newbie-trying to understand whole home system

punkdr

Novice Member
Hello Folks,

Hopefully this is the correct forum...if not, my apologies.

we bought a home with an existing built in multi speaker system. The previous owner took most of the electronics with them, and I am trying to figure out how to get this thing going.

I had a professional come out and they recommended I buy 12 sonos units. I am wondering if a more economical setup is possible?

I would like to use a sonos unit for each of the 3 bedrooms so that they can have independent programming in each of those rooms. However, the remaining 9 zones are in the main living area or confluent rooms, and I would like to have them all deliver the same programming, so I want to run all these from a single source if possible.

The system still had a speaker selector from niles audio, the info sheet says it can run up 10 speakers pairs simultaneously, and it is safe for your input amplifier (maximum 200W rms) I was hoping to use this to drive all the speakers in the main living area, and that where I start to get confused. Is this speaker selector an amplifier of sorts? it does have a power cord with a transformer that operates on 16v ac. Is it pushing power into all these speakers?, or Does this serve a different purpose, and if you input 200 w per channel from your source, does it just safely split that maximum 200 watts up to whatever number of speakers you have on? so if they are all being driven, it wont have the capability of being turned up very loud ?

Again My apologies if these questions seems dumb, being new to this it is very confusing!

Thanks for any advice/help you can give
 

larkone

Member
You would be best off contacting Niles to understand what you have left and what you need to put it back to working condition.
 

punkdr

Novice Member
Thank you Lark one, I did contact Niles and I got the documentation from them, but it was not helping me understand my options, probably because I have no background in this area. It basically said that it can run up to 10 speaker pairs and protect your amp, and that you shouldn't put more than 200w rms through each channel. But what I am wondering is, if I hooked it up to a sonos amp will it play all 20 speakers, just not very loud, as it is 125w rms ( I Think).

we are middle aged folks in the suburbs. we are not aiming for nightclub windowshaking here, more like background music for christmas parties and what not...on the other hand, I would like it to sound pretty decent. Those are the goals I'm trying to accomplish with keeping a reasonable budget in mind.

yes mushii i cant see the front plate in the picture but, if it is not this exact device it is very close.

Thanks again to the community for advice

PS I think I just discovered that this a a UK based forum! I'm in the USA, hopefully the advice remains the same! If not then again my apologies, I'm a super newbie!
 
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RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
From what I understand, the Niles is a pair of transformers that take the output from the amp & relay it to the speakers via dedicated secondary windings. So while not an amplifier, each speaker should get the same power from the amp rather than the power being split into multiple loads.

I would suggest that the best way to test it would be to acquire the cheapest old receiver you can from Ebay, a pawn shop or whatever & try it. If it works as expected then you can proceed with the Sonos purchase.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Perhaps we should start with how much money you can actually spend.

And give thought to what you need in each individual room. In one room you might only need a small Self-Contained speakers, like the SONO Play1 or the Play3. But in a larger room you might want TWO Play5 sync'd to operate in Stereo.

However, in another locations, you might prefer a completely component system with separate amps, Streaming, and free standing speakers. Remember just because the installed speaker are there doesn't mean you have to use them. If they are convenient of the needs of a specific room, then certainly use them. But, don't use them simply because they are there.

Also, understanding the 3 Bedrooms is easy enough. But I'm a little vague on the "main living area or confluent rooms"? You claim or imply that all these Zones will always play the same music? But will they? What are these spaces/rooms?

If it is, as an example, Kitchen and Lounge, they might not always be the same. Someone working in the kitchen might want to select their own music independent of the music in the Lounge. Again, just to illustrate the point.

Keep in mind, when you open the SONOS Control App, the first option you have is to direct where the music is going, and that can be to every Sonos device, or selected Sonos devices, or to simply the device in the room you are in. The point is, there is no need to tie those 9 additional Zones together physically.

It also matters where the speaker terminate. For example if all speakers terminate at a central location, say, a utility room, that can still work. But probably better is each set of speakers terminating in the room that the speakers are in.

