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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I 've been reading posts for the last week or so but I haven't found any that deal with my situation, so I am hoping that someone can help me understand what I need (and need to do).


I am in the process of new construction so all of the equipment I will talk about will need to be purchased. I am flexible with brand and price so whatever the best solution is, that's what I will consider, though I'd prefer to keep the cost of the receiver to less than $1500.


I have a media closet on the main floor where a receiver will be. I would like this receiver to have multiple zones.


Zone 1 will ouput 5.1 surround to the family room.


For Zone 2, I would like to hook up a Sonos box that would power ambient speakers in the living room, dining room, kitchen and patio. The LR, DR, and Kitchen speakers are Polk rci6s (in-ceiling dual-tweeter) and the patio speakers are Sonance Mariners. It would also be great if I could somehow use a couple of the speakers (Polk lci80) in the family room for ambient sound as well.


Zone 3 will also have a Sonos box and need to power Polk rci6s in-ceiling dual-tweeter speakers in the master bedroom and master bathroom.


Here are my questions...


What kind of receiver do I need?

What Sonos boxes should I buy (ZP80 or ZP100)?

Do I need any additional amplification? If so, what suggestions do you have?

What would be the best way to hook everything up to get the most out of all the equipment?


Thanks in advance for your help. I really appreciate (and need) it.


John
 

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The main question that comes to mind regarding your setup is this: How many different zones will you be listening to at one time?


The Sonos systems really do not need to be tied into a multi-zone receiver as that is their purpose to create the multiroom system on their own. I understand if you want to send DVD or CD or Radio through them, then yes they would need to be tied into a receiver, but they are designed to steam digital music from Network storage devices or off computers on the network.


The main problem I see you having is that the sonos box with the amp (zp100) is not designed to push more than one pair of speakers, so you would still need some kind of impedance matching volume control or speaker selector box. If you run with the other box (zp80) you will need outboard amplification from something like a multichannel amp (i.e. Niles SI-1230).


If you are pre-construction I might look at a different option such as the Speakercraft MZC-66 or equivalent. Depending on what you are trying to distribute would depend on the overall make up of the system. The Sonos systems are cool, but they are truly made useful in situations where wiring is not an option as they are designed to work independently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.


In reading my OP, it seems that I am interchangably using the word Zone, when in all acutalality there is the receiver zones and the Sonos zones (SZ). I chose the Sonos because of it's ease of use, the ability to combine SZ's, and the nice remote interface.


I guess I am interested in 3 SZ's, one ofr the main floor, one for the 2nd floor and one for the basement. The basement SZ is easy as it will have it's own receiver. It's the other two I was hoping to combine into one multi-zone receiver (MZR), which would sit in my media closet.


I was hoping a MZR would allow me to use the ambient speakers with other sources in additon to the Sonos, like whatever would be coming from the DirecTV box for instance.


In my OP, the Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3 layout I listed would be for a MZR. Connected to the MZR would be 2 sonos boxes. One would control a SZ on the main floor for LR, DR, Kitchen, and Patio speakers. The other would control the Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom speakers upstairs. That way someone upstairs could listen to something different than the main floor.


I should note that each of the rooms with ambient speakers will have a speaker volume control switch (Russound ALTx-2D).


I think I am beginning to understand what you're saying. That I may need more amplification than what the Sonos is prepared to deliver. And the MZR doesn't power the 2nd and 3rd MZR zones, so I would need to amplify that in some way.


Am I starting to understand?


Thanks again,


John
 

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You have indeed gotten to the crux of the matter. You can find MZR's that power 2nd zone (Denon, Pioneer, Yamaha, Onkyo, Marantz, HK all have receivers with this option), but fewer that are capable of powering a 3rd zone. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is the Denon AVR-5805 which retails for $6k. The Russound volume controls should be impedance matched so you could power the "SZ"s using only the amp in the sonos zp100. The question comes then as to what quality of sound you want. The better the sound the more amplification you need.


Each Sonos box has an aux input which you can run off a DirecTv box directly or (which seems to be your idea) off the 2nd zone output. At which point anything you play through the 2nd zone will be available on the Sonos systems. Do keep in mind that most receivers can only pass analog audio to the 2nd and 3rd zone outputs.


My recommendation for you for the best sound would be something like a Yamaha RX-V1700 or equivalent with ZP80's for the non-basement SZ's with some kind of outboard amplification. You save about $150 per Sonos for the ZP80 vs. the ZP100 and you can use that $300 towards better amplification for those secondary zones.


Hope this helps.
 
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