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Hi everybody.

I stumbled across this forum after doing a ton of research on which whole home audio solution I wanted to install and I just wanted to post my design in case others are interested and can learn from my successes and failures.

So, to give you a simple system requirements overview, I needed a 4 zone expandable solution that allowed for a centralized subwoofer and the ability to control each zone with a universal remote. In regards to inputs, I really only needed one when I started this solution but decided later that I wanted 2 and the design still allows for that. I'll explain further later.

Like I said, after a long time researching the different audio systems including wireless, wired single amplifiers, and wired distributed amps, I decided with go with the distributed amp solution running the signal over category cable (cat6 to attempt to future proof the system even though most, if not all, of these systems only utilize 5e at max).

With this solution, I had a few options including A-BUS and DIGI-5. After looking at the different manufacturers for each, I liked the way Russound looked. I called their support and got answers to a ton of my questions. They were super knowledgable and that's awesome when I have further questions down the road. They were also the first licensed A-BUS manufacturer in the US so that added to my level of trust I had in them.

So, Russound A-BUS system it was. Now it was time to decide on the actual equipment. I only needed a single source unit so, based on my wire running needs, I decided to use an A-H1 ran to an A-H4 ran out to the different zones utilizing the AK4 keypads to drive each zone speakers. This design allowed me to run a single wire (actually ended up running 3 but one was for internet and the other is an extra possibly for IR) from my entertainment center in the living room, where the inputs are, to my "router closet" in the middle of the house with my other electronic hubs (modem, router, samsung smartthings hub, to-be NAS, to-be logitech harmony hub, and to-be subwoofer which is a whole other design discussion). Then, from the closet, I will be able to run cat6 to all of my 4 zones + subwoofer zone keypads and then speaker wire on to the speakers.

I have 3 questions:

1) Does anyone have experience with controlling their A-BUS system with the harmony elite remote and hub? If so, how does it work? I want to inject the IR signal from the harmony hub into the A-BUS system and I think I'll be able to do it with a cat splitter. I just need to find out from Russound which conductors in the cat cable they use for the +/- IR signal. I think it's blue and white/brown but I have to call and make sure again.

2) Has anyone used the link out port on their Russound AH-4 (or like A-BUS hub) to output to a zone? If so, how has that worked with the rest of your system?

3) Has anyone used an A-BUS zone to output to a central subwoofer for the system? I don't think the AK4 keypad has enough power to drive a large subwoofer so I was gonna just run it to a powered sub and still keep the ability to control its level from the zone keypad.

-Jeff
 
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