Configuring Zone 2 on an Onkyo and Configuring Whole-Home Speakers - AVS Forum
Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Configuring Zone 2 on an Onkyo and Configuring Whole-Home Speakers
ayemac's Avatar ayemac 07:32 PM 01-22-2013
I'm no audiophile, so let's make that clear up front. I'm trying to do a number of things in my home with A/V, one of which is to connect a receiver to a whole-home speaker setup (already in place when we purchased the home). I might add that all speakers have a volume control on the wall for every pair. Please have patience with me.

I have a number of questions, so please advise if I need to post somewhere else within AVS. The first:

1) On my Onkyo TX-SR606 receiver, I believe I have the capabilities to run 7.1 or 5.1 plus zone 2. As it is right now, I'm just trying to run speakers that are connected throughout my house, so I'm not interested in the home theater setup. I figured out to enable zone 2 (hardware\activate zone 2). But:
A) The zone 2 audio is different than the rest of the house (different audio levels).
B) The zone 2 is a manual push button, and it stays on even after I shut off the receiver.

My question is can I somehow configure the receiver so that when I turn the audio up or down it adjusts all speakers - including zone 2? I can ajust zone 2 audio independently, but ideally I'd like it to be synonymous. Also, can I set zone 2 so that it shuts off when I turn the receiver off? As it is right now, it's a two-step process: shut off the receiver; shut off zone 2.

2) I have whole-home audio. I have volume controls for each pair of speakers. One pair seems much louder than the rest, and the volume control on the wall doesn't affect the audio levels. I assumed that the module was broken, so I bought another one. When I disconnected the "broken" module, I found that the speakers still worked - even without the module connected at all.

Doesn't that imply that this pair of speakers are not connected to the volume control at all? I get the impression that the previous owners tried to get it working and instead ran the wiring directly to the receiver (thus skipping the volume control). I have a slew of L+, L-, R+, R- wires, but I surely thought this all had to be connected in order to hear audio from these pair of speakers.

3) Any suggestions on a receiver that would be suitable for my speakers long term? For now, I'm leveraging the Onkyo. Long term I'll relocate that receiver to my basement for my home theater. I had an audio specialist come over and look at it, and he suggested a $700 Yamaha. That seemed pretty steep to me. I know zone 2 is an option I need to look for. Ideally I'd have similar audio levels pushed to all speakers. So that you're aware, I have 10 speakers total (five pair) - every two has its own volume control. I do not know the wattage/amps/ohms or whatever is needed before determining the receiver. I'm sure that's important to know ahead of time.

Again, sorry for the long winded questions. If I need to repost part of this somewhere else, let me know.


jdsmoothie's Avatar jdsmoothie 04:25 AM 01-23-2013
1. When connecting an additional set of speakers as Zone 2 to the AVR, you'll generally never want to go beyond 2 pairs of speakers when the AVR is also powering a 5.1 setup. As you're not using the 606 in the home theater, a Zone 2 configuration should not even be a consideration. Rather instead, connect to the FL/FR speaker posts and when you add another AVR in your home theater, you can connect it to the 606 via the Zone 2 pre-outs on the new AVR.

2. Yes, it would seem the volume control was bypassed which would account for the volume difference. Note that the volume controls should ideally have "impedance" dip switches that can be set based on the total number of speakers being added so as not to cause the AVR to go into protection mode.

3. As the 606 is a dated HDMI 1.3 model which only uses the lowest version of Audyssey 2EQ (cannot EQ the sub), suggest keeping it where it's at powering the whole home speaker setup and upgrading to a more current model for your home theater, ideally one with at least Audyssey MultEQ. In the Denon lineup you can review post #2 of the Denon AVR-XX13 Owner's thread linked in my sig to see a comparison of the various models and what features you think you might want to have in an AVR.
ayemac's Avatar ayemac 10:14 PM 01-23-2013
Thanks for the response.

1. "Rather instead, connect to the FL/FR speaker posts" - I already have speakers connected to the FL/FR posts. The whole home speaker setup already consists of 10 total speakers. I'm just trying to connect one pair (two speakers) to the Zone 2 connectors. With that said, are you suggesting that I move them off of Zone 2 and instead pair them up with ANOTHER pair on the FL/FR?

2. "Note that the volume controls should ideally have "impedance" dip switches" - They do indeed. As it is right now, however, I haven't even connected the volume control module (yet the speakers still push sound).

