Single output to multiple areas - bridge amps together? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-27-2012, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I want to be able to send output from one device to up to three pairs of speakers. I need to be able to choose volume or to turn off the sound in each area independently. I will be wiring the rooms. Sound quality is important, but price is more important. I won't need high volume.

I was thinking that I could daisy chain 3 amps together using RCA cables and splitters like the below. I'm unsure how much this will degrade the audio quality. For now I have a T-amp I'll use, and I'll either buy another one or two, or might buy a used decent quality NAD amp or similar. If I do that I'd be able to target an amp that has RCA line outputs.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10429&cs_id=1042904&p_id=7186&seq=1&format=2


I'm also considering the amp below, but don't like that that volume controls are tiny and on the back, and am unsure how the audio quality will be compared to t-amps or especially if I upgrade to NAD.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-815



Thoughts?
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-27-2012, 10:56 AM
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It's not "bridging" in this context - more "looping" or "sharing"...

You can do this with either a set of amps (multichannel or otherwise), or with one amp coupled to an impedance-matching speaker selector with volume control. The choice will depend on your intended usage and future plans.

How will you control this system? Is this a static, background music setup, or a true multi-room system?

The Dayton amp you linked is a good piece, but those are really "gain controls", meant to be set once for level-matching, not really a good volume control...

Jeff

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post #3 of 7 Old 11-27-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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This will be used for background music when we host parties or just have people sitting in different rooms or on the deck. The rooms are next to each other, so we'll never want to play two different things at once. High volume isn't a requirement.

So it seems that the Dayton amp is intended for each pair or set of speakers to be connected to a volume knob before the speakers?
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-27-2012, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah... so I think I could get a single, fairly powerful amp, and then control the four zones with something like the below. Would that degrade the sound much? Should I spend more on a speaker selector with volume control?

https://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=310-2110
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-27-2012, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n_a_c View Post

Ah... so I think I could get a single, fairly powerful amp, and then control the four zones with something like the below.

Exactly. This is the cheapest approach, but does limit your options for future expansion to use different sources for different zones, but it doesn't sound like you'd need that anyway.
Quote:
Would that degrade the sound much?

Nope, it merely splits the amplifier power among the speakers.
Quote:
Should I spend more on a speaker selector with volume control?

https://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=310-2110

I would recommend that you get one with individual volume controls, like that model. Otherwise, you'll have to adjust all zones together, and with different room sizes/acoustics/speakers, getting one volume setting to rule them all is unlikely... biggrin.gif

Jeff

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post #6 of 7 Old 11-28-2012, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help jautor!

I have a couple more questions.

Don't I have to worry about impedance? According to the manual for that speaker selector with volume control (see link below), if I drive 4 pairs of speakers simultaneously, the impedance drops to 2.4. So I would need an amp that can drive a load that low? Or I guess I can get two amps, send the same signal to each, and have one input into the A channel of the pyle device, another into the B channel, and then I would never drive more than two pairs of speakers with one amp - each would only have to be rated for 4 ohms.
http://www.pyleaudio.com/sku/PSPVC4/4-Channel-High-Power-Stereo-Speaker-Selector-Wvolume-Control

Another question regards volume. My output device currently is a grace digital solo. It has a volume knob. Currently I have a small t-amp connected to it, with the volume on the t-amp at maximum, and I use the volume on the grace digital player to control the volume. I think that is the best way to do it. Is that correct, and would it be the same case here? I should in general leave the amp volume on max, and the pyle device volumes on max. I would only reduce a pyle volume if I want one room quieter relative to another. And the grace volume control would adjust the volume in all zones simultaneously.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-28-2012, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n_a_c View Post

Don't I have to worry about impedance?

Yes, you need an impedance-matching device in the path...
Quote:
According to the manual for that speaker selector with volume control (see link below), if I drive 4 pairs of speakers simultaneously, the impedance drops to 2.4. So I would need an amp that can drive a load that low?

I didn't look at the instructions for that switcher, but that doesn't sound like a good one. A good impedance-matching device should be presenting 4-8 ohms.
Quote:
Another question regards volume. My output device currently is a grace digital solo. It has a volume knob. Currently I have a small t-amp connected to it, with the volume on the t-amp at maximum, and I use the volume on the grace digital player to control the volume. I think that is the best way to do it. Is that correct, and would it be the same case here? I should in general leave the amp volume on max, and the pyle device volumes on max. I would only reduce a pyle volume if I want one room quieter relative to another. And the grace volume control would adjust the volume in all zones simultaneously.

I don't think there's one right answer - having multiple volume controls always brings this question of usage. I'd suggest the same way you've described...

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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