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Thread: Wiring Rock Speakers and Amplifier Suggestions?

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    cnr1089's Avatar
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    Wiring Rock Speakers and Amplifier Suggestions?

    So, my pool was finished at the end of last year. We had the electrician run an extra pipe for low voltage wiring out by the pool.

    I bought a pair of rock speakers and I want to wire them up soon. How do people usually wire these up? I was going to run a pair of (I think I have 12 gauge) speaker wire from inside my house, into the conduit (which starts right outside my house, near the pool equipment) to the electrical post by the pool (well, in the planters by the pool). I was thinking that I would need a outdoor speaker "wall plate" of sorts, so that the wire from inside isn't going directly to the speakers. Is that necessary? Or do people wire these things directly to their speakers to their inside? (I wired my house for ethernet, and I certainly didn't wire from the router, through the walls, out the wall, directly to my computers).

    Additionally, anyone have good suggestions for compact amplifier I can use for my 2 speakers (http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/rock ... rx805.html)? I don't need some giant "Home Theater" receiver, I am just going to take stereo output from my computer (roughly speaking) and amplify that. Extra bonus points if I could control volume remotely, but that isn't a requirement.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Re: Wiring Rock Speakers and Amplifier Suggestions?

    I would make sure to use speaker wire that is rated for outdoor use not just regular speaker wire. I will keep an eye on this thread to as I am looking to do the same thing.
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    Re: Wiring Rock Speakers and Amplifier Suggestions?

    I just wired up speakers out at my pool area and had the same concerns as you. After some research I ended up using this product:

    http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/os14gadibusp1.html

    ...and was quite pleased with the quality. I believe you can purchase similar wire from the big box stores, albeit at twice the cost.

    I ran the wire straight from my receiver in my basement to the speakers with out any type of wall plate or splices.

    As far as controlling volume remotely, unless you have direct light of sight to your amp a traditional infared remote won't work. In the interest of eliminating all the clutter from my AV equipment in my 1st floor family room, I keep all the components in my basement which I control via a universal remote with radio frequency technology. Expensive, but it was well worth it. My home theatre receiver has a "Zone 2" feature which I use to power the outdoor speakers which I can control while lounging pool side.

    Here is the remote I use:

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/remotes/u ... vices/5874
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    Re: Wiring Rock Speakers and Amplifier Suggestions?

    There are a lot of ways to do this. When my pool was built, I had them bury a 1½" conduit with a pull wire (about 130'). I then ran two Cat-5e's for phone and internet, two 12ga. speaker wires and a RG-6 for TV. I terminated the speaker wires in a waterproof box on the pool fence with a volume control under a weatherproof switch plate. Then real outdoor-rated speaker wires fed out to the outdoor speakers. I detach them there in the fall; I don't really see the need for an 'attachment plate' because the volume control mates the two types of wires and I just unscrew the wire at the speaker when I bring them in for the season.

    On my patio, I feed the speakers with 12ga. landscape wire running from a volume control indoors by the patio door. It's cheap, you can bury it, and it works fine. True speaker wire is finer stranded and higher quality metal, but I challenge anyone to assert an audible difference in this application. I drive my low-budget outdoor system with a big old Denon 2-channel I picked up used for peanuts, and a Paradigm speaker switcher for patio, pool and basement. The switcher takes care of impedance matching when set up correctly.

    If you did not use a volume control, you could terminate to a standard electrical box with speaker plugs and an 'in-use' weather-proof cover. Eventually the exposed wires to the rocks will get lawn-mowed, weed-whacked or otherwise abused and you will have to cut them back anyway.

    The important thing is to keep low-voltage and electrical circuits separate. LV and 110-240V cannot share a conduit or anything else. There is code for low-voltage, but it is not something most inspectors are too intense about. (My town inspector answered my questions with: "Low-voltage you can do anything you want--I won't even look at it."YMMV) Note: Low-voltage as used here does NOT include 12V landscape or pool lights--it includes real low-voltage: phone, internet, TV antenna/satellite feed and video/audio.

    Here is the kind of volume control I used. There is a cheaper kind if you are just doing a single pair of speakers. My pool and patio are way too far from my A/V center for a wireless remote.

    http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/i...-b-switch.html
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    Re: Wiring Rock Speakers and Amplifier Suggestions?

