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Need to amplify input or can use pre/line out?

835 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  michaeljc70
I have a whole house audio system and my 6 zone/6 source amp just went out. I want to simplify the setup (and save $$$).

I want to use 3 separate receivers (it will be 3 zone, 1 source). The only input with be from my Windows Media Center PC which has Optical and RCA out (I want to get rid of my 6 zone/source Distribution Amp as it is analog only and I only use 1 source). Preferably I would like to use the optical out of the PC for quality reasons. My question is do I need to get some kind of splitter to split it into 3 or can I use some kind of OUT on one of the receivers? If I can use an OUT on a receiver, does the receiver have to be on for the OUT to work?

I am looking to get 2 lower end Denon, Yamaha or Onkyo receivers (I already have 1 Denon) for this purpose.
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What is the purpose of your multi-zone setup? Are you using it to play music in your second and third zone? Or are you playing videos/movies and would like their audio to play in the second/third zone?

Have you taken a look at sonos? Seems like your zoned speakers are not amplified? Although I do not like denon's user interface much, but it is pretty feature and rich works great once you finished setting it up.
The receiver audio out likely requires the receiver to be on.

You can use an optical splitter such as this . I wasn't able to locate one with three outputs so you would have to buy three of these and daisy chain them to get three outputs.

You could also use two 7.1 receivers that have an all stereo out option to power your 6 zones.

How will you adjust the volume to each zone? Receivers don't have individual volume adjust for each set of outputs.
I use it for mainly for music from my Windows Media Center. I have looked at Sonos, but it is pricey and less flexible than WMC (I also use WMC for movies, tv, dvr). I use the WMC for video in 2 rooms (same source).

If I get separate receivers, the volume would be controlled by RF Remotes and possibly keypads (which are already installed). I might just skip using the keypads altogether.

I'm basically looking to simplify what is a cluster f*ck in my media closet. There are like 10 cat5 runs for control (IR/keypads), the distribution amp, 12 channel amp, etc. Since I only use 1 source, I think it makes sense.

In reality, if I had 3 zones only, I could deal with that. The problem is I have about 20 speakers that would need to fit into that configuration.

Currently, I use the keypads and volume controls which gives me sub-zones. For example, the control between the dining room and kitchen can turn off/on either set of speakers.

I found a cheap Sherwood amp (under $200) that people say is decent. It has 4 sets of speaker inputs that can be toggled. The main problem with it for me is that the remote doesn't have discrete commands for each zone- you cycle through making it hard to use with a universal remote.
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