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AVForums Multi Room discussion thread

Discussion in 'Streamers & Network Music Players' started by amcluesent, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    >Any help will greatly be appreciated, Thanks<

    There's some previous posts about designs along these lines.

    You'll certainly need an amp, however I can't think of any hi-fi amp that can cope with more than two pairs of speakers being connected, switching 6+ zones would make the resistance go haywire.

    You'll need to look at distribution amps with multiple channels or active speakers with in-build amps.

    Alternatively consider true multi-zone streamers with combined amps, like the Sonos ZP120. TBH, if I was starting out with multi-room sound I wouldn't built it around an Apple TV no matter what it's fitted with...
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  2. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    >Currently building a house and wondered if anyone had some advice on systems to play music throughout the house, which would include different zones controlled via lcd keypad etc and would play via i pod,cd and radio<

    What sort of budget had you mind, if you want to drop ££££ then there's plenty of choices!
  3. durgen

    durgen Member

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    I'm completely new to all this so I don't have a clue about anything to do with home music systems, thanks for the reply I will do a little research into the Sonos and try to figure out how it works, the only reason I was wanting to use ATV is because I already own 1 and I thought it would act as a good hard drive for my music, I only want something fairly cheap and basic
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    Apple TV is a Source device with an internal hard-drive and that's about it - you could plug one into a multiple zone Amplifier + Speaker Set-up and listen to the Apple TV in all zones though that's a fairly basic system with little flexibility or control.

    Your in Pub/Club Lo-Fi territory if you want to do this on a tight budget and don't want to set the quality/usability bar too high.

    As others have said the likes of Sonos offers you so much more in terms of Sound quality, usability and music selection - though at a price.

    What budget are you working to?

    Joe
  5. durgen

    durgen Member

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    I'm working with no budget really as the house will take all the money, I was wanted to just wire it out now before I plaster the Walls and connect it up at a later date when I have the funds. This is only a cheap first house so I'm not wanting anything special.
    What you spoke of with a amplifier sounds like the basic idea I was thinking of, would I need any kind of special switchs in the rooms so I can turn them on and off without walking to the amp every time
  6. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    A twelve channel (six Stereo zone) PA amp with Line-in will likely be £300 to £400.

    Wall mounted in-room volume controls around £50 per zone.

    In-ceiling Speakers £100 to £300 per pair depending on driver size to suit each room.

    Plus your Speaker cable.

    Joe
  7. durgen

    durgen Member

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    Thanks Joe that sounds like the plan I will follow, like I said it's only my first house so I'm only wanting something basic
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. UrbanBumpkin

    UrbanBumpkin Member

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    I'm looking at buying a Squeezebox Touch and hooking this up to my existing Amp / speakers. I'm also looking at being able to play music in the ajoining room.

    Would it be possible to use some kind of wireless active speakers via the same SB Touch or would I need another squeezebox device in there.

    The easy option would be the squeezebox Boom?

    I also have my Amp Bi wired, would it be possible just to connect a second set of speakers (with cables although would prefer to do this wirelessly. Is there an easy way to do this with?
  9. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    >The easy option would be the squeezebox Boom?<

    I'd use the Boom, in fact I do for the kitchen and bedroom. Likely to be cheaper than wireless senders/2nd speakers and you have the flexibility for syncing to Touch or using as another zone.
  10. UrbanBumpkin

    UrbanBumpkin Member

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    Thanks amcluesent.

    The Boom does look a good option epecially for creating a different zone if required (which I hadn't though of).
  11. gazsparky

    gazsparky Member

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    Currently at 1st fix stage of a new build and wondering if its worth wiring for a nuvo system or go for a wireless sonos system. Had prices of around 3k for nuvo essentia-g multi room system bu its a bit above my budget. Quite new to this multi room music world so wondered if it was worth it or go for the cheaper sonos system. help!
  12. macally

    macally New Member

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    We get the keys to our new house on Friday and one of the things we'd like to set up before we move in is a multi room music system. I've had a look at Sony's and Philips' offerings but are there any others?

    Basically what we want is a central unit that we can burn the CD's to, then a few satellite systems in different rooms. Any recommendations?
  13. hemspa

    hemspa Member

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    Check out sonos. That's what I'm looking at myself
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. macally

    macally New Member

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    Have spent most of the morning so far looking for a good solution. Sonos looks very nice but I think it may be out of my price range. I particularly like the way it can be controlled from an iphone/ipod touch.

    My current thinking is something along these lines:

    A set of Yamaha Home Cinema Speakers, a Yamaha AV Receiver and an Apple Airport Express/Air Play adapter in the living room then in the other rooms I'd just need a half decent set of powered speakers and an Airport adapter.

    The advantage of this would obviously be that I could hook it up to my TiVo box/DVD player, etc as well so would get more use from the speakers in the living room.

    The disadvantage would be having to have a computer on 24/7 but I'm sure I can find an old laptop or low powered pc that'd do the job and could be hidden behind the TV.

