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post #1 of 12 Old 11-06-2012, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

We recently purchased a new home (purchased from an investor that bought it in foreclosure and completed the build) and the home is pre-wired for whole house audio. I built a theater when I finished the basement in my last home, so I'm not new to AVS, jut new to whole house audio. At this point I've identified at least 7 zones prewired with blank faceplates.

I don't even know where to begin or what questions to ask so I thought my first question should be are there any good primers on the internet on Whole House Audio? I've gone through the forums and while there are great technical questions and answers I need a basic overview to know how to get started or to learn what options I have.

Thank you!

Thanks,

Mike

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432252/dry-lake-cinema

 

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post #2 of 12 Old 11-06-2012, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I recounted and have 10 rooms with blank face plates on areas I would think were for control pads. I'm not sure I would want to incorporate all 10 zones, but I wouldn't necessarily want to exclude them from future upgrades either. Unfotunatley I have no idea where the speaker cables are run, other than the two outside decks the cable has all been buried behind drywall. Would a tone generator be the best way to locate the terminal ends of the speaker cables?

Thanks,

Mike

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post #3 of 12 Old 11-06-2012, 06:47 AM
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Pull off a couple plates to determine what cables you have. Should be 1-4 cables, 1-2 different kinds.

If the speaker cable ends are buried, then yes, you would use a tone and probe set to identify the speaker locations, behind finished drywall, if speaker cables were run to speaker locations.

There is probably a 'home run' location where your cables run to, perhaps in the family room or mechanical room.

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post #4 of 12 Old 11-06-2012, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Pull off a couple plates to determine what cables you have. Should be 1-4 cables, 1-2 different kinds.
If the speaker cable ends are buried, then yes, you would use a tone and probe set to identify the speaker locations, behind finished drywall, if speaker cables were run to speaker locations.
There is probably a 'home run' location where your cables run to, perhaps in the family room or mechanical room.

Thanks for the reply!

All the cables are home run to the basement equipment room. The cover in my home office has 4 cables a CAT5e, Two x one pair (speaker wire), and One two pair wire (4 wires) not sure what it's for. Went ahead and checked four face plates, they all have the same cable configuration.

Thanks,

Mike

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post #5 of 12 Old 11-06-2012, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cane.mba View Post

All the cables are home run to the basement equipment room. The cover in my home office has 4 cables a CAT5e, Two x one pair (speaker wire), and One two pair wire (4 wires) not sure what it's for. Went ahead and checked four face plates, they all have the same cable configuration.

You're good to go, and set up to use just about any of the WHA products on the market.

The cat5e is for a keypad / display, the speaker wires obvious go to the speakers in the room. The 4-conductor cable is the speaker wire run back to the equipment room. It's cheaper/easier to run the 4-conductor cable in place of two 2-conductor speaker cables. This is best practice.

Jeff

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post #6 of 12 Old 11-06-2012, 03:02 PM
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+1, what Jeff said

Buy a system with a music server, e.g. Russound C-Series MCA-C5 and DMS 3.1, or Nuvo Grand Concerto and MPS4E.

If you're heavily into iPads/iPhones, you might consider Sonos, and forego the in-wall keypads, and just use the in-wall and in-ceiling speakers.

I have the Nuvo GC and MPS4E, and I'm very pleased with it. I'm a little disappointed there is no Android app, though, and I doubt Nuvo will come through with one; I don't think Autonomic Controls (the MPS4E manufacturer) offers an android app. Nuvo has been hard at work on a new distributed audio system that is wired and/or wireless, though not shipping yet. I don't know how long they'll support the GC and MPS4, with new firmware updates, but it's certainly available.

Nuvo equipment is now more 'protected', than previously. It's difficult to find a good deal on Nuvo equipment, unlike Russound. That is, Russound will be cheaper, to DIY.

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post #7 of 12 Old 11-06-2012, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought about Sonos, but I like the fact my sons can't misplace the keypads screwed to the wall. At this point I'll need the complete system, receiver, speakers, everything except the wiring. Unfortunately when we sold the other house I had to leave all the theater equipment. I'm thinking an iPod attached system (160Gb iPods are going for $245 at BB or Target) and Pandora or another streaming service would be nice to have.

One caveat, I have no idea what my budget will be since I have no idea what the system is going to cost. However, it is only 9 zones, 2 of which are outside.

Another question, could I use say three keypads with iPod controls, and just use volume controls in the other rooms? Meaning can I mix and match keypads?

