Multi-Room Audio Solution

manzer1977

Standard Member
Hi, I'm currently building a new house and don't want to miss the opportunity to install all the necessary cabling to allow multi'room audio to be added at a later date, i'll need to see how much money i have left come the end. The products i've looked at so far(opus, russound, zon) seem to be covered by installing one CAT5 cable and a pair of speaker wires to each zone from a central area. I intend having 4-6 zones depending on cost and only require to distribute audio. I want to be able to control volume and source from each zone independently so i guess that narrows my options. I've been looking at possible solutions for the past few months but with all the planning and purchasing that's required for the rest of the build my head is ready to blow!

Can anyone offer some advice? I've been told that the opus octopus system gives poor sound quality, is this true?? I have a budget in the reigon of 2k. What's the best solution for this kind of money?
Thanks
dm
 

Johnny Thunder

Novice Member
I installed the Opus Octopus system for a client last year.
You must remember that this system is not going to compete with separates and
quality speakers.
My client was using it to play CD/Radio/TV to various locations throughout his home.
If you just want background music etc. this will do fine. If you want quality CD
playback at high volumes etc. then this system is not for you.

This system involved sets of active/passive ceiling speakers that do not require a
wallplate. Also, in one room, there was one wallplate, and a set of KEF Eggs.
It all sounded fine.
The setup plays different sources to different locations if that is what you require.

Sorry, but I have no experience of the other systems.
 

vex

Novice Member
The main use of the ABus systems, Opus, Jamo, Russound and the like are as back ground music / general listening. And realistically this is all your budget will allow.

The majority of these systems pipe line level audio to each keypad location and these act as amplifiers and selectors to control the audio level and source selection in each 'zone'.

The biggest difference we have found is the quality of speakers, which is why the Jamo system might appeal as they offer a kit without speakers, which allows you to chose from their three different speaker ranges.

The QED System line solution is the version moves the Amp / selection stage on to the speakers, whilst this reduces the visual impact (in some peoples opinion) they are expencive and the hub has a number of short falls.

The Zon system, I have looked at, but not had masses of experience. From memory it is a custom sized backbox which allows them to use a higher powered amplifier, giving a greater volume range in the room. However it is more expencive and I am not sure it is in your budget range.

Finally if you are planning a room with surround sound then the Jamo / Opus keypads have a linelevel output which will allow you to feed the S.S Amp with signal and use the S.S speakers for music in that room. It certainly saves another set of speakers and clutter in the ceiling!

Proffesionally we have great success with the Jamo system and for the majority of UK room sizes it is perfectly acceptable in terms of volume. They also offer a go selection of speakers, in door and out door and if you have a larger space to cover we cen even double up on speakers whilst still matching the impedance of the system.

THT - Chris
 

Oscarp

Standard Member
Have you consider the SONOS system - its wireless and you can build it up room by room..

You'll still need an amp / speakers.
OscarP
 

cj

Active Member
Sonos for me every time - it's a dream to use and install. You can now buy zone players without internal amplification for zones that already have a setup in them, otherwise the powered zone players have built in amplification. You can also plug in any source to one of the zone players (e.g. radio, iPod) and it then becomes available to every zone.

http://www.sonos.com/products/?tref=ghome

You'll squeeze 4 zones with 2k, depending on what existing equipment you have.
 

manzer1977

Standard Member
Hi, thanks for all the replys. I have seen the sonos system, and yes it does get a very good write up. I had made the assumption though, that it would be better if the sound system was wired. As it's a new build i took the opportunity to install the cabling, cat5 and speaker wires to each zone. To go and use the SONOS system now make this all redundant and seems like a waste of money?
I am pretty much looking for just background music, i new an install for 2k was never going to be top quality. I guess the best thing would be to try and get a demo from a dealer so i can hear the sound quality for myself. I guess another way of doing it would be to install one of the more expensive systems, but to only 2 zones, with a view to expansion if future once i manage to get my wife back working!
 

davee

Active Member
you can use the sonas wired or wireless but bear in mind that your speakers will go back to the sonas unit (if amplified) or to the amp if they are not. Putting in Cat 5 cable isnt expensive and can always be useful for other devices as well
 

vex

Novice Member
Where abouts are you based manzer?

We might be able to recommend someone.

Chris
 

manzer1977

Standard Member
Hi Chris,

I'm up in Arbroath, in Angus.

That would be good if you could recommend someone, there's too many options for me to decide just now. I'm also looking after the rest of the house build, other things are more important at the moment but i don't want to miss out on installing some sort of multi-room stuff.

cheers
dave
 

rodster

Novice Member
Hi Manzer,

Check out the Speakercraft systems: MZC66 6-Zone multiroom controller/amplifier, very reasonably priced, very upgradeable.

You could start with basic push button keypads and later on add the cool new LCD pads (£350) ish each. This system would allow you to control Sky, DVD,s harddisks I-pods you name it!!

Also has an in built composite video switcher.
Brilliant!!

Rod.

:clap:
 

baldrick

Novice Member
You can always put the Sonos players in the hub, that way you have the speakers in each room and a control and you can listen to whatever you want wherever you want it....
 

vex

Novice Member
Whilst it might be a great solution, can it be installed for the 2K budget?

rodster said:
Hi Manzer,

Check out the Speakercraft systems: MZC66 6-Zone multiroom controller/amplifier, very reasonably priced, very upgradeable.