If you are going to combine 9 Zones or a subset of those into a single system that always works in concert, that is, all speakers always working together, then I would consider a single Pre-Amp unit configured to drive several independent Stereo Amps. And a Sonos Connect driving the Pre-Amp or a distribution panel.

That is assuming you choose SONOS as the provider of the Streaming System.

And back to the beginning, how much money and how much space do you have for this system?

If all speakers terminate at one central locations, then, based in the recommendations you received, you are going to have to have a stack of 12 Sonos:Connect-Amps.The devices are 3.5 Inches high, and need some additional space between them. So, let's say 6" for each amp, that means the stack needs to be about 6ft tall. But only if they all need to be in one room.

Here is the Sonos:Connect which requires a separate amp -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SONOS-CONNECT-Wireless-Stereo-Adaptor/dp/B001G7PLTQ/

Here is the Sonos:Connect-Amp that has a modest but sufficient Amp built in -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SONOS-CONNECT-Wireless-Stereo-Adaptor/dp/B001G7PLT6/

Here are the Sonos Stand Alone Streaming/Amp/Speaker options -

Sonos Play 1 - (black or white) -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SONOS-PLAY-Smart-Wireless-Speaker-Black/dp/B00FMS1KO0/

Sonos Play 3 - (black or white) -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SONOS-PLAY-Smart-Wireless-Speaker/dp/B005CI5H3U/

Sonos Play 5 (black or white) -


https://www.amazon.co.uk/SONOS-PLAY-Smart-Wireless-Speaker-Black-White/dp/B015MWSBME/

Again, just because the speakers are their in 12 potential zones doesn't mean you have to use them. Evaluate each space and determine what best suits that space.

For example, in a small bedroom that is seldom used, perhaps something as simply as a single PLAY:1 would do. In the Master Bedroom, perhaps two Play:5. Perhaps in the main lounge, a full on Stereo or Surround System with a Sonos:Connect attached is the best choice there.

The one drawback to the Sonos system is that they are currently limited to CD quality, which realistically is not much of a down side. However, there are other companies making other units that are capable of High-Resolutions playback (24b/96k, 24b/192k, DSD). But do you actually need that?

I think for now, we can use the SONOS as a model while we work out the details, and then decide on the specific Brand and equipment later. For now, Sonos does serve as a good model.

So, here are my points -

1.) Evaluate each room separately and realistically to determine what you really need in that room.

2.) Just because the speakers are there doesn't mean you have to use them. There may be a better more cost effective solution.

3.) Where do the speaker wires terminate? That can effect the equipment you choose. It will also determine how much equipment will need to be at that location.

4.) Work out the remaining 9 (non-bedroom) Zones. What do you realistically need there? Do they necessarily have to be treated as One Zone, especially give that, from the Control App, you can broadcast to any zone in the house? And do you necessarily have to have 9 zones? That is, when you walk from the Lounge to the Kitchen, do you really need the music to play in the hallway that connects the two? Or considerations illustrated by this example.

5.) If you do have Zones that absolutely must be functionally combined into one zone, that can happen, but maker sure that is really necessary. There are amps that have, for example, 6 Stereo Pair of Amps built in.

Multi-Room Amplifiers - Yamaha - UK and Ireland


And others. Basically, an amp with one input pair, and 4 or 6 Pair of Speaker Outputs. So, with multiple amps or with an amp similar to the Yamaha's above, a single Sonos:Connect or other Streaming device could drive multiple speakers. The Yamaha above simply illustrate the point, there are many other similar amps.

If using separate Stereo Amps, which should not be discounted, I know there are distribution panels similar to those below. Again, the point is to allow a single source to drive several Amps -

Here is 1 Stereo In and 7 Stereo Out - CE Labs AV700 -

"CE Labs AV700 A/V Distribution Amp 7-Out" from www.parts-express.com!

Here is 1 Stereo In and 4 Stereo Out - CE Labs AV400 -

"CE Labs AV400 A/V Distribution Amp 4-Out" from www.parts-express.com!

