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Help me select a good Whole Home Audio System. - Page 2

post #31 of 107
Thread Starter 
I seems I like what NuVo has to offer, except the higher pricing but can't seem to find one in my price range, except from non authorized dealers. If I didn't read some many problems people have been having and needed NuVo's tech support I'd bite the bullet and just go ahead and get one. I don't know, I think I'll sit on the fence ahiile longer.

Enjoy you day everyone.
post #32 of 107
The new Nuvo system is much more affordable than the old system.

Both wired and wireless options.

Wired: http://www.nuvotechnologies.com/wired-systems/p3100/overview
post #33 of 107
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply Neurorad;

If I do the math correctly that works out to be about the same price as the Grand Concerto zone per zone if you go up to say 6-8 zones. Albeit the features are different but if you were to max out the GC and did the same with the P3100 then I'm not sure it's worth while.
post #34 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream View Post

If I do the math correctly that works out to be about the same price as the Grand Concerto zone per zone if you go up to say 6-8 zones. Albeit the features are different but if you were to max out the GC and did the same with the P3100 then I'm not sure it's worth while.

No, when you include the music server functionality (which we're saying should be considered mandatory), the P3100 is less than half the cost per zone. A 6-zone GC is $4200 MSRP, plus the $2500 (I think?) for the MPS4. And more appropriately - it's equivalent pricing to a Sonos setup, but in a better form factor. (that's a minor distinction - the usability differences can't be quantified yet since we haven't seen the NuVo in action).
post #35 of 107
My Dream I wanted to say thanks for starting this post.

I've recently been looking into systems myself as I will be having my home built next year and want to install a Whole Home Audio system. I hadn't paid much attention to the Nuvo products but am much more proficient in them now after reading this post. Before reading this post I have been in a toss up between Russound, Lync or Sonos. I though that Sonos would be cheaper but since I plan on installing this myself it's not that much cheaper and wouldn't have as nice features as a true Whole Home Audio solution. I like the Russound because of the network player with 4 sources which would probably be all of the sources I would need. I like the Lync because of the capability to have each zone also be a source, meaning I can wire my TV/Cable Box in a specific zone and use that as an additional source for use with their music stations if I were to choose. Additionally the Lync system has a lot of helpful information for a DIY'er in getting the system installed and tips for future proofing. The Lync system also has a paging system incorporated. Now I am having to bring the Nuvo into the mix and see how that fits in with everything else.

I've spec'd my system out to have 5 main zones and then I'd have 4 Additional Zones which are Bedrooms and are a nice to have but not necessary to start.
Zone 1: Outside Zone + Garage which I will be powering with an old AV receiver I have (4.1 speakers outside, 2 in the garage)
Zone 2: Kitchen and Dining Room - These will both be controlled together with one keypad. (4 speakers)
Zone 3: Living Room - (2 Speakers)
Zone 4: My Office - I work from home so it's a must have. (2 speakers)
Zone 5: Home Theater - Which I currently have been piecing together slowly and would be powered by my existing Sony STR DG1200 to a 7.1 channel system.
The rest of the zones are all basically the same being bedrooms (4 of them and would have 2 speakers each except for the Master which I would also add 2 speakers into the Master Bath as part of that bedroom's zone)

My Dream I too don't want to spend too much and have been trying to find ways to shrink the overall budget of the project and it's the media streamers cost that have been getting to me. I was looking into seeing if I could build my own multi source server but unfortunately it wouldn't allow for the meta data to display on the keypads. The Lync System does have the ability to connect a USB device and get the metadata to the keypads but I believe it would only be able to stream as 1 source and I'd prefer that it is also available to my PC's with a network based solution.

So my question to those that do already have systems is the Song/Playlist info on the keypads a great asset to the system and worth the cost of the media streamer?

Most of all My Dream I wanted to let you know that I feel your pain in trying to get one of these systems put together with little knowledge of them going forward and am completely relying on others who have done it previously.
post #36 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

No, when you include the music server functionality , the P3100 is less than half the cost per zone..
I was trying to compare hard drive capabilities but to a certain extent I was assuming, therefore I stand corrected.
Thanks jautor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsour View Post

Before reading this post I have been in a toss up between Russound, Lync or Sonos.. Additionally the Lync system has a lot of helpful information for a DIY'er in getting the system installed and tips for future proofing.
My Dream I too don't want to spend too much and have been trying to find ways to shrink the overall budget of the project and it's the media streamers cost that have been getting to me. The Lync System does have the ability to connect a USB device and get the metadata to the keypads but I believe it would only be able to stream as 1 source and I'd prefer that it is also available to my PC's with a network based solution.

