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Audio System for a Business

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I'm looking to set up an audio system for a medical office to provide some ambient music. It'll be wired (we're at the construction stage so there are no walls up yet) and use in-ceiling speakers. There are 8 speakers in total. The volumes for each zone should be controllable either with a remote or wall control. The source is either a media player or ipod docking station.

I was suggested the following list of components:

1x Russound R850MC 8-channel multi-room amplifier - $1099
1x Onkyo TX-8050 AM/FM/internet radio receiver - $299
1x Monster 16G 2-conductor in-wall speaker cable, 1000' - $199
8x Polk Audio MC60 in-ceiling speaker - $99
8x Russound ALTX-2D wall-mount volume control - $59
1x Niles Audio 5W-48C wall plate for 12 pairs of speakers - $149

What do you guys think of this list? Am I missing anything? We're not looking to set up a surround sound home theatre system so we don't really need anything fancy.

Price is an important factor so I'm looking to cut some cost wherever possible. For instance, I don't really need 8 of the volume controls. There are only really 4 zones so we can can get away with just 4 of them (2 speakers for each control unit). Is this possible? For the cabling we obviously won't be going with Monster because of their ridiculous markups. Is there another source where I can find a similar product for less?

I'd appreciate any thoughts/input.
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bordello View Post

Hi guys,

I'm looking to set up an audio system for a medical office to provide some ambient music. It'll be wired (we're at the construction stage so there are no walls up yet) and use in-ceiling speakers. There are 8 speakers in total. The volumes for each zone should be controllable either with a remote or wall control. The source is either a media player or ipod docking station.

I was suggested the following list of components:

1x Russound R850MC 8-channel multi-room amplifier - $1099
1x Onkyo TX-8050 AM/FM/internet radio receiver - $299
1x Monster 16G 2-conductor in-wall speaker cable, 1000' - $199
8x Polk Audio MC60 in-ceiling speaker - $99
8x Russound ALTX-2D wall-mount volume control - $59
1x Niles Audio 5W-48C wall plate for 12 pairs of speakers - $149

What do you guys think of this list? Am I missing anything? We're not looking to set up a surround sound home theatre system so we don't really need anything fancy.

Price is an important factor so I'm looking to cut some cost wherever possible. For instance, I don't really need 8 of the volume controls. There are only really 4 zones so we can can get away with just 4 of them (2 speakers for each control unit). Is this possible? For the cabling we obviously won't be going with Monster because of their ridiculous markups. Is there another source where I can find a similar product for less?

I'd appreciate any thoughts/input.

You can find 16 gauge speaker cable in most home improvement stores for a fraction of the price.

You can also find it online. You've heard of Google? Try searching with this: 16 gauge CL2. My first 2 hits were Monoprice and Amazon, both of which have excellent reputations as online retailers.

I don't know if you will need 1000' of cable for just 8 speakers.

To estimate your needs measure the distance for each line on a drawing of your installation, being careful to use paths that avoid walls, etc. as much as possible. You can take a string and mark off lines on it every inch using a pen and a ruler. If you have no plans you can use a piece of network cable (which is marked every foot with numbers that are 1 apart).

Add15- 20' to each cable for vertical travel and unexpected obstructions. Of the top of my head, I think that 250' might be more like it unless the place is huge.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. Monoprice was the first place that I thought of as well. I've ordered from there in the past so I'll probably go with them. I agree 1000' is way overkill. 250' sounds about right.

What about the rest of the components. Does anyone have any input on them?

TIA
post #4 of 7

Ditto what Arnold said about the speaker cable. One caveat however, assuming your office has the typical suspended ceilings – if the above-ceiling space is a HVAC return air plenum (e.g. there is no specific return-air ductwork), then your speaker cable should be plenum-rated.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt



post #5 of 7
I would say you are spending WAY too much on a relatively simple system. Background music will NOT be perceived in stereo. The easiest and least expensive way to put in a background music system in a medical office complex is to use a 70 volt distributed audio system with a single channel amplifier using step transformer attenuators for each zone. This concept will also afford a very easy acces to the system for paging or emergency alerts. I have installed hundreds of these in medical clinics, complexes, doctor's offices, etc. all over the country. There is no need for a group of power amps or a multi channel amp as there is but one source. A single power amp with a 70 volt output would do quite nicely. The fidelity of speakers designed for ceiling mount in a distributed system cann be mediocre to quite good depending on the style selected.

The old tried and true and bullet proof method always works, is easy to instal and maintain offers a VERY good RoI.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

I would say you are spending WAY too much on a relatively simple system. Background music will NOT be perceived in stereo. The easiest and least expensive way to put in a background music system in a medical office complex is to use a 70 volt distributed audio system with a single channel amplifier using step transformer attenuators for each zone. This concept will also afford a very easy acces to the system for paging or emergency alerts. I have installed hundreds of these in medical clinics, complexes, doctor's offices, etc. all over the country. There is no need for a group of power amps or a multi channel amp as there is but one source. A single power amp with a 70 volt output would do quite nicely. The fidelity of speakers designed for ceiling mount in a distributed system cann be mediocre to quite good depending on the style selected.
The old tried and true and bullet proof method always works, is easy to instal and maintain offers a VERY good RoI.

I agree that the system above might be a bit overkill for basically ambient music.

Do you have any equipment suggestion?
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bordello View Post

Thanks for the reply. Monoprice was the first place that I thought of as well. I've ordered from there in the past so I'll probably go with them. I agree 1000' is way overkill. 250' sounds about right.

What about the rest of the components. Does anyone have any input on them?

I agree with the other comments that included phrases like "vast overkill". ;-)

I believe that Gizmologist has given you a thumbnail sketch of the established, tried and true technology for assembling a background music system for an office or other business.

The actual power levels that are required for each speaker for background music and even voice announcements are probably less than one watt.

At the low SPLs involved, only frequencies from 150 Hz-8 Khz are even going to be above the threshold of hearing and normal background noise.

Just for reference, here is a listing of suitable background music speakers:

http://www.parts-express.com/term/ceiling-mount?c=238&sort=pasc

The 70 volt distribution system thing is the established means for driving from few to many speakers from a single amp with reasonable power ratings using relatively light gauge interconnection wiring.
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