This looks like an extremely easy 4-zone system to setup and install, but is the 7.5 watts/channel good enough? The A-Bus gives you volume control and IR control from each zone, but only one souce, and costs about $900. I am really just looking for something for backgound music, but 7.5 watts seems a bit low. Are there and good reasonably priced in-wall speakers that can make the most of this?
L@@k for very efficient speakers. Something like 91dB 1W/1m or above. Speakercraft has some entry level models that would work fine. I have never used the system or installed one. I think it is very interesting and affordable for someone who just needs background music and room adjustments.
Actually for a four zone system the cost for all components and with installation will be closer to $2500 than $900. Also I have heard that the A-bus has had problems with AC hum in the speakers. 7.5 watts is plenty for background music. I would not play them outdoors or in a very large room but for most 16 x 12 rooms this is fine.
Its a nifty product based on a cool Idea but they have some problems. Early adopters know that a new design or concept brings annoying quirks which need to be ironed out. There joy of being a first adopter outweighs most problems. Also they have the money to afford it. The question is do you have the stomach (money) to withstand the quirks in the system.
[This message has been edited by David Guill (edited 06-15-2001).]
I have been using a similar system from Sonance called AVC for years. It is rare that I need more than the 7.5 wpc it provides. Background music is not that demanding, speaker selection does play a part. My complaint with ABus is that the build quality is not quite up to that of the Sonance, although the remote control feature would be a welcome addition.
I just bought the A-BK1 kit. I thought this kit was really interesting since it could carry the IR and the sound at the same time.
Some of the limitation could be worked around:
The low level of watts could be circumvented by using the line output from the keypad and then connect it to a power amp.
The IR connecting block (IRB5) could be substituted by a Xantech connecting block. This is opening the possibilities of in term of IR. This could not be done if you pucheased the A-BK2 it since the IR and sound modulator are in one box.
The mono source could be circumvented by using a line output from a receiver which makes it "multi source" and you could still use your original receiver remote to control which source you want to listen. Now I agree that there is no possibility to have multiple source for the different keypad. But Let's face it, you just need to buy one modulator to make it dual zone.
Regarding the price, the latest kit are shipped with a dual IR flasher (at least mine was) and I've found some A-BK1 on Ebay brand new for not $900 but $550. That makes it unbeatable (to my eyes at least!) for a whole house audio distribution system.
[This message has been edited by fdelacou (edited 06-20-2001).]