Kitchen Speakers

A while back I installed a computer in our kitchen center island. The computer went in a cabinet and the monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers went on the center island. This did require me to drill a hole in the island counter top, and while most people flinch when they hear that I did that, everyone that sees the results thinks it’s a very cool idea. At least that’s what they tell me.

Since the kitchen is the main room of the house we listen to a lot of music/radio there. Prior to the computer, we had a stereo system with speakers subtly placed on top of the upper cabinets. When the computer was installed, the stereo left and we started using the computer speakers. There were 2 problems:

  1. The computer speakers were nice but didn’t sound very good in a big room

  2. If you were sitting at the computer the sound was always too loud, and if you weren’t, you couldn't hear much of anything

dialog sample
So I decided to hook my computer up to the stereo speakers via a 30+ year old amplifier (see pick to the right)that my father gave me. (Actually, I think the amp was his idea. Thanks Dad!) The cool thing about this amp (no pun intended) is it generates almost no heat. So here’s what I did:

  1. Connected the computer to the amplifier via the 8th inch to stereo RCA cable that came with my iPod.

  2. Fed stereo wire through an existing electrical wire hole in the bottom of the island into the basement.

  3. Fed stereo wire up through an existing hole in the kitchen floor behind the refrigerator. The hole is also used for a small water tube connecting to the fridge.

  4. Fed the stereo wire up from behind the fridge between a hidden gap in the back of the cabinets.

  5. Connected the speaker wires to the amp and the speakers.

  6. Plugged in the amp, turned it on, opened WinAmp and played Christmas music.

dialog sample

The result is that I'm fairly giddy at having finally finished a relatively simple project after talking
about it for 2 years. Music also sounds better in the kitchen... But mostly all you hear is me saying,
"Aren't the speakers great! It's finally done! Did you notice the speakers are off the counter?!" I
don't know why, but I'm really glad this projects finished. The pic at the right (click to enlarge) shows the island
sans computer speakers!
The working kitchen speakers are the black boxes on top of the cabinets.

Anyway, with all our music ripped to the hard drive, and most radio shows being streamed over the internet we now have the speakers, stereo and piles of CDs off the island, and we can still listen to it with a click of a mouse. The best part is that I was able to recycle parts from old systems so I didn’t have to buy anything!