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Any experience with the Monoprice 6 Zone Home Audio Multizone Controller?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
This Monoprice unit looks like the HTD mid level, but better for less since it adds optical support.

Has anyone used it?

http://www.monoprice.com/Product/?c_id=109&cp_id=10918&cs_id=1091801&p_id=10761&seq=1&format=2#description
post #2 of 22
I saw the unit at CEDIA, couldn't tell you much more about it though. I've wondered too if anyone has used one yet - I agree it appears to be a lower-cost equivalent of the mid-level HTD model.

Good catch on the digital optical input (for Source #6 only) - I didn't see that in the description, but it's clearly shown in the manual / diagrams.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post


Good catch on the digital optical input (for Source #6 only) - I didn't see that in the description, but it's clearly shown in the manual / diagrams.

Yeah...It makes the apple TV much more integrateble (new word) ;-)

It looks like the real deal... My use will be ceiling speakers and a couple in-walls for the exercise room in the house I'm building.... I've used the HTD product before (installed for a friend), and while it's decent value, it doesn't do anything special (the iphone enabled part is especially weak).

This may well do the trick...
post #4 of 22
I saw this online the other day as well, looks like it's being release Jan 21. Will be checking back there and here for user reviews, looks like a nice alternative though.
post #5 of 22
It's interesting - the image on their site defiantly shows no optical input, but the manual does.

I'm also curious - the website says that combining 3 units creates an 18x18 matrix...that's very curious if true, a 6x18 matrix I could believe, but 18x18....no way....if that's true it will be a really awesome unit.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cntp View Post

It's interesting - the image on their site defiantly shows no optical input, but the manual does.

Yeah, that's interesting - given the content of the manual (with the RS232 interface documented) I assume it's the "newer" information - and perhaps the photos were taken from prototypes...
Quote:
I'm also curious - the website says that combining 3 units creates an 18x18 matrix...that's very curious if true, a 6x18 matrix I could believe, but 18x18....no way....if that's true it will be a really awesome unit.

Also from the manual, given the 18-pin expansion cable and the details in the RS232 interface (which only show sources 1-6), I think that 18x18 is a typo or misunderstanding of the term. 6x18 much more likely... But that would be very interesting if it was an 18x18!
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Also from the manual, given the 18-pin expansion cable and the details in the RS232 interface (which only show sources 1-6), I think that 18x18 is a typo or misunderstanding of the term. 6x18 much more likely... But that would be very interesting if it was an 18x18!

Unless that's a digital bus, which is unlikely since it's a ribbon cable, and the price point of the unit is so low. But yeah, it's likely 6x18 - not bad, but 6 sources could be eaten up fast.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cntp View Post

Unless that's a digital bus, which is unlikely since it's a ribbon cable, and the price point of the unit is so low. But yeah, it's likely 6x18 - not bad, but 6 sources could be eaten up fast.

Assuming the cheapest implementation for the interconnect bus, 6 pins for analog sources, 1 for the digital input, shared common/ground, 6 pins for source IR, ground for that, TX/RX for RS232 - that's 18 pins exactly (geez, I was only guessing... biggrin.gif)
post #9 of 22
I just saw this today and was wondering if anyone had any feedback for it yet? I haven't had any complaints with mono price products so far and if it does what it says and is reliable, this would be a great item at a great price point!
post #10 of 22
I had an online chat with Monoprice online tech support with a few questions regarding this amp.


He confirmed there is an optical input.

Also, there is a Youtube vid and article talking about the amp being IP addressable (and a mobile app to be released), but the tech rep either hadn't heard about it or they are not building it (he had asked where I had heard the info from).

See here:

(skip to 0:45)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX9kmX1SMmI&t=45

also:

http://www.cepro.com/article/monoprice_develops_6x6_multiroom_audio_system_for_649
Quote:
The unit features an RS-232 port for integration with third-party home automation systems. It also can be controlled with IP-enabled smart devices.

“We are currently developing the app and it will be available along with the release of the product,” says product manager Rene Escamilla. “The RS-232 protocols will also be released on launch date.”

Anyhow, sounds like that's not true. I don't see any network connectivity options built in (unless it can be added to the remote hub), so unless MP builds an ethernet -> RS232 device I think having an IP addressable amp is out of the question without hooking up a computer or some additional third-party device that will take REST -> serial command. Too bad.

