New construction suggestions? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-26-2019, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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New construction suggestions?

Long time reader and lurker, finally building a new home. I have decided on Lutron RadioRA2 for light automation, so I have that down and pretty thrilled with the offerings there. I debated otherwise, but the reality that if I am not home and my family needs a light to turn on, it will turn on, regardless, that alone is worth the price of admissions versus having to do a long-distance support call at all hours of the day in the worst case.

Now, for audio, I am struggling on a final choice. Here is my scenario:

Upstairs
* Master bedroom with sitting room:
- Pair of speakers in the bedroom
- Single stereo speaker in the sitting room
- Single stereo speaker in the bathroom
6 bedrooms, 5 with on-suite bathrooms
- Stereo speakers in 4 of the bedrooms and a single “stereo” speaker
* Office
- Stereo speakers
* Family Room, Dining Room and Kitchen are one open plan area:
- Stereo speakers in family room
- Stereo speakers in dining room
- Stereo speakers in kitchen
* Guest Room
- Stereo speakers
* Laundry Room
- Stereo speakers
* Family room
- Stereo speakers
* Play room
- Stereo speakers

Downstairs:
* Bedroom 1 with on-suite:
- Stereo Speakers
- Single stereo speaker in bathroom
* Bedroom 2 with on-suite:
- Stereo Speakers
- Single stereo speaker in bathroom
* Bedroom 3 with on-suite:
- Stereo Speakers
- Single stereo speaker in bathroom
* Bedroom 4 with on-suite:
- Stereo Speakers
- Single stereo speaker in bathroom
* Downstairs family room and bar area:
- Stereo speakers in family room
- Stereo speakers in bar area
* Work out room:
- Stereo speakers

Outside:
* Upper deck
- Stereo speakers
* Lower deck
- Stereo speakers
* __FUTURE POOL_
- Stereo speakers
* __FUTURE PATIO AREA_
- Stereo speakers

I want to have the independent zones. And where there are, potentially big areas or shared zones - upper family room and play area is a shared zone, only makes sense - I would want a volume control for each discrete area. I would really like to avoid wired volume controls though as they are messy and unhelpful overall.

Looking at Sonos Amps right now, but for the number of zones, I could have a new car. Look at HTD Lync also, as the zones should work and inputs would be appropriately. We would likely want _at least_ 8 discrete inputs and one I would want to likely be a TV feed for big events.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Aaron
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-26-2019, 08:47 AM
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Russound MCA-88 whole house audio matrix.
Hard wire the speakers to the equipment closet.
Don't use wireless as you are in new construction and it's not needed.
Denon HEOS is a better alternative than Sonos.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-26-2019, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
Russound MCA-88 whole house audio matrix.
Hard wire the speakers to the equipment closet.
Don't use wireless as you are in new construction and it's not needed.
Denon HEOS is a better alternative than Sonos.


Cheaper, yes..... better.... don't think so.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-04-2019, 10:22 AM
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Depending on how far along in planning or construction you are you may want to check back on HTD offerings later... maybe after first of the year? Birdie told me they are launching a new line with more advanced features, better scalability.

Also, take a hard look at the HTD amps that have a dedicated priority input for each channel. These are a little more expensive but IMO a valuable feature. They can work with a variety of controllers like HTD, Russound etcc. You could have doorbell, automation or alarm announcements sent to the priority input for exams which gives a convenient way of muting audio and allowing those messages to come through. Some automation controllers can do that. A more interesting use IMO is an echo device (like the dot) in a room sending audio back to the priority input for that zone. So when you talk to Alexa or play music through that device it automatically mutes whatever the controller was sending it and allows you to hear Alexa. Play a song and when it finishes it reverts back to the normal input... Perhaps you have some background music playing through the house. Also, considering the ability of echo devices to be grouped and participate in multiple overlapping groups it provides a nice voice controlled option for while house audio, either as a replacement or probably better just an augmentation of a controller based system. "Alexa, play Metallica upstairs" gets the job done and 9verrides the Christmas music (in August) the wife had playing in the when house without needing to stop the Christmas music and start it back in a different combinations of zones from a controller. Pretty seamless.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-09-2019, 04:12 PM
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Crestron CP2e w/2 or 3 BIPAD-8 preamps, and then amplifiers as appropriate to the speakers that you have.

This will offer you phone based control, or you can add wired keypads (if you have cat-5e or better/similar pulled to rooms) later if you want to.

These are not 'cutting edge' anymore, but were WAY ahead of their time when they came out and now are readily available on eBay for (literally) pennies on the dollar. So, $250 or so can get you 16x16 analog audio selection/pre-amp capabilities.

Then you just need multi-zone amplifiers for all the speakers you are using.

I always preferred separate preamp & amps as that means I can amplify my speakers as appropriate and if an amplifier breaks, I don't have to take down my entire system, just repair/replace the one bad amplifier.

I currently run a 16x24 analog audio distribution setup in my home. I use Rotel RMB-1048 amplifiers for all my speakers.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-09-2019, 08:48 PM
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I may have asked this before... Can a diyer program those crestron units and/or associated keypads? I had always thought crestron was a pretty closed environment.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-15-2019, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
I may have asked this before... Can a diyer program those crestron units and/or associated keypads? I had always thought crestron was a pretty closed environment.
Crestron programming is closed. But, a lot of the setup depends on what the desires of the homeowners are. It's INCREDIBLY open and robust in terms of functionality. That is, it controls thousands of different products. If all that is desired is switching audio and using it for audio distribution and not a full-on control system, then it can be easily setup for that and will never need to be touched for programming for years to come.

I have client's that call me once every couple of years to deal with equipment outside, meanwhile their theater and cable boxes and audio distribution remains unchanged and works perfectly for them 365 days a year. It's darn near bullet proof. If you are a tinkerer who wants full control of everything and actually wants to code and deal with things all the time, then it's not for you. Crestron does make certain pieces which are their own and work very well. Like the BIPAD8 which is a 16x8 stereo audio preamp. I use 3 of them in my setup for 16x24 audio distribution. I then have a stack of 5 Rotel RMB-1048 amplifiers to power my speakers in my home. So, it's not Crestron, Crestron, Crestron in my setup. Mostly I listen to my Sonos, but I also have my cable boxes, Blu-ray, and other sources all connected for sound as well. Realistically, I guess I listen to my AppleTV, Roku, and cable boxes most through my wireless headphones which are connected to it.

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