or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › A/V Control & Automation › Home A/V Distribution › B&K whole house system
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

B&K whole house system

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have a B&K whole house system. It was installed by the previous owner. Are they good systems or out dated? Do people use them now or Sonos?
post #2 of 22
Well, for what it does it's fine, and would work very well with some Sonos Connect unit(s) as sources. Use an iDevice to navigate the Sonos, and continue to use the keypad for source selection, volume, on/off...

Jeff
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Well, for what it does it's fine, and would work very well with some Sonos Connect unit(s) as sources. Use an iDevice to navigate the Sonos, and continue to use the keypad for source selection, volume, on/off...

Jeff

thanks! how would you compare sonos vs airplay with zeppelin air?
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim100 View Post

thanks! how would you compare sonos vs airplay with zeppelin air?

Not sure that's a valid comparison. The Sonos connect is a source you would attach to the B&K...
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Not sure that's a valid comparison. The Sonos connect is a source you would attach to the B&K...

i was not sure if it was a fair comparison either because one is a source and one is a sparker but the way I was looking at it is airplay can stream my music to the zeppelin or my speakers and sonos can stream to my house speakers or to sonos speakers. i already have airplay.
post #6 of 22
If you want to just use Airplay, put a $99 Airport Express as a source to the B&K...
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

If you want to just use Airplay, put a $99 Airport Express as a source to the B&K...

how will that experience compare to sonos connect?
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
is the air zeppelin a waste?
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim100 View Post

is the air zeppelin a waste?

Quick glance says yes, waste for you. Don't know why you'd want to NOT use the speakers you have installed vs. a docking boom-box. Sonos advantage is that it's always attached, has lots of services and is easier to use than the mess of apps on an iDevice w/Airplay. And you don't "tie up" your phone/ipod with it, running down the battery, etc.

No one would blame you for trying the Airplay method first, though. Cheap to try...

Jeff
post #10 of 22
You didn't specifically mention which model of B&K you own, but I have had a CT600 for many years and it has performed flawlessly.

The build quality of the unit is great - must weigh 50lbs?? I have a variety of speaker models attached, influenced by the type of listening I do in that particular area of the house - I have several pairs of B&Ws and a hi-end pair of KEFs - they all sound superb.

I have the B&K CK1.2 keypads around the house - they too are rock solid.

My latest incarnation of control system uses an iTouch, a Global Cache GC100 and the Roomie Remote app. [There are several good alternatives to Roomie, but its learning curve matches the amount of time I can currently devote to "playing"] Roomie allows full control of the CT600 from anywhere in the house, using a quite nice GUI. I stream music from the iTouch (mainly using Pandora) to an AppleTV and have a tiny DAC to feed the B&K.

As I mentioned, the unit is now quite old, but it has never given me any reason to look for an alternative. Using the iTouch to control everything gives all the functionality I need. Unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket, or just must have the 'latest & greatest' I'd say you're in great shape!
post #11 of 22
I'd like to add that a lot of people (myself included) don't see it as "airplay vs sonos".

We got a Sonos system. With an Airport Express plugged in into one of the line ins, and auto-switching to that input if a signal is detected. Makes it really simple for my fiance to play music from her iPhone, since she can keep on using the apps she already like and she doesn't have to do anything but switch output device on her iPhone, so to speak.
post #12 of 22
I'd like to find out more about your system. I have a b&k ct600.1 that was in a house I bought. Speakers are in every room and the wiring is done. That's it. My question is, how to I get the dang thing to do anything? I'd liek to have a system like yours but I am not understanding how you did it. Thanks!
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Emm View Post

I'd like to find out more about your system. I have a b&k ct600.1 that was in a house I bought. Speakers are in every room and the wiring is done. That's it. My question is, how to I get the dang thing to do anything? I'd liek to have a system like yours but I am not understanding how you did it. Thanks!

