10 Home Stereo Installation Tips

If you're looking to hook up your home audio experience, check out these 10 home stereo installation tips. Opinions on home stereo installation are as varied as the people who own personal electronics. But certain advice is agreed upon by most, such as these 10 home stereo installation tips.

  1. Keep a level head. Most all home stereo equipment works best when it sits totally level. So make sure your equipment is operating on an even keel by cracking open your tool box and employing an everyday level.  
  2. Beware the octopus. Connecting the components of a home stereo is a simple process that merely requires literacy and the applicable owner’s manuals. But what you might not read in such manuals is the importance of keeping all the external wiring orderly in case you decide to move or re-arrange the system…as opposed to just throwing your wiring scheme together in a jumble that resembles an arthritic octopus trying to tie its shoelaces.
  3. Vent your frustrations…and your equipment. A quick glance at stereo components will reveal ventilation holes or grills that prevent overheating. And in that proper ventilation is extremely important for maximum performance, you should make sure that these are un-obscured when you place the components in a cabinet or like piece of furniture.      
  4. Speaker now or forever hold your peace. Most conventional home stereo speakers employ a two-wire hookup system…and it is necessary to make sure that these wires remain separate but equal. More specifically, if even one strand of either wire touches the other a speaker will appear to be totally dead.
  5. Rattle and hum. It is extremely important that you place your speakers on a stable surface (or ideally suspend them with cable from ceiling beams so that they hang while touching absolutely nothing). Otherwise, resonant sound will cause unwanted noise as the speakers’ cabinets vibrate rickety end tables, window sills or other inappropriate platforms many mistakenly choose to serve as speaker stands.
  6. Long distance relationship. In a conventional room, the further you can distance your speakers from one another the better to achieve optimum sound. But keep in mind that unless you’re sitting at or near the epicenter of the speaker set-up, you might only hear portions of a recorded piece (mostly treble, bass, etc.) due to stereo separation. 
  7. Geometry is our friend. Expulsion of sound from speakers, in theory, is not unlike that of line-of-site reasoning where operating a firearm is concerned. In other words, it’s best to align your speakers in a way that causes an imaginary line from their center to run toward the center of the room with no obstacles (couches, chairs, house pets, in-laws, etc.) in-between.
  8. To thine own self be true. No two sets of ears are identical. So as you set up your home stereo equipment realize that the ultimate sound you achieve only has to please you and no one else (unless your spouse is overbearing and runs the household).  
  9. Knows your Bose. Amar Bose and his colleagues have, over the years, developed and marketed stereo equipment that has made many of the concepts concerning home stereo installation “no-brainer” propositions. So even if your system does not incorporate Bose components, you should realize the value of the theories proven in their construction and study them if you’re truly serious.
  10. Have some fun for goodness sake! Unless you’re a loner your home stereo installation should be undertaken while remembering that others (such as friends and family) might on occasion want to operate the system without the aid of a NASA employee. So make your system simple…unless you want to take a “hands-off” approach including rules that only YOU may touch the components.

Otherwise, in today’s world of user-friendly electronics, you should have little or no problem with home stereo installation. As a matter of fact, the majority of your headaches will probably occur after the fact as you decide what exactly you want to listen to with near-perfect fidelity.

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