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Old 03-06-2017, 01:41 PM
CannyDan CannyDan is offline
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Wirelessly connect amp to speakers

Iím setting up my music system in a new room in a new house. Iíve always just connected speakers to the amp with speaker wire, hooked up a music source (turntable, CD player, etc.) and played music. But this room makes hard wiring the speakers extremely difficult.

I want to arrange things with the amp and controls on this side of the room, and the speakers over there. But there is no way to hide the wires! Floor is tile, ceiling is beamed, and all walls have at least one doorway or open passage, without framing that could hide wires. So Iíve been contemplating some kind of wireless connection. This should be simple, right? Iím not looking for fancy accoutrements, no Bluetooth attachments, no HDMI, just replace wires with a wireless signal, inside the same room.

Iíve looked at these which seems to be exactly what I want. A transmitter to take the signals from my amp, and broadcast them to a pair of powered receivers each providing 80 watts of speaker level signal on the other side of the room. (Iím thinking I need some serious power, since my speakers include 16Ē woofers.) But I do not know how well such a system may work. And it seems kind of pricey.

Anybody have any experience with this problem? How best to solve it? Any hardware recommendations?
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:57 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is offline
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It looks as though this has the amplifiers in the speaker housing. I think that it would be difficult to send an amplified audio signal wireless-you just need circuitry to select the source.
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Old 03-06-2017, 02:41 PM
CannyDan CannyDan is offline
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Unless my link has gone wonky or I misunderstand the product, that's not right. The product has 3 components. One 'transmitter' that accepts speaker-level signal from the Left & Right channels of an amp and broadcasts it, and two 'receivers' that capture the broadcast and turn it into L and R speaker level outputs (one channel on each of the two units) that go to actual speakers via pairs of speaker wire. The 'transmitter' is to be located nearby the amp. Each 'receiver' is to be located near a speaker. Actual wire runs are only amp-to-transmitter and receiver-to-speaker (two separate iterations). I think.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:00 PM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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I take it that it's not acceptable to have one receiver unit connected to both speakers? There are cheaper options like this that just have one receiver.

I'll also mention an option that you've dismissed, but may want to reconsider. I have a set of speakers in my living room connected to the receiver with flat speaker wire (like this) that runs up the wall to the beamed ceiling, along the ceiling for a dozen feet, and then along one of the beams to the speakers. It's really not as noticable as you might think. The section that goes straight up to the ceiling is really the only part that anyone might notice without looking very closely. The white wire is tacked along the ceiling molding through the center of the wire, and is barely noticable, and the run that goes along the beam is not visible at all except from a very small part of the room.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:17 PM
CannyDan CannyDan is offline
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Thanks, markn+! The speakers will both be near enough to an alcove that they could both be connected to a single receiver without visual or practical issues. But is 40 watts enough for my big old stereo speakers with the 16 inch woofers and 6" and 10" midranges? Otherwise that setup looks like it would work for half the price!

The flat wire is still problematic though. I wasn't totally descriptive regarding the room. It's a huge room, which was created by putting an addition onto an existing room. The pre-existing part has popcorn ceiling. Then it is extended with a beamed ceiling. So there's no way to hide a wire across that. And the walls all have fenestrations (doorways, passageways, windows, outlooks) that make any circumnavigation also impossible. So I think it's wireless or nothing!
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Old 03-06-2017, 04:15 PM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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I'm not sure I'm visualizing your situation completely, but it seems to me that in general you just have to get the wire up to the ceiling from the receiver. From that point, it can run along the angle between the wall and the ceiling until it reaches the point where it needs to go down to the speakers. Surely the doors and windows don't reach all the way to the ceiling. In my experience, a flat white wire running along the wall/ceiling joint is barely noticable. It's only the vertical runs from the receiver to the ceiling and from the ceiling to the speakers that may be an issue. But depending on the room layout, you might be able to run these vertical segments along a door frame, window or even the angle where two walls meet, which would mitigate the problem. Nevertheless, a wireless receiver would certainly be less visually intrusive if you're willing to spend the money for it. I can't really address how well they work or what power output you need.
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:11 PM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Well, something like this would let you connect your existing audio amp (preamp, actually since the power amp portion wouldn't be used) to a remote power amp. You could put whatever power amp you want on the far end by the speakers.

ETA: The wiring diagram for this doohickey (a technical term) is here.

