Which Amplifier? Clueless

Trancerii

Active Member
Hi all,

I'm not 100% sure what I want even exists, but this is what i need:

Currently I just need a basic amp to power 2 pairs of ceiling stereo speakers. One pair for each bathroom upstairs. (60W - 100W)

Do all amps have the ability to select which speakers you want to play from?

I would also like the possibility of pugging in more than 2 pairs of speakers in case I want to add speakers to more rooms in the future.

Any ideas what I should be looking at? budget is ideally less than £200.


UPDATE: With all things considered, i guess I need to look for an amp that can drive 2 pairs of stereo speakers, at around £150.
 
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davepuma

Distinguished Member
Hi all,

I'm not 100% sure what I want even exists, but this is what i need:

Currently I just need a basic amp to power 2 pairs of ceiling stereo speakers. One pair for each bathroom upstairs. (60W - 100W)

Do all amps have the ability to select which speakers you want to play from?

You could get a stereo amp with Speaker A/B output. I use a Marantz in my bedroom setup. If I want to disable one of the outputs, I have to manually depress the button e.g. B to disable bathroom.

There is also the Teac AG980 to consider. It can drive 4 pairs of speakers with 2 zones. Obviously you could site these speakers in 4 rooms but you would have to bear in mind that you would have 2 zones with 2 rooms in each.

Check the impedance rating of the speakers you've bought. Also, I trust that they're waterproof?!

I would also like the possibility of pugging in more than 2 pairs of speakers in case I want to add speakers to more rooms in the future.

Any ideas what I should be looking at? budget is ideally less than £200.

An alternative would be a multi-zone receiver but you would need to look at second hand. Just how many more speakers do you plan on adding? AV Receivers aren't really designed for multiple room (>4) setups so if you are talking at more than 3 or 4, you're going to run out of options and you might be better off looking at a commercial type setup aimed at bars/restaurants using a multi-channel amp. By the way, while you're in DIY mood, I would sort the wiring out now rather than do it later.
 
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Member 502413

Standard Member
Good reply davepuma.

Another alternative, i think, would be a stereo amplifier with a speaker switch, QED make a good switch which roughly costs £45 and it will allow you to play the pairs independantly or at the same time. You can get switches that will allow you to play upto 5 pairs safely from the one amplifier.

Andy.
 

Trancerii

Active Member
Thanks for the replies guys. The speaker(s) im looking at getting are these:

Specification - C180-T2 | Monitor Audio

Its a single stereo speaker.

Im also looking at hooking it all up to a Sonos wireless audio system via an amp. Which ideally i want to use the optical connection rather than the phono, so that means the amp also needs an opitcal input.

ExceptionalAV, I noticed you sell amps, do you recommend anything? or anyone else reading this, thanks.
 
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davepuma

Distinguished Member
Are you placing a Sonos zoneplayer in each room? Have you visited the music streaming subforum? I would recommend you do as your question is aimed at multi-room audio now. The Sonos has a more than adequate DAC and as you're looking at stereo only, you should really be looking at a stereo amp. These don't tend to have optical inputs. Some people use external DACS with their music streaming setups e.g. Arcam, CA Dacmagic and Beresford amongst others. You can also buy Sonos with a built-in amp e.g. ZP120.

Have you cabled anything yet? Where are the cables run to? How many Sonos zoneplayers are you going to use etc. and where are they going to be sited? These questions are all relevant to how you are going to amplify your proposed setup.
 

Trancerii

Active Member
Ok, this is how I was going to work it. This is for the upstairs only:


A Sonos ZP90 (Allows you to connect to an external source) This gives me the in the future to connect to any amp/system. The ZP120 only allows you to connect 1 set of speakers.

An Amp - This would allow me to connect up 2 pairs of speakers, the ZP90 would be connected to this.

1 x C180-T2 stero speaker in the main bathroom, and 1 x C180-T2 in the Ensuite. I'm not bothered if these play music at the same time, but the amp could allow me to switch between the 2 if needed anyway.

I'm not sure why you've mentioned a DAC? The amp would handle all that surely? I was just under the impression, my only decision now is to decide on what amp I should buy.