Most of all My Dream I wanted to let you know that I feel your pain in trying to get one of these systems put together with little knowledge of them going forward and am completely relying on others who have done it previously.
Thanks for chiming in bradsour;
I've done some research on Russound and that was my second option. I haven't looked into Lync, since my spared time is limited lately. The fact that they’re more diy’er friendly is an added bonus.

As for feeling my pain, I was hoping this researching Whole Home Audio was going to be an enjoyable experience, and at first it was, but now it seems frustration has set in and confusion is clouding the decision.
post #37 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsour View Post

So my question to those that do already have systems is the Song/Playlist info on the keypads a great asset to the system and worth the cost of the media streamer?

Emphatic yes. Especially with the use of streaming services and Internet radio, since it allows you to discover new music and easily see what the heck it is! I use a Pandora station I created when I hold poker tournaments - countless times guys will look over at the keypad to see the name of song/artist... Probably less important with music you own, but I still place a lot of value on it. When Pandora is playing, I've used the keypad controls to bookmark the song for later recall a LOT.

Jeff
post #38 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream View Post

I was trying to compare hard drive capabilities but to a certain extent I was assuming, therefore I stand corrected.

Just note that in the case of the new NuVo systems, they're relying on YOUR network storage for media instead of including their own hard drive... Which is a good thing, as generic NAS / PC storage is dirt, dirt cheap. So I don't really even include it in the price comparison. The media servers with built-in hard drive storage are priced way, way premium for those relatively small gigabytes. I've spoken to numerous vendors over the years urging them move into the NAS direction (end user provides storage) - there is NO good that comes out of them being in the storage / hard drive business - it's very much a commodity and well-understood by both installers and end users.
Quote:
As for feeling my pain, I was hoping this researching Whole Home Audio was going to be an enjoyable experience, and at first it was, but now it seems frustration has set in and confusion is clouding the decision.

It's the cost that most people struggle with and have a hard time swallowing as opposed to the functionality / features. I saved money by doing the install work myself, but that said, done right, you'll likely use the system daily. I do. But done poorly, they become a pain to use and are therefore only utilized for 'events'.

Jeff
post #39 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Just note that in the case of the new NuVo systems, they're relying on YOUR network storage for media instead of including their own hard drive... Which is a good thing, as generic NAS / PC storage is dirt, dirt cheap. So I don't really even include it in the price comparison. The media servers with built-in hard drive storage are priced way, way premium for those relatively small gigabytes. I've spoken to numerous vendors over the years urging them move into the NAS direction (end user provides storage) - there is NO good that comes out of them being in the storage / hard drive business - it's very much a commodity and well-understood by both installers and end users.

What Media streamers are you comparing?

I've only seen the MSP4 and MSP4E for 2600 and 3600$ respectively for the Nuvo systems. What is the cheaper option? I believe that both of these have integrated storage in them which I agree doesn't make sense when you can easily attach a NAS and have all the music served to any network connected devices rather than tucking it away to just the one system... which should be 95% of use for the audio files but HDD's fail and a NAS is a good option to have a backup right in that one device.
post #40 of 107
Mydream I haven't done a lot of researching into this site yet but it does look like it's swaying me back away from Nuvo and into the Russound area.

myrocontrol
post #41 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsour View Post

What Media streamers are you comparing?
I've only seen the MSP4 and MSP4E for 2600 and 3600$ respectively for the Nuvo systems. What is the cheaper option?

The just-released NuVo wireless P100 / P200 systems, and the P3100 wired 3-zone system, has streaming / digital media support built-in. $500/zone.

Jeff
post #42 of 107
Thread Starter 
bradsour;
Good find brad, that does level the playing field somewhat, although I do like the NuVo wall pads better. What's the saying......half a dozen of one.........
jautor;
I would hope that with this new NuVo introduction , that may bring down the price of the 3-4 year old GC models? Again, I used the word "hope".

