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post #1 of 55 Old 07-11-2013, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello:

I have limited knowledge of speakers so please bare with me...

I am in the process of having my basement redone so everything is open. Would like some advice on putting in ceiling speakers just for music. No need for stereo surround or anything down there, it will just be for listening to music on a moderate to sometimes loud level. My basement is setup in a way that is 2 big rooms. 1 side is about 26' x 15' with a small hallway connecxting the other side that is about 12' x 18'. ( I have attached an image of the layout) (the gray line is a boxed out I-Beam about 8 inches lower than the ceiling)

I am thinking of using 4 - Polk RC6s (since they are stereo input speakers) and conecting them with 14 gauge wire to a 4 channel volume control panel. (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10903&cs_id=1090307&p_id=8232&seq=1&format=2) The monoprice is the chepest I could find.

Here are some of my questions:
Are the 4 speakers enough for the area?
Any recommendations with this setup or should I do something different?
I did't want to put volume controls for each speaker as a wall switch but would do it if it is a good idea to wire that way?

I have alos looked at Pyle - http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Pyle-4-room-In-ceiling-Speaker-System/4762769/product.html
Includes everything for pretty cheap. But have read bad things about them. Any thoughts on Pyle?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 55 Old 07-11-2013, 10:13 PM
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I wouldn't use dual tweeter speakers for a large area like that.  You need coverage to get consistent levels throughout the room.  8 speakers would be better and go with models that have larger 8-10" woofers for better bass.  There are some programs online that help determine the number of speakers needed for a given room size for good coverage.

 

It doesn't matter if the volume controls are on the wall or all built into a unit like the mono price.  I'm not sure what your budget is but be wary of going too cheap with electronics.  Unfortunately, this industry is riddled with a lot of snake oil salesman selling low end stuff for high end prices.  But there is still a lot of you get what you pay for too.  Caveat Emptor.

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post #3 of 55 Old 07-12-2013, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

I wouldn't use dual tweeter speakers for a large area like that.  You need coverage to get consistent levels throughout the room.  8 speakers would be better and go with models that have larger 8-10" woofers for better bass.  There are some programs online that help determine the number of speakers needed for a given room size for good coverage.

It doesn't matter if the volume controls are on the wall or all built into a unit like the mono price.  I'm not sure what your budget is but be wary of going too cheap with electronics.  Unfortunately, this industry is riddled with a lot of snake oil salesman selling low end stuff for high end prices.  But there is still a lot of you get what you pay for too.  Caveat Emptor.


Any recommendations for a speaker then?
So no on single stereo speaker?

thanks!
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post #4 of 55 Old 07-12-2013, 08:33 PM
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The only place for a single stereo speaker would be that bathroom.  You probably need at least 6 speakers to cover that area for both rooms.  Some of it would depend on layout, no need to put speakers where people don't congregate.  Height of ceiling and height of listeners factor in determining the ideal layout.  For an 8 ft ceiling and people seated you would want speakers less than every 6ft, if they are standing less than every 4ft. If the ceilings are higher than you can place speaker further apart.  But, for general background listening and occasional party mode I wouldn't go too crazy trying to get the best uniform coverage.  The other factor is budget.  You'll get a lot of suggestions based off of budget.

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post #5 of 55 Old 07-12-2013, 08:57 PM
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As far as speaker brands, go with a respectable speaker company.  A company that is buying the cheapest stuff from overseas and doesn't have a speaker designer on staff or provide decent measurements is not going to have better quality speakers but they will be cheaper.  Sometimes cheap is good, sometimes cheap is just that.  Anyway, there are many respectable speaker brands and Polk is one of them.  Others off the top of my head in no particular order.

 

Paradigm, Episode, Triad, Tannoy, Proficient, Speakercraft, Sonance, Atlantic Technology, KEF, Monitor Audio, B&W, Polk, Boston Acoustics, JBL, Niles, Yamaha, Klipsch, Definitive Technology, and probably a lot more I am not thinking of at the moment.

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post #6 of 55 Old 07-13-2013, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for replying!!!

