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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

We’re building a 2 story house and now would be the perfect time to get the WIRING on paper. I’ve been lurking on this website for a couple of weeks and read a ton…however the sheer range of possibilities/options are overwhelming.

Here’s what I am hoping to achieve with a budget of $4K (EXCLUDING audio/video components but INCLUDING keypads, switches, cables, connectors, software, etc)

Thanks in advance for your input!


1st floor split up in 6 zones.


Zone 1: 2 speaker in Master Bedroom and 1 Master Bath: Total: 3 speakers single source/single keypad

Zone 2: 1 speaker each in Kitchen and Kitchen Nook: Total 2 speakers Single source/single keypad

Zone 3: 1 speaker each in Dining Room/Living room/foyer: Total 3 speakers Single source/single keypad

Zone 4: 2 speakers in Garage, single keypad

Zone 5: 2 speakers in covered Patio, single keypad


What system will give me a “decent” stereo sound in each of the zones 1-5?


Zone 6: HT system with 5.1 in Family room


I was planning to install a dedicated AMP/receiver in the family room for HT and add a couple of sources (DVD/laptop) in order to keep it simple for my better half (instead of centralizing everything in AV closet on 2nd floor and work with remotes).

I would like the ability to link all 6 zones (incl HT in family room) to any one single source at any time when needed (listen to same radio station/DVD throughout the ground floor f.e.). But I would also like the ability to simultaneously listen to a different source in the zones 1 t 5 than the source selected in the family room (zone 6).


2nd Floor:

AV closet in Bedroom #2.

I planned to run cables from Cable TV and satellite provider to the AV closet in bedroom #2. From there run cables to family room and master bedroom on 1st floor and game room and all bedrooms upstairs (#2,#3,#4,#5).

Game room: dedicated AMP for HT 7.1 connected to local sources/but also connected to AV closet just in case…

The longest distance between AV closet and any point of input/output would be less than 100 ft.

In future I’d like a dedicated PC in the AV closet to be connected to family room and game room (part of network).


I believe that’s is, now I need to spec it out for the builder. BTW: better ideas to accomplish the above (or more) and ways to "future proof" the system are very welcome.












2

 

AVS wiring.pdf 155.095703125k . file
 

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If you run speaker wire from your closet to each zone/room, looping the wire through the planned keypad location on its way to the speaker locations, and then run Cat5 to each keypad location, you'll be pretty set for wiring. That's the 'CEA recommended/standard' setup...


Note that the keypads are usually sold in bundles with the whole house audio kits, so it's hard to give you a ballpark price on those without the actual gear...


Jeff
 

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I would like to add to what jautor said about speakers and keypad locations. In addition to the cat5 he mentioned i would also suggest you run a 4 conductor control cable like Liberty Linx. It will work with Crestron, Lutron and AMX. http://www.libertycable.com/prod_det...?pitem=LLINX-U


Keypad

1-Cat5E

1-14/4 (4 conductor 4 gauge speaker cable)

1-Control cable


Speaker

14/2 to each speaker from keypad location.


If you have plans to upgrade a specific keypad location to a touchscreen where you may want audio and video i would suggest you run 2 additional Cat5 cables.


Quote:
Zone 1: 2 speaker in Master Bedroom and 1 Master Bath: Total: 3 speakers single source/single keypad

You should do 2 speakers or a single stereo speaker in the master bathroom. You can treat these 2 rooms as a single zone but it forces you and your significant other to listen to the same thing. Usually not a problem with a distributed audio only, no video system. You will need a sepereate speaker selector or volume control if you want to be able to use one room but not the other. Hardware wise it will cost the same to just keep the 2 rooms separate IMO.

Quote:
Zone 2: 1 speaker each in Kitchen and Kitchen Nook: Total 2 speakers Single source/single keypad

As long as these rooms are close enough so that the speakers can act as stereo this will work. If these rooms are seperated by walls you wont hear stereo in either and you will have sound in both rooms at the same time unless you use an additional speaker selector or volume control to kill 1 room.

Quote:
Zone 3: 1 speaker each in Dining Room/Living room/foyer: Total 3 speakers Single source/single keypad

2 speakers = Stereo. Or you can have single stereo speakers which wire like a pair of speakers. Single stereo speakers are typically used in bath's where ceiling space is limited and they cost significantly more than a single regular speaker. Using 2 regular speakers will produce better results and not cost you anything extra in hardware.

Quote:
Zone 4: 2 speakers in Garage, single keypad

Good.

