Chromecast Audio 23-Zone Whole House Conversion Project - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 70 Old 11-13-2019, 03:20 PM
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I have this setup and it works great. I already have 6 zones working good. Trying to add 3 more zones. Was able to get three more CCAs from someone who was not using them. Any recommendations for a cheap amplifiers to drive the ceiling speakers? I guess I would need 3 amps connected to each new CCA. Budget is below $100 or less (total). Saw some at Parts express and ebay. They will be sitting inside a closet so I am not so crazy about the visual appeal. Sound quality should be just be decent because these are for areas we frequent less. Here are some options I am looking at:
https://www.parts-express.com/fx-aud...black--309-431
https://www.parts-express.com/pyle-p...uded--310-2656
https://www.parts-express.com/lepai-...tenna--310-304

Would any of these work for the setup? Let me know is you have any other suggestions. Originally I wanted to go buy a 2 zone receiver from Craigslist or ebay. But people selling those are asking for like $200 and I would have to buy 2 of those because I need 3 zones. So then I thought going to smaller amps might be a better choice. Also these don't have to be driven hard as we won't be driving those speakers hard. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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post #62 of 70 Old 11-13-2019, 04:35 PM
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I have this setup and it works great. I already have 6 zones working good. Trying to add 3 more zones. Was able to get three more CCAs from someone who was not using them. Any recommendations for a cheap amplifiers to drive the ceiling speakers? I guess I would need 3 amps connected to each new CCA. Budget is below $100 or less (total). Saw some at Parts express and ebay. They will be sitting inside a closet so I am not so crazy about the visual appeal. Sound quality should be just be decent because these are for areas we frequent less. Here are some options I am looking at:
https://www.parts-express.com/fx-aud...black--309-431
https://www.parts-express.com/pyle-p...uded--310-2656
https://www.parts-express.com/lepai-...tenna--310-304

Would any of these work for the setup? Let me know is you have any other suggestions. Originally I wanted to go buy a 2 zone receiver from Craigslist or ebay. But people selling those are asking for like $200 and I would have to buy 2 of those because I need 3 zones. So then I thought going to smaller amps might be a better choice. Also these don't have to be driven hard as we won't be driving those speakers hard. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

If all your speaker feed locations are in one place, buy any receiver with a 7.1 analog input. Forget about the zones. Just use the single multi-channel input and hook up 3 CCAs to it.Those are generally very old, and many don't have any HDMI inputs, so they would be >10 years, maybe >15 years. They go for $100 or sometimes much less on craigslist typically.
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post #63 of 70 Old 11-13-2019, 04:50 PM
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If all your speaker feed locations are in one place, buy any receiver with a 7.1 analog input. Forget about the zones. Just use the single multi-channel input and hook up 3 CCAs to it.Those are generally very old, and many don't have any HDMI inputs, so they would be >10 years, maybe >15 years. They go for $100 or sometimes much less on craigslist typically.
Thanks for your response but I am not sure what you mean. How do you tweak the output of a receiver so that it plays something else on Front, vs something else on the surround? Lets say I connect 3 CCAs (X, Y, Z) to the 3 inputs (DVD, CD and AUX - all Analog). And if I want X-CCA to play in Mudroom, Y-CCA to play in Pantry, Z-CCA to play in Corridor. How do I wire those speakers on the receiver? From what I understand, the receiver will only allow me play one CCA and output that on all of its speaker outputs. Let me know if I am missing anything of if there is a way to output discrete inputs on different speaker outputs of the receiver. Unless you are asking me to buy 3 separate receivers.
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post #64 of 70 Old 11-13-2019, 06:42 PM
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Lets say I connect 3 CCAs (X, Y, Z) to the 3 inputs (DVD, CD and AUX - all Analog)..
You wouldn't use those inputs, as that won't work. You need a receiver model with a single multi-channel input. This will have 8 analog terminals, corresponding to each of the 7.1 speakers. You need to check the specific model name, google it, and look at the image on the back.