Hey Bobby,

(I also got your email, but thought I'd reply here.) To be honest, I'm not 100% sure where to begin in helping troubleshoot your issue, but what I will say is that I continue to be really impressed with the B&K as the core of my whole-house system and the Roomie guys continue to improve their app, so things are just getting better and better. (I mention this to give you motivation and incentive to persevere, not to make you even more pi$$ed-off that your system isn't working!)

It would be helpful to know what you've tried and what isn't working - does the unit power up? Do you have any keypads (and do they power up)? Etc., etc.

Even if you don't have keypads, you should be able to control everything using the supplied B&K remote control - the downside of the CT600 is that, other than the power light, there are no visual indications on it to hint that anything is working! After powering on you should see the unit's power light (and the keypads should have a yellow/greenish power light on too), and you should then be able to use the remote to select an input and then turn on one or more sets of speakers - if you haven't done both of these, you won't get any sounds!

If you suspect that the remote isn't working, you can push buttons randomly and look at the controller through a digital camera to verify that at least something is being emiited!

If you do have power, what I'd suggest doing is to take a known good source (MP3 player, cd player, etc.), connect it to "Input 1" - make sure you are actually supplying music to the CT600 - then use the remote to firstly select "input 1" then hit "Zone 1" (do a visual check on the rear of the B&K to make sure that there is actually a pair of speakers attached, if not, direct everything to a zone that looks like it is wired up). You may have to increase the volume, but at this point you should have noyze!

I thought about getting you to reset everything, but I assume that the previous owner had things working ok and if so, you can leverage all his config setup - if things don't work, maybe doing a config reset would be a good step.

B&K still have all the manuals for the CT600 online [http://www.bkcomp.com/fileadmin/content/content_products/manuals/Past/Preamp%20or%20receiver/CT610_310_600_300_UM_1104.pdf] as well as the keypad documentation. They can be a bit overwhelming, but are worth looking at if you haven't already done so.

Once you do get music coming out of the speakers, if needed I can give you more help in getting the iPod control part set up. I now don't use the keypads or remote - I control all the functions from my iTouch using Roomie (as mentioned in my earlier post). If your whole IR control mechanism really is trashed, there's always RS232, but that's for another day.....


Hang in there! It'll be worth it in the end!

Dave
post #14 of 22
Dave,

Thank you very much for your thorough reply. When I got the house the previous owner had left the B&K amp but had stripped out all of the little control boxes from the walls. The remote control is one I found on the Internet ...the MZ 128 by B&K ...in hopes it would work but there's no place for the current amplifier to receive the signal. I think an IR receiver plugged into the back would work but I can't seem to find one that says it's compatible with this amplifier. They left all the speakers and wiring so everything is pretty much ready to go except ... it doesn't. It is essentially nonresponsive. What I need is some way to get either a remote control or other input into it. That's what I can't figure out.

I think the reason the remote doesn't do anything is because this (600.1) is meant to be a rackmount version of the 600 and therefore has no remote control receiver.

Thanks very much.

Bob
post #15 of 22
Hi again Bobby,

I too have the 600.1 and I'm pretty certain that there are no operational differences between the rack- and non-rack-mount models. What I think may be confusing you is that there is an input jack on the rear of the unit to provide capability for a hard-wired IR feed, but there is also a front-panel IR receiver - it's in the oval shaped window on the left of the panel - to my knowledge, there never were any CT6xx models without this capability.

As I mentioned before, the biggest pain with the CT600 is that there are no front-panel lights or status indicators - this is a total PITA when you are trying to set the unit up, but irrelevant once you have everything figured out. This means that good things could be very close to happening, but you just can't tell!

You can also control the CT600 from a PC using the rear serial input - I do this to program my keypads, but it can also be used to actually monitor what's going on.

Unless you have damage to the B&K, I actually think you have everything you need - you just need to speak to it nicely!

