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My friend's house was pre-wired for 7 zones, with speaker wires running from basement to single-gang wall box in each zone and then those wires running up to speakers. There is also a Cat5 cable running from basement to each wall box, so it seems that the pre-wiring would work well. Problem I'm having is coming up with a recommendation for the amplifier & wall plate controls. I've looked at systems from www.htd.com and also from Niles audio. I like the cost and capability of the htd systems, and would feel comfortable setting that up for him. But it's then also
up to me to come up with the source signals to feed into the control amplifier inputs.


I guess I could just add an old FM tuner or receiver line output for FM, a CD player for audio, etc. but that seems a bit crude. It appears that Sonos and other solutions are aimed at pulling audio from a PC, but my friend doesn't have that set up - and I really want to keep the operation of this thing simple - don't want to have to select a source, and then use another remote to select channels, etc. What are the other options available?


Ben Sanford
 

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You could look at Nuvo or Russound.


Most of these companies make controllers that show metadata at keypads (song playing from iPod, radio station, etc) when paired with a specific tuner or dock.


Russound pairs with the ST2 tuner and it's dock (iBridge I think) for metadata.


Nuvo has a tuner and it's dock NIPS-something.


For the most part, these controllers support IR passthrough so you could get a smart remote IE Harmony and use that to control both the zones source and volume and the sources controls.
 

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Because of the way that it is prewired, the best bet is definitely a proper multi-room system such as Nuvo. This will take full advantage of the local keypad controls, offer lots of flexibility for sources, and sound great.


Just to clarify on the Sonos, a PC is not actually required. It would be possible to stack as many as 7 zoneplayers or tie a few zones together and use fewer zoneplayers.
 

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Yep, he's got the proper wiring that will allow him to use most any system out there. The systems from NuVo, Russound, Casatunes, etc. also have packaged 'music servers' that store music (or pull it from a PC) and bring in Internet sources as well (Pandora, Internet Radio, XM/Sirius).


Jeff
 

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Sonos has the new iPod dock as well so that makes things easier in that they can just drop in the iPod and their ready to go, you can also pull any music from the web, Pandora, Last FM, Iheartradio, Rhapsody, Napster, etc..... and its really simple to control it all. You can also usually find all of your local AM/FM radio stations and pull them in over the web as well.
 
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