Knowing Your Wall Plates: A Field Guide for Installers

September 07, 2018

Understanding Wall Plates Can Help Your Installation.

When installing audio cabling, there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of electrical infrastructure in a building, or at the very least, the same materials used to build it. Wiring conduits, cable raceways, electrical junction boxes... these designs have all been widely used for many years and are easily available. In fact, it wouldn't be totally uncommon for you to even be met with pre-installed electrical boxes that you can make use of.

Let's look at some of the designs currently out there and how you can use them.

The Junction Box is the root of all wall plates! This standard unit can be found almost anywhere, either in existing construction or easily available through us or most hardware stores.

For the uninitiated, if you need to mount this somewhere, you punch out the holes you need to run your cables through.

Be sure to consult with all local electrical and construction regulations if you do, though...

Edison or NEMA Standard wall plate - This is the plate you're likely most familiar with in most of your travels. It mounts to the junction box with a pair of screws and comes in multiple gang sizes. (A "gang" is a section of space dedicated to a particular module or unit in the box) You can get up to two standard Neutrik "D" size cutouts per gang. The plates are available either empty or pre-loaded with common connectors (such as this single XLR model to the right).

Additionally, since the NEMA standard also applies to electrical outlet plates, this is a great way to go when you're looking to add connector panels closer to the floor. Examples may include tie lines for XLR's between your vocal booth and your control room, or Speakon plugs in an AV room.

Decora plate - Leviton's Decora standard has rapidly become popular worldwide for it's more elegant look, and audio applications have followed suit. The standard allows for a rectangular area within the plate (originally meant for a larger light switch) that can house various connector types, or also several other products. So, this is when things can get more interesting...

Here is a Whirlwind WPIDWH1N/DH connector plate, designed with a Neutrik "D" series cutout, that will fit in the Decora space.

You would only need to supply the decorative plastic exterior part after your installation is complete. Note the white color to match most Decora hardware.

Some manufacturers have begun to make actual gear that fits into that space. For example, take a look at the Attero Tech Dante unD6IO interface, which places all of its connectivity across a double-gang Decora form factor. Other companies have designed their remote controllers for various products to fit Decora. RDL even designed a loudspeaker for Decora mounting!

All in all, wall plates can greatly improve the aesthetics of your install, especially in situations where the look of the room is paramount. We carry a full line of wall plates, connectors that mount within them, and much more cabling and installation accessories and tools to get the job done.

Eric Eldredge is Dale Pro Audio's Director of Marketing and Brand Development. He is also a studio engineer and music producer based in NYC. He can be reached at eric@daleproaudio.com.



Leave a comment


Also in Dale Tech Corner: Info, Tips, & Tricks

New Phones and TV Stations On The Move: The 600MHz Repack Saga Continues

November 19, 2018

In its ongoing push to roll out their new 5G LTE services in the near future, T-Mobile has just helped two local NYC TV stations relocate to new frequencies and have also begun to announce more and more mobile devices that are 5G-ready. If you're a wireless microphone user, are you ready for the RF crunch?

Read More

New Product Review: Audio-Technica ATH-M60x Headphones

August 22, 2018

Our friends at Audio-Technica have recently expanded their already-popular "M" series of professional headphones - at this year's NAB Show they introduced a new on-ear (supra-aural) model, the ATH-M60x. A-T recently sent us a pair to check out, and our team of Sales Professionals tried them on for size and shared their thoughts.

Read More

Thinking Outside The Beltpack: Creative Uses for Intercom Headsets

August 22, 2018 1 Comment

Intercom headsets such as the Bose SoundComm series have many sonic benefits, including noise cancellation. But what if you want to take advantage of them in a non-intercom communications setting? Read on to discover some ways how thanks to the experience of our Sales Professionals.

Read More