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suggest a few music distribution systems?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a music distribution system for my home. I'm not particularly familiar with these sort of systems. I need the system to integrate with my music library stored on a Windows server.

The only one I've looked at is the Nuvo Concerto. I'm not sure how it integrates the computer. What are some of the other systems out there?
post #2 of 31
DIY or pro install?

Budget?

Computer sources + other sources? Satellite radio, HD radio, FM, AM, Pandora, internet radio, mp3?

How many zones?

Keypads and a few remotes vs. all hand-held remote controls?

Visible metadata (artist, song, station, etc.) on the keypad or on the remote control necessary?

How easy is it to run new cables in your house? Is it pre-wired? Or would all wireless be a better option?
post #3 of 31
Neurorad hit the right questions on the head. To get a feeling for where this could go, look at Sonos for something very different but yet very appealing. Just does music, though.
post #4 of 31
The Logitech Slim Devices might be another option to look at.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
DIY or pro install?

I like to tinker, but if it's too complicate, there I'd prefer a pro install. Regardless, wiring would be dealt with by pros during the renovation.

Quote:
Budget?

not sure. what would be enough for a decent system? $10,000?

Quote:
Computer sources + other sources? Satellite radio, HD radio, FM, AM, Pandora, internet radio, mp3?

computer (currently managed in iTunes) + ipod only

Quote:
How many zones?

6? perhaps more

Quote:
Keypads and a few remotes vs. all hand-held remote controls?

hmmm what are the benefits of each?

Quote:
Visible metadata (artist, song, station, etc.) on the keypad or on the remote control necessary?

preferable, but not necessary

Quote:
How easy is it to run new cables in your house? Is it pre-wired? Or would all wireless be a better option?

I'm renovating so wiring not going to an issue.
post #6 of 31
Russound C Series or Nuvo Grand Concerto. Check out the Russound Sphere, too, although it's probably over your budget.

I think having the walls open is too good of an opportunity to go with the Logitech Duet or Sonos.

Read up on each (Russound C, Nuvo GC). After a couple weeks of research, ask more questions.

It's a good time to install an intercom system, too.

Walls will be open - think about alarm sensors and control, lighting control (inside, landscape, security), distributed video, flood sensors, cameras, motion detectors, etc. Your AV installer may have more ideas. Easy to do now, tough to do later. Take your time, a lot of stuff to consider. You can run the wires now for future projects.

Integrate your new distributed audio system with the doorbell(s), so the sound mutes when someone rings the door bell, or the doorbell chimes over the speakers.
post #7 of 31
Yeah, with the additional information that Thomas_h provided, I think a full whole house a/v system is really what he is looking for.

You should be able to do it for a 10k budget if you DIY. I'm not sure how much it would cost to have it professionally done. But I think if you stick with one manufacturer's equipment, it is pretty easy to install.

The Nuvo Grand Concerto and Russound CAV6.6 are definitely two options to look at. I'm sure some will mention the Crestron Adagio system, but I know nothing about it and it usually requires a pro installation. I personally use a B&K CT600 (and love the sound of it) but I don't think it will integrate with your media collection well without getting into some other automation systems to control it (I use CQC to integrate my system into the bigger picture).

The nice thing about the Nuvo and Russound systems are that they make additional components to play MP3 and Satellite radio, etc, etc.

You'll also need to research speaker choices and locations.

As recommended, take this opportunity during the remodel to wire for all sorts of things while the walls are open. Alarm, lighting control, HVAC control, A/V distribution, Network and phone distribution, IR distribution, etc, etc, etc.
post #8 of 31
And take digital pictures of every open wall/ceiling before the drywall goes back on...
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

And take digital pictures of every open wall/ceiling before the drywall goes back on...

So you know where the cables run

and so we can all learn from your successes, and mistakes.
post #10 of 31
in addition to hi-res pics, take a video camera and do the walkthrough.
post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
I should mention that my budget is flexible. I gave the $10,000 figure because it's a nice round figure. Amazon seems to sell these systems for ~$7000, so I rounded it to $10,000. I can probably go to upwards of $30,000 if need be.

And I prefer this to be DIY if possible. Why let someone else have all the fun? Tinkering is the best part of this. Could someone explain the basics of distributed music to me again? I'm still a bit unclear as to how the system integrates together. Say, from the moment I choose a song on the touch panel, how does it get to the speakers? (I prefer to store the songs on a windows-based server). How does the cover art actually end up on the touch panel?

