Wiring speakers back to AV receiver over multi rooms with volume control

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by johnpinn, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. johnpinn

    johnpinn
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    Hi All,

    I'm currently re-wiring my house and installing a AV receiver. I appreciate there is a lot of information on wiring the speakers to stay within the resistance, and I think I can work this out to not fry the AV receiver.

    However, what I'm looking to do to reduce on the cost of the AV receiver is to have a couple of linked zones with volume control.

    Zone 1 - Lounge
    Zone 2 - Kitchen with volume control to garden
    Zone 3 - En-suite with volume control bedroom

    The AV receiver I am looking to purchase is: Yamaha RX-A2030 Aventage AV Receiver

    My concern is that when I adjust the volume is that it will adjust the speakers linked to that zone. I.e. when I turn the volume up to get it playing outside, it will turn it down in the room. It is likely I will have to wire with a combination of series and parallell if this helps.

    Is there another method such as an on/off switch that doesn't affect the resistance and therefore the volume (although this is not my preference) or am I wrong in assuming the volume will change?

    Thank you in advance.

    John
     
  2. PSM1

    PSM1
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    How many speakers do you intend to have in each location? What kind of volume are you looking to achieve? Is it background music or something more? How many of the zones will be playing at the same time? Are you sure the 2030 has 3 active zones?
    If you plan to have a lot of speakers playing at the same time then consider these all have to be powered by the one power supply in the AVR. These are not huge and could result in a low amount of power for each speaker if you intend to have a lot running at the same time.
    Although multizone AVRs seem a good idea their operation can be difficult i.e. need to somehow have control of the different sources from the remote locations. Also zone 2 will only work for analogue inputs to the amp and any internal streaming. Hence anything connected via HDMI, optical or coaxial can not be output via zone 2. Often a better way to achieve multiroom sound is to look at proper multiroom systems. Something like Sonos would work very well although it is not cheap. At least with this you can get the required amplification for each set of speakers instead of trying to share the power from one device.
    It is not the resistance you need to worry about but the impedance and how these add together. Too low and you could cause damage to your receiver or at the very least it will go into protection mode making it unusable (and potentially shortening the life of the receiver).
     
  3. johnpinn

    johnpinn
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    Many thanks for your reply.

    In terms of the speakers, I am looking to keep the number relatively low as they are for background music and reading some guides it isn't necessary to go too crazy with them.

    In terms of the number of speakers, I was looking at:

    Zone 1 - Lounge --> This would be a 5.1 system (no ceiling speakers)
    Zone 2 - Kitchen with volume control to garden --> 5 ceiling speakers plus 2 garden speakers
    Zone 3 - En-suite with volume control for bedroom --> 1 in ensuite, 2 in bedroom

    I thought the 2030 had four zones:
    Versatile Zone control such as Zone 2 / 3 / 4 on / off, Zone GUI, Zone 2 / 3 video assign and Party mode

    I might have got this wrong, but I thought the 2030 had 2 x HDMI outputs? This would allow me to link a second TV through to the AV receiver? This isn't critical however as I'll just use sky multiroom for the kitchen as it's more for sky news etc.

    Thank you for the notes on impedance; it isn't something I'm familialr with but it seems like there is enough info there to work it out to avoid damaging the AVR.

    In terms of amplification for the speakers, I assume there is a way this can be worked out before I connect it all up and get hardly any volume?!

    I have looked into the sonos; cost is certainly a factor but coupled with that, it also doesn't do everything I want i.e. it is audio only so my cost goes up again!

    Many thanks again.

    John
     
  4. PSM1

    PSM1
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    Looking at the specs the 2030 does have 2 additional powered zones and the 4th zone is HDMI only so a passive zone.
    The Yamaha has 2 HDMI outputs so could get picture to go out through zone 4 but this would not have any sound associated with it from the 2030, would not have sound on say zone 2 associated with the picture output on the second HDMI output.
    You are looking to power 15 speakers from the one amp which just seems too many to me. You are also looking to 7 speakers on zone 2 from a stereo output which is definitely too many and being an odd number (why 5 speakers in the kitchen instead of 4 or 6?) will make the wiring very tricky with an unbalanced load on the left and right outputs.
     
  5. johnpinn

    johnpinn
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    Thank you again...

    The HDMI through on zone 4 can be dropped easily enough as the second TV can just operate as a smart TV or sky multi room. No for the direct HDMI connection then.

    With regards to the number of speakers being odd, it was down to room shape but I can add a speaker in easily, I was trying to reduce the number down and thought with wiring combinations and stereo speakers it wouldn't matter - clearly not! Therfore, the en-suite will need an extra speaker as this will be on one zone (with a volume control if I can get it to work).

    This is up to 17 speakers and whilst I doubt I will use them all at once, I also don't want it to fry my system if I did.

    From your comments then, before I worry about volume control I need to work out if the amp can power this many speakers. I assume there must be some method of working it all out!!

    Hopefully it can be made to work, otherwise I'm pushed into the world of sonos!

    Thanks,

    John
     
  6. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    For background music, consider a 100V line system. Basically, fit a 100V line transformer to each output of the amp and a similar transformer to each speaker. You can then use 100V volume controls which have the advantage that they do not change the volume of any other speaker on that amp channel.

    It sounds like you only need to do this on one zone, so consider a separate amplifier with built in transformer, as this will be neater and easier to install and will free up a powered zone on your receiver as well.

    Alternatively, something like this: HQ 2-WAY STEREO LOUDSPEAKER SWITCH might work for you.
     
  7. PSM1

    PSM1
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    You can buy ceiling speakers that are called single stereo speakers. These are a single ceiling speaker but will take both the left and right signal and output it via the single speaker. This means you could have one speaker in the ensuite but still have all the sound coming out of it. To the amp the single speaker will look like a pair of speakers.
    I really think you are trying to power too many speakers from a single AVR. The extra zones on AVRs are really designed to power a pair of speakers in another location. They are not really designed to power a multi speaker multi room distributed sound system. If you want lots of speakers around the place you should be looking at proper kit to do it i.e. the 100V system mentioned above. These do not tend to come cheaply but it the correct way to get sound to large areas of the house.
     
  8. johnpinn

    johnpinn
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    Thank you both, and firstly apologies with the delay in replying - I've been busy with sorting the house out to get it ready for this system....

    I've been having a read, and in my layman understanding what fitting a 100V transformer at the outputs and speakers would do it to give my speakers a constant voltage to operate on and therefore remove my problems of frying the AV and volume issues?!

    THe transformers I saw appeared cheap (#£5) but nearly all my reading was based on PA systems. I am concerned that putting a transformer on each speaker gives a higher chance of things going wrong.

    So I can read up more on the right lines, am I right in thinking that:

    - The AVR can be used with a 100V transformer on the outputs and speakers, and therefore I could keep the AVR (as the zones and operation work well for my set up)

    Noiseboy72 - you said it looks like I only need this on one zone, if I'm correct I'd need one for the bedroom and one for the kitchen, with the main zone in the living room? Do you have a link or name of a product for the built in transformer