• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

New home refurb with CAT5 audio system required - advice please!? Thank you

cheekyrich

Novice Member
Hi and thanks for checking in,

I need advice on what sort of system to use for a networked home audio system. Here's what I can tell you:

- 2 bed, 2 bath, 1 reception room apartment (in London, UK).
- The flat/ apartment is about to be gutted so I can wire CAT5/6 wherever necessary
- My budget is not great - I probably don't want to spend more than £1,000-£1,500. And i'm happy to buy second hand bits on eBay if that means I can pick up a better system that would normally be out of my price range. And would like to install the system myself to keep costs down
- I want music in at least one bathroom, one bedroom (possibly both), and the reception room (max 4 areas then)
- My music (and films) is on an external hard drive (ethernet attached to wireless network). It's the Western Digital My Book World Edition 2TB Home Network Storage as per http://www.amazon.co.uk/Western-Digital-Edition-Network-Storage/dp/B001RNNTW0/ref=pd_sim_computers_3
- I have a MacBook Pro...
- ...a 2nd Gen iPad
- ...an iPhone 4S
- ...an Xbox 360 that I haven't touched for about 3 years
- ...a Yamaha amplifier - DSP-AX757SE which I've never used properly as I find it rather complicated (but am happy to try to set up better)
- I currently have a Panasonic HD TV, 42" Viera plasma, which I'm thinking of swapping for a Samsung LCD ES8000.
- I have a standard o2-issued wireless box with one USB port and 4 ethernet ports.
- There will be a TV in both bedrooms.
- In the lounge I have KEF surround speakers - 5 x 2005.2 eggs and sub-woofer.
- There may be Sky TV at some point

My goals are to have music networked throughout, playing from the WD hard drive. I'd like to be able to select music from each room. And be able to have different music in each room, or the same music throughout.

I'd like to be able to use the iPhone/iPad as a controller also.

And I'd like to be able to play films from my hard drive on the TV upstairs but this isn't essential.

I hope that's everything! I've been researching this a lot but can't find any definitive solution. I guess that's because everyone's needs are different so it's really a matter of a case by case basis. So, please help me not make a bad selection! Advice on the type of system, and speakers would be great.

I've looked at Sonos and Squeezebox and Russound (a bit). The former I understand are retrofit, and I was thinking I should have better options given I can run CAT5, and hopefully cheaper too. The Russound looked expensive. I am not sure what else is out there. I'm probably going to get an Apple Time Capsule. And have looked at Apple TV as well, although not familiar with how it can integrate yet. Nor have I looked in depth at Niles or Speakercraft or Aton etc...

Sorry for lame budget thing.

Thanks for your time, and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Richard
 

ArcAngel78

Established Member
I would still go for sonos if I was you

I just spent 40k on a system for my house and the sonos is my favourite part (using spotify).

Hard wire it in with the cat 5 though

AC
 

cjwood555

Established Member
Agreed, for your budget go for Sonos or Simple Audio and some reasonable speakers. Sonance 621RTL's in Hoody 1's work really well for the money. However, 3 zones of Sonos or Simple = your budget gone, without any speakers.

I'd pre-wire for all you can envisage then worry about kit when you know how much money you have left!

Chris
 

ajbaker

Established Member
As a Sonos owner, I would recommend the Sonos option too. It seems an expensive outlay, but it really is a neat, intuitive and reliable option.
 

marty92

Standard Member
The trouble with Sonos is it is expensive and bulky, It seems to me that those who want multiroom audio/video dont want boxes in every room otherwise we are back to the begining of a music system in each room.

I realise that Sonos is linked together and can access everywhere but this is insuficient to warrent the high cost and visual impact of the system
 

ArcAngel78

Established Member
You can easily hide the boxes and have in ceiling speakers. You can't see anything in my house

The user interface is the best out there IMHO - (free) iPad app is brilliant
 

cjwood555

Established Member
The key is the ease of retrofitting it. Fitting a traditional multiroom system requires either lots of luck and patience, or lots of making good.