I will definitely post pictures! Thanks for all your help!
post #12 of 31
post #13 of 31
Is this too DIY for ya:
http://sites.google.com/site/maycreates/music-server

For many, it may be not what they want, but it works great. It will give you your 6 audio zones (expand to 8 if you really want).

Hey, just something else to think about.
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

DIY or pro install?

Budget?

Computer sources + other sources? Satellite radio, HD radio, FM, AM, Pandora, internet radio, mp3?

How many zones?

Keypads and a few remotes vs. all hand-held remote controls?

Visible metadata (artist, song, station, etc.) on the keypad or on the remote control necessary?

How easy is it to run new cables in your house? Is it pre-wired? Or would all wireless be a better option?

Great stuff i would definitely do a bit of reading first & understand a little more so you can answer these questions.
post #15 of 31
I am buying a Niles whole house audio system and backing that with HD radio, Sage TV (for music, movies, and TV) and my main computer for Youtube videos and the like....
post #16 of 31
www.htd.com and build off of that. That is what I did, AV to the entire house and probably right around $10 grand invested including entire whole house network.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by gjvrieze View Post

I am buying a Niles whole house audio system and backing that with HD radio, Sage TV (for music, movies, and TV) and my main computer for Youtube videos and the like....

Save your money and look at these guys www.htd.com. I swear this equipment is made on the same line as the Niles gear for half the cost.

Their gear is solid, and comes with some of the best customer support this side of the Mississippi, and that ain't no lie. The two amps I have are at least 70lbs each, very high quality equipment. All metal construction, screwed together, gold connectors, etc... The amps are very nice to say the least along with their control boxes and in-wall touch pads. The best bang for the buck for a true whole house audio system. Give them a serious look, and the customer support will make your eyes bleed, pre and post sale, trust me.

Mike
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by localnet View Post

Save your money and look at these guys www.htd.com. I swear this equipment is made on the same line as the Niles gear for half the cost.

Their gear is solid, and comes with some of the best customer support this side of the Mississippi, and that ain't no lie. The two amps I have are at least 70lbs each, very high quality equipment. All metal construction, screwed together, gold connectors, etc... The amps are very nice to say the least along with their control boxes and in-wall touch pads. The best bang for the buck for a true whole house audio system. Give them a serious look, and the customer support will make your eyes bleed, pre and post sale, trust me.

Mike

Interesting, if I were going with a new system, I would seriously consider them, but I am going with the older Niles ZR-4630 system. It fits the bill perfectly and the used prices are much better for me. I do not want to pay for things like iPod support, when I have a 20TB server with Sage TV that will be integrated into the audio system.

Support is a good deal, when a company does it properly, I would keep these guys in mind just because of your recommendation! (and I am on the other side of the Mississippi!!)
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by gjvrieze View Post

Interesting, if I were going with a new system, I would seriously consider them, but I am going with the older Niles ZR-4630 system. It fits the bill perfectly and the used prices are much better for me. I do not want to pay for things like iPod support, when I have a 20TB server with Sage TV that will be integrated into the audio system.

Support is a good deal, when a company does it properly, I would keep these guys in mind just because of your recommendation! (and I am on the other side of the Mississippi!!)

I don't know about iPod support, but I can plug one in to a wall control panel and get sound to any room in the house and my 3 zones outdoors around the deck. Now down in my room, we pump DirecTV HDTV, HD TIVO, XM, iTunes, AppleTV, CD, AM/FM, HD Radio, Internet Radio...

Just thought I would throw it your way, because it sounds like you are wanting to do what I am already doing. Enjoy the Niles system.

Mike
post #20 of 31
You can buy many consumer electronics products at prices lower than listed on the 'net.

Many companies, including Nuvo, do a good job of keeping retailers' advertised prices at a minimum - the online retailers aren't allowed to show a lower price. But if you call, they are allowed to sell items for cheaper than the minimum advertised price.

If the advertised price is $7K on Amazon, you could probably get it for $4-5K. Definitely pick up the phone, and call around. Try Tony Stewart Sr. from setnetpro.com for Nuvo, for one. Call several. Find ones that will not charge you sales tax (i.e. not located in your state). A local Nuvo authorized installer may sell it to you for cheaper than you can find online (check the Nuvo website for a list of local CI's). The local CI may be able to help out with a difficult wire run or 2, cheaply.
post #21 of 31
If you're spending that much, get a system with RS232 support. (ie, Russound or NuVo) that way it's flexible enough to have a more robust control system layered on top later if you so choose.

