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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello-


I got a lot of help with my pre-wiring for my new house in this thread and now need some assistance in powering the system.


I plan on using my existing Sony receiver (STR-DE885) to power my 5.1 system with a new plasma screen and will have this hidden in a closest behind the TV.


I wired for 5.1/6.1 in the family room which will connect to the DE885. In addition, I have in-ceiling speakers ready to terminate in the same closet and I am looking for a cheap way to power the other rooms (kitchen, dining room, living room, and study). I want to have those rooms as one extra zone so that I can watch TV in the family room and provide music to the other rooms as background noise. I would like to feed the 4-pairs of speakers music from my CD/DVD player, a FM tuner, and hopefully the audio from the cable box.


Should I look into buying one of the following to power the new system:
  • An old receiver to power the extra rooms using the Sony for the 5.1 room
  • Add a new multi-zone receiver and a Niles 1230
  • Other Option


I hope this makes sense and thanks for the help.


T.Wells
 

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Rather than try to decipher that thread, what exactly did you wire to the other rooms--did you run speaker wire for passive volume controls? How were you planning on controlling volume in those other rooms? Did you run wire for keypads?


(There are a few viable choices depending on how you want to control the system.)


B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Brian B
Rather than try to decipher that thread, what exactly did you wire to the other rooms--did you run speaker wire for passive volume controls? How were you planning on controlling volume in those other rooms? Did you run wire for keypads?


(There are a few viable choices depending on how you want to control the system.)


B.
Good point. Thanks Brian.


I did not run wire for keypad control but did run wire for passive volume control. I ran 14/4 into each of the four rooms and 14/2 for each speaker.


Therefore, each room will have a volume control with two speakers. I also did not purchase the volume control knobs as of yet but I plan to do so within a few months.


Thanks!
 

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Here are some options from most expensive to least expensive:


1) Buy a Matrix Audio Multiroom system. A 4-room system with keypads is upwards of $5000 from what I recall. It will give you keypads in 4 rooms, multi-source capability, individual amplifiers for each set of speakers, and electronically controlled volume. The system works with only the speaker wire in the wall--no need for CAT 5. Then buy a better receiver for surround sound and don't worry about multi-room outputs on it. From what I rememeber, all the analog sources can be looped through the Matrix--if not, just double up some outputs, use analog and digital, or Y them.


2) Buy a better receiver with only a multi-room output and buy an 8 (or more) channel amplifier. Rotel makes a nice, modest one for $800. Or you could get a much more powerful one for $1000s. Then install passive volume controls in the four rooms.


3) Buy a better receiver with a multi-room output and buy a 2 channel amplifier for
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brian,


Thanks a bunch! That really helps and I didn't know that I had so many options. Your assistance is truly appreciated.


I have two questions if you don't mind:


1st, do the traditional volume controls allow you to turn off the speakers in the room totally or does it only allow you to adjust the volume +/- rather than off/on and increase volume?


2nd is that I will probably go with a cheaper method for now as I am planning on doing a dedicated theater in the basement and will use the money saved on a new multi-zone 7.1 amp that will drive the dedicated theater and the basement area of the house. Can you recommend a speaker switcher that comes in the $100 - $150 price range?


Thanks again,

T.Wells
 

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Every current model volume control I've used (mainly Niles) shut the sound off when the knob is turned all the way down.


If you want to use a speaker switcher, again my experience is with Niles, and their SPS-4 works well--4 pairs on/off with labels for rooms and a speaker protection on/off. I believe it still sells for $100.


B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great! Thank you again.


T.Wells
 

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Hi Brian, hi T:


I have a similar question - re: what type of amp (i.e. number of channels) to buy for a 3 or 4 room setup as zone 2.


I have a Rotel 1055 receiver in my HT with zone 2 capability and I started running wires to 3 rooms that i can access from the basement below. I ran cat 5e wire to the first room, but i don't think i am going to use it.


I am putting together a multi-room speaker system and I am wondering what are the pros and cons for using a 6-channel amp (e.g. Rotel RMB 1066 6x 60 watts) with passive volume controls in each room.


Alternately, what about using a single (or bridged) amp channel say 400 watts to power 3 rooms of speakers using impedance matching volume controls in each room. In this example, I assume I would need 2 channels at 400 watts , not just 1 channels at 400 watts.


My understanding is that with a 6 or 8 channel amp, I am locked into a max of 3 or 4 rooms with 2 speakers per room, whereas if I go with a 400 watt amp, I could add more rooms until I feel that they are underpowered.


I understand that using a 6 or 8 channel amp might be more expensive. But perhaps the passive volume controls might be cheaper.


