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post #1 of 37 Old 12-05-2010, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently moved into a house wired with 6 zones of Russound speakers and Cat5 cables. The six wall plates are the old style nob with four selectors (tape, aux, CD, tuner). I think it's close to ten years old. I have no other hardware (i.e. no controller or amplifier). I'm looking for the least expensive way to get and control ipod audio to each room. Will I be able to buy the CA4 amplifier/controller (I know, only 4 zones) and a sonos zoneplayer and control music from ipad/iphone? It also looks like my Cat5 cables are an old type of cable - about 2 inches wide. Will they fit in the CA4 or do I need an older Russound controller? Also, I'd like to have my TV as an input as well. Will the iphone app for the Sonos allow me to control each room, or just on/off for the whole house? What types of controller will I need? My preference would be to buy a few ipod touches over the more expensive - less functional - Russound controllers. Thanks!
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post #2 of 37 Old 12-05-2010, 03:26 PM
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As long as the CAT5 has 8 conductors you are fine. With one Sonos ZP, you will only be able to control the whole house at once. Not zone by zone. You could buy more Zoneplayers and have a really functional multi-zone system, but it can be an expensive option at $350-500 ea. The multiple Sonos zoneplayer option would be my recommendation. If you really need to do it on the cheap but need multi-source/multi-zone AND iphone/itouch controls, I would skip the Russound and the Sonos, and do 4 Airport Express into 4 zone amps or an 8-12 channel amplifier.
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post #3 of 37 Old 12-05-2010, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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They have 8 conductors, but they are really wide. Almost double the width of the four prong speaker conductors. I'm less interested in multi-source than I am having easy access to ipod music across all of our hardwired speakers - and it would be nice to take advantage of our wall volume control. If I only want one or two sources, is there something else I should use? Would you suggest buying the CA4? The airport express is a great idea. Any reason to use the Sonos over that? It would seem like there isn't much additional capability from using the Sonos. Thanks for your help!
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post #4 of 37 Old 12-06-2010, 06:50 PM
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Not to divert the thread, but I was just about to post a similar question. New house for me, had a CA 6.4i system. There were separate ones on the main level and basement, each with 11 zones. I know this means 4 amps / controllers, but I'd really like to make use of (not replace) the CA-KP2 keypads that are everywhere. Anyone know if there's a current russound amp that will work with the older keypads?

Thanks
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post #5 of 37 Old 12-17-2010, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csearching View Post

I recently moved into a house wired with 6 zones of Russound speakers and Cat5 cables. The six wall plates are the old style nob with four selectors (tape, aux, CD, tuner). I think it's close to ten years old. I have no other hardware (i.e. no controller or amplifier). I'm looking for the least expensive way to get and control ipod audio to each room. Will I be able to buy the CA4 amplifier/controller (I know, only 4 zones) and a sonos zoneplayer and control music from ipad/iphone? It also looks like my Cat5 cables are an old type of cable - about 2 inches wide. Will they fit in the CA4 or do I need an older Russound controller? Also, I'd like to have my TV as an input as well. Will the iphone app for the Sonos allow me to control each room, or just on/off for the whole house? What types of controller will I need? My preference would be to buy a few ipod touches over the more expensive - less functional - Russound controllers. Thanks!

Look for a used CA6.4 or CA4.4 on eBay. They can be found for around $150 if you are patient. They can be used with your current KP style pads or with CA-LCD pads. Both will transmitt IR signals back to the controllers, so any IR capable iPod device will work with it. I have two CA6.4's and a CA4.4 in my system. I use CA-LCD pads everywhere but my workshop, where I use a KP pad like yours.

I began with a 400 disc CD changer as one source (AM, FM and DTV on the others) for music. I transitioned to a dedicated PC running WMP and using a Streamzap remote for controlling it from each room. I bought several Harmony remotes, cheap, and program them as remotes for each room. While you do not have the capability that a Sonos might give you, you can start, stop, skip ahead or back, etc. with out seeing the display. Once you start up a playlist from the PC, you can listen for hours (or days). I keep mine running an auto playlist all the time, and have to reset it about twice a month after it plays through. BTW, Behringer makes a cheap DAC - UCA202 that works great instead of the plug-in-the-PC-audio-card option. My current system was a cheap way to do it, and was pretty state-of-the-art a couple years ago. It may be a way for you to achieve most of what you want without a lot of out-of-pocket outlay.