The height of the basement ceiling is less than 8 feet. I think it is 7' 5" to be exact...

So I can go with a single stereo speaker for the bathroom? And 6 for the rest of the area? Is that enough coverage?

I was looking at these 8" from monoprice:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10837&cs_id=1083703&p_id=4929&seq=1&format=2

I was also looking at the 8" Polks. MC80, RC80 and TC80. Money really isn't an issue. I don't think $150 for a pair of speakers is that much. But I don't want to go crazy either. Does Polk have an in stereo speaker I can use for the bathroom? Couldn't find anything online...
I Can set up the wiring now and get the speakers at a later date if need be since it is under construction.

Could you offer some advice as to the layout of the speakers?
One in the bathroom is easy but need help as to where to put the other speakers. I assume you mean 4 in the large room and 2 in the other? But in your first post you suggested 8. Would they just go in the corners or staggered across the ceiling making something like a "W" pattern but without the last line for 4 speakers? Hope that made sense smile.gif


Thanks again!
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post #7 of 55 Old 07-13-2013, 04:34 PM
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Ideally you would have six speakers in the main room and 4 in the smaller room for good even coverage.  This would be ideal for a conference room, classroom, etc. where you don't want areas much louder than others and intelligibility is important for all listeners.  For most background music in the home you could go 4 in the main room and two in the smaller room.   If this is a stereo system you don't want to use a 'W' or other type of placement for coverage such as hex patterns.  Those are better for mono systems, you could use a mono system which is common in commercial spaces.  They are called constant volt systems and 70 volt being the most common in the U.S.

 

Stereo you want the left speakers on one side and the right speakers on the other.  If your joist are spaced 16" apart you could put the speakers 64" apart and keep them about that from each wall, if you have 12" spacing then put the speakers 60" apart.  If there are areas that listeners won't be then use a closer equidistant spacing and don't worry that area.

 

Polk makes the SC6s and the RC6s for a single stereo speaker for the bathroom.  A little pricey MSRP but can be found for less. 

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post #8 of 55 Old 07-13-2013, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks so much for your help!

So if I were to go with 4 in the main room I should make a square pattern with the speakers? Lefts on one side and the rights on the other. And if I did go with 6 I would put 3 on one side and 3 on the other. Long ways in the room...

So the Polk RC80is are good?

I see they sell ceiling brackets for new construction? Is that necessary?

Also, how would I wire speakers together for volume control. If I put 4 or 6 speakers in the large room, do they get wired all together first with 14/2 and then to the switch and then 14/4 cable to the amplifier?

Sorry for all the questions...
and thanks!
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post #9 of 55 Old 07-13-2013, 08:16 PM
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Polks are decent at their discounted prices, maybe a but pricey at MSRP.  If you are drywalling the ceiling then definitely ceiling brackets.  The drywallers will cut the holes if you have the brackets there which is much easier than cutting them after its up.  If you are going with a drop ceiling no need for the ceiling brackets.  It depends what you are using for an amp, source and control what I'd use for volume controls, if I'd use them at all.

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post #10 of 55 Old 07-14-2013, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Everything will be basic - amp and source. I do plan on having volume control in the 3 areas - main room, secondary and bathroom. So it will be a 3 zone layout.
I have no idea what wiring in parallel or series means and from what I have read, you wire the lefts and rights to the volume control knob and then from there 14/4 back to the amp. But the volume control only has the hookup for the one set of each so do I pigtail the wires?

I really just want to run the wire now and hang the brackets. I want to know how to run the 6 speakers to one volume control. Do all the wires go to the volume control or connect to one another and then the lst one to the volume control and then a 14/4 cable from the volume control to where the amp will be...

Thanks!
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post #11 of 55 Old 07-15-2013, 04:32 AM
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Yes, you run the 3 pairs of speakers to the volume control and then set the impedance matching circuit of the volume amount to the correct impedance (4x) for this example.  You will have to pigtail it as it is unlikely all the wires will fit on the connector.  The speakers are connected in parallel which means all the black wires are connected together and placed in the '-' terminal and all the red wires (or white depending on wire) are connected together and placed in the '+' terminal.

