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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

First post here. Normally I'm pretty decent at A/V stuff, but this one is throwing me for a loop and I'm not quite sure why. I recently gutted my house and wired the dwelling with a forward mindset! It's really nice to bring a 1970s home into the 21st century when the walls are down!

My setup:

Zone1 (Den, our "main" entertainment area):

  • Onkyo TX-NR656 7.1 Receiver (but only using 5.1 surround)
  • Monitor Audio CT-165 in-ceiling trimless speakers - 5 total (left/center/right/rear-left/rear-right
  • JBL SW-8MK2 8" floor firing subwoofer (I hate this thing!) connected via LFE
  • LG 55" 1080p LCD
  • TiVo RoAmio
  • Samsung Blu Ray
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • TiVo RoAmio

Zone2 (kitchen):
  • Yamaha NS-IC600 in-ceiling speakers - 2 total (left/right)

Zone3 (dining room):
  • Yamaha NS-IC600 in-ceiling speakers - 2 total (left/right)

Zone4 (living room):
  • Yamaha NS-IC600 in-ceiling speakers - 2 total (left/right)

Zone5 (outside patio located outside of den on side of house):
  • Klipsch KHO-7 Outdoor 5.5" speaker (I have two but currently only have one hooked up)

Media closet (located underneath my stairwell on main floor) & other notables:
  • Sony STRDG820 7.1 Receiver (connected to Onkyo Zone1 via Cat5e using RCA/Cat5 balun)
  • Monoprice 6-channel speaker selector, connected to Sony STRDG820 7.1 Receiver
  • Luxul XGS-1024S 24 Port Gigabit Flex Mount Switch
  • ASUS Dual-band Wireless-AC1900 Router (LOVE this thing)
  • Channel Master CM-4228HD OTA Antenna (located in attic)
  • Channel Master CM3418 8-Port Distribution Amplifier
  • Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
  • Entire house is wired Cat5e/Cat6/Coax

Goal(s) I am aiming to achieve:
  • Avoid spending any more money!
  • Clear, crisp sound (I have a sensitive ear) from all zones, mainly for music
  • Control my zones without losing quality/sound loss/interference
  • Hear what's on the TV (i.e. a sports game) from Zone1 in any other zone

Issue(s) I am experiencing:
  • Zone1 sound is clear from all speakers, but zones 2/3/4 seem to only have a "true" sound coming from one of the two speakers from each zone (i.e. Left or Right only); the other speaker in each zone seems to be muffled, and lyrics are more difficult to hear
  • Zone5 sound volume is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than all other Zones (all the interior zones); this is my main gripe
  • I suspect the Monoprice speaker selector ($20 purchase) is only a band-aid solution that is not ideal given my setup

Other notes:
  • So glad I wired up the house. Cat5 is great! The balun I'm using is doing the job with little to no interference, so long as I keep it away from DC plugs
  • Onkyo receiver in Zone1 is connected to the internet via Cat6/wired connection, which is great with built-in apps to the receiver (namely, Spotify and Pandora)
  • All components/peripherals in Zone1 are connected via HDMI (HDTV, Amazon Fire TV, Blu Ray, and TiVo Roamio)
  • The Onkyo iOS app is clunky, but works and allows me to control sources and volume to the Onkyo receiver (located in Zone1); can't control any other zones because my Sony receiver in the media closet is not a "smart" receiver
  • I can toggle HDMI vs PCM on my TiVo RoaMio if I desire to get sound out of more than just Zone1 (I think?)
  • I have done some research, but am not totally understanding of how multi-zones work, and I'm not very familiar with Multi-CH options on receivers either

Any help is GREATLY appreciated! I've done some preliminary research, but I am still somewhat at a loss as to what I need or what I'm doing wrong.
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