Thanks for keeping this thread alive and more information is always helpful.
post #43 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream View Post

I would hope that with this new NuVo introduction , that may bring down the price of the 3-4 year old GC models? Again, I used the word "hope".

Yeah, hope... I doubt it will have much effect. But NuVo will need to address the functional difference "gap" as the less-expensive system has more digital / Internet features than their "flagship". I'd expect (and I hope!) them to create a 3-4 source line-out (no amp) version of the P3100 made to interface to the GC, replacing the MPS4 with a consistent server feature set and user experience.
post #44 of 107
My Dream did you get any further with your selection?

I am definitely going to go with Russound due to how open it is for DIY'ers. There is many different homebrew applications (squeezebox for one) that people have done. I haven't found anything yet for exactly what I'd be looking for. I don't want to spend the money on a media streamer which will basically be 500$ per stream. I can put together some nice dedicated PC's for that price. I'm thinking that I can get away with one PC and run multiple instances of Winamp. Although this will require me to do some winamp plugin coding on my own but I think it's feasible to accomplish. I even think that I will get some video distribution by using the MyroBridge and an HDMI 4x4 matrix switcher. To do the development piece I need to get my hands on a amp and keypad though which doesn't come cheap unfortunately.

Although even if my development doesn't work it's not like I wouldn't still be able to put the devices to use in my implementation.
post #45 of 107
Thread Starter 
I'd be interested in what you decide to go with in your set up.

I'm still on the fence as I really like the NuVo keypads and what they have to offer as a whole set up, the major downfall is price and dealer only purchases. There is a GC being sold locally, new in the original box, but I have no way to test is before installation, therefore it would be a buyer beware and a gamble at $2000.00. Mind you the keypads sell for half of that.

Keep us in the lopp bradsour and thanks for the update.
post #46 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream View Post

There is a GC being sold locally, new in the original box, but I have no way to test is before installation, therefore it would be a buyer beware and a gamble at $2000.00. Mind you the keypads sell for half of that.
Keep us in the lopp bradsour and thanks for the update.

You can easily bench-test the functionality of the GC. You can plug a single keypad directly into the unit (the NuVoNet connector) with an RJ45 patch cord. Hook up a source and connect a pair of speakers and you'll know that it works... If it's being sold new in the box, was it purchased from a dealer?

Jeff
post #47 of 107
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information Jautor;

The only information I received is that it's two years old, new in the box and price and comes with;

Grand Concerto Installation Manual/software
Amplifier
6 control pads with white, ivory, almond, and black inserts and trim plates
EZ Port connection hub
Network cable
6 IR emitters
Remote control
Power cable

I don't imagine it was purchased from a dealer so there would be no warranty.. That's my biggest concern since NuVo tech support would be non existant.
post #48 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream View Post

I don't imagine it was purchased from a dealer so there would be no warranty.. That's my biggest concern since NuVo tech support would be non existant.

I wouldn't say non-existent. They may not honor a warranty (it's too old anyway), but their tech support has always been helpful. I had a tuner repaired by them that was out of warranty. But don't expect hand-holding... biggrin.gif

Jeff
post #49 of 107
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply Jautor;

So even if the unit was not purchased from an authorized dealer and out of warranty, they would still give tech support? I also wasn't aware that they did repairs, was the repair to your tuner reasonably priced?

I'm wondering if $2000.00 is more than reasonable to pay for a new 2 year old NuVo GC? Would I need to update the software/firmware?
post #50 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream View Post

So even if the unit was not purchased from an authorized dealer and out of warranty, they would still give tech support?

In my experience, yes, but you should not expect levels of support that a dealer would get...
Quote:
I also wasn't aware that they did repairs, was the repair to your tuner reasonably priced?

Any of these companies will do repairs. Whether it makes sense or not economically for you will depend. In my specific case I had a dealer demo unit and they treated me quite well.
Quote:
I'm wondering if $2000.00 is more than reasonable to pay for a new 2 year old NuVo GC? Would I need to update the software/firmware?

That sounds a bit high to me for a "new old stock" piece, with no warranty. DIY pricing from my authorized dealer was not that much more than that (3 years ago - pricing has gone up since then, but that won't matter in this case). It is in the range of what they go for on eBay. But if you can check it out before buying and/or return it, it's not a horrible deal. Test the unit, make sure all the keypads work, and the rest is up to luck...