I've since added a Windows Home Server PC that can be used to stream both audio and video and I'm looking at adding media servers like the Sage 7 to take more advantage of it. Of course, money is part of the decision process, and this may be a good way for you to make do for a while.

Good luck! You'll love music everywhere!

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post #6 of 37 Old 09-19-2012, 09:00 PM
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RHart

It seems like you are an expert on the Russound CA6.4. I just bought one on ebay but didn't realize the inputs were controlled by wallpads. I have in wall volume controls for 6 rooms with speakers in the ceilings. Is there a remote that can control the CA6.4 zones or do i need to get the pads.

thanks in advance for any help. I really appreciate it.
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post #7 of 37 Old 09-20-2012, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Coughlin View Post

RHart
It seems like you are an expert on the Russound CA6.4. I just bought one on ebay but didn't realize the inputs were controlled by wallpads. I have in wall volume controls for 6 rooms with speakers in the ceilings. Is there a remote that can control the CA6.4 zones or do i need to get the pads.
thanks in advance for any help. I really appreciate it.

Hi Fran, and welcome to the forum!!

If I understand your setup correctly, you have volume controls that are wired in-line with your ceiling mounted speakers. If that is the case, "Houston, we have a problem."

The Russound CA series (CA6.4 and CA4.4 and -i versions) all use either the CA-LCD(-2), CA-KP(-2) and can use the DSC and/or DAN pads to add extra capability like CD/DVD player control and alphanumeric entry. Both pads will do IR distribution so you can use an IR remote to control the source equipment back at the controller rack.

Each CA series controller needs direct runs of two kinds of cables - Cat5 - or 6, and wires for each speaker. For example, if you want to provide music to your kitchen, you'll need to run Cat-6 to the wall pad (CA-LCD or CA-KP) and separate wires to each speaker in the kitchen. Unless your house was specifically wired for Russound gear, I'm guessing you only have the speaker wires run. Your wall volume controls are wired in line and can control speaker volume, but nothing else.

Back to your question, Russound made two types of remotes that work with the CA series. One, the CA-LRC1 can both control source selection and volume (for the CA-LCD pads) and has limited capability to be programmed to control some other source gear. There is a smaller remote that controls only source selection and volume. Harmony remotes DO have the Russound code programmed in, though. None of this is of any use to you unless you have the keypads installed, though.

Assuming that you do not have the CAT5 runs for your setup, your new purchase won't do you any good unless you a) purchase and install the Russound keypads (i.e. run a dedicted Cat5 cable from the controller to the keypad) and b) remove your existing in-wall volume controls and make a dedicated run to each pair of speakers.

Issues?

Obviously running six CAT5 cables through walls, ceilings and floors can be a challenge, especially in an existing home. (I know - I ran 18 zones! - but did it before finishing off my basement)

You'll need to remove your existing volume controls and splice the wires back together. (Adding more impedance to the CA amps is a bad idea.) Then patch the holes in the walls and repaint.

Finding the used pads can be problematic, and expensive. You'll REALLY want the CA-LCD pads, to allow volume control and source selection via remote, and I've seen them go for over $100 each. This starts to get close to the price of a new system. The KP pads work fine, you just have to touch them to change sources and adjust volume. (I just looked on ebay and the prices for this stuff have really gone up. Guess it's getting hard to find.)

So, it depends on what you want to achieve and how much work (or money) you are willing to invest to get it.

A reasonable keep-what-you-have approach might be the following. Buy a multi channel amp to drive the speakers you already have installed. Sherbourn, Russound Xantech and others make them. Use a re-purposed receiver to provide signal to the amp so you'll have AM/FM, CD, DVD, satellite, etc. from the reciever. Or use a second zone from your main receiver. An impedance corrected speaker selector box could work also, but is less convenient. CD and DVD mega changers work well for LOTS of music.

