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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm looking for some help regarding whole-house audio (not sure if that's the correct term). I'll do my best to explain what I currently have.

  • First-floor living room - 5.1 set up
  • Basement theater room - 5.1 audio set up
  • Pool area - 4 definitive technology aw6500's
  • Kitchen - 1 Niles CM760 DS
  • Screened in porch - 2 Niles CM760 DS
  • Office - 1 Niles CM760 DS
Currently, I run the pool speakers with a Yamaha RN-301. Which gets the job done. The living room and theater room both run on Sony receivers. Other than the 4 pool area speakers everything else was in place when I purchased the house. A couple of the Niles CM760's have stopped working recently and I feel like its time to update the current system.

I'm looking for replacement options for the Niles speakers. Currently, I have 4 but would like to add additional speakers in my bar ceiling and rec area. That would bring the total indoor ceiling speaker to 7. I would also like to add 2 speakers to my deck area. This would bring the outdoor speaker total to 6.

The entire setup would consist of 7 indoor ceiling speakers, 6 outdoor speakers, and 2 5.1 setup's for tv/theater.

I don't mind having two separate receivers operating the 5.1 sound for the tv/theater. What I would like is to a separate receiver and speaker selector (and amp?) that has the capability to play music through every speaker in my house. Is something like that possible? Sorry for the long post.

Thanks!
 

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If you're OK with the audio sources being streaming apps like Spotify/Pandora/Etc controlled by smartphone, your scenario seems idea for a "mixed" Play-Fi whole-house system.
If you look at your room as Zones instead of individual speakers, you can mix/join functionality of the whole-house audio (WHA) system, your 5.1 setups, your pool area system and integrate the new rooms by adding streaming devices.
If your existing WHA system is still working, and its just that the speakers are dying (why is that btw?), you can add streaming audio devices as inputs and leave the system in place.

Look at the Phorus PR5 streamer. It's (very) inexpensive, and attaches as an input to a receiver or amplifier, and can be a source for the WHA system. It's part of the DTS Play-Fi system and offers grouping like Sonos or AirPlay 2.
http://phorus.com/pr5-receiver

Get one of these for each Zone that you want music for. Then as long as you have good wifi, you can use your smartphone and the Play-Fi app to control music to any of them, and group zones to play the same sources
Attach 1 to each Sony 5.1 setup and the Yamaha RN-301, then attach 1 to each source input on the WHA system. If it's a 6x6 matrix, just label 1 for each Zone, then set the Zone to always stay on that input.
Even if the 5.1 receivers and the Yamaha aren't connected to the WHA, wifi can connect them all.
For your future bar and rec area, that means that you can either connect them to the WHA or run wires in the specific areas and connect them to an amp or receiver.

If you decide to take out the WHA and the control panels in each zone, you can patch the walls where the control panels are, and replace the WHA system with a multi-channel amp, using the existing wiring.
Outdoor Speaker Depot has the MX1680, a 16-channel, 8 zone amplifier, and smaller ones with fewer channels that may be suitable. There are other brands that make similar amps.
https://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/amplifiers/multi-channel.html
If you want to have amps in specific zones OSD also has a stereo amp with auto on/off, the XMP100.
https://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/amplifiers/stereo.html

Again, other brands like RussSound and Dayton audio have similar amps (they look like the same design).

I'm looking for some help regarding whole-house audio (not sure if that's the correct term). I'll do my best to explain what I currently have.
  • First-floor living room - 5.1 set up
  • Basement theater room - 5.1 audio set up
  • Pool area - 4 definitive technology aw6500's
  • Kitchen - 1 Niles CM760 DS
  • Screened in porch - 2 Niles CM760 DS
  • Office - 1 Niles CM760 DS
Currently, I run the pool speakers with a Yamaha RN-301. Which gets the job done.
The living room and theater room both run on Sony receivers.
Other than the 4 pool area speakers everything else was in place when I purchased the house.
A couple of the Niles CM760's have stopped working recently and I feel like its time to update the current system.

The entire setup would consist of 7 indoor ceiling speakers, 6 outdoor speakers, and 2 5.1 setup's for tv/theater.

