Wiring Surround Sound: Speaker Terminal Posts / Wall Plate Combo

Hello All,
Recently renovated our family room and installed speaker wire to all four corners for eventual surround sound. I have the levitron speaker posts/wall plates on the end locations that use one black and one red post for a speaker wire pair. All four wire pairs go back to a single gang box that also has one coax and one ethernet cable installed in it.
Planned on using a six-gang levitron wall plate, two for the coax and ethernet and four for the speaker wire, but seems like each speaker wire needs two posts, for a total of eight posts. I can't seem to find a single speaker post that will accept both speaker wires (pos and neg), and nobody makes a 10 gang wall plate (not enough room).
I was just hoping to find a clean wall plate solution and not leave the gang box uncovered with wires hanging out of it.
Not knowing a whole lot about wiring speakers, would it be possible to wire all four negative sides of the speaker pairs to a single post, and use seperate posts for the positive sides of the pairs? Then I could use an eight gang plate and blank one out (five for speakers, two for cable/ethernet). I am not about to try this since I don't even have any equipment to install, just curious if this would fry something.
Thanks!
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You should definitely maintain separate negative connections for the speakers. Some amplifiers do not use a common negative for speakers.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Probably possible yes, but it would likely degrade the sound quality. The surround system may use seperate amplifiers for each channel, and in any event you would be creating a voltage drop at this merge point that would also affect your quality.
And furthermore some devices may not like it at all, and nobody uses the same stereo system for too many years, so it may not like your new system.
Just put up individual plates.
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I considered doing that and seperating the coax and ethernet from the gang box but then I have to cut another hole in the wall in an odd location. Might have to revisit that.
Thanks
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

have you considered an audial/visual 'closet'?
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Unless I'm missing something, it would seem pretty easy to just drill a few extra holes in that Leviton plate and screw in the requisite number of single binding posts.
Even Rat Shack carries several styles, here's one:
http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&product%5Fid '4-550
And, I'll second and third those folks who've already told you that "common ("negative side") isn't very common" these days as far as audio amplifier outputs go. Don't try using them for more than one amplifier output at the same time.
HTH,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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The ideal solution would be to replace the single gang box, with a 4" square deep box, or simply a 2 gang telecom mud ring. You don't actually need a box for speaker/telecom/data/coax. You can get rings that can be cut-in and mounted directly to the sheetrock.
You are going to run into problems with fitting all those wires in the box, and putting a plate on, especially the coax.
You could also get a 2 gang wiremold extention box, and mount that over the existing box, and use a 2 gang plate, which would give you a maximum of 12 spaces for the quickport modules. It looks like you will need 10 spaces total, 8 speaker (4 pairs), 1 data, 1 coax. The box will stick out from the wall about 2 inches.
If I were doing this, I would bring the speaker lines in to one 2 gang mudring, network/telephone into another, and coax into a third. I would run a minimum of 2 net, 2 tel, and 2 coax, and I might even go as far as 4-6 coax (antenna, cable, 2 sat, in-house distribution, spare), run to a central location for patching. Think dual-tuner satellite receivers. Putting 1-1/2" or 2" conduit in to allow pulling new cables back to your patch area is a good thing.

As previously mentioned, not a good idea. A lot of amplifiers today are push-pull design, with neither side being grounded. Grounding either side can kill the amplifier.

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That sounds doable, but one side would require an eight port module and the other side would require the snap in connectors for coax and ethernet. I never saw any double gang wall plates like that, so I would be back to square one?
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You mentioned Leviton, so I assumed you were looking at the Quickport plates and modules. They have plates with 12 spaces that you could use. You will end up with 6 spaces on each side. I would use the lower 4 spaces on each side for speaker, and the upper 2 spaces for network and coax, with blanks in the unused holes. something like this:
NETWORK        BLANK            COAX        BLANK FRONT-LEFT+    FRONT-LEFT-        FRONT-RIGHT+    FRONT-RIGHT- REAR-LEFT+    REAR-LEFT-        REAR-RIGHT+    REAR-RIGHT-
http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/CatalogGroup.aspx?CatalogSection=E http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDb5 http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDb6 http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDb7 http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDb8 http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDb9
http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/CatalogGroup.aspx?CatalogSection=F http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDa3 http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDa5 http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDa6 http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDa7 http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDR7 http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDR8 http://www.leviton-lin.com/catalog/BuildPage.aspx?BuildPageIDb0
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I think the 12 port is what I need to git'er done. I'm going to carefully remove the single gang box and install a double gang old work box.
Thanks!
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I would seriously consider using a telecom ring, instead of a box. The main reason being that the bend radius of the coax (especially RG-6) makes it difficult to install the plates without putting lots of pressure on the coax. With the modular plates, this can lead to the coax module popping out of the plate. Using a telecom ring means that you have access to the entire space within the wall.
Using regular plates helps solve the problem, but now we are back to using 2 plates, which is still an option.
Telecom rings are available in new and old work types, in plastic, or metal, depending on your preference. There are even versions that have the provision to anchor the end of a conduit.
If you do use a box, use the deepest one available. Your choice of old work boxes will be more limited. With regular boxes, you could always install an oversized 4-11/16 sq box, with 2 gang mudring.
I forgot to ask what type of cable you installed. Hopefully you made a sane choice, and didn't fall for the Monster snake-oil hype :-), and installed cat5/cat5e, and quad-shielded RG-6.
Avoid twist-on F connectors at all costs. The Snap-n-seal, or similar types work best, followed by hex-crimp, and cheap-crimp types. (cheap-crimp is referring to the cheap short barrel connectors found at radio shack, etc..)
Have fun..
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Are those the orange things in the electrical aisle at HD? <G>
I have just plain speaker wire off a spool ran through the stud/ceiling cavities to the far corners of the room, terminated in single gang boxes with two-port levitron wall plates (red & black screw down connectors).
I have CAT5 wire and some RG whatever I had lying around from the cable company kit sent with the high-speed internet service, using hex-crimp connectors. Just basic stuff is all I need.
Thanks!
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Those would be them.. they look like a box, except without the back, and they are orange so that you can easily tell them apart from the regular boxes (usually blue).

like 16 or 14 gauge zipcord? should be fine. 18 is probably ok as well, but I would not go any smaller then that.

Sounds good.. If the cable company provided it, it is probably RG-6.

No problem.. It sounds like you are well on your way..
If you can, take some before, during, and after photos, and stick them on a website somewhere, and tell us about it.. It's always good to see the results..
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