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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help! I need suggestions for the smartest set up for my "new" 1929, 3700 sf house. Our house is currently wired with speakers in the family room, kitchen, master bed, office and 2 porches, some of which unfortunately is "vintage 80's". We have existing plasma (LG 42") and dlp (Zenith 44") tv's, Harman Kardon AVR130 receivers, and dvd players (Phillips) that are about 2 years old . I'm working with an a/v "expert" who has given me a bid for about $10K for: Crestron Adagio 6 Room ADS (with 4 wall pads, IPOD docking station), new wiring for our family room, and $1200 or so for new speakers for 2 porches and office only (apparently FR, Kit & MBR speakers are in good shape).


I don't mind the price, but here is my dilemma: we will only be in the house for about 2-3 years, and then we'll be building our "dream house" where I expect to do the whole "green" and home automation thing. All we really need for this current house is the ability to play music around the house via radio, cd or ipod with our keypads and have all the TV's and remotes easy to use. We won't be doing any future house upgrades or automation, and I'm concerned that maybe the Crestron is "too much" for what we need but I also don't want to waste money on a crappy system.


Any suggestions? I also welcome recommendations for real a/v "experts" for Fort Worth, Texas. We were wiring guinea pigs on our prior home, so I really want someone who knows his/her stuff.


By the way, I love this forum and I have learned a lot reading the last few days...thanks for sharing your expertise with us ignorami!
 

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Do you like and trust that expert? Have you gotten any 2nd/3rd opinions from other pros? Is your remodel beginning in 2-3 years, or finishing? (ie, we're looking into doing a remodel beginning in 2-3 years, but from the sounds of it, it'll be a 12-18 month project).


If so, given that he/she has actually come out and seen your house and come up with $11K to do what you want, that it sounds like a decent system, and given that you're good with that price, I wouldn't mind it so much. Sure there's other brands out there, but your situation has the following pros: it'll be a fixed price that you're good with with functionality that you want, and will last at least 3 years with the hardware bit still usable after that.


Being able to sleep at night knowing that you're going to enjoy your system for a while, and someone else will come in and do the dirty work would be worth a lot to me.
 

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My first question would be, what is really wrong with the existing speakers and wiring? Is the wiring still in good shape? Have you looked to see what kind of wire you have and what the speakers are? How does the existing system work? Does it use in-wall volume controls? (I'm guessing that it does).


Assuming your old wiring isn't shot, you need to ask yourself how much your willing to pay for the ability to have each of those existing pairs of speakers act like a fully independent zone with it's own smart keypad. That is what your getting with a sophisticated system like the Creston.


On the other hand, can you live with your whole house acting as a single zone and just pipe your music around using an iPod plugin module to one of your receivers, etc? Setting that up wouldn't be too expensive. You can find a decent used Niles multi-room AMP or something similar on eBay everyday. Even if you need to replace a few pairs of old "tired" in-wall speakers that isn't too much money either.


Can you post more details about how the existing old whole house audio system is wired?
 

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$12k in upgrades (of which you'd be lucky to get 20% back on resale) when you might only be there for 24 months seems high to me.


But if you're happy...Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Current system has no wall panels with volume controls or anything nearly that sophisticated--literally just some wiring sticking out of the wall and the speakers in the ceilings. Thanks for the feedback everyone (and special thanks stickyfingers for the sensible outlook).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyberry /forum/post/0


Current system has no wall panels with volume controls or anything nearly that sophisticated--literally just some wiring sticking out of the wall and the speakers in the ceilings. Thanks for the feedback everyone (and special thanks stickyfingers for the sensible outlook).

Ah, if that is the case I'd suggest going out and getting a few cheap Sherwood Stereo Receivers to act as AMPs/Volume controls for the builtin speakers. Other people have commented that this has worked well for them. You might need two receivers to spread out the load of that many speakers.
 

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Sounds like you could go with a nuvo, russound, xantech, onq, and get the same outcome. The crestron is a system that can literally do anything. Even though that is the entry level it can be programmed and work with almost any other crestron system. I would suggest going with something a little cheaper, that can almost do everything the crestron can. For components you could get anything of the ones above for under $4000 with cd, dvd, tuner and control components. Install shouldn't be too much, maybe a couple thousand. But it can fluctuate quite a bit from different installers. You might try another installer with the above brands and compare. I wouldn't suggest dumping a ton of money into the equipment on this house. Do the crestron in your dream home. If you don't mind I'm sure we could recommend someone if we know what area you are in.
 

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So your 4k plus a few thousand for install isn't too far from the Crestron quote and no hassles/time wasted for the OP.


