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post #1 of 6 Old 07-17-2014, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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WHA Distribution Question

I've been reading quite a few posts here and see situations that are close but not exactly what I'm looking to do.

I am getting close to being done building our new house. I ran speaker wire and cat 6 to around 14 different locations - way overkill but wanted to be covered. Ideally, I would like to distribute audio from my computer or network. I really don't want keypads as my wife and I have android phones and my children use kindles. I would like to be able to scroll through my phone, select the room I'm in and play some sort of audio (music library, iheartradio, etc).

It seems to me that I would need to connect my router to a 6 zone distribution amp (possibly 2-3 amps) but I can't determine exactly how to do that. It sounds like I could use a sonos product, but I would potentially need 14 different connects to accomplish this. That would make my A/V distribution area look ridiculous and I don't want to spend that type of money. I do, however, like the Sonos app (from what little bit I have looked at it).

Is there a product that would allows me to have a distribution amp that can take info from my computer/NAS and distribute multiple feeds to multiple zones? If I have come across this product in my research - I don't know it. Most of the verbiage used in these forums is Greek to me.

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-17-2014, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chethead View Post
It seems to me that I would need to connect my router to a 6 zone distribution amp (possibly 2-3 amps) but I can't determine exactly how to do that. It sounds like I could use a sonos product, but I would potentially need 14 different connects to accomplish this. That would make my A/V distribution area look ridiculous and I don't want to spend that type of money. I do, however, like the Sonos app (from what little bit I have looked at it).
14 zones is a big system regardless, so if you really want that many rooms to be part of the system, you're going to spend some money.

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Originally Posted by chethead View Post
Is there a product that would allows me to have a distribution amp that can take info from my computer/NAS and distribute multiple feeds to multiple zones? If I have come across this product in my research - I don't know it. Most of the verbiage used in these forums is Greek to me.
Well, you got "WHA" so I don't know what other verbiage you're struggling with...

Your choices are either a collection of Sonos Connect:Amp units (which you mentioned as being somewhat of a mess - but it can be managed), or the NuVo P3100 units which will give you 3 zones per box and stack much nicer (assuming your AV area is in view - if not, who cares).

Those will run $500/zone. The nice thing about either of those products is that you pay for 1-3 zones at a time, so you can start with one or a few, and add them over time. The Sonos unit can easily support 2 pairs of speakers (the NuVo would require an external impedance-matching device) - so you could "share" one between two rooms to start as well (if there are rooms that would generally be on or used at the same time anyway...).

For less money you can use a smaller number of Sonos Connect or Apple Airport Express units as "sources" into a simpler WHA system (such as the HTD.com mid-level systems w/o keypads but with the HTD.net accessory). That will require switching apps to control vs. browse music, but will certainly work. And all of these solutions will depend on what you'll want to use as sources, anyway.

But with multiple family members accessing the system - usability should be high on your requirements list.

Jeff


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post #3 of 6 Old 07-21-2014, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the response. I will check out the NuVo product and see if that will work a little better.

All electronics lingo is picked up from this site and doing research. I'm an electrician but know very little about electronics. I would like to have a nice looking A/V area considering all of my electrical work is hidden in the walls. I don't see how to make 6 - 14 Sonos Connect:Amps look good in a rack type application. I'm very surprised that the technology isn't there to just connect a NAS type device to a speaker distribution component and access different files. Isn't that essentially what I'm doing if I have multiple PCs on a network? I probably just don't understand what is really happening.

Another question - can I cheap out and use some speakers from Monoprice for my whole house audio system? I'm not looking for mind blowing sound - I've worked in construction for almost 20 years and the ears aren't what they used to be.

Thanks,

Rob
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-21-2014, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
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I would like to have a nice looking A/V area considering all of my electrical work is hidden in the walls. I don't see how to make 6 - 14 Sonos Connect:Amps look good in a rack type application.
Well, they can certainly be stacked / arranged, but yes, that's a common complaint for folks trying to use a "bunch" of Sonos Connect:Amp units in a centralized rack. The NuVo P3100/P3500 products do a much better job in that regard.

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Originally Posted by chethead View Post
I'm very surprised that the technology isn't there to just connect a NAS type device to a speaker distribution component and access different files. Isn't that essentially what I'm doing if I have multiple PCs on a network? I probably just don't understand what is really happening.
PC's on the network are talking to each other by sharing files (or pulling them from a NAS). But it's your computer that receives that file, decodes the audio and outputs it through a sound card. Which then goes to an amplifier. The Sonos or NuVo device is doing those same steps, just in a small, dedicated package - along with a remote control user interface (app) to make it usable.

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Another question - can I cheap out and use some speakers from Monoprice for my whole house audio system? I'm not looking for mind blowing sound - I've worked in construction for almost 20 years and the ears aren't what they used to be.
Many folks here on the forum have used the uber-cheap Monoprice in-ceiling speakers with good results. I have not heard them myself, but their construction appears to be very similar to other quality WHA speakers. If anything, start with a few pairs and see how you like them - and stick with the 6.5" versions so you can easily upgrade to a better or physically larger speaker without having to patch the ceiling. If you start with the 8" versions your upgrade/swap choices are limited, since you can't make the hole smaller...

\
Jeff


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post #5 of 6 Old 07-21-2014, 12:08 PM
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-21-2014, 05:36 PM
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I've got 13 Sonos Connect:Amp units in my basement "AV" closet and looks OK to me.

The cheapest Sonos system would be a wireless system based on "Play 1" units (about $200 each) but it might be too "entry level" for you.

Sonos is a great solution for sure and it really is fairly priced even though it may seem high if you buy the entire system at once. Which is one nice thing about Sonos - you can add one room at a time as money allows.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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