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Amplifier / Speaker Selector / Speakers Wattage

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm a real beginner but here it goes: I'm trying to find out what I need to setup a 4 rooms 1 zone system with 2 speakers per rooms. For example, if I choose a 50 watts amplifier, do I need a 50 watts speaker selector and 50 watts RMS speakers? or do I need a 200 watts speaker selector (50 watts per channel times 4)?
post #2 of 7
If you are using switch to select which room it needs to match the rating of the amplifier, whatever that is, as that sets the maximum output power to the speakers. The speakers need not have any special power rating so long as they are loud enough with the amp you get and don't distort.

If you are trying to run more than one room at once you may have a problem with the parallel speaker loads falling below the amplifier's minimum load impedance. Multi-speaker sound distribution systems often use 70V transformers, something I imagine is beyond the scope of this thread.

HTH - Don
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

If you are using switch to select which room it needs to match the rating of the amplifier, whatever that is, as that sets the maximum output power to the speakers. The speakers need not have any special power rating so long as they are loud enough with the amp you get and don't distort.

If you are trying to run more than one room at once you may have a problem with the parallel speaker loads falling below the amplifier's minimum load impedance. Multi-speaker sound distribution systems often use 70V transformers, something I imagine is beyond the scope of this thread.

HTH - Don

I agree with this poster - I'm not trying to sound hostile here.

But, there are a number of home solutions that don't run 70V/100V systems for multi-speaker output (a Denon comes to mind off hand), as well as some receiver/brand specific features (for example ABus, S-AIR, or Boselink). I have no idea what the budget requirements are, but this is the Denon device that came to mind:
http://www.usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/4135.asp

Something like that is designed to integrate with other components, such as an A/V receiver, alternately depending on what equipment you already have (or what you're going to purchase) there may be a manufacturer solution. Sony's S-AIR is an example - there are many accessories able to receive signals from a compatible receiver depending on what you want to purchase (Boselink offers very similar functionality with Bose components).

The concern I would have with a speaker selector is that if you want all four zones connected at once, as DonH50 said, you may present a very dangerous load to the amplifier and this could cause problems. Generally driving four pairs of speakers from a single amplifier is a bad idea unless you're driving fairly efficient speakers with a fairly powerful amplifier (most QSC products, for example).

Again, I have no idea of what the budget here is - so my suggestions may or may not be in-line with the original goal, just a few ideas I had upon reading.
post #4 of 7
There are speaker selector switches that will allow you to connect and play several pairs of speakers at the same time.

Look for impedance matching speaker switch or selector. This one from Amazon for example can handle four pair of speakers.
. Niles is a reputable and more expensive brand.

They do this by means internal combinations of parallel and series connections. The impedance drop of parallel connections is offset by adding high wattage resistors in series with the speakers. The downside to this is a reduction in the maximum volume level because of the power dissipated by the internal resistors.
post #5 of 7
@walbert -- I was referring to professional systems, e.g. in large churches or auditoriums, not home stuff. My disclaimer was not clear, sorry. We agree on the rest -- if the OP is using a speaker switch to decide what room gets the sound, one at a time, great; if placing multiple loads in parallel, e.g. running all roms at once, a problem. Potential solutions in that case (multiple speakers driven at once) are to use higher-ohm speakers, a switch with resistors/pads to keep the amp's load sane (as trekguy offered), use multiple zones out of the AVR, local power amps (which could take the from of wireless speakers with integrated amps), etc. I am sure there are others...

Niles is a bit pricey but offers many solutions for multi-room systems; probably worth checking out. There are several companies addressing this market; Niles is probably best-known and easiest to find.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

@walbert -- I was referring to professional systems, e.g. in large churches or auditoriums, not home stuff. My disclaimer was not clear, sorry. We agree on the rest -- if the OP is using a speaker switch to decide what room gets the sound, one at a time, great; if placing multiple loads in parallel, e.g. running all roms at once, a problem. Potential solutions in that case (multiple speakers driven at once) are to use higher-ohm speakers, a switch with resistors/pads to keep the amp's load sane (as trekguy offered), use multiple zones out of the AVR, local power amps (which could take the from of wireless speakers with integrated amps), etc. I am sure there are others...

Sorry, didn't mean to sound as if I was attacking you - figured you were talking about pro audio but wasn't sure if the thread starter would know that.

For what it's worth, I like the idea of that Niles box - as long as the output loss is acceptable for the intended application and it doesn't cost more than all of the equipment it's being used with.
post #7 of 7
No, no, you were right, I did not make myself clear. No worries! Forest, trees, hmmm...
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