Any experience with the Monoprice 6 Zone Home Audio Multizone Controller? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 65 Old 12-20-2013, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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This Monoprice unit looks like the HTD mid level, but better for less since it adds optical support.

Has anyone used it?

http://www.monoprice.com/Product/?c_id=109&cp_id=10918&cs_id=1091801&p_id=10761&seq=1&format=2#description

...just my $.02 - GST included.
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post #2 of 65 Old 12-20-2013, 09:58 PM
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I saw the unit at CEDIA, couldn't tell you much more about it though. I've wondered too if anyone has used one yet - I agree it appears to be a lower-cost equivalent of the mid-level HTD model.

Good catch on the digital optical input (for Source #6 only) - I didn't see that in the description, but it's clearly shown in the manual / diagrams.

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post #3 of 65 Old 12-20-2013, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post


Good catch on the digital optical input (for Source #6 only) - I didn't see that in the description, but it's clearly shown in the manual / diagrams.

Yeah...It makes the apple TV much more integrateble (new word) ;-)

It looks like the real deal... My use will be ceiling speakers and a couple in-walls for the exercise room in the house I'm building.... I've used the HTD product before (installed for a friend), and while it's decent value, it doesn't do anything special (the iphone enabled part is especially weak).

This may well do the trick...

...just my $.02 - GST included.
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post #4 of 65 Old 12-22-2013, 07:08 AM
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I saw this online the other day as well, looks like it's being release Jan 21. Will be checking back there and here for user reviews, looks like a nice alternative though.

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post #5 of 65 Old 12-23-2013, 10:00 AM
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It's interesting - the image on their site defiantly shows no optical input, but the manual does.

I'm also curious - the website says that combining 3 units creates an 18x18 matrix...that's very curious if true, a 6x18 matrix I could believe, but 18x18....no way....if that's true it will be a really awesome unit.
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post #6 of 65 Old 12-23-2013, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cntp View Post

It's interesting - the image on their site defiantly shows no optical input, but the manual does.

Yeah, that's interesting - given the content of the manual (with the RS232 interface documented) I assume it's the "newer" information - and perhaps the photos were taken from prototypes...
Quote:
I'm also curious - the website says that combining 3 units creates an 18x18 matrix...that's very curious if true, a 6x18 matrix I could believe, but 18x18....no way....if that's true it will be a really awesome unit.

Also from the manual, given the 18-pin expansion cable and the details in the RS232 interface (which only show sources 1-6), I think that 18x18 is a typo or misunderstanding of the term. 6x18 much more likely... But that would be very interesting if it was an 18x18!

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post #7 of 65 Old 12-23-2013, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Also from the manual, given the 18-pin expansion cable and the details in the RS232 interface (which only show sources 1-6), I think that 18x18 is a typo or misunderstanding of the term. 6x18 much more likely... But that would be very interesting if it was an 18x18!

Unless that's a digital bus, which is unlikely since it's a ribbon cable, and the price point of the unit is so low. But yeah, it's likely 6x18 - not bad, but 6 sources could be eaten up fast.
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post #8 of 65 Old 12-23-2013, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cntp View Post

Unless that's a digital bus, which is unlikely since it's a ribbon cable, and the price point of the unit is so low. But yeah, it's likely 6x18 - not bad, but 6 sources could be eaten up fast.

Assuming the cheapest implementation for the interconnect bus, 6 pins for analog sources, 1 for the digital input, shared common/ground, 6 pins for source IR, ground for that, TX/RX for RS232 - that's 18 pins exactly (geez, I was only guessing... biggrin.gif)

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post #9 of 65 Old 01-02-2014, 09:48 AM
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I just saw this today and was wondering if anyone had any feedback for it yet? I haven't had any complaints with mono price products so far and if it does what it says and is reliable, this would be a great item at a great price point!
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post #10 of 65 Old 01-03-2014, 03:00 PM
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I had an online chat with Monoprice online tech support with a few questions regarding this amp.


He confirmed there is an optical input.

Also, there is a Youtube vid and article talking about the amp being IP addressable (and a mobile app to be released), but the tech rep either hadn't heard about it or they are not building it (he had asked where I had heard the info from).

See here:

(skip to 0:45)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX9kmX1SMmI&t=45

also:

http://www.cepro.com/article/monoprice_develops_6x6_multiroom_audio_system_for_649
Quote:
The unit features an RS-232 port for integration with third-party home automation systems. It also can be controlled with IP-enabled smart devices.

“We are currently developing the app and it will be available along with the release of the product,” says product manager Rene Escamilla. “The RS-232 protocols will also be released on launch date.”

Anyhow, sounds like that's not true. I don't see any network connectivity options built in (unless it can be added to the remote hub), so unless MP builds an ethernet -> RS232 device I think having an IP addressable amp is out of the question without hooking up a computer or some additional third-party device that will take REST -> serial command. Too bad.

