :)

Quote:
It's not ideal, but you may actually get away with it. Don't rip up the drywall just yet, and if anyone asks you why you're running (GOD FORBID!) speaker wire passing a low level signal, just tell them it's the latest audiophile rage, and it quadruples the damping factor, time aligns the sub with the mains, and reduces male pattern baldness...
Haha. Excellent! :D
 

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"if anyone asks you why you're running (GOD FORBID!) speaker wire passing a low level signal, just tell them it's the latest audiophile rage, and it quadruples the damping factor, time aligns the sub with the mains, and reduces male pattern baldness..."


Don't laugh!! It's true!! I've been using it for years, and I have ALL my hair.
 

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The other thing you can do is to buy one of Triads most excellent inwall subwoofers and use a rack amp. The amp connects to the inwall subwoofer via speaker wire. Paul was too modest to suggest that solution. ;)
 

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Bill, I try to remain neutral here, as tempting as blatant self-promotion is...


:D
 

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Yeah.. I would say there is no problem. Just buy a passive subwoofer and put an amp in the rack. All the controls for everything else is in the rack. And some of the best subs out there are passive designs.


(Both my Subs are passive!)


Now if you already bought the powered sub that needs a low level singal rather than speaker level. I have seen the RCA trick on speaker cables more than a few times. It will work. Get that sodder gun and get to work.
 

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I'm curious as to how you decided where to place the sub. Was it more a matter of convienence rather than sound that decided where to terminate your sub connections in the wall? I know I spent a few hours over a about a weeks time deciding where, in the room, the sub sounded best and I'm still not sure it's in the right spot. :confused:


Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by turbobuick86
I'm curious as to how you decided where to place the sub. Was it more a matter of convienence rather than sound that decided where to terminate your sub connections in the wall? I know I spent a few hours over a about a weeks time deciding where, in the room, the sub sounded best and I'm still not sure it's in the right spot. :confused:
Since I did the wiring when the room was little more than plywood flooring and stud walls, I wasn't able to test different sub locations. I decided that it would probably sound best in a corner, so I put the plate for the sub in a corner on the wall where the screen will go. As a backup location, I can also place the sub in a corner behind the listeners near the receiver. This location wouldn't require any in-wall wiring, so I have two viable options. If neither one of those sounds good, I'll find the best spot, tear out some drywall, run a new cable through the wall to that spot, and patch the drywall. Construction is fun! :)
 
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