How to wire speaker volume controls

Written by david lipscomb Google
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How to wire speaker volume controls
Wiring a volume control is as simple as wiring speakers. (volume maximum image by nfrPictures from

Multi-room audio is great when it comes to adding music to multiple rooms, without having stereo equipment everywhere. Installing speakers in multiple rooms calls for being able to control volume in those rooms, without having to go back to the area where the equipment is located. Volume controls, whether inwall or tabletop, wire in a straightforward manner, intercepting the signal from amplifier to speakers.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 16-gauge speaker wire
  • Small wire cutters
  • Small flat heat screwdriver
  • Amplifier
  • Volume control

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    Getting Sound

  1. 1

    Locate spot where volume control is to be located. Use wire cutters to cut the appropriate length of speaker wire.

  2. 2

    Use wire cutters to strip 1 inch of insulation from end of the speaker wire.

  3. 3

    Insert stripped end into amplifier output terminals.

  4. 4

    Route speaker wire to volume control location.

  5. 5

    Remove volume control's speaker terminal plug.

  6. 6

    Use small flat head screwdriver to loosen terminal connections for wire insertion.

  7. 7

    Use wire cutters to strip off 1 inch of insulation from volume control end of speaker wire.

  8. 8

    Insert wire into removed terminal plug, securing with small flat head screwdriver.

  9. 9

    Replace speaker plug into volume control.

  10. 10

    On output side of volume control, remove speaker wire terminal. This is the output leading to the speakers controlled by the VC.

  11. 11

    Determine distance from volume control to speakers. Cut appropriate length of wire using wire cutters.

  12. 12

    Strip off 1 inch of insulation from speaker wire and insert into output speaker wire plug on volume control. Secure with flat head screwdriver.

  13. 13

    Route speaker wire to speakers.

  14. 14

    Remove 1 inch of insulation from end of speaker wire, and connect speakers using appropriate connection type. Examine rear of speaker or consult manual to determine the best method of connection.

  15. 15

    Test audio by playing audio through volume control, starting at low volume. Adjust volume control's level accordingly.

Tips and warnings

  • If the volume controls are driven off of a receiver with its own built-in control, set that control to the point where distortion just barely occurs with speakers connected directly to it. Mark this point with a small dot adhesive label, and adjust external volume control accordingly.
  • Be sure to make all connections with the amplifier off.

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