Pre Wiring for Speakers

mowersMarch 8, 2008

Any suggestions on pre wiring for speakers? I am installing Bose jewel speakers (using the bose bracket). My wall has no drywall at this point, so options are unlimited. This is new to me, but do I run "in the wall rated" speaker wire to an outlet type junction box, than use a blank outlet plate to attach the speaker bracket to? Do I just run the speaker wire to where it needs to go, and tell the drywall guy to poke a hole in the drywall and pull some slack out? How does one make sure the right and left speaker wires get pulled out at exactly the same height so it looks OK after speaker installation? I envision the drywall guy banging through this based upon seeing how drywall guys work. I may be overthinking all this too, and it is really no big deal?

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i built speaker boxes out of mdf and mounted those inbetween ceiling joists. i cut a round hole in the bottom of the speaker box that would accomodate the speakers and then drywallers just cut around inside that hole. one thing i did that proved to be a smart thing was spray painting a dot on the floor below the center of every speaker box - drywallers miss a lot of things (recessed cans too) and the spots allowed us to locate the covered over lights and speaker boxes. i recommend speaker boxes if you have open web trusses and you are installing speakers into the ceilings - the boxes will give you much better sound quality.

if you aren't doing speaker boxes, then one approach is run the wire to the spot where you want the speaker to be and attach the end up in the ceiling joist so that the wire won't get mangled when you go back to make the cut out. mark the spot below on the floor - then go back after drywall and cut your own holes (if you need to make circular holes - they make a tool sold at most electrical supply stores to make nice round cuts).

if you just leave speaker wires dangling, the drywallers will usually just cut a small hole and pull the wire through. you could try that too - but no guarantees that they won't mangle the wire.

if it is a wall speaker - mark a spot on the floor between 2 studs where the wire is to be located (put the mark about 2 inches back from the wall framing so that it won't get covered by drywall). run the wire to a spot up on the wall and tie off (write down on paper the height of where the wires are). then go back after drywall and cut the holes.

for all these approaches - leave plenty of extra wire at the end so that it is easier to splice and connect the speakers later. also - use flourescent colored paint because the drywall dust will cover everything and it can be tough to find the spots (I ran out of orange paint and used some black - and those spots were harder to find).

i also recommend a hand written treasure map of where you put everything (with reference dimesions) just as a backup to locate stuff. you would be amazed how easy it is to forget where stuff is one you have drywall up and dust all over the place. and sometimes the dots of paint get worn off.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 4:30PM
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Good advice above. The other is to take a digital camera and take many pictures before the drywall is up. That way, you can figure out how to fish new wires, etc. This is a good thing to do for the entire remodel. We are going through one shortly and I will be using both pictures and videos....

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 2:20PM
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yes - amen to the digital pictures! we did that too and this saved us several times looking for covered wires & plumbing. take a shot of every wall and ceiling after rough in - they will come in handy.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 5:24PM
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I recommend using a video camera. Right before drywall, we walked from room to room with a measuring tape and a video camera. We measured all electrical and electronic boxes from the nearest window/door/wall. This helped us greatly with covered boxes and then later on when we were hanging window treatments and needed to afix them to headers and studs.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 12:51PM
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