Russound vs. Control 4 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 09-21-2007, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I am talking with two vendors who each say their hardware is better. How do I tell which one is better - Russound CAA66 vs. Control4 multi-room audio?

Are they comparable? What are the advantages of one over the other?

Thank you!

JT
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-21-2007, 10:57 PM
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Hey Jate,
My Dad had a custom home built last year, the company out here did a Russound system for him, not sure the model but it was pretty impressive. I can say from personal experience using it the sound quality is superb, I was really impressed by how well it worked (The keypads were really easy to use). As far as the Control4 goes, I haven't had personal experience with it but I know a few people who have used their systems. They are cheap which is a nice advantage however I've heard of problems with interference (they use a lot of wireless components) and I also have heard the quality of it feels like a kids toy rather than a nice piece of hardware. If money is the most important thing obviously Control4 would be the way to go because they are cheap. But quality wise I'd say Russound, they've made a huge name for themselves in the industry and have been around for years, Control4 is only a couple years old as a company. Just my 2 cents, good luck in your decision
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-22-2007, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Johnny. That is helpful!
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-22-2007, 11:24 PM
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I'm building a custom home, and got a quote for control4. It was approx $40000. So saying it is cheap is a gross understatement. I dont know if russound is close to that price.

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post #5 of 22 Old 09-23-2007, 02:41 AM
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Calling C4 cheap in comparison to Russound is humorous at best and not too well informed I think. One difference between the two, and I'm neither stating this as a positive or negative is that C4 is a full home automation and whole house audio solution, whereas Russound is more focused on whole house audio. So that might take you in the direction of C4 if you are also interested in automation.

The more important question I think you should be asking, which strangely is rarely the question anyone asks, is what is the quality of workmanship of the installers you are talking to? That is in many ways MUCH more important with regard to whether you are going to be satisfied with the end result. The equipment is only as good as the company installing it.
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-23-2007, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
I am talking with two vendors who each say their hardware is better. How do I tell which one is better - Russound CAA66 vs. Control4 multi-room audio?


Russound is not an HA product, its simply a Audio/video distribution sytem. It does audio okay and video okay. Key pads are okay too if you like walking to a wall to do things (I dont!). This is all they do. I say audio okay because they do not do 5.1/7.1 in rooms that need it. Russound is a background music system, with limited power, limited flexibility.

Control4 does full HA. C4 gives you expansion capabilities, Russound really doesnt. ie...security, lighting and so on.

You can actually control a Russound system with C4 if you choose too.

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-23-2007, 07:09 PM
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A $40,000 Control4 system would be one hell of a system. I would get another quote. Not saying you can't spend that kind of money but wow.

As to the original question I agree with others. Control4 isn't just whole house audio it's a lot more.
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-23-2007, 07:20 PM
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well I was talking about multi-room audio which is what it sounds like Jate is after. Yes Control4 can do home automation, but if its just multi-room audio then what does it matter? Also, who says the russound system makes you have to go to a keypad to control it? My dad can control everything from his remotes without having to run over to any keypad so I'm not sure what system you are talking about. His system sounds great with the multi-room audio, the sound quality is excellent. As far as it being cheap, yes Control4 is cheap... for multi-room audio, I dont know about the other stuff. I agree the installers really matter on the quality of the system. I don't know, from personal experience with the russound I am sold, it sounded great and it worked very well. I've gotten ok reviews from people I know who use Control4 so I am just going based on what they have said.
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-23-2007, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str1der View Post

A $40,000 Control4 system would be one hell of a system. I would get another quote. Not saying you can't spend that kind of money but wow.

As to the original question I agree with others. Control4 isn't just whole house audio it's a lot more.

I'd assume he is talking about a system that includes speakers, installation, perhaps TV's and so forth. Without having a clue what it includes, it's impossible to comment in a meaningful way, BUT, it hardly seems unusual. Heck, as you know, it's easy to spend 40K on a home theater, let alone an entire house-wide A/V and automation system.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-24-2007, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by QQQ View Post

I'd assume he is talking about a system that includes speakers, installation, perhaps TV's and so forth. Without having a clue what it includes, it's impossible to comment in a meaningful way, BUT, it hardly seems unusual. Heck, as you know, it's easy to spend 40K on a home theater, let alone an entire house-wide A/V and automation system.

