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Wireless Multizone Audio?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok so here's the deal. I have an existing home that is all finished. The previous owner began to install a whole house multizone audio system, but never completed it. All of the speakers are installed and all speaker wires run to one location. The previous owners also left an amp that only has one source input and is controlled by one analog volume knob on a wall not near the amp. The previous owners also did not run any Cat 5 in the house which makes putting separate control pads in each room nearly impossible right?

So my question: Is there any wireless system that I can use to create a multizone/multisource whole house audio system? There's 5-6 zones I believe. I've seen the Sonos system, but wouldn't that require me to buy 5-6 amps and put them all in the same place because of the wiring? Is there anything like the Sonos that I can just buy 1 or two units to hook all the speakers up to? Hopefully this all makes sense.
post #2 of 9
Or you could use a PC with two Audigy cards and run xlobby/kxdrivers. Then you could control the system with a handheld, or via other computer across a wired or wireless network. The only thing is that you'd have to by a multi-channel amp (12 channels for 6 zones).

Check out my DIY music distribution link in my signature. Hope it give some food for thought
post #3 of 9
Sonos all the way! You won't be sorry. Incredibly easy to use with feedback. Combined with Rhapsody it can't be beat. Your application is done all the time. Buy the Bundle 150, use the amp you currently have and connect it to the line out on the ZP90. Buy three more ZP120 and you'll be set. $2500 for an incredible 5 zone distributed audio system is very inexpensive.

Otherwise buy a high wattage receiver (not Sony), Aton DLA-6, and a RF universal remote. You could use Aton's RF remote but you won't have control over the receiver. You also need some sort of A/V switcher (receiver) and you just currently have an amp. You won't look forward to getting home and using it but it will be functional.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow Marbles...very cool. I'll have to take some time to read everything you have.
post #5 of 9
Thanks.

I have to admit, this was a pretty involved project, as it was pretty off-the-wall as opposed to off-the-shelf. What I hope to have done with my site is to take care of most of the learning process and make it easier for others to pull off something like this. Nothing wrong in the least with the Russounds or Sonos, but considering everything can almost be bought through discounts, re-sales, or ebay, it is very inexpensive for parts. All but the amps (unless you find a lucky deal like I did).
post #6 of 9
You might check this thread in this forum for some additional suggestions: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1055095.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by drew300 View Post

Sonos all the way! You won't be sorry. Incredibly easy to use with feedback. Combined with Rhapsody it can't be beat. Your application is done all the time. Buy the Bundle 150, use the amp you currently have and connect it to the line out on the ZP90. Buy three more ZP120 and you'll be set. $2500 for an incredible 5 zone distributed audio system is very inexpensive.

Otherwise buy a high wattage receiver (not Sony), Aton DLA-6, and a RF universal remote. You could use Aton's RF remote but you won't have control over the receiver. You also need some sort of A/V switcher (receiver) and you just currently have an amp. You won't look forward to getting home and using it but it will be functional.

Some additional information that may be helpful to this thread regarding the ATON DLA...

The DLA has a discrete IR codeset that allows for full control of any room from any location, including discrete volume steps, mute on, mute off, power on, power off, global volume up, global volume down, etc. that provide a ton of control options. When you use a universal remote (current discrete IR codeset available in universal, RTI, Pronto & ELAN formats), you can control the DLA as well as your AV Receiver and sources from one user interface...

To download this IR codeset go to: http://www.atonhome.com/IRCodes.html

Best Regards,

David Acton
Product Marketing Manager
ATON - Technology In Reach
post #8 of 9
Sonos
post #9 of 9
You need a RECEIVER (AVR), to play music over the speakers.

Because of the multiple pairs of speakers, you will need something to provide IMPEDANCE MATCHING to prevent failure of the amplifier within the receiver (impedance-matching speaker selector box), althought the single in-wall volume control (VC) may have an impedance maching capability (IM-VC).

If you want to have local control of the receiver, you need some kind of local interface, e.g. keypad, or a distributed IR system, or both.

If you want to play different music from each speaker pair, you need a multichannel amplifier hooked to multiple sources (e.g. CD player, AM/FM tuner, Sirius tuner, bridge to play music from a PC).

Control from each zone via a keypad is done using catx (most keypads) or other cable (distributed IR).

New cables to keypad locations are often extremely easy to add/retrofit, if there is a basement below or attic above. Also, drywall is remarkably cheap to repair and paint - even cheaper if you learn to do it yourself.

Do the research and read all about distributed audio. When you get overwhelmed, read some more, let it sink in. Call a custom installer (CI) if you don't want to run the cable yourself, but do the research first. In fact, call several CI's - they may be willing to deal, in this competitive market.

You may wish to start by picking a dollar figure. If your budget is $100, just buy a used AVR locally off Craigslist, and expand when you feel like it.

Edit: your distributed audio system was designed to be used with a single source - it's complete. I have the same, came with my house. Built 1994.
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