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Cable connector and in wall questions

12-31-2007, 04:09 AM
After much reading of so many things i am some what confused.

I am building a new house and i want to plan the wiring for audio distribution, some video distribution and networking etc. Nothing new here as i am sure many people on this forum have wanted to do the same.

My questions are as follows (pl pardon repeats or variations)

1. Do i need to "install" roughins for in ceiling speakers, volume controls, in wall speakers etc. They seem to cost just as much as the speakers. What exactly is a rough in and do i buy one for all speakers or one per speaker installation?

2. I plan to use Sony 3300ES or a Denon 2308CI - for second zone audio receiver. I plan to hook up a speaker selector for distributing to 16 zones. Do i need an amp or the power from receiver will be enough to distribute the signal?

3. I assume i can run RG6 (multiples) to take component cable out of it with proper connectors at the ends. What do I do for audio? Can i use 5 total for component + LR audio?

4. Is there a "cheap" way to have the wall plates with all those inserts? I am willing to build wall plates from components if that is a cheaper route. I see wall plates for 5.1 speaker at 25$. When i am wiring the whole house these prices add up. What is the best way to build the connectors and wall plates including RJ45 jacks etc.

5. Do i need gang boxes or what is the best/cheapest way to put multi gang boxes for wall plates?

Thanks in advance and Happy new year.

01-01-2008, 09:55 AM
wall plates: I recently bought plates and connectors for a 5.1 system from Monoprice and was very satisfied with the quality and price.

cables: long run high quality cables for component, toslink optical, and HDMI also from www.monoprice.com

rough-ins: preinstalled frames for the speakers and boxes for the connectors/wall plates. If a frame and/or box is installed the drywaller will make the appropriate cut-outs in the drywall as he puts the sheets up. Not required, but if you don't use them you need to pre-install all your wiring and have it hanging in the wall cavity. You will need a detailed layout of where the wiring is so when the drywall is finished you will know where to cut for in-wall speakers, controls, and outlet boxes. It's really scary to cut into brand new drywall and not be sure if that is really where you ran the wires !!!!

If you pre-wire yourself, you will be subject to the same electrical codes that the electrician is when the inspector comes by. All your inwall wiring must meet National Electrical Code specs and be marked "CL3" for in-wall installation.

Do not mix "low voltage" home theater wiring with regular 120 volt AC house wiring - it must be separate and use separate runs and boxes. Try not to run speaker wiring "parallel" with AC house wiring - can cause hum and interference in the a/v wiring.

Draw up a master plan of the wiring you want - plan it all out or you will forget something. And if all this sounds confusing, than you may want to consider a professional a/v installer to help you out.

01-01-2008, 11:26 PM
One question though. If the rough in frame is not there - what holds the weight of the speakers? Do they get screwed in the dry wall (ceiling)? Is it just the friction bewteen the speaker module and drywall that keeps it inplace?

Thanks in advance !! THis is quite helpful.

Mark M
01-02-2008, 09:26 AM
The weight of the speaker can be supported by the drywall only. There are dog ears that flip out from the speaker and compress down onto the drywall back. Depending on where you live, an inspector may require some type of back box to keep the vapor barrier intact for any location that will be in contact with insulation.

For your RG-6 runs for component cables, that is fine to run 5 seperate runs. Make sure they are all the same length. I would also suggest you run solid copper conductor RG-6 instead of copper clad steel.

Gang boxes are not your best option for your wiring, especially RG-6. Use a low voltage mudring. On outside walls, use a vapor barrier back box as well. Trying to keep the RG-6 cable from kinking in a gang box is next to impossible and when you change the shape of the cable the chances of problems occur.

01-02-2008, 09:29 AM
most in-wall speakers are designed to "clamp" to the drywall only. This is typical of what installers call "old work"....the drywall is in place and you cut a hole to install the box/speaker. You do not have access to the wood studs, so the the box or speaker frame has some form of clamping technique to hold on to the drywall and support the equipment. When you get an in-wall speaker, you do not have all the additional weight of a heavy wood enclosure, just the speakers, crossover electronics and usually a plastic frame to hold it all and the metal grill cover. Not a lot of weight for the drywall to support and it's spread over many inches of drywall. Consider a heavy picture frame hanging from a single slanted nail in the drywall....

If you "rough-in" the speaker frames, then you can mount at least one side to the studs. I have had no trouble at all installing in-wall speakers supported by the drywall alone. As long as the wiring is in place, it is easy....the hard part is cutting a big rectangular hole in that nicely finished and painted drywall !!!!

Mark M
01-02-2008, 09:29 AM
In regards to the AVR 2308, 16 zones, assuming 2 speakers per zone is 32 speakers running off of a zone 2 output. Depending on the speaker selector used, you should be able to control the impedence seen by the receiver. If it does not work the receiver does come with a pre amp out for zone 2 that you can add amplifiers to.

01-02-2008, 09:25 PM
Do the in ceiling speakers have "ears" that hold down to the dry wall as well? I just want to make sure that it is true of in ceiling also not just the regular side walls (sorry if it is a rookie question).

My understanding from reading some where on the forum was that - one should stuff some insulation behind the speakers while installing them in the wall and in ceiling. Is that true? How does that affect the vapor barrier issue?

Also i will use two receivers for 16 zones (8 each). I am hoping second zone for each will be enough to support that.

Thanks for all the responses -- i am a newbie to the forum and i can say i am really thankful for all guys who take time to answer questions.

Mark M
01-03-2008, 09:50 AM
Yes the speakers will also have dog ears that when tightened will clamp down on the drywall.

Stuffing insulation into your opening will only act as a noise dampener in the adjacent room. ( and not that great of job either) It does nothing for the vapor barrier issue.

8 zones per receiver should be fine, as long as the speaker selector is a good quality one.