 

 When you start adding multiple speakers to one volume control a 70V system starts to make more sense but the wiring is different. So you have to decide that before wiring.

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post #12 of 55 Old 07-15-2013, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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70V? More confusion...

Let's stick with what I think I understand now. I will just be adding the wire now with speakers/volume control and amp or speaker selector to come at a later date.
Attached is a diagram that Ihave drawn up. see any issues with this?
speakerWiring.gif 19k .gif file

I was thinking I could either get an expensive amplifier to hook it all up or get a cheap speaker selector and hook that to my existing reciever.

I saw this speaker slector on monoprice:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10903&cs_id=1090305&p_id=9995&seq=1&format=6#faq

I planned on running all the volume controls to a wall plate by the amp/speaker selector. Is this what i would use?
http://www.amazon.com/Post-Speaker-Wall-Plate-Speakers/dp/B0017HXP9S/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_2

thanks again for all the help!!!
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post #13 of 55 Old 07-15-2013, 04:03 PM
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The wall plate is fine.  For an amplifier trying to power that many speakers I would use a multichannel amplifier instead of a stereo amplifier or receiver with a speaker selector.  Too many impedance matching circuits in the chain is not good.  I would avoid cheap electronics when it comes to impedance switches and volume controls.

 

If you use a multichannel amplifier you would need a 6 channel amplifier (3 stereo channels).  The first speaker pair from the amp you would wire to the volume control set at 4x with the 3 pairs of speakers in the main room wired to it.  The second speaker pair would go to the volume control set at 2x and wired to the 2 pairs of speakers in the smaller room.  The third speaker pair from the amp would go to the volume control set at 1x (Or you don't need an impedance matching volume control here) and then to the bathroom speaker.

 

If you use a stereo amp or receiver you still do not need a speaker selector but all the volume controls would be set to 8x.

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post #14 of 55 Old 07-16-2013, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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So no need for a speaker selector? And Imdeance mathcing is only for a pair of speakers?
I've been looking for volume controls with impedance matching and can't seem to find any that will handle more than 2 pairs of speakers. I spoke to a rep at Niles and they said their switches will only handle up to 2 pair of speakers. So now I am rethinking the zones.
I think I will add a couple of more zones since everything is open and just put the wire in place for now.
So here is what I plan on doing now:
speakerWiring6Zone.gif 30k .gif file


I would a 6 zone/12 Channel Amp.
Main Room A- Impedance matching Volume Control set at 4x
Main Room B- Impedance matching Volume Control set at 2x
Guest Room- Impedance matching Volume Control set at 2x
Bathroom- no impedance matching necessary
Laundry Room- no impedance matching necessary
Outdoor- Impedance matching Volume Control set at 2x

I do have a few more questions smile.gif

I saw volume controls that are Impedance Magnifying and then Impedance Mathcing. Is there a difference?

I came across a connecting block as well. Should that be used?
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_543EZB1SC/Russound-EZB-1SC.html?tp=9414&s=0

It looks as if all the volume controls can be connected to that and then only 1 stereo output on the amplifier. Does that mean there would be no need for a 6 zone/12 channel amplifier?
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post #15 of 55 Old 07-16-2013, 09:40 PM
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Yes, there is no need for a speaker selector unless you want a central area to turn them on/off.  Impedance magnifying is the same.  Connecting blocks are fine to make the wiring neater.  There are many different types and some less expensive.

 

Impedance matching is for multiple pairs of speakers.  Time to get technical.  When you wire speakers together in parallel their impedance is halved.  So if you have an 8 ohm speaker wiring another one in parallel will make it 4 ohms, 3 speakers would be 2.66 ohms and 4 speakers would be 2 ohms.  These lower impedances are tough for an amp to drive.  With all this talk about impedance one thing is often forgotten.  Speakers vary in impedance depending on frequency.  So an "8 ohm" speaker might be 3 ohms at 50hz and 20 ohms at 2 kHz.  So the amp needs to see a higher impedance so its protection circuits don't shut it down.

