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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some basic help connecting the dots to a new home audio setup please…


My understanding so far:


1)Dedicated Computer/Music Server

2)Amp

3)DAC

4)SPEAKERS

5)INTERFACE


Looking at a 20K budget.

Like my paradigm reference speakers in TV room so will probably go with them. (wall/ceiling, Paradigm throughout the house. $3600 of the 20K)

Up to 6 zones.

Controlled in each zone and from my laptop and/or dedicated controller.

Some CD’s but also streaming music and XM.

Want to have playlists, classical, rock, soft etc…

Have room in basement for setup and can get under whole house.

Hard wire all components. WIFI only for interface.

Looking at the Sooloos system but seems overkill but not ruling it out.

What controls the 6 zones? The DAC, AMP???


What am I missing here????


Lots of other questions for later…..


Thanks

Mark
 

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Have you looked at Sonos?

www.sonos.com


I know you specified wired, but the Sonos controller of all the rooms is a slick solution for control of multi-room music and much more user-friendly than a laptop. It also make it MUCH easier to re-arrange if you decide to move things around later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gzerro /forum/post/19548446


Have you looked at Sonos?

www.sonos.com


I know you specified wired, but the Sonos controller of all the rooms is a slick solution for control of multi-room music and much more user-friendly than a laptop. It also make it MUCH easier to re-arrange if you decide to move things around later.

Thank You for your input.

I am more interested in high end audio. 24/96

The speakers should handle that.

My budget should handle that.

Mark
 

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you have several questions you need to answer.


do you want to have the ability to play different things in different zones?

do you want independent control of volume in each zone?

do you want to be able to control all zones from any controller?

do you want to have a controller in each zone?

do you want to do just audio, or would you also like to be able control other things (lights?)

You might want to deal with a professional with experience in this area. You've got the budget, and sometimes money spent on professional help can save you in the long run. Most important you have to decide what you want, then figure out how to do it.

If you have a preferred PC platform (mac, windows, linux) that might effect what you do.


For me, the solution was a central mac server runing itunes. airport express, and receiver/speakers in each zone. iphone (or ipod touch, or ipad) for control. But it might not be the best solution for you.


edit: that Sooloos system looks sweet. Have no first hand experience with it, so can't comment on what it can do, or how well it does it, for the $
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightd /forum/post/19548521


you have several questions you need to answer.


do you want to have the ability to play different things in different zones?
Yes

do you want independent control of volume in each zone?
Yes

do you want to be able to control all zones from any controller?
Hmmmm?

do you want to have a controller in each zone?
Yes, figure wall mount, small screen...

do you want to do just audio, or would you also like to be able control other things (lights?)
Just Audio

You might want to deal with a professional with experience in this area. You've got the budget, and sometimes money spent on professional help can save you in the long run. Most important you have to decide what you want, then figure out how to do it.
If I do go the sooloos route it would have to be professional installer...

If you have a preferred PC platform (mac, windows, linux) that might effect what you do.
Windows is what I'm used to.


For me, the solution was a central mac server runing itunes. airport express, and receiver/speakers in each zone. iphone (or ipod touch, or ipad) for control. But it might not be the best solution for you.


edit: that Sooloos system looks sweet. Have no first hand experience with it, so can't comment on what it can do, or how well it does it, for the $
It does look turn-key but not so sure about the 6 zones. Says something on the web site about intergrateing with "crestron" but not well defined...

Thanks


Mark
 

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If you want crestron integration, you pretty much have to hire somebody. I think you might want to reconsider small screen on wall - much handier to have the small screen in your hand - maybe with an on wall charging station. Again, there is no right answer. Talk to the pros near you, see what they recommend.


I wanted a "roll your own" system that I could upgrade and change as needed or desired. But that takes more work on my part, and might not be as good as what you can buy and have installed. For me, the advantage was I could understand it, and upgrade it as capabilities increased.


edit, you might want to visit the HTPC threads http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...aysprune=&f=26
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightd /forum/post/19548978


If you want crestron integration, you pretty much have to hire somebody. I think you might want to reconsider small screen on wall - much handier to have the small screen in your hand - maybe with an on wall charging station. Again, there is no right answer. Talk to the pros near you, see what they recommend.


I wanted a "roll your own" system that I could upgrade and change as needed or desired. But that takes more work on my part, and might not be as good as what you can buy and have installed. For me, the advantage was I could understand it, and upgrade it as capabilities increased.


edit, you might want to visit the HTPC threads http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...aysprune=&f=26

I have been all over these boards looking for answers. Found bits and pieces but not one integrated single "system" for great sounds throughout the house. The problem I see with a basic computer are the different components that need to work together flawlessly to stream your music out. Motherboard, Processor, sound card etc. Ant then to an Amp and then to a DAC..... sheesh....

Should be ONE fully integrated system available that works together with a great interface that you can just plug your different zoned speakers into! (dreaming....)
 

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One thing that I didn't see addressed was the room itself. The room IS a MAJOR part of the system. I have been in rooms with $25,000 front speakers, and it made little difference in the sound presentation over a pair of $200 speakers. I was cringing the whole time. Proof in the pudding that it makes little difference how much you spend on the "stuff" if the listening environment and setup is extremely poor. My suggestion, look at a proper setup plan first. Then, look at what stuff meets presentation specifications and your tastes. The room is absolutely paramount, and makes up about 85% of the way that system will sound like.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by applog /forum/post/19549270


I have been all over these boards looking for answers. Found bits and pieces but not one integrated single "system" for great sounds throughout the house. The problem I see with a basic computer are the different components that need to work together flawlessly to stream your music out. Motherboard, Processor, sound card etc. Ant then to an Amp and then to a DAC..... sheesh....

