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Mulit-Room Home Audio

by alymg / March 27, 2008 5:06 AM PDT

After reading tons on your forums it seems like the most economical way of setting-up multi room audio in my home is by purchasing a receiver for my home theatre and using the pre-out to connect to a multi-channel amp to power the other speakers in the house. Do you agree? And if so can you recommend a budget amp (6 channels) under $1,000?

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by bevillan / March 27, 2008 5:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Mulit-Room Home Audio

Do you really need 6 channels on your amp to Zone 2? If you do then you would probably need to get a 7 channel amp since I don't know of many budget ones in 6 channels. You might have an interesting wiring setup if you want to take a 2 channel Zone 2 output from your receiver and send it to 3 pairs of speakers in your house.

Emotiva, as rated by people here and other places, seems to be a great budget-minded amp maker that has 2, 5, and 7 channel options. Go here to check them out:

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by alymg / March 27, 2008 5:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Amp

Thanks bearvp. Actually I miscounted. I would need 12 channels since I have a 5.1 set-up in one room and 6 pairs of speakers in other areas in the house. So I was looking at the Niles amp which is around $1200 and the Onkyo 605 or 805 reciever. Both combined would be about $1800 - $2000. Unless there's a receiver that could do it all in one.

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Another idea
by alymg / March 27, 2008 5:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Reply

What if I took a pre-amp out of the Onkyo receiver (for all of the speakers in the house except for the 5.1 speakers) and put this as an input into another receiver's pre-amp input? Would this work and do you forsee any problems?

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by jostenmeat / March 27, 2008 5:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Another idea

if you have two receivers, then why bother hooking them up? if an amp, ok.

then... well, I never looked, but a couple of issues. I don't recommened this route.

To play only one pair of speakers in any room, you will have to either manually disconnect something, or go to speaker setup and turn certain ones off.

Also, you'll need some sort of mono setting. because if there is some 2-ch source being matrixed/DSP'd, then one room might be surround left and rear right as your "stereo". I dunno.

Then, anytime you want to play any room's speakers, your 5.1 will be going in full. Outside of disconnecting the speaker wires. right?

Sorry, but it's true I know almost nothing about whole house audio.

I would try some other forums more suited, perhaps, gl.

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by bevillan / March 27, 2008 6:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Another idea

So you would have your 5.1 HT speakers running off the Onkyo with the pre-outs on your Onkyo to another receiver? I guess that would work. If you wanted the multi-room audio to work in that situation you would need to set your Onkyo to play the "All Channel Stereo" listening mode to each pre-out channel is getting the same signal.

I'd email Onkyo first and ask if there are any problems with running speakers off the Onkyo's amp and running pre-outs to another receiver. I don't think there should be though.

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by bevillan / March 27, 2008 5:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Reply

I checked the Niles amp and yeah, if you wanted all your 12 channels running from one amp that would be a good choice. Do you have any wattage per channel requirements though? The Niles does 60 watts/channel (8 ohms) and for some speakers that may not be enough to get good sound. Since you have 3 other Zones you probably should get the Onkyo 805 instead of the 605.

A better bet might be getting 2 amps, one just for your 5.1 home theater (5/7 channel amp) and one just for your Zone 2/3/4 audio (7 channel amp). You would run your 5 Home Theater channel pre-outs to your amp dedicated for hometheater and then run your Zone 2 and 3 preouts to your other amp. You would need to get 2 RCA splitters to put on either your Zone 2 or Zone 3 Line Outs from your receiver to get the 4 channels into 6.

If you don't need alot of power to your other Zone speakers you probably could get a pretty decently priced 7 channel amp to handle them (like this one )

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by alymg / March 27, 2008 6:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Niles

My only concern witht that is if I use 7.1 channels to split to 6 speakers can I get stereo sound this way or will it only be surround sound? What about using a speaker selector from one amp for the other 6 speakers?

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by bevillan / March 27, 2008 6:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Reply

You could get stereo sound in all your speakers if you set the receiver to "All Channel Stereo" per one of the listening mode options.

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by bevillan / March 27, 2008 6:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Mulit-Room Home Audio

Is $2000 your budget for the entire system? (including Onkyo, amp(s), speaker wire, cables, etc.) or can you go higher?

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by alymg / March 27, 2008 6:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Budget

Here's what I was hoping to spend:

Receiver: $600
2nd receiver: $600
or speaker selecter: $150
or 12 channel amp: $1200
5.1 speakers: $500
Multi-room speakers: $750

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one half baked idea
by jostenmeat / March 27, 2008 6:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Budget

Receiver: $600 Yamaha 663 or refurbed Onkyo 805
2nd receiver: $600 dunno
or speaker selecter: $150 buys you one, but better not run all speakers at the same time.
or 12 channel amp: $1200 Behringer A-500, six of em.
5.1 speakers: $500 boy that's cheap. I think maybe KRK studio monitors, or superceded Boston bookshelves, or possibly some JBL can get you 5 speakers. If it was me, Id just get a front pair at this budget. I really hope you did not truly mean .1 as well for the sub included in this budget. It'll be such a POS, that its not worth it. Save that 1sq foot of space for a plant or dvd rack.
Multi-room speakers: $750 12 of em? also mega cheap. Check out Dayton for mega-cheap speakers.