    What do you think?
  15. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    >What do you think?<

    Have a good look at the Squeezebox range. Most people on the forum run Sonos or Squeezebox for multi-room/multi-zone music.
  16. macally

    macally New Member

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    Thanks. Will have a look, however, I got the impression I'd need speakers in addition to the squeezebox?
  17. macally

    macally New Member

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    I guess at the moment my thinking is: Sonos systems and Squeezebox systems still require a pc to be running to stream the music from and Sonos will cost a minimum of £250 per room, not sure about Squeezebox. However, getting an AV receiver and a 5.1 set of Yamaha speakers will probably be a bit better quality and I'll have the advantage of being able to use it with all of the other AV stuff. Also, each additional room will only cost the price of an Airport Express and speakers so seems by far the cheapest option.
  18. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    There's several players in the Sonos and Sqeezebox ranges. For Squeezebox, the Radio and Boom are self-contained players with own amp/speaker(s), the Touch has a line out/digital out for connection to amp/DAC

    >each additional room will only cost the price of an Airport Express and speakers<

    Just consider that the Express players can't be set to play different music, every one gets the same stream from your iTunes. That may or may not be something you want. The Squeezebox/Sonos ranges are leagues ahead of everything else for multi room/multi zone functionality.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  19. macally

    macally New Member

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    I agree that there are different models but the cheapest Sonos is the Play-3 which is £249. I'll look into Squeezebox more because at the minute I don't really get it.
  20. therixonator

    therixonator Member

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    You don't have to have a pc on with sonos or squeezebox. The sonos network can read your music collection off most network storage devices. There are nas and external hardrive options for squeezebox too but its specific to certain devices. Can't remember what connects to what but someone else will know if u want to know more.

    What I'm saying is don't write off streamers because of the pc having to be on, they don't have to be.
  21. macally

    macally New Member

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    If someone could recommend a complete setup that'd be a huge help. I really think Sonos is too much price wise for me but the Squeezebox is a bit better. My only other option would be the Philips Streamium kit I mentioned in my first post.
  22. therixonator

    therixonator Member

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    A few questions then,

    1) what is your budget?
    2) how many rooms do want to do?
    3) do you want a different source in each room, or is the same source ok for all?
    4) do you have any existing audio gear u want to include?
    5) do you want to play from ur own music collection or also use streaming services like spotify and internet radio?
  23. eyeballKid

    eyeballKid Member

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    One of the great things about Sonos/Squeezebox setups is that they're modular and you don't have to get a "complete setup". So you can start with streaming from an old PC then replace it with a NAS. You can start with one room and then expand into other areas of the house. You can use existing laptop or iOs/Android devices to control them then get dedicated controllers.

    Pricewise, Squeezebox probably pays off as you add more rooms, but its server requirements are a bit more demanding (expensive) than Sonos's "just about any NAS will do".

    One thing you can start doing now is ripping your CDs losslessly, both for quality and for future proofing (eg. rip to FLAC then you can always quickly convert them to Apple Lossless if you go the Airplay route).
  24. therixonator

    therixonator Member

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    Oh man, the rip ur music to lossless job. Took me a month. Wouldn't wish that "project" on my worst enemy. Glad its done now though. Sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labour!
  25. eyeballKid

    eyeballKid Member

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    ...and apart from constant stream of new purchases, forever finding CDs that have yet to be ripped. At least once you have EAC or DBPowerAmp configured you can just rip CDs on near autopilot. And so worth it to have hundreds of albums to play in multiple rooms at the touch of a button.
  26. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    It is worth it. I found that ripping a couple of CDs at a time using EAC while I listen to music I've already done is not too bad. Over a period of several weeks all my CDs got done. I only had about 250 CDs though. Any new CDs the first thing I do is rip them with EAC and then put them away. It's definitely preferable to just buy music in FLAC if only it was easier to find. I've been thinking about making a thread about that in the music section.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  27. therixonator

    therixonator Member

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    Sorry sideways topic coming up.

    I've never used eac or dbpoweramp to rip cds, always itunes. But itunes is crap with big collections, u press delete on a track and wait several minutes before it brings up a msg box. And it constantly breaks the links to my tracks, u reimport them all which takes a day, and it then has a broken link track and a working one, so u have to delete all the broken ones. Anyway, its crap, rant over.

    So apart from ripping to flac, what other advantages do they have? Do the other softwares work better at the above? I definitely want to kill all links with itunes, any advice on which one to go for?
  28. eyeballKid

    eyeballKid Member

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  29. macally

    macally New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I don't really have a set budget to be honest. We're getting the keys to our new house on Friday and it's definitely something we'd like to have in the house. We've just ordered a Onyko AV receiver and speaker setup so ideally would like the living room unit to utilise that rather than being an individual speaker. As for the other rooms (we're thinking another 4 rooms max) I guess they'd be ok with an all in one system. Really the budget is as much as it's going to cost, it just has an effect on how quickly we get it bought and set up.

    The option to have different music playin in each room would be nice by not essential.

    I do have a NAS box and a HP MicroServer running FreeNAS so would either of these work with the Squeezebox?

    Also the option to use spotify would be nice but again, not a deal breaker
  30. therixonator

    therixonator Member

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    On the sonos side, u can use your nas to store all your music and ur av receiver for one of your rooms.

    So ud need a zp90 for the front room, and 4 of either s5, play3 or zp120 the latter needs stereo speakers too.

    Then depending on how u want to control it u can either buy a controller or use the free apps on iPhone iPad or android.

    U may also need a bridge if ur router is not near any of your zones.

    So cheapest brand new sonos set up for 5 zones would be 1 x zp90 and 4 x play3 which is about £1300. But u don't have to buy everything brand new and u could just buy 1 zone at a time.

    That gives u up to 5 different sources of music at the same time, digital radio, and some streaming services. Spotify and napster charge a monthly fee if u want those.

    Can someone do the equivalent for squeezebox cos I don't know all the components and prices for those.

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