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Author Topic: Speaker set-up help  (Read 7365 times)
Garp
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« on: September 16, 2015, 08:19:40 pm »

Hi, I'm hoping someone can do a brief Speaker 101 for me. I have an idea for wireless surround sound for my next movie night, and I just want to check that I won't blow my receiver!

I bought this cable yesterday and cut off the connectors. I stripped the wires and attached the insides to the positive inputs on my receiver for left and right speakers. As a test, I then plugged in some small portable speakers to the other end of the cable and voila! I had sound.

The idea is to instead plug in the transmitter for my wireless rock speakers and have the back surrounds play during the movie. However, I don't understand the positive/negative stuff regarding speaker wire and that's where I need help.

Usually for connecting my wired speakers, one half of the speaker wire goes to the positive input and the other to the negative. When I stripped the cable, there was just one wire inside for the left and right. So I just plugged these into the positive inputs and ignored the negative. There was copper-colored wire in the cable too, but that was wrapped around the inside insulated wire. At some point, it seemed that one of these wires touched something, there was a spark and the receiver went dead. Fortunately, it started right back up again. But, if you haven't already guessed, it's obvious that I don't really know what I'm doing and I want to fix that before I try it out on unsuspecting friends and family.

Does the copper wire need to go into the negative input, or is it just ground? I've taped up each end with just the inside stripped wire showing and, when plugged into the positive inputs, I still get sound. Is that all I need to do, or am I missing something basic and/or fatal to my receiver?

Cheers for any help. I'm hoping that I can get this to work and have wireless surround sound for our October horror night (movie TBA).



* 51OOnrWO2VL._SL1200_.jpg (38.78 KB, 1200x900 - viewed 267 times.)
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Sparge
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2015, 02:42:32 am »

Hi Garp.  It sounds like you're about to do something bad on a number of levels (no pun intended).  It sounds like you're thinking about plugging the speaker-level outputs from your receiver into the line-level inputs of your wireless speaker transmitter.  That can damage both your receiver and your wireless transmitter.  Also, the cable you show is for the line-level side and it sounds like you're trying to use it on the speaker-level side.  I think a dead giveaway is if you have to cut the connectors off then you're probably using the wrong cable.

Why don't you start by telling us the brand and model of your receiver and wireless speakers.  Pictures might also help.  Tell us about your source player (Blu-ray, laptop, etc.) and how you have it connected to the receiver.  I'll try to guide you to the proper connections.

-Sparge-
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Garp
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2015, 07:45:30 am »

Thanks Sparge. I thought it was too good to be true  Grin

The receiver is an Onkyo HT R391. I have a Sony BDP-BX58 connected to it via HDMI. I usually have the 5.1 speakers that came with the receiver connected via normal speaker wire (16 gauge, I think?) for when I do most of my viewing, which is downstairs in the basement. What I want to do is just have the front L & R speakers connected via speaker wire (and possibly the subwoofer) for outside, with the back surrounds connected to my wireless rock speakers. These are by Audio Unlimited; the transmitter says 900MHz.

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3500-5-1-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B0077V88V8

http://www.audio-unlimited.com/product/spk-rock-duo3

The other option is to utilize the FM transmitter I use in the car for my MP3 player:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/21190810?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227015491685&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40882144472&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=78811723472&veh=sem

...and tune it into a radio behind the seating for the surround effect. This one I use in the car is surprisingly good.

If there is an easy way to do this without crapping out my receiver (not so worried about the transmitters) that won't cost much and/or be too much of a hassle, I'd like to give it a go. I know in the end I'll probably be the only one who will really be excited to watch a movie outside in 5.1, but it's the last show of the year and I'd like to go out with a bang. (Though hopefully that won't be the receiver blowing up...)  Cheesy
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Sparge
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2015, 10:05:20 pm »

Garp - I pulled up an online manual for your Onkyo receiver.  It doesn't have line-level outputs.  It only has speaker-level outputs.  The speaker-level outputs are too powerful to connect to a line-level input like what your wireless speaker transmitter is expecting.  You will need what's called a line output converter.  It takes a speaker level output and attenuates (reduces) its power to line-level strength.  Let me see what I might find online to recommend.

