Proposed outdoor setup - your advice needed - AVS Forum
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone,

I'd like to set up a couple outdoor speakers on my deck. Here is my proposal:

  • Buy a set of Polk Atrium 4 for about $110. They seem to be fairly weather-proof, have decent reviews and are quite cheap. If you have other suggestions, I'm all ears. I don't see the need here to spend more than $200ish though. The deck is quite small - only about 14x16 ft.
  • Buy a relatively cheap amp. The speakers above can handle 80W so I need some recommendations for a cheap or used amp please.
  • Hook up the amp inside the house and connect it to the music player (Logitech Squeezbox wifi, which I already have). Leave the amp permanently on.
  • Run speaker wire from the amp to outside the house on the deck.
  • Mount speakers on the deck and hook up with speaker wire.
  • Take wifi controller outside and control music and volume from the deck.


Questions:

  1. Do you think is all a workable plan to effectively get music on the deck outside the house?
  2. I'm open to reviews of the Polks or alternative suggestions.
  3. I could definitely use some advice on buying a really cheap amp to drive this. It will literally be used for maybe 5 days of the year so I could do with a no-frills experience here. I could have used my Denon 2112ci from my my main system but I used up all the channels for my 7.1 system inside the house.



Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Bumping my own thread in hopes that it will be on the front page again, hopefully no one minds.

I hope I posted this in the right section.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:53 PM
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I do something similar, though use my system a little more. I have Definitive Technology AW6500's outside with an NAD 325BEE amp which use a Squeezebox to connect to my music. I have Logitech Transporter connected to my main 2 channel system and another Squeezebox connected to my home theater. With all them synched it pretty much covers the whole house with the same music. Great for parties.... I am a big fan of the AW6500's and think they sound amazing for an outdoor speaker, though they might be a little higher in cost than you want to spend. I would recommend checking out the NAD integrated amps as they provide a lot of bang for the buck for the type of system you are building.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:14 PM
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Maybe something like a Dayton Audio DTA-100a Class-T Digital Mini Amplifier 50 WPC
for power
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btscott View Post

I do something similar, though use my system a little more. I have Definitive Technology AW6500's outside with an NAD 325BEE amp which use a Squeezebox to connect to my music. I have Logitech Transporter connected to my main 2 channel system and another Squeezebox connected to my home theater. With all them synched it pretty much covers the whole house with the same music. Great for parties.... I am a big fan of the AW6500's and think they sound amazing for an outdoor speaker, though they might be a little higher in cost than you want to spend. I would recommend checking out the NAD integrated amps as they provide a lot of bang for the buck for the type of system you are building.

Great, thanks! Glad to hear that at least the set up is reasonable. I will check out the DefTechs for sure.

I wasn't able to find the NAD amp for sale unfortunately, looks like it was discontinued a while ago. What does the "integrated" mean exactly in there though?
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gandu View Post

Maybe something like a Dayton Audio DTA-100a Class-T Digital Mini Amplifier 50 WPC
for power

Wow I didn't even know that something like this existed, this is awesome!

Since the speakers can handle 80W of power, would it make sense to get a similar amp with a bit more power? I'm a noob at this in case you can't tell smile.gif
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xerxes717 View Post

Great, thanks! Glad to hear that at least the set up is reasonable. I will check out the DefTechs for sure.

I wasn't able to find the NAD amp for sale unfortunately, looks like it was discontinued a while ago. What does the "integrated" mean exactly in there though?

The successor is the NAD 326BEE. Check out http://nadelectronics.com/products/hifi-amplifiers/C-326BEE-Stereo-Integrated-Amplifier. Integrated amps have the preamp and power amp in the same unit.

Check out used equipment as well. Audiogon http://app.audiogon.com/listings/solid-state-nad-c-325-bee-stereo-integrated-2013-05-21-amplifiers-45429 or Ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/NAD-C-326BEE-Stereo-Integrated-Amplifier-Home-Theater-Audio-Graphite-/281110550094?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item41737e964e
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xerxes717 View Post

Wow I didn't even know that something like this existed, this is awesome!

