Splitting Speakers to Provide Sound to a Patio - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 Old 05-29-2012, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jason122478's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I am kind of lost here. I have a Yamaha RX-V471 5.1 channel system. I would like to add 2 speakers to my patio. As this receiver does not have a Zone B, I was wondering what the best way to split the speaker wire would be so as to add 2 more speakers outside. Essentially, my patio is upstairs and the closest speakers are my ceiling mounted rear speakers. What I would like to do is to split the speaker wire from my ceiling mounted rear left and right speakers and then run those wires into a power/volume control before connecting to 2 outdoor speakers. I understand that I would be listening to the same source on all speakers, but would like to be able to separately power on/off the patio speakers as well as independently control their volume.

Does anybody have any suggestions in terms of how to make this work, as well as to what volume controls, etc that I would need? I would like to set this up, so that when I am watching TV or Blu-Ray and am not outside that I can have the feed to the patio speakers shut off to preserve sound quality in my indoor ceiling mounted rear channel speakers.

Any help would be highly appreciated.
jason122478 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 05-30-2012, 09:55 AM
Advanced Member
 
Robert Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Diego County, CA, USA
Posts: 985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

I would like to add 2 speakers to my patio. As this receiver does not have a Zone B, I was wondering what the best way to split the speaker wire would be so as to add 2 more speakers outside.

Perhaps it would be best to use a selector like one of the following:

http://www.nilesaudio.com/product_se....php?catcdID=7

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

Essentially, my patio is upstairs and the closest speakers are my ceiling mounted rear speakers. What I would like to do is to split the speaker wire from my ceiling mounted rear left and right speakers and then run those wires into a power/volume control before connecting to 2 outdoor speakers.

Split the wire with the selector first (a simple A/B unit), and then run the patio wire through one of these:

http://www.nilesaudio.com/product_se....php?catcdID=6

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

I understand that I would be listening to the same source on all speakers, but would like to be able to separately power on/off the patio speakers as well as independently control their volume.

Do you intend to listen to the indoor and outdoor speakers at the same time, or separately for different purposes? Are you somehow able to play the audio that you want to play on the patio through the surround channels? (did you plan to use the "5ch Stereo" mode or something like that?)

I could probably help you set up whatever it is that you want (I'll try, anyway ), but I'll need some clarification and elaboration on precisely what you want to be hearing and where and when.
Robert Cook is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 06-04-2012, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jason122478's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the input.

Essentially, what I would be doing is running the 5ch stereo mode when out on my patio. Would I have to shut the rear surround off when doing this or would it be possible to have both the rear speakers and patio speakers used together without losing any fidelity?
jason122478 is offline  
post #4 of 17 Old 06-04-2012, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jason122478's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The other issue would be independently powering the patio speakers. I live on the top floor of a condo building, so I wouldn't want the music to be extremely loud in my apartment when I am on the patio. I would like to be able to keep the volume at a reasonable level inside my apartment, while being able to make it louder out on the patio.

Any suggestions you may have will be very much appreciated.
jason122478 is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 06-04-2012, 07:54 PM
Advanced Member
 
Robert Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Diego County, CA, USA
Posts: 985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

Essentially, what I would be doing is running the 5ch stereo mode when out on my patio. Would I have to shut the rear surround off when doing this or would it be possible to have both the rear speakers and patio speakers used together without losing any fidelity?

I think it's possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

The other issue would be independently powering the patio speakers. I live on the top floor of a condo building, so I wouldn't want the music to be extremely loud in my apartment when I am on the patio. I would like to be able to keep the volume at a reasonable level inside my apartment, while being able to make it louder out on the patio.

Alright, this does clear things up considerably. To get everything working the way you want, as well as connected the way you want (pretty much), you'll need a separate stereo amplifier for the patio speakers, as well as a line output converter (LOC) to feed the audio signal from the surround channels into the amp. This allows you to both run the speakers at the same time, and have the patio speakers louder than the surround speakers (to a point--whatever the gain control on the amp can give you relative to the volume of the surround speakers).

The fidelity of the patio speakers may be compromised a little bit if we use a passive LOC, but it shouldn't be significant, and it's cheaper and easier to make this work than a higher-quality active LOC (these things are made for car audio, so we'd have to find a suitable power supply and rig that up somehow).

