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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,


I'm new to these forums and I'm about to embark on an adventure. My wife and I have purchased a home which we're extensively remodeling.


My goal is to have in-ceiling speakers in every room, all controlled by iTunes or the Apple Remote application on my iPhone.


I've been spending time researching the matter but I'm trying to see if there's a more affordable way to do this.


The setup I would like is to use 6 AirPort Express base-stations with AirPlay, each one powering a pair of speakers in 6 zones.


Unfortunately, AirPort Express requires powered speakers. That seems to leave me with two options:


1. Buy passive speakers that I can hook-up to a multi-zone amplifier (I'm leaning towards the RussSound CAA66), then using an AirPort Express to drive each of the 6 local sources.


2. Buy active speakers that I can some how directly connect my AirPort Expresses to.


My preference is option 2 because buying a multi-zone amplifier that isn't even used for controlling sources seems totally overkill. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any active speakers that I can use in this manner.


Do you guys have any suggestions?


-s
 

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The Russound is definitely overkill since it is an audio matrix AND multi-channel amplifier AND quasi-control system. You are on the right track with a straight 12 channel power amp. I do not have experience with HTD but 12 channel amplifiers are more similar than they are different. Personally I would use a Niles or Episode for warranty reasons but I'm sure the HTD is fine.
 

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I highly recommend finding a last-gen AppleTV and running a 12ch amp from it. You can control it with iTunes or Remote and not even have to compress your music. And as a bonus you can use it for movies.


The Episode EP1230 works really well for this purpose and is well priced... can be found for less than that HTD. (Heck, I'd even sell you mine. It's redundant now that I automated the house.) You could even send the AppleTV right out to it without a preamp, though I'm sure there's some reason you're not supposed to do that. I run it as the 2nd zone off a receiver that then powers the 5.1 setup in the family room. But that'll do everything you need with 2 pieces of gear, which it seems you've already discovered is better than a series of wireless devices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Willy, I already have a 1st Gen Apple TV, but I'm not sure what that really buys me. The purpose of having multiple AirPort Expresses is so that I can have them behave as unique zones that play different music. If I use the Apple TV, that only behaves as one source. Am I missing something?


I spoke to the folks at HTD for some time this afternoon. I'm more comfortable with their product, I was just hoping I to avoid having to buy the Amplifier for this application, but it sounds like I don't really have a choice...
 

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you could just use any basic dumb multichannel amp, or multiple amps as needed to power your speakers.


For 6 zones, something like a Niles SI 1230 would fit the bill perfectly:

http://www.nilesaudio.com/product_am...rdcdID=FG00737


You could also consider self-powered Sonos units instead of the airports and the amp. Might be roughly similar ballpark in price, and you could also control the sonos with iphone/ipodtouch.


Also, you'll want to check the limit of the number of zones you can have with the airports. I actually don't know what that would be, you'll want to double check and make sure you can run 6 without problems.
 

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This is my same problem. I have 4 rooms with 2 speakers in each and want to be able to control the volume and on/off in each room with using airport expresses. But the speakers I have are already wired and have volume controls in the walls.


Any solutions?
 

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Yep, bluewaves is right. I have all the Apple accessories and was enjoying the capabilities of the apple systems and thought it was the best multi-zone system until I needed to expand beyond two zones. After I started looking at the cost of amplifiers and managing each zone (also user friendly for wife) I picked up a Sonos system. I love it. I can play different music in each zone, control the volume of each zone, and see the status of each room from my iphone. The main controller that comes with the Sonos system is great for my wife. I have ipad and iphone so I have plenty of control and I love the setup. I only have about 500 songs on itunes and have even made use of the Pandora capabilities of the Sonos. You can buy a zone player which will play through and existing amp or there are amplified zone players for each room you decide to control. Yes, the basic start up system is about $1000 but is well worth it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kermalou /forum/post/19660737


This is my same problem. I have 4 rooms with 2 speakers in each and want to be able to control the volume and on/off in each room with using airport expresses. But the speakers I have are already wired and have volume controls in the walls.


Any solutions?

I tried to find the other post in this thread thats similar to yours but i couldnt find it. You CAN leave the volume controls in the mix and still adjust volume via the remote app. Or you can totally eliminate the volume controls.


Remove the volume controls from the wall. Remove the conductors 1 by 1 and use wire nuts to splice the wires together. Now the volume controls don't exist. Amp output straight to speakers. You can put the volume controls back in the wall or put blank wall plates on.



To the OP..


Airports are pretty cool but there is nothing like Sonos especially with the iPad app.
 
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