@signal15 I'm looking forward to your feedback as I'd love to put a few of these in my home (if they're half-decent) to replace some Sonance equipment.
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post #11 of 65 Old 02-18-2014, 11:26 AM
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I purchased one last week and played with it over the weekend, Unfortunately Channels 1&2 were somewhat linked where they both needed to be On or neither would play. I readdressed the kepads to 3 & 4 and moved the speaker wires over and all is perfect. I spoke to Monoprice and they sent me an RMA for the unit. (very satisfied with their customer service)

 

Meanwhile, I loved it so much (both for feature and price) I purchased a second unit since I really need more then 6 zones, and really didnt want to uninstall all the keypads to cross ship a new one.

 

As a programmer, I also decided to write a RS232 driver for the AMP - if anybody has any interest, or wants to test it's below. I Might open source it after it's tested a bit more.....

 

https://dl.dropboxus...518/MonoAmp.zip

 

Feel free to ask any questions

 

Regards,

Mike

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post #12 of 65 Old 02-18-2014, 11:31 AM
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I wrote a driver, but AVS wont let me post links, but Id be more then happy to email anybody who wants it. It's a Dll and a test EXE, I have also wrapped the DLL with WebAPI and am playing sith some JSON fron ends, and might also make it a Homeseer plugin....

 

(Update - Now they Posted it)

 

Regards,

Mike

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post #13 of 65 Old 02-18-2014, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for the information. I am seeking some sort of whole house audio solution but it will be awhile before I can buy anything but I am exploring my options.

You must have ten posts in order to post a link due to anti spamming rules, keep us informed and welcome to the forums!
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post #14 of 65 Old 02-18-2014, 11:48 AM
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Thanks for the info on 10 posts

(they seems to let it through now)

 

Also

 

I explored for awhile looking at all the brands, just couldn't so no to this price.

 

Mike

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post #15 of 65 Old 02-18-2014, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpisano View Post

As a programmer, I also decided to write a RS232 driver for the AMP - if anybody has any interest, or wants to test it's below. I Might open source it after it's tested a bit more.....
Mike - Were the RS232 protocols in the manual only or were you able to get a PDF copy of them? I've been unable to locate the manual/protocols on the MP website and wanted to take a look at them.

Thanks

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post #16 of 65 Old 02-18-2014, 01:46 PM
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They are in the manual, but you can get it off the Mclelland or Factor site (same units\spec)

 

Mclelland:

http://www.mclellandmusic.com/detail.asp?channel=213&content=332

http://www.mclellandmusic.com/upfiles/down/MAP-1200HD%20User%20Manual.rar

 

Factor:

http://www.mcssl.com/store/factorelectronics/001v-66

 

Biggest pain is although a "Bi-Directional" spec, you have to poll it for status updates to raise evens, but the spec isnt complicated.

I'm going to crank up the port speed and see how the device handshakes next and add some better error recovery, then add Tcp\IP sockets and get one of the converters mentioned earlier.

 

hoping to have this in homeseer or some sort of Java front end

 

Regards,

MIke

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post #17 of 65 Old 02-21-2014, 03:07 PM
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Newer Version of the driver assembly, Test and a new Mixer app for anybody Following\testing my Monoprice Amp app

 

(Same Link)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/94991518/MonoAmp.zip

 

Additions to the driver include

1) Performance and Stability (dupe command eliminated from pending queue)

2) Ability to pass UI Thread to eliminate Cross thread issues.

3) Preserving Keypad settings so driver can put back after power fail.

 

Once it stabilizes, will move towards Homeseer

 

Regards,

Mike

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post #18 of 65 Old 02-22-2014, 07:29 PM
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How is the volume and clarity of the audio pushed from this system?

-Thanks
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post #19 of 65 Old 02-23-2014, 01:42 PM
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Can't compare it to my home theater or pro auto system, but for "house audio" I'm am more then satisfied. I've only had it for two weeks and an still setting it up, initially I had it playing Internet audio steams, but last night I finally hooked it up to a CD player and wow what a difference in the low end.
For the price, this unit rocks! I was looking for a multi channel amp that I could control via software in the price range without keypads, keypads are just a bonus!
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post #20 of 65 Old 03-02-2014, 02:53 PM
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Hey there i purchased the same monoprice 6x6 amp but i need help with rs232 codes for irule is it possible if you can help me with this

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post #21 of 65 Old 03-02-2014, 05:23 PM
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I was thinking about getting this unit to play whole home audio with a raspbmc as the source. That way I can use the XBMC app to control my music with my phone. This is my first attempt at anything like this ans I was wondering if you see any glaring or potential flaws in this setup?
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post #22 of 65 Old 03-28-2014, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Just ordered it...key use will be apple airport express and control via iphone, so the above should work.....

