Introduction: DIY Surround Sound

[Edit from 3 years later]:  Nowadays I wouldn't really recommend doing this.  Not that I ever had a problem with it and the sound was still pretty good (lucky me I guess) , but simply put it's not surround sound except by the technical fact that all it is is a bunch of speakers SURROUNDING you.  Which for me all I had was the left and right rigged where correct sound would be output on the correct sides.  There was no sub or back speakers.

^ Read ABOVE first.  ^

It is always best to watch movies or play the very popular game Guitar Hero with a sweet Surround Sound setup. This instructable will show you how to set up and add multiple speakers to your surround sound. You can probably add as many speakers as you like... you should know when your going overboard with all the speakers. Please keep in mind that this is my first instructable.

Step 1: Supplies

Normally you can find all you need for this instructable at garage sales or for pretty cheap used.

*Home Theater Receiver( I got mine free from my uncle; I'm sure if you buy brand new it would be quite expensive.)
*Speakers of any kind(I use just a bunch of speakers I collected for this...all different kinds...most are old)
*Wires

Step 2: Wiring the Speakers Together

In my plug picture I am only using half the wires...the wires I am using are the two side sets. What I did is I run one side set of wires around one half of my room then when i get to a point where I want to wire in a speaker i strip the wires at that point. No I don't mean at the end of the wire. Once it is stripped at that point on the set you connect one end of a set going to the speakers to one wire and the other end to the other wire. The pictures might show how better than I can describe it I am noticing, Heh. Any ways keep doing that for as many speakers as you want to add.

Step 3: Attaching Speaker

Below the pictures show some different speakers and how you connect the wires to them.

Some Speakers just have a point where you put the wire in between a screw and just tighten the screw.

Strip the ends of the wires you are going to be attaching to the speakers. In the second picture you just clip the ends of the wire in. Trial and error each end in which clip until you hear it working...its not gonna shock you.

Step 4: Getting It All Right...

To get the sound just right your going to have to mess with it a lil bit. Move speakers around until it sounds like sounds that are coming from the left side of the screen are on on your left. Same thing for the right. Most likely your Home Theater Receiver has a radio too. Well if you dont have the specific part for the machine to pick up radio like me you can just use any wire and connect it to the antenna clips in the back.

Step 5: Plug It In!

Plug in your system and go. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Let me know how I did for the first time.

Comments

author
cadleqe (author)2009-07-23

taking random speakers and wiring them all together. it works but must sound bad.

author
hcaz-301 (author)cadleqe2012-04-21

It would sound very bad if the amp was not powerful enough, but if it is it should sound quite good

author
Virtuous (author)cadleqe2012-04-13

Haha yeah, I pretty much only used it to play guitar hero back in the day. Man it's hard to believe how I "rigged" this 3 years ago. Pfft now I know so much more and am glad to have my 7.1 HD audio out from my computer.... now I just need a good set of speakers....-_-

author
thyan (author)2010-06-16

hey, i found your instructable useful, and now I used the setup in my room. My question is : since the input is Stereo(red white), I only get Stereo output. just like monkeybounce said.

Are there any solutions to make this setup into real 5.1 ?
cause i already got the speakers and the receiver...

author
Virtuous (author)thyan2010-06-16

I would assume it has something to do with the white speaker output on mine...but since the wire group that is supposed to be the center and part of the surround do not work on mine...I'm not too sure. Depending on what receiver you have I'm sure it would work in some way, I'm fairly sure mine could had the center speakers output worked because it sounds exactly like what monkeybounce explained about the center being vocal and all that.

author
bwpatton1 (author)2009-07-22

Man thats some seriouse green you have there, kudos!

author
bwpatton1 (author)bwpatton12009-12-22

Wow, I fail at spelling dont I, I just noticed that.......

author
tabler1010 (author)2009-09-27

Is the purple line ant thing special or just one wire.

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Virtuous (author)tabler10102009-09-27

its just the red and blue wires together

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MrRodrigez (author)2009-09-23

rofl 360 cables nice

author
sbilko (author)2009-07-23

You also need to watch the impedance of all those speakers connected in parallel. 2x8 ohm speakers in parallel will present 4 ohms to the power amp and when you connect in more it gets even less. This is a good way to blow a power amp! An interesting arrangement for extra speakers is to use the "Hafler Arrangement" invented by David Hafler (no relation to the chap in Baywatch!). Basically you leave your front speakers connected to the amp as normal, then take a wire from the Left+ terminal of the power amp to your L rear speaker + terminal. Next connect the L rear - terminal to the + terminal of the R rear speaker and finally connect the R Rear -ve terminal to the power amp R- terminal. The rear speakers will then reproduce some of the "out of phase" signals that are present in the audio but are normally cancelled out when they are reproduced by the speakers. N.B. this will also present a "Funny " load to the power amp so I accept no responsibility for the results!

author
Virtuous (author)sbilko2009-07-23

Yea I would probably do or would have done what you just said except on mine the two sets of wires in the middle on the speaker plug that goes to the receiver dont work. I'm guessing those two sets are the front and back speakers...

author
cadleqe (author)2009-07-23

you did bad for your first time

author
Monkeybounce (author)2009-07-22

This isn't a home theater system. This is spliced speakers. While I'm sure it works, there are a number of issues with a system like this. 1) It's not Surround Sound. Surround sound plays different frequencies and channels on different speakers. Vocal comes directly at you from the center, background noises from the satellites, etc. Your setup has no way to distinguish which channel is which, so you're really only getting stereo X2. Also, using speakers of different makes and models in a true surround environment is never suggested as the phase of these speakers aren't going to be in tune with others. This would be a great idea for running additional speakers to the garage or something like that, but it's not going to be very effective in a single room. Also, you'll want to make sure that the amp in that HTIB unit is powerful enough to drive all those speakers or you risk burning it out.

author
Virtuous (author)Monkeybounce2009-07-22

Ok I know this is not "A home theater system" never said it was... I just didn't know what to call the Box It all connects to... sure its spliced speakers couldn't think to call it that either. But for me my setup worked out perfectly where all the different sound come from the right angle. Say I'm playing some war game...on my setup you can tell where you enemies are if they make a noise. Also I am not claiming to know much about this. When I did this years ago I didn't know any thing what so ever dealing with this setup. I just threw it all together and somehow it came out to work really nicely and it was for free. Its why I added the trial and error page to make it sound right.