Tips of the Day - Complete List

Tip #1
To minimize the mess when installing in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, use non-stick painter’s tape to secure a garbage bag directly under the location where you plan on cutting the hole.
Tip #2
To remove the grille from an In-Wall or In-Ceiling Speaker prior to installation, simply use the dog-legs to push the grille out of the speaker frame. When you push the dog-legs toward the front of the speaker, the screw-heads will push against the back side of the speaker grille. Gently work your way around the speaker until the grille comes loose from the speaker frame.
Tip #3
To remove the grille from an In-Wall or In-Ceiling Speaker after it has been installed, use a sharp, pointed tool like an Awl. Simply insert the tool into one of the holes on the grille as close to the outer edge of the speaker grille as possible; then gently pull straight out. Work your way around the speaker grille a few times to remove the grille. In a pinch, you can make your own tool with pliers and a paper clip!
Tip #4
If you are still using multiple remote controls for your components, consider consolidating them all into a single universal or learning remote. These remotes allow you to select (or learn) the proper programming for each of your components. It’s also a great way to add extra remotes to your system for additional Whole House Audio zones!
Tip #5
Need to place your equipment in a cabinet or out-of-sight but still have control? Simply use one of our IR distribution solutions! You will need an IR “Eye” to receive the signal, an IR “Distribution Block” to route the signal, and IR “Emitters” to transmit the signal to your components. It’s a great, low-cost way to control your hidden equipment.
Tip #6
If you are hearing unwanted noise/interference from your speakers and can’t find the problem, try removing your cable/satellite receiver (and the cables) from the system. If the noise goes away when you unplug the cable/satellite receiver then you may have a ground loop. This may be corrected by using a “ground loop isolator” from your local electronics store.
Tip #7
If you simply don't have the space for a subwoofer in your living room or bedroom, consider our HD-IWS10 In-Wall Subwoofer. You can keep the clean look and still make the most of your Surround Sound or Whole House Audio System!
Tip #8
If you are installing In-Wall/In-Ceiling speakers, place a large square of fiberglass batted insulation behind each speaker (fiberglass side against the speaker). This will not only protect your speaker and maintain your insulation value; it can also help improve the overall sound quality of your speakers.
Tip #9
Don’t forget! Always plug your A/V Equipment into a quality surge protector/line conditioner to help reduce potential damage due to electrical spikes. Not only will your components be protected, you can actually help extend their lifespan!
Tip #10
Do you have speakers pre-installed in your home but none of the speaker cables are marked? You can actually use a 9V battery help track them down - simply touch the positive and negative wires from each speaker cable to the terminals on the battery. When you briefly touch the speaker wires to the battery, the speaker connected to the other end of the cable will produce a distinct “popping” sound.
Tip #11
When setting up a Surround Sound System, always try to position the Center Channel Speakers as close to the television/screen as possible and preferably at ear level. This way the dialogue will sound as if it is coming from the same location as the person speaking on the screen.
Tip #12
When using In-Ceiling Speakers for your front Left, Center, and Right channels in a Surround Sound application, keep the main seating area at least the same distance away from the speakers as the speakers are off the ground. For example - if you have a 10' ceiling, make sure you are sitting at least 10' or more back from the speakers. This will help reduce the “spatial dislocation” effect of having your speakers located above your display image.
Tip #13
Setting up a surround sound system in your family room, but only need a single extra zone of speakers in another area? Consider a Surround Sound Receiver with a dedicated “Zone 2” output. This way you can still run all your Surround Sound speakers from the Receiver and select a different source for the speakers in Zone 2. Need more than one extra Zone? Consider one of our Whole House Audio solutions!
Tip #14
Did your installer run standard Coaxial (television) cable to the subwoofer location? No problem; you can use a Coaxial-to-RCA adapter and the subwoofer signal will be carried down the coax cable just as it would be with a shielded dedicated subwoofer cable.
Tip #15
Want to get a better feel for how your new In-Ceiling/In-Wall Speakers will sound before installing them in the wall or ceiling? Use the included template and simply cut a hole in the speaker box, then install the speakers into the box and test them. They will still sound far better once installed in the wall/ceiling, but this will give you a very general idea of how the speakers will sound and is better than having them not mounted at all.
Tip #16
When auditioning speakers, try to listen to familiar music in order to more accurately judge how a speaker sounds to you. We recommend taking a few of your favorite CD's with you and listening to your favorite tracks. If you find yourself wanting to turn the volume down or skip a track halfway through then that speaker may not be a good match for you, but if you find yourself wanting to sing along or turn it up then that speaker may be a good match for your ears!
