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Dear Audio Pros,

In our old house, I had a A-Bus audio system which (mostly) worked.. I had it hooked up to the secondary output of a receiver and could easily switch inputs from Radio, iPod, etc.

Now, we're in a new house and I want to rough-in wires for any controls/speakers, but not sure what to do. Is there a new version of ABus that works better? I don't want to do desktop speakers (Sonos/etc.) - I'd rather put the speakers into the ceiling, then run all the wires to the basement from each room. Down there have some sort of brain that will control all the zones and content to each.. that way as things change through the years, I can just update the more accessible basement equipment.

Does anyone have any general answer for me to do more research? Does anyone still recommend A-Bus systems? Is running audio over speaker wire over long distances still a bad idea?

Thanks!

Jay
 

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Now, we're in a new house and I want to rough-in wires for any controls/speakers, but not sure what to do.
Follow the CEA's wiring standard recommendations. That will allow you to use any system on the market. I've posted this 1000 times, but again quickly - home run speaker wire and cat5e from keypad locations, run speaker wire from the keypad location to each speaker location (in the room).

Is there a new version of ABus that works better?
There is, but you don't need to limit yourself to A-Bus or LyriQ for new construction.

I don't want to do desktop speakers (Sonos/etc.) - I'd rather put the speakers into the ceiling, then run all the wires to the basement from each room.
Sonos Connect:AMP units can be centralized like any other system, so you can have a Sonos solution using in-ceiling (architectural) speakers, too.

Down there have some sort of brain that will control all the zones and content to each.. that way as things change through the years, I can just update the more accessible basement equipment.

Does anyone have any general answer for me to do more research? Does anyone still recommend A-Bus systems? Is running audio over speaker wire over long distances still a bad idea?
Running 16AWG or larger speaker wire over "long" (~30-75') distances isn't a problem, never was. A-Bus systems and wiring patterns are just less expensive, which is why it was popular with builders. Nothing wrong with it, though. Get your in-wall speaker wire from Monoprice or other inexpensive sources, and then there's no reason not to have the CEA-recommended wiring pattern.

As for research, you're in the right place. Search for "Whole House Audio" (WHA) and quit reading when you've had enough! :D

Jeff
 

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As jautor suggested you could still do Sonos. You just need to consider if it fits your install. This is my take on it.

Most importantly I'd consider your plan for TV audio if it's going through the speakers, if the WHA needs to go through a surround sound receiver and plan for how you will tackle the control aspect of that. Wiring is easy, go standard as already suggested. When you start to narrow down your focus you can ask for opinions on specific products here. There's active members that can give you an opinion on most anything you can find.
 
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