So as I will only be using a standard stereo signal, phono will be good enough for that? I was concerned it maybe of lower quality.
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
With any digital source, digital to analogue conversion has to take place. With digital music, this is either done internally using the on board DAC or externally using an off board DAC or within an AV Receiver or amplifier with one built-in. 99.99999999999% of stereo amps do not have built-in DACS or digital connections. Those that do are either high end, expensive ones or ones that act as a pre-amp for connection to a power amp. I don't know what DAC is fitted to the Sonos kit but I've heard it's more than good enough, therefore using phono is fine. I use phono from my squeezeboxes. I did try digi-coax initially to my AV Receiver and preferred phono so binned the digital connection between the two.

With regards to adding further zones to your setup, this could get messy unless cables are in place. Therefore you could simply add the amplified zoneplayers to the additional zones, either with built-in speakers or separate ones depending on the ZP you choose. Another option, dare I say it would be Squeezebox, which is a damn sight cheaper :D

Most multi-zone receivers have 3 zones or less. You can get 2 zone receivers that you can actually use as 3 zone. The first zone could cover 2 rooms with the main A and B outputs and a separate zone 2.

Regadless, you're going to have to make a plan re. how many zones you want and get cables in place.
 

Trancerii

Active Member
I'm pretty set on Sonos, because of its easy of use, styling and its network upgradable. Its wireless network is also supposed to be very reliable. Don't forget, i'll also have zones downstairs as well, but thats a different matter.

I guess I will just use the phono connections then, from the Sonos ZP90 to an Amp.

I also think an amp around 50W would be a good move, even though the speakers are 120W rated. 50W should be more then loud enough for a bathroom. If I need more speakers in the future upstairs, I guess I could just use a speaker switch box, or put in another Sonos Zone.

With all things considered, i guess I need to look for an amp that can drive 2 pairs of stereo speakers, at around £150.
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
I'm pretty set on Sonos, because of its easy of use, styling and its network upgradable. Its wireless network is also supposed to be very reliable. Don't forget, i'll also have zones downstairs as well, but thats a different matter.

I guess I will just use the phono connections then, from the Sonos ZP90 to an Amp.

This is why I asked about how many zones/zone players you will have. I beg to differ on the styling. I think Sonos looks a large lego brick or a child's potty! ;)

I also think an amp around 50W would be a good move, even though the speakers are 120W rated. 50W should be more then loud enough for a bathroom. If I need more speakers in the future upstairs, I guess I could just use a speaker switch box, or put in another Sonos Zone.

With all things considered, i guess I need to look for an amp that can drive 2 pairs of stereo speakers, at around £150.

You're looking at a stereo hifi amp with speaker A/B output. Looking at Richer Sounds as an example, you might get Denon, CA or Marantz for that money. Second hand would be an idea which would open up more options e.g. NAD, Rotel, Arcam, Sony etc. etc. Check the hifi separates forum.
 

Trancerii

Active Member
Thanks for the help, I only just realised this is actually in the wrong section, lol

You've got my head clearer though for what i need, thanks.
 

Member 502413

Standard Member
Hi, Sorry for the delay in response.

Sonos is the way to go in my opinion we have next to no problems with the equipment and it is a great company to deal with.

i guess I need to look for an amp that can drive 2 pairs of stereo speakers, at around £150.

I would recommend the Marantz PM6003 (slightly over your budget) but has built in A and B switching and will drive those T2s really well.
 

Trancerii

Active Member
Hi, Sorry for the delay in response.

Sonos is the way to go in my opinion we have next to no problems with the equipment and it is a great company to deal with.



I would recommend the Marantz PM6003 (slightly over your budget) but has built in A and B switching and will drive those T2s really well.


Thanks for the advice. What makes you recommend the Marantz PM6003 then? You think its worth the extra £100? It only outputs 45W...
 

Member 502413

Standard Member
What makes you recommend the Marantz PM6003 then?

The Marantz PM6003 is a great amplifier, its not always about how much power it is how you use it. The Marantz really does use it well and the in-cieling T2s do not need a huge feed just a confident, solid feed which the Marantz will provide.

It is worth the extra money in my opinion in terms of sound quality but if you are not looking for soemthing a little less maybe the Onkyo A-9155 at around £139.00 would be a suitable replacment.

Andy
 

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