A quick google image search for "multi-channel input" yielded plenty of results. For example :


In this model, the multi-channel is labeled "EXT IN".
You can use one CCA on the FL/FR terminals of the "EXT IN". (front rear/front left), and then its output will play on the 2 speakers attached to the "front A" terminals (do not use "front B" as that will likely disable some of the other channels on the receiver's amp).
Then attach the second CCA to the "SL/SR" terminals of the EXT IN, and then its output will play on the 2 speakers attached to the "surround" terminals.
Then attach the third CCA to the "SBL/SBR" terminals of the EXT IN, and then its output will play on the 2 speakers attached to the "surround back" terminals.
You are left with 2 more inputs on the receiver's EXT IN. You can't use the subwoofer terminal because it's not amplified. You probably can't use the center terminal either, unless you want one zone to be mono.
If you want to expand later and use a second AVR with an EXT IN, you could use two of the CENTER terminals together and hook up one CCA's left channel to the AVR A's CENTER on the EXT IN, and the CCA's right channel to the AVR A's CENTER on the EXT IN. You would have to calibrate the volume between the two AVRs though, which could be painful if they are not the exact same model of AVR. I don't have 2 identical AVRs in my home, and I have a lot of them. So I leave the CENTER terminals alone when amplifying the CCAs.

I am using a bunch of AVRs like the above in my home to amplify all my CCAs. 3 AVRs on one floor, and 3 more AVRs on another floor, since I have two locations for the feed. Some of the AVRs are 5.1 and can only power 2 CCAs each. Some are 7.1 and can power 3 CCAs each. I'm not using the CENTER channels for anything. In fact, I bought one used AVR with a broken CENTER speaker terminal for very cheap, since I knew I wasn't going to need that channel ...



If you just have 3 CCAs, a single 7.1 AVR should do the trick. You just have to find an old one that has a multi-channel input. There are some like the above that do have both HDMI and multi-channel external inputs. There was a transition periods. Many devices like SACD players only had RCA analog outs, and no HDMI out. I still have some of those.

Last edited by madbrain; 11-13-2019 at 06:50 PM.
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post #65 of 70 Old 11-18-2019, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by madbrain View Post
You wouldn't use those inputs, as that won't work. You need a receiver model with a single multi-channel input. This will have 8 analog terminals, corresponding to each of the 7.1 speakers. You need to check the specific model name, google it, and look at the image on the back.


A quick google image search for "multi-channel input" yielded plenty of results. For example :


In this model, the multi-channel is labeled "EXT IN".
You can use one CCA on the FL/FR terminals of the "EXT IN". (front rear/front left), and then its output will play on the 2 speakers attached to the "front A" terminals (do not use "front B" as that will likely disable some of the other channels on the receiver's amp).
Then attach the second CCA to the "SL/SR" terminals of the EXT IN, and then its output will play on the 2 speakers attached to the "surround" terminals.
Then attach the third CCA to the "SBL/SBR" terminals of the EXT IN, and then its output will play on the 2 speakers attached to the "surround back" terminals.
You are left with 2 more inputs on the receiver's EXT IN. You can't use the subwoofer terminal because it's not amplified. You probably can't use the center terminal either, unless you want one zone to be mono.
If you want to expand later and use a second AVR with an EXT IN, you could use two of the CENTER terminals together and hook up one CCA's left channel to the AVR A's CENTER on the EXT IN, and the CCA's right channel to the AVR A's CENTER on the EXT IN. You would have to calibrate the volume between the two AVRs though, which could be painful if they are not the exact same model of AVR. I don't have 2 identical AVRs in my home, and I have a lot of them. So I leave the CENTER terminals alone when amplifying the CCAs.

I am using a bunch of AVRs like the above in my home to amplify all my CCAs. 3 AVRs on one floor, and 3 more AVRs on another floor, since I have two locations for the feed. Some of the AVRs are 5.1 and can only power 2 CCAs each. Some are 7.1 and can power 3 CCAs each. I'm not using the CENTER channels for anything. In fact, I bought one used AVR with a broken CENTER speaker terminal for very cheap, since I knew I wasn't going to need that channel ...



If you just have 3 CCAs, a single 7.1 AVR should do the trick. You just have to find an old one that has a multi-channel input. There are some like the above that do have both HDMI and multi-channel external inputs. There was a transition periods. Many devices like SACD players only had RCA analog outs, and no HDMI out. I still have some of those.
Thanks. I got it. I was actually able to get a multi channel 7.1 AVR Denon 3805 from a Neighbor for free. He had it in his basement and has not used it in years (it has no HDMI) so its pretty useless in today's setup. However, it might work for me as per your suggestion above. Unfortunately I am not able to configure the inputs to the speaker outs. I have requested some help in the 3805 thread hoping that someone might be able to reply. Thanks again.
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post #66 of 70 Old 11-19-2019, 08:26 AM
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Thanks. I got it. I was actually able to get a multi channel 7.1 AVR Denon 3805 from a Neighbor for free. He had it in his basement and has not used it in years (it has no HDMI) so its pretty useless in today's setup. However, it might work for me as per your suggestion above. Unfortunately I am not able to configure the inputs to the speaker outs. I have requested some help in the 3805 thread hoping that someone might be able to reply. Thanks again.