Does this seem feasible to you? Do you have a place to put the amplifier indoors, and is controlling its volume from inside the house acceptable? If this is something you'd like to try, then let me know and we can talk about specific equipment. Here are some examples to give you an idea of what is available:

Amplifier:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=300-383
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-601
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=252-125
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=300-812

LOC:
http://davidnavone.com/zencart/index...&products_id=6
Robert Cook is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 06-06-2012, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jason122478's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the input Robert. Just to confirm, your first post with the Nilesaudio products would not let me increase the volume of the patio speakers, right? Essentially, with that set-up my outdoor volume maximum would be equivalent to my indoor volume level, right?

If I want to boost the volume outdoors, then I would need to get a separate mini amp as mentioned in your most recent post.

I can place the amp indoors by building a small shelf or enclosure in the wall for it (I would prefer to have most of it hidden). The issue in that area (up the staircase) is that it can get extremely hot with the sun beating down. That being said, I would imagine building a small enclosure would block out the sun's direct rays and keep the temperature lower.

I think we are on the same page here. What would you suggest I do in terms of the exact equipment, as well as suitable outdoor speakers?

Again, thanks very much for all of your help.
jason122478 is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 06-06-2012, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jason122478's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Also, I see that the most compact amp you listed does not have a power on/off button. I would only want that amp to be on when using the patio speakers.

Where would I locate the LOC and would I need one for each speaker (for a total of 2)? In other words, would I still need an A/B switch?
jason122478 is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 06-08-2012, 11:01 PM
Advanced Member
 
Robert Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Diego County, CA, USA
Posts: 985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

Just to confirm, your first post with the Nilesaudio products would not let me increase the volume of the patio speakers, right? Essentially, with that set-up my outdoor volume maximum would be equivalent to my indoor volume level, right?

If you use a switch to select between the indoor surround and patio speakers, and then run the patio speakers through a volume control, then you're right, in addition to the fact that you could only use one set or the other. My thinking was that logically you'd need an additional amplifier in order to run both sets simultaneously as well as turn up the volume on the patio speakers (in which case you'd use the gain/volume knob on the amp instead of a separate volume control). But perhaps there is another way....
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

Also, I see that the most compact amp you listed does not have a power on/off button. I would only want that amp to be on when using the patio speakers.

I think it clicks off when you turn the volume knob all the way down.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

Where would I locate the LOC and would I need one for each speaker (for a total of 2)? In other words, would I still need an A/B switch?

The LOC converts the speaker-level signal that actually powers the surround speakers to a line-level signal that the amplifier can use for the patio speakers; you would not need a switch/selector as long as you'd always want the surround speakers playing (in addition to the patio speakers, which can play at the same time at a different volume or be turned off).

Before we get into more specifics, however, let me suggest the alternative configuration that I alluded to earlier. Reading through the manuals of the Niles volume controls, it seems that you could power both pairs of speakers, wired in parallel, with your receiver alone (no separate amp and LOC required) by using a volume control for each pair and setting their impedance magnification functions to 2x. Both solutions have their advantages and disadvantages, as well as potential pitfalls. I'll look into both and get back to you tomorrow on which would probably be the best technically (been extremely busy the past few days, but should have some time now).
Robert Cook is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 06-09-2012, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jason122478's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Many thanks Robert...

Ultimately, I would like to handle this the best way so that sound quality is not compromised. Also, I have to consider how much work and money is going to go into cutting drywall to make the splits and wire upstairs.
jason122478 is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 06-11-2012, 01:29 PM
Advanced Member
 
Robert Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Diego County, CA, USA
Posts: 985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 21
After considering the potential configurations, I'm definitely leaning toward the secondary-amplifier option. The two-volume-control option has an advantage in that you won't need to provide power for a secondary amplifier (if that would be an issue), but it would mean that you'd have to turn the gain on this channel way up so that the patio speakers could potentially play louder, and I'm concerned about potential surround channel headroom issues that could result when playing movies--not in terms of power, but digital headroom and how high a voltage your receiver can output since the surround speakers would be operated at 16 ohms impedance with attenuation from the volume control on top of that (it is possible for your receiver to be short on voltage even if it still has power to spare). You could compensate for this by adjusting the surround channel gain (in the receiver) and both volume controls as necessary, but that seems rather inconvenient.

The secondary-amplifier option is safer in the sense that it should not affect the sound or capabilities of your surround speakers, at least, as the LOC couples with the speaker cables at a very high impedance. My main concern is how well the line-level output of the LOC will work with the amplifier, and whether the latter will have sufficient gain when the surround speakers are playing at low volume (both the volume of the receiver and the amp will determine the ultimate volume of the patio speakers). I expect that everything will work out satisfactorily (as long as you're not expecting super-loud output, of course), but I can't truly know without trying it myself, and I don't have an LOC to play with.

