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Need some suggestions-

760 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bigpapa
Need some suggestions-

I have a midcentury ranch style (think Frank Lloyd Wright) home and I am interested in distributing Audio to 3 interior rooms (living room, formal living room, master bedroom) and 2 outside areas (patio area and then down around the pool). The wires to patio speakers, living room speakers and formal living room speakers all run to a single point in a cabinet in my living room. I currently have just the formal living room and patio speakers connected to a Denon receiver in the living room cabinet. The formal living room speakers are not currently connected to the Denon and the master bedroom speakers and speakers down by the pool are being added.

I am basically looking at a Single Source, 5 Zone (10-channel) setup. It will be used 100% of the time to play music out of my Itunes library.

I am looking for suggestions on a configuration that would include using my existing Denon Receiver, purchasing a new amplifier (8-10 channel, I assume) and using an AppleTV connected to my PC to pull the Itunes content. Then control of Itunes with an Iphone or Ipod Touch.

Any suggestions/clarifications would be great-
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Do all your areas have volume controls in line between the amplifier and the speakers? Or do you use the Denon receiver master volume to raise / lower all areas at once.

You might not need a new amplifier at all. What about buying a speaker selector like this one ? Or there's this nice Niles piece which has volume controls for every pair of speakers hooked up.
No volume switches inline- use the Denon for master volume control
I'm assuming the Denon has a line level stereo output: two RCA connectors labeled "line out, Z-2 out, Zone Out," etc. That makes it easier. Find out the model number of the Denon.

Get a 12 channel/6 zone amplifier, 35-60 watts per channel should be good but don't get hung up on watts if another amp has the features you want. Find one with volume adjustments per zone: this may mean there will be a little pot or rotary dial on the back of the amp where you connect the speakers or line level (RCA) cables. This allows you to adjust the volume per zone so they all balance out: outdoor zones you may want louder, indoor/small room zones you may want lower. That way when you use the Denon volume control all zones will keep their loudness relative to each other. The language may say 'volume attenuation control per zone.'

Also, make sure the amplifier has an 'audio bus' capability: means you can run one zone of signal in but all speaker zones may play that information out. Many multi zone amps need separate RCA cables for each zone, which means you'd have to get a bunch of RCA Y's, meaning more $ and sloppy wiring.

Just check the specs first for the information above and it sounds like that's the amp you want.

The Niles SI-1230 has the options you need. It has high current design so that's a good strong 30 watts. The 1260 has more power but is more $.
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