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How to Install In-Wall and In-Ceiling Speakers: High Definition Models
You will need the following tools:
After checking for stud locations and confirming there are no obstructions hidden behind the wall, position the cardboard template (round template for ceiling speakers and rectangular template for inwall speakers) and trace along the inside edge.
TIP: Check for obstructions before you cut the hole. Drill a small hole in the center of the area you plan to mount the speaker. Cut a piece of coathanger wire and bend it with a 90 degree angle. Insert the wire into the small hole and fish around to make sure that no pipes, studs, or other objects will get in the way. If you do find something, you can easily patch the small hole you drilled. Otherwise, cut the big hole with confidence!
Cut along the traced line using a drywall saw or rotary drill. A utility knife will also work but is more difficult to control for beginners.
TIP: Use a drywall saw to cut the hole. A utility knife will make the cleanest cuts in drywall, but a utility knife can be difficult to control by a non-expert. Electric rotary saws make cutting drywall physically easy, but they too can be difficult to control. A simple, inexpensive drywall saw (about $10 at your local hardware store) is the best bet for beginners. The speaker's frame will cover up any rough edges.
Removing the grilles from in-ceiling and in-wall speakers is easy if you know a couple of tricks.... Here they are:
Brand new (un-installed) speakers:
Hold the speaker in your hands, grille-DOWN, over your lap
With your thumbs, swing out the white plastic mounting ears on the back of the speaker
Position your fingers under the white trim-ring/bezel around the front of the speaker
Press down on the extended plastic mounting ears
The screws of the mounting ears will press against the back of the grille. The grille will pop off into your lap
Using an awl, insert the hook end of the awl into a hole of the grille (along the edge not in the center)
Pull firmly to raise the grille from its seat
Repeat at multiple positions around the edge of the grille until it pops off
To put the grille back on, press it firmly into place over driver until it is seated and flush
Note: The grille is intentionally very tight inside the frame. A loose grille would buzz or rattle during loud or bass-heavy operation. This "press-fit" design is used by most of today's manufacturers.
TIP: If the grille does not immediately pop out, work your way around the grille pressing on each ear until the grille begins to loosen.
Run the cable into place leaving an extra two feet to make connections to the speaker easy. Strip back approximately 1/2 inch of the speaker cable insulation and twist the copper wires tightly. Then, on the back of the speaker, press down on the gold-plated compression terminals to reveal the "eye" and insert the speaker cables maintaining correct polarity (positive to positive; negative to negative). Release the compression terminals to lock the cables in place.
Position the speaker into the hole directly against the insulation. Rolled-in insulation acts like damping material to improve acoustics.
Make sure the dog-ear mounting brackets are loose and turned inward before placing the speaker in the wall.
TIP: Blown-in insulation can sometimes work its way into the moving components of the speaker, negatively impacting performance. It is best to replace about a one square foot section directly behind the speaker with rolled-in (bat) insulation.
Tighten the dog-ear brackets by simply turning the screws in the speaker's front baffle.
Use a Phillips head screwdriver to turn the screws slowly clockwise. The quick-turn mounting system and frame will "sandwich" or clamp around the wall to hold the speaker securely in place. Do not overtighten.
Aim the swivel tweeter to the center of the listening area. Before replacing the grille, listen to the speaker with the +/- tweeter switch and +/- woofer switch in each position to determine what sounds best to you.
Press in the grille. The frame and grille can also be painted to match your decor.
TIP: Speakers positioned close to a corner often produce more bass and will usually benefit with the tweeter switch in the +3dB position. Speakers located within a few feet of a listener's ear will often sound better with the tweeter switch set to -3dB. In most installations, the default 0dB setting provides the best balance/sound. Boost the woofer setting to +3dB to get the most bass out of your speakers.
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