-Sparge-


* HT-R391.jpg (314.4 KB, 1849x708 - viewed 254 times.)
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Garp
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2015, 08:00:37 am »

Thanks, Sparge. I never knew there was even a difference!
Thanks again for your help.
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Sparge
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2015, 10:42:40 pm »

Garp - Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find anything that I could confidently recommend to do the job for your situation.  Sad

Line level output converters are still fairly common in the automotive sound industry.  They allow someone with a factory car stereo to add an after-market amplifier by reducing the speaker-level outputs of their radio to line-level signals safe for the inputs of an amplifier.  That's essentially the same thing you need to do - reduce the speaker-level outputs of your receiver to line-levels safe for the inputs on your wireless transmitter. 

Unfortunately, the converters I'm seeing available online are rated for lower powered car stereos.  I've really only seen one with a high enough power rating for your receiver:

  http://www.crutchfield.com/S-F9DENo8rTE2/p_543ADP12/Russound-ADP-1-2-Speaker-level-to-Line-level-Adapter.html

And looking at the physical design of that one, I'm really skeptical that it's capable of handing that much power anyway.  Also, based on the pic it's just a resistor-based voltage divider circuit.  That could damage your Onkyo receiver if the receiver uses a push-pull amplifier design.  I have no way to know that unless I was to take your receiver apart and investigate.  In fact, the way I'd probably skin this particular cat if this was my receiver would be to open it up, identify the line-level side of the power amplifier circuits and solder in my own line-level RCA jacks.  Then no converter would even be necessary.  I realize that's above the skill set for most on the forum I'm sure.

If I come across a product I have more confidence in then I'll let you know.  Sorry.

-Sparge-
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genesis76
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2015, 04:08:51 pm »

" I'd like to go out with a bang."



Sparge saved your equipment from going out with a bang
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Garp
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2015, 05:39:52 pm »

Thanks, Sparge. As much as I would like surround sound, it seems like it's not worth the risk. I'd much rather have simple 2.0 sound than suddenly no sound! (And possibly no receiver...)

Cheers for looking into it for me.
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genesis76
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2015, 06:12:30 pm »

Thanks, Sparge. As much as I would like surround sound, it seems like it's not worth the risk. I'd much rather have simple 2.0 sound than suddenly no sound! (And possibly no receiver...)

Cheers for looking into it for me.

Garp I forget how many come to your events but I use SS from a basic Sony 5.1 800 Watt system. It is not earth shattering but it does a decent job of SS. I use two speakers in the rear & the passive sub from Sony that came with the system. I use three dual speakers for the front.  Again not a super system but it works. for groups up to 20 to 30.
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Garp
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2015, 12:08:28 pm »

Usually around 12-15 people show up. I could do what I did with the front speakers, and buy some cheap from Goodwill and have them wired at the back (instead of mess around with unhooking everything from my basement set-up), but I'm concerned about people tripping over the wires back there. (Even though I make it clear - repeatedly - at the event not to walk in front of the projector in case they snag a speaker wire, I still get people doing it.)

Also, it depends on what we show as to how much time/effort/money I want to spend on this. Our poll for our Oct horror movie has mostly old films (Amityville, Exorcist, Blair Witch, etc) so there may not be much surround sound activity anyway to make it worth my while.

Thanks again, everyone, for helping out.
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genesis76
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2015, 06:27:20 pm »

Usually around 12-15 people show up. I could do what I did with the front speakers, and buy some cheap from Goodwill and have them wired at the back (instead of mess around with unhooking everything from my basement set-up), but I'm concerned about people tripping over the wires back there. (Even though I make it clear - repeatedly - at the event not to walk in front of the projector in case they snag a speaker wire, I still get people doing it.)

Also, it depends on what we show as to how much time/effort/money I want to spend on this. Our poll for our Oct horror movie has mostly old films (Amityville, Exorcist, Blair Witch, etc) so there may not be much surround sound activity anyway to make it worth my while.

Thanks again, everyone, for helping out.


Every year Costco has these 6 by 9 indoor / outdoor carpets that are great & light weight. So I run the wires right down the middle under the carpets to the scree to the screen & at this point spread them out to the speakers.


The rears are not easy I get some cheap carpets & out them on the wires plus I put a few cahirs in the way.......when I am lazy I hang the speakers on the cart (inside out).  not ideal but it works

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBykz79qGXA

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