Chris
 

marty92

Standard Member
The key is the ease of retrofitting it. Fitting a traditional multiroom system requires either lots of luck and patience, or lots of making good.

Chris

That is very true, I dont think anyone will have enough luck! I understand its market aim just think its not really been thought out, for example why can't all the gubbins be in wireless speakers?

What is the need for a box in the room.
 

jeegnesh

Established Member
+1 Sonos. I used to see Sonos boxes at my local hi-fi shop and used to laugh at the salesman saying what butter pays that money for that. Move a few years on and I now have 6 zones and wonder how I lived without it. Sad I know.
 

shortyav

Established Member
marty92 said:
The trouble with Sonos is it is expensive and bulky, It seems to me that those who want multiroom audio/video dont want boxes in every room otherwise we are back to the begining of a music system in each room.

I realise that Sonos is linked together and can access everywhere but this is insuficient to warrent the high cost and visual impact of the system

Sonos is probably one the most budget friendly solutions out there. Focus for me is really starting to look at sound quality
 

shortyav

Established Member
:smashin: Lol @ Marty. Its an observation really of how things have changed. Ive come from selling 4 zones music servers to trying out Deezer via airplay on my ATV and thinking how good is this product, but how c**p does it sound. A long via from my days of running an isodac and discmagic. Currently I run a DH9600 server which sounds acceptable, but is an electronic antique lol. Sonos in the scheme of things is fairly affordable.
 

neilball

Prominent Member
marty92 said:
That is very true, I dont think anyone will have enough luck! I understand its market aim just think its not really been thought out, for example why can't all the gubbins be in wireless speakers?

What is the need for a box in the room.

But the Play:3, Play:5, & Sub are all wireless speakers with the gibbons inside, they only need a power connection after all.
 

vex

Prominent Member
But the Play:3, Play:5, & Sub are all wireless speakers with the gibbons inside, they only need a power connection after all.

How do they do that?

Get the gibbon to fit inside let alone 3 or even 5 of them!

Lol, the images are in my head now Neil!!

V.
 

hornydragon

Distinguished Member
That is very true, I dont think anyone will have enough luck! I understand its market aim just think its not really been thought out, for example why can't all the gubbins be in wireless speakers?

What is the need for a box in the room.

Power? thats exactly what the Play 3 and Play 5 are.......
Forget anything for £1000 and get the right cabling installed to the right locations....
 

Velour

Established Member
Hi Richard,

Just a quick note about what not to get - squeezebox is a great system but you need a decent amount of tech knowledge and tinkering time to get squeezeserver installed on the WD My Book NAS. I'd avoid the squeezebox if you're not into those things.

No experience with Sonos but I expect that's easier all round.

Cheers,
Keith
 

Clello

Standard Member
Im in a similar dilemma, do you have loft access with the possibility of using in ceiling speakers, for my system I was thinking of using apple air play, was looking at using an airport extreme downstairs linking out to another one in the loft, using cat6, which would then link to various airport express assigned to each room again cabled in cat 6, I was then intending in using a t-amp to power in ceiling speakers, all of which can be controlled from iPhones, iPads, etc whilst also having the ability to play music from any apple device on the network (though that would be good for friends coming round etc) music you can also plug your USB hard drive into the airport extreme and access it's contents from any device on the network, there is plenty of all the devices needed on a certain online auction site, initially you would be looking at 150-250 for your airport extremes then each room added would come to about 100 upwards depending on the quality of the speakers used.

Sorry about the poor grammar and lack of full stops etc etc, English never really was my strong point,
 

Clello

Standard Member
Another point also if you were to add an apple tv you would again be able to access everything on your now networked hard drive, and if connected to your av reciver using an hdim or audio out your 5.1 system could get assigned as a room and used for multi room audio,

I'm a real novice compered to some of the guys here so all criticism of my solution is welcome and even encouraged
 

The latest video from AVForums

SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speakers - Review Coming Soon
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom