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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a bit confused on the different audio zones in the house. By the way, pre-wiring happens next week.


Here is the list of rooms in the house that I am thinking of making audio zones:


Bedroom 1, Bedroom 2, Living Room, Balcony off of Living Room, Kitchen + Dining, Master Bed, Master Bath, Office, Rooftop Deck off of Office


I was thinking of using a mixture of Nuvo Zones and Keypads as well as Regular Volume Controls in 'Slave' zones.


Bedroom 1: Zone 1, KP1


Dining+Kitchen: Zone 2, KP2


Master Bedroom: Zone 3, KP3


Master Bath: Volume Control 1 (Will play what is playing in the MBR, can turn on-off-control volume through the volume control)


Bedroom 2: Zone 4, KP4


Office: Zone 5, KP5 (All the wiring will also be terminated in Office and this is where OmniProII will be. I am hoping that this is where Nuvo and all the other AV equipment (DVR, WDLive, PS3 etc. will sit)


Roof Deck: Volume Control 2 (Will play what is playing in the Office, can turn on-off-control volume through the volume control)


Living Room: Zone 6, KP6 (Will also house a 5.1 sound system with in-ceiling pair acting as rears. I am hoping to put Onkyo in the office though; any particular wiring suggestions to accommodate that?)


Balcony: Volume Control 3 (Will play what is playing in the Living Room, can turn on-off-control volume through the volume control)


Does this look like a decent plan?


I am a bit confused on whether use of volume controls is ok as compared to full scale Nuvo Keypads; not because we might want to listen to different music in the linked zones but because of volume control. For example, what if I am sleeping in the MBR and wife wants to listen to radio in the Master Bath? Or is it possible to turn the keypad volume very low in the bedroom but crank it up in the bath?


In the Living Room, the guy who is doing the pre-wiring was suggesting controlling audio through the touch screen that will be there and not installing a keypad. His idea was to have a dedicated keypad for the balcony. Any suggestions in favor of his plan and against mine? Which one would you consider better.


I would appreciate any help I can get!!!
 

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The problem is that your amplifier is providing power to the zone. The volume controls you propose in a "sub-zone" would give you some percentage (0-100%) of the volume in the main zone. In your example, you couldn't have any sound in the Master Bath, because you'd want 0% in the MBR.


There's also the usability factor and the mistakes that come with exterior zones tied to interior rooms - if you don't remember to turn off the exterior sub-zone, you may turn it on accidentally... Usability-wise, turning on one zone to get sound in anothe room is always a pain.


What I did, since I wired for 10 zones and installed the NuVo GC, was to max out the GC's 8 zones, and left the last two zones for "future expansion" - since you can add the expansion chassis later...


I think you'll be much happier if you have a keypad in each zone - the little bit of expense to get at least 8 zones (instead of 6) from the GC is well worth the simplicity and consistency.


Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess we could put in a volume control in the bath and in the master bedroom so you could have 0% in the bedroom.


Yeah, I agree on the usability factor and that is what I am wondering right now. Do you hve any ideas on a keypad for the living area (will have 5.1) vs. controlling it through touch screen?
 

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For the NuVo part or the 5.1? No suggestions for the 5.1 part. But just a NuVo keypad somewhere convenient would be the easiet for NuVo. It doesn't have to be in line with the speaker wires - that's just common practice. Anywhere you can get a Cat5 wire to you can place a keypad (even more than one per zone if you want).


NuVo also has a wireless keypad, a new color touchscreen, and I'd expect Autonomic will do an iPhone app for the MusicPort soon...


Jeff
 

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For the living room, you'll need some kind of switch, to interrupt the Nuvo to listen to TV.


IIRC, it's called a Local Source Interrupt, and I don't know if you put it in the zone, or at the amp. You'll need to figure this out before you cable. There are 3 different LSIs available, 1 for GC and the others for Essentia/Simplese (I think).




Ideally, you'll be able to control the audio in the LR via touchscreen, keypad, AND remote control.


Use extra keypads, skip the VCs.


Would any other locations in your house benefit from more zones? Garage, guest bedroom, guest bathroom, hallways...maybe you should plan (and wire) for a possible future purchase of a GC Expander.


I would listen to more music in the MBa, than the MBR - might want to consider putting control in the MBa rather than MBR.


I would also suggest using a local source interrupt (LSI) for the MBR, and position the MBR speakers for TV viewing, if you EVER want a TV there.


Will your doorbell mute the GC, when it's pressed? You should consider wiring for that. The accessory is the Doorbell Mute Interface.


You can buy additional amps for zones 7 and 8.


I don't know the details of how to accomplish these things, but an experienced CI would be able to help you out. Especially if he's selling you the equipment.


Who is running the cables?
 

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Hi, I wired a GC with similar sub-zones but used a speaker selector (Audioplex inw-2 impedence matching speaker selector available from Aartech). For example, in my master bathroom I installed the GC keypad as well as the speaker selector. MBath and MBed speakers are wired to the speaker selector which is then wired to the GC amp.


So, if I want music playing only in the master bath, I turn off the master bedroom speakers or vice versa if I only want to play music in the bedroom.


I also installed a keypad in the bedroom which is slaved to the MBath. So, I am only using 1 zone from the GC amp but have 2 listening areas each with its own keypad. Only downside is that the volume has to be the same in the MBath and MBed if both sets of speakers are being used at the same time.


Works well for me. Did the same thing downstairs with speakers in the Family Room and Dining Room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all!


Decision made. I am going with a speaker selector. Not as elegant as having in-wall control but will meet all our needs perfectly!



Steve, I am assuming when you have one zone off through the switcher, and you increase the volume on the touchpad, the volume for the zone that is on will go up. Probably a stupid question but I just want to make sure.
 

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Absolutely ... when you turn up the volume with the keypad, the speaker volume increases on any speakers that are switched on. Works extremely well.


BTW - I found it best to install the speaker selector in the bathroom ... if one person gets up earlier and goes into the bathroom, they can make sure the volume is off for the bedroom and then turn on the music in the bathroom.
 

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I'd put any speaker selectors next to the keypad - again, to make sure you know what's going to come on before you turn the zone on... And I agree with putting the bedroom/bathroom zone controls in the bathroom - it's probably the more frequently used location.


Regardless, do yourself a favor though and do the home runs for all of these sub-zones (run unused speaker wire from the selector locations), including future keypad locations. You really don't want to preclude upgrading the sub-zones to "full zones" in the future...


Jeff
 
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