The Invisible Audio Upgrade Part 2: Installing a Rear Speaker Wallplate

The Invisible Audio Upgrade Part 2: Installing a Rear Speaker Wallplate

Nov 7, 2008

Not to confuse anyone about what we are up to; this is a continuation of our earlier install using the Flatwire 5.1 Surround Sound System. It is a complete system and needs no extra modification, but we wanted to combine this with another project: We are installing speakers in our bed for the rear channel/ auxilliary 2.1 system. This way we can hook them up directly to the 5.1 surround system or just listen to music at low volume while in bed. So, what we will have is the Flatwire system for the front left/center/right channels and the headboard with the two rear channels will be supplied by the wallplate. Today we explain how to hook up a speaker terminal wallplate...

This is the idea here:

The speakers may not end up as spheres but the idea is appealing as this is being written, so we sal shoon shee.
We have this great IKEA bed that was only made for a season or two that is practically bulletproof- much higher-end than IKEA intended, certainly. At the four posts there are screw-off caps that can act as mounting posts for everything from lamps and heavy artillery to speakers. We are going with speakers.


  • a GE or other type of wallplate with speaker terminals

  • a bludgeon or hammer

  • a dull or about-to-be-dull chisel, alternatively; a ninja spike will suffice

  • a pair of pliers

  • a tomahawk or prybar

  • speakerwire; preferrably in-wall type

  • heat shrink tubin' for the speakerwire

  • a pencil

  • wirestrippers or something that can do that like scissors

  • spackle for filling in mistakes and imperfections

  • a wall

  • a soldering iron with solder

  • a blue electrical box that suits your needs

  • safety goggles, hearing protection

  • a vacuum cleaner

  • a source of intense heat, such as a lighter

Start by prying back the baseboard around the floor/wall joint with your tomahawk. You dont have to take everything off, just enough to allow you to work. Then start marking things up with your pencil to locate where the plate will go. We put ours under an outlet so there would be some apparent continuity. We placed the plate very close to the molding because it is easier to do so. This will be hidden behind the bed and sending wires into the headboard at the bottom- that guided our decision as well. After marking we drove a ninja spike into the wall repeatedly (at blinding speed) to create a rough outline where the plate will mount:

From here we emptied out the space betwixt the holes so the electrical box could fit. This takes a bit of doing to get both tight and straight. We have a few around the house that our electrician, Mr. Magoo, put in slightly askew.
Next, we soldered up our speakerwire to the plate, careful to slide the heat shrink tubing on FIRST:
We then slid the wires through the box and mounted her up to the wall. Take a gander:

Then we started routing the wires behind the baseboard to get to the closet where all the controls we be located. We knocked a hole in the wall below the plate but behind the baseboard to conceal everything.
Then we slipped the wires through a narrow channel that led to the mysterious interior of the closet. All super rough right now, but we will be painting and all of that in the next couple weeks:

You can use any brand you want for this that suits your fancy- we tried out the GE version from Home Depot:

Sorry, already out of the box... hehe...
This arrangement suited us over using the flatwire for one simple reason: We needed the wires close to the floor, the baseboard was already peeled away a bit and the run is super short (3 feet) so we didn't want to use the Flatwire for such a short jump. Otherwise we would have done a complete Flatwire install. This turned out great and we are happy with the results. This wallplate is designed for smaller gauge wire than the front channels, but that is fine since there isn't much power going to the rears anyway.

Check back next time for more!

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