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Budget revised
by alymg / March 27, 2008 6:33 AM PDT
In reply to: one half baked idea

Thanks jostenmeat.

To clarify the budget I was hoping for $500 for the 5 surround speakers and $200 for the sub.

$750 was for 5 pairs of polk audio speakers at $150/pair

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200 sub
by jostenmeat / March 27, 2008 6:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Budget revised

is really bottom feeding. Not to diss you, just letting you know. I think of only two possibilities, X-sub from av123 and dayton. Ive never even heard a $300 sub that was adequate. Ok, so im used to world class subs, but still, ... well you'd just have to hear to believe I guess. This also depends on your room volume, and if its open, but $200 would never cut it for me at this point.

I don't think you can run 6 pairs off just one amp simultaneously. Just 2 pairs will halve the impedance seen by the amp. So two pairs running makes the amp see 4 ohm load. 6 pairs??? I dunno, keep a fire extinguisher nearby. I have two at my place btw, heh.

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Another idea
by bevillan / March 27, 2008 7:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Mulit-Room Home Audio

Could you live with having just 2 auxiliary audio zones? If so you could just connect RCA cables from Zone 2 and Zone 3 pre-outs on the Onkyo 805 to cheap 2 channel amps to power your Zone 2/3 speakers. That would forgo any expensive multi-channel amp purchase.

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Speaker Selector
by alymg / March 27, 2008 7:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Another idea
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Re: Another idea
by alymg / March 27, 2008 7:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Another idea

Thanks for the idea but I just don't want to run 6 different 2 channel amps if I can get one to do it. 6 amps at $200 each I might as well buy the niles for $1200 for 12 channels.

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oh ok
by bevillan / March 27, 2008 7:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Another idea

Sorry I thought you mean 6 speakers, not I thought you were just wanting 3 auxiliary zones but you want 6 zones, my bad.

Yeah, you would want a speaker selector like that Niles one you linked to on Crutchfield. If you use the Onkyo 805 you might want to go a step up on the selector and get the Niles HPS-6 (handles up to 250 watts per channel instead of just 100 watts per channel with the one you linked to). And it is only $90 more from Crutchfield for the upgrade.

So then you could run a pre-out from your Zone 2 on the Onkyo to a 2 channel amp, then run the speaker outputs from the amp to the speaker selector.

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Speaker Selector
by alymg / March 27, 2008 7:57 AM PDT
In reply to: oh ok

So if I have a 500 watt amp and I split it into the 6 speaker selector then do I need 250 watts per channel? Am I not just getting 30 watts per channel?

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whatever floats your boat
by jostenmeat / March 27, 2008 7:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Another idea

but that niles puts out 30w per channel.

the Behringer puts out 130w at 8ohms, and "doubles down" to about 220w at 4ohms. Bridgeable as well. if any channel of the Niles goes down, the whole thing will need to get sent it for repair I suppose. The Behringer is well reviewed:

If you do somehow go Behringer, which I doubt, you better step up to the better Niles switcher model.

With either, obviously you are going to keep the "protection" switch on. Happy hunting.

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by alymg / March 27, 2008 7:54 AM PDT

Great deal for the Behringer A500 Amplifier but it's only 2 channels so if I split this into 6 channels I still end up with 30W/channel and I need a speaker selector. But you're right it saves me a lot more money than the niles.

So if I have 6 zones and 2 speakers for each zone I can use the speaker selector and just use 1 speaker as the left speaker and 1 as the right speaker.

But then why couldn't I just do this with a 7.1 receiver?

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Distributed Audio
by TheTechSource / March 29, 2008 1:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Another idea

My perspective is from that of a custom installer (I design, sell, install & maintain systems like the one you are trying to setup).

What you are trying to do can be accomplished with one amp and an impedence matching speaker selector. If your amp has a zone 2 option, you can even be listening to a unique source in the rest of the house from your surround sound room.

Problem one: your only control is from the cabinet for all the speakers. Problem two: all the other speakers will be listening to the same source.

The next best setup is to wire for volume controls. This will allow you to turn on/off and adjust the speakers from that zone.

Better yet, get an entry level aBus audio distribution hub and wire for aBus keypads allowing each zone to have it's own source.

You might consider hiring a local A/V contractor and save the hassle.

Enjoy the music!

Morgan Harman
The Tech Source
Home Theaters and more... in Southern California

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(NT) remote speaker from tv
by aday / March 28, 2008 8:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Mulit-Room Home Audio
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