Dave
Edited by DGF - 9/21/12 at 7:43pm
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGF View Post

Hi again Bobby,
I too have the 600.1 and I'm pretty certain that there are no operational differences between the rack- and non-rack-mount models. What I think may be confusing you is that there is an input jack on the rear of the unit to provide capability for a hard-wired IR feed, but there is also a front-panel IR receiver - it's in the oval shaped window on the left of the panel - to my knowledge, there never were any CT6xx models without this capability.
As I mentioned before, the biggest pain with the CT600 is that there are no front-panel lights or status indicators - this is a total PITA when you are trying to set the unit up, but irrelevant once you have everything figured out. This means that good things could be very close to happening, but you just can't tell!
You can also control the CT600 from a PC using the rear serial input - I do this to program my keypads, but it can also be used to actually monitor what's going on.
Unless you have damage to the B&K, I actually think you have everything you need - you just need to speak to it nicely!
Dave

Unfortunately, no window found. That's where I'm stuck!
post #17 of 22
Just to make sure I'm not crazy I tried shining a flashlight through the unit and there is no openings..... solid metal!
post #18 of 22
post #19 of 22
Blimey - that's definitely not like any CT600 I've ever seen before! I wonder if it was a really early (beta?) model? None of the archived B&K manuals have a CTxxx that looks anything like that! I've also never heard of of an external IR receptor for the B&K.

However. if there are connectors for the CK1.1 or 1.2 on the back (check the manual to verify what they look like) you could buy a used one off eB*y (I've seen them go for between $40-90 'ish, sometimes more, if a couple of people want one) - they have IR pass-through which will get you talking to the B&K using the remote, or you can use the keypad's buttons once programmed.

Alternatively, if there is an IR input on the rear panel you could possibly hard-wire directly from something like an iTach and then use an iPod app for control - do you have any details on the IR input, is it a 3.5mm socket?

D
Edited by DGF - 9/22/12 at 9:23pm
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGF View Post

Blimey - that's definitely not like any CT600 I've ever seen before! I wonder if it was a really early (beta?) model? None of the archived B&K manuals have a CTxxx that looks anything like that! I've also never heard of of an external IR receptor for the B&K.
However. if there are connectors for the CK1.1 or 1.1 on the back (check the manual to verify what they look like) you could buy a used one off eB*y (I've seen them go for between $40-90 'ish, sometimes more, if a couple of people want one) - they have IR pass-through which will get you talking to the B&K using the remote, or you can use the keypad's buttons once programmed.
Alternatively, if there is an IR input on the rear panel you could possibly hard-wire directly from something like an iTach and then use an iPod app for control - do you have any details on the IR input, is it a 3.5mm socket?
D

At your suggestion, I have ordered a CK (the 1.2 is the suggested one I understand) from eBay. I have the wiring diagram and will give it a try! I'll report back after I try it. Thanks for all your help.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Emm View Post

At your suggestion, I have ordered a CK (the 1.2 is the suggested one I understand) from eBay. I have the wiring diagram and will give it a try! I'll report back after I try it. Thanks for all your help.

That's cool!

As mentioned, I've never seen a CT600 exactly like yours, but I have to believe that if you can get the one keypad working that'll give you a great gateway (for routing controlling via IR, as well as using the pad's own hard keys) to achieve wonderous things!

Dave
post #22 of 22
The CT600 has a 1/8" jack on the back that will accept I.R. from Xantech hardware, & the in-wall keypads have I.R. receivers. The keypads just send I.R. commands to the base unit & are programmed just like older URC MX series remotes (the keypads and remotes were made by URC.) The software is still available on B&K's website.
In another life I worked for an integrator who was a B&K dealer, & I installed a few. Never had much experience programming one, though. The CT600 has a bunch of settings that are programmed with B&K Control Suite software - it's still available on the site, too.
The DB-9 to RJ-45 adapter they used had it's own pinout. I think I still have one (there's no marking on them, but I'm pretty sure it's B&K.) PM me your address & I'll send it to you.
B&K made beautiful hardware that sounded great. It's too bad they're gone. Enjoy yours!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Home A/V Distribution
AVS › AVS Forum › A/V Control & Automation › Home A/V Distribution › B&K whole house system