As for sound quality, the LOC that I recommended above is one of the best, if not the best, passive LOCs around (it's the best that I know of, anyway). It will slightly affect sound quality, but you may or may not even notice. Here is a measurement of its frequency response: http://tom-morrow-land.com/tests/navoneloc/. Aside from the 3 dB peak at 80 Hz, it looks like it's good down to 50 Hz or so, and is nice and smooth in the midrange and treble. But if you want to play it safe in this regard as well as the interface with the amplifier, then you could use an active LOC instead, such as the AudioControl LC2i:

http://www.audiocontrol.com/17612/645207/OEM-Integration/Two-Channel-Line-Out-Converter-with-AccuBASStm-and-Subwoofer-Control----LC2i.html
http://www.amazon.com/LC2i-Audiocontrol-2-channel-converter-factory/dp/B004CTBYGE

The drawbacks are cost and the fact that you'll need to supply it with power, which means even more equipment--it expects to be connected to a car battery, so you'll need something like this: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=320-312. I guess you'd have to cut the 12 VDC output cable, determine which is + and which is -, and connect them to the LC2i.

You can place the LOC anywhere you want--whatever would be most convenient, which is probably wherever the amplifier is located. In this case, you'll need to connect a speaker cable in parallel with the surround speakers, and run it through the wall to the LOC, which is then connected to the amplifier with an RCA stereo cable.

By the way, LOCs are almost exclusively used in car audio, so forums dedicated to this subject should provide a lot more information on those than you're likely to find here. They probably haven't tried to use this equipment the way you would be using it, though, so in general there is very little precedence to work with, unfortunately. In your place, I'd definitely purchase and experiment with the equipment before ripping up any drywall.

As for which amplifier to use, the Dayton Audio DTA-100a mentioned earlier seems to fit the bill pretty well, due to its compact size. I've confirmed now that it can be turned completely off by rotating the volume knob fully counterclockwise.

And as for speakers, there are numerous other threads--many quite recent, in fact--that have recommendations for outdoor speakers. In any case, here are some examples that seem quite nice:

http://www.bostonacoustics.com/Outdoor-C15.aspx
http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/outdoor-speakers
Robert Cook is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 06-11-2012, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jason122478's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
If I opt for the passive LOC (it seems like the easier option), how would I split the speaker wire from my 2 rear channel speakers?

Would I just splice an additional speaker wire into the existing line nearby each rear channel speaker and then run the additional wires up to the 2 passive LOCs and then into the new amp?
jason122478 is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 06-11-2012, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jason122478's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Also, how would I ensure that low impedance is avoided so as to protect my Yamaha amp?
jason122478 is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 06-11-2012, 09:59 PM
Member
 
06GTOguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
It might be easier to just buy something like a Denon 1712. It has two zones that can be controlled independently and with the 2013 models just coming out recently, you can get it at a pretty good price if you call EE, or another authorized dealer. Just a thought. At least you would only have one piece of equipment.

http://www.electronics-expo.com/denon-avr-1712-a-v-surround-receiver-black
If you call you will get a better price
06GTOguy is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 06-12-2012, 12:01 AM
Advanced Member
 
Robert Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Diego County, CA, USA
Posts: 985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

If I opt for the passive LOC (it seems like the easier option), how would I split the speaker wire from my 2 rear channel speakers?

Would I just splice an additional speaker wire into the existing line nearby each rear channel speaker and then run the additional wires up to the 2 passive LOCs and then into the new amp?

The NE-7V LOC has two channels, so you only need one of these. It should be wired in parallel with the surround speakers, which means that you connect the + and - inputs of each channel of the LOC to the + and - wires of the corresponding surround speaker, which is the same as what you're describing, I believe. In essence, they're both connected to the receiver's outputs in the same way at the same time--very simple.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

Also, how would I ensure that low impedance is avoided so as to protect my Yamaha amp?

The input impedances of the LOC and amplifier are designed to be much higher than those of typical speakers--usually in the thousands of ohms, which means that they barely affect the overall impedance connected to your receiver's surround channel outputs at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 06GTOguy View Post

It might be easier to just buy something like a Denon 1712.

