Amp and cable run question for outdoor speakers

Treadway1

Novice Member
Morning all,

First post here, so apologies if this isn't quite the right sub thread for this but hoping you folks will be able to give me some advice on an outdoor install project.

I'm currently converting my detached garage in to an office/studio and thinking about installing an amp to run some cables for some outside speakers. I've attached a picture which shows my proposed cabling route, running from the garage, on the right, to the shed, on the left. I'm planning on burying the cable in conduit along the fence line. The run is approx. 30m.

I'm looking to have 4 speakers in total, where the red dots are. The speakers on the pergola to the right will obviously be a much shorter cable run.

So my question (or questions) are what sort of cable should I use (size and type for that length of run, etc.) and would I need a particular power rated amp to deal with that sort of cable length? Any other things I should consider? (probably lots, I'm guessing!)

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give

Peter
 

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mushii

Distinguished Member
I think @noiseboy72 is probably best to advise you on something like this.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
For this sort of application, Van Damme make some "Damn" fine cable, which remain flexible at low temperatures, are tough enough to survive a pull through conduit and is easy to terminate.

I would suggest a 4 core run of 2.5mm to the pergola and 1.5mm for all other runs. Van-Damme Black Series Tour Grade Multicore Speaker Cable | Van Damme Terminate it in sealed junction boxes using epoxy or gel filled Scotchloks and it will probably outlast the lot of us... If you connect direct to the speakers, use a 0.5m service loop so that if the exposed cable end starts to degrade or corrode you can cut it back and re-terminate.

Speaker wise, the Apart Mask range get my vote. The Mask 6 - Apart Audio – Sounds like the right choice is powerful, attractive and easy to fit. As they are 16 Ohms you could even run all 4 off one amplifier - or as 2 pairs at 8 Ohms. This will help to reduce cable losses that you might get if you had a 4 Ohm load.

Hope this helps.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
I have Mask 6’s on my patio. Very pleased with them. Quite detailed for outdoor speakers and disgustingly loud. I think that actually they were @noiseboy72 recommendation when I was looking for outdoor speakers.
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noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I am using a pair of 35 year old Goodmans Maxim 2s that I threw up onto the summer house for a party 2 years ago and have never removed! They are protected from the elements by the overhang of the roof and connected with 2.5mm 4 core mains cable I had kicking around. Hopefully nothing will find the ports on the back and move in... 2 seasons on they still sound great, but I have my eyes on a pair of Mask 6s that the local parish church will have finished with when they re-fit later this year. As I fitted them for them about 12 years ago I think I should be able to blag them back...
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I wonder if you actually require the two speakers on the left - would be a a worthwhile exercise to try a temp setup with just two speakers on the right, I'd try spreading them a bit further than your dots indicate.

Joe
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
I can say that if you use the Mask6cs they will more than flood a garden with sound. My garden isnt huge 10m x 12m and I am barely tickling my amp. Turn it up and I can hear the music 200m up the road.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I wonder if you actually require the two speakers on the left - would be a a worthwhile exercise to try a temp setup with just two speakers on the right, I'd try spreading them a bit further than your dots indicate.

Joe
I can say that if you use the Mask6cs they will more than flood a garden with sound. My garden isnt huge 10m x 12m and I am barely tickling my amp. Turn it up and I can hear the music 200m up the road.
That's a fair point. A couple of speakers on that structure is probably all you will need, but fitting more speakers will allow you to turn down the overall level and limit spill into adjacent properties.

The Mask6 has a nice wide dispersal pattern - wider than a typical PA or hifi speaker and they do project well at the same time, which is unusual.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
You may actually get away with Mask 4's if you want smaller speakers. Again @noiseboy72 could probably advise better
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Not such a fan of the Mask 4s. The bass response is lacking. I've used them as delay speakers for speech systems but not music.

They are less than half a Mask 6 in terms of power and ability.
 

Treadway1

Novice Member
I wonder if you actually require the two speakers on the left - would be a a worthwhile exercise to try a temp setup with just two speakers on the right, I'd try spreading them a bit further than your dots indicate.

Joe
yeh, fair point. Knowing little (read nothing! 😂) about sound dynamics though, I guess I thought balancing the noise from either side would make a more harmonious sound.

Might be worth Jerry rigging the speakers up as you suggest, just to see how it sounds before committing to digging a 30 metre trench!

