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Author Topic: New Speakers and wiring  (Read 379 times)

steve p. thomas

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New Speakers and wiring
« on: April 13, 2017, 11:20:28 am »

We're remodeling the sanctuary after a tornado damaged it.  The contractor is going to run wire for us inside the ceiling since he's fixing it anyway.  We are needing new speakers up front.  Our current mains are some Peavy 315s 400w units that are mounted on floor stands.  We're thinking of flying speakers, or at least more smaller speakers even if still ground mounted.  Our room is only 44' deep by 73' wide, so with two large speakers we get more depth than we need, but there are dead spots with 2 speakers in that wide room).

My questions are

(1) any suggestions on what speaker configuration we need (we were thinking 3 or 5 speakers to get the wider field we need if we fly them, but are totally open to suggestion here)?  And flying vs ground stand mounted?

(2) do we want powered speakers, or still passive speakers driven by our 400 watt per channel Crest amp?   And what wiring do we need to run for each option?

(3) should we wire for more than 2 channels?  Right now this amp has 2 channels, but really everything is panned center so it's all mono).

The most critical issue is to decide what wiring we're going to need, so they can install that with the new ceiling.

Steve


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Nathan Riddle

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Re: New Speakers and wiring
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 11:38:28 am »

Howdy Steve,

Where are you located?
LA perhaps?

Having an audio visual integrator will typically yield best results. If we can find one for you that would be best. But we'll still help out here.

Budget?

Do you have building plans, pics, etc?

Desired SPL? Musical content?

Answers:
1) 3 is probably a good starting point. But depends on height, width, depth, speaker type, room type, spl, etc...etc...
Flying is best for more even front to back spl coverage.
Looks better, the soundscape is better, but costs in alignment between subs/mains (typically, unless subs are flown) not generally a big deal.

2) powered = ease of install, but if an amp module goes down you have to go up and work on the speaker in the air, you also have to run both switched power and data to the speaker location.
unpowered = ability to swap amps easily if one fails.

3) definitely run more wire than 2ch's It's always good to have spare/extra.
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Ray Aberle

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Re: New Speakers and wiring
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 11:52:56 am »

And always the fun question.......... Why are you "needing" to replace your speakers? What are they doing (or not doing) that doesn't meet your needs? Is it just the dead spots, or something else? Do they not get loud enough? (Conversely, are they TOO loud? Although I have an easy solution for that... ;)) Are they wearing out from years of use?

Knowing what problem you are trying to overcome will greatly help in recommending the right solution!

However, what Nathan mentioned about getting an audio consultant involved with the project is also spot on. This person will help you define your needs, issue a RFQ, and sift through the response(s) to select the right solution. They're not trying to sell you the gear, which means they have no reason to choose one brand over another other than what's best for YOU. (A salesperson at a gear store might try to push something (s)he makes the most margin on, or something that's been sitting in their warehouse for way too long-- those are not good reasons alone to choose a product!)

-Ray
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Ray Aberle

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Re: New Speakers and wiring
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 11:57:48 am »

And, as an aside, trying to decide what wiring needs to be installed and where before designing the new system is akin to buying a bucket of paint to paint your living room... and you've not even started putting up the walls yet. Yes, having this done now will be beneficial, but if insufficient wiring to the wrong places is installed, you'll be having to re-do it anyways...

-Ray
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: New Speakers and wiring
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 12:28:31 pm »

I'm glad you poked your head in here Ray, I forgot the essentials! :)
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: New Speakers and wiring
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2017, 01:24:44 am »

The contractor is going to run wire for us inside the ceiling since he's fixing it anyway.

Don't have the contractor install wire. Have the contractor install conduit. Then you have the option of pulling the wire you need when you're ready for it, and you have the option of changing the wire as your needs change.

The conduit should be no less than 1" nominal. Be sure to provision a power outlet at every location you provision for a data or signal outlet.

Every location should get at least two CATx drops. Seriously. Yes, even for speakers. It will be needed sometime in the future. Consider where you might hang a projector. (Actually, seriously consider an ultra-short throw projector. These are mounted directly above the screen and don't need to hang from the ceiling. That means data and power on the wall directly above the screen. I have no practical experience with them.)

Provision a data drop in the middle of the ceiling for a wireless access point (this should be PoE powered).

You might not need it now, but this is the time to prepare for it. It's cheaper to install conduit now than wire later.
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Brent_Handy

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Re: New Speakers and wiring
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2017, 07:24:06 pm »

The conduit should be no less than 1" nominal. Be sure to provision a power outlet at every location you provision for a data or signal outlet.

You can't arbitrarily say what size the conduit ought to be.  There is a code for conduit fill capacity.  If the contractor is installing one home run from the last speaker to the amp rack, with pull boxes and J boxes in between for multiple speaker drops, you might need more than one 1".  There are too many unknowns.

OP, there is too much missing information to just throw out speaker names and numbers.  We would have to have a floor plan, reflected ceiling plan, structural plan, etc to make recommendations.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: New Speakers and wiring
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2017, 11:26:17 pm »

You can't arbitrarily say what size the conduit ought to be.  There is a code for conduit fill capacity.

Agreed. What I meant was that even if code allows for a smaller size, don't automatically go with the minimum, but allow for future capacity.
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