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post #1 of 19 Old 07-31-2012, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I own a small surveillance system installation company in Atlanta, GA. We do a lot of other things like home and business A/V set ups, IT Consulting among other things.

I have a customer who wants 15-20 ceiling mount speakers installed throughout his house with volume controls throughout. He already had the home pre-wired. I called my supplier to see what they had that could help me get this set up. With the products they offered me, I would only be able to power 12 speakers without duplicating the setup (and the cost) for another 12. They advised me to buy a 4ch receiver, and use a switch that would allow me to power a total of 12 speakers. They did not have anything else in stock that would power 15-20 speakers.

Could you please recommend some type of set-up? The customer is not rich, but he does not want a low-end system, something mid-grade. I am not looking for specifics. I just need to know what type of hardware I need to be looking for. This is my first time installing this many speakers.

The speakers I am looking at are probably going to be Niles CM710I.

handles up to 75 watts per channel
frequency response 61-20,000 Hz (?3dB)
sensitivity 89 dB
8-ohm impedance

When it comes to installing and networking surveillance systems, I am the master. Audio I have a basic understanding of Ohms, Resistance, and Impedence, but not enough to know how to wire 15-20 speakers.

Thanks!
Kris
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-31-2012, 05:58 PM
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How many zones? What sources? What kind of control system, if any, is planned? Are category cables run to the VC locations (they may be there, look behind the plates)?

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 #3 of 19 Old 07-31-2012, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

How many zones? What sources? What kind of control system, if any, is planned? Are category cables run to the VC locations (they may be there, look behind the plates)?

As I suspected this site is awesome. Thats exactly the kind of response I was hoping for.

The customer has no clue what he wants, all he said was he wants to play music throughout the house. Im assuming from either a ipod or a cd. He said the house is wired for speakers 15-20, he doesn't know exactly how many, what kind of wire, or what type of set-up he wants. I stopped by to network his surveillance system and I didn't really have time to investigate the wiring, I will find out more tomorrow. I am pretty sure there is cat5 running to the VC locations.

Thanks for the fast response.
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-05-2012, 05:06 AM
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I would suggest handing your client off to someone who does this everyday. You do not want to make a customer unhappy by trying to piece something together that might not work or be something the customer doesn't want. If you can facilitate something to where the customer is happy, they will also be happy with you for not trying something you have no experience with.

There are too many questions to pose to the homeowner to suggest anything useful.
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-05-2012, 05:37 AM
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Kris,

I specialize in working with folks such as integrators, security firms, electricians and even do-it-yourselfers.

I offer a variety of solutions and services. From design services; complete with functional spec's & system specific design documentation; to pre-engineered/programmed/racked systems that have been fully tested and get drop-shipped to your door ready for connection to speaker wires.

With a little more info I may be able to feed you enough info that can get you through but if not, I have a great wholesale program which allows your company to be the expert without requiring you have the expertise.

If this is of any interest to you please send me a private message as I don't subscribe to the threads.
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-05-2012, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post

I would suggest handing your client off to someone who does this everyday. You do not want to make a customer unhappy by trying to piece something together that might not work or be something the customer doesn't want. If you can facilitate something to where the customer is happy, they will also be happy with you for not trying something you have no experience with.
There are too many questions to pose to the homeowner to suggest anything useful.

I am the guy who does this everyday and I am not going to hand my client off to someone else. I have been doing electrical work for 10 years, I can wire a house and I am sure I can handle this job. I have installed a lot of home theater and speaker systems. The only problem is I have never installed a system with more then 12 speakers. I just need to know how I am going to power and control 15-20 speakers. I understand ohms, resistance, and impedance so I am not worried about damaging the equipment.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-05-2012, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HCCDesignGuy View Post

Kris,
I specialize in working with folks such as integrators, security firms, electricians and even do-it-yourselfers.
I offer a variety of solutions and services. From design services; complete with functional spec's & system specific design documentation; to pre-engineered/programmed/racked systems that have been fully tested and get drop-shipped to your door ready for connection to speaker wires.
With a little more info I may be able to feed you enough info that can get you through but if not, I have a great wholesale program which allows your company to be the expert without requiring you have the expertise.
If this is of any interest to you please send me a private message as I don't subscribe to the threads.

I apologize I have not provided more information yet as I am overwhelmed with work right now. i am currently in the process of networking 15 stores, and I have 4 surveillance system installs and many other projects lined up and I have not had a chance to go back to the customers house to get more information.

I am planning on going by this week and I will get all the info you need.

