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Whole house audio - any ideas

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by commjo, May 11, 2002.

  1. commjo

    commjo
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    Hi

    I am about to do a property conversion (from an office to my home).

    I am looking for economical ways of having multi zone multi source audio throughout the house - the quality of the audio does not need to be great because I hope to have a dedicated cinema room (funds permitting).

    Has anyone any ideas on how to achieve this ecnomically.

    Basically I want to be able to play eg
    CD1 in lounge
    tuner in bedroom

    etc and then swap

    I cant get my head round how to distribute the infra red signals - any ideas ?

    I know Linn do a system - but out of my budget I'm afraid.

    Thanks
     
  2. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    What sort of budget are you looking at?

    The Linn gear starts with the Classik multiroom option, at around £1,200 for each Classik and a set of decent speakers.
     
  3. commjo

    commjo
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    I have 8 rooms to do, and total budget is around £4K (excl cinema) - not a lot but should be enough to get me half decent quality.
     
  4. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    There are two general methods of distribution.

    1: Is multi source to multi-rooms and is the more expensive..
    2: Is Single source to multi-rooms.

    With number two you could have one source in main room and then ANOTHER source in all the rest. The way this works is that an amplifier with seperate listen and record paths is used. So, to get the other source in the other rooms the main amo is set to RECORD that source and it is then sent from tape output to the amplifiers driving the speakers in these other rooms. This is how Knekt works.

    You could devise a relatively cheap system around this using a few power amps to drive the speakers in the extra rooms and having QED volume control (auto transformers ) in each room to control the signal level. To add control you could also use some form of IR relay device, or programmable IR keypad.

    If you chose IR relay then you may want to use an RF tv distribution system that has IR relay capability so that you are not doubling up on things if you want to have Sky or DVD throughout the house and have control of them from these rooms too.

    It maybe worth seeking out a CEDIA approved custom installation firm or consultancy who can devise a system for you for a charge, providing drawings and shopping list etc...then you can go get the bits and stick it all together.

    Gordon

    Arcam do a system which may come in at your budget and does multi-source to multi-room.
    QED do several devices and systems worth looking at.
    A Xantech catalogue has just dropped through my door abnout their new audio distribution system and it looks interesting too...
     
  5. meep

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    Commjo,

    I've just recently rennovated a house and, like you, am interested in whole house audio.

    I ran copious quantities of CAT 5 to every room. Each room has two cables running to an outlet box. These run back to a distribution/patch panel which allow me designate each socket as voice or data.

    I also have additional CAT 5 run to a switch height position in each room for future audio system control. These cables are also run back to a central location as are speaker cables from each room.

    Gte this stuff in your walls before you plaster as it's a nightmare afterwards.

    Anyway, in researching the audio distribution issue, I came across this product at www.smarthome.com;

    http://www.smarthome.com/827520.html

    It appears to be flexible, expansible and suits my requirements, (which sound a lot like yours).

    The company website is www.russound.com. They list a couple of UK based dealers there as well.

    Hope this helps. Let us know how you get on.
     
  6. ReTrO

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    If you run an audio signal cable with a couple of Cat V cables and a decent RF cable to each room then you should be covered for most bits. Extra RF needed for Sky feeds.

    The cables should all be star wired back to your Comms room.

    Simple option I can think of would be to have an intergrated amp in each room (say £200ish) with a good pair of speakers (around £200 again). Then the audio signal cable would send audio to each rooms amp with independant volume control and optional local source switching.

    For IR remote control one system that would be 'convenient' is Channel Plus's RF distribution/video integration/Ir control system. That consists of a box with 2 or 4 RF modulators (for DVD, Sky or VCR etc), an 8 way (+or- depending on system) RF distribution block and a few IR receivers and emitters.

    The system bascially allows you to contol components via the RF cabling system. Prices start from around £800.

    Have fun!
     
  7. daren jackson

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    Another possible is to use a Xantech solution (again using the scenario from the last post) all star wired. Xantech do a 12 channel RF controlled power amp (giving you power in 6 rooms) with a six room, 8 source pre amp controlling all of your sources. This shouldnt cost more than about 3k. Add on the cost of the ceiling speakers (Jamo as a suggestion) add the cabling (Cat5/coax) and the IR repeaters (plus a Pronto) and you should come under your 4k budget.
     
  8. paublo

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    I have Russound going into my new house as we speak... I have also used a loft box from letsautomate...

    I agree with everything above, get loads of CAT5 run into each of the rooms, also run speaker cable incase you want to use bigger amps, which can be stored back at Node 0...

    The russound uses very efficient 25w mini amps in each of the onwall control boxes..... reasonably priced and they have also just released the multi source version...

    Good hunting..

    Paul.
     
  9. meep

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    Paul,

    Did you source the Russound this side of the Atlantic? If so, where?

    Thanks

    Peter
     
  10. sdave32

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    Hi,

    I'm also about rewire our house and have been looking at digitalplumbers provide a smart home kit.

    Has anyone come across this company or used them before?

    I just want to be able to distribute Sky TV, Audio, Internet and Phone to 4 rooms in the building.

    It seems www.digitalplumbers.com provide a cost effective solution.

    Any advise would be much appericated!

    thanks,
    Samir

     

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