Newbie Setting up Whole House Audio - please critique my plan - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a home AV distribution total newbie (3 days old). I am looking for advice on whole home audio.

I am looking to control Audio for 7 rooms and the backyard (all are already wired to central location in family room). Family room will have a 5.1 setup with in-ceiling surrounds, this room is not wired for volume control. The remaining 6 rooms will have just in-ceiling stereo speakers for music are pre-wired for volume control. The backyard will also have a stereo pair of speakers with pre-wired volume control.

I would like to be able to eventually control 4 independent zones (2 rooms each). But for now I will start with 2 zones/4 rooms (Zone1 - family room and living room, Zone 2 - office and the backyard). Initially I thought of getting 2 Sonos Connect amps but am concerned about power. So I thought I would get the Sonos Connect and get an amp to drive the speakers. Since I currently have a Pioneer 7.1 receiver (100W per channel) and a Onkyo 6.1 receiver(75 Watts per channel) I thought of using them instead of buying a 12 channel amp.

So my current plan is to connect Zone 1 to the Pioneer 7.1 (5.1 for the family room and Surround Speaker B for the living room). Then use the Onkyo 6.1 to drive the backyard and the office). Then buy 2 Sonos Connects, one each as the source to each receiver/zone.

When I need to expand to Zone 3 and 4, I can buy two more Connects and either buy an 8 channel amp or buy a 12 channel amp and replace the Onkyo,

What are your thoughts. Is there a better way to do this? Please advise. Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:40 PM
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First, don't mix and match rooms together as a zone unless they're open to each other, and absolutely don't combine an outdoor area with an indoor one. You don't want music coming on at odd hours just because you want to use the system inside... Combining rooms makes it difficult to use the system, and for most folks, if it's not obvious/easy, the system will only get used for "special occasions".

Second - is there any wiring for control/keypads at the volume control locations? That would give you a lot of options.

Using an AVR's channels to drive multiple rooms is also problematic, as the AVR must support an "all channel stereo" mode to make it work, and again you'll have rooms come on/off together. You'll be better off if you buy an WHA amp/controller, or start with one or two Sonos Connect:Amps and later expand to a WHA system. Or perhaps use one of the AVRs (2 channels), a Connect and a speaker selector if you want a really inexpensive solution.

Take a look at the systems - they're an excellent value.


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