in-wall speaker and associated stereo advice please

carajonMay 29, 2008

When we built our house, we didn't really think through the audio distribution, but we did ask the electrician to run lots of wire! Our situation turned to be probably less than ideal, but I am sure we can figure out how to make it work. The electrician ended up running speaker wire to several locations in three rooms. These wires go from places on the wall (near the ceiling), where in-wall speakers are supposed to go to a central location where we can hook all the wires into a stereo. As is probably obvious, we are not huge audiophiles, but we would like to be able to listen to music (no tv so home theater is irrelevant to us). So we need to find some reasonably-priced speakers to install (and do we want the rectangular or the round kind)? There will be 6 speakers in one room and two in each of the other two rooms. And then, we need to figure out what to hook the speakers to - we want to listen to the radio, cds, and my mp3s. It would be great if we could also add a set of wireless speakers in the kitchen hooked up to the same system. Since our budget is limited, bringing in a pro seems out of the question. Any advice at all would be truly appreciated.

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If bringing in a pro is out of the question?

Push the wires back into the walls and forget about it...

Not wanting to sound nasty, or smart, but if you're not going to have it done the right way, you're going to spend more to do it the wrong way, so why bother?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 5:41PM
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For in wall speakers, you should look at - they have basic speakers that produce good sound and run between 70 and 90 dollars per pair. You can also look on Amazon for closeouts and sometimes find good deals (check for Polk and Jamo closeouts.

As far as how to hook it up, the first device you need is a speaker selector. They sell them on the hometech site and you can also look on amazon. You should look for a selector that has both volume contols for each zone as well as impedance balancing. If you don't care about controlling volume in each room you can get by with a cheaper unit like the one on hometech, but I would not recommend that. The selector will allow you to take a single input source (from a power amplifier) and distribute that to 4, 6, or 8 pairs of speakers depending on the size selector you buy. See the Sima SSW-L6EX Speaker Selector for 6-Sets on Amazon for an example. It costs about $175.

The next device you need is a power amplifier. This device will take the output from a stereo receiver (that has your CD player, MP3 player, etc connected to it) and amplify the signal so that you can drive all the speakers hanging off the selector. Make sure that the receiver you purchase can drive a load impedance of 4 ohms. See the Niles Audio SI-275 High-current stereo amplifier on Amazon as an example. It costs around $575.

The connections are easy - the output of your stereo feeds the power amp, the power amp feeds the selector, and the selector feeds the room speakers.

This setup should meet your needs. If you want to remotely control the stero equipment, they make devices that can do that but walking over to the central location works too!

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 9:56AM
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Most of what you need can be found here for very reasonable cost:

More information can be found here:

Good Luck

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 3:27PM
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