Agreed. I guess when comparing things like this or talking about a system price I usually leave out the things like speakers and such that would be used by but not part of that actual system. You know what I mean
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post #11 of 22 Old 09-24-2007, 02:34 PM
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Since I have Control4 and Sonos.. I have to say if you are after a very good quality (I did not say best) audio distribution system I would recommend having a close look at Sonos. I decided to go best-of-breed for the various pieces (Audio=Sonos, Video= Audio Authority, Control=CQC Lighting= Clipsal Cbus) in my price range.

Just my .02
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post #12 of 22 Old 09-24-2007, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emillika View Post

Since I have Control4 and Sonos.. I have to say if you are after a very good quality (I did not say best) audio distribution system I would recommend having a close look at Sonos. I decided to go best-of-breed for the various pieces (Audio=Sonos, Video= Audio Authority, Control=CQC Lighting= Clipsal Cbus) in my price range.

Just my .02

I have to ask then what are you using Control4 for?
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post #13 of 22 Old 09-24-2007, 07:36 PM
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It is always funny reading the various biases that people state without first hand knowledge.

I can not comment on Russound but I do have a very large Control4 system. I am extremely happy with it. It works well, sounds great, the controls are good and can be use by everyone in my family, and the price was reasonable.

I also laugh that someone said that 40k was impossible. My system was more than twice that amount. I have lighting, whole house audio, data, security, hvac, home theater, shades, watering and more. Control4 has a great warranty and continues to expand their product line. Now I am only an end user and dont sell, install or market any of the various products. Though I have had a very good experience with Control4, I still believe that the single most important thing for you to consider is not the particular product but the installer that you hire.

All of these products (Control4, AMX, Elan, Russound, Crestron etc) are very very complex. A good sized system is composed of uinterrupeted power supplies, networks, several communication protocols (like wifi, ethernet, zigbee etc), many interdependent computers (everyone of my touchscreens is a linux computer), proprietary systems like security etc, etc etc. You get the picture. This stuff is complex. If a great paint job is partly dependent on the type of paint used and highly dependent on the painter and the amount of prep work done by that painter then a great home automation system is even more dependent on the installer. Pay a premium for a great installer who takes their time, designs the system well and will support what they do.

If you are interested, here is a link to post describing my system in more detail and other lessons that I learned.

http://www.c4forums.com/viewtopic.php?id=965

Jim
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post #14 of 22 Old 09-24-2007, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str1der View Post

I have to ask then what are you using Control4 for?

DVD Changer(s) control.
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post #15 of 22 Old 09-24-2007, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by read99 View Post

It is always funny reading the various biases that people state without first hand knowledge.

I can not comment on Russound but I do have a very large Control4 system. I am extremely happy with it. It works well, sounds great, the controls are good and can be use by everyone in my family, and the price was reasonable.

I also laugh that someone said that 40k was impossible. My system was more than twice that amount. I have lighting, whole house audio, data, security, hvac, home theater, shades, watering and more. Control4 has a great warranty and continues to expand their product line. Now I am only an end user and dont sell, install or market any of the various products. Though I have had a very good experience with Control4, I still believe that the single most important thing for you to consider is not the particular product but the installer that you hire.

All of these products (Control4, AMX, Elan, Russound, Crestron etc) are very very complex. A good sized system is composed of uinterrupeted power supplies, networks, several communication protocols (like wifi, ethernet, zigbee etc), many interdependent computers (everyone of my touchscreens is a linux computer), proprietary systems like security etc, etc etc. You get the picture. This stuff is complex. If a great paint job is partly dependent on the type of paint used and highly dependent on the painter and the amount of prep work done by that painter then a great home automation system is even more dependent on the installer. Pay a premium for a great installer who takes their time, designs the system well and will support what they do.

If you are interested, here is a link to post describing my system in more detail and other lessons that I learned.

http://www.c4forums.com/viewtopic.php?id=965

Jim

First of all you may want to reread my post. I said nothing about a $40k system being impossible. I just said it would be one hell of a system for Control4. I've been on c4forums and I've seen the specs of your system. I'm working on my Control4 system now. I can not imagine that your system is anywhere close to a normal size install. Lord 110 light switches (dimmers and switches). I've got relatives that live in several million dollar homes and they don't have anywhere near that many. You must live in a light brite
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post #16 of 22 Old 09-25-2007, 07:25 PM
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Str1der, I am sorry for my misreading of your post. No offense was intended.

I have given some further thought to JT's original question and really want to re-emphasize in going with the best installer. Check their references and actual installations out. Really search for the best person. They will make the real difference.