Since the speakers can handle 80W of power, would it make sense to get a similar amp with a bit more power? I'm a noob at this in case you can't tell smile.gif

Since it is a small deck (14x16) and assuming it will be at most, a moderate volume level, 50w should be plenty. There are similar 20-25w amps that would probably be fine as well. I run Boston Acoustic Voyagers on my patio and don't think I've ever even hit 10w output. Considering a 5 days of use per year, good value -- 'bang for the buck', with the added benefit of small size, these mini-amps are hard to beat.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandu View Post

Since it is a small deck (14x16) and assuming it will be at most, a moderate volume level, 50w should be plenty. There are similar 20-25w amps that would probably be fine as well. I run Boston Acoustic Voyagers on my patio and don't think I've ever even hit 10w output. Considering a 5 days of use per year, good value -- 'bang for the buck', with the added benefit of small size, these mini-amps are hard to beat.
+1 50 watts is plenty of power for your purpose the tripath amps are great for such purposes can mount on wall and never get hot. fwiw, I have a lepai 2020a tripath amp($26 at parts express) for my 12x16 patio speakers attached to the wall next to my outdoor light switch .its small, light , convenient and its plenty loud enough for me.

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:30 AM
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I think it would work if you wanted it to work.  Meaning....  if you enjoyed it for what it is.  We've done a couple movies out in the field and for that, we used a 16' wide screen and some huge (about 7 1/2' wide) horn speakers.

 

On other occasions, we've had movies on our porch.  We used a bedsheet hanging by some clothes pins as the screen and my Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers for the sound.

 

Though it didn't compare to what we did in the field, the fact is, it worked just fine for what it was.  Easy to setup, easy to take down.

 

Only issue is, the wife insisted the speakers were "out of the way" which meant on a table to the side so the visuals were in front of us and the voices were to the right.  Oh well, I love her anyway.

 

smile.gif

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Old 05-24-2013, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Outstanding! Thank you all so much.

I looked at all of the smaller Class-T amps and many of the reviews mention needing a better and more powerful power supply. For those of you running these amps, did you upgrade the power supply? E.g for the Lepai 2020a Tripath.

I do love that they have bass/treble controls as well as a 3.5 input so that guest can plug their phones in directly in case they want to listen to something specific.

Another question: I see that some of you are using these amps outside. How do you protect them from the elements? I can't imagine that these will hold up in the rain and snow here in Denver.

Thanks again everyone, this is all really helpful.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:00 PM
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fwiw, I never upgraded the power supply on my lepai 2020 and its held up for 2 years. I have mine located inside of garage screwed to the wall out of the elements hooked up to a pair of boston acoustics voyager60's. just add a iphone or mp3 player and your set to go. for $26 (+$5 off this week for the holiday at parts express ) pick one up and try it out, if not satisfied with the amp or if you really think you need more power like the Dayton t- amp,just return it. parts express is very good on returns
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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fwiw, I never upgraded the power supply on my lepai 2020 and its held up for 2 years. I have mine located inside of garage screwed to the wall out of the elements hooked up to a pair of boston acoustics voyager60's. just add a iphone or mp3 player and your set to go. for $26 (+$5 off this week for the holiday at parts express ) pick one up and try it out, if not satisfied with the amp or if you really think you need more power like the Dayton t- amp,just return it. parts express is very good on returns

Great, thanks! I'm going to pick up the Polks and the Lepai 2020 Tripath. Given that Amazon has both available, I'll probably just pick everything up from there. I may even look in to the upgraded power supply - though I'm not sure exactly which one is needed.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by xerxes717 View Post

Great, thanks! I'm going to pick up the Polks and the Lepai 2020 Tripath. Given that Amazon has both available, I'll probably just pick everything up from there. I may even look in to the upgraded power supply - though I'm not sure exactly which one is needed.

Thanks again everyone!
amazon sells replacement power supply a 12v4a would be largest I go with that little amp just make sure the barrel head will fit the amp .the lepai amp comes with a 12v2a power supply

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Old 05-25-2013, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xerxes717 View Post

Great, thanks! I'm going to pick up the Polks and the Lepai 2020 Tripath. Given that Amazon has both available, I'll probably just pick everything up from there. I may even look in to the upgraded power supply - though I'm not sure exactly which one is needed.

Thanks again everyone!
amazon sells replacement power supply a 12v4a would be largest I go with that little amp just make sure the barrel head will fit the amp .the lepai amp comes with a 12v2a power supply

Thanks!
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