Whole House Audio - Speaker Config & Audio plate qs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-18-2012, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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How do I plan speakers for entire house? House is 5 yrs old & unfortunately, i only pre-wired certain rooms.

Already Pre-wired for 5.1:
1. Living Room
2. Game Room
3. Master Bedroom

New wiring (planing to hire installers):
This is where i need help. Do, I plan for 2 channels in each room, regardless of size?
What do people typically do for a guest bedroom with attached bath? 2 speakers in each? or split R & L between the 2 spaces?

I haven't decided if I need in-ceiling or on-wall since the latter would be easy to carry it with us if we decide to move.
If i do go with on-wall, would it make sense for buying a/v Banana Binding Post Wall Plate for 1 Speaker - Coupler Type from Monoprice or s'thing?

Are there more of these go-dos, buy-these that I need to account for before getting the installers?
My plan was to buy all equipment and have them install. Or should I look for a more professional installer? (just fear the large bills).

I did consider dumping all this & go for Sonos. Will save me from running wires, but I don't like their speakers (Play 5 sounds good but too big, Play 3 doesn't sound too IMHO).
The way I understand, if I buy my own powered speakers, each would still need a Zp-90?

Sorry, for the basic qs. I am pulling hair on figuring this out. Appreciate all help I get. Thx!
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-18-2012, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iAusio80 View Post

How do I plan speakers for entire house? House is 5 yrs old & unfortunately, i only pre-wired certain rooms.
Already Pre-wired for 5.1:
1. Living Room
2. Game Room
3. Master Bedroom

Where does this wiring go? Does it all terminate in one central location, in the living room, or at plates in each room?
Quote:
New wiring (planing to hire installers):
This is where i need help. Do, I plan for 2 channels in each room, regardless of size?
What do people typically do for a guest bedroom with attached bath? 2 speakers in each? or split R & L between the 2 spaces?

2 channels for each room. You can connect rooms together (share a zone between bed/bath) if it makes sense, but if you're running new wires, home run everything - you can tie them together at the head-end, but can change your mind later.

If the room is VERY small, or a hallway, you can use dual-voice-coil stereo speakers, but I'd avoid those generally.
Quote:
I haven't decided if I need in-ceiling or on-wall since the latter would be easy to carry it with us if we decide to move.
If i do go with on-wall, would it make sense for buying a/v Banana Binding Post Wall Plate for 1 Speaker - Coupler Type from Monoprice or s'thing?

In-ceiling gives a much cleaner-looking install. Also tends to be better placement for background music (even distribution of sound throughout the room). If you go with on-walls, yes, a binding-post plate would the right answer. Honestly I wouldn't worry about taking these speakers with you when you move (unless that's in your immediate future). Five years from now, are you going to have a place for them, will they be still what you want? IMO better to do a more aesthetic install and make it a feature for future buyers...
Quote:
Are there more of these go-dos, buy-these that I need to account for before getting the installers?
My plan was to buy all equipment and have them install. Or should I look for a more professional installer? (just fear the large bills).

Depends on the equipment. Retrofit wiring is an art, you want good guys doing the work to minimize damage. What kind of system are you expecting to use? Do some searches here for "whole house audio", and take a look at the HTD.com and NuVo products.
Quote:
I did consider dumping all this & go for Sonos. Will save me from running wires, but I don't like their speakers (Play 5 sounds good but too big, Play 3 doesn't sound too IMHO).The way I understand, if I buy my own powered speakers, each would still need a Zp-90?

Powered speakers? If you want to go the Sonos route, you can use the Connect:Amp and just run wires in the room to whatever speakers you want. This saves the cost of home-running speaker wire back to a centralized amp. There is also the NuVo Renovia system that uses powerline networking that serves the same basic purpose.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-18-2012, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Where does this wiring go? Does it all terminate in one central location, in the living room, or at plates in each room?
2 channels for each room. You can connect rooms together (share a zone between bed/bath) if it makes sense, but if you're running new wires, home run everything - you can tie them together at the head-end, but can change your mind later.
If the room is VERY small, or a hallway, you can use dual-voice-coil stereo speakers, but I'd avoid those generally.
In-ceiling gives a much cleaner-looking install. Also tends to be better placement for background music (even distribution of sound throughout the room). If you go with on-walls, yes, a binding-post plate would the right answer. Honestly I wouldn't worry about taking these speakers with you when you move (unless that's in your immediate future). Five years from now, are you going to have a place for them, will they be still what you want? IMO better to do a more aesthetic install and make it a feature for future buyers...
Depends on the equipment. Retrofit wiring is an art, you want good guys doing the work to minimize damage. What kind of system are you expecting to use? Do some searches here for "whole house audio", and take a look at the HTD.com and NuVo products.
Powered speakers? If you want to go the Sonos route, you can use the Connect:Amp and just run wires in the room to whatever speakers you want. This saves the cost of home-running speaker wire back to a centralized amp. There is also the NuVo Renovia system that uses powerline networking that serves the same basic purpose.
Jeff

Thx Jautor!! Really appreciate your help.