I haven't heard of a lot of failures with the units themselves. I have seen reports of new keypads that were 'defective' (not very responsive, or too sensitive, etc.), hence why I'd suggest checking them all out (which will take some time). But even if you had a bad keypad, those can be purchased so not the end of the world.

Jeff
post #51 of 107
My GC, GC Expander, and keypads have been pretty solid.

The only real problems I've encountered have been with the MPS4.
post #52 of 107
$2K is too much, I might add.
post #53 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

$2K is too much, I might add.

I'd try offering $1600-1800... Joe, you agree?
post #54 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

In my experience, yes, but you should not expect levels of support that a dealer would get...
Any of these companies will do repairs. That sounds a bit high to me for a "new old stock" piece, with no warranty. But if you can check it out before buying and/or return it, it's not a horrible deal. Test the unit, make sure all the keypads work, and the rest is up to luck... Jeff
Thanks for the reply jautor, it's good to know, that NuVo will repair, albiet, at a cost and will give a certain amount of tech support, even if not purchased from an authorized dealer. Thanks for the feedback on the price, I can check it out but there are no returns, and the fact I'm not familiar with the NuVo, GC doesn't help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

My GC, GC Expander, and keypads have been pretty solid.
The only real problems I've encountered have been with the MPS4.
Thanks for the reply Neurorad, I guess I missunderstood and thought the GC's had there share of problems, thanks for the clarification.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

$2K is too much, I might add.
Seem to ge the concensus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

I'd try offering $1600-1800... Joe, you agree?
I'll try making an offer of $1600.00, although I always worry about the seller feeling it's a low ball offer and being offended.

Would the software need to be updated on a two year old unit?
post #55 of 107
Jeff, agreed, although with limited options, one must pay what is needed.

I think that Russound would be easier, overall.
post #56 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

I have 3 external amps to get all 10 rooms powered (an AudioSource AMP-100, AMP-6.2, and a NuVo D460 (which I got for cheap!). If I could pick up GC Expansion unit for cheap, I'd use it in place of all the external amps and have a couple of zones left for the garage and, hmmm, I think every room is covered that I can get to... biggrin.gif
Jeff

Hello,

could you be so kind to explane me how you manage the three amps from the GC keypads?
Becuase i need to add two amps for my 7/8 zones too
Thanks a lot

marco
post #57 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvetto View Post

Hello,
could you be so kind to explane me how you manage the three amps from the GC keypads?
Because i need to add two amps for my 7/8 zones too

You just buy amps intended for multi-zone use that have "automatic on/off" (goes by a lot of different names, like "signal sense", "auto-on", etc.)", or have a 12V trigger input so that you don't have to do anything. When I turn on the zone from the keypad, the external zone amp comes on automatically. I have both a NuVo zone amp and a couple AudioSource models - so I'm using both styles - 12V triggers and the auto-on/off features.

Jeff
post #58 of 107
Hey guys,

Thanks for all the information available in this thread. I am working on a new home now, with rough wiring going everywhere, but like My Dream I am trying to figure out what kind of in home audio system to purchase. My requirements are very similar with just a few more zones that were speced out by the architect:

- 17 zones are being wired for at least one pair of 8" speakers in the ceiling
- cat5e wired dual gang keypad in the wall mostly for source selection (radio/pandora) and volume control
- most of the audio will be PC streamed audio (Pandora/online radio stations) or PC iTunes source
- price is flexible, but I want a DIY installation
- start with 6 zones until I grow onto using the system and later potentially run the rest of the zones in the house
- want to stream music in the shower but the volume control for that can be through the Kohler DTV display which is waterproof that wires to the Kohler media controller

Initial systems I considered have been: Crestron, Nuvo, Niles, HDT, Sonos

I talked to a local Crestron representative and eliminated it from my list due to the fact that it was not a DIY friendly discussion. He indicated I would have problems getting support and software and recommended going through an installer. Given what I have read on this thread I am also wondering if I should push Nuvo off of the list. I read a few threads about racking up a bunch of Sonos servers in the basement, but after calling Sonos today, I confirmed there is not a keypad option for them. I don't like the idea of having to put an ipod into every wall or trying to find one when I need to turn down the volume, let alone sorting through 17 zones to figure out which one it is for the room I am in, so a pure Sonos solution is also not a good option.