    I've got 4 of the green outdoor Bose speakers around my pool. I ran 1/2" electrical conduit from my pool house and used regular single outdoor 12 guage stranded wire (500' roll from Home Depot) for each speaker. They sound great... I don't believe speaker wire is any different. I wanted 12 guage with the runs I was doing (about 50-70 feet for two of them). You can see my speaker on the right front of the picture with the conduit. There is a speaker to the left of the far left column from the pool house and one right to the left of the lounge chair and one to the left of the other two lounge chairs (Not pictured). That would have been the longest run of all four. The stereo is in the pool house. When walking around the pool deck, it is so much fun to listen to the music. Can't wait to lay in the middle of the pool this summer and listen to some rap, country and good ole rock and roll.
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    Re: Wiring Rock Speakers and Amplifier Suggestions?

    For extending remote control, I use a "Next Generation Remote Control Extender by Next Generation", available on Amazon. It uses your existing remote control and extends it via RF via a nifty battery-sized transmitter. The receiver resides near (or within line-of-size of) your amplifier/receiver. It works with most analog remotes, but does disclaim support for some newer digital remotes.

    It works surprisingly well; I use it outside and it transmits through the exterior brick wall without any problems.
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    Re: Wiring Rock Speakers and Amplifier Suggestions?

    I am likely to use my iPhone/iPad to control the music. Volume I am going to use iTunes volume control, but I don't know effective that is (am I going to get a buzzing noise if I turn the iTunes volume down, while the amplifier is set to the "high" volume I want).
    26k gal IG, Gunite Baha Sand River Rok (pebble), Hayward DE6020 Filter (120GPM), Hayward NorthStar 2HP (dual speed) pump, Hayward H400FDP 400kBTU heater, Aqua Comfort Heat pump, Pro Logic Automation and Chlorination (SWG), Polaris 3900 (we call him Fred, he likes to get stuck in the corner of our stairs). Watch our pool being built http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S61tQm2fp08

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    Re: Wiring Rock Speakers and Amplifier Suggestions?

    I just installed rock speakers in my backyard around my pool. I used 12 gauge direct burial low voltage cable from Home Depot and just buried it directly in the ground. No conduit was used. I used water proof wire nuts to connect them to the speaker wire coming out of the rock speakers. I then placed a freezer zip lock bag around the connection and zip tied it shut for added protection and buried the bag below the speaker. They sound good except that I have such a long run, over 100 feet, that I have to crank up the receiver to make the speakers loud outside. At some point in the future I may change the setup and move the receiver closer to the speakers but for now they work great.
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    Re: Wiring Rock Speakers and Amplifier Suggestions?

    Here is how I'm doing it - ended up being very simple if all you want is music and you're an Apple house.

    1) Any stereo amplifier will do, no volume control needed. Here is what I am using. This runs all the speakers in my house. Got in on ebay for cheap.
    http://www.speakercraft.com/products...&category_id=9
    You really just need a stereo amp, nothing fancy needed. This would be fine:
    http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/a...annel-amp.html

    2) Get an Airport express. You will need a wireless network as well. Will connect directly to the amp. It has it's own volume control via AirPlay
    http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/

    3) The speaker wire can be the same as your low voltage wiring, in fact that's probably the best bet. It's very durable wire and designed for outdoors.

    4) I wouldn't use any intermediate connection points, direct from speaker to amp is fine. Ideally you want as few connection points as possible, they just add resistance.

    5) If the speaker has a pig-tail (most rock-types do), I would use a weatherproof twist connector used for low voltage connections to connect the pig tail to your speaker wire. It contains a grease that is moisture resistant and a conduction enhancer. They sell at homedepot/lowes.

    Basically, all I have to do for music is walk outside, load my Pandora app on my iphone, make sure I'm connected to my home wireless network, and send the music via the airplay option in Pandora. There is a volume control right in the app. Works the same with an ipod or ipad. Brain dead simple for anyone around my house to use. Even guests can use their own phones.

    If you don't go down this path, then you will need a remotely controlled volume, possibly a multi-input switch, and some way to send remote signals from outside to the sources and amp. Basically an old receiver would work, with an RF-style remote to let you control it from outside. RF remotes typically do not work well over long distances that involve an exterior wall. There are also solutions that use Wifi that are a little more robust.
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