I appreciate your responses and I look forward to your suggestions.

Thanks,
Kris
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-06-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IPVision View Post

I am the guy who does this everyday and I am not going to hand my client off to someone else. I have been doing electrical work for 10 years, I can wire a house and I am sure I can handle this job. I have installed a lot of home theater and speaker systems. The only problem is I have never installed a system with more then 12 speakers. I just need to know how I am going to power and control 15-20 speakers. I understand ohms, resistance, and impedance so I am not worried about damaging the equipment.

You are obviously NOT the guy who does this everyday if you are asking how to control 15 pairs of speakers. I would call someone like you to handle a comprehensive network.
Large problems that arise from installations is that people do not know when to suck up their pride and get their customer the system they paid for.

Doing network and wiring a house do not qualify you to design a distributed control system. I can set-up a router, this does not make me an IT professional.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-06-2012, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post

You are obviously NOT the guy who does this everyday if you are asking how to control 15 pairs of speakers. I would call someone like you to handle a comprehensive network.
Large problems that arise from installations is that people do not know when to suck up their pride and get their customer the system they paid for.
Doing network and wiring a house do not qualify you to design a distributed control system. I can set-up a router, this does not make me an IT professional.

It has nothing to do with pride, more so my drive to learn. I want to learn how to do this just like I learned networking and cctv and I am sure I can. I have already installed a surveillance system for him and I have to go back to mount several flat screens. He told me there is no rush to install the audio system and I could take my time putting it together. I basically have the opportunity to learn how to do this myself and I do not want to pass this job to someone else. If my customer needed it done tomorrow, I would sub out the work, but thats not the case.

Now if we can move on.

I am open to any other suggestion or advice you have. Again I am sorry I dont have more info but I plan on getting all the details this week.

Thanks.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-06-2012, 04:26 PM
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As you heard already, it's kinda hard to do much in the way of recommendations until you get the specifics. Here are some things I'd be asking/looking for...

- Where is the wiring run? Does it all run back to one central point from the speaker locations? Or is it tapped in each room?
- Does the speaker wiring run through a section of wall where a volume control can be added?
- Is there Cat-something run to potential volume control locations?
- What sources does the client want to listen to? (CD, iPod, PC/Mac, TV/Vdieo, internet radio, etc)
- What control options does the client want? Does he want a handheld control to walk around with and select songs and such?
- Does the client want to be able to play different sources, in different rooms, at different volumes?
- Does the client want automation? (Music turns on/off while he walks through rooms, music can be set to timers, etc)
- Does he need a paging input for a doorbell/intercom?
- Are all of the pairs of speakers independant? (Would you "group" multiple pairs together, like in a great room, or bathroom/bedroom?)
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-06-2012, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ellis2x View Post

As you heard already, it's kinda hard to do much in the way of recommendations until you get the specifics. Here are some things I'd be asking/looking for...
- Where is the wiring run? Does it all run back to one central point from the speaker locations? Or is it tapped in each room? Central Location in Basement
- Does the speaker wiring run through a section of wall where a volume control can be added? Yes I saw low volt boxes where the volume control would be, didnt have time to open them.
- Is there Cat-something run to potential volume control locations? Yes, I saw lots of cat in the basement, I will verify though
- What sources does the client want to listen to? (CD, iPod, PC/Mac, TV/Vdieo, internet radio, etc) CD & iPod should be sufficient
- What control options does the client want? Does he want a handheld control to walk around with and select songs and such? Yes & No, he wants pricing on both (I have another customer who does want to walk around with control so please recommend something for that)
- Does the client want to be able to play different sources, in different rooms, at different volumes? No
- Does the client want automation? (Music turns on/off while he walks through rooms, music can be set to timers, etc) No
- Does he need a paging input for a doorbell/intercom? No
- Are all of the pairs of speakers independant? (Would you "group" multiple pairs together, like in a great room, or bathroom/bedroom?) Yes I would group them

THANKS!
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-06-2012, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IPVision View Post

- What sources does the client want to listen to? (CD, iPod, PC/Mac, TV/Vdieo, internet radio, etc) CD & iPod should be sufficient
- What control options does the client want? Does he want a handheld control to walk around with and select songs and such? Yes & No, he wants pricing on both (I have another customer who does want to walk around with control so please recommend something for that)
- Does the client want to be able to play different sources, in different rooms, at different volumes? No

Wow... Yeah, I don't think the client knows what he wants... With that many speakers / zones, you should absolutely be recommending a whole house audio system. And I can't imagine someone installing a multi-zone system these days without digital library / Internet streaming source(s).

