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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

We're currently in the process of building a new home and will be breaking ground soon. I'm starting to research whole home audio solutions and am looking for advice or other's experiences when setting these systems up. I will have two 5.1 surround sound systems in the house and I also want the ability to play music in 6 or 7 other rooms with controls in all rooms. What equipment would I need to make this happen in addition to what I already have? I currently have two Pioneer Elite receivers for the surround systems. I assume I'll need a multi-channel amp along with keypads? Would anyone mind explaining how the connections occur between these components? Does the receiver connect to the multi-channel amp and then multi-channel amp to the speakers?

Does anyone recommend Home Theater Direct (HTD.com)?

Thanks,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Please let me rephrase my questions. Looking for a whole home audio solution. I like what I see on HTD website and customer support seems great. Any other comparable products I should consider other than HTD? Here is what I’m looking to do:

Want the ability to play music in the following rooms of the house:
Downstairs
o Family room (7.1 surround) – already have Pioneer receiver
o Living room (2 ceiling speakers)
o Dining room (2 ceiling speakers)
o Kitchen (2 ceiling speakers)
o Sunroom (2 ceiling speakers)
o Outside (2 outdoor speakers)
o Garage (2 ceiling speakers)
Upstairs
o Bonus Room (7.1 surround) – already have Pioneer receiver
o Master Bed (2 ceiling speakers)
o Master Bath (2 ceiling speakers)

Only source I think we’ll ever use for music is an iPhone, iPod or iPad. Are there other sources that make sense to connect to a whole home audio system?

Would I keep the two 7.1 surround sound systems completely separate from this whole home audio system? I would like the ability to play the same music throughout the entire home including the speakers in the family room and bonus room.

Using HTD as an example, do I need the lyncpads in all rooms or does it make sense to just use an iPhone or iPad to control everything? I see they have an option to include or not include these lyncpads and just wondering pros and cons.

Thanks,
Brian
 

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Please let me rephrase my questions. Looking for a whole home audio solution. I like what I see on HTD website and customer support seems great. Any other comparable products I should consider other than HTD? Here is what I’m looking to do:

Want the ability to play music in the following rooms of the house:
Downstairs
o Family room (7.1 surround) – already have Pioneer receiver
o Living room (2 ceiling speakers)
o Dining room (2 ceiling speakers)
o Kitchen (2 ceiling speakers)
o Sunroom (2 ceiling speakers)
o Outside (2 outdoor speakers)
o Garage (2 ceiling speakers)
Upstairs
o Bonus Room (7.1 surround) – already have Pioneer receiver
o Master Bed (2 ceiling speakers)
o Master Bath (2 ceiling speakers)

Only source I think we’ll ever use for music is an iPhone, iPod or iPad. Are there other sources that make sense to connect to a whole home audio system?

Would I keep the two 7.1 surround sound systems completely separate from this whole home audio system? I would like the ability to play the same music throughout the entire home including the speakers in the family room and bonus room.

Using HTD as an example, do I need the lyncpads in all rooms or does it make sense to just use an iPhone or iPad to control everything? I see they have an option to include or not include these lyncpads and just wondering pros and cons.

Thanks,
Brian

A multi-channel (multi-zone) amplifier with flexibility, able to drive almost any load and very good build and sound quality. Certainly not an inexpensive solution but one I have not regretted:


http://www.parasound.com/1250.php


In-wall CL2 rated speaker cable (12AWG). I have 800' in walls, ceilings and attic. "Wire-is-wire-is-wire." I don't believe that. This cable is a perfect inexpensive solution that meets code and will not disappoint:


https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2817
 

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Only source I think we’ll ever use for music is an iPhone, iPod or iPad. Are there other sources that make sense to connect to a whole home audio system?
Yes, a Sonos Connect (or several). Piping the audio from your set-top box can also be handy - I use that to listen to the news every morning.

Would I keep the two 7.1 surround sound systems completely separate from this whole home audio system? I would like the ability to play the same music throughout the entire home including the speakers in the family room and bonus room.
You can feed the audio from the WHA system (or its sources) to your AVRs. Or if you use Sonos / HEOS / NuVo / Russound you can attach streamer units directly to the AVR, too. Lots of choices.

Using HTD as an example, do I need the lyncpads in all rooms or does it make sense to just use an iPhone or iPad to control everything? I see they have an option to include or not include these lyncpads and just wondering pros and cons.
Only con is cost. Pro is that you have easy on/off/volume that doesn't require a mobile device. And you'll be switching apps on the phone/iPad if you're going to just use content from the phone. A much more usable solution is to use a set of Sonos Connect:Amp units (or the equivalent from the other vendors I mentioned above) so you have everything in one app. The Russound system with the color touchscreens is probably the best of both setups currently - I expect we'll see others improve their keypad/touchscreen offerings in the near future.


Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've been doing some research and Sonos looks pretty cool. Still have a lot of research to do but an advantage of Sonos would be saving money on installation cost because I guess there really wouldn't be any since it's all wireless. I would just have to be comfortable not having in-ceiling speakers and find a place for cabinet speaker(s) in each room. In addition to using and ipad or iphone to listen to music with this system is it possible to get other sources into the system such as a cable box?

Thanks,
Brian
 

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I would just have to be comfortable not having in-ceiling speakers and find a place for cabinet speaker(s) in each room.
You can use whatever speakers you want with the Sonos gear. A Connect:Amp can be used to power a set of in-ceiling speakers (probably with the box placed back in the central wiring closet where the speakers wires would terminate), or any bookshelf/tower speakers directly. So if you want in-ceiling, it's just a matter of running the wires to wherever you'd like to hide the Sonos Connect:Amp.

In addition to using and ipad or iphone to listen to music with this system is it possible to get other sources into the system such as a cable box?
Yes, all of these zone player products have an analog line input to take audio from a local source - which can then be shared over the network to any other zone (not just the one it's attached to). Caution on the set-top box is that the audio will be delayed compared to an attached TV - so using it for audio in the same room as the TV not a good solution.

Jeff
 
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