Use Surround Speakers for Whole House Audio - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 12-14-2010, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm wiring a 5.1 surround in our family room on the main floor with a local 5.1 surround amp. I am also installing a whole house audio system that will be located on a rack in my basement. I'm trying to figure out how I can share the surround speakers in my living room when using my whole house audio system. I'm a rookie so please be kind, I'm sure this is basic.
Thanks
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post #2 of 20 Old 12-14-2010, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by achenbachwb View Post

I'm wiring a 5.1 surround in our family room on the main floor with a local 5.1 surround amp. I am also installing a whole house audio system that will be located on a rack in my basement. I'm trying to figure out how I can share the surround speakers in my living room when using my whole house audio system. I'm a rookie so please be kind, I'm sure this is basic.
Thanks

Not basic, but can be done. Depends on your WHA system. NuVo has a "Local Source Interrupt" switch that allows the speakers in a zone to be driven by an amplifier in the room when the NuVo zone is turned off. Turning on the WHA zone switches the speakers to use that...

http://www.nuvotechnologies.com/accessories.htm

You need to loop the surround speaker wires to a switch box location that can hold the LSI, on its way back to the WHA system. The local amp is then connected to the LSI as well. A cat5 cable is run from the LSI to the control pad in that zone, which is where the trigger occurs (triggers when the NuVo zone is turned on, otherwise the local source drives the speakers).

I've done this in my bedroom, although the LSI is still sitting in the box as I haven't gotten around to setting up a surround system in there. But I wired it, and placed the ceiling speakers in the 'surround locations' relative to the TV for that purpose (off the head of the bed, which also works well for WHA music, too).

If you are using a different system, an in-wall speaker selector (used in reverse for two sources and one pair of speakers) would work with any setup.

http://www.cablestogo.com/product.as...84&cat_id=2235

Jeff

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post #3 of 20 Old 12-15-2010, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Jeff. I'm wiring a control4 system. I read up on the nuvo selector which would be perfect but my guess is it only works with nuvo equipment. Are there any IR speaker selectors for this purpose out there that I could program to switch to whole house when I play the whole house system, then switch back if I watch my tv source.
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-16-2010, 06:11 AM
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What you need is a Sonance AS2/S. Wire it in series with a wall wart to the relay output of the C4 processor (HC300). Tie the relay to that audio zone so when the zone turns on the relay closes and plays C4 audio on the surrounds.

You can also get a receiver with a 12v trigger output. However, I prefer to track the speakers to the distributed audio system since you can have the TV on but listen to distributed audio at the same time.
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post #5 of 20 Old 12-16-2010, 06:38 AM
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I don't know anything about C4, i use Crestron. Hopefully that doesn't matter. Bringing it up because some of the DA products are 'boxed'. We can take stereo and or digital audio out of our matrix switch to an input on the 5.1 receiver.

Pros:
5.1/5CH Stereo sound with DA

Cons:
Volume level is controlled at the receiver.
If you use IR to control the receiver you wont have volume level feedback.
You use additional control ports to control the receiver.

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post #6 of 20 Old 12-16-2010, 07:32 AM
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Here's a link to the wiring diagram for the Nuvo LSI24, which uses a 24 volt trigger.

http://www.nuvotechnologies.com/proz...%20Diagram.pdf

Nuvo also offers the LSI12, which uses a 12v trigger.

Call your C4 distributor, or C4, or the installer, to find out the details on the trigger output of the C4 keypad (if there is one).

Niles also makes an A-B speaker switch that switches based on sensing signals, i.e. A if no input from the distributed audio system, switching to B when it senses signal from the audio system.

Looks like it's the SAS-1. I've never used it, read the manual carefully.

http://www.nilesaudio.com/images/PDF/SAS-1_manual.pdf

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post #7 of 20 Old 12-16-2010, 08:47 AM
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Some speaker level sensing switches like the ABS-1 will sometimes work just fine but other times its difficult to adjust the sensitivity, there will be popping in the speakers or a delay for the switch between the 2 amps when you go from watching TV to distributed audio source.

For better results use a device like the Niles SAS-1 or the Sonance AS2/S. These switch based on a 12v trigger so switching is instant.

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post #8 of 20 Old 12-16-2010, 11:07 AM
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Stamp, do you have any references to help me learn more about 12v triggers?

When researching the installation of a local source interrupt, I read that 12v triggers may not play well from one manufacturer to another.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #9 of 20 Old 12-16-2010, 12:10 PM
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I don't have any reference material. I have used the niles and sonance piece i mentioned above and both were reliable. Typical use for me is plugging a walwart into the switched outlet of an AVR. Turning the AVR on or off switches the speakers.

