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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need help configuring this audio setup. Research and calling up Crutchfield only got me so far. In my basement, I am setting up 3 "zones". Each "zone" has 2 ceiling mounted stereo speakers. I refer to them as "zones" (in quotes) because from my understanding zones can play separate sources at the same time. I don't need to do that here (well maybe I do, I'll get into that in a second).


The zones are in separate areas of the basement but don't have any walls dividing them. So what I'd ideally like to do is have 3 in-wall volume controls controlling two stereo speakers each. But I'd also like to be able to select which zone is on, and be able to have two on while one is off.

Now I've figured out some of the stuff I need, but not all. I haven't bought anything yet, so if anyone has better suggestions (with cost taken into consideration) please chime in
.


For speakers I plan on getting 3 sets of these: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2


For volume control, I think I need impedance matching wall controls? So something like this: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=300-560


For the receiver, I was hoping a home theater receiver would work. Something like this: http://www.shoponkyo.com/detail.cfm?...il=1&ext_war=1


That receiver I linked to is 5.1. I know there are 7.1s out there that have a second zone. If I were to get that, is there any easy way to allow me to select a second a zone? If not, that's really not an issue.


Now is that all I need? Do I need an amp? Or a speaker selector? How do I control which zone is playing?


For wiring, I know I run 2 leads from each speaker to where the volume switch goes, then 4 leads from there to where my receiver will be. Is that it?


Hopefully this isn't complicating it further, but two of the zones are going to be located next to a TV. It would be nice to use those speakers to route the TV audio to. Analog is fine. I'm not looking for great sound (that's what the theater is for
). But if that adds too much to the cost, I can pass on it.


As for selecting which zone is active or when a TV sends audio to the speakers, I don't have a preference between a wall mounted switch, or IR controlled as long as I can have the IR receiver in my rack area.


Does anyone have any ideas on how to go about this? Or would the speaker forum been a better place to post?


Thanks for any help or replies in advance!
 

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Not sure those monoprice units will work for you. They have adjustments for 4/8 ohms, but that's not enough to hook 3 or more speaker pairs up to a single receiver. (maybe there's more adjustment possible, but the description doesn't say anything about it)


Take a look at the Xantech volume controls, which have the flexibility (many others do as well). The Xantech models also include an "off" setting, so you take care of selection as well.


Otherwise, you can use a speaker selector with impedance matching in line with any volume control. Depends on where you want to handle the on/off function.


Receivers with 2nd zone output (there are some with a 3rd zone, too) don't do any speaker selection. The assumption is that you've hooked up a 2nd zone to the output...


If you want to route the TV audio, run a pair of coax lines (for L/R RCA outputs) or a cat5 line (with some MuxLab audio baluns) from the TV location back to the receiver, and hook up the TV audio as a 'source' on the receiver. Make sure your TV has a fixed (not variable) audio output so that you can control the volume separately from the TV.


For control, not sure what you're thinking there, but finding remote-controlled speaker selectors isn't easy (or cheap). For source selection, any IR repeating system or an RF remote (or convert your receiver remote to RF with the Next Generation Remote Control Repeater system) is among your options.


Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First of all, thank you for the reply Jeff!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor /forum/post/19649893


Not sure those monoprice units will work for you. They have adjustments for 4/8 ohms, but that's not enough to hook 3 or more speaker pairs up to a single receiver. (maybe there's more adjustment possible, but the description doesn't say anything about it)

Alright, good think I didn't order them yet. Maybe I'll email them about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor /forum/post/19649893


Take a look at the Xantech volume controls, which have the flexibility (many others do as well). The Xantech models also include an "off" setting, so you take care of selection as well.

I'm on it. There products seem a bit pricey though already
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor /forum/post/19649893


Otherwise, you can use a speaker selector with impedance matching in line with any volume control. Depends on where you want to handle the on/off function.

I'll try to find a decentely priced speaker selector then and see if that's a possible route. I guess worst case I can walk into the AV room to pick where I want music playing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor /forum/post/19649893


Receivers with 2nd zone output (there are some with a 3rd zone, too) don't do any speaker selection. The assumption is that you've hooked up a 2nd zone to the output...

So there aren't any volume controls that can act like switches too? Maybe if I send both sources to all three of the switches, then hit a A/B/Off button?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor /forum/post/19649893


If you want to route the TV audio, run a pair of coax lines (for L/R RCA outputs) or a cat5 line (with some MuxLab audio baluns) from the TV location back to the receiver, and hook up the TV audio as a 'source' on the receiver. Make sure your TV has a fixed (not variable) audio output so that you can control the volume separately from the TV.

That might be a problem if I want to listen to music in one place and TV in the other. I guess I'll just stick with the TV speakers then.


Thanks again!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scl23enn4m3
So there aren't any volume controls that can act like switches too? Maybe if I send both sources to all three of the switches, then hit a A/B/Off button?
Yes, the Xantech controls (which aren't that pricey, and all of their stuff is bullet-proof) have an "off" setting at the lowest end of volume control.