I don't mind having two separate receivers operating the 5.1 sound for the tv/theater. What I would like is to a separate receiver and speaker selector (and amp?) that has the capability to play music through every speaker in my house. Is something like that possible? Sorry for the long post.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you're OK with the audio sources being streaming apps like Spotify/Pandora/Etc controlled by smartphone, your scenario seems idea for a "mixed" Play-Fi whole-house system.
If you look at your room as Zones instead of individual speakers, you can mix/join functionality of the whole-house audio (WHA) system, your 5.1 setups, your pool area system and integrate the new rooms by adding streaming devices.
If your existing WHA system is still working, and its just that the speakers are dying (why is that btw?), you can add streaming audio devices as inputs and leave the system in place.

Look at the Phorus PR5 streamer. It's (very) inexpensive, and attaches as an input to a receiver or amplifier, and can be a source for the WHA system. It's part of the DTS Play-Fi system and offers grouping like Sonos or AirPlay 2.


Get one of these for each Zone that you want music for. Then as long as you have good wifi, you can use your smartphone and the Play-Fi app to control music to any of them, and group zones to play the same sources
Attach 1 to each Sony 5.1 setup and the Yamaha RN-301, then attach 1 to each source input on the WHA system. If it's a 6x6 matrix, just label 1 for each Zone, then set the Zone to always stay on that input.
Even if the 5.1 receivers and the Yamaha aren't connected to the WHA, wifi can connect them all.
For your future bar and rec area, that means that you can either connect them to the WHA or run wires in the specific areas and connect them to an amp or receiver.

If you decide to take out the WHA and the control panels in each zone, you can patch the walls where the control panels are, and replace the WHA system with a multi-channel amp, using the existing wiring.
Outdoor Speaker Depot has the MX1680, a 16-channel, 8 zone amplifier, and smaller ones with fewer channels that may be suitable. There are other brands that make similar amps.

If you want to have amps in specific zones OSD also has a stereo amp with auto on/off, the XMP100.


Again, other brands like RussSound and Dayton audio have similar amps (they look like the same design).
Thanks for the reply.

Wow those Phorus PR5's are very affordable. Have you had any experience with them? I use GOOGLE mesh wifi with 4 wifi points. Coverage is excellent and extends around the outside as well. The PR5 sounds very promising and simple to integrate. I think this will be the easiest route to take. Just a couple more questions. Right now I don't have the WHA hooked up to a receiver. What I would like to do is replace my Yamaha receiver with something I can run all the outdoor speakers (6) in addition to the WHA (7). Would the MX1680 work for that? I essentially stream all music from my phone now so just curious if I still need a traditional receiver. Would the MX1680 generate enough power? Also, what can you recommend replacing the Niles speakers? Ideally something with the same cutout size of 9 3/4. Not sure if that is a standard size....

Thanks again.
 

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I haven't used them personally, but you can find people here that have used them and like them.
I've recommended them to a couple of people I know who seem to like them a lot, especially for the price.
Without having to re-run wires or replacing the WHA, that's a potential of a lot of money being saved, so why not try it at that price?

If the Yamaha receiver is already in the central location, or it's easy to get wires there, you can add the speakers to the WHA system. The MX1680 would work fine for that.
OTOH, you could probably run 6 (or 8?!) speakers in the pool area if you attach the speakers in series (raising impedance). You'd have to turn the volume up though.
Check with Yamaha support about maximum impedance, but it's probably not an issue.

What do you already have in the central location? Make/Model of the WHA system?

Since you stream music from your phone, you don't need a traditional receiver. A benefit of these streamers is that you could make use of existing equipment and you're not locked into a central location.
You could just save some money by using existing stuff, but if you just want to replace what's centrally located, an MX1680, or a combination of amps if you need more zones, and a PR5 for each independent zone (even if it has many speakers, like the pool area) could work well.
You'd have some cable clutter, but that's probably a small problem in the grand scheme.

The speaker model you list is a 7" speaker. More common is 6.5" or 8". You can find 7" speakers, but there's a bit fewer options.
Amazon has several Niles 7" speakers for not a lot of money, so they're out there. You'd have to pick which ones are closest to the older model, or you could go with another brand.
I don't have a lot of experience with in-ceiling speakers, but would offer that since this is basically for background music, I wouldn't break the bank.
There are packs of speakers available on Amazon and Ebay. Acoustic Audio and Speakercraft seem to have lots of options.

Thanks for the reply.
Wow those Phorus PR5's are very affordable. Have you had any experience with them?
Just a couple more questions. Right now I don't have the WHA hooked up to a receiver. What I would like to do is replace my Yamaha receiver with something I can run all the outdoor speakers (6) in addition to the WHA (7). Would the MX1680 work for that?
I essentially stream all music from my phone now so just curious if I still need a traditional receiver. Would the MX1680 generate enough power? Also, what can you recommend replacing the Niles speakers? Ideally something with the same cutout size of 9 3/4. Not sure if that is a standard size....