That model should work just fine. I use a similar one as one of my 6 AVRs. Not sure the exact model. I'm currently on vacation in Asia.
I would suggest you download the manual from Denon and reset the unit to factory settings.
There is no configuration needed for the external input. You just need to select that input for playback.
As for the speaker configuration, make sure you don't set up bi-amping. And disable all zoning, so that the surround back speaker terminals get assigned to the main zone.
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post #67 of 70 Old 11-19-2019, 07:16 PM
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That model should work just fine. I use a similar one as one of my 6 AVRs. Not sure the exact model. I'm currently on vacation in Asia.
I would suggest you download the manual from Denon and reset the unit to factory settings.
There is no configuration needed for the external input. You just need to select that input for playback.
As for the speaker configuration, make sure you don't set up bi-amping. And disable all zoning, so that the surround back speaker terminals get assigned to the main zone.
Yes that was it. I was able to find how to reset it to the factory settings and then I just used ext in button in the front. Now it works great. I can also use Center channel if I want (but only as a mono). So I am now able to drive 3 zones plus one more as mono. Thanks for all your help. It worked out great.

There is however I also see Surround Speaker (B) connections in the back. Please see picture below. I am not able to figure out how to use them. If they have speaker outs, then there must be an amp inside for them. When I connect to the Surround F and L then only Surround Speaker A works. I get not output on Surround Speaker B. Maybe there is some setting in the setup that would give both A + B. If that works, then I might be able to use them to get same output for another set of speakers. I know I might not be able to connect another source, but potentially drive another set of speakers with the same source. I will try to figure this out or perhaps call Denon to see if they can assist.
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post #68 of 70 Old 11-20-2019, 01:49 AM
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Yes that was it. I was able to find how to reset it to the factory settings and then I just used ext in button in the front. Now it works great. I can also use Center channel if I want (but only as a mono). So I am now able to drive 3 zones plus one more as mono. Thanks for all your help. It worked out great.

There is however I also see Surround Speaker (B) connections in the back. Please see picture below. I am not able to figure out how to use them. If they have speaker outs, then there must be an amp inside for them. When I connect to the Surround F and L then only Surround Speaker A works. I get not output on Surround Speaker B. Maybe there is some setting in the setup that would give both A + B. If that works, then I might be able to use them to get same output for another set of speakers. I know I might not be able to connect another source, but potentially drive another set of speakers with the same source. I will try to figure this out or perhaps call Denon to see if they can assist.

Yes, there is an amp for them for sure. However it doesn't mean you can route any signal you want to them. Seems like they are for a second pair of surround. Most likely the "surround A" and "surround B" speakers will get the same signal, similar to bi-amping that is typically found for front speakers. I don't think you will be able to use them for a 4th Chromecast. But if you want to have one Chromecast play in 2 separate rooms, this might work. However, you would have a single shared volume control, so this would likely be undesirable. Better to use an extra AVR if you want more than 3 zones.
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post #69 of 70 Old 11-20-2019, 04:24 AM
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Yes, there is an amp for them for sure. However it doesn't mean you can route any signal you want to them. Seems like they are for a second pair of surround. Most likely the "surround A" and "surround B" speakers will get the same signal, similar to bi-amping that is typically found for front speakers. I don't think you will be able to use them for a 4th Chromecast. But if you want to have one Chromecast play in 2 separate rooms, this might work. However, you would have a single shared volume control, so this would likely be undesirable. Better to use an extra AVR if you want more than 3 zones.
Thanks Madbrain for replying, hope you are having a great vacation. Yes I completely understand what A/B or A+B means. There is this big outdoor area where I was planning on putting 4 Yamaha outdoor speakers. This would work for that. I don't need an extra zone but a way to drive 4 speakers (so 8 connections in the back). Hence this A+B configuration would work best for me. Now I just have to figure it out how to do that. Other than that, this is working great. Thanks a lot for your suggestion and help.
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post #70 of 70 Old 11-20-2019, 04:15 PM
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For those looking, I would suggest a gander at eBay and search for 12-channel amplifiers. There are some great deals on used amplifiers out there that can come in under $200 for sure, if not under $100. These are listed as 'used', so everything should work on them (read descriptions!) and eBay covers buyers if something is funky.

I have bought half my equipment via eBay with great results, but some misses, and those go back to the seller, sometimes with them being pissed off because they sold me broken gear that they didn't test, but I did. Whatever.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...o=20&_udhi=120

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