Even if you don't think you'll do it now, it would suck to dump $10K and not have that option later.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

If you're spending that much, get a system with RS232 support. (ie, Russound or NuVo) that way it's flexible enough to have a more robust control system layered on top later if you so choose.

Even if you don't think you'll do it now, it would suck to dump $10K and not have that option later.

This is the reason I picked Russound over HTD
post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 
what's the difference between a nuvo concerto and a comparable russound system?
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marbles_00 View Post

Is this too DIY for ya:
http://sites.google.com/site/maycreates/music-server

For many, it may be not what they want, but it works great. It will give you your 6 audio zones (expand to 8 if you really want).

Hey, just something else to think about. [IMG]http://www.*****************/trafficreport/img/3721/k08t1221bbuq/gdsmile.gif[/IMG]

Thanks.
I need more info about this stuff.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

in addition to hi-res pics, take a video camera and do the walkthrough.[IMG]http://***************/9/P/i.jpg[/IMG]

Yeah this is definitely a good call..Some great info in this thread
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
would someone care to compare Nuvo, Russound, and Niles systems? I can't seem to tell which is better?
post #27 of 31
I don't think the Niles has RS232 control, which is a deal-killer for me given how much these things cost.

For NuVo vs Russound, IIRC the Russound doesn't have unpowered zones, only powered. The NuVo has 2 unpowered zones and 6 powered ones, so you can take a line-out and send to a receiver for your home theater zone. I *think* the NuVo is slightly higher powered. I'm not sure what all the other differences are, it's been a few years since I did my comparison.
post #28 of 31
I like the look of the Nuvo keyapds better than the Russound.

If you are interested in installing an intercom system with the DA, the Russound CAV/CAM can be integrated with the Russound Compoint intercom system well, and they look good together, on the wall. Nuvo doesn't offer something similar.

Nuvo offers a 'wireless keypad', that can sit on a counter - I don't know if Russound has something similar, but iPhone control may trump this.

I've heard more reports of Russound control with a phone, than I have with Nuvo.

Nuvo GC has more watts than the CAV/CAM (look it up to confirm, plz), and I've read that the Nuvo GC sounds a little better (probably splitting hairs, since DA, generally, has crappy sound, unless you go with a more expensive system (B&W, Audio Design Associates).

I bet the new Russound C Series wattage is on par with the Nuvo GC.

The new Russound C Series accomodates 8 sources.

The Russound systems, I think, can accomodate more total zones, than the Nuvo GC.

Thomas - Read the press releases, and websites, (and threads) for each, and take notes. Make a list of stuff that each has. Then rate those items that are important TO YOU.

Not many people are very familiar with both systems - you own either one or the other.

Search the remotecentral.com Custom Installers Lounge forum for some more insight on Nuvo and Russound.
post #29 of 31
I got a Niles ZR-4630 with 6 Solo keypads for $580 last night on eBay. Will work out very well for what I wish to do with it, for a great price.
I am planning keypads in each zone (clearly, the point of the system) with a Logitech Harmony 890 for the living room, aka TV room... For some this system is too old (no iPod support for one) but backed with Sage TV, I should be golden!

I was also looking at some stuff from Russound, but their install toolkit scared me from the stand point of not DIY friendly (I did not research it a ton with purchase of the Niles) and their prices on a 6 zone system were more then my budget had at the moment.
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by gjvrieze View Post

I got a Niles ZR-4630 with 6 Solo keypads for $580 last night on eBay. Will work out very well for what I wish to do with it, for a great price.
I am planning keypads in each zone (clearly, the point of the system) with a Logitech Harmony 890 for the living room, aka TV room... For some this system is too old (no iPod support for one) but backed with Sage TV, I should be golden!

I was also looking at some stuff from Russound, but their install toolkit scared me from the stand point of not DIY friendly (I did not research it a ton with purchase of the Niles) and their prices on a 6 zone system were more then my budget had at the moment.


Russound is DIY friendly, what toolkit are you referring to? The only thing that I do not like about Russound is that they do not offer warranty on internet purchases and most local places want to do the install. But other than that, I am installing the Russound myself as a DIY project, it is my first time doing this and the instructions do not scare me. Seems pretty stragith forward actually.
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