Advice on iPod music distribution needed - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-13-2012, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

Need to figure out a solution for a multi-source multi-zone audio distribution request.

Some details:

  • 6 iPod dock locations to feed 8 zones with control over immediate zone and option to feed the other zones.
  • Pre-wired with 2 Cat5's and one coax running from each iPod dock location to a demarc location
  • Speaker cable ran from demarc location to speakers in each zone.
  • House is now boarded so no more options to change wiring unfortunately.


Rather than going the $$$ route with a multi-source/zone amp or amps, I've been trying to focus on bus/hub module type solutions but the obvious challenge is that there is no speaker wire running from the dock locations to the speakers.

All thoughts, ideas, maniacal rants and offers appreciated biggrin.gif
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-13-2012, 12:15 PM
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Are these six docks going to feed "any" of the eight zones, or are they just intended for their own zone plus "one other room"?

If so, some MuxLab audio baluns to take the dock output and get it to the demarc, and a multi-channel amp to feed each zone's speakers. HTD has good deals on multichannel amps with auto-on/off...

If you want multiple source/zone selection, then, well, you're looking at a multi-source/zone "whole house audio" solution.

Are you really wanting to feed audio from a bunch of iPods, or is that just an idea for a cheap solution? A few Sonos units would be something to look at...

Jeff

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-13-2012, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Two of the iPods and zones are to be stand-alone (bedrooms), the other 4 iPods/6 zones are to be able to feed the rooms they're in and each other as well.

The real challenge with this one is that the sparky didn't wire it the way you would a distributed audio system - with the speaker wires running from keypads in each zone.

Trying to stick with a bus-type system like OnQ-Legrand has. Not sure how well Sonos would work, all of the units would end up having to be in demarc location, which is the bottom floor and quite far away from the farthest zone.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-14-2012, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HLVwa View Post

Trying to stick with a bus-type system like OnQ-Legrand has.

What's your rationale here? Don't understand how this helps you vs. any other system design.
Quote:
Not sure how well Sonos would work, all of the units would end up having to be in demarc location, which is the bottom floor and quite far away from the farthest zone.

Control of the Sonos units would be via WiFi, so it doesn't matter how far away they are - as long as both are connected to the network (wired or wireless), no problem.

I would question the utility of using an iPod to supply music to other rooms/zones. If a particular iPod is out of its dock, the source wouldn't be available - not sure I understand how this would get used. Something more "permanent" - thinking Sonos to a NAS digital library - more predictable for all the users. Local iPod source for a zone, yeah, no problem...

FYI - the NuVo iPod docs work well and provide metadata and control, but I believe they consume a peripheral address and therefore would max out at 4 per system. I suppose you could do four as sources, and have a 3rd party dock to a Local Source Amplifier for the other two.

Jeff

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post #5 of 7 Old 07-14-2012, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the responses, much appreciated.

Cost is the main concern on this one; the job wasn't properly bid and I'm dealing with a contractor sweating bullets at the thought this is going to come out of his own pocket.

HAD it been wired properly, I could do an OnQ system complete with keypads, etc but no iPods or source gear (not in our scope) for around $2800.

By the math I'm looking at, Sonos would come out to over $6050 not including docks and whatever bridge(s) etc. it needs.

Due to the wiring challenges, it is starting to look like wireless is the only way to go for the control aspect.

Now I'm looking at an Airport Express solution. Cost is looking like $1850 not including docks or the computer (not in our scope to supply, but no big deal there anyway, computers are cheap.)

Having said that, I've never played with an Airport Express with a Remote app, hopefully it's not total junk biggrin.gif
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-14-2012, 10:41 AM
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How many simultaneous sources do you really need? An inexpensive solution would be an HTD system with 2-3 Sonos Connect units feeding the system as sources. That gets you local keypad control of source/volume (but no metadata), for around $2300 (not including speakers). A NuVo Essentia + MPS4 would get you 4 digital sources and metadata/control on the keypads, for around $5k.

Supplement those with a local source amp or remotely wire in an iPod dock if you really want to use iPods themselves as sources. Any iPod dock could be made a source using a MuxLab Cat5 audio balun back to the demarc. On the NuVo systems, their wired iPod dock would give full control from any keypad.

I guess you need to step back and explain what you want to *do* with the system - the wiring is set up for a centralized system and with that plus cat5 around, you have a lot of options. How many people will be using it? How many simultaneous *different* sources are needed? What other sources would you like to incorporate?

Jeff

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post #7 of 7 Old 07-15-2012, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again, Jeff.

I'm going to visit the site for a first-hand look tomorrow to get an idea of how many independent iSources we really need. (Apparently the owner is insisting on using nothing but iPods as sources (or controllers))
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