You could start with basic push button keypads and later on add the cool new LCD pads (£350) ish each. This system would allow you to control Sky, DVD,s harddisks I-pods you name it!!

Also has an in built composite video switcher.
Brilliant!!

Rod.

:clap:
 

rodster

Novice Member
Hi Vex,
there is currently a deal available, which includes 6 keypads, 6 pairs of speakers and the main controller for £2400.

Bargain!!
 

David PluggedIn

Novice Member
Hi Manzer

As has already been said then there is nothing to stop you putting the Sonos Zoneplayers all in your central location, we have a few customers with centralised kit that have done that. In our view Sonos is in a different league from the other multi room audio solutions in terms of ease of use, value for money, even performance.

You also have the ability to extend your system at any time, or to change things around. If you want to re-arrange a room or add audio to a room that didnt have it originally, Sonos lets you seamlessly achieve this.

let us know if you have any questions!
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I understand the Sonos players can get music from any NAS device on the network via normal network shares, is this the case and is it easy to set up ?
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello Manzer1977

'Having' to go wired is definitely not a reason to not go with the Sonos system - as others have said its way more fun than controlling a CD or other source hidden under your stairs.

With a bit of ingenuity your £2k budget can get your more than you think if you can 'extend' the coverage of each zone using some old fashioned (low cost) speaker switches and volume controls (which can easily be ditched if you add additional Zone players at a later date).

Best regards

Joe
 

David PluggedIn

Novice Member
I understand the Sonos players can get music from any NAS device on the network via normal network shares, is this the case and is it easy to set up ?
Hi John

Yes it is - the Sonos doesnt need a PC to run, it can stream audio from any NAS device, and it dead easy to set up, either through the wireless controller on screen menus or if you have a PC then you can use the desktop controller version instead.

cheers
 

shoehorn

Active Member
Joe Fernand said:
you can 'extend' the coverage of each zone using some old fashioned (low cost) speaker switches and volume controls (which can easily be ditched if you add additional Zone players at a later date
Hi Joe,
Sorry if this is a bit of a hi-jack, but what you said is something I've thought about!
I've got a Sonos and want to do something like this - so that I can listen to ourdoor speakers (in the Garden) instead of (or as well as) my Kitchen Zone.
Can you tell me how to do it and what it may cost me please?
- it's the idea that it's not permanent that appeals the most, because I will at some point add a Sonos "Garden" Player.
The Sonos is superb, by the way - plenty of wow factor from my mates and excellent WAF from all our other halfs!
Thanks!
 
C

Chins

Guest
Hi, I'm currently building a new house and don't want to miss the opportunity to install all the necessary cabling to allow multi'room audio to be added at a later date, i'll need to see how much money i have left come the end. The products i've looked at so far(opus, russound, zon) seem to be covered by installing one CAT5 cable and a pair of speaker wires to each zone from a central area. I intend having 4-6 zones depending on cost and only require to distribute audio. I want to be able to control volume and source from each zone independently so i guess that narrows my options. I've been looking at possible solutions for the past few months but with all the planning and purchasing that's required for the rest of the build my head is ready to blow!

Can anyone offer some advice? I've been told that the opus octopus system gives poor sound quality, is this true?? I have a budget in the reigon of 2k. What's the best solution for this kind of money?
Thanks
dm
I can only quote on the ZON system as I import it::D

The ZON system uses CAT5 from the source input plates to the central router and a Cat5 cable to the room controller. The cable from the room controller to the speaker is speaker cable. The boxes used to mount the system are US style and as they are used by a number of other major manufacturers to mount their AV products readily available.

The system you will see on the web is going to cost more than 2k i'm afraid. We do have a new system coming out in October that will be within your budget. Details will be up on the web shortly but I do have a brochure if you need.

You are looking at paying a nice chunk of money and whilst you might save money with various systems out there, they might leave a little to be desired sound quality wise.

Feel free to call me at work or drop me a pm if you want details on the new system.

Cheers

Jonathan
01494 794770
 

David PluggedIn

Novice Member
Hi Shoehorn,

You can easily add a speaker switch to give you 'Garden' and/or 'Kitchen' selection, and add a set of outdoor speakers and you are up and running. Let us know if you want some more specific information.

Chris said about the ZON system.
You are looking at paying a nice chunk of money and whilst you might save money with various systems out there, they might leave a little to be desired sound quality wise.
I dont think anyone has ever complained about the Sonos audio quality - the system supports lossless digital audio so you are listening to the full bit rate of the CD, as well as regular MP3. We looked at a number of whole house audio systems before specialising on Sonos, and the reality is that customers are used to 'ipod' style interfaces, that means being able to sit down, and browse your music with full cover art , track information etc.

Fixed, wall mounted controllers just dont make any sense anymore due to installation cost, lack of flexibility (want to change your room around?, want to add a zone?, want to move house?) , lack of interactivity etc. Do you really want to browse your music collection standing up on a wall mounted controller?. If you do, then get the wall mounted charging cradle for the Sonos and achieve that high-end custom install look, while still having the flexibility to take the controller off the wall mounted cradle, and walk in to any part of your home while still having full control.

Of course as Sonos dealers you would expect us to be very enthusiastic about it - but the facts are that Sonos has changed multi-room audio for the better, it has moved it from being a solution only for the highly technical or new build customer, to an affordable, high quality solution that people absolutely LOVE!.

hope that helps..
 

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