Finishing Basement in new house, need some audio help - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 4 Old 01-16-10, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Wichita, KS
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Lightbulb Finishing Basement in new house, need some audio help

Hello Everyone.

My name is Ryan and I recently purchased a new house in Wichita KS for my wife and I. Lucky for me it had an unfinished basement so I get to basicaly turn it into anything I want. So far I've got all of the Framing completed, insulation up, electrical ran (Outlets and Lights), and I'm finally to the part where i'm running wires for my Home Theater. The question isn't about the home theater setup directly but something else. Just so you all are aware though, I have a JVC 7.1 Surround Speaker system being driven by a Pioneer 7.1 Channel Receiver. I've used this setup at my old place for years now and it works great.

Here is the question....I was at a party over New Years and they had their surround going with a movie on the TV and then in the other room we were playing some Ping Pong and eating. He had some in ceiling speakers in here that were playing music. When it got closer to midnight he put the ball drop on TV then messed around with the system and now all of a sudden the surround sound was off and the TV was playing over many In-Celing speakers throughout the entire house. After 12:00 he then turned on some music that played over the whole system. I would like to wire my house up to do something similar. I obviously will be having my surround sound put in where my "home theater" portion of the basement will be but that is also connected to a large part of the basement where i'm going to have a small Bar/Eating type area and then a large portion of the basement will be a Pool Table and Dart Board area. I'm wanting to put some In-Ceiling speakers over the pool table, bar, and Surround Sound area (since they are connected and there will be couches and chairs there) and then also possibly put one speaker in the bathroom. The idea being when i'm watching a movie I can rock the surround like normal but if I have friends over I can turn the movie on the overhead speakers, play music, or like during the Super Bowl have it play over all the overhead speakers. I'm planning on only needing to use 6 or 8 speakers in the ceiling total.

What components will I need to make this work? I have a box of 14 guage speaker wire (probably about 400 feet left), the pioneer 7.1 Channel Receiver Model #VSX-516, and then am deciding on speakers. I like the Klipsh speakers but will probably go with some made by Polk for cost reasons. I'm thinking about using the Polk 6.5" Round Speaker RC60i (I found them on Newegg but since I don't have enough posts I can't paste the link here. Just search for Polk RC60i and they will come up so you can see the technical specs if needed).

Will I be able to connect these speakers to my existing receiver somehow? If so how would I do it? If not what type of Amplifier/Receiver would I need. Keep in mind these speakers will not be used for surround sound EVER but only for background audio or music when I have people over. Any and all Help and Input would be greatly appreciated.


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post #2 of 4 Old 01-16-10, 02:57 PM
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Re: Finishing Basement in new house, need some audio help

Hi Ryan, welcome to the Shack!

What some people will do is buy an external 70volt amp that uses special impedance balanced speakers that you mount in ceiling or wall, each speaker has its own little transformer that keeps the impedance of the speaker matched without putting a load on the amp. You can then even have independent volume controls in each room to control them.
Does your receiver have a second output zone

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #3 of 4 Old 01-27-10, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Longmont, CO
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Re: Finishing Basement in new house, need some audio help

There is a whole section on whole-home audio in the ebook in my signature. Lots of diagrams, install options etc. Once you understand the basics, then it is about matching your budget to your goals... Good news is that with some fairly straightforward wiring, you can put in a budget system now and not have to give up a really spectacular system later if budget is tight...

(It's the "prewire your home icon")...

Good Luck

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post #4 of 4 Old 01-30-10, 12:24 PM
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Re: Finishing Basement in new house, need some audio help

Dfeller's link should give you what you need. If you want to go mid-to-high tech, you will want a dedicated system to control everything. Most of these will also allow local input: say you have a keypad in your kitchen that controls volume, source and other basics. You can install another keypad that will typically have red/white (2 RCA) connectors for any local input you want. So you can simply plug your ipod or computer into the local input and listen to what you like in that "local" area. Some systems even allow you to put a powered subwoofer in the room so you have more bass.
A bunch of companies make good systems. OnQ, Russound, Niles, Jamo used to have a great A-bus system and there are others. If you want to have control over bass, treble, balance, control over source input and local sources, one of these multi-zone systems are the way to go.
If all you want is to be able to play what is coming from your central location (theater room), then you can do it cheaper and easier Tony was describing.
For most systems, you need to run 2 cat 5 and a pair of speaker wires to the central location. You will probably only use one cat5, but it is nice to have more. Make sure your speaker wire runs from your speaker to where you want your keypad/volume control, and THEN down to the central location. Don't just run your speaker wire from the speakers to the central location. You have to go past the keypad area, otherwise, you might not be able to use some systems that use the keypad as the amplifier. Good luck.
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