Extending my hi-fi into bedroom, advice wanted

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by stroberaver, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. stroberaver

    stroberaver
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    I've got a fairly conventional setup in the living room of my flat - hi fi separates running a pair of floorstanders, with cd, tuner, minidisc, and tv all inputting into the amp. However I'd like to be able to listen to the output in my bedroom as well as the living room, but I'm not sure what the best way of going about it is.

    I don't need (or can afford! :( ) any "bespoke" multi-room solutions with zones and multiple sources and keypads in the walls, etc. I just want to extent the output of the hifi to the bedroom with couple of small standmounted hifi speakers.

    One option would be to use the second set of speaker terminals on the amp to run speaker cable to the bedroom. Nice and simple, but downsides are the sheer length of cable that would be required (it'd need a run of over 20m to each speaker, going round all the skirting boards and door frames), plus the job of hiding it. Is it wise to run lengths of speaker wire this long, or does the resistance of the wire begin to affect things and make it too hard for the amp? (The amp is a Sony TA-FB940R).

    Alternatively is there some way of doing it wirelessly? I've searched for products but anything wireless only seems to haul music from a computer or NAS. I've got a wireless router, but my music collection isn't ripped - it's all on cd and I listen to the radio & minidisc as well. Nor is there space in the bedroom for a mini hi-fi system that wireless receivers need to be plugged into for amplification.

    Or is there any other option I've got? And if speaker cable is the only way of doing it, any tips for hiding them discretely?!

    Many thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. davidcotton

    davidcotton
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    One way would be to get maybe a ipod/mp3 player and dock and have that playing in the bedroom. It would mean you ripping most of your favourite cds to the format of the player you chose, but you'd only have to do it the once.
     
  3. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    forget that idea

    Do you both rooms same time or independantly?
    Do you want full remote control in both rooms? (esp Bedroom)
    whats your budget?
    any aversion to running wires?
     
  4. stroberaver

    stroberaver
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    Thanks for the replies. :)

    @ davidcotton: I'm afraid I've already considered that idea, but it's the only use I'd have for an ipod and it wouldn't allow me to listen to the radio or minidisc in the bedroom, or to have the same source as my living room.

    Ideally, to choose either. Sometimes to just have it in the living room or bedroom, or sometimes both.

    Nope, no remote control required at all, above what I have now by pointing the zapper at the hifi when I'm in the living room. :)

    Was thinking/hoping for £200-250 if I was just going to extend the speaker output - £100-150 for some small but reputable budget standmounters, and then the cost of the necessary stands and cables. Obviously if there was any alternative (wireless?) way of doing it then this might change and I might have to consider saving up.

    If you mean above/below/behind ceilings, floors and walls, yes I've an aversion to it, because I live in a flat. But as long as I can find a way of keeping the wires unobtrusive and tidy around the skirting boards and doorframes then that would be fine. My main concern would be the sheer length of speaker cable required, both in terms of effect on sound quality and the cost! :)
     
  5. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    Wouldn't worry too much in terms of cost/effect on sound - you just need to make sure you have some nice thick copper cable (say at least 2.5mm diameter, 10AWG, or a little bigger wouldn't hurt). Maplin should be able to do something for a couple of pounds/meter. Spend the rest of the money on speakers/stands, and maybe 20quid on a IR forwarding box to let you use a remote control in the bedroom, and that's probably going to be your best-sounding budget solution. Whether you can put up with that in terms of convenience, though, is down to you...
     
  6. stroberaver

    stroberaver
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    Thanks for the advice. :) I've taken a look at 10 gauge wire though, and crikey, it's huge! There's no way I'd be able to discretely get that around corners and skirting boards, which is important to me. :(

    Is there any way to use something smaller and more flexible? Would careful choice of speakers give me more freedom with the long cabling (i.e. allow me to use a smaller, more resistive cable)?
     
  7. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    Using thinner, more resistive wire can - in theory - impact on the frequency response of your speakers. The actual type of wire shouldn't make too much odds - a thinner silver wire may be *marginally* better (a slightly lower resistance than copper) but the differences would be nowhere near enough to make 20m of silver wire a worthwhile investment. One solution might be to up the cross-section by using a number of thinner wires or one of the 'flat' ribbon wires you can buy get.

    tbh, though, unless you use very thin wire the effects are likely to be small (maybe not even noticable). I used this wire - http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=GALE-XL105CABL - over a run of about 15m, and it sounded fine, if it was harming the sound I couldn't tell. In terms of speakers with a long run on thin-ish wire - relatively easy to drive would be good. People seem to report long cable runs attenuating treble in particular, so speakers with a slightly stronger treble might help, but I haven't done the maths to check why treble would be particularly affected...

    People often make a big deal of cables, but unless you do something horribly wrong you're unlikely to have a particularly big impact on the sound...

    If you're going to need to buy some speakers anyway, your best bet might be to try it and see how they sound with a long run of cable. tbh, if your choice is between a £200 pair of speakers with sub-ideal cabling and a £100 pair which have an amp in the same room etc I'd imagine that the £200 speakers are likely to give the better sound. Hard to know without trying, though :D
     

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