Lastly, i am not sure if there are any benefits to using a rotel amp with my rotel receiver.



Thanks for your insight!


-Jack
 

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I suppose it really depends on how many rooms you want. You can always double up (or more) channels on the multi-channel amplifier, so I still prefer this option. At least in the old days, changing impedance used to affect frequency response and reduce quality.


**To double up you'd have to pick one channel pair and use the 2x setting on the volume control while leaving the others untouched. You could double, quadruple, octupule, whatever on down. You will have less power to each set just like with the big multi channel amp.


Get the 1066 or 1048 (if you like Rotel--nothing wrong with them) and get impedance matching volume controls where you can bypass the impedance option (I think all of them have a 1x setting).


My guess is it will sound better and be more reliable in the long run. The amplifiers have line level outputs so you can add more later if you like (or a bigger 2-channel amp) for a really difficult set of speakers.


If you do go with a larger 2-channel amp, make sure you get some sort of speaker wire strip to attach all the wires to--it will make hook up and/or servicing much easier. The other option would be some banana plugs that accept 10 gauge wire that you insert easily although to me, it seems rather messy.


Brian
 

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Hi Brian,


Thank you very much for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate you insight! Not knowing much about volume controls, I thought one would either use impedance matching or not. I did not know that it was possible to bypass the impedance option. Should i stay away from any brands, or should i base my choice of volume control on price and specifications such as watt handling and freq. response?


I do like Rotel, but i am not sure what benefit there may be to me staying in that brand. i should check my manual to see if i could control some functions if i have an IR eye on the volume control as i already ran cat 5e wire to 1 of the rooms.


Perhaps i can get more bang for my buck with another brand such as Parasound, but i am really happy with my rotel receiver and i don't want to get a something over-rated such as a sony' or kenwood that claims 6x100 for $199. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am sure "rotel or...X,Y,Z" has been discussed in the amplifier forum.


It is funny that you mention a wire strip for the big 2-channel amp setup as that is one of the benefits i was liking about a 2 channel setup. However, i really like the "home theater wall plate system' that is sold at Partsexpress.com, so i decided that i don't mind so much having 12+ banana jacks on the wall.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...number=261-410


THANKS again!

-jack
 

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Quote:
Should i stay away from any brands, or should i base my choice of volume control on price and specifications such as watt handling and freq. response?
I don't have experience with tons of different controls. A long time ago I saw a test with measurements (by Elan I think) between different volume controls and as you'd expect, the more expensive ones were better with a less obvious effect on frequency response and power loss. I'm pretty familiar with Niles products, but I'm sure there are others that would be good. Their VCS100 allows you to use impedance matching or not.


Quote:
I do like Rotel, but i am not sure what benefit there may be to me staying in that brand. i should check my manual to see if i could control some functions if i have an IR eye on the volume control as i already ran cat 5e wire to 1 of the rooms.
The new amplifiers have 12 V triggers that you should be able to utilize to turn them on/off. That is all an amplifier would do anyway.


Quote:
Perhaps i can get more bang for my buck with another brand such as Parasound, but i am really happy with my rotel receiver and i don't want to get a something over-rated such as a sony' or kenwood that claims 6x100 for $199. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am sure "rotel or...X,Y,Z" has been discussed in the amplifier forum.
There are probably a bunch of multi-channel amplifiers out there, but I'm not too up on which ones are good or not. It will come down to the amount of channels and the cost. ...As you said, be afraid of any amplifier that sounds too good to be true. In some cases it may be cheaper to buy 2 5-channel amplifiers (and better) than a 10- or 12-channel amplifier. The big 10- or 12-channel amplifiers do tend to be configurable. This means you can usually bridge channels for more power, use single channels with summed L+R channels (perhaps for a hall or bathroom were you would only use one speaker), and cascade inputs or directly plug in with the flip of a switch. And, of course, you'll have a trim pot for gain.


Quote:
It is funny that you mention a wire strip for the big 2-channel amp setup as that is one of the benefits i was liking about a 2 channel setup. However, i really like the "home theater wall plate system' that is sold at Partsexpress.com, so i decided that i don't mind so much having 12+ banana jacks on the wall.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...number=261-410
This would be the right thing for use with the multichannel amplifier, but would NOT help you for the 2 channel amplifier set up. Keep in mind that you will need to combine all the left channels together and connect them to the single output on the amplifier. That is what I was talking about. If you have 4 or more wires running out of the wall you'll still need a nice way to connect them to the amplifier. The strip is basically a plate with a bunch of screw down terminals that allow you to jump all the channels together and then connect ONE + and - cable to each channel of the amplifier.


Brian
 
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