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Recommend speakers for multi-room / distributed audio??

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by dealmaker, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    Guys,

    I'm in the process of specifying and then wiring my own lashed up multi-room system.

    Basically I'm going to use my PC as a music server and use a Keene electronics audio amplifier/distributor to send the audio signal from my sound card to various rooms round my house!

    Once I get the audio signal to the room in question I'll obviously need to amplify it and then put it through some speakers.

    In total I'm probably going to need 5 or so sets of speakers/amps and to keep cost down I'm planning on using some form of self powered sub-sat system with on board amplification.

    I do have an Acoustic Energy Aego 2.1 set up which is very good - but ideally I'd like something a little better (both in terms of Aesthetics and performance) for a couple of the rooms - Lounge and bedroom.

    For the bathroom I'd like to again employ a powered set-up but would probably look to install ceiling mount speakers connected to a powered sub which I would like to hide in a cupboard somewhere - for this reason a set up with an IR remote (which I'd connect via magic eye) would be great!

    So to recap questions are:

    1) Recommendations for a good powered sub/sat package?

    2) Recommendations for a sub/sat package that can be attached to in-ceiling speakers?

    3) Recommendations for in-ceiling speakers?

    4) Anyone aware of a sub/sat package with a remote (IR)?


    Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    why not a proper multiroom system and save all the hassle?
    QED Systemline modular is exactly what you need, Powered ceiling speakers 1 global and 1 local input IR control on speaker or on wall panel, wall panel control, all cabled with cat5! easy to install, wire using learning remotes or palms with Xiva software and an IR reciver on PC job done!
    For faff with all sorts of poor solutions (where do you put amps?) do you use chaep PC speakers? line level will onl travel so far little control of track selection etc! not worth it when there is a auitable solution already (upgradeable to multi source as well!)
     
  3. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    Hornydragon,

    Thanks for that - how does one select tracks to listen to etc using this system - and is it user friendly (bear in mind I want the wife and kids to be able to use it) - also remotes (including my prontos) have a nasty habit of going missing (or being smashed!) all the time!

    my proposed solution was also going to use CAT5 albeit that CAT5 would be used to route the audio signal!

    HOWEVER I will also be running a separate CAT5 cable which will carry VGA signal to TFT monitors in each room - this means each room as well as being able to access audio quickly and conveniently will also be able to view DVD's/MPEG etc - pick up e-mail, browse the internet, and files on the main PC - and when I fit a FREEVIEW PC card each room will also have access to the TV!
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    dealmaker

    Obviously budget is a big consideration but for ease of use for the family and ease of set-up for yourself have a good look at an Imerge system.

    An S2000 Sound server plus a basic network hub can serve up to six of the NP200 Network players (on CAT5) which incorporate an FM radio and stereo speakers along with line level input and output.

    The Network player has front panel and IR control and you can serve up to six simultaneous audio feeds from the one sound server - each server listening to its own track selection; I doubt your PC will manage that trick.

    Putting the system together is pretty straightforward - we installed one just before Christmas and lots of big smiles when we had six different sound streams up and running within a coupe of hours of arriving on site with the hardware.

    See http://www.imerge.co.uk

    For in-ceiling speakers we tend to use KEF or Sonance - though there are plenty of others; and keep in mind your 'wet rooms' will want speakers designed for a damp environment.

    Serving up video around the house will be fun - I take it your planning on a signal stream for everyone to watch! Having a single box to supply the whole house is worse than 'its my turn for the remote' when watching the TV.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  5. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    Hi Joe,

    How much for the S2000 sound server (or the newer M2000?) and how much are the NP200's each - ball park?

    Not really looking to serve video as such - I've got various TV's and a PJ for those that want that BUT imagine being able to lie in bed - call up any track that you want with a couple of mouse clicks (that to me is the big advantage of my proposed system - the friendly user interface) - then being able to surf your e-mail, browse the net, do work on the PC and if you wish keep an eye on BBC News 24 in a small box in the screen corner- ALL AT THE SAME TIME - ok I know that I cant have multiple users or zones - but big deal it's gonna cost me washers!

    Budget isnt that big of an issue - to be honest if I wanted (or could justify to myself) multi-room then I'd just go and get it - it's just that I like the functionality and features of my proposed set-up.
     
  6. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    functionality is another word for complexity! if you can get to bristol there will be loads of Multiroom system audio and video so check it out.
    The more you try and do the more complex/unstable the the system becomes! have a look at Living control Event! as wall pads (similar to pronto can be used) as can a learning remote! I think provision for video is also growing QED Systemlins S4.4 has a video distribution element and Channel Plus are doing more and more too.
     
  7. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Dealmaker

    As you say full multi-media capability distributed around the house sounds ideal - though does tend to rely on everyone being switched on by and to the technology!

    The nice thing with the Imerge kit is its pretty simple to operate and as everyone can put together play lists they can access favourite tracks as and when with ease - from any player.

    The M2000 chassis is not really 'Newer' than the S2000 - instead its the replacement for the original M1000 and a different beast to the S2000 in that its primarily designed to deliver the audio as line level stereo signals that you then amplify 'in-room'; operation is similar to the (much) lower cost S2000 chassis (which is actually the newest 'option' in the Imerge product line up).

    The Forum rules are no 'prices' from resellers so I'll give you SRP for now:

    Imerge S2000 - £1.6K to £1,9K for a One Zone 80 or 160 Gb.

    Imerge M2000 - £4.6K to £17K for 4 to 16 Zone chassis.

    Imerge NP200 - £600.00.

    I guess one day we will see affordable 'integrated' distributed audio and video systems with web access - in fact they are here already; just not in Europe so far.

    See http://www.kenwoodusa.com/product/product.jsp?productTypeId=147&sortBy=price&productId=2357

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  8. spiderv6

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    I am itching to buy some of this technology.....waiting on Arcam to firm up with news on the MS250 but I still have the strong feeling that Imerge is trying to rip me off with a fancy PC for a very fancy price. And when they quote £200 to upgrade from 80Gb to 160Gb (which in reality is a £40 upgrade) it just makes me turn and walk in the opposite direction...... :rolleyes:
     
  9. jfinnie

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    I'm afraid that's just the state of the UK HiFi retail distribution chain; by the time any HiFi product goes through the channel, something with a £500 BOM (bill of materials) will end up costing £2,000. That's how a £40 (parts) hard drive upgrade ends up at around £200. It's the same across all HiFi products, with many making even higher margins. Problem is with hard disks that you know the cost of the components as they are well publicised from the PC world; component costs in the rest of the HiFi world will be much closer guarded secrets... :)

    Cheers

    James
     
  10. spiderv6

    spiderv6
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    i hear you, but the "process cost" to Imerge of purchasing, fitting, and supplying an 80Gb disk or a 160Gb disk is exactly the same.

    In otherwords it is nothing but 100% profiteering :nono:
     
  11. jfinnie

    jfinnie
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    Example: DELL (though you could change that for any PC manufacturer)
    Dell sell systems with a 160GB disk (cost £53 ex VAT retail)
    To upgrade to a 400GB disk is £230 ex vat, at time of purchase.
    So total expenditure on disk is £283. Yet I can buy that same 400GB disk for £183 ex VAT retail. Any you can bet DELL is probably paying around 15-20% less than UK retail for their disks.

    Now DELL only sell direct. Add on top of that the fact that your HiFi distributor wants a margin of at least 25%, and your HiFi dealer wants a margin of closer to 40% on top again of the distributor's margin. It soon adds up.

    I'd be impressed if Arcam manage to convince their distributors / dealers to make a lower profit margin on a higher cost product, if they offer different hard disk sizes :)
     

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