 

Because wiring speakers in parallel will probably put the amp into protection mode we need to have the amp see a different impedance than the speakers.  We do this with an impedance matching circuit.  These circuits are built into the impedance matching volume controls.  But, we need to know the number of speakers and the 'nominal' impedance.

 

To figure the volume control settings we first need to know what the 'nominal' impedance of the speaker is.  I'll use 8 ohms as an example.  Take that number and divide by the number of speakers in that channel.  So 8 ohms divided by 4 speakers = 2 ohms.  If the amplifier is rated for 8 ohm speakers then divide it by the 2 ohm load.  8 ohms / 2 ohms = 4.  The volume control needs to be set to 4x.  So it multiplies the 2 ohm load by 4 so the amplifier sees an 8 ohm load.  The Niles VCS-100 will work fine just needs the multiplier switch set correctly.

 

Your layout would be fine with a 6 zone/ 12 channels amplifier,  With this many speakers I would use the multi zone/ channel amp.  It is just too much to power that many speakers from a single stereo amp.

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post #16 of 55 Old 07-17-2013, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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That explains it! thanks so much!I do plan on going with a 6 zone/12 channel amp so I should be good.

So no need for impedance matching switched for just 1 pair of speakers? the only impedance matching switch would be the one for the 2 pair in the main room?

No need for that connecting block in my setup?
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_543EZB1SC/Russound-EZB-1SC.html?tp=9414&s=0


I am thinking about making the guest room just a little home theater room. Nothing too fancy.
If I remove that zone it would get it's own AVR and the amp would be connected to that or vice versa?
Sorry if that is a dumb question, just trying to understand it all.

Oh yeah, two last wiring questions, I promise:
For the outdoor speakers, do I use outdoor wire from the amp to the outdoor switch or can I use in wall cable for that and then outdoor wire from the switch to the speakers?
When wiring the 2 pair of speakers, my orginal though was to run 14/2 from the left speaker to the right and then to the switch. Would it be better to homerun each speaker to the switch and then pigtail them there instead of in the ceiling?


Thanks again for all the help! I really do appreciate it!
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post #17 of 55 Old 07-17-2013, 02:37 PM
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i pair of speakers can use a regular volume control or set the impedance setting to 1x.  No need for the connecting block, that would be for a stereo amp to multiple pairs of speakers.  You are much better off with the 6 zone/12 channel amp.

 

For the HT room wire the feed (not speaker cable) to the receiver if you want sound from the whole house music to play in the HT.

 

Outdoor cable should be direct burial cable which usually is rated for in wall as well but not vice versa.  Direct burial cable has a coating of oil to help prevent corrosion of wires.  Once it goes outside you need direct burial wire unless the speakers are mounted to the house then in wall wire is fine.  So you could run in wall wire from the amp to a switch or volume control and from there direct burial wire to the outside.

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=102-1064

 

2 pairs od speakers.  Amp to volume control.  Left and right is treated individually.  Both left speakers to the volume control, both right speakers to the volume control.  You can pigtail out go the volume control if it is easier to make connections in the ceiling.  Unless it is a drop ceiling I would go to the volume control in case of problems in the future.  It is much easier to diagnose then.

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post #18 of 55 Old 07-18-2013, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Once again, many thanks for the help!!!

So for my set up, I would only need one impedance matching volume control?

So to be safe it would be better to homerun the speaker wire from each speaker to the volume control. That would make any future problems easier to fix.

So for every volume control it is 2 sets of 14/2 wire to the amp. One for left and one for right even for the 2 pair of speaker setup?

So wiring would be (from speakers to Volume to amp):
Main Room A- (2 pair) 4 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Main Room B- (1 pair) 2 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Guest Room- (1 pair) 2 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Bathroom- (1 single stereo) 2 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Laundry Room- (1 single stereo) 2 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Outdoor- (1 pair) 2 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.

