1-2-3-planning-tips


 

Welcome to the “1 -2 - 3’s and Planning Tips Page”
 
Most of our customers are surprised by what they can accomplish and how easy it really is. The most important thing is having some understanding and knowledge prior to taking on a project. That’s what this page is all about.
 
Before you start
 
Before you start, you should always check with your local building authority about any code requirements and to see if you need a permit for this type of work in your area. Also be sure to have safety equipment like eye protection and a dust mask on hand and use it when cutting drywall.
 
 
The 1 -2 - 3’s of Ready2Rock
 
Some people just want the facts… here they are. 
 
  1. Choose which rooms you want to install speakers into. Most popular are the Kitchen, Living Room and Patio. From the comments we receive, the Bathroom should be at the top of the list. The CSP-2 ceiling speaker package is the best value for every room in the house. Don’t forget there are lots of other options as well. Check out the Room “Layout” tab to get a list of other choices for each room. 
 
  1. Review the “Wiring Plans” tabwhich shows how to run the wires and install one pair or up to four pairs of speakers in each room. If you are doing a few rooms check out the “Multi Room Wiring with 5.1 Surround” diagram. This shows how to connect a HTP-2 Home Theatre Package with other rooms in the house tying it all together with a RVC-J8 Junction Box (which is unique to Ready2Rock).
                                                                                                                                             
  1. Now that you have all the wires run and the room is painted, it’s time for installation. All Ready2Rock speakers are designed to be retro-fitable. The wide frame lip and mounting tabs cover up most inaccuracies with hole cutting. Review your wiring diagrams that you have printed off and follow the colour coding. If you run into a problem check out the “Tips and Tricks” tab for all sorts of helpful hints. Have more questions… go to our “Contact Us” taband drop us a note or give us a call and talk to a live person. We want to show you how easy good home really is.
 
  1. I guess there is a # 4 after all… Enjoy!
 
If you are the reading type, please feel free to check out the whole website. There is tons of information that will make your system planning and installation easy. With Ready2Rock it’s all about Ease, Value and Support.
 
 
Planning a system
 
Speakers are great in any room… kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or patio (don’t forget the volume control for each room). In most cases the stereo should be placed on the same floor as the speakers it powers. If it’s not, it could be a pain running up or down stairs to change the CD. 
 
Let’s clear up some terminology; speaker cables have either four conductors/wires (black, red, green, white) or two conductors/wires (black, red) inside the cable. Either type is good, it depends what type is available from your building supplier. From now on “cable” is referred to as having two or four wires in it. BEFORE YOU START PLEASE CHECK IF YOUR LOCAL BUILDING CODE REQUIRES A PERMIT OR PARTICULAR TYPE OF FIRE PROTECTION RATED WIRE, LIKE FT-4. Look for “UL” or “CSA” insignias on the casing of the wire.
 
To achieve sound, you will need to have a separate speaker cable running from the stereo to each room that has speakers. If a volume control is used, the cable goes from the stereo to the volume control, then to the first speaker and finally to the second speaker in each room. Accordingly, if you have four rooms with speakers, then there will be four cables runs to be connected to the back of the stereo. 
 
When planning to run speaker cables, keep in mind that they will need to go inside the wall, through the ceiling or under the floor, to the volume control and then to the speakers. Sound too vague??? Look at the “Wiring Plans” tab. The most important tip is measure how much cable you need twice… then give yourself a foot or three for good measure (1 meter for you metric types). Murphy’s Law… it will always be too short otherwise.
 
The rules for running speaker cable are the same rules for running AC power wiring: use a staple or clamp every 59” (1.5 M) and 12” (300mm) from the volume control box; also drill into the centre of 2x4’s, not at the edges. Never drill through a rafter, truss or roof joist. Basically, don’t weaken anything structural. Be neat and tidy, don’t cut corners. You might never see the wires again but you’ll sleep better knowing it is neat and done right.
 
If you have an electrician doing your AC wiring, show him or her where you want the volume controls and speakers and they can run it for you. Possibly later they could mount the speakers when they do the “trim out” and mount the wall sockets and switches.
 
One helpful hint… run extra wires to where you might want to put speakers in the future while the room in pieces. It will save you a lot grief later rather than running wires in finished walls. Measure where the wires are in the wall and take pictures which will help a ton in a few years when you want to add those extra speakers.
 
 
Choosing the right speakers and location
 
When it comes to choosing which speakers are best for which application, it is really quite simple… what will fit and what do you like the look of: round or rectangular? Normally round speakers are used in ceilings and rectangular in walls, but it’s your house and you should go with the look you like best. It won’t make any big difference to the sound. As for what size should I use, the general rule of thumb is that the bigger the speaker, the deeper and richer the sound. In other words… an 8” speaker will have more bass than a 6” speaker, although 6” speakers are more popular.
 
The same advice goes for where to place the speakers. Normally ceiling speakers are lined up with light fixtures while wall speakers tend to be placed fairly high up on the wall (as an example like the HTP-2 package with the wall speakers on either side of a flat panel TV). If you want the speakers to visually disappear, then mount them low on the wall or how about ceiling speakers in the corners in the ceiling? This will also make it less obvious where the sound is coming from. However, keep in mind that if you place a chair or other furniture in front of low-mounted speakers, the sound will be blocked.
 