@signal15 I'm looking forward to your feedback as I'd love to put a few of these in my home (if they're half-decent) to replace some Sonance equipment.
post #11 of 22

I purchased one last week and played with it over the weekend, Unfortunately Channels 1&2 were somewhat linked where they both needed to be On or neither would play. I readdressed the kepads to 3 & 4 and moved the speaker wires over and all is perfect. I spoke to Monoprice and they sent me an RMA for the unit. (very satisfied with their customer service)

 

Meanwhile, I loved it so much (both for feature and price) I purchased a second unit since I really need more then 6 zones, and really didnt want to uninstall all the keypads to cross ship a new one.

 

As a programmer, I also decided to write a RS232 driver for the AMP - if anybody has any interest, or wants to test it's below. I Might open source it after it's tested a bit more.....

 

https://dl.dropboxus...518/MonoAmp.zip

 

Feel free to ask any questions

 

Regards,

Mike

post #12 of 22

I wrote a driver, but AVS wont let me post links, but Id be more then happy to email anybody who wants it. It's a Dll and a test EXE, I have also wrapped the DLL with WebAPI and am playing sith some JSON fron ends, and might also make it a Homeseer plugin....

 

(Update - Now they Posted it)

 

Regards,

Mike


Edited by mpisano - 2/18/14 at 12:45pm
post #13 of 22
Thanks for the information. I am seeking some sort of whole house audio solution but it will be awhile before I can buy anything but I am exploring my options.

You must have ten posts in order to post a link due to anti spamming rules, keep us informed and welcome to the forums!
post #14 of 22

Thanks for the info on 10 posts

(they seems to let it through now)

 

Also

 

I explored for awhile looking at all the brands, just couldn't so no to this price.

 

Mike


Edited by mpisano - 2/18/14 at 12:48pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpisano View Post

As a programmer, I also decided to write a RS232 driver for the AMP - if anybody has any interest, or wants to test it's below. I Might open source it after it's tested a bit more.....
Mike - Were the RS232 protocols in the manual only or were you able to get a PDF copy of them? I've been unable to locate the manual/protocols on the MP website and wanted to take a look at them.

Thanks
post #16 of 22

They are in the manual, but you can get it off the Mclelland or Factor site (same units\spec)

 

Mclelland:

http://www.mclellandmusic.com/detail.asp?channel=213&content=332

http://www.mclellandmusic.com/upfiles/down/MAP-1200HD%20User%20Manual.rar

 

Factor:

http://www.mcssl.com/store/factorelectronics/001v-66

 

Biggest pain is although a "Bi-Directional" spec, you have to poll it for status updates to raise evens, but the spec isnt complicated.

I'm going to crank up the port speed and see how the device handshakes next and add some better error recovery, then add Tcp\IP sockets and get one of the converters mentioned earlier.

 

hoping to have this in homeseer or some sort of Java front end

 

Regards,

MIke

post #17 of 22

Newer Version of the driver assembly, Test and a new Mixer app for anybody Following\testing my Monoprice Amp app

 

(Same Link)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/94991518/MonoAmp.zip

 

Additions to the driver include

1) Performance and Stability (dupe command eliminated from pending queue)

2) Ability to pass UI Thread to eliminate Cross thread issues.

3) Preserving Keypad settings so driver can put back after power fail.

 

Once it stabilizes, will move towards Homeseer

 

Regards,

Mike

post #18 of 22
How is the volume and clarity of the audio pushed from this system?

-Thanks
post #19 of 22
Can't compare it to my home theater or pro auto system, but for "house audio" I'm am more then satisfied. I've only had it for two weeks and an still setting it up, initially I had it playing Internet audio steams, but last night I finally hooked it up to a CD player and wow what a difference in the low end.
For the price, this unit rocks! I was looking for a multi channel amp that I could control via software in the price range without keypads, keypads are just a bonus!
post #20 of 22

Hey there i purchased the same monoprice 6x6 amp but i need help with rs232 codes for irule is it possible if you can help me with this

post #21 of 22
I was thinking about getting this unit to play whole home audio with a raspbmc as the source. That way I can use the XBMC app to control my music with my phone. This is my first attempt at anything like this ans I was wondering if you see any glaring or potential flaws in this setup?
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just ordered it...key use will be apple airport express and control via iphone, so the above should work.....
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