Should be ONE fully integrated system available that works together with a great interface that you can just plug your different zoned speakers into! (dreaming....)

Your budget is too low for integrated system.


It will be much easier if you consider every zone to be separate. You can have something like Squeezebox Touch in every room along with amp (or powered speakers). You can keep all your music files on a single computer, and access them from everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraMikeBravo /forum/post/19549413


One thing that I didn't see addressed was the room itself. The room IS a MAJOR part of the system. I have been in rooms with $25,000 front speakers, and it made little difference in the sound presentation over a pair of $200 speakers. I was cringing the whole time. Proof in the pudding that it makes little difference how much you spend on the "stuff" if the listening environment and setup is extremely poor. My suggestion, look at a proper setup plan first. Then, look at what stuff meets presentation specifications and your tastes. The room is absolutely paramount, and makes up about 85% of the way that system will sound like.

GREAT REPLY!!!!!!

Rooms are throughout the house. Kitchen/Dinning room, Bedroom/Parlor, Porch etc.

I'm not stuck on any one speaker system. Love my Paradigm Speakers in my TV room, driven by a Denon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 /forum/post/19549545


Your budget is too low for integrated system.


It will be much easier if you consider every zone to be separate. You can have something like Squeezebox Touch in every room along with amp (or powered speakers). You can keep all your music files on a single computer, and access them from everywhere.

20K is too low!!!!! SHEESH.....

I do want great sound. I know the differance even though I can't tell you the why behind it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraMikeBravo
One thing that I didn't see addressed was the room itself. The room IS a MAJOR part of the system. I have been in rooms with $25,000 front speakers, and it made little difference in the sound presentation over a pair of $200 speakers. I was cringing the whole time. Proof in the pudding that it makes little difference how much you spend on the "stuff" if the listening environment and setup is extremely poor. My suggestion, look at a proper setup plan first. Then, look at what stuff meets presentation specifications and your tastes. The room is absolutely paramount, and makes up about 85% of the way that system will sound like.
This is such a different way of looking at things. I love it!!!! Now I know what to look for in a professional. I will not bring it up, just see if he does. I have found out in life experiences that knowledge up front is paramount in situations like this....


It's so simple. I was looking at it ass-backwards

Again, thanks for that!!!!!!


Mark
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by applog
20K is too low!!!!! SHEESH.....

I do want great sound. I know the differance even though I can't tell you the why behind it.
Why are you surprised. You will need low production volume specialized electronics, where margins are much higher than in mass market units. Then include custom installation and programming work, where $200/h is not unheard of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 /forum/post/19552404


Why are you surprised. You will need low production volume specialized electronics, where margins are much higher than in mass market units. Then include custom installation and programming work, where $200/h is not unheard of.

If I was setting up the perfect Audio listing room I wouldn't be surprised. I've been reading The Absolute Sound magazine for years. I know 100K is expected for the beat listing experience. But here I'm not talking about sitting in one seat smoking a cigar with a glass of good Brandy listing to great Jazz.


I'm in the basic, but good, whole house background music experience. Streaming internet music, my CD collection downloaded to the hard drive, etc..


My mind is turning now after the post on the different room acoustics. I'm now thinking about an amp for each zone and different speaker setups, along with a 2.1 system in the Bedroom/Parlor with some freestanding speakers.

Still a little confused about the Server/DAC part but I'm not planning on doing this project till first qtr '11 so I have time.


AGAIN, thanks guys for all the great food for thought!!!!

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 /forum/post/19552951


I pointed to solution - Squeezebox Touch plus power amp or active speakers. It will come under $1500 per room.

Yep, I like it so far. Working Back wards, Any Idea on amps?

Will I still need the DAC before amps?

I'm assuming in this setup the amp is out in the zone for volume control and your IPAD is used for software interface?

Hmmmm, not seeing it yet...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by applog /forum/post/19553121


Yep, I like it so far. Working Back wards, Any Idea on amps?
Will I still need the DAC before amps?...

If you use the Squeezebox Touch as your source (ultimately the source is your music server streaming to the Touch, but functionally, in each room or zone the Touch is analogous to a CD player as source), then you will have a perfectly good DAC in each Touch. You have no need for an external DAC.


Feed the amp in each room with the analog RCA outs from the Touch. You will have an excellent source component in each room. Just be sure to keep well-tagged lossless files (either FLAC or ALAC) on your music server to stream to the Touch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will2007 /forum/post/19553215


If you use the Squeezebox Touch as your source (ultimately the source is your music server streaming to the Touch, but functionally, in each room or zone the Touch is analogous to a CD player as source), then you will have a perfectly good DAC in each Touch. You have no need for an external DAC.


Feed the amp in each room with the analog RCA outs from the Touch. You will have an excellent source component in each room. Just be sure to keep well-tagged lossless files (either FLAC or ALAC) on your music server to stream to the Touch.

Give me some idea's on amps.

Do hey need to be physically in the rooms or can they be in one central location and wires run to the speakers in each room???
 
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