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basic multi room advice please!

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by MNH, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. MNH

    MNH
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    hoping someone could kindly help me with a multi-room/speaker question.

    basically my flat is wired up with two speakers in the living room, and two speakers in both bedrooms, and one speaker (?) in the kitchen which is open plan to the living room. all the speaker cable comes into the living room where my home cinema set up is. i've never used the speakers before apart from testing them out in pairs with a cheap all in one system yesterday.

    what i want to know is if i can buy a speaker switch box and wire up the three pairs of speakers, plus the single kitchen speaker and run them off my amp. i know there is an issue with the load the amp will have to be capable of driving, but i dont really understand this.

    to compound the problem, i will only be using my home stereo amp (pioneer vsx-c300 - i think it was the predecessor to the vsx-c100??) and i dont know the rating of the speakers as they are 'in-ceiling' and were in place when i moved into the flat.

    also, whats the deal with there only being one speaker in the kitchen. does this matter?

    will i do any damage if i connect it all up together and see if it works? i only need it for a house party this saturday so sound quality isnt a massive problem . . .

    tks in advance
     
  2. jimmy_b

    jimmy_b
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    MNH

    Seems the cheapest solution for you would be a simple speaker switcher. QED do 4 and 5 way ones - see here:

    http://www.hifibitz.co.uk/manufacturers_results.asp?id=&manufacturerid=29&name=&page=2&pagesize=30

    These will allow you to turn each speaker set on/off at the source but the volume control would be the same for all sets of speakers. The QED boxes will not overload your amp but volume will be affected I think (depending on how many speaker sets are currently in use). Not sure about this - others here will probably know more.

    If your amp has two A/B speaker connections then you can run the main set off A with the QED box connected to B. This would give you separate control over the main speaker set.

    If you are looking for more functionality (i.e. full multi-room set up with separate controllers in each room) then you could look at Opus: http://www.opus-technologies.co.uk

    They do multi-room audio with control pads in each room etc. for quite a reasonable price but it may be beyond what you require for the party on Saturday!

    As for the single speaker in the kitchn, it depends how it is wired but it shouldn't be a problem. You just won't get stereo sound!!

    Hope this helps
    Jimmy
     
  3. MNH

    MNH
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    tks for that jimmyb, i had been looking at the 4-way speaker switcher's at maplin as they are only £10. i had a look at your link to the qed one though, do you think they offer a better level of protection for the amp?

    to be honest i hadnt really thought this through properly. my av amp has only 5.1 outputs. does that mean i need to connect my speaker cables to the front left and right inputs to listen to an ipod plugged into the amps front phono inputs? i guess it does.

    i had briefly looked into opus, but looked like a lot of cash - holding out until this www.sonos.com is available here. looks supeb and exactly what i need.

    tks for your reply
     
  4. jimmy_b

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    MNH

    I think the Maplins 4-way one is only a switcher which means that you can only choose 1 set at any time rather than any combination of the 4 sets at once. Therefore, there is no issue with amp power as only one set of speakers would be in use at any one time.
    Unlike the QED box which allows any combination of speaker sets to be used. This means it has to take precautions wrt amp power but I am not sure how it does this! I think it limits the total power (thus affecting volume) but this may be rubbish :blush: - someone here should know!

    You are correct about the speaker connections for the av amp.

    I am not sure that I agree with you about the expense of the Opus stuff over the sonos. The prices for the sonos equipment (from your link) seemed to be $499 for each unit so the cost for this alone would be n*499 where n is the number of rooms that you want. Also, the keypads cost $399 so you would have to decide how many of these you want. If you only had one you would need to carry it round the house...

    I think the Opus Octopus system cheaper. You can get an entire system for £1100 which includes all the speakers, central server, cable and cool wall mounted control panels for each room! Also, the opus system is a wired system which would suit your current setup whereas the sonos is wireless.

    Regards

    Jim
     
  5. jimmy_b

    jimmy_b
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  6. MNH

    MNH
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    jimmyb, tks again for the info. your price for the opus stuff was roughly what i looked into a while ago, and i can see why you think i'd have to spend more on sonos stuff, but for permanent use i'd only really want two rooms worth and the introductory sonos pack at $1199 for two base units and one controller would probably do to start with. however you're right about the remote, and there is also the issue that it will probably be a lot more than the equivalent of $1199 when they decide to sell it over here . . . rip-off britain and all that (plus some legitimate extra costs as well i suppose!). needs looking into more by me to be honest and i'm in no rush as i'm still recovering from the home cinema costs (which isnt complete yet either!!!).
     
  7. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    Hi,

    Another option for (basic) two-room control would, if your amp has a tape output, be to buy an amp for another one of the rooms and feed that from the tape output of your main amp: would at least let you control the volume from the 2nd room, and would give you more power (you could buy a pretty decent/v powerful amp for a lot less than the multi-room systems suggested, though it would not be as neat). I *think* you can also get devices that can send remote control signals through walls and forward them on, which would give multi-room control - try asking at maplin, from what I remember they had them for £50-odd.

    If I remember rightly, Maplin do switches that let you run several sets of speakers but limit the impedance your amp is dealing with to about 6ohms (which most amps should be OK with); QED switches may do the same. Not sure how well this works in practice, but I think the theory being that with this limit in place your amp can power say 4 sets of speakers with less chance of overload; however what will happen is that the power will be split between the speakers and volume will therefore be lower (e.g. if your amp can put out 100w/c when running 2 6ohm speakers it will only be able to put out the equivalent of 25W into each of the 8 speakers it's running through a Maplins switch which limits the impedance to 6ohm) The amp will sound quieter, and distort at a lower volume (and playing it at distortion point can damage speakers and amp). So I think you *should* be OK as long as you don't play your music to the point where it starts distorting, but don't blame me if something blows ;)

    Jon
     
  8. ntslik

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    That's not including VAT
     
  9. darrenking

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    I have just brought an Octopus system and am waiting delivery :)

    I have been looking around and managed to get the 4 room set with Stainless Steel wall plates for £1100 inc VAT (and that was with one set of the Active speakers for the bathroom)

    I had a look at the stuff at the Smart Homes Show (Show offer price tag), very nice for a entry level system.

    The Russound stuff also looks good and if you can get it from the states easily half the price, but then you need to start sinking US back boxes into your walls for the control plates :thumbsdow
     
  10. ukwill

    ukwill
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    just to add a couple of things...

    * Sonos is £899 inc vat. for 2 ZonePlayers + 1 Remote
    *you could control all rooms from 1 remote, where ever you are in the house/garden.
    *you could wire 2 rooms to each ZonePlayer
    *you can use your existing speakers
    *you can add in existing AV devices and use them from all other ZonePlayers
    *you can use your existing PC/where ever your existing digi-audio store exists

    Personally for whats on offer I cant think of a better solution.
     

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