And can the in-wall wire be run along the side of the house to the volume control without enclosing in PVC? I plan to come out of the house and up the wall about 3-4 feet and into the box...

Thanks!
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post #19 of 55 Old 07-18-2013, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zephed666 View Post

Once again, many thanks for the help!!!

So for my set up, I would only need one impedance matching volume control? Yes

So to be safe it would be better to homerun the speaker wire from each speaker to the volume control. That would make any future problems easier to fix. Yes

So for every volume control it is 2 sets of 14/2 wire to the amp. One for left and one for right even for the 2 pair of speaker setup? Yes, or one set of 14/4 which is a little easier to run.

So wiring would be (from speakers to Volume to amp):
Main Room A- (2 pair) 4 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Main Room B- (1 pair) 2 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Guest Room- (1 pair) 2 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Bathroom- (1 single stereo) 2 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Laundry Room- (1 single stereo) 2 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Outdoor- (1 pair) 2 14/2 wires to the volume control - 2 14/2 wires from VC to amp.
Looks Good.
And can the in-wall wire be run along the side of the house to the volume control without enclosing in PVC? I plan to come out of the house and up the wall about 3-4 feet and into the box… That should be fine for 3-4 feet against the house.

Thanks!
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post #20 of 55 Old 07-19-2013, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks sop much for your help! It is very much appreciated!

I was just going to buy a large spool of 14/2 wire. Figure I'll measure everything first and see what I need. Probably at least a 500 foot roll.
Didn't want to buy any 14/4 wire.

I guess if I did I could run the 14/4 wire from the single stereo speakers to the VC as well?

Thanks!
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post #21 of 55 Old 07-19-2013, 06:59 AM
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If you are going to buy a large spool don't worry about it.  Yes, you could use 14/4 to the single stereo speakers.  You'll have to see how the distances work out and whether it is better to buy a couple smaller spools of each type and have less wires to pull and manage or just use the one type with a larger spool.

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post #22 of 55 Old 07-19-2013, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again!!!
Will be wiring in a couple of weeks when the work gets started. I'll be in touch if I need help and to let you know how it went!
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post #23 of 55 Old 08-15-2013, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

If you are going to buy a large spool don't worry about it.  Yes, you could use 14/4 to the single stereo speakers.  You'll have to see how the distances work out and whether it is better to buy a couple smaller spools of each type and have less wires to pull and manage or just use the one type with a larger spool.

Hi Bob:

Just started wiring and figured I'd ask a quick question. I ended up buying some 14/4 wire and figure I will wire 14/4 from the volume controls to the amp location so I only need to pull one wire at a time. Is this ok?

Alos, I decided to cut down some speakers. just going to go with 4 in the main room, 2 in the guest room and 2 outside. So i will get a 3 zone/6 channel amp.

A question I have with this setup is, I want to set up a 5.1 HT as well. Is it better to get one receiver to handle everything or the receiver AND the amp combined?

thanks again!
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post #24 of 55 Old 08-15-2013, 11:18 AM
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14/4 from the amp to the volume controls is fine.

 

for the 5.1 system are you referring to having amps for the 5.1 system and just using the receiver as the pre-amp or are you trying to integrate the 5.1 system with the music system?

 

I would keep the 5.1 system separate and whether to add amp for it would depend on what speakers you are using with it and how loud do you expect to play it?

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post #25 of 55 Old 08-15-2013, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

14/4 from the amp to the volume controls is fine.

for the 5.1 system are you referring to having amps for the 5.1 system and just using the receiver as the pre-amp or are you trying to integrate the 5.1 system with the music system?

I would keep the 5.1 system separate and whether to add amp for it would depend on what speakers you are using with it and how loud do you expect to play it?

I am trying to figure out the best way to set it up. I assumed I would have to hook the 3 zone amp to the HT receiver in order to be able to play the ipod music and cds to the ceiling mounted speakers? Is there another setup?
I wasn't going to hook the HT to the amp for power.

