New House ~ How Does This System Rate? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-30-2013, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys, the short version: my parents are building their dream house. They got a bid for a multi-zone audio system and as far as I can tell a separate TV room system.

They asked for my advice, but I'm no expert in whole home a/v distribution. So I defer to a higher power, AVS!

Here is the system:

TV Room:

Equipment
Apple ATV-1000 (for TV)
Integra DTR-30.4 (for TV/Cable Audio Processing/Amp)
Control4 C4-SR250B-Z-B (for automation)
Sony BDP-S590 (Blu-ray/dvd)
Sony KDL-60R550A (TV)
Panamax M4315-PRO (surge protector/power supply filter)
SnapAV B6-HD cables

Speakers
1x Bay Audio TBARC3H (3 channel sound bar, front/center/right)
2x Bay Audio PC5 in-wall speakers (left/right rear)
1x Bay Audio TC10BFF (10" dual voice coil sub)


House:

Equipment
Control4 C4-16AMP3-B (8 zone, 8 input matrix analog amplifier)
Control4 C4-HC250-BL (primary automation center)
Control4 C4-WMB-B (wireless bridge)
Control4 C4-KPS36-M-B (charging station for wireless remotes)
SnapAV B5-AUD-2 cabling

Kitchen (Zone 1)
Control4 C4-TW7C0-BL (touch screen controller with other features)
Control4 C4-RWB57C-P (wall mount for touch screen controller)
2x Bay Audio PC5 in-wall speakers

Back Deck (Zone 2)
Control4 C4-120277-XX (remote control)
2x Bay Audio PS4-B Speakers (4" driver)
2x Bay Audio KIT-WMW (Wall mount for speakers)

Living Room (Zone 3), Main Bathroom (Zone 4), Loft (Zone 5), Office (Zone 6), Garage (Zone 7)
Each Zone gets:
Control4 C4-120277-XX (remote control)
2x Bay Audio PC5 in-wall speaker

Total equipment price was a bit above $25k

I am willing to DYI my parents home rather than have them take a bath with these guys

I cannot find any reviews of Bay Audio speakers and I am unfamiliar with Control4 equipment.

Opinions and recommendations please!

Thanks
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-30-2013, 08:08 PM
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That is a reasonable price, for that equipment, installed.

I don't know anything about the functionality of C4 for audio distribution. That would be one of my concerns - does it offer Pandora, internet radio, and digital music files from their PCs?

Sound bar for LCR may be the best option for the TV location, but separate LCR speakers may sound better.

I have read good things of Bay Audio, but never heard them.

Try the remote controls out, for the audio zones. See if you like them. Never tried them myself.

4" drivers outdoors may be fine for background music, but I may go bigger depending on their tastes and patio size. That may be an area where your parents said they don't want to pay extra if they won't crank the music.

Check references. That may be your single best contribution. Do they offer a history of good work?

You won't do a better job than the pro guys using C4. And, if any problems, after you install, it's your fault.

It would take you ten times as long as the pro guys, at least, to figure out and configure a comparable control solution.

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 #3 of 4 Old 06-30-2013, 09:42 PM
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Are they including the wiring, or is that separate from this?

C4 certainly can deliver a decent setup for this, and the price is in line with what I would consider standard.

Where is the equipment going to be located? In new home construction, a quality company will centrally locate all equipment in an equipment rack that offers both front and rear access in an area of the home which is convenient.

I just did a home that had a few more zones than this, but was similar overall. Labor ran much higher as it was all retrofit vs. new construction, and the pricing was similar, but did NOT include a new TV in the mix. It did wire all the areas down to a basement in the home with 2 full size Middle Atlantic racks. So, HDMI cables were long, and HD-Base-T extenders were used to ensure reliability to an upstairs television location.

I would call 4" speakers outside weak, at best.

If I could make any recommendation as to how to save some cash on this, it may be to say that you will be providing all the speakers yourself, but you want them to provide the rest. Speakers are often a high profit margin item and by providing your own speakers you may be able to knock $1,000 or a lot more, off the price and get an improvement in overall audio quality.

In-wall and in-ceiling speakers in 8" versions will provide a fuller sound to all the areas and can be had for around $100 a pair. Quality outdoor speakers are a bit more, but going with two pairs (4 total) may be a very good ideal depending on the space which needs to be covered.

I do have a bit of a gripe (and that's all it is) with the integrated amplifier/switcher as I expect that product to be fairly expensive. Unfortunately amplifier channels sometimes go bad, and should a integrated preamp/amp/matrix have one channel go out, then the entire system will be offline while that one channel is getting repaired. Kind of sucks in that regard. Worse if C4 ever stops supporting that product.

It looks like the C4-120277-XX is a multi-button keypad, which is something I am a huge fan of. It puts easy control in every audio zone with just the touch of a single button. I often recommend Crestron 12 button keypads in all audio areas and most people buy them because they truly do offer the lifestyle convenience that people want.

I would be pretty sure that the C4 system does not offer any direction/proprietary integration with their PCs. That's not typically what control systems do. Instead, it would allow a third party product to be used for this purpose. Whether it is AppleTV, a media player of some sort, or anything else, it can just be connected to the system. I certainly enjoy Pandora, but I like taking it from my iPhone into Airplay into my home system because it allows me control from my pocket of what I am listening to in my home instead of having to go to a PC or something else. But, every single person and their desires are different, so it would depend on what your parents truly want available to them.

Make sure that if they want something like FM radio, or AM radio (yuck), that they are up front with their desires now, not after the walls are built. Either way, they should wire their home like they are putting up walls they don't want anyone to cut into again.

In that regard, spending a bit more on the home pre-wiring may end up costing a bit more, but is really worth it in the long run.

Hard wired Ethernet connections to equipment, TV locations, extra Cat-x cabling all over the place, conduit to the attic from the head-end, and a great deal of future thinking will ensure a system that your parents will be happy with forever. The first time a HDMI cable fails, or technology moves on, and not only do they have to buy new equipment, but they must also rewire their home, they will be extremely upset about things.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-01-2013, 02:34 PM
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This seems like a pretty fair price for a Control4 system. Make sure they take advantage of Tune-In radio which is standard in Control4's new V2.5 operating system. We have it in our office and we find that we use it more than any other audio source.

Travis Leo
Denver, CO
Residential Systems, Inc.
www.ResidentialSystemsInc.com
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