...just my $.02 - GST included.
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post #23 of 65 Old 04-20-2014, 10:45 AM
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Do you happen to have the actual coding you used? I would like to integrate mine into roomieremote but I'm a new to programming. I got the basics down but a full code list you used would be very helpful!
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post #24 of 65 Old 04-30-2014, 06:51 AM
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I just received the controller yesterday and have a few questions.  

 

1.  Does anyone know what the pins are on the back of the keypads are for?  I see there is the option to hook up an external IR receiver, but there are also pins down near the RJ45 jack.

2.  Although I haven't played with it much, I tried to use an old (~15 year) Pioneer stereo receiver with an IR emitter with no luck.  I am using Monoprice #8059 as the emitter.  How well has the IR pass through worked for people?  Are there a lot of devices that simply do not work well with it?

 

Thanks

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post #25 of 65 Old 04-30-2014, 07:02 AM
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On a different note, Monoprice currently offers a 10% discount on this item with code "6ZONE".  I live chatted with them yesterday and they were kind enough to apply the discount to my order from last week.

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post #26 of 65 Old 05-03-2014, 09:03 AM
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Just looking at this item. Is everyone experiencing the audio bleed (audio bleeding into rooms that are "off")? Also, is it possible to control volume to different zones via an app instead of having to go into each room and adjust the wall plate?

Finally, have they fixed the fact that when the power fails all programming disappears and you end up at max volume in your zones when it kicks back in? Sounds like someone wrote a driver to fix this but not sure I understand how to implement it?

I too am looking to use this with an Xbmc box.

 

My DIY Subs ... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1233892

Quote:

J Dunlavy:.. if you stop to think about it, no loudspeaker can sound more accurate than it measures.

 

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post #27 of 65 Old 05-04-2014, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rums View Post

I had an online chat with Monoprice online tech support with a few questions regarding this amp.


He confirmed there is an optical input.

Also, there is a Youtube vid and article talking about the amp being IP addressable (and a mobile app to be released), but the tech rep either hadn't heard about it or they are not building it (he had asked where I had heard the info from).

See here:

(skip to 0:45)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX9kmX1SMmI&t=45

also:

http://www.cepro.com/article/monoprice_develops_6x6_multiroom_audio_system_for_649
Anyhow, sounds like that's not true. I don't see any network connectivity options built in (unless it can be added to the remote hub), so unless MP builds an ethernet -> RS232 device I think having an IP addressable amp is out of the question without hooking up a computer or some additional third-party device that will take REST -> serial command. Too bad.

@signal15 I'm looking forward to your feedback as I'd love to put a few of these in my home (if they're half-decent) to replace some Sonance equipment.

Wonder if something like this can be used to convert rs232 to TCP/IP:

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9476

If this thing can be controlled via IP and an Android app, it seems awesome. Assuming the audio bleed isn't that terrible.

 

My DIY Subs ... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1233892

Quote:

J Dunlavy:.. if you stop to think about it, no loudspeaker can sound more accurate than it measures.

 

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post #28 of 65 Old 05-04-2014, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbc View Post

Finally, have they fixed the fact that when the power fails all programming disappears and you end up at max volume in your zones when it kicks back in? Sounds like someone wrote a driver to fix this but not sure I understand how to implement it?
 

 

I don't know if this applies, but the few times that I have powered on the unit so far, it has defaulted to a volume setting of "20" out of a max of "35".

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post #29 of 65 Old 05-04-2014, 08:34 PM
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For anybody playing around with my Monoprice Mixer

Newer Version of the driver assembly and Mixer

 

Finished up Multi Amp Logic

WINAPI Server to Allow Remote IP HTTP\ Get\Put commands

 

Example Put:

http://localhost:50230/api/Command?unit=1&channel=4&command=Power&value=1

http://localhost:50230/api/Command?unit=1&channel=4&command=Volume&value=10

 

Example Get:

http://localhost:50230/api/keypad?chan=3

<KeyPad>

<Name>Basement</Name>

<ID>14</ID>

<PA>0</PA><PR>0</PR><MU>0</MU><DT>0</DT><VO>17</VO><TR>11</TR><BS>10</BS><BL>10</BL><CH>3</CH><LS>1</LS>

</KeyPad>

 

Application Download (Same Link) (NET4.0 Required)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/94991518/MonoAmp.zip

 

Regards,

Mike Pisano

Mpisano1 at Aol for any comments

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post #30 of 65 Old 05-05-2014, 04:44 AM
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Thanks Mike, guys like you are a huge asset to the community! Any chance you think you'll be able to get an android app for this? In order to control it via TCP I would I need a device like the one I linked above? I don't plan con connecting to a PC if I can avoid it.

 

My DIY Subs ... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1233892

Quote:

J Dunlavy:.. if you stop to think about it, no loudspeaker can sound more accurate than it measures.

 

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