So, as an example, ONE Sonos:Connect can drive 4 Stereo Power amps or 7 Stereo Power Amps.

NOTE: The Links are to the USA because I could find that easiest. But I have searched these products in the UK/EU and found them, and note they are not very expensive.

It is possible to get quality PA/Studio Amps for a very modest amount of money, relatively speaking. These are typically Class-D amps which means they are small, light, and run pretty cool.

Here is on example -

Crown XLS-1002 - 215w/ch Class-D - £389 -

Crown XLS 1002 Drivecore Power Amp

Also -

Studiospeakers Trojan 200 - 60w/ch - £156 -


Studiospares Trojan 200 Power Amp

Behringer Europower - 4-channel - 50w/ch - £126 -


Behringer Europower EPQ304 4-Channel Power Amp

For the moment, consider these more illustrations rather than recommendations. Just making you aware of the possibilities.

So, you really need to think about the room and what those room really need. And also consider that just because the speakers are there in any specific location, does not mean you have to use them.

Let us know what you think.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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larkone

Member
@BlueWizard well that should confuse the OP nicely - I struggled with it and I would like to think after 45 years in IT I have a pretty good understanding of tech.
 

larkone

Member
@punkdr - RBZ5416 advice is a good route. If you are not confident in doing that then I would go back to Niles and ask them if they have any installers in your area to help you further.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
@BlueWizard well that should confuse the OP nicely - I struggled with it and I would like to think after 45 years in IT I have a pretty good understanding of tech.
It doesn't seem that complicated -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

So, here are my points -

1.) Evaluate each room separately and realistically to determine what you really need in that room.

2.) Just because the speakers are there doesn't mean you have to use them. There may be a better more cost effective solution.

3.) Where do the speaker wires terminate?
That can effect the equipment you choose. It will also determine how much equipment will need to be at that location.

4.) Work out the remaining 9 (non-bedroom) Zones. What do you realistically need there? Do they necessarily have to be treated as One Zone, especially give that, from the Control App, you can broadcast to any zone in the house? And do you necessarily have to have 9 zones? That is, when you walk from the Lounge to the Kitchen, do you really need the music to play in the hallway that connects the two? Or considerations illustrated by this example.

5.) If you do have Zones that absolutely must be functionally combined into one zone, that can happen, but make sure that is really necessary. There are amps that have, for example, 6 Stereo Pair of Amps built in. ...


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The problem is there are many options, but before you can start choosing options, you have to understand what you want and need ... realistically want and need. To do that, you have to evaluate the circumstances.

Any thing can be done, but what is it you really want and need done? That's where the solution lies.

And of course, from the list above, I forgot one question, though I did ask it in my post -

6.) How much money can you realistically spend on this project?


In the answer to these questions, the Original Poster will find his solution.

Steve/bluewizard
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
@punkdr - RBZ5416 advice is a good route. If you are not confident in doing that then I would go back to Niles and ask them if they have any installers in your area to help you further.
Using the Nile Transformers is certainly a solutions, but I'm not sure it is the solution.

It would be helpful to know the Brand and Model of the speakers that are currently installed. It is possible that some or all of them are already have Line Transformers built in. They could be 100v/70v/25v speakers rather than common 8 ohm speakers. I'm not saying they are, I'm saying we don't know what they are.

What ever the Original Poster chooses most certainly can be done, but before he can do it, and before we can make practical recommendations, there is a whole lot of information that we need.

Everything I've suggested or questions I've asked represent answers that any professional installer is going to need before he starts his install. Yes, all the petty details can be annoying to resolved, but in those details is the solution to the problem.

The Devil is always in the details.

Also, there is a forum here specifically for Streaming, you (the OP) could put a post there pointing them to this discussion, and see if they have any additional recommendations.

Music Streamers

Steve/bluewizard
 

Apollo83

Active Member
Steve, your answers astound me.
The time you give to novice members who may or may not post again is amazing...
And answers like yours (and those of others here) is one of the reasons I stayed...
Off topic, but 'thank you'.
 

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