Stereo Geek Stuff

thatjeffsmith Personal Tech 3 Comments

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We moved a few years ago, to a wonderful home in the heart of Cary, NC. Lots of things to love about the house, but the geek in me has been eyeing these sets of in-ceiling speakers littered throughout the house. The previous owner was a huge fan of classical music and NPR, and wanted to be able to listen in the bath, the yard, the garage, even the kitchen.

When we moved in, I only had a HTIB stereo setup – very suitable for your average 5.1 setup. Alas, I had nothing to push these other speakers. So, every few months I would aimlessly browse CraigsList or browse the big Yamaha type receivers in Best Buy, but I never pulled the trigger.

Last month we were over in Durham checking out ‘the new Target’ – well, it was new to us. On the way out, I noticed this little brick-n-mortar shop called Integrated Audio Video. So I walked in and started chatting with one of the sales guys. And now, a few weeks later, it’s all working in my house.

It is awesome. Not a lot of money, but a lot of labor. About 7 hours of 2 guys labeling, leveling wires and speakers, running CAT5 to my DirecTV receiver, and getting my receiver to work with the AMP via the tape deck output. Around $1000. That is a lot of money for a project like this, but if you are a gearhead or audiophile, you know that’s chicken scratch. The big eye-opener is that the labor was about 48% of the overall cost. So I could have done this work myself for way less money, or I could have done the work myself and doubled the hardware budget.

Sometimes it’s worth paying the pros to do it right. My blog-father @brentO summed this very succintly in his current post The $1,000/Hour Consultants

Before & After Pics

A rat's nest of wires, labeled by previous owner in Cuneiform

The after shot, a place for everything, and everything in it's place

The Hardware

The speakers are powered with a NUVO NV-P2120 amp, and are controlled via a simple 6 pair speaker selector.

The installers labelled the selector switch for me, and it looks and works very nice! I would recommend Bobby & Brett for anyone living in the RTP area here in North Carolina. They even noticed the previous owner had left an un-powered subwoofer under one of the HVAC vents in the crawlspace and reccommended a sub-amp for me to get it working. Maybe we should all go do a crawl-through of our crawlspaces! Who knows what goodies are there 🙂

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Comments 3

  1. Hi Jeff,

    So you looked at those speakers in the ceiling for years, eh? You held out for a long time. Nice work on this project.

    My last audio project was on a much smaller scale – hooking up a receiver and surround sound to my TV/primary computer monitor – but I was glad to get it all working just the same.

    Also, you have a great about me background. I’m curious, why isn’t some version of the frog featured here?


    1. JeffS Post

      It was always a nice-to-have vs a must-have type of project. After waiting 3 years, the CTO (wife) hard a hard time telling me no 🙂

      I’ve got Toad everywhere, you’re just not looking close enough!

    2. JeffS Post

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