3. I'd sure hate to spend $500 - $700 or even more on something that I don't even know if I'd recognize the difference. I was thinking of an Airplay capable receiver for the whole home (10 speakers) and then move this Onkyo to my HT. You're saying that I'd get better results from a new AVR for my HT and just leave the Onkyo 606 for the whole home? Didn't think of that, but that might be a better option.
jdsmoothie's Avatar jdsmoothie 03:53 AM 01-24-2013
1. Yes. Zone 2 is limited to the sources it can receive (ie. no HDMI or optical/digital coax).
2. Right. You want to get it installed so the AVR sees the proper impedance and doesn't shut down in protection mode.
3. Yes. Network audio (to include Airplay) will pass to Zone 2 so with a Zone 2, networking model (eg. Denon AVR-2113CI), you could have up to a full 7.1 in the main zone and connect the Zone 2 pre-outs to the 606 to pass an Airplay source to the whole house speakers.
Shadey123's Avatar Shadey123 03:20 AM 02-22-2013
Is another option to use a 5.1 setup in the theatre room. And to use zone 2 option to wire a separate amp, and from this power the speakers around the house? I'm looking at doing something like this with my NR609. I dont really know what I am doing to be honest, but will consult with my electrician. So I will have pairs of speakers throughout the house, all with their own wall mounted volume control, wired back to the amp that takes as its only source the zone 2 feed from the onkyo.
jdsmoothie's Avatar jdsmoothie 03:27 AM 02-22-2013
Yes, using the separate dedicated amp for Zone 2 is the best and safest configuration.
Shadey123's Avatar Shadey123 03:52 AM 02-22-2013
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Yes, using the separate dedicated amp for Zone 2 is the best and safest configuration.

Thanks for this.

Any recommendations on what type of amp to look for? What is a good option regarding good value in-wall controls?

Am planning a house re-wire, so as well as pairs of speakers in each room. I can bring cat 5+ to the walls if that helps with cost/functionality regarding control.
jdsmoothie's Avatar jdsmoothie 03:59 AM 02-22-2013
No .. but you may want to review the Home A/V Distribution forum ....
ayemac's Avatar ayemac 01:34 PM 03-02-2013
JDSmoothie ~ You should REALLY get kickbacks from Denon! redface.gif) I've been doing some additional research, and on more than one occasion I've seen where people have read your links and replied, "Thanks...I'm buying a Denon!" Ha ha.

So, I've taken your advice above and think I've concluded on the model I'm after. I went to initially pick up the Denon 1912 but leaned on the 2112 for the MultEQ XT. But then...I found that they had the 2113 out (assuming the "12" and "13" represents the year...?). So I'm bent on picking up the 2113 at this point and leaving my older Onkyo upstairs powering my whole home. it's not ideal, but within my budget. (Honestly I was THIS CLOSE to picking up two Nuvo P3100 devices and connecting EVERYTHING, but then my costs skyrocketed. As my wife keeps saying, "Does it really matter?" Sigh...)

So before I pick up the 2113, any objections? From your posts, I'm guessing you'll be a full advocate for it for what I'm trying to do. The only thing I might want to consider is a two-HDMI out option. Currently I have three TVs that run off the same signal. I read in one of your posts that an HDMI splitter limits to 2D only. That is not a concern of mine really. The only reason to output to multiple TVs is to limit having ONE MORE DIRECTV RECEIVER and thus getting charged for it. Currently I run component to one (smaller 24" at the bar) as I don't need sound there and then an HDMI splitter to my other 52" TV around the corner. It works, but is there a better option for multiple HDMI outs that might resolve this? Or just roll with it...?

Thanks, man. Youre advice is, as always, insightful and useful!
jdsmoothie's Avatar jdsmoothie 02:03 PM 03-02-2013
The 2113CI would seem to be a good choice for you, although note that the XX13 series was released last summer 2012. The new 2013 models have yet to be announced by Denon but should be released later this spring. Your current HDMI splitter configuration is likely your best bet.
ayemac's Avatar ayemac 04:15 PM 03-02-2013
Thanks, man. Good to know on the release date (which implies there's a 2114 coming in a few months, eh?). I went ahead and picked up the 2113CI. Won't have it until Sat. Thanks, man - really appreciate it.
ayemac's Avatar ayemac 07:15 PM 04-18-2013
Hopefully this message reaches the appropriate target audience.

I now have the Denon 2113. It's installed, functioning properly, and I really, really like it. Here's my dilemma at this point:

I previously had four speakers in the ceiling prior to running new in-ceiling speakers for 7.1 surround. Three of the four were in other locations around my ceiling that didn't tie into where my new surround layout was going. Because one of the four did, I just used that hole for one of my new speakers.

I'd like to somehow tie the other three into this level of the house's WHA. I initally thought I could connect two of them together and then connect those to one of the speaker jacks. I realize that I'm cutting the output (I think) in half. This is something I don't know if I'll do or if I'll just leverage two of the three remaining speakers and leave the third without connectivity.

My question is where do I connect them? I thought Zone 2, but Zone 2 on this receiver is composite connections - and only one at that (see attached). I'm assuming that there is an adapter that has composite connection on one side and speaker wire connections on the other. If so, I could leverage that (I believe). But would that only allow me to connect, in effect, one speaker?

In addition, I kicked on AirPlay to listen to iTunes from my iPad. The only speakers that provided output were the two front (L/R) speakers. Is there a way to distribute the sound to all speakers - including the one(s) that I'm referencing above?

jdsmoothie's Avatar jdsmoothie 07:17 PM 04-18-2013
Now that you own the 2113CI, any further questions are better posted in the 2012 Denon AVR-XX13 Owner's thread linked in my sig. smile.gif
ayemac's Avatar ayemac 07:26 PM 04-18-2013
Got it. Thx.
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