My thought was to run all the ceiling speakers to the amp, connect that amp to the receiver in order to play the music. Is there a receiver out there that would handle a 5.1 surround sound as well as a multi zone set up? Or is it better to run the speakers to the amp and control the amp with the reiever?
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post #26 of 55 Old 08-15-2013, 12:17 PM
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You can run an audio out from the receiver to the 3 zone amp.  Not all receivers have an audio out so you have to check that.  The better receivers will have a zone 2 output and can play something different on the music system than what is plating on the receiver's 5.1 system.  This isn't a big concern if you only want the music system to play what's in the home theater.

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You can run an audio out from the receiver to the 3 zone amp.  Not all receivers have an audio out so you have to check that.  The better receivers will have a zone 2 output and can play something different on the music system than what is plating on the receiver's 5.1 system.  This isn't a big concern if you only want the music system to play what's in the home theater.

So I should be ok as long as the receiver has an audio out hook up that I can connect to the amp. I assume all amps should have an audio in hook up?

Is a Pre Out (zone 2) the same as audio out? I was looking at this receiver to connect everything:
http://in-command.denon.com/products/avrx1000

So my final scenario is this:

3 zones all controlled with a Volume control. All speakers are wired as home runs to the volume control with 14/2 wire. 14/4 wire from the volume control to a six speaker wall plate
6speaker.gif 27k .gif file

I will connect the zones from the wall plate to the 3 zone amp and then to the receiver....

Missing anything? smile.gif

THANKS!
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post #28 of 55 Old 08-15-2013, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BobL View Post

You can run an audio out from the receiver to the 3 zone amp.  Not all receivers have an audio out so you have to check that.  The better receivers will have a zone 2 output and can play something different on the music system than what is plating on the receiver's 5.1 system.  This isn't a big concern if you only want the music system to play what's in the home theater.

So I should be ok as long as the receiver has an audio out hook up that I can connect to the amp. I assume all amps should have an audio in hook up?

Is a Pre Out (zone 2) the same as audio out? I was looking at this receiver to connect everything:
http://in-command.denon.com/products/avrx1000

So my final scenario is this:

3 zones all controlled with a Volume control. All speakers are wired as home runs to the volume control with 14/2 wire. 14/4 wire from the volume control to a six speaker wall plate
6speaker.gif 27k .gif file

I will connect the zones from the wall plate to the 3 zone amp and then to the receiver....

Missing anything? smile.gif

THANKS!
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post #29 of 55 Old 08-16-2013, 01:37 AM
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That wall plate is fine and the Denon will work well.  How you connect it will depend on usage and your sources.  That Denon is a little sparse for audio inputs. Here are some ways to connect it.

 

Source (CD player, iPod, etc) > Analog input of Denon > Zone 2 Pre-out of Denon > Amp.   This will allow 2 devices plus the built in sources of the Denon (i.e. Radio, network functions) to played with the multi zone amp.  It will also allow something different to be played through the ceiling speakers while a different source is playing on the 5.1.  All connections for sources to the Denon that you want to play through the ceiling speaker system need an analog connection.  For instance.  Let's say you have a cable or satellite box you want connected to use in both areas.  You can connect to the Denon with HDMI for the 5.1 system, but you still need to run a separate left and right audio from that device into one of the Denon's analog inputs to get sound out of the Zone 2 pre-out for the ceiling speaker system.  Zone2 will NOT play digital sources like HDMI, or something connected to the digital or optical in.  This is important for gear selection.  If you plan to use a Blu-Ray player for the 5.1 system but would also like to hear the sound in the Zone2 ceiling speaker system make sure the Blu-Ray player has analog outputs as well as HDMI.  This is not common on lower end Blu-ray players and some Cable/Sat boxes.

 

Another way to connect it is if the zone amp has an audio output.  Source > 3 zone amp > Denon.  This only works well if the zone amp has some way of selecting sources or you only care about having one source connected to it but also want to hear that source on the 5.1 system.

