Flexible local/whole-home amplification speaker wiring. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-26-2012, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I am trying to come up with a scheme for wiring speakers in multiple zones such that you can either locally amplify the zone (ex: with a receiver) if desired, or from a single amplification point (ex: with a power amp) for the entire home (in a basement closet).

I imagine if you make the speaker wire run from the power amp terminals (in the closet) to the local terminals (in each zone) then to the speaker locations it would likely accomplish what I desire, although I may be overlooking a more optimal approach. In the aforementioned scheme, If I chose to amplifiy locally, I would have a long run of speaker cable (from local terminals back to the power amp terminals) that would be unused and floating, wondering if that would have an undesired affect on the audio.

Thanks guys/gals,
Theeld
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-26-2012, 07:37 AM
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Home run the speaker wire, loop it through a keypad / volume control location, and run a cat5e cable in parallel.

For local amplifier support, add a separate run from that same keypad location to a local wallplate. Then you can choose which run to use by connecting/splicing the speaker wire at the volume control. Or an in-wall speaker selector could also be a cheap way to allow for both local/central amps.

That has the advantages of being (1) matching the CEA standard practice for whole house audio, and (2) not having the long run from the local source. The only disadvantage is the blank switch plate if there's only a local amp.

Jeff

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post #3 of 4 Old 09-28-2012, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Another curiousity: for pre-amp output to a 'whole-home' amplifer do people generally run pre-amp (rca/coax) baluns to the power amplifier from the local receiver/sound processor? As there are 4 twisted pair in an cat5/6, I imagine you can only run 4 channels in a single run, meaning for something like 7.1 surround, you need two runs of cat 5? Am I on the right track for what is conventionally done in a surround setup in a single zone? Or is that only done when a significant distance is present between the receiver/sound processor? Or are regular RCA's runs still the convention for interconnect from pre-amp to power amp?
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-28-2012, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theeld View Post

Another curiousity: for pre-amp output to a 'whole-home' amplifer do people generally run pre-amp (rca/coax) baluns to the power amplifier from the local receiver/sound processor? As there are 4 twisted pair in an cat5/6, I imagine you can only run 4 channels in a single run, meaning for something like 7.1 surround, you need two runs of cat 5? Am I on the right track for what is conventionally done in a surround setup in a single zone? Or is that only done when a significant distance is present between the receiver/sound processor? Or are regular RCA's runs still the convention for interconnect from pre-amp to power amp?

First, the WHA systems will only need a stereo pair, so no need to run all eight channels.

I cross-connected my family room system with the WHA system - taking pre-out from the AVR to the WHA, and a zone pre-out from the WHA as a source on the AVR. I used a MuxLab Quad Audio balun over a single cat5e. No complaints, but you may get better performance with a pair of coax runs. If I really felt like it, I have spare coax i suppose I could use for this purpose, too...

The one thing I wish I had done was put a WHA keypad in the family room to control that zone. I share that zone with another room (I rarely use this feature anyway), but if I had a keypad, I would have made the family room its own un-powered zone (using the AVR's amp).

Jeff

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