Quote:
Zone 5: 2 speakers in covered Patio, single keypad

Good.

Quote:
What system will give me a “decent” stereo sound in each of the zones 1-5?

First thing you need to do is plan for 2 speakers in each room if you want "any" stereo sound in zones 1 thru 5. I count 11 rooms that should be 6 zones DA and 2 zones DAV.


1.Master Bath

2.Master Bed

3.Dining Room

3.Living Room

3.Foyer

4.Garage

5.Covered Patio

6.Kitchen

6.Kitchen Nook

7.Family Room (rec)

8.Game Room (rec)


Quote:
Zone 7: HT system with 5.1 in Family room
Quote:
I was planning to install a dedicated AMP/receiver in the family room for HT and add a couple of sources (DVD/laptop) in order to keep it simple for my better half (instead of centralizing everything in AV closet on 2nd floor and work with remotes).

I would like the ability to link all 6 zones (incl HT in family room) to any one single source at any time when needed (listen to same radio station/DVD throughout the ground floor f.e.). But I would also like the ability to simultaneously listen to a different source in the zones 1 t 5 than the source selected in the family room (zone 6).

This will require audio & video switchers. It basically allows you to input any source and 'split it' out to any zone. The only thing to think about is that you can select the same cable box or fm tuner in any room but both rooms must watch/listen to the same channel. You will need multiple cable boxes or dvd players if you want to be able to have 2 people watching/listening to different channels at the same time. I just confused myself a little so hopefully it makes sense to you
.


I don't know what product to spec for your project. Just offering random information based on your post and my skill level. Hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback!

I'll install pairs of speakers per room, even number per zone, then connect speaker cables to keypad locations, then CAt5e from there..to AV closet?

Given the number of speakers, this system would require a multi channel AMP that i would install in the AV closet?

Now as far as the local Amplifiers in Family room and Game room, how are they interconnected with the multi zone audio system (multi channel amp and switcher (?) in the AV closet) ?.

Would this give me the flexibility of using the HT system in game room or family room (local amplifier) as a source for every other zone, over the multi zone audio system?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Your keypad locations wire back to your central AV cabinet. Your AV receivers are in 'local AV cabients'. Just pointing this out so theres no confusion.


The typical way to route audio from the central AV cabinet to your local cabinets AV Receiver is to use stereo out from the matrix switch. You route it into an unused input. CD for example. As far as your matrix is concerned its just another zone. Then you just select the CD input at the receiver and you have distributed audio there.


The wiring suggested for your keypad locations should cover you on any system you choose. How they actually wire up will depend on the chosen system. The Cat5 may not get used. The control cable may not get used. The speaker cable may not get used. Some DA products require a multi channel amp and some dont. Some have local amps built into the keypads so it all really depends on the system you choose.


If you keep the video in your AV receiver zones local it will bring costs down. If you have a seperate DVD player and cable box in each video zone you wont need a switch for it in the control room.


Your AV Receiver Receives source input and outputs audio/video to your display and speakers. It is not a source.


If you want to take those local sources and make their audio available in the other rooms you will need to send the audio to the control room. This is easily done with a cat5 and baluns. Your basically just making really long interconnects and plugging it into the audio matrix as if it were in the same room. Most cable and satellite boxes have 2 sets of stereo outs so you just use the unused set. With Blu-ray players you will most likely be using digital or HDMI for audio to the local receiver so you can use the stereo output to send it back to the av cabinet.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaavsforum /forum/post/17029905


Thanks for the feedback!

I'll install pairs of speakers per room, even number per zone, then connect speaker cables to keypad locations, then CAt5e from there..to AV closet?

It's been answered but it is important enough that it bears repeating and that you aren't confused here. You DO NOT connect the speaker cables from the speakers to the Keypad in most systems. Only something like ABUS where the amps are located in the keypads. You ROUTE the speakers cables from the speakers THROUGH the keypad location and back to your head end. If you run 14/4 to the keypad location then you can splice 14/2 to each speaker from the keypad location, but the key is that you STILL NEED speaker cable all the way back to the head end. In summary, this covers systems such as:


ABUS: Cat5 from headend to keypad, speaker wire from keypad to speakers, speaker wire from headend to keypad unused.


Russound/Concerto et al: speaker wire from headend through keypad location (spliced if necessary) to speakers.


High End (not familiar here, just guessing): Cat5 to keypad. speaker wire from headend through keypad location (spliced if necessary) to speakers. Possible control wire used.
 