The wires for the rooms pre-wired for 5.1 terminate at the speakers (didn't add a/v plates for them) and hooked to a 5.1 receiver.
Since none of these are home run, I might just connect a Sonos Connect/ZP-90 so that i could use them as a Sonos set-up as well.

For the other rooms (most are upstairs, so I am hoping wiring should be easier?), I need to run wires and will definitely home-run them as you mentioned.
Now, would it make sense to connect 3 ZP-90s for 3 Zones to an amp (say Emotiva?, or do i need to use the HTD ones that everyone is talking abt?). Are there any pics i could look at for wiring speakers -> ZP-90s -> amps?

Also, any suggestions for in-ceiling speakers? I might need 6-8 pairs (yikes!). I don't intend to have more than 4 Zones total (1 downstairs, 3 for hallway/upstairs)
Say 200-300 for each pair? Or is that too less? Not too critical when it comes to whoel house audio. More like light banckground music.
Definitely don't wants to spend on the Play3s/Play5s (too expensive)

Also, how good/reliable are the powerline Nuvo Renovias. I did read-up about them, but looks like i would still need to run cat5s from wall controller to speaker etc.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-18-2012, 11:00 PM
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For what it's worth, I'm very happy with my Dayton Audio MA1240 12ch amp (powers all my speakers but the sub in the living room) and my 60USD/pair in-ceiling speakers from monoprice...
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-19-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan.hallen View Post

For what it's worth, I'm very happy with my Dayton Audio MA1240 12ch amp (powers all my speakers but the sub in the living room) and my 60USD/pair in-ceiling speakers from monoprice...

Thx much Stefan.
So, I have 4 options in terms of amps:
1. Dayton Audio MA1240 - 12ch amp
2. HTD 12 Ch amp
3. Emotiva - 5/7 ch amp
4. Outlaw - 7ch amp

I just thought that the Emotiva/Outlaw may pack more punch, but probably expensive too.

I keep hearing about the Monoprice speakers. Good to know you like them.
How are the Polks RC 80i? Or any other suggestions?

In terms of wiring, I am hoping it would be easier to pull all the wire for my upstairs to one location and another set of wires downstairs to another location.
I am not sure if the installers would be able to home run all of 'em. I haven't talked to them yet. Will find out.

That said, this is the place i get confused. If i am pulling wires, what's the point of Sonos? I cld always do Nuvo etc. assuming they might be better options.
I don't know, just a lil confused.
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-19-2012, 01:06 PM
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You've listed a bunch of amplifiers. What's going to drive them and control them? That's what a "whole house audio" system is - amplifier, source selector, volume control... Emotiva/Outlaw amps are definite overkill for this purpose. 20-40W/channel is typical for background audio, and is plenty for most rooms.

Sonos can be a source to an audio system, or a standalone zone (or networked) so that you don't have to run wires... But if you want speakers on/in the walls/ceiling, you're going to be doing some wiring regardless.

If you're pulling wires to some location, you're going to want them all to come eventually to one place. Otherwise you're building two separate systems.


Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-19-2012, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

You've listed a bunch of amplifiers. What's going to drive them and control them? That's what a "whole house audio" system is - amplifier, source selector, volume control... Emotiva/Outlaw amps are definite overkill for this purpose. 20-40W/channel is typical for background audio, and is plenty for most rooms.
Sonos can be a source to an audio system, or a standalone zone (or networked) so that you don't have to run wires... But if you want speakers on/in the walls/ceiling, you're going to be doing some wiring regardless.
If you're pulling wires to some location, you're going to want them all to come eventually to one place. Otherwise you're building two separate systems.
Jeff

Thx again Jautor.

That makes sense. I guess, the first thing to do is, just home-run the wires.
One last q - Any suggestions on a Structured Panel kit? (What do i need apart from an OnQ or Leviton box)?

Thx again!
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-19-2012, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by iAusio80 View Post

That makes sense. I guess, the first thing to do is, just home-run the wires.

Yep. If you're home-running wires, you might consider running a cat5e to a switch location in each zone if possible. That will allow you to use many of the keypad-based systems (NuVo, Russound). It's more work for a retrofit, but depending on your access and pathways, and your audio system plans/desires, it may be worth it.
Quote:
One last q

Heard that before! biggrin.gif
Quote:
Any suggestions on a Structured Panel kit? (What do i need apart from an OnQ or Leviton box)?

A big one. I regret not pushing for a larger box when I built. I would stick with one of the top brands (OnQ/Legrand or Leviton) as the mounting brackets and modules for each (you don't need to use all of their parts, but...) are readily available.

Good luck!

Jeff

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post #9 of 9 Old 06-20-2012, 02:30 PM
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For what it's worth, I home ran all my speaker cable AND am using 2 x Sonos Connects + 1 Airport Express for my music audio sources (there's an HTPC in there as well, which shares speakers with the whole home audio but isn't available as a source, 5.1 and all that).

For me the selling point of Sonos is not "not having to pull cables", it's how easy it is to use. Now I got two logical music zones and can easily play back whatever I want in either, or both, of them. The Airport Express is connected to the line in on one of the Connects and set up to auto-switch to that input when it's activated. This means that the missus can, from her iPhone, start playing back whatever music she wants whenever she wants without having to select sources etc, she's very happy about it smile.gif
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