I have outdoor speakers plus a 7.1 system. In shopping for a receiver, noticed some multi zone have seperate connections for zone 2 allowing me to keep all speakers connected. I also noticed that typically the more expensive units were the ones that did not have the seperate connections. Is there a recommendation here.
Filter with Multi-Room option if you want to see more models.
I would prefer Denon AVR-1913. But you can check higher models if you don't have budget constraints.
Go to the product details page in Crutchfield and see the heading "Multi-Room Audio"
line-level stereo audio output for 2nd room (separate amplification required for 2nd room speakers)
only analog audio sources can be played in the 2nd room
powered and line-level stereo audio output for 2nd room (using powered 2nd-room output allows 5.1 home theater in main room)
only analog sources can be played in the 2nd room
Sony Bravia HX800 55" 240Hz 3D LCD EdgeLit LED
Pioneer Elite SC-71 Receiver
PS4 and PS3 Slim (with 3D Blue Ray player)
Comcast Cable Xfinity X1 DVR (Panasonic HD-DVR)
Bowers & Wilkins 686B Book Shelf Speakers (Front L and R)
BIC America F-12 12" Subwoofer
In the Denon series you're looking for a "CI" model (eg. 2113CI, 2313CI, or 3313CI) as they feature full 7.1 in the main zone plust Zone 2 pre-outs to use a 2CH amp to power Zone 2 speakers. Review post #2 in the Denon AVR-XX13 Owner's thread linked in my sig for a comparison of the various models. Otherwise if you don't want to use an additional amp for the Zone 2 speakers, the Onkyo 717 and higher models would allow wiring all 9 speakers to the AVR, reducing to 5.1 in the main zone when you wanted the AVR to power the Zone 2 speakers.
I was actually going the route of Onkyo 616 which allows wiring of all speakers and the unit automatically steps down to 5.1 when zone 2 is on. The only reason I was leaning to the 1912/13 Denon was for multiEQ.