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What's new with Distributed Audio Systems?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I built a home a few years ago and was able to run a ton of cabling and wiring, so I went with the Nuvo Essentia with 6 zones and the single-gang wall controls in each zone.

Now we're moving to an existing home and I'm exploring options.

Forget about installation issues in existing homes...we're going to be patching some walls and painting all interior walls anyway, so I'm not worried about that.

My question is that after living with the system for a few years, I realize that my needs are different now. Here are my priorities:

1. I'm only going to have two (2) zones this time.

2. I'm only going to use one (1) source...an Ipod.

3. I really like the control panels that display the artist and song (as oppposed to just a volume control).

So my question for you guys who follow this stuff far more closely than I do, should I just get another Essentia since I know it and I'm comfortable with it, or should I be considering something else that better fits my priorities?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 2
Well, regardless of the system choice, I'd still recommend running wiring matching the CEA standard (exactly what the Essentia would require anyway).

Not a lot has changed in the world of wall panels, but I hope that we'll see new products at CEDIA in that space... I agree that the wall-mounted panels provide significant value, even if control is (also) available via handheld/wireless iDevices.

For a two-zone system, you might thing about just two Sonos units (one per zone), centrally located, and placing a somewhat dedicated iDevice for control. Hopefully the enhancements to iOS6 will make it easier to dedicate an inexpensive iPod to this function (the single-app lock mode, etc.). NuVo also has a Sonos competitor announced (still not shipping, though) - the P3100 3-zone unit would be a good choice if it lives up to its description. But no keypads on that model, either.

You say you'll use an iPod as a source - you could also rig up an auto-sensing amp (like the excellent-value AudioSource AMP-100) and an Apple Airport Express (cheapest AirPlay device) for each zone, too. The issue with using an AVR or other Airplay devices in this manner is the need to switch "apps" between the AVR control and the source/song selection...

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