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In-ceiling speakers with volume contols  

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
That's a very broad question!! I did it about a year ago, and it has been one of the most used features in our home since then. I use two Onkyo receivers as Amps (because they had 4ohm capability at a inexpensive price), a Niles speaker selector, a Niles Intellipad, Niles Volume controls, and Niles in wall speakers. I did 8 rooms total. I would guess total cost was about $3500-4000. Money VERY WELL spent!!

Here's a few links to get you started.



Visit our dedicated home theater, The City Cinema.
post #2 of 14
I'm getting ready to do this too. I'm going to be using an Audiorequest MP3 server and this:
post #3 of 14
A Sonance 260x3 Amp will handle 5 pairs of speakers using 5 Niles volume controls. No need for an imp. mat. here.


Watch HDTV!!! Nothing else comes close!
post #4 of 14
I would like to install some in-ceiling speakers in variious rooms of my house with each room being able to control the volume by a fader switch. I would like to keep my amps in my famiily room. How can I accomplish this?
post #5 of 14
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by David Richardson:
A Sonance 260x3 Amp will handle 5 pairs of speakers using 5 Niles volume controls. No need for an imp. mat. here.


Whay wouldn't you need an imp. mat. and how would you go about hooking this up?

[This message has been edited by VIMSTL (edited 03-02-2001).]
post #6 of 14
The Sonance 260x3 has been well tested here down to 1.5 ohms. Terminate up to 5 VC to the 3 sets of speaker terminals on the back. Well tested here. I say VC with normal 8 ohms speakers.


Watch HDTV!!! Nothing else comes close!

[This message has been edited by David Richardson (edited 03-02-2001).]
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Regardless of the amp (assuming it supports 4 ohms), you won't need an impedence match if you get a speaker selector box. One of the nice things about those boxes is they have circuitry to ensure that the amp doesn't see a load below 4 ohms. The Niles SPS-4 and SPS-6 are examples.


Visit our dedicated home theater, The City Cinema.
post #8 of 14
Not ALL speakers selector boxes have imp. matching ability. Plus - who wants to add another distortion box to the system?

As long as you do not run more than 5pair of speakers on a Sonamp you will be fine. Run each pair w/ a 4 conductor wire to the VC, then from the VC use (2) 2 conductor wires to the speakers. That way all rooms are always on whenever you turn the volume control on.

Got more than 5 pair of speakers? Use a B&K AV2600 6ch amp for 6 pair, or a Sonamp 1260 for 12 pair.


Dan Henderson

[This message has been edited by Dan Henderson (edited 03-05-2001).]
post #9 of 14
Elan Z660 is another slim, affordable amplifier intended for Whole house music. Others are from Audio control ( model 500 and 700) and Xantech.
You want to decide now if you only want to control the volume in each room.
THere are other units that can control your volume, source, B&T, IR to each room, like the Elan Z630.
The easy way to connect the reciever to the amp is to use the RECout jacks on the stereo and then set the gain control on the Amp so it doesn't distort the sound. Wire your volume controls for each area to the amp channels and parallel the connections as necessary. Have fun!
post #10 of 14
OK...Here's my equpipment thus far for multi-zone operation:

Lexicon MC1
Parasound HCA700 (2) = 4 channels
Speakercraft In-ceiling speakers (2 speakers each in 4 rooms)
Sonance #55 wall fader switches.

Home is pre-wired. Will this work? How should I hook up to amps?

Thanks for your help!
post #11 of 14
post #12 of 14
Take the output of the Lexicon and split into 2 sets of left and right signals with y cables. Disregard if the amp has a combine switch or Buss switch. Input these cables into the 700 amp. Take two rooms and parallel the connections to a left/right output on the amp. The remaining two rooms will parallel to the other L/R outputs. You're Done! Now enjoy the music.
The volume controls are going to raise the impedance and combining the rooms will reduce it, but not enough to be unsafe. I am assuming 8 ohm speakers.
post #13 of 14
Assuming the HCA-700 has the same specs as the current HCA-750, it will drive a 4 ohm load. SpeakerCraft speakers are 8 ohms. With your four pairs of speakers, you will have two pairs connected to each amplifer. Thus you will have a 4 ohm load on the amplifier, so you don't actually need any impedance matching. I can't find specs for a model 55 Sonance volume control, so I don't know if these are impedance matching or not. If they are, then set the impedance multiplication to 1x if possible, otherwise set it to 2x. With the Y cables betweem the MC-1 and the two HCA-700s you are all set.


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post #14 of 14
One of the annoying things with "volume" controls in other rooms has been:

1. If you're in room "B", you have to go to room "C" to turn on equipment, select the source, turn off equipment, etc.

2. You turn on the equipment and some yahoo was mucking with the volume control in room "A" and had the volume turned up all the way and now you're running from room to room to turn the thing down.

Based upon those, I'd suggest you acquire volume controls that, as a minimum, have an IR receiver built into each volume control. That will allow you to remotely turn on/off the system and do source selection. IMHO, the ideal system is a multi-zone/multi-source that when the system turns on it either mutes the volume in all rooms or doesn't blast it through the house without an explicit command to do so.

Xantech and Niles are good sources. Another interesting unit is available from Audio Control (The Director)

D. Erskine
DEsign Cinema Privee
Imagine what you could do, if you could do all you imagine.
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