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I haven't used them personally, but you can find people here that have used them and like them.
I've recommended them to a couple of people I know who seem to like them a lot, especially for the price.
Without having to re-run wires or replacing the WHA, that's a potential of a lot of money being saved, so why not try it at that price?

If the Yamaha receiver is already in the central location, or it's easy to get wires there, you can add the speakers to the WHA system. The MX1680 would work fine for that.
OTOH, you could probably run 6 (or 8?!) speakers in the pool area if you attach the speakers in series (raising impedance). You'd have to turn the volume up though.
Check with Yamaha support about maximum impedance, but it's probably not an issue.

What do you already have in the central location? Make/Model of the WHA system?

Since you stream music from your phone, you don't need a traditional receiver. A benefit of these streamers is that you could make use of existing equipment and you're not locked into a central location.
You could just save some money by using existing stuff, but if you just want to replace what's centrally located, an MX1680, or a combination of amps if you need more zones, and a PR5 for each independent zone (even if it has many speakers, like the pool area) could work well.
You'd have some cable clutter, but that's probably a small problem in the grand scheme.

The speaker model you list is a 7" speaker. More common is 6.5" or 8". You can find 7" speakers, but there's a bit fewer options.
Amazon has several Niles 7" speakers for not a lot of money, so they're out there. You'd have to pick which ones are closest to the older model, or you could go with another brand.
I don't have a lot of experience with in-ceiling speakers, but would offer that since this is basically for background music, I wouldn't break the bank.
There are packs of speakers available on Amazon and Ebay. Acoustic Audio and Speakercraft seem to have lots of options.
I've placed an order for a couple of Phorus PR5 at that price I agree, you really can't go wrong.

I currently don't have a receiver hooked up to the WHA. However, when I added the outdoor speakers I ran the wire to the same central location as the WHA. Does that make sense? I don't mind picking a new receiver that can handle all the outdoor and indoor speakers (WHA). Would it be easier to add a speaker selector? I just want to make sure I do it right the first time. In my experience cutting corners, in the beginning, seems to always end up costing more in the end.

Two of the Niles speakers are still functioning and two don't seem to be anymore. I don't have any issue going to an 8-inch speaker since there are already holes in the ceiling. Just can't go smaller than the current cut out.

I appreciate your time. Sorry for being a pain!
 

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So if I understand correctly, all the wires for the non 5.1 setups go to a central location, implying that the Yamaha is in the same central location. Is that correct?
What's the make/model of the WHA system? Does each current room/zone have a panel to select what to play, or is there a central panel of some sort? How many zones can it serve?

Fortunately, you've done most of the "doing it right" by having all the wires run already. Whether you keep or replace existing equipment is then incremental after that.
If you try to reuse current equipment, and it doesn't work out later, there's no lost costs when you swap out centrally located devices later.
If you leave current control panels in place now, and later replace or remove them, there's no lost costs when you make that decision.

The beneficial thing about wireless WHA is just that: It's wireless. You can tie-in portable speakers or anything else compatible with the ecosystem. They don't need to be connected by anything except wifi, which you have covered.
Sonos, Apple Airplay 2, Denon Heos, Yamaha MusicCast are just gouging customers once Sonos (and I guess Apple before them) proved they could get very high margins on products.
DTS did as well with Play-Fi, but for some reason, the Phorus PR5 is out there at this price. It originally sold for 6x its current price. Even then, it still would be among the cheapest streaming options from a major ecosystem.
I'm not one to overlook a deal like that! :D

I've placed an order for a couple of Phorus PR5 at that price I agree, you really can't go wrong.
I currently don't have a receiver hooked up to the WHA. However, when I added the outdoor speakers I ran the wire to the same central location as the WHA. Does that make sense? I don't mind picking a new receiver that can handle all the outdoor and indoor speakers (WHA). Would it be easier to add a speaker selector? I just want to make sure I do it right the first time. In my experience cutting corners, in the beginning, seems to always end up costing more in the end.
Two of the Niles speakers are still functioning and two don't seem to be anymore. I don't have any issue going to an 8-inch speaker since there are already holes in the ceiling. Just can't go smaller than the current cut out.
I appreciate your time. Sorry for being a pain!
 
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