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also from www.htd.com - a diagram explaining the options mentioned above - and "home running" both the speaker wiring and the CAT5 back to the central equipment location. What the diagram does not show is running the speaker cable through the wall outlet, but that is the more convienient method for a wiring pre-installer to do...but the speaker wiring runs "through" the box to the individual speaker locations.

http://www.htd.com/s.nl/ctype.KB/it....c=5&category=8
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not sure i understand...


What do you mean by home running the speaker cables to the AV closet "through" a keypad (wall outlet), but "not connect to it"?

BTW I do not plan to use a system with integrated amps in the key pads.

I assumed raising the volume button on the keypad would signal the central AMP in the av closet (over the CAT 5) to increase the volume of the speakers that are identified as being in the zone where the said key pad is located? (Regardless of how the speaker cables are home running).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaavsforum /forum/post/17041194


Not sure i understand...


What do you mean by home running the speaker cables to the AV closet "through" a keypad (wall outlet), but "not connect to it"?

BTW I do not plan to use a system with integrated amps in the key pads.

I assumed raising the volume button on the keypad would signal the central AMP in the av closet (over the CAT 5) to increase the volume of the speakers that are identified as being in the zone where the said key pad is located? (Regardless of how the speaker cables are home running).

By routing the speaker cable through the keypad location you afford yourself the most flexibility. While you say now that you may never use a system that uses keypad amps, what everyone here will tell you is never say never. Also consider in the future if you sell the house. By running the speaker wires through 'keypad' locations, you could remove your expensive multizone equipment and keypads and replace them with simple rotary volume controls. By having the speaker cable routed through the keypad location you cover all bases and allow future owners the option of using whatever type system they want. If you just run cat5 to the keypad location, you are stuck with that solution forever and ever.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/17029408


I would like to add to what jautor said about speakers and keypad locations. In addition to the cat5 he mentioned i would also suggest you run a 4 conductor control cable like Liberty Linx. It will work with Crestron, Lutron and AMX. http://www.libertycable.com/prod_det...?pitem=LLINX-U

I imagine that cat5 isn't a substitute for this control cable, but I don't understand why not? In other words, if you tried to use a couple pairs from a cat5 run to feed a Crestron/Lutron/AMX device instead of using this 4 conductor control cable why wouldn't that work? (I imagine the twists, gauge, shielding , etc. are probably different, but not sure exactly where things would break down.)
 

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It is possible to use cat5 as a control cable but should only be done in a worst case scenario. For Crestron as an example.. you are required to connect the included drain at the processor end and the communication pair of the 4 wires is shielded. With Cat5 you have no shield and there is no 5th 'drain' wire.


Cables are designed for specific applications. While its possible to use any 2 conductors as 2 conductors its not recommended. Using the wrong cable can cause system instability and equipment failure. Cresnet (crestrons wired communication bus) is governed by parameters like cable length & gauge. Its difficult to do the math when you introduce the wrong cable.


You can probably get away with using the 4 conductor speaker wire as a control cable also but again.. its not advised, especially when your getting ready to pull cables to the location anyway and it will only cost you a few dollars more to do it right the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK I get it. Great points thanks!

I'm almost there...I think



I want the 2 HT systems configured as flexible as possible: meaning the options of using:

1. local source/AMP/speakers in local HT room

2. local source in HT room through whole house

3. remotely located source (AV Closet) in HT room


Can someone clarify in detail
how to integrate the "local" speakers (part of HT system) into the whole house surround system: do they home run to AV closet thru the key pads like all other speakers in the house that are not part of the HT? Or do i run them to the local amplifier (since local AMP connects to switch in closet over CAT5 and baluns?)

Thanks
 

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Local surround receivers become part of the distributed audio system when you output stereo from the audio switcher to an input on the surround receiver.


So instead of outputing stereo to an amplifier input on a multizone amp you would send stereo out to any input on a surround receiver. The surround receiver will treat it like any other source.


This is why the control system is the most important part of any multizone system.


A macro for CD will look like this.

Normal DA zone:


CD ON

CD PLAY

MATRIX INPUT 1 CD to MATRIX OUTPUT 1 KITCHEN

Surround zone:


CD ON

CD PLAY

MATRIX INPUT 1 CD to MATRIX OUTPUT 2 Family Room

Family Room AVReceiver ON

Family Room AVReceiver AUX Input


Your control system needs to be able to control both the local and centralized devices at the same time.
 
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