AVS Forum Addicted Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: NW Houston, TX
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
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Do the pre-wiring correctly, and you'll be able to use any of those solutions. Home run speaker wire and cat5e to a switch location in each zone, and then speaker wire from there to the speakers. And then worry about the equipment later (give you some more time to think about it). Done properly, a whole house audio system will be used every day. Done no-so-well, it will get used for special occasions only...
With eight rooms, you should be looking at something better than an amp + speaker selector. The issue is usability. You don't want to have to run around the house turning on/off zones every time you want to use another room. Especially true with outdoor zones and bedrooms.
Look at the Digi-5 systems from Xantech and Aton instead of A-Bus as they provide more power per zone, use a Sonos Connect as your source. You can get most local radio stations streaming from the Internet - although I find I'll use Internet Radio or Pandora a lot more often than local FM stations...
A Sonos Connect:Amp unit or a NuVo P200 with impedance-matching volume controls in each zone would be a decent minimal system, but usability with >3 zones, in my opinion, starts to become an issue.