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Home audio distribution advice needed

post #1 of 4
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I am looking to install ceiling speakers in almost every room in the house and would like some advice on the setup. Basically, I have a surround receiver with Zone 2 line-out capability. I was thinking of hooking up Zone 2 to amps to run speakers in two rooms, with a total of four amps. I don't really like all the 3rd party audio control gadgets, I just want to control a Mac with iTunes hooked up to the receiver, outputting to Zone 2. I can control the music playing from the Mac via my iPhone or iPad, giving me all the control I need in terms of the music, just not volume in each room.

I would like to know whether it would be possible to set up volume controls in each rooms, that bridge the connection from the amps to the ceiling speakers and hereby control the volume from the rooms individually? Is it OK to cut this connection and control the volume like that or would I risk bad sound?

Also, I was thinking of putting 2 amps in the basement for basement and mainfloor, and then 2 amps on the second floor for the second floor speakers and then running the L/R line-outs upstairs, instead of running the speaker wires upstairs. What would be best, and would there be a difference?

Unfortunately, since I am a new member, I cannot post the picture I have drawn of how I was thinking of having it setup or the components

Looking forward to hearing some advice. Thank you
post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr prager View Post

I am looking to install ceiling speakers in almost every room in the house and would like some advice on the setup. Basically, I have a surround receiver with Zone 2 line-out capability. I was thinking of hooking up Zone 2 to amps to run speakers in two rooms, with a total of four amps. I don't really like all the 3rd party audio control gadgets, I just want to control a Mac with iTunes hooked up to the receiver, outputting to Zone 2. I can control the music playing from the Mac via my iPhone or iPad, giving me all the control I need in terms of the music, just not volume in each room.

I would like to know whether it would be possible to set up volume controls in each rooms, that bridge the connection from the amps to the ceiling speakers and hereby control the volume from the rooms individually? Is it OK to cut this connection and control the volume like that or would I risk bad sound?

Also, I was thinking of putting 2 amps in the basement for basement and mainfloor, and then 2 amps on the second floor for the second floor speakers and then running the L/R line-outs upstairs, instead of running the speaker wires upstairs. What would be best, and would there be a difference?

Unfortunately, since I am a new member, I cannot post the picture I have drawn of how I was thinking of having it setup or the components

Looking forward to hearing some advice. Thank you

You can put impedance matching volume controls between the speaker and the amplifier so you can control the volume. I would guess you can get away with putting a few pairs on each amp, some sites say 16 speakers isn't out of the question, I don't know if I'd go that high though. However, it seems you'll be buying enough amplification so each pair gets its own set of amplifiers. If I'm reading that right, you shouldn't have any problems.

As for the line-level run, that's a mixed bag. Some suggest keeping speaker runs as short as possible and using longer line-level runs. Some suggest just the opposite. My opinion is that the line-level run is more susceptible to picking up noise over a long run than speaker level runs are, so I'd suggest keeping that shorter. However, the other camp would say that longer speaker runs add resistance and affect, negatively, the performance. I have my doubts. If your amps and receiver have XLR connections, I doubt they both do, though, then using those over longer runs will certainly help. If not, I would say keep the line-level run short and home run then to an amplification closet in a central location.
post #3 of 4
I'm planning on doing the same thing. I quickly learned that amps are expensive. I have a second reciever (HK 340) that I use for zone 2 that proves to be effective. It supports 7 channel stereo (6 stereo, 1 mono) at 55w each. Currently I only have it running to 2 speakers but plan to split the 6 channels to power 12 speakers (4 in each of 3 rooms).

I'd suggest having shorter line level runs and longer speaker cable runs. I have everything in one media cabinet and have all the wires feed into it. This way if I want to upgrade to another reciever/amp or other control all the wires are together.
post #4 of 4
http://www.google.com/products?hl=en...-8&sa=N&tab=wf

I like the idea of old AVR(s) to power the zone 2 line out, Craigslist can be a good source.

A multichannel amp would be the ideal solution.

Learn all you can about 'impedance matching', before you run multiple pairs of speakers off of an amp/AVR. If the speaker impedance is too low, you will fry your amp(s).
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