To add digital tunes support, an ipod can be added, or a PC can provide signal. I use a dedicated PC in my network as a source and also have a WHS server with 20Tb onboard for storage. I can control it using a Streamzap remote via the Russound's IR repeat capability or via Remote Desktop Connection using any other PC on my network. I have a netbook that connects via wireless net and carry it around to control the tunes. A Behringer DAC provides good sound instead of a headphone jack.

If you need and are willing to run the extra cabling, and buy the pads, you can of course add more capability - at a cost.

I've got a lot of extra pieces laying around that might do you some good if you go that route. I've been through several iterations on whole house audio and have most of the changers, etc. left over. Seems like I have a complete set of six KP2 pads and some KP-1's as well. If you choose to keep what you have a sell the CA6.4 please let me know. I have a spare CA4.4 but could use a CA6.4 spare.

Let me know if I can help, and please keep me posted on what you decide.

Again, welcome to the forum!!

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post #8 of 37 Old 09-21-2012, 01:42 PM
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Rtart

I am going to need to sell the CA6.4. However, I would prefer to trade it for something that would work with my system.

Do you have anything laying around that is similar in value (and would work) that you would be willing to give up?

I paid $227, including shipping for it on ebay. Looking around, it seems like it was a pretty good deal. If you don't have anything, would you be willing to pay for what i have in it?

Just let me know,

Thanks,
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post #9 of 37 Old 09-25-2012, 06:30 AM
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Hi Fran,

Sorry for the slow response.

I've got a CA4.4 controller as a spare right now, and have another 4.4 and two 6.4's in use. I'd prefer a 6.4 as a spare, since I can use it to replace any of my units.However, in several years I haven't needed it, so another spare to sit in the closet probably doesn't make sense for me right now. Your price seems fair, but its not a temptation at that price, as you can imagine.

I'm actually thinking of putting together a CA4.4 setup with four KP-2 pads, a remote and IR flashers, just like a new system, and listing it on eBay. It would get someone a nice system at a good price, and I don't need the gear right now.

I also have a bunch of DSC and DAN pads and other 'stuff' that was leftover from my project that I should sell.

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post #10 of 37 Old 12-01-2012, 07:57 AM
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Our old CA6.4 quit putting out sound around 7 yrs of age. Now 3 yrs later we thought we'd see what could be done. Any tips on what could likely be the problem? Zones went out one by one. The unit lights up and all zones show red. Was wondering if there was a common problem with these or it was more likely a problem with the keypads. I know Russound no longer does work on these and have noticed they show up on ebay often. Thanks for any tips.
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post #11 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 09:22 AM
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Hi M Bascue, and welcome to the forum!

The CA6.4 series has been very reliable for me. I've had three units installed since 2003 and no real issues, but all are protected by surge and UPS. I use them every day.

I can share with you that the units are usually not worth fixing, even if you can find a tech who knows how.

I'd suggest that you find a replacement CA unit on ebay and swap it out. Other than that, if you are interested in an upgrade, you can buy a newer Russound unit and keypads and trade them out. The new units use the same wiring for keypads and speakers, so it could be a DIY project if you are handy. If you have a 6.4i, the terminations at the controller are RJ-12 (ethernet) connectors, but the 6.4 (no-i) use strip and screw terminals.

You can also sell the keypads on ebay. The CA-LCD pads go for up to $100 each, so that could help defray the cost of new gear.

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post #12 of 37 Old 01-02-2013, 02:29 PM
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I'd like some help as well. Just had my power go out and once it came back, my Abuss units are flashing and won't play. However the main wall units are fine. What can I do to re-boot the Abuss units
Arden
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post #13 of 37 Old 01-24-2013, 07:55 AM
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I have the CA6.4 and some wires with plugs coming out of the wall for speakers. I have wall control. The speakers are connected to the CA6.4, What else do I need for this to work?
thanks for the help
Greenhorn
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post #14 of 37 Old 01-24-2013, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkbait1 View Post

I have the CA6.4 and some wires with plugs coming out of the wall for speakers. I have wall control. The speakers are connected to the CA6.4, What else do I need for this to work?