Tip #17
The absolute BEST method for auditioning speakers is in your own living space. Spend some time getting comfortable and listening to tracks that you know very well. Listening in a store (any store) can be deceiving and leave you disappointed. Your room is a major component in determining how a speaker sounds – carpet, tile, furniture, the shape and size of your space - all play an important role. Take advantage of or 30-Day Guarantee and if you're not thrilled we'll take the speakers back...we're really that confident in what we do.
Tip #18
Do you have conduit instead of a pre-wire? Having a hard time fishing the wire through the bends of the conduit? Try this tip - purchase “pull-string” or "mule tape" from your local home improvement store. Then use a small plastic shopping/grocery bag and tightly tie the pull string to the bag. Crumple up the bag and insert it (loosely) into one end of the conduit, then attach a vacuum cleaner hose to the other end of the conduit and simply vacuum the bag through the conduit. Now you have a pull string in the conduit to attach your cable to!
Tip #19
Use Banana Plugs for a clean-looking installation and to avoid “finger fatigue”. It can be a challenge to connect that many speaker cables in such a tight space and Banana Plugs can really make a difference!
Tip #20
Retrofitting In-Wall or In-Ceiling Speakers? A simple and inexpensive “Stud Finder” from your local home improvement store will make the job much easier, especially if you have multiple speakers to install.
Tip #21
Mounting In-Wall or In-Ceiling Speakers? Don’t have a Stud Finder? Make a tiny hole and use a clothes hanger bent to the same length as the speaker radius. Then just insert the hanger past the bend and rotate it to check for a clear space.
Tip #22
Not sure how far apart you should place your Front Left and Right Speakers? As a general rule, use an equilateral triangle with your listening position as the bottom point and your Left and Right Speakers as the two upper points.
Tip #23
Why use a remotely located Subwoofer Amplifier? A high-level, amplified signal usually offers better interference rejection than a low-level, non-amplified signal such as that carried by a standard RCA patch cable.
Tip #24
To help avoid interference when running speaker cable, here are a few tips: Avoid running your cable parallel to electrical cabling. If you must cross electrical cabling, do so at a 90* angle and leave some space between them. Avoid running your cable near electrical fixtures, especially fluorescent lighting, major appliances, or dimmer switches.
Tip #25
Need an In-Wall Center Channel Speaker? Use a single Speaker of the same type as your main Left and Right Channel Speakers. In an ideal world all your Surround Speakers would be the same anyway!
Tip #26
Always try to match your Front Left, Front Center, and Front Right Speakers. This will help you create a seamless front soundstage and minimize any “panning” effects as sounds move across the front Speakers.
Tip #27
Instead of having an unruly (and unsightly) bundle of cables coming out of a hole in the wall, use Speaker Cable Termination Plates and Banana Plugs for a clean, organized, and professional appearance.
Tip #28
Don’t forget about the Pivoting Tweeters on our HD and MP Series In-Wall/In-Ceiling Speakers! Because higher frequencies are perceived as more directional than lower frequencies, where you aim the Tweeter can make a big difference in how your system sounds.
Tip #29
When Installing In-Ceiling/In-Wall Speakers, use non-stick blue painters tape to outline the framing behind the drywall. This will help you visualize the correct speaker placement and can assist in placing multiple Speakers symmetrically.
Tip #30
Use our Pre-Construction Speaker Brackets to properly locate your Speakers before the drywall is installed. Not only will this help the drywall contractor cut the correct sized holes, it will let you visualize the Speaker layout so any adjustments can be made before it’s too late.
Tip #31
Don’t just place your Subwoofer in a corner – you will usually get better results with just a little bit of experimentation. Try placing your Subwoofer in your seat, then power up your system and walk around your space until the Subwoofer sounds the best. Then put your Subwoofer where you were standing!
Tip #32
When organizing all the cables at your equipment location, try to run all the electrical power cables on one side of your equipment and all the signal and speaker cables on the other. This will help reduce any interference from the electrical cables.
Tip #33
If possible, try to use a dedicated electrical circuit for your audio/video equipment. Dimmer switches, appliances, and fluorescent lighting can all introduce electrical interference into your system which can result in an audible “buzz” or “hum” sound.
Tip #34
Need to cut some holes in your drywall? Simple solutions are often better solutions – try using a manual drywall saw instead of a power tool. They are easy to use and usually allow for better control and a more precise cut.
Tip #35
Have a “hum” in your subwoofer? If your subwoofer is plugged into a different electrical outlet/circuit that the rest of your equipment you may have a “ground loop hum”. Try an extension cord from your sub back to your main equipment power location to check.