How many "zones" are there, regardless of how many speakers are in each? NuVo Grand Concerto would handle up to 8 zones with some external amps, or can be expanded to 16 zones max. Other systems have similar capacities. Coupled with the MPS4 music server, it makes for a great setup (my bias...). Keypads have full control, and there are iPod/iPad apps (requires the music server), or wireless RF handheld controls with displays.

What's the budget for the equipment, not counting speakers?

Jeff

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post #13 of 19 Old 08-07-2012, 04:59 PM
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Kris,

And yes... I think perhaps you may be getting a taste of he other reason I tend to ask for responses via Private message or email... Cause all of us a-holes like to mouth off and tell everyone else how smart we are.

While I very much appreciate some folks coming to my defense from your remark about not turning the job over & knowing how to do this yourself, I understand what you meant.

I would love to chat with you when you have the time to see if I may be of some help. I'm confident I can help you deliver a profession AV system even if AV isn't your daily grind gig. We specialize in these types of relationships and have plenty of references.
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-07-2012, 08:34 PM
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I suggest you sign up for training with a manufacturer, e.g. Nuvo or Russound. Much of it can be done online. The distributor may help with the design too.

+1, install a music server such as the Nuvo MPS4. It's priced at the cost of 2 source components. I think it's the only source necessary.

Maybe I missed it - how many zones?

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 #15 of 19 Old 08-08-2012, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCCDesignGuy View Post

Kris,
And yes... I think perhaps you may be getting a taste of he other reason I tend to ask for responses via Private message or email... Cause all of us a-holes like to mouth off and tell everyone else how smart we are.
While I very much appreciate some folks coming to my defense from your remark about not turning the job over & knowing how to do this yourself, I understand what you meant.
I would love to chat with you when you have the time to see if I may be of some help. I'm confident I can help you deliver a profession AV system even if AV isn't your daily grind gig. We specialize in these types of relationships and have plenty of references.

I am going to assume that this was directed towards me. If I am wrong please feel free to correct my mistake, and who came to your defense?

I suggested turning over or to sub out the work to someone who is more familiar with distributed audio and can possibly offer a control system. I didn't tell the op not to do it, but made a suggestion. We all learn somewhere and most of the professionals learn while working for an a/v company. This gives proper instruction from experienced installers and from the manufacturers. The manufacturers are also a tool to be used in cases where the installer is stuck and needs to call tech support to remedy a situation. Without this support, the op is left all to themselves to figure out any issues that will arise.

And I never said how smart I was, but I did let the op know, that there were too many questions about the job, they described, to suggest anything useful. If I came off as arrogant, then this is not what I intended. But be honest, installing a 7-10 zone system is not that hard, but asking the customer the pertinent questions to deliver something that want and can use, is something else entirely.


And I for one, would not "hire" a company who trolls this forum looking for work.
Btw, nice stock pics you used from Crestron's website. And do the manufacturers and distributors you deal with, know you are trying to resell their products wholesale outside of your area?
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post #16 of 19 Old 08-08-2012, 06:08 AM
 
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If I was going to do this, I would make those zones, that stereo does not matter, in other words you can not tell the difference between stereo or mono, go with 70 volt distribution. Those areas such as patio or deck, that you are going to be able to distinguish the stereo channels, use a multi channel amp. A lot of times, yes you have to look at the big picture, not the smaller.

I really would not consider this a large job, just that everyone needs to get on the same page, along with the person paying the bills, needs to be more open as to exactly what they are looking for. That means asking the right interview questions, to determine exact use of it.
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post #17 of 19 Old 08-09-2012, 09:23 AM
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Chad - maybe you can limit the sales offers in your signature. A little subtlety will go a long way.

And I agree that stock pics on your 'Protfolio' (spelling) page is a bad idea. Leave it limited until you have more. Everyone has to start sometime. The jobs you did that are shown are very professional - maybe a few more pics from those jobs.

I understand that it's very difficult to find remote work, like you offer.

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 #18 of 19 Old 08-17-2012, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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The customer has not been very helpful in providing me with more information. He is very hard to get in touch with and doesn't like to talk on the phone long, very irritating. This job is on hold for now as I have other customers I must focus on who know what they want and are ready. I am starting a new thread for the other project now. Thanks for all your responses!
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post #19 of 19 Old 08-17-2012, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I suggest you sign up for training with a manufacturer, e.g. Nuvo or Russound. Much of it can be done online.

Thats a great idea. Thanks
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