 
How many do I need?
 
Usually, one pair of speakers is more than enough to fill a room with sound. In the case of a media or TV room where you are trying to achieve 5.1 surround sound, you need five speakers. The HTP-2 comes with three wall mounted speakers on either side of the TV (RWS 62W), one for the centre channel and two ceiling mounted speakers (RWS 62) located just behind where people will be sitting. 
 
 
What type of wire do I use?
 
It is normal to use is a fire rated wire like FT-4 which is a 16 gauge stranded, four wires per cable. In some cases, a two wire cable is used but I find it easier to run one four wire cable rather than two, two wire cables. Some people have used CAT 5 computer and phone wire but it is not designed for this type of volume control and speaker use. As for the size or gauge of the wire, all the connectors on Ready2Rock product are made to accept up to 14 gauge wire. Any bigger really won’t be a benefit…smaller can cause problems with breakage while making your connection.
 
Most importantly is to check with your local building code requirements before choosing your wire type and rating like UL or CSA.
 
 
Do I need a volume control?    
 
It really is worth the extra investment to have a volume control in every room, including the same room the stereo is in. This allows you to have the volume off near the stereo so someone can watch TV, but have the sound on in the kitchen where the party is going. All of our volume controls have an off position which will shut off all the sound to the speakers in a room. 
 
 
Where do I locate the volume controls?
 
Volume controls should be placed in a convenient, easy-to-access location. I find that putting them close to the room’s main light switch usually works well, with the volume control located either beside or above the light switch.   Here are a couple of tips…if you are going to line up the volume control with the light switch, first remove the trim cover from the light switches and measure the height of the boxes that they are mounted in...not the cover. Remember the boxes and/or mud plates that the volume controls are mounted into are the same size as the wall switch boxes.  If you are going to do a lot of rooms and the volume controls are going to be at the same height in every room, then measure one and cut a stick to that height. You can then use the stick to find your spot in each room and they will all be the same.
 
 
What stereo should I use?
 
You can use almost any type of stereo, if you already have one and are happy with it, then use the one you have. There are a few reasons for replacing a stereo… if you plan to have a surround sound system in (lets say) a TV or media room and you are planning to have speakers in the front and back of the room with a centre channel for great impact while watching movies, then you will need a stereo that has at least 5.1 surround.
 
Ask the stereo store about the benefits of 5.1 surround vs. 7.1 surround. 5.1 requires five speakers (one pair for full range sound in the front of the room, another pair for the rear sound in the back of the room and a single centre channel speaker mounted in the wall under the TV (for the voices) where 7.1 requires an additional pair of speakers to be mounted in the side walls or in the ceiling as well.
 
As for the power of the stereo, 75 to 100 watts per channel works well when you have a number of rooms with speakers and volume controls.  There are lots of great makes and models. Choose the one that is in your budget and sounds the best, maybe the one that is easy to use too. (myself, I have 5 rooms connected through a RVC-J8 Junction Box to a 35 Watt per channel wall mount AM/FM/CD receiver with NO PROBLEMS)
 
To learn how to connect the stereo, check out the “Wiring Plans” tab.
 
 
How do I connect the speakers to my stereo? 
 
Connection to the stereo differs from unit to unit, however it doesn’t have to be a mystery. If you have installed one set of speakers just connect the cable to the “front output” terminals on the back of the stereo. If you have installed speakers into a few rooms, use our RVC-J8 Junction Box. With our RVC-J8 Junction Box, all the speaker cables can be connected together and only one cable goes to the stereo, just like when you have only one pair of speakers. Clean and tidy! If you have installed a HTP-2 Home Theatre Package check out the “Wiring Plans” tab for the “Multi Room Wiring with 5.1 Surround” diagram.
 
 
Can I listen to my TV through the stereo and speakers?
 
Of course you can. You will need to run a RCA or HDMI cable from the TV “audio output” to the stereos “TV input”. That way the sound can go from the TV to the stereo and then to the speakers you have installed.   You might want to think about running the TV to stereo RCA or HDMI cable before the drywall is installed. You will most likely need to run a few more cables from the DVD or Blu-ray player to the TV as well. Check your equipments operator manuals.
 
 
A few last tips and pointers! 
 
When you have the drywall out and all the wires run, everything looks super easy and simple. Once the drywall is up, you might find yourself wondering…where exactly is that wire??? Do yourself a big favour: before you hang the drywall, measure where the control and the speaker cables are, draw a diagram, take pictures...measure, measure, measure! Also, just because you want to put the speakers symmetrically on either side of the flat panel TV doesn’t mean that the 2 X 4 studs are placed symmetrically as well, so double check before you start cutting. 
 
When you are putting up the drywall, make a hole and poke the wire through in the general area where the speaker will go, (you will thank me!) or ask the drywaller to pre-cut the speaker holes using the template included with the speakers, it makes it easier for you when you do the speaker mounting and connection.
 
If you are putting speakers into existing walls and you are comfortable doing it, you most likely don’t need my help. You’re already past this part. Just make sure you have enough room between the studs. 
 
For more info check out the “Tips and Tricks” tab. 
 
 
 
Now go and make beautiful music…because you’re Ready2Rock!