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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear All,

I'm rebuilding a condo and would like to get your expert opinion on which route to go for my A/V distribution. I've already set aside a small space where I've thought of putting a small rack for my Internet, A/V and automation equipment. I've got 3BR + LR/DR (a total of 5 zones) that I was initially planning on wiring everything back to the common rack space but seeing that most multi-zone amps (I was leaning more towards the Russound at first) have limitations on watts/zone they can push, I am now having second thoughts and am thinking of having separate amps in each of the zone.

Ultimately, I would like not to have power restriction if I were to use a 5.1 or 7.1 in any of the rooms. Second, I would like to have the ease of controlling all "zones" by an app as well as wireless/bluetooth. I would also like to be able to push the same music across all zones (known as party mode in Russound).

That being said, I would love to hear your advise on how to go about distributing the A/V across the floor. Also, would like to hear your recommendation on the product(s) to use along your recommended setup.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Anybody please correct me if I'm mistaken, but I believe that these multi-zone amps are at their weakest when trying to drive all zones at once. Thus, a hybrid solution might be best. Personally, I believe I might rely on the multi-zone audio system to drive several of the less critical zones where I won't be using much volume (such as hallways) and I think the onboard amplification will be just fine for them, but in zones where I'm going to want more power (like the patio), I will want to rely on a separate amp.
 

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Don't use a multi-zone / multi-room amp for any surround zone - use an AVR. And look at WHA systems instead of a multi-channel amp, as otherwise you're going to end up needing external devices for volume and source selection, plus remote control...
 

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Are you talking about distributing AV (Video + Multi-channel audio) or Music (2-ch)?

What size are the Zones and how loud are you looking to run the system - a 'small' space will likely toast a stack of amplifiers.

Budget?

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks @Montucky and @jautor for reinforcing my intention to go with separate AVRs.

@Joe F The plan is to distribute AV (both audio and video) across the many zones. I plan on having a common XBMC in the rack from where I have CAT6s going into each of the zones already. And yes, all spaces are average/small so I'm not trying to do anything substantial in power.

Also to make the situation more interesting, the condo right below mine is owned by my brother where he will be staying with his family and his floor plan is more or less the same as mine. What would you pros suggest I do to "integrate" AV on both floors using the best technology available today.

Once again, your advises are highly appreciated.
 

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Why would you want to integrate the a/v in 2 different floors with 2 different families?

You also want to separate out the the audio from the video zones.

Keep in mind that for background music using average in-ceiling or in-wall speakers, You don't need more than 40 watts to power each speaker.
Look at digital amplification if you can.

List you surround room, then your music only rooms, then your rooms you want tv in them and decide if you want the tv sound to go through the room speakers or just the tv.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@ifor, I meant more like having each of the floors stream AV from a common media server.

I will look at digital amplification, thanks. Regarding the TV sound, I'd prefer the option of having the audio either come from TV or the in-walls. What do you think?
 
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