How to run Surround Sound cables in-wall through a room with heavy insulation?

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Old 01-14-14, 12:14 AM
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Exclamation How to run Surround Sound cables in-wall through a room with heavy insulation?

Hi!

I have recently purchased a 5:1 surround system for the small bedroom I live in. I called a contractor to come out can give me a quote for how much it would cost to install it, and he then proceeded to tell me he would have to have crown molding to conceal the wires because running the wires through the wall would be difficult and nearly impossible to do due to the position of my room and it's insulation. (It's in a corner, and 2 walls are facing the San Francisco Bay, which is quite windy at times, which is why my room is particular heavily insulated.)

He said if this was a normal room, it was cost me 150. Since I want the wires concealed, he said the only way would be through crown molding, which would cost me 500 dollars. That's a total of 650 dollars to install surround sound. Not to mention I only paid 200 for the system. (Please don't suggest I put them on stands, ceiling is the only choice.

Is the contractor right? Is this the only way to have concealed wires? If so, is his charging fair?

Thank you!

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Old 01-14-14, 06:04 AM
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To have concealed wiring, going up inside the wall is the best "hiding" option. It won't be easy or cheap. Consider California construction. You most likely have perlins in the wall which may hinder running the wires, not to mention the insulation. Do you have access to the attic? I would run the wires up and over from your unit to the speakers.

One last observation. You mention it is a room that you live in. If you are renting get the land lord to do any modifications as you place yourself at risk if you do it.
 
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Old 01-14-14, 07:43 AM
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I live in the home, I'm a member of the owner's family.
If concealed is the best way to go, how much is an average cost?
Is the price the contractor gave me for the crown molding and installation fair?
 
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Old 01-14-14, 08:16 AM
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Considering he has to remove 3/4 of the crown molding in the room. Run the wires, reinstall the crown (replacing the pieces he broke) caulking, painting, it would be fair. I have installed similar wiring by hot gluing it up a corner and painting the wires with matching wall paint.
Still haven't said if you have attic access or not.
 
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Old 01-14-14, 08:36 AM
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I was able to run mine by just tucking between baseboard and carpet. I did have to cut and extend them using small gauge speaker wire. Mine had pre-attached color coded plugs for the speakers. If yours don't, then its just a matter of running the wire. If the hanging wires are a problem, there are ways to fix/conceal that.

Having the speakers mounted to the ceiling is not the best normally. I believe they should be placed at about head level of the listening area.

And I know you already have it...but if it's new and could be returned...have you considered a good sound bar? There are some for about the same price (and much less than the contractor fees would be) that work very well, esp in smaller rooms.
 
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Old 01-14-14, 08:50 AM
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Yes. There is attic access, although it is only a crawl space.
 
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Old 01-14-14, 09:18 AM
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Can you access the top plate of the wall into which you want to place the wires. If an outside wall it may be difficult to reach.

Bose makes wireless surround. Not cheap I am sure, but solves your problems. Hey if the Bose cost $800 you would break even.
 
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Old 01-14-14, 10:16 AM
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Vic has the best suggestion. A $200 5.1 system isn't going to need 12 gauge wire so buy the thin clear 22 ga. and stuff it under the molding. If you have to go around a door you can pry off the trim or frame the old & tuck the wire beneath. My rear speakers are very small & I don't try for theater volumes so I ran 4-conductor thermostat wire under the floor & behind the wall up to the 1st speaker, then behind crown over to the 2nd.

As for the quote--I took your post to say he would need to add new crown. Crown is hard to install correctly--$500 is cheap so don't expect it to look amazing. For that price it'll probably be foam and put up with adhesive. When done right and painted to match the wall it looks very good.
 
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Old 01-14-14, 09:20 PM
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I have no intent of returning the system, nor do I have sufficient funds to purchase a wireless system.

If I were to tell the contractor of the Attic-wall technique, what would I describe to him?
 
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Old 01-22-14, 12:07 PM
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Are you talking about concealing the wires to your two rear speakers, or is it more complicated that would involve your left, center, and right speakers as well?

If your only talking about the two rear, I have a wireless rear speaker kit bought from Best Buy called Rocket fish.

Rocketfish Universal Wireless Rear Speaker Kit RF-WHTIB - Best Buy

It's advertised for $99.99 but I bought mine on sale for $75.00.

It works really well, connect the two speaker wires for left and right from your receiver to one of the boxes, then of course plug it in. On the other box you move it to the back of the room (also have to plug that in) and hook speaker wire from that box to the two rear ones. Then you have a separate volume control on that rear speakers.

Be sure the two boxes are correct. The smaller box goes in the front with your receiver, the bigger for the rear.

I was very skeptical that it would actually work but it did.
 
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