 

A last comment about using multiple zones and receivers.  If you are listening to something like the cable box and have HDMI and analog connections you will get a delay in sound for the 5.1 system compared to the ceiling speaker system.  This can be noticeable if the areas are adjacent.  This happens because the 5.1 system takes a little extra time to convert the signals from digital to analog and decode the surround signal for the 5.1 area the Zone2 uses the analog connection and there is no delay.  Some of the Yamaha receivers (Aventage 830 and up models) get around this limitation by using a 'Party' mode which sends the digital signal to both the 5.1 and zone2.  I'm not sure if the Denon has an equivalent 'Party' mode but most receivers don't.  I didn't see anything like that listed on the Denon. This won't be a concern unless the areas are adjacent where you will hear this effect.

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Originally Posted by BobL View Post

That wall plate is fine and the Denon will work well.  How you connect it will depend on usage and your sources.  That Denon is a little sparse for audio inputs. Here are some ways to connect it.

Source (CD player, iPod, etc) > Analog input of Denon > Zone 2 Pre-out of Denon > Amp.   This will allow 2 devices plus the built in sources of the Denon (i.e. Radio, network functions) to played with the multi zone amp.  It will also allow something different to be played through the ceiling speakers while a different source is playing on the 5.1.  All connections for sources to the Denon that you want to play through the ceiling speaker system need an analog connection.  For instance.  Let's say you have a cable or satellite box you want connected to use in both areas.  You can connect to the Denon with HDMI for the 5.1 system, but you still need to run a separate left and right audio from that device into one of the Denon's analog inputs to get sound out of the Zone 2 pre-out for the ceiling speaker system.  Zone2 will NOT play digital sources like HDMI, or something connected to the digital or optical in.  This is important for gear selection.  If you plan to use a Blu-Ray player for the 5.1 system but would also like to hear the sound in the Zone2 ceiling speaker system make sure the Blu-Ray player has analog outputs as well as HDMI.  This is not common on lower end Blu-ray players and some Cable/Sat boxes.

Another way to connect it is if the zone amp has an audio output.  Source > 3 zone amp > Denon.  This only works well if the zone amp has some way of selecting sources or you only care about having one source connected to it but also want to hear that source on the 5.1 system.

A last comment about using multiple zones and receivers.  If you are listening to something like the cable box and have HDMI and analog connections you will get a delay in sound for the 5.1 system compared to the ceiling speaker system.  This can be noticeable if the areas are adjacent.  This happens because the 5.1 system takes a little extra time to convert the signals from digital to analog and decode the surround signal for the 5.1 area the Zone2 uses the analog connection and there is no delay.  Some of the Yamaha receivers (Aventage 830 and up models) get around this limitation by using a 'Party' mode which sends the digital signal to both the 5.1 and zone2.  I'm not sure if the Denon has an equivalent 'Party' mode but most receivers don't.  I didn't see anything like that listed on the Denon. This won't be a concern unless the areas are adjacent where you will hear this effect.

Thanks again for all your help! I could always bump up to the next Denon receiver:
http://in-command.denon.com/products/avrx2000

Or maybe the avrx3000 to get the HDMI Zone 2 connection... smile.gif

I cannot foresee any instance where I would listen to the tv through the zones as well as the 5.1.
Would I be able to listen to cds on a blu-ray hooked up with the HDMI through the zones?

My ideal was just to have the 3 audio zones for casual listening throughout the house and the 5.1 area for the TV. I would like to stream Sirius to the ceiling speakers which I read that the Denon reciever has that capability.

I was going to wire rear speakers into the ceiling for now for the 5.1 setup since everything is open. The front and center will just sit on the shelves by the TV. I planned on using the polk RC6i speakers for the rear channels. any concerns with those or that should be ok?

The 2 inside zones will be using the Polk RC8i speakers. Need to find some good outdoor speakers for the final zone.

So I think I just need to find a good 3 zone/6 channel amp and will be good to go.

Do they actually make a receiver and 3 zone amp built in? Or would I need the 2 components?



I just mapped out my possible scenarios. My contractor thinks the 8" speakers are too big... speakersetup1.gif 34k .gif file
speakersetup2.gif 34k .gif file
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