Zone 2, can I use a speaker switch or selector? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-11-2010, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an Onkyo TX-SR707 which has 7.2 speaker output with a Zone 2. Forgive my ignorance but from what I read it looks like in order to utilize Zone 2, I have to give up 7.1 and drop down to 5.1.

What I have is 11 speakers, plus sub, in my HT room. I just installed a pair of indoor/outdoor speakers on my deck and ran the speaker wire down the wall and out behind my stereo cabinet. I was going to just hook them up to Zone 2 but that is when I realized I have to give up 7.1 in my HT in order to do so.

I will use the outdoor speakers maybe 5% of the time. I hate the thought of giving up 7.1 in my HT for that 5% of listening time. So, my question is, can I get some sort of "switch" or "speaker selector" to control whether my outdoor speakers or my HT room gets the "zone 2" output? I was thinking I could live with 5.1 in the HT for that 5% of the time I'm using the outdoor speakers. Otherwise, I'd have full 7.1 in the HT. Make sense? Any advice would be appreciated and if you have a recommendation on what to buy, please say so. Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-11-2010, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I just read a little further into my manual on this. It looks like I can send the signal via RCA cables to a second amplifier and connect the outdoor speakers to that. This method would retain my 7.1 in the HT room. So I guess I could pick up a cheap amp or receiver to do this. Not sure which way would be cheaper or better (selector or second amp)?
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-11-2010, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augy123 View Post

Ok, I just read a little further into my manual on this. It looks like I can send the signal via RCA cables to a second amplifier and connect the outdoor speakers to that. This method would retain my 7.1 in the HT room. So I guess I could pick up a cheap amp or receiver to do this. Not sure which way would be cheaper or better (selector or second amp)?

I have the same receiver but have not set up a second zone. In my reading of the manual it indicates that when using the line out for zone 2 there is no volume control via the receiver for zone 2.

I guess your question comes down to personal preference. What i would probably do in this case is use a basic 2 channel amp placed inside the house somewhere reasonable and a speaker volume control something like this. Not a product recommendation, just for illustration. You can also find basic 2 channel amps on that site though.

I'd personally, like to have this control mounted outside so level can be adjusted while in the listening area. Either by finding a unit that is weatherproof or by mounting it in a weatherproof electrical box.

If you don't mind the volume control being inside, either a 2 channel receiver or an amp with a volume control will work fine. You may actually prefer the receiver or at least an amp with a second line level in. I find the ability for a friend to quickly plug in their ipod/phone to the outside speakers to be useful without having to go all the way to wherever the HT receiver is located (not to mention having to coach them through how to use the much more complicated HT receiver).
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-12-2010, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xianthax View Post

I have the same receiver but have not set up a second zone. In my reading of the manual it indicates that when using the line out for zone 2 there is no volume control via the receiver for zone 2.

I guess your question comes down to personal preference. What i would probably do in this case is use a basic 2 channel amp placed inside the house somewhere reasonable and a speaker volume control something like this. Not a product recommendation, just for illustration. You can also find basic 2 channel amps on that site though.

I'd personally, like to have this control mounted outside so level can be adjusted while in the listening area. Either by finding a unit that is weatherproof or by mounting it in a weatherproof electrical box.

If you don't mind the volume control being inside, either a 2 channel receiver or an amp with a volume control will work fine. You may actually prefer the receiver or at least an amp with a second line level in. I find the ability for a friend to quickly plug in their ipod/phone to the outside speakers to be useful without having to go all the way to wherever the HT receiver is located (not to mention having to coach them through how to use the much more complicated HT receiver).


I see what you're saying and I guess I kind of came to the same conclusion last night. I have a nice Sony STR-DG720 (7.1 A/V Receiver) in my living room right off the deck where my outdoor speakers are. It would be simple enough to run the speakers to this Sony receiver's B-Speaker side. The only drawback would be we'd lose the 7.1 surround sound for the living room while we have the outdoor speakers turn on. I think we can live with that as I doubt it would be vey often that both would be needed and I can always send the kids to the basement HT room if we are listening to something on the deck. If we did find that it was an issue, I could pick up a cheap 2-ch amp and just run it off that. The volume control knob is something I'll investigate, it would be easy enough to incorporate if I find it necessary.

Thanks for the reply and advice. I think I have a clear idea of what I'll do now. BTW, love that site (PE) you linked to...I built a pair of their Tritrix design diy floor speakers a few years ago and they still rock...think I have $150 in the pair including mdf, glue, and paint :-) Best $150 I ever spent on audio stuff!
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