FYI.. this is something we did a lot when we were Phast dealers. We used AVR's as local switchers. Its something we have done rarely while being Crestron dealers. With Crestron we have their room solution boxes and matrix switchers to give us a different way to solve the same problem. Now we only have AVR's in rooms with surround sound. DAV typically comes in as a single source. Local sources are fed to the head end and back so they can be distributed anywhere. This way a master bedroom Blu-ray player can be routed to the master bath or the sitting room just like any other source in the house. The only time this changes is in a theater where we may want direct HDMI connections to a projector. In that instance we have dedicated sources.

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post #10 of 20 Old 12-16-2010, 01:01 PM
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I shy away from auto sensing switchers because they can be sketchy on the sensitivity or change state during long quiet sequences. They might work fine but occasionally you get a project where there client calls back.

A voltage driven relay is a fixed solution, it works every time if set up properly. Dealing with plain/raw voltage eliminates issues between manufacturers as well. What can I say, we like total control
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post #11 of 20 Old 12-16-2010, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I have some more research to do to fully understand each way of doing it, but these all seem to make logical sense.
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post #12 of 20 Old 12-16-2010, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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bigpapa - I'm guessing there is an advantage to using the slave unit versus the automatic sensing unit? It appeared from the manual that it will automatically switch when a signal is passed over it versus having to wire back to the controler.
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post #13 of 20 Old 12-16-2010, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by achenbachwb View Post

bigpapa - I'm guessing there is an advantage to using the slave unit versus the automatic sensing unit? It appeared from the manual that it will automatically switch when a signal is passed over it versus having to wire back to the controler.

"Sensing" means it has to, well, sense it. Correctly. Some of these work very well, others can be too sensitive or not sensitive enough. But a trigger is binary. On/Off - no question.

The answer is, if you can run the wire, do that. If you can't, use an auto-sensing switch...

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post #14 of 20 Old 12-17-2010, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

The answer is, if you can run the wire, do that. If you can't, use an auto-sensing switch...

Yes, that. The future of the free world doesn't depend on your decision, but given a choice, I always do a voltage controlled A/B switch. It may make sense to try an auto sensing unit first and see if it works.
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-17-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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I've done this before with a simple 12v triggered A/B speaker selector switch. when you turn on the local receiver, it just triggers the A/B switch to switch the surrounds to the local receiver. When the local receiver is turned off, the speakers revert to house audio. Very simple, very reliable.
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-24-2012, 01:53 PM
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I was looking at something similar. to use home theater speakers with a distributed system and found this.

http://www.nilesaudio.com/product.php?prodID=ABS-1&recordID=Automated%20Switching%20Systems&categoryID=Switching%20Systems&catcdID=&prdcdID=FG00271


does anyone have any thoughts on this?
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-24-2012, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psreynol View Post

I was looking at something similar. to use home theater speakers with a distributed system and found this.
http://www.nilesaudio.com/product.php?prodID=ABS-1&recordID=Automated%20Switching%20Systems&categoryID=Switching%20Systems&catcdID=&prdcdID=FG00271
does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Yep, that's what that box is for... I'd recommend making the surround usage the default, as the surrounds are likely to have long periods of low/no signal, and you don't want the delay of switching to cut off the infrequent "BOOM" from an effect. Force the WHA system to take the switching delay, which will probably not be noticeable in the real-world.

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post #18 of 20 Old 09-24-2012, 08:34 PM
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As mentioned above the SAS-1 has advantages to the ABS-1. But, I haven't used either. 12 volt trigger better than auto sensing.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #19 of 20 Old 09-25-2012, 08:43 PM
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There is a less complicated method too, especially if it's something your either doing very rarely, or you can put the unit somewhere easy to get to. (Side of the bed or next to the DVD player you have to put the disk into anyway) Something like this:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_190ABA1DA/Niles-ABA-1D-Almond.html?tp=2081&kw=&org=pla&nw=g&crv=15305703865

It requires you to choose the source by a button, but is probably cheaper, and should be easier then running a extra 12 volt wire (or long runs from the surrounds to the room with the WHA system components and back.)

I didn't see in your original post if you wanted a automatic system or not, so this is another option.

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post #20 of 20 Old 09-26-2012, 04:13 AM
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OP is long gone, but I think Stamp's way is the easiest, and I recall jautor saying this too - if there is a local AVR, route the distributed audio line level signal to the local AVR and use it as a source. Volume control can be a challenge but I think that can be overcome with remote programming. Haven't done it yet, as I don't have a control solution yet.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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