I've been stuck between using pure Nuvo or Nuvo/Sonos versus HDT/Sonos, but am now leaning towards HDT/Sonos after reading this thread. I have not done much research on this yet, but I am thinking of doing the following:

- Go with HDT for the basic audio zone expander system with basic zone selection and volume controls on the wall
- Use Sonos streamers and/or a PC with several audio cards
- Use an android/ipad (prefer Samsung galaxy) to fine tune the streaming selection in individual rooms

The rationale behind this is:

- HDT appears to be DIY friendly and the other companies are not; software updates/support with HDT will not be an issue
- The HDT displays look like they are good enough for basic source selection (pick 1 of 4 channels) and volume control
- The pricing for HDT is better and I don't have to risk using ebay or the local dealer headache for Nuvo/Niles
- The display technology for source selection is rapid evoloving and will continue to evolve
- Using a tablet for source selection provides a much better interface that can be more easily updated than a keypad
- I don't consider a lack of metadata on the keyboard displays to be a big deal if I can use a tablet streaming interface

Based on everyones' experience can you please let me know if you think such a system will work well and be reasonably easy to install? The biggest drawback I can think of is that I can't use a single interface for volume control and source selection. I would either have to use two applications on the tablet (HDT application + Sonos streaming application), knowing that I could always still use the keypad to quickly turn on/shut off the system in the room. I appreciate any insight, and certainly if I am off base, I'd rather find out now than after I purchase the equipment.

Thank you,

Tim
post #59 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by bouncing View Post

- The pricing for HDT is better and I don't have to risk using ebay or the local dealer headache for Nuvo/Niles
- The display technology for source selection is rapid evoloving and will continue to evolve
- Using a tablet for source selection provides a much better interface that can be more easily updated than a keypad
- I don't consider a lack of metadata on the keyboard displays to be a big deal if I can use a tablet streaming interface

HTD is cheaper, but as you noted the keypads are limited to source selection and volume.

The only "local dealer headache" for NuVo is pricing - you can buy the gear from authorized online retailer Smarthome or Parts-Express at MSRP.

The NuVo system with the MPS4 server is hard to beat from a feature perspective.
Quote:
Based on everyones' experience can you please let me know if you think such a system will work well and be reasonably easy to install? The biggest drawback I can think of is that I can't use a single interface for volume control and source selection. I would either have to use two applications on the tablet (HDT application + Sonos streaming application), knowing that I could always still use the keypad to quickly turn on/shut off the system in the room. I appreciate any insight, and certainly if I am off base, I'd rather find out now than after I purchase the equipment.

Nope, you've hit the major limitation with the HTD + Sonos solution. I think it's worth a call to a local NuVo dealer or two to see if one of them will give you a DIY price.

Jeff
post #60 of 107
Quote:
- Go with HDT for the basic audio zone expander system with basic zone selection and volume controls on the wall
- Use Sonos streamers and/or a PC with several audio cards
- Use an android/ipad (prefer Samsung galaxy) to fine tune the streaming selection in individual rooms

I will add some input on the area of using a stand alone PC to accomplish what you are looking for.

First I haven't found an adequate solution for multi streaming Pandora or other internet streaming. I can't speak for the MPS4 as to whether it is capable of this. But it appears that I'm only able to get my pandora account to have one active stream. If I try to play in another window it will pause the previous instance.

If you were to use a PC to stream your local media I would lean towards Winamp which allows you to have multiple instances on at the same time. It's also open so that if you are needing something there may be a plugin that accomplishes it (Like controlling it from android or a webpage). Things to be wary of with multiple sound cards is how well they will work together. There may be conflicts between them if they use the same drivers.

Those are just a few things I can think of off the top of my head that I have come across while researching a solution for myself.

You should also look into Girder as it allows you to use a PC as a hub for a home automation system and integrates with some of the major Home Audio solutions and it could be possible that what you are looking to do could be controlled from that program. All of this really depends on how much time you want to spend researching/impmenting it yourself as opposed to just something that works out of the box and all you have to do is install it.

I'm finding that the more I want my system to do exactly what I want I'm going to have to program solutions for it. I enjoy programming though so to me it will be a fun project that will also save me money.
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