I just moved into a new house pre-wired with audio system but I need to power the system, need some advice - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-26-2012, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I just moved into my new home, which came with a full system of in-wall speakers installed in every room (even the bathrooms!) but there is no amplifier to power the system, the former owner took that with him. The house was actually a foreclosure, so the old owner is long gone and I'm not able to contact him to ask my questions. It looks like a nice setup, I am somewhat of an audiophile (an audiophile on a budget) and I can tell that they used decent heavier gauge wire to connect everything and the speakers look like decent speakers, although I really don't have any experience with the "built-in" audio equipment, my sound systems have always been the kind that sit on the floor.

So, my question as what I would need as far as an amplifier to power the system. The wires all run down to the basement, where they connect into a Jamo zi 8 zone interface, which I see has 1 connection for an amplifier, so I am assuming that the Jamo zone interface sets up the right load as far as the ohm level goes so you can power everything with one 2 channel amp-am I correct on this? If I am correct, what kind of power would I need from an amp to properly power the system. (There are 8 pairs of speakers tied into the zone interface and it looks as if each pair has its own wall-mounted volume control, there are little wall-mounted volume knobs all over the house) Would I be able to power this with a "regular" receiver? (say one that puts out 100 watts/channel?) or would I need a beefier amp for all of those speakers? I'm not looking to get any extreme volume levels, I have a regular stereo system for that, I would think that most of the time it will be used for background music, maybe it would get turned up to a moderately loud level for a party, but I'm not looking for ear-splitting volume levels here.
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-26-2012, 10:10 AM
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It's a basic setup - the Jamo strip is an impedance-matching device. With 8 pairs, you're going to be dividing the power by 8. Most Whole House Audio setups have per-zone amps of 20-40W/ch, so 100W total would be a bit weak. If you have anything that you can use to try, to see what levels you're getting, I'd do some testing before buying anything.

What sources are you planning to use with the system? This is one area where a basic setup like this is much more usable now than just a few years ago. The issue is selecting audio sources and keeping the music going - if you have to go to the basement to select tracks, it doesn't get used much. But now, with something like a Sonos Connect supplying audio, with an iDevice for full 2-way remote control, you can do everything from anywhere in the house.

The one feature to look for in an amplifier for a setup like this is one that has "audio sense" or "signal sense", so it will power itself on/off automatically...

Good luck! You've got the hard parts already done (speaker/wire installation), now you get to do the fun part!


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post #3 of 3 Old 08-10-2012, 06:54 PM
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Well, I just moved into an old house pre-wired with the Jamo z-18 interface. There are six speaker zones in use, either singles or doubles, one triple, and the family room with five. Upon move-in, only some of the speakers worked, but those that did performed very well. I detected some mis-wirings, and after changing some wires around, all work. But unfortunately, that's not the end of the story. The 5 speakers in the family room (which did not work previously) now seem to be the default speakers and are on all the time that the amp is powered. Their control seems to have no effect on them. And the other speakers are low on volume. I can raise the volume on the others, but the fam-5 will be unbearable if I do. There are two controls for the family room speakers- one round dial just like all the others, and a three push button panel that turns on/off the kitchen speaker, the lanai, and supposedly the family room (with no effect on the latter). And there is a mystery wire (clear covering, two thick strands of copper and a silver color wire) that runs from the central control area to the box where the family room speaker control is. The ends in central control were obviously connected to something at one point. Is there a missing piece of equipment? Some amp connection that I'm overlooking? Or something else entirely? All suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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