Tip #36
Is your Speaker Cable shielded? It should be. While amplified high-level signals resist interference better than low-level signals, over longer cable runs shielded cable adds an extra layer of protection and can help you avoid audible interference issues.
Tip #37
Toe-In? What’s that? By adjusting the angle of your Front Left and Right Speakers, you can improve the imaging of your whole system. Try turning them in towards you just a bit and see how it sounds. Keep experimenting until you get the best sound possible for your space!
Tip #38
When placing Volume Controls near light switches, always be sure to secure the speaker cable on the opposite side of the stud bay from the electrical cable Even better, use the stud bay of the opposite side of the electrical switch box!
Tip #39
Be careful when you pull your CAT5e cable – you should always maintain a minimum bend radius of 2” (3” for CAT6 cable). Kinking the cable or bending it too sharply can compromise the cable and reduce its effectiveness.
Tip #40
Ambient light is the enemy of IR Remote Control Systems. Try to avoid placing any IR components in direct sunlight as it can “flood” the IR Receiving Eye and may interfere with IR signal transmission.
Tip #41
Did you know that the longer the speaker cable length, the greater the effect it has on performance? While 16 Gauge Cable may be fine for runs under 50’, consider moving up to at least 14 Gauge Cable for anything longer to maximize your system performance.
Tip #42
Heat is the enemy of consumer electronics, especially amplifiers. The hotter a component runs, the shorter its lifespan so always make sure that you allow for proper ventilation around your equipment. Avoid stacking hot components directly on each other – your gear will thank you!
Tip #43
When pulling cables in the attic, never drape them across the floor. Not only is this dangerous, it can lead to cable damage and system issues. By securing your cable “high and tight” in the framing above, you keep your cables (and your attic) clean, accessible, and damage-free.
Tip #44
Do you have an audio source that you would like to share with your Whole House Audio System but it’s located in another room? Use our Audio Baluns to send the signal back to your equipment using standard CAT5e/CAT6 cable!
Tip #45
Did you know that many portable audio devices such as MP3 Players and Phones output a much less powerful signal than a standard CD Player or Cable Box? This can lead to different volume levels for each source – use an LGB-1 to increase your output and level match your sources.
Tip #46
Try to keep your Front Left, Center, and Right Channel Speakers as close to ear level as possible. This will dramatically improve the imaging and performance of your front speakers.
Tip #47
If you need to use In-Ceiling Speakers for your Front Left, Center, and Right Channel Speakers, use our HD-R65AIM Speakers for increased performance. They are designed to be more directional and will help direct the sound towards your listening area, not the floor.
Tip #48
For a more natural and relaxed viewing position, try to position the height of your television or projection screen so that when you are comfortable and looking directly forward at the screen, your eyes come to rest approximately 1/3 up from the bottom of the screen.
Tip #49
Speakers are the last and most important link in the audio chain – they are what actually create the sound you hear. A good set of speakers can make even mediocre equipment sound great but the reverse is usually not true. Plan your budget accordingly and purchase wisely!
Tip #50
Don’t forget the +/- 3dB settings on our HD and MP Series Speakers. They allow you to better tune the speakers to your space by boosting or reducing the high frequency response. Have a tile floor? Try the -3 setting. Deep carpet and lots of absorptive furniture? Try the +3 setting.
Tip #51
Want better sound from your television but not ready to jump to Surround Sound? Use our Audio Baluns to send the audio from the Cable/Satellite Receiver back to your Whole House Audio system. Then simply select that as the active source in the zone with the television!
Tip #52
Have a large space that needs more than just one pair of speakers? All of our stereo and multi-channel amplifiers are 4-Ohm stable which means that you can power up to (4) 8-Ohm speakers in each stereo zone without additional impedance matching volume controls.
Tip #53
More speakers at a lower volume will fill a large space and sound better than fewer speakers at higher volume. By maximizing your speaker coverage in a given area, you reduce the chances of having “hotspots” – places where the sound is too loud in comparison to elsewhere in the room.
Tip #54
When using a “pull-string” to pull cable through conduit, always add an additional pull-string to your cable bundle before you pull it through. This way you always have one available in case you need to pull anything in the future!
Tip #55
Label your cable! It’s much easier to wire up your system if every cable is labeled and you know where they came from (and where they go). Even simple peel and stick office labels will work in a pinch and can be a major time saver, especially if you need to make changes later.
Tip #56
When painting In-Ceiling or In-Wall Speaker grilles, use multiple light coats of paint instead of trying to cover it in one application. This will help you avoid clogging the tiny holes that allow the sound to pass.