I found my installer through these types of forums. For example, I do not know QQQ but from reading many forums, I have really come to appreciate that he is intelligent, fair and usually pretty balanced in his opinions. I have typically been very put off by any one that solely pushes one thing and is blatantly promoting while putting down other options and others' opinions without facts. Pick the best dealer/installer and the rest will hopefully go well.
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post #17 of 22 Old 09-25-2007, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str1der View Post

First of all you may want to reread my post. I said nothing about a $40k system being impossible. I just said it would be one hell of a system for Control4. I've been on c4forums and I've seen the specs of your system. I'm working on my Control4 system now. I can not imagine that your system is anywhere close to a normal size install. Lord 110 light switches (dimmers and switches). I've got relatives that live in several million dollar homes and they don't have anywhere near that many. You must live in a light brite

It's all about perspective and I've also found geographic area has a LOT to do with it. For instance, I found that in smaller rural areas people can be building a huge million dollar home and will think it's "crazy" to spend 50K on a whole house system. However people spending the same amount of money in a big city where whole house systems are much more common will not be so shocked by it because those markets have become much more penetrated.

Also, I have to comment that while 110 light switches certainly represents a large house by any reasonable standard, I don't think it's quite as extreme as you think and even a million dollar house can have that many switches, (I'm not trying to sound arrogant by saying "even a million", I'm stating that only because of your comment that "people with several million dollar homes don't have that many switches." They add up pretty darn quickly when you start to count them and I suspect most people would be surprised when they start to add them up.
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post #18 of 22 Old 09-25-2007, 07:52 PM
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read99,

I was going to thank you for your EXCELLENT post even BEFORE I read your compliments. But what do you mean by "usually pretty balanced"
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post #19 of 22 Old 09-26-2007, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by read99 View Post

Str1der, I am sorry for my misreading of your post. No offense was intended.

I have given some further thought to JT's original question and really want to re-emphasize in going with the best installer. Check their references and actual installations out. Really search for the best person. They will make the real difference.

I found my installer through these types of forums. For example, I do not know QQQ but from reading many forums, I have really come to appreciate that he is intelligent, fair and usually pretty balanced in his opinions. I have typically been very put off by any one that solely pushes one thing and is blatantly promoting while putting down other options and others' opinions without facts. Pick the best dealer/installer and the rest will hopefully go well.

No offense taken. Just didn't want you to think I had my head in the sand.
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post #20 of 22 Old 09-26-2007, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ View Post

It's all about perspective and I've also found geographic area has a LOT to do with it. For instance, I found that in smaller rural areas people can be building a huge million dollar home and will think it's "crazy" to spend 50K on a whole house system. However people spending the same amount of money in a big city where whole house systems are much more common will not be so shocked by it because those markets have become much more penetrated.

Also, I have to comment that while 110 light switches certainly represents a large house by any reasonable standard, I don't think it's quite as extreme as you think and even a million dollar house can have that many switches, (I'm not trying to sound arrogant by saying "even a million", I'm stating that only because of your comment that "people with several million dollar homes don't have that many switches." They add up pretty darn quickly when you start to count them and I suspect most people would be surprised when they start to add them up.

Definetly agree that location is a huge factor. I know there are expensive installs out there. I was also reading the other thread that was talking about $100K installs being pretty normal in this day and age. Locale is everything. The average price of a house in the US is still under $300K "and falling". So $100k would be a pretty big percentage of the total house cost. My fault for bringing that into this thread.

It just seems like this big battle has started between the budget minded people and the installers. Not sure why. I hope that installers don't think we are trying to steer people away from their business. I look at it as two different markets. Just hope everyone chills a little. Sorry OP
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post #21 of 22 Old 09-26-2007, 03:28 PM
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I'm a control4 installer, I was trained by Control4. There are so many aspects of this system that people other than ourselves couldn't even start to conceive. As for the money people spend on their systems, those prices can range as well as the design of the system and whom you have program and install your system. Remember that companies like Russound and Crestron have been around for a long time and have their niche in a way. Control4 has left many doors open to advance into the future of A/V. So which ever system you choose is best for you, everyone has their own choice in what they are comfortable with.
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post #22 of 22 Old 05-04-2012, 09:49 AM
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I am looking for a good installer/technician in the Detroit Michigan area to work on a contract, project by project basis.

This person needs to be proficient in:

the design and installation and programming of whole home audio/video systems, russound and c4

programming of various brands of universal remote controllers including, URC
calibration of AV receivers including Denon

detailed oriented and quality driven.

If anyone has input, I would appreciate it.

The Martin Group - Audio Visual Solutions
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