But now you're talking about sending two sources? (TV and something else?)

Quote:
That might be a problem if I want to listen to music in one place and TV in the other. I guess I'll just stick with the TV speakers then.
That's what you asked. But now you mention "different audio in one zone vs. another". Any multi-zone receiver/amp (one with a 2nd zone output for instance) will play a different source in the 2nd zone than the primary. But anything you put behind 'Zone 2' (such as 3 pairs of speakers) is going to get the same source. If you want more flexibility than that, you need to look at a true multi-room system. I thought all of your areas in question were open to each other?


And if the price of a $40 Xantech volume control makes you squirm, a multi-room system will probably bring your lunch back up.



Jeff
 

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ATON has relatively inexpensive remote controlled speaker selectors. The attenuators are digital, so they can manage the power much better (like if 2 out of 4 pairs was off for instance.)


Also there are quite a few surround receivers which have powered speaker outputs for both zones. The 308 shown actually does, but it forces both zones into 2-channel stereo (which isn't such a bad thing depending on how it's wired.) That being said I always prefer to use a 2-channel amplifier and/or receiver for multi-room distribution. There is too much that can go wrong on a surround receiver in the way of listening modes, when all the speakers are in different rooms.


The Integra DTM-5.9 is a two zone stereo receiver that I recommend, but keep in mind the second zone is unpowered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK new question:

These are the setups I can come up with. I'm not looking to see which one is better, I just want to know if they'll work or not.


2x Sony STR-DH100


1x 4-Channel A/B Speaker Selector


3x Speaker Volume Controller RMS 50W - Slide Type


3x 6-1/2 Inches Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair) - 60W Nominal, 120W Max

==========================================================


On another note, what would happen if I did this setup?:


2x Sony STR-DH100


2x 4-Channel Speaker Selector


3x A/B Speaker Or Source Selector


3x Speaker Volume Controller RMS 50W - Slide Type


3x 6-1/2 Inches Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair) - 60W Nominal, 120W Max



==========================================================


1x Sony STR-DH100


1x 4-Channel Speaker Selector


3x Speaker Volume Controller RMS 50W - Slide Type


3x 6-1/2 Inches Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair) - 60W Nominal, 120W Max





I know nothing about wattage. I'm just trying to figure out what I need to place the order for the parts.
 

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Way too many links to look through...


Most whole-house audio systems for background/party music are 20-40W per channel, so a 90W stereo receiver split among 3 zones is within that range - as long as the impedance is kept in a reasonable range to not drive the amp too hard...


Why the A/B switches? You only have one amplifier... None of those arrangements get you different sources in the zones - any zone that is on will receive the same signal.


Jeff
 

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I am confused on what you want to do (I think). Do you want each zone to be able to play different sources? If this is the case, trying to accomplish all that with switches is going to be a pain and inconvenient.


If you want to be able to handle different sources at different locations, look into distribution systems (some are affordable). I know Breathe Audio BA2430S is a "watered" down home distribution unit but is very affordable. This will allow you to play 2 sources with having 4 zones. I am not sure if this is ideal for your use as I am not sure what you intend it for. If it's stricly for background music, then this may work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@jautor

Sorry about the links, I was on the Android app and it was a pain to format everything. I fixed it though.


Well I included the A/B switches in the setups where I would have two receivers. One receiver would be A, and the other would be B. And the A/B speaker selector or the A/B switch would determine what's coming through a particular speaker.


@mrted46

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm looking to setup the speakers with one zone. But if I can easily do a second zone, I want to. The second zone is just me playing out with different possible configurations, so I'm willing to let it go. I'll look into those distribution systems.


So would the last setup I configured work?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scl23enn4m3 /forum/post/19679200


Well I included the A/B switches in the setups where I would have two receivers. One receiver would be A, and the other would be B.

Yeah, you didn't mention that anywhere in the post(s), hence the confusion...

Quote:
I'm looking to setup the speakers with one zone. But if I can easily do a second zone, I want to. The second zone is just me playing out with different possible configurations, so I'm willing to let it go.

For future discussion, you're mixing the definition of 'zone'. Anything with its own control(s), be it just on/off/volume, or volume+source selection, is considered a zone.

Quote:
So would the last setup I configured work?

Yep.


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scl23enn4m3 /forum/post/19679200


So would the last setup I configured work?

It will work if you want all or some of the speakers to play 1 source at a time. This will not work if you want a zone to play the TV and another zone to play music.


Unless I am misunderstanding this setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrted46 /forum/post/19680177


It will work if you want all or some of the speakers to play 1 source at a time. This will not work if you want a zone to play the TV and another zone to play music.


Unless I am misunderstanding this setup.

That's all I need it to do for now. Maybe I'll wire it to allow future upgrades
.
 

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hometheaterdirect.com sells affordable systems like you want, and I've read customer support is outstanding. Search in this subforum.


Tip - also run an ethernet-type cable (cat5e or cat6) to each volume control, for futureproofing. I'm in the process of replacing my volume controls with keypads.
 
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