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I was referred here by some folks over at the general and DIY speaker sections. I've been doing a lot of reading and research and have come to the conclusion that we need a whole house audio system. Let me provide a little background about us and our habits:


-We have music playing pretty much at all times when we are home. In the morning I listen to sports talk radio in the kitchen on a basic under cabinet radio. My wife is getting ready for work at the same time and listening to either Pandora or saved music on her Samsung Galaxy S3 (no speaker...sounds bad) in the bathroom. When we get home from work music is playing on the Logitech S715i docking station in the kitchen playing either Pandora or music from our iTunes library. The only time it seems that we aren't listening to something is when we are watching TV.

- I am a big sports talk listener (AM radio) and my wife listens to Pandora and music from her library (music like Imagine Dragons, Match Box 20, KOGNOS, U2, etc). I like music but get sick of hearing the same songs over and over. When I listen to music I like music similar to her, 90s alternative, some 80's rock and 60's rock.

- We are in no way music experts. Like I said, my wife sometimes listens to music through her phone (no external speaker or headphones). We probably wouldn't notice much of a difference between inexpensive but good speakers and those that cost $1,000s of dollars.

- We spend a lot of time in our backyard during summer. We have a deck off the back of the house and an above ground pool with another deck. In the past we've always listened to music on the Logitech S715i but would like to run a zone or two outside.


So since radio/music is such a big part of our lives, I think it might be worth the effort to come up with some sort of whole house audio system. I am pretty handy and can handle most projects but need some help with the technical part. Here is some more basic info and some ideas I have.- We have three tvs:


-56" rear projection Samsung HDTV (about 6 years old) in the family room. This is where we probably watch 50% of our TV. This is also the place where we watch most as a family. I have a Denon AVR-1613 receiver hooked up to the TV and a pair of Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf speakers for fronts, a Polk Audio TSi CS10 Center channel speaker and two satellite speakers from a LG LHT854 home theater in a box for rears. The sound is good but lacks base (no sub). .

-50" plasma Panasonic TV HDTV (bought last fall) in basement. We don't watch very often down here (maybe 10%) but basement was just finished last fall and we spend more time in the family room with fireplace/Christmas tree during winter. I imagine it will spend more time there when summer comes and it's nice and cool downstairs. I have a LG LHT854 home theater in a box for receiver and sub hooked up to it with the front and center speakers from a JVC SP THM505 home theater in a box system. No rears right now. The sound is not very good.

-37" Vizio 720 HDTV (about 5 years old) in master bedroom. My wife and I use this TV about 40% of the time. We usually watch a tv show after the kids are in bed and before we go to bed. We have this tv hooked up to an old DVD player and an old Aiwa CX-NMT520 (very old speaker system) with a couple of old speakers. It does not sound very good but is a little better than the speaker on the tv.

-We always have our Samsung Galaxy S3 phones with us and they would be the most convenient to control any system. We also have a Ipod touch (usually in the Logitech docking station and an Ipad (usually my son is playing games on it).



Ideally, this is what I would like to accomplish:

- Have decent to good surround sound for all three tvs (in order of importance: family room tv, basement tv, master bedroom tv).

-Have a number of zones for music throughout the house. I envision a zone or two in the backyard (maybe one for pool and one for back deck). Maybe a zone in the garage, a zone in our bathroom, a zone in our master bedroom, a zone in the den, a zone in upstairs hall and downstairs, a zone in basement main area, and a zone in my work shop. I'm not sure how the zones would work into the three surround sound areas.

- Running wire would be doable. Basement and first floor would be fairly easy as the basement has a drop ceiling. To run speaker wire to the second floor I could come through attic.Ideally I'd like a system that doesn't break the bank.


Right now we are on a pretty tight budget (may have more flexibility toward the end of the year) so can't spend thousands of dollars. I would like to be able to buy components individually and add as our budget allows.


I am pretty handy and have lots of tools so I think building speakers might be a good option. However, I know very little about audio, speakers and speaker building so I'm looking for some help.

Thanks for any and all suggestions. I'm still in the learning stage of this process so am open to any advice. Here are some pictures:


Kitchen looking into family room:



Family room entertainment room:



Family room looking into kitchen:



Family room:



Rear surrounds in family room:



Backyard layout (pool deck is already built)



Basement layout:



First floor layout:



Second floor layout:



Den:



First floor hall:



Dining room:



Workshop in basement:



Basement - Section of L-shaped room along back of house (TV area)



Basement - Section of L-shaped room along side of house:



Back of house/back deck:



Backyard - pool:



Basement - Kid's room/workout area:
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmsmith2032  /t/1522034/newbie-need-help-with-whole-house-audio-system#post_24467647


Ideally, this is what I would like to accomplish:

- Have decent to good surround sound for all three tvs (in order of importance: family room tv, basement tv, master bedroom tv).

-Have a number of zones for music throughout the house. I envision a zone or two in the backyard (maybe one for pool and one for back deck). Maybe a zone in the garage, a zone in our bathroom, a zone in our master bedroom, a zone in the den, a zone in upstairs hall and downstairs, a zone in basement main area, and a zone in my work shop. I'm not sure how the zones would work into the three surround sound areas.

- Running wire would be doable. Basement and first floor would be fairly easy as the basement has a drop ceiling. To run speaker wire to the second floor I could come through attic.Ideally I'd like a system that doesn't break the bank.

That's a big post...


First, divide your system needs into two categories: Video zones (TV, surround sound), and audio-only zones (Music, radio)


Whole house audio systems deal in stereo only, not surround. Assume that you'll just put an AVR in each surround zone to handle it separately from your WHA system. There are easy ways to connect the systems together to share sources, though, if you plan for that possibility.


For retrofit installations like yours, if you can home-run wires from all zones to a central point, great. If not, there are new "zone player" systems which don't require home-run wiring (just wires between the unit and wherever the zone's speakers will be). See the Sonos Connect:Amp and the NuVo P100 / P200 products as good examples. The really nice thing about the zone player approach is that it's truly buy-as-you-go. $500 per zone - buy one at a time as budget allows you to expand the system. Sonos also has an unpowered Connect product, which you can attach to an AVR to keep the user experience the same for all zones, too.



Jeff
 

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Continue to save your money for now.


1- Decent Surround Systems run about $750-$1,000 each (Your family room setup is already a great start, just add matching surrounds and a subwoofer and you are there, for $300 is all that is needed there)

2- Multi-zones you are better off with a Sonos player in each room since you want the ability for them to all play different music.
 
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