A source to provide music to the system. Look at a Sonos Connect as a good way to get a lot of music options (digital library plus Internet sources). Since it's controlled via a mobile device / tablet, it makes for a great "remote" source for these types of systems.

Jeff


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post #15 of 37 Old 01-24-2013, 08:23 AM
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Sounds like the manual is a good place to start. Russound has a website where you can download whatever you need. Its, appropriately enough, russound.com. Go to the 'support center' and click under legacy products. You'll find the CA6.4 and the manuals for keypads and accessories there.

Re-post if you need help after that.

Have fun!

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post #16 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 11:33 PM
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Hello,

I'm new to Russound, but have an opportunity to use one of their older CA 6.4 (non 'i") systems in my home. I realize that originally these were designed to work with the knob-style "KP" keypad, but I'm wondering if you can use the "newer" KP2 keypad (which I realize are still knob controlled) and/or LCD2 keypads with them.

It seems from the discussion in this thread that you can, but I'd just like to confirm it with anyone that knows for sure.

Conversely, I assume you could use an older "KP" keypad with a 6.4i system (although I realize that is less than ideal).

Thank you,
C.J.
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post #17 of 37 Old 02-20-2013, 06:26 AM
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Yes. Any of the Russound Ca series keypads will work. KP's, KP-2's, CA-LCD's, etc. Some of the newer pads have a punchdown strip for connection while older versions have a screw terminal strip. Either will work. Russound has the wiring conversion sheet on its website. Seems like you have to register to get it, but that's not a issue.

The difference between the CA6.4 and CA6.4i is the i version has line-level pre outs for an external amp and uses RJ45 (ethernet style) termination on the controller end. Again, not a big deal to convert. Russond has the wiring info online.

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post #18 of 37 Old 02-20-2013, 08:39 AM
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Thank you! That info is a big help.
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post #19 of 37 Old 02-28-2013, 11:00 AM
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I just wanted to add some additional information here. There are certain generations of keypads and controllers that do not work together. You may want to talk to Jay Volpini in our technical support department before making any purchases.

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post #20 of 37 Old 03-04-2013, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve LeBlanc View Post

I just wanted to add some additional information here. There are certain generations of keypads and controllers that do not work together. You may want to talk to Jay Volpini in our technical support department before making any purchases.

Thanks, Steve, for joining in the discussion.

I've really enjoyed the capabilities of my two CA6.4 and CA4.4 systems over the years.

Although I understand your distribution strategy of not supporting gear whose original owners cannot prove the purchase was made through an authorized dealer, your company's practice of providing manuals, tech sheets, etc. mitigates that impact. I was a product manager in the electronics industry for years - so I get it.

In my case, the dealer I purchased most of my gear through went belly-up. I was able to obtain the info I needed to work around that issue, and I appreciate it.

Once again, welcome to the forum!

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post #21 of 37 Old 03-04-2013, 10:21 AM
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No problem, and if you ever need anything feel free to direct message me.

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post #22 of 37 Old 07-01-2013, 01:53 PM
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Sorry for reviving such an old thread. We bought a house that has been wired for home audio distribution. We also paid to buy the old Russound CAM6.6 (perhaps paid too much but thats history). Right now, we can listen to FM in all of the six rooms.

The issue is that the kids want to listen to something and I want to listen to NPR or something else. I would like to use the other zones and first thought is to connect an old iPhone 3G lying around. That way I can get podcasts and/or mp3 songs on the iPhone. I do have a dock as well with RCA output or perhaps can buy an iPod dock. Question is - what is a good way to connect the system so that I can control basic features via the UNO control panels.

I do have 2 infra-red control wires that the old owner left hanging behind the Russound. I would like that when I select the appropriate source that the iPod turns on and/or that I can pause/play from the Uno wall controller plate. I don't care for much other functionality. BGK1 from Russound is a good $200 (or more) and I am looking to spend less than $50 if I can. Any tips or advise?

Thanks in advace!
Guraaf
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post #23 of 37 Old 07-01-2013, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by agaurav View Post

The issue is that the kids want to listen to something and I want to listen to NPR or something else. I would like to use the other zones and first thought is to connect an old iPhone 3G lying around. That way I can get podcasts and/or mp3 songs on the iPhone. I do have a dock as well with RCA output or perhaps can buy an iPod dock. Question is - what is a good way to connect the system so that I can control basic features via the UNO control panels.