Last edited by Marvin the Martian; 03-06-2017 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:24 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is offline
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Originally Posted by markn+ View Post
From that point, it can run along the angle between the wall and the ceiling until it reaches the point where it needs to go down to the speakers.
I winder if flat wire can run under molding.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:26 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is offline
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I believe 40W will work. I built four 100W amps when I was a kid, and never cranked them up more than 25%, despite testing for distortion with Smoke on the Water and Tchaikovsky's piano concerto.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:34 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is offline
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I winder if flat wire can run under molding.
I wonder, actually.
  #11  
Old 03-06-2017, 06:35 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
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If the room is carpeted, carefully push the wire along walls and doors can be bridged with an electricians 'fish tape'.
  #12  
Old 03-06-2017, 06:37 PM
CannyDan CannyDan is offline
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Wirelessly connect amp to speakers

markn+, thanks, but trust me -- I've run lots and lots of wire, for a multitude of purposes up to and including whole building wiring during construction (supervised and checked by master electrician) and retrofit of barns, cottages, and 'manufactured dwelling units'. There just is no way to wire amp to speakers in this room without it being highly visually intrusive. I wish that wasn't the case, since I have access to endless amounts of wire. :-)

Marvin, that's quite similar to the one I linked in my OP. Thanks! I'll compare features and price point.

Last edited by CannyDan; 03-06-2017 at 06:38 PM.
  #13  
Old 03-06-2017, 06:55 PM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CannyDan View Post
Marvin, that's quite similar to the one I linked in my OP. Thanks! I'll compare features and price point.
Actually, not really - the unit I linked to requires a separate power amp on the speaker side. That way you aren't limited by the 40W of your original solution...
  #14  
Old 03-06-2017, 06:59 PM
CannyDan CannyDan is offline
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Thanks all, but there's no carpet. And no moldings. Mexican tile floor extends 2 tiles up the wall. Passageways or sliding glass doors in 3 of the 4 walls, all lacking frames (behind which wires could be hidden). Ceiling has transitions that interrupt the path from amp to speakers. Wireless really is the only reasonable option. But I've never used such a system, so I'd appreciate input from anyone with knowledge or experience.
  #15  
Old 03-06-2017, 10:07 PM
jasg jasg is offline
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Can you run the wires around the outside of the room?
  #16  
Old 03-06-2017, 11:53 PM
DataX DataX is offline
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I've used the sonos system - which will almost certainly run you more than the option you are looking at, but it WORKS. I don't have much experience with other systems, but from what I've read - many are kinda unreliable.

I assume you know this, but there are plenty of moldings you can buy that hide cables. You could almost certainly buy some with $5.00 worth of caulk and get something that looks good for way less than $200.

You could use quarter round (I think that's what it's called) and with a few cuts go around the sliding door.

Yeah tile and molding might not look perfect, but if you use caulk - I seriously doubt anyone but you will notice.

I do tend to get anal about that stuff in my house - so I understand if you think it's a stupid idea
  #17  
Old 03-07-2017, 06:07 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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I've run wires across a room by going through the floor to the basement or up inside a wall to the attic. Are those approaches out?
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Old 03-07-2017, 08:35 AM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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What's your music source(s)?

If you don't mind slightly (probably unnoticeably) lower sound quality, you could just put a generic amplifier on the far side of the room next to the speakers, with a $15 Bluetooth receiver plugged in to it. If you're at this point mostly playing music from an iPhone or something, you're good to go: just pair it to the Bluetooth receiver, and you can carry it around, while music plays through the speakers. If you want to play CDs from the near side, you could add a Bluetooth transmitter taking the output from the CDs, though that means no easy way to change volume without walking across the room.
  #19  
Old 03-07-2017, 08:47 AM
Mind's Eye, Watering Mind's Eye, Watering is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
I've run wires across a room by going through the floor to the basement or up inside a wall to the attic. Are those approaches out?
That's how I have my surround speakers wired. It was a bit tedious to do, but it works very well.
  #20  
Old 03-07-2017, 11:18 AM
CannyDan CannyDan is offline
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This is Florida, there's no basement and no attic. Not even a crawlspace above or below. Construction is concrete block on monolithic concrete slab. Since there is no existing "trim" in this room, the addition of any trim to hide the wires (quarter round, moulding, etc.) will be screamingly obvious. Going around the outside is possible, and I considered it. But it too will be hard to hide (although less obvious) and will be exposed to environmental degradation (UV, insects, animals). Other than "it's cheap" and "it's the most straightforward", is there any special reason to favor metallic wire? I'm old enough -- and old fashioned enough -- that wire is my default. But in this instance wire really isn't a happy answer. I thought I'd try moving into the current century by adopting modern technology.