OP, you have the higher end quote for what you want. The lower to middle end using Russound, Niles, Speakercraft, Elan will maybe be a few thousand less. The Adagio will be a great system, the others will be good to very good too. If the $$ isn't out of line with your budget, the Adagio would be my choice. The only drawback will be that once you have the Crestron, you'll want it again in your next house.
 

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Hmmm, I'm pretty new with all of this stuff but isn't it possible to take the hardware with you when you move? The adagio system might be a good base system or add-on to a new system in your dream house (depending on how big you are going).


The programming and hardware is a pretty big chunk of the bill usually so that would all be in place for the move. Again, I would ask the installer about upgradeability for the new home but factor that in.


I know quite a few people who left the wiring in their old house but took the speakers and hardware.


Good luck and let us know what you end up doing!


Jay
 

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Well as for the adagio there isn't really any programming. So there shouldn't be really be a higher cost for install. As for taking the system not a bad idea. But that it comes with some inwall keypads that would leave a bunch of holes in your house. I hope you have received the help you were looking for.
 

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I have a sonos as well and think it is about the best digital audio system. The hand controller is well made and fairly intuitive. My technophobic wife can actually use it. what really makes it powerful is it works with the Rhapsody service (10/mo) to get access to around 2M songs. If you have a NAS, you can put your songs there and play them through the sonos. The controller has a built in volume control.


Two issues to consider:

- where is you network connection going to be relative to the speaker amp? You will need a net connection for internet radio and rhapsody.

- where are you going to use the controller? It is RF wireless which means you can't have too many walls in between (I can go through 3 walls with relative success).


I also agree with the comment about the crestron being overkill for such a short payback period.
 

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I'd chime in with another endorsement for the Sonos system. Give your time frame the biggest beauty of the Sonos system is the really minimal install required. We're talking about connecting the speakers and moving on. This way you can take your investment with you when you move. You describe six zones. For $1200 you get a starter kit that is two zone players and a controller. Three of those and you have six zones and 3 controllers. the main thing about the sonos for me is that there is simply no comparison between its controller and even the best wall pads. The controller is an interface fairly similar to an IPod's that puts all your music in your palm. it's extremely easy to use and manage.


Good luck

Ben
 

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wall pads are annoying, never close to you and so outdated in my opinion. Avoid them at all costs.


I like the Sonos suggestion for the OP. It is a pretty good value audio system and from the understanding that the OP is going to be building a dream home, dont waste money and time on the old house trying to install 10K Audio distribution.
 

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I have been researching the Sonos for awhile now, and have a general question that I haven't been able to find an answer to. I have a primary system setup in one room of my house and would like to distribute audio to two or three other rooms of the house (each of which already has its own music system). This means that I would like to sync the audio source from the primary room throughout the house, whether that source be FM/Sat/CD/Phono/etc... It seems that the Sonos system allows this, as I understand it, by digitizing the analog input and streaming it to the other zones. Is this correct? If so, is there any delay between the main (sending) unit and the other (receiving) units? Has anyone been using Sonos for this purpose? It seems to me that if all I wanted to do was stream my .mp3s, I could do it for a lot less, but since I also want to be able to stream source-components, Sonos seems to be my only (wireless) option.


Help, please!

Thanks!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunnlaugormstun /forum/post/0


I have been researching the Sonos for awhile now, and have a general question that I haven't been able to find an answer to. I have a primary system setup in one room of my house and would like to distribute audio to two or three other rooms of the house (each of which already has its own music system). This means that I would like to sync the audio source from the primary room throughout the house, whether that source be FM/Sat/CD/Phono/etc... It seems that the Sonos system allows this, as I understand it, by digitizing the analog input and streaming it to the other zones. Is this correct? If so, is there any delay between the main (sending) unit and the other (receiving) units? Has anyone been using Sonos for this purpose? It seems to me that if all I wanted to do was stream my .mp3s, I could do it for a lot less, but since I also want to be able to stream source-components, Sonos seems to be my only (wireless) option.

The Sonos unit will delay the feed if it does a full encoding and compression. There is a way to turn off the encoding and let it stream directly. That doesn't delay the feed at all. Here's the information from Sonos:


Use Uncompressed if:


* You want optimal performance with home theaters.

* You want to produce the highest quality sound for your multi-zone Sonos system (this selection requires more network bandwidth than compressed audio.)


Use Compressed if:


* You are connecting more than 4 zones wirelessly (you will notice a delay when a line-in source is in use. Switching to the Uncompressed setting will remove this delay.)



Good luck

Ben
 

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You could always just get a couple of sqeezebox's to mate with your existing equipment if distributed audio is all you want. Use your existing equipment for now and throw the $10k you would save into something really nice for the next house.


I don't think we can post links but just google the manufacturer slimdesigns.


I am thinking of using these for distributed audio for a couple of spots in my house and have heard good comments from others.
 
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