Question Multi Room Speaker setup

TimHifiPerson

Novice Member
Hello there

I am looking into creating a multi room sound setup. I want a pair of speakers in the living room that I will connect to a TV, and line in cable for my phone through an amplifier with switchable inputs. I also want a second pair of speakers in the kitchen, and this looks quite straightforward as many amps have twin speaker outputs.

However what occurred to me is I probably want a separate volume control in the kitchen, so that I don't need to walk through to the living room if I want to change the volume. Also, when watching a film, I probably want the kitchen speakers turned off.

Is there an easy way of doing this without having two amplifiers? I was hoping to use one good quality amplifier, instead of purchasing two cheaper units (to stay in my budget). I thought about putting a variable resistor in the cable leading to the kitchen speakers, but I am not sure a small pot can cope with the speaker cable current, and this also means changing the volume in the living room will effect the kitchen, so it is not a separate volume control really.

Is treating this as two separate systems the only way to really do this? I was considering:

Pioneer A 10 K amplifier
Wharfedale 9.0 speakers in the kitchen on wall mounts
Wharfedale 9.1 speakers in the living room
16AWG speaker cable

My budget is about £400 but flexible.
 

muljao

Well-known Member

muljao

Well-known Member
Just looking at your amp, there might be another way. If uou bought a pair of powered speakers (one pair) as suggested above or similar, you could use these in the same room as your amp, you'd just use the recorder line out from your amp to supply the sound to the speakers, and use the speakers remote to control volume.

you could then use your wharfedales in another room and control the volume with the amps vol selector. The amp vol selector wont effect the line out to the powered speakers so in a way you have control of volume in both rooms. I'd just be concerned if running both there might be (or not) a slight sync issue in that the sound from one set might be a fraction of a second before or after the other set (this might not be an issue)
 

TimHifiPerson

Novice Member
Your second suggestion looks like the best way forward, thank you for the suggestion. As you said they may be a slight delay between the two rooms, but I can live with that.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
First NOT ENOUGH MONEY. The best way to accomplish a flexible and versatile system is to use Network Streaming. These come in a variety of forms. You can get Streaming Devices, Streaming Amps, Stand Alone Stream/Amp/Speaker system, but they are not free.

I think the basic SONOS Streaming Device (no amp, no speakers) run about £300.

SONOS CONNECT Smart Wireless Stereo Adaptor: Amazon.co.uk: Hi-Fi & Speakers

The SONOS Play 5 Streaming/Speaker - £470 -

SONOS PLAY:5 Smart Wireless Speaker, Black: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

These systems can be scaled up or down to suit your specific needs.

If you are going to supply multiple rooms, you have to make sure your Amp can handle the combined speaker load. If you have two 8 ohm speakers at the same time (per amp channel) that combines to 4 ohms, which is the limit of a vast majority of amps. So, you either have to limit the number of speakers on line at any given time, or you need more amplifiers, or better amplifiers.

Steve/bluewizard
 

TimHifiPerson

Novice Member
Thank you for your input Steve, however my personal experience of the sonos system has been a little disappointing, I have found it very complicated to setup, it seems difficult to "just play some music" when you want to. When it is working, then the sound quality is good however.

I plan to get a traditional separates setup in one room, and use the recording out line of the amp to go into an active pair of speakers in the other room as suggested muljao. I am currently debating whether to get an active speaker pair that support bluetooth or not, as that seems to be a significant extra cost.

I have so far purchased a pair of Wharfedale 9.0 speakers and a marantz PM4400 amplifier. I am going to buy a pair of faceplates with phono sockets on them and run a cable through the wall from one room to another, so the wiring is nice and tidy, and I can change the configuration if I need to.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The Record Out of most amps are FIXED in their volume. That are not effected by the Volume Control of the Amp. That means you will have to control the volume of each remote location independently. For music, you can probably just walk over and turn the Volume Dial, but it would be more handy to have Remove Volume Control in each room.

If you have a regular Stereo amp in each room, likely it will have a Remote Volume Control. But if you get Active Speakers, most of these will not have Remote Controls.

The EDIFIER R2000DB is modestly priced, and does have its own Remote Control, and in addition to standard Analog Inputs, it also has a Digital Optical Input, and Bluetooth.

EDIFIER EDFR2000DB Home Audio Speakers: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

Next, there is a limit to the number of inputs that the REC OUT can drive, and there is a limited to the Distance you can run Line Level Signal via RCA Cables. Though most RCA cables if they are reasonably good quality can run a considerable distance, perhaps up to 100ft (30m), though you can look that up.

As to the Number of Inputs the REC OUT can drive, that is difficult to determine not knowing what amps are behind the REC OUT connections. I would say you can safely drive TWO Inputs, but how far you can go beyond that is uncertain. Probably one REC OUT might drive THREE Inputs, but whether FOUR is very uncertain. So, keep that in mind. If you only have TWO Remote Locations, and the connect path is pretty straight, this might work.

Keep in mind, much like speakers, each new connection reduces the Impedance seen by the REC OUT. Most Line Level Inputs are 47k ohms, but some are 10k ohms. If you are feeding FOUR 47k ohm inputs with a single REC OUT, the impedance drops to 11.75k ohms. But keep in mind the REC OUT is not driven by Power Amps, it is driven by a very small low powered Op-Amp. Though, one would assume since 10k ohms is a possibility, it should drive FOUR 47k ohm loads. But I can't predict this.

But this assume all the Input Impedance are the same 47k ohms. But if one is 10k, the other is 22k, and the third is 47k, then the combined impedance is 6k ohms. Whether the REC OUT has the current driving capability to drive 6k ohms is unclear.

So, these are consideration.

How will you control the Volume at the Remote Location?

How many additional Inputs can the REC OUT actually drive?

With one main location, and two Remote Locations, you should be fine. But beyond two Remote Locations, it get much harder to predict.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 

TimHifiPerson

Novice Member
Thanks Steve for your input. I have a 10m rca cable to go from one room to the other, and I only have one set of speakers that I am sending the rec output to, so hopefully should not have any problems with the impedance.

I will have to purchase an active speaker setup that has a volume control. My issue is I want some fairly small speakers as I plan to wall mount them in a bit of a restricted space. If I go too small, then I might find the bass not very strong, but I do have space lower down for a bass unit, so it might be that I settle for a setup with the bass/amp unit and quite small satellite speakers.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Give some serious thought to these speakers. They are 5" and reasonably compact, and within reason have reasonably good bass.

I recommended these on Reddit to someone looking for a minimal speakers system to connect to his TV, here is what he said of the speakers one he got them.

Holy smokes, these Edifier R2000DB's are amazing!

These things can get a lot louder than my VS4221's could, of course. Having multiple inputs is seriously useful. I mostly use Bluetooth; I've even got my laptop hooked up that way
.

But if you must, the Edifier R1700BT still have Bluetooth and a Remote, but no Digital Inputs -

Edifier R1700BT loudspeaker - loudspeakers (Tabletop/bookshelf, Studio, Built-in, 2-way, 60 - 20000 Hz, Black, Wood): Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

Steve/bluewizard
 

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