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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning guys,


I am researching installing a whole audio system in an existing house I just purchased.


I am looking at running speakers to 8 zones, and will be running speaker wire back to 1 central location for installation. I am in the design stage right now, however am having some trouble picking out the right component for Audio distribution.


Essentially I only plan to use 1 source-that being an XBMC PC. I would control the audio selection from all of the sources on that pc using an android interface. I have no desire to use proprietary controllers for anything if possible - i would like to have control over the music selection and audio levels in each room just via our phones and a dedicated tablet.


Since I will be controlling the music selection via android, I would like to do the same for volume of each zone. This is where I'm running into some issues. I do not want to have to install additional volume control boxes on the wall-just either through a) an android interface directly to the control unit or b) via the windows xbmc connected to the control unit, which i could control via a remote control from my android to the pc.


I'm having trouble locating the right equipment for this. Every single unit box with 6-8 sources seems to be overkill for what I'm looking to do (such as the nice russound boxes) just because I am only interested in distributing the 1 source, and select music at that source, eliminating the need for any of the switching and much of the control functionality of the distribution unit. Instead, all I'm looking to do is remotely control volume.


I can find pretty good 8 zone amps for good prices. If i could work that into the system, all I'm looking for really is a relatively dumb box that would take an hdmi out of the pc and distribute to 8 zone preamp output with some remote capability of some type. Given the simplicity of what I'm looking for, I was even looking something from the pc sound card world but ran into dead ends. I've also found some older dumb preamp boxes, but they are TOO dumb and unable to be controlled with any of the newer controllers/apps.


Is anyone aware of equipment that would serve my purpose? If I can get a box to talk to a pc (i'm a fairly knowledgeable EE/test engineer and can write some drivers if the ability to communicate is there) i'm open to using a crestron box or something of that variety. It's just rather difficult being new to this trying to figure out which equipment is compatible with whatever protocol/controller.


Or perhaps I am going about this all wrong-if so I am open to correction.


note:Of course, for the equipment that will be required, it isn't much of a stretch to add in multiple sources. I may be interested in that at some point down the line, just not now.


Thanks!
 

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Look at the WHA controller/amp products at HTD, along with their HTDNet product to give you control from your mobile device.

http://www.htd.com/Products/mid-level-whole-house-audio/MCA-66-Audio-Controller-Amplifier


You can also run cat5e lines to potential keypad locations to give you in-room volume control as well. Even with mobile device support, it can be very handy to have controls permanently available in each zone - they're always where you left them. And others can control the volume without asking you to pull your phone out...


Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the quick response. I'm considering the HTD, as I like the ability to use any # of phones, and the price is reasonable. I would tether the MC-66 to another high power amp. I wish they made an MC-88. The jump to the Lync 12 system is more than I'm looking to spend on this particular component.


I was also looking at the Crestron AADS. It does list in the specifications a built-in e-Control web server that can interface w/ iphone, etc... Would this also be a valid option to consider?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by redmercury  /t/1467493/proper-equipment-choice-for-a-1x8-audio-distribution#post_23183632


thanks for the quick response. I'm considering the HTD, as I like the ability to use any # of phones, and the price is reasonable. I would tether the MC-66 to another high power amp.

You sure you need more power? 20W/ch is fairly normal for WHA systems.
Quote:
I wish they made an MC-88. The jump to the Lync 12 system is more than I'm looking to spend on this particular component.

Six seems to be the sweet spot for these products. NuVo / Russound will have products with 6 powered + 2 unpowered zones that while more expensive for the first six, may be not so much more when you consider the solution costs for adding two more.


Can you combine rooms into a single zone to squeeze into a 6-zone system? As long as the wiring is done correctly, you can always expand later to separate those rooms into their own zones.
Quote:
I was also looking at the Crestron AADS. It does list in the specifications a built-in e-Control web server that can interface w/ iphone, etc... Would this also be a valid option to consider?

No. If the cost of any HTD product is above your budget, Crestron will be right out. And those products will REQUIRE a dealer to install/program/maintain, period.


Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
interesting. i knew generally crestron's required complex programming for a system, but was not aware that i would be unable to set up one of the lower end Adagio boxes. That's a shame, since the Aads's on ebay are running cheaper than the mc-66 would cost me.


i think i can get by for a while by tying two rooms together. I would need a separate amp at least for two zones, as they are louder settings (outdoors, kitchen).

i'll take a look further at russound but based on what you're saying i think the htd products are the way to go, provided i can add on another mc-66 at somepoint without too much of a seam between the two controllers.
 
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