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post #1 of 12 Old 06-07-2013, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm at the starting point for planning a whole home system for a house we are going to be building. I've been a network cabler and network engineer for quite a few years so my plan is to pre-wire everything. I'm looking for these zones, Master Bedroom, Kitchen, Master Bath, Great Room, Screened Porch, Ofiice, Guest Rooms x 3. I will be wiring with Cat6 for data through out the house as well. I want to drive Pandora or Radio for the most part. I don't have a large collection of MP3's so that not a concern for us. I do have a surround sound that I'm on the fence with putting into this or keeping it seperate. Currently I have a 5 Energy speakers for the surround and a Denon 1610 AVR . In the attic I have a couple older tuners that could be repurposed for sources for radio or something.

I could really use some advice on which direction to look for gear. I have to keep things on a budget since most my cash is wrapped into the house. We also have two Autistic children in the house that eat up another chunk of budget and get very frustrated if I complicate the system to much that they can't operate the system. I would like it to be expandable at a later date as well. So I'm looking at a 2-3k range to start. I'm also not a audiophile and quite content to sit here right now listening to Pandora using a 10yo Canbridge Sound works PC surround set. Surprisingly it has very good bass response and works fantastic still.

I haven't designed the area yet for the gear to be housed in and this house doesn't have a basement. I'm considering putting it in the garage but concerned with heat in the summer being in NC. What's my heat limits on something of this nature? Where ever it ends up I will be pulling all my data and phone to the same location.

Thanks
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-07-2013, 01:26 PM
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You are talking about 9 zones and sounds like you just want to do audio distribution.

You have some options and considerations that must be considered for audio distribution as to whether you want to go with standard volume controls in each room, or if you want to go with a centrally located pre-amp audio switcher combo unit.

http://www.amazon.com/Russound-Multizone-Controller-Amplifier-System/dp/B001F6CDYY/ref=pd_sim_sbs_misc_1

http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Vision-Multi-Room-4-Source-6-Zones/dp/B007J4HSMS/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1370636415&sr=8-11&keywords=six+source+audio

If you want those as separately usable zones (potentially different sources), then you really do want something like one of the above two units, and there are many others out there. One of the key things you want is the ability to jumper your sources from one unit to the next. This may not be included, so you will have to split your audio into the preamps. Shouldn't hurt things much really, but not as clean as a buffered loop through connection.

I always worry about equipment rack location. I would not put it 'in' the garage, but may go with a small closet attached to the garage which is insulted and part of the 'house' space, but with a door on the garage side that allows access to the front and back of the equipment in some manner. Your choice on this, but the more difficult it is to put your hands on the equipment, then the more difficult it will be to setup a reliable system. I would certainly consider this, but only if I was sure that the heat wouldn't be getting way up there, which just isn't realistic in a garage situation from what I've experienced a few states up in Virginia.


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post #3 of 12 Old 06-07-2013, 01:44 PM
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The cabling should be standard, to accommodate any system you want. Category cables to keypad/volume control locations, and speaker cables run from the wiring closet, through the VC/KP location, to the in-ceiling/in-wall speakers. You'll be set for any system when you move in, or down the road.

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post #4 of 12 Old 06-07-2013, 03:38 PM
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Look at sonos and HTD Lync at that price range.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-09-2013, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I have been looking at the HTD Lync system. Maybe it's a dumb question, but what happens when my wife and I want to listen to FM radio on seperate stations in differnt zones. Am I going to need a tuner for each zone. Same for something feeding Pandora. What type of options do I have for this?
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-09-2013, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffin_NC View Post

Maybe it's a dumb question, but what happens when my wife and I want to listen to FM radio on separate stations in different zones. Am I going to need a tuner for each zone. Same for something feeding Pandora. What type of options do I have for this?

Same is true for all systems. You need multiple sources if you want different content playing in different zones simultaneously. If you want two FM stations playing, you'd need two FM tuners as sources.

Note that in the case of radio, many (most?) radio stations are also available streaming from the Internet, which can give you some additional flexibility. An AM/FM tuner plus an Internet streaming device (Sonos, etc.) gives a lot of choices...

Jeff


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post #7 of 12 Old 06-11-2013, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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What about local sources or even blu-tooth streaming from various devices in the house? Anything out there that can feed from them? It would be great if I could feed speakers in a room from my phone sitting next to me. Right now I just plug it into my speakers behind me, but it is annoying that I need to unplug it to answer calls.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-11-2013, 09:00 AM
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There are Bluetooth music receivers that can be used as a source to any system, as can an Apple Airport Express used as the cheapest AirPlay audio target. The AE has the advantage of not being tied to the range of the receiver...


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post #9 of 12 Old 06-11-2013, 01:04 PM
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Keep in mind, that your distribution system will only permit a certain number of sources into it. 4 sources, or 6 sources is common. 8 sources or more is less common, but available.

I use a system which allows up to 16 sources, and it works well for me, but is cost prohibitive for most. But, at the end of the day, it depends on what you want to get out of the system.


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post #10 of 12 Old 06-14-2013, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Yea, 16 is a bit much for me. I'm thinking 6 sources eventually. The Airport might be what I'm looking for since I can stream Pandora or anything from my phones to them.

I'm having a big debate over whether to pull my home theatre into this though. With all the towers and speakers centralized, it seems like it would be more work then worthwhile to throw the receiver for it in the closet. Plus I would have to then drag all the video in there. Is there any real benefit for to it?

I know it's a bit off topic, but is there any good options for wireless rear surrounds? The ceilings in the new great room are going to be around 20' with stairs and windows on each side. Stuck on figuring out how to get rear speakers put in.
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-14-2013, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffin_NC View Post

Yea, 16 is a bit much for me. I'm thinking 6 sources eventually. The Airport might be what I'm looking for since I can stream Pandora or anything from my phones to them.

I'm having a big debate over whether to pull my home theatre into this though. With all the towers and speakers centralized, it seems like it would be more work then worthwhile to throw the receiver for it in the closet. Plus I would have to then drag all the video in there. Is there any real benefit for to it?

I know it's a bit off topic, but is there any good options for wireless rear surrounds? The ceilings in the new great room are going to be around 20' with stairs and windows on each side. Stuck on figuring out how to get rear speakers put in.
The reason to put everything at a head end, including theater gear, is to get it out of sight lines and out of rooms. To get the noise of the equipment out of the listening spaces, to get the lights from equipment out of your theater. This all takes planning, and isn't always straightforward, but the end result can be fantastic looking.

If you haven't built your home yet, then running wires to surround locations is easy. Piece of cake. Ceiling height is irrelevant when there is no drywall. You just run the wires. Best sound possible and highest reliability factor. Throw that receiver at the head end as well.


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post #12 of 12 Old 06-15-2013, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll have to think about putting then in the ceiling more. My speakers aren't in-walls currently either. Putting them that high in the ceiling would place them about 15' from my kids bedroom door on the second floor and I assume I would have to adjust the rears pretty high to make up for the distance they would be from the listening area. Since it's not a dedicated home-theatre room I have to compromise with the wife on placement and noise for now on a few things.
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