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Whole home audio distro without volume controls

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Im having a new house construction wired this week and want to make sure Im doing what I want. Im planning 3 zones, 1 pair in 2 zones, 2 pairs in 1 zone, each speaker wired back to a media rack. So 8 speakers direct wired, no series or parallel. I will used a multi-channel amp with 3 Sonos Connects. I will need to split the output of 1 Sonos into 2 inputs (4 speakers) into the amp. If im simply running 8 ohm speakers from an amp that is more than capable of an 8 ohm load, do I need any impedance matching anywhere? I plan to use iOS devices for my volume, grouping, source via the Sonos App. Thanks for the help before i pass the point of no return.
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by hughesne View Post

Im having a new house construction wired this week and want to make sure Im doing what I want. Im planning 3 zones, 1 pair in 2 zones, 2 pairs in 1 zone, each speaker wired back to a media rack. So 8 speakers direct wired, no series or parallel. I will used a multi-channel amp with 3 Sonos Connects. I will need to split the output of 1 Sonos into 2 inputs (4 speakers) into the amp. If im simply running 8 ohm speakers from an amp that is more than capable of an 8 ohm load, do I need any impedance matching anywhere? I plan to use iOS devices for my volume, grouping, source via the Sonos App. Thanks for the help before i pass the point of no return.

If you buy a multichannel amp, so that each speaker has it's own channel, there's no impedance matching needed. Since 12-channel amps are the common solution for these, you'll have plenty of channels to use.

Regarding the keypads and new construction - run cat5e/cat6 wire to a potential keypad location in each room even if you don't plan to use it. Things are changing rapidly in this area, and you might find a product next year that you'd like to have. Putting the wire in allows you choices in the future - no wire equals less choice...

You don't even have to expose the wires as blank plates - just tie them off behind the drywall and document their locations - if you want to use them in the future, just cut a hole and you're done...

Jeff
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

If you buy a multichannel amp, so that each speaker has it's own channel, there's no impedance matching needed. Since 12-channel amps are the common solution for these, you'll have plenty of channels to use.

Regarding the keypads and new construction - run cat5e/cat6 wire to a potential keypad location in each room even if you don't plan to use it. Things are changing rapidly in this area, and you might find a product next year that you'd like to have. Putting the wire in allows you choices in the future - no wire equals less choice...

You don't even have to expose the wires as blank plates - just tie them off behind the drywall and document their locations - if you want to use them in the future, just cut a hole and you're done...

Jeff

I second the future wiring. I just completed a whole house audio project to my house(in an existing construction) but did use impedance matching volume controls. I wired cat5 to each room behind the volume control just in case I want to make a change. In the bathroom suite I added an extra cat 5 that I could connect the bedroom to the bathroom if I ever had the need. I can tell you that wiring in an existing construction is about a million times harder than having done it in the first place. Looking back at the project, I can't believe I actually did it it was so amazingly challenging and time consuming. Wire is very inexpensive but my time it took to accomplish it was not.
post #4 of 10
When you wire two speakers in parallel, the ohm load changes for the amplifier from 8 ohms, to 4 ohms.

This is fine as the Connect:AMP unit from Sonos is stable with a 4 ohm load.

If you choose some other amplifier, either have one with extra channels, or one stable to 4 ohms.

I will just agree with others that if you are prewiring a home, now is a really good time to add keypad wiring to the mix. Keep in mind you can get a whole home 6 zone system for about $1200 with keypads, and I personally find keypads way easier for day-to-day use than running an app all the time.
post #5 of 10
Also look for a multi-channel amp with Global Inputs (like the Episode 8 or 12 channel digital amp from SnapAV). It will allow you to connect one Sonos in and play that to as many pairs of speakers as you want...well within reason. I guess that would be 24 pairs if they were 8 ohm in parallel (down to 4 ohm). Make sense?
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by slorente View Post

Also look for a multi-channel amp with Global Inputs (like the Episode 8 or 12 channel digital amp from SnapAV). It will allow you to connect one Sonos in and play that to as many pairs of speakers as you want...well within reason. I guess that would be 24 pairs if they were 8 ohm in parallel (down to 4 ohm). Make sense?

That would be 6 pairs, or 12 pairs in parallel if the amp is 4-ohm stable... (2 channels to make a pair...)
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by slorente View Post

Also look for a multi-channel amp with Global Inputs (like the Episode 8 or 12 channel digital amp from SnapAV). It will allow you to connect one Sonos in and play that to as many pairs of speakers as you want...well within reason. I guess that would be 24 pairs if they were 8 ohm in parallel (down to 4 ohm). Make sense?
I would caution on this as a single amplifier which doesn't have a controllable preamp will not allow any local volume control which I have never heard of as being a desired feature. You would really want a separate Sonos Connect unit for each room with an external amplifier to power the speakers.

Still, I prefer keypads in rooms and separate source control.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

I would caution on this as a single amplifier which doesn't have a controllable preamp will not allow any local volume control which I have never heard of as being a desired feature. You would really want a separate Sonos Connect unit for each room with an external amplifier to power the speakers.

Still, I prefer keypads in rooms and separate source control.

+1, you won't want to spring the $$$ for a multi-channel amp without volume controls in the chain somewhere. If you're going that "simple", a cheap amp with an impedance-matching selector would do...
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I plan to use 3 Sonos Connects with a single external amp, volume control thru the Sonos app. How i understand it, the app will allow global or individual volume control, using a single amp should not have any effect on volume control. The house will have plenty of future wiring, about 2000 ft. of cat5e so far. 1000 ft of speaker.
post #10 of 10
That's fine - you will need a multi-channel amplifier with one speaker (or up to two) speaker(s) on each channel of the amplifier. Likely a 8 or 12 channel amplifier will be required.
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