Thanks,

Mike

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432252/dry-lake-cinema

 

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post #8 of 12 Old 11-06-2012, 05:40 PM
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With your wiring, you can run everything off of zone 2 of a $50 Craigslist AVR, using in-wall volume controls.

Won't be kick ass, but it will be fine until you can afford better. I ran this setup for a few years, with 7 zones. Use impedance matching volume controls or an impedance matching speaker selector box. But keep in mind, you're putting off the inevitable.

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 #9 of 12 Old 11-06-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cane.mba View Post

I'm thinking an iPod attached system (160Gb iPods are going for $245 at BB or Target) and Pandora or another streaming service would be nice to have.

That's what the music servers do...
Quote:
One caveat, I have no idea what my budget will be since I have no idea what the system is going to cost.

confused.gif

An 8-zone WHA system with metadata keypads, speakers and a music server will be in the $6-7k range. Systems with less-capable keypads, and a non-integrated music streamer (Sonos, Airport Express, etc.) can be done for half that.
Quote:
However, it is only 9 zones, 2 of which are outside.

If you can squeeze into a system with 8 total zones - meaning 8 places that have independent source and volume control, you'll be in much better shape. That's the "magic" capacity of most systems - go above that and you'll need an expansion chassis. Which makes that 9th zone very expensive. I've squeezed 10 rooms into 8 zones for the same reason...
Quote:
Another question, could I use say three keypads with iPod controls, and just use volume controls in the other rooms? Meaning can I mix and match keypads?

The cost of the keypads isn't the big issue - it's buying a system that can communicate with them in the first place.

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 #10 of 12 Old 11-07-2012, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the responses. Does the receiver have to have two zones, if it's dedicated to just the house audio? Could you use the primary zone to supply content to all zones, or do you need the second zone to power additional zones? I can definatley limit the number of zones initially to 3-4 and expand to 8 zones in the future. The Masterbedroom and Bath are seperate zones, so I can eliminate one of those easily to prevent adding a second chassis. Also I really like the idea of going cheap on a receiver now, and spending a little more on speakers, replacing the server later. By server I'm assuming you mean reciever, is there another piece I'm missing? I'm an IT guy so server means something different to me, I'm assuming server in this case just means it's serving the content and not a pc or other computer based hardware.

Man, I never realized how intricate WHA really is....

Thanks,

Mike

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432252/dry-lake-cinema

 

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post #11 of 12 Old 11-07-2012, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Just found the Denon AVR-2312CI looks like that might work and cut my initial costs. I'm thinking I could use iPads/iPhones laptops to control the airplay and just go with basic volume controls for each room. I like the networked aspect and I have room on my router to hardwire it in. Am I on the right track?


Denon AVR-2312CI
Impedence Matching Volume controls
wireless enabled laptop to stream to receiver (I have an ipod I could move to the receiver permenantly as well)
Speakers

Am I missing something else?

Thanks,

Mike

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432252/dry-lake-cinema

 

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post #12 of 12 Old 11-07-2012, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cane.mba View Post

Does the receiver have to have two zones, if it's dedicated to just the house audio? Could you use the primary zone to supply content to all zones, or do you need the second zone to power additional zones?

You're confusing a WHA "system" with a receiver. The WHA system is a multichannel amp with source selection/volume/control capabilities. You hook your sources - usually a music server - to the WHA system, which will have amp channels or pre-amp outputs for 6-8 zones.
Quote:
By server I'm assuming you mean reciever, is there another piece I'm missing? I'm an IT guy so server means something different to me, I'm assuming server in this case just means it's serving the content and not a pc or other computer based hardware.

Server is a server. Not a big one, but they are computers... Depending on the architecture, they can have internal storage, or use networked storage (NAS) to serve digital media, and then of course connect to Internet streaming sources (Radio, Pandora, etc.).
Quote:
Originally Posted by cane.mba View Post

Just found the Denon AVR-2312CI looks like that might work and cut my initial costs. I'm thinking I could use iPads/iPhones laptops to control the airplay and just go with basic volume controls for each room. I like the networked aspect and I have room on my router to hardwire it in. Am I on the right track?

That's a simple, single-source / zone setup. Think about what you want to use it for - what sources do you want? For an inexpensive setup I'd suggest a single Sonos:Connect unit connected to a 2-channel, auto-on/off (signal sensing) amp, along with in-room volume controls, controlled by your iDevices. The most important feature of any of these systems is the ability to control it "in the zone", which means the ability to select sources, content, and adjust volume.

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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