Cheers again all. Some informative food for thought.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I'm inclined to agree that a more diffused sound might be better outdoors, where you can run it at a level low enough that people chat over it, but that its still audible everywhere. I've found in our modest 20M x 20M garden 2 speakers mounted at 7' height does this fine, but you have a larger space to fill.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Agreed that more is usually better in term of the number of speakers where you want background music - I would still try the temp 2 spk and 4 spk layout if you can before you decide upon installing cables.

I would try and experiment with spk placement too if you do want to achieve a dispersed sound with even cover across the whole garden.

Joe
 

gav_sw20

Active Member
This is a timely thread as I’ve just finished my decking area...what amp did you go with in the end please?

I’ve just ordered some Mask4 speakers for a medium sized decking area. More for background music rather than full-on listening due to neighbours.

Is it possible to use an in-wall amplifier at all as ideally I’d like to hide it in a weatherproof enclosure under the decking?

Would this work or would it be underpowered - Bluetooth Amplifier 2 X 30w With Power Supply Bluetooth Amplifier 2 X 30w With Power Supply: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

Am hoping @noiseboy72 can add some pearls of wisdom.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I've used a JVC all in one mini system and a speaker switch. I can select either the speakers in the summer house, the ones screwed to the outside or all 4 of them.

If you have a reasonably protected area, the in-wall amps generally work very well. Just be aware of insect infestation and condensation. Good sealing is a must and some packets of silica gel over the winter should keep condensation down.

I would keep the amp reasonably accessible and possibly not under the decking due to possible damp. The one you linked to will be perfect in terms of power. My JVC has a similar power output and fills the garden nicely without sounding strained, even when my teenage daughters decide to have a an impromptu party...
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
That amp requires a Pin Code, so it is using BT 1.2 or earlier (later versions of BT removed the need for pin codes) BT 1.2 was replaced 9 years ago, which means that it is likely to be very low bitrate. May not matter so much for outdoor music but worth noting as you wont be able to pair it with something like an Echo Dot or Google Home Hub
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I think those amps are designed for education where you would want to control access, hence the pin code.

I am still using an old Motorola unit in the dining room with A2DP and it sounds worse than APTX I use elsewhere, but not terrble.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
@noiseboy you are correct, I found a manufacturers datasheet, its BT 4.0, so my bad. The pin restriction will limit use of streaming from smart speakers though as most do not have the ability to use PIN's to pair.
 

gav_sw20

Active Member
Thanks for the detailed responses both.

I wasn't going to use the BT functionality but am going to plug a ChromeCast Audio in via RGL (AUX) wiring as these units have them - Adastra | Ceiling Or Wall Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier |: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

The plan is to place it in one of these (with a 3-way inside that I power the water-feature with - Masterplug Weatherproof Electric Box for Outdoors, 345: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics and then switch the 3-way on / off at the wall when required.

Another option is this which is a bit meatier at 50W x2- https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GBMPWVY/ref=twister_B07GBNTFM6?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
 
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gav_sw20

Active Member
Received the speakers (after being sent the wrong bloody ones initially).

A question for @noiseboy72 please - Is there any way to combine both channels as the way I’m planning to install them means if I’m the seating side of the outside area I only really benefit from the right-hand speaker :(

I think I effectively want Mono to one speaker, then daisy-chain from that one onto the next one.

I suppose the bigger question is will that Nobsound amp support it too, If not than can you suggest an amp that will please?
 
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noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I think you will struggle to mono the signal in that case, but I really wouldn't worry for casual listening. The majority of music is OK to be played in this way, with only really early stereo stuff that is really different left to right.

You can mono the signal after the amplifier, but it would involve some transformers to get it to work right.
 

gav_sw20

Active Member
I think you will struggle to mono the signal in that case, but I really wouldn't worry for casual listening. The majority of music is OK to be played in this way, with only really early stereo stuff that is really different left to right.

You can mono the signal after the amplifier, but it would involve some transformers to get it to work right.
Thanks for the reply.

I’ve moved the Left speaker into the seating area now which has fixed my stereo vs. mono problem. Much better and I can still hear it from the dining area.

I’ve also scrapped the “hide everything in a weatherproof box” idea and routed the speaker cable through the kitchen wall into an unused cupboard where I’ve housed the amp and CCA. Much cleaner install now and I’ve mounted the amp so it can be switched on/off easily.

On a separate note the speakers are great value for money and are plenty loud enough with that little Nobsound amp. I’m running TIDAL and even with the volume at 20% it’s far to loud for the neighbours.
 

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