how do you manage volume control with streamers (eg sonos) and multi-channel amps in a whole house audio setup? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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(edits to title)

Hi all,
I'm interested in a whole house audio setup..

-approx 8 zones
- using streamers as sources..eg sonos and may mix units with built-in amps and some without, as its seems a multichannel amp may be cheaper (eg HTD)
-control via one or more tablets
- only need 2-3 independent zones for their own music playback..hence 2-3 streamers required, however I do want to be able to control sound to each zone independently.
-prefer a tablet for metadata instead of a keypad, so not sure if I need them at all

I'm wondering about how you manage volume control with this type of setup?

Does the answer change if one of the streamers was using its digital out into a DAC/Amplifier combo in the main listening room?
Does it make a difference if you use a multi-channel amp vs individual 2-channel amps?

thanks
capall

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Old 03-07-2014, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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anybody?

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Old 03-07-2014, 06:56 PM
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If I understand your question correctly - I would use non amp versions of Sonos for sources, with a WHA controller from HTD or that new Monoprice one. Both offer controllers with built in amps. You won't get the control you are looking for in just an amp, unless you use a separate Sonos for each zone.

8x Sonos would probably cost more than 3x Sonos and WHA controller.

Both have keypads. HTD has an app (at a cost,) never seen it or used it. Monoprice unit you would probably need to setup iRule or other control system to access from tablet since afaik it only has serial port.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:37 AM
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Sonos is all about ease of use and flexibility - the hardware is relatively inexpensive unless you are willing to sacrifice that flexibility and ease of use and create a 'home brew' solution.

A Sonos CONNECT will act as a Source in your HiFi/Theatre Zone.

You could use multiple 2-ch power amps or one or more multi-channel power amps if you don't go down the Sonos for every zone route, though you need to work out how to control source and volume for each sub-zone.

How large are your zones and what would your preference be in terms of loudspeaker types.

How much are you hoping to save vs. going with an all Sonos system?

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Old 03-09-2014, 10:34 PM
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8 zones
Independent volume control for each zone
2-3 separate streams
no in-wall controls
iOS or Android??

With Sonos as your source the easiest way is with 8 Sonos Connect Amps = $4,000. This would give you independent volume for each zone via the Sonos app. Sonos becomes less of a convenience when paired with other companies products (it would require multiple amps and dedicated Sonos sources for certain zones. or a Matrix style amp that is expensive and would probably need additional equipment to get an "app" to work or would need in-wall volume/source controls.)

Another option for your particular setup needs would be a 8 zone setup from Casatunes. Their streamer isn't cheap, but their CT-8 has 8 streams (more than you need, but in this system, like Sonos, it makes volume control easy.) You pair this up with ANY amplifier(s) you want. I don't know HTD, but it was mentioned (as I feel its mentioned on here a lot). They sell a 6 zone amp for $700. pair that with a 2 zone amp. Or whatever company you want. Casatunes does all the audio "matrix" stuff in their streamer. They also have Airplay built-in. This setup will also cost around $4,000, but I feel you would get more for your money.


If 1 zone is a surround sound zone then you don't need a Sonos Connect Amp, but instead would get a Sonos Connect for that zone (or I suppose you could use the Line Out of one of the Connect Amps.) With Casatunes you would just run a line out of the CT-8 into the surround sound processor.


There are a lot of other choices out there as well. Are you planning on doing this all yourself? or are you just researching prior to talking to an AV Integrator?

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Old 03-10-2014, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the responses,

specifically I'm wondering about volume control in each zone if not using a sonos connect Amp per room?
For example, if I have 1 or 2 sonos connect's with an Amp per zone or a single multi channel amp; does adding keypads in each zone give me volume control for the Amp that its connected back to? I understand this means music will play in all zones, but you could leave the volume down on all zones you're not wanting to listen to music in. Is this a bad method ?

If yes, do all multi channel amps use keypads, or if not, are you stuck then setting the volume with a volume knob on the amp to some ambient level, that would be sufficient to give you enough range in the volume from the sons app?

What does adding a HTD(for example) controller give me?

thanks

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Old 03-10-2014, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Joe277, just read you post after my response to the first 2. Thanks
Will be doing it myself. Followed castunes for fews years, but now there too expensive. Even though I want approx 8 zones, I only need 2-3 sources. I'll get a software package such as irule or better to tie all this together, but I'm just a bit confused on the basics's when you start to mix and match companies,

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Old 03-16-2014, 06:06 PM
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When you mix and match product brands it all comes down to which ones talk to each other and which one is doing the "control" aspect of it. Just make sure the control system (iRule or whatever you want) can talk to the audio components. Audio is the easy part, it's when you want to do more than audio that it can be complicated getting everything to work together.

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