Use the Russound iPod dock...
Quote:
I do have 2 infra-red control wires that the old owner left hanging behind the Russound. I would like that when I select the appropriate source that the iPod turns on and/or that I can pause/play from the Uno wall controller plate. I don't care for much other functionality. BGK1 from Russound is a good $200 (or more) and I am looking to spend less than $50 if I can. Any tips or advise?

Ok, that's really all the functionality anyway, but if the budget is more like $50, you could get any iPod dock that has an IR remote control (and a line out), get the codes for that remote and program them into the Russound unit so that the keypads will generate the IR remote codes. Then put an IR emitter in front of the dock. That's a lot of work to avoid the Russound solution that exists...

Another option would be to buy an Apple Airport Express ($99) and attach that as a source to the Russound. Then any iOS device can send audio via AirPlay from any app, and you control it by the phone/iPod itself. Volume could still be changed via the Uno keypads as well.

And since you said "kids" (plural), the answer may be eventually two AE's so that each of them can listen to their own stuff without conflicts...

Jeff


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post #24 of 37 Old 07-02-2013, 12:06 PM
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Hi Guraaf,

Jautor did a pretty good job of answering your questions. If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Thanks,

Steve

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post #25 of 37 Old 07-03-2013, 10:45 AM
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Thanks Steve. No more help required. I am buying an iPod dock with IR remote and then plan to do the learning part. It should not be that bad.

Thanks all!
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post #26 of 37 Old 07-13-2013, 10:40 AM
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I've just moved into a house wired with Russound speakers and volume controls (altx). I'm just not sure how to set it up properly.

Main room (all wires terminate here) - speakers with no volume controls - center, 2 front, 2 rear
Another room - 1 speaker pair, direct - no volume control
6 (different rooms) speaker pairs with impedance matched volume controls (all wired together at termination point to two pairs out (for dual source, possibly?))

I had an Onkyo HT-R320 receiver, so hooked it up with a Mac mini and tv to see if everything works. They all do.
My temporary fix: the center, rears and subwoofer are wired directly to the receiver. The rest go into a radio shack speaker selector. The front speakers go into A for use with surround sound, the 6 pairs go into B for whole house audio, and the room without volume control goes into D. I think you shouldn't mix impedance matched and direct speakers? So I try not to have more than one of these selected at a time. But I would like to. The computer runs music, movies, streaming - HDMI to tv. The tv is occasionally used for OTA - optical audio out to receiver. And sometime I use the tuner on the receiver. That's it, no other sources. When using "B", the receiver does run a bit hot and I can't turn it up very loud.
I hope this makes sense and I would appreciate any advice. What do I need? Thanks!
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post #27 of 37 Old 07-14-2013, 12:25 PM
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Does the Onkyo have a second zone output?

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post #28 of 37 Old 07-14-2013, 04:48 PM
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Yes. I originally set it up that way but when I looked into the volume controls, it said to never use the B out. Can I use the 2nd out and run it to an amp? And, hopefully add add a table top volume control for the single from missing one? Is it okay to have them all wired together?
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post #29 of 37 Old 07-14-2013, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeh77 View Post

Yes. I originally set it up that way but when I looked into the volume controls, it said to never use the B out. Can I use the 2nd out and run it to an amp? And, hopefully add add a table top volume control for the single from missing one? Is it okay to have them all wired together?

"Speaker B" output is NOT the same as Zone 2. Speaker A/B is an internal selector for convenience (a two-pair speaker selector). A+B would connect two pairs in parallel, same as any outboard selector would do. Zone 2 is a completely separate amp channel pair from the main L/R.


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post #30 of 37 Old 07-15-2013, 06:22 AM
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Okay. Here's the back of the receiver.

I'm prepared to get new receivers, amps, switches, whatever. They all just seem way more complicated than I need. Also, at least some of the volume controls have a cat5 cable (not being used). I'm not sure if that could be useful.
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