My assumption all along has been that the OP wishes to avoid upgrading the receiver, and would presumably find it difficult to run speaker cables all the way to the patio, but if it would be easier overall to upgrade the receiver, then this would be the best option in many respects. However, one major potential issue is that most receivers, even ones that can adjust their Zone 2 volume independently (a requirement in this case), can only play analog stereo sources through their Zone 2 speaker outputs. Unfortunately, this appears to be the case for the Denon AVR-1712, as the manual says: "It is not possible to play the digital audio signals input from the HDMI, COAXIAL or OPTICAL connectors in ZONE2." If this is not a problem for the OP, then great, otherwise we're back to where we started unless we can find a receiver that does not have this limitation.

jason122478, what do you think about upgrading your receiver? Are any of the potential issues mentioned above relevant in your case?
Robert Cook is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old 06-25-2012, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jason122478's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hi Robert, sorry but I have been away on business until now. I could consider to upgrade the receiver, granted this would require a great deal more cutting into the drywall to run an additional pair of speaker wires. Furthermore, I would want to play HDMI sourced audio in Zone 2. This is especially the case for Pandora streaming content.

Thus, I think the cheapest route would to be as per our conversations. So, I need to proceed with the passive LOC (from your instructions I would only need 1 unit, as well as the small receiver.

I have posted some photos below for your reference as to how things are currently laid out.

Photo #1: View of ceiling mounted rear right/left channel surround speakers

448

Photo #2: Close-up of right rear surround speaker and adjacent stairwell to patio

448

Photo #3: View of top of stairwell where 2nd receiver will be located

448

Photo #4: View of patio where duplicates of right and left rear channel speakers will be located outdoors

448

The photos should give you a better idea of the layout. Now, we need to get down to how this should be done. I assume the following:

(1) Disconnect speaker wires from both right and left rear channel ceiling mounted surround speakers
(2) Splice in additional speaker wire to the now disconnected speaker wires from #1 (this would be to extend the length)
(3) Run the new extended length speaker wires for both up to the top of the stairwell where I plan on locating the 2nd receiver
(4) Split the speaker wire from both right and left at the top of the stairwell
(5) Run new speaker wire back down the stairwell and hook into the left and right rear channel ceiling mounted surround speakers
(6) Run a very short length of new speaker wire (perhaps only inches) from the right/left channel split at the top of the stairwell into the LOC
(7) Run standard right/left (red/white) RCA cables from the LOC into the corresponding right/left RCA inputs on the 2nd receiver
(8) Run left/right channel speaker wire from the 2nd receiver to the outdoor patio speakers

I realize this seems a bit tedious, but I just want to ensure that the above represents your vision as to how to set up this new configuration.

Again, thanks for all of your help...
jason122478 is offline  
post #16 of 17 Old 06-26-2012, 05:01 PM
Advanced Member
 
Robert Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Diego County, CA, USA
Posts: 985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

The photos should give you a better idea of the layout. Now, we need to get down to how this should be done. I assume the following:

(1) Disconnect speaker wires from both right and left rear channel ceiling mounted surround speakers
(2) Splice in additional speaker wire to the now disconnected speaker wires from #1 (this would be to extend the length)
(3) Run the new extended length speaker wires for both up to the top of the stairwell where I plan on locating the 2nd receiver
(4) Split the speaker wire from both right and left at the top of the stairwell
(5) Run new speaker wire back down the stairwell and hook into the left and right rear channel ceiling mounted surround speakers

You have the right idea, although I think that you can save some effort and wire by splitting the signal at the surround speakers rather than the top of the stairwell. To illustrate what I mean, look at the first graphic on the following page:

http://www.bcae1.com/spkrmlti.htm

Your initial plan is analogous to the left pair of speakers in the graphic being the LOC and the right pair being the surround speakers--the signal goes to the LOC first and then all the way back to the surround speakers. What I'm suggesting is that you reverse the two so that you won't have to run a long wire to the surround speakers (just a few inches instead). Electrically, there is no difference--both the surround speakers and LOC are wired in parallel and will receive the same signal from your receiver (except of course that the speakers will draw substantial power from the receiver to actually reproduce sound while the LOC will barely draw any at all).
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

(6) Run a very short length of new speaker wire (perhaps only inches) from the right/left channel split at the top of the stairwell into the LOC

Do the split at the surround speakers' locations instead. Then connect the other end of the extended cables to the LOC's input terminals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason122478 View Post

(7) Run standard right/left (red/white) RCA cables from the LOC into the corresponding right/left RCA inputs on the 2nd receiver
(8) Run left/right channel speaker wire from the 2nd receiver to the outdoor patio speakers

That is correct. You'll also need AC line power for the 2nd receiver, of course.
Robert Cook is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 06-27-2012, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
jason122478's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I think I fully understand what needs to be done now.

Unfortunately, I now see that the Dayton Audio mini-amp is out of stock until 8/2. So, it looks like this project will proceed after 8/2 when I have the amp in-hand.

Thanks for all of your help. I really appreciate it.
jason122478 is offline  
Reply Speakers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off