DataX, what "sonos system"? Did I miss a recommendation?

I have a big pair of speakers from an earlier age of the world, and I have (or had) them wired to an amplifier. The amp is modern enough to offer 5/1 sound if I wanted to go home theater, but at present I'm just looking for stereo music. I have a CD player and a turntable as sources, to connect to the amp. The amp has a remote, so I can sit in my "listening chair" and control the music in comfort. This system was perfectly satisfactory at my old place. Now I just want to re-create it in the new room. Where the big problem is between the amp and the speakers.

So - I'm still thinking wireless connection. I can afford a couple hundred bucks if needed, to let me continue to use my equipment and do so without having to learn a new system on new hardware. Wireless should be a one time set up and ignore. At least that's my hope.
  #21  
Old 03-07-2017, 11:39 AM
K364 K364 is online now
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Sonos started as a multi-room music player with highly capable connections to online streaming services as well as local music on your computer.

They now have a Home Theater concept - link

It will cost you a few bucks though.

Last edited by K364; 03-07-2017 at 11:41 AM. Reason: fixed link
  #22  
Old 03-07-2017, 12:05 PM
Mind's Eye, Watering Mind's Eye, Watering is offline
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Maybe this will help:

I use a OAW3 system from Outlaw Audio for my powered subwoofer. The OAW4 system is an upgrade for full range speakers. These systems do require that you use either powered speakers, or have located amplifier(s) next to the speakers. I've been very happy with their performance and they don't cost an arm and a leg.

BTW, I have the Outlaw Audio Ultra-X12 Powered subwoofer for my home theater and it's a monster. Astonishing, accurate and powerful low end.
  #23  
Old 03-07-2017, 02:13 PM
CannyDan CannyDan is offline
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That OAW4 looks nice! But its $119 only includes 1 receiver. I'd need another at $59. So I'm up to $179, which is only $11 less than the system in my original link here. Then, since mine are unpowered speakers, I'd either need to buy powered ones, or get 2 of Outlaw's power amps for my speakers. The pair of amps goes for $679. So now I'm well over budget.

The receivers in my link include amplifiers. Granted, they're only 80 watts each. But the whole system is $199. And they claim full dynamic range, 2Hz - 20k Hz. If my speakers can be driven adequately by 80 watts, and carnivorousplant upthread says it should, then I would be OK.

I will look further at that Sonos system, but it does seem too pricey for me.
  #24  
Old 03-07-2017, 02:26 PM
Mind's Eye, Watering Mind's Eye, Watering is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CannyDan View Post
That OAW4 looks nice! But its $119 only includes 1 receiver. I'd need another at $59. So I'm up to $179, which is only $11 less than the system in my original link here. Then, since mine are unpowered speakers, I'd either need to buy powered ones, or get 2 of Outlaw's power amps for my speakers. The pair of amps goes for $679. So now I'm well over budget.

The receivers in my link include amplifiers. Granted, they're only 80 watts each. But the whole system is $199. And they claim full dynamic range, 2Hz - 20k Hz. If my speakers can be driven adequately by 80 watts, and carnivorousplant upthread says it should, then I would be OK.

I will look further at that Sonos system, but it does seem too pricey for me.
Note that you don't need Outlaw's amps - any amps (2 mono or 1 stereo) will do.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:34 PM
Mind's Eye, Watering Mind's Eye, Watering is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CannyDan View Post
That OAW4 looks nice! But its $119 only includes 1 receiver. I'd need another at $59. So I'm up to $179, which is only $11 less than the system in my original link here. Then, since mine are unpowered speakers, I'd either need to buy powered ones, or get 2 of Outlaw's power amps for my speakers. The pair of amps goes for $679. So now I'm well over budget.

The receivers in my link include amplifiers. Granted, they're only 80 watts each. But the whole system is $199. And they claim full dynamic range, 2Hz - 20k Hz. If my speakers can be driven adequately by 80 watts, and carnivorousplant upthread says it should, then I would be OK.

I will look further at that Sonos system, but it does seem too pricey for me.
Missed the edit window.

Note that you get one transmitter and one receiver and is stereo (left and right channel) for $119.

Also note that you don't need Outlaw's amps - any amps (2 mono or 1 stereo) will do.
  #26  
Old 03-08-2017, 10:21 AM
CannyDan CannyDan is offline
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That's all great info, thanks everyone! Looks like I should be able to make something work for less than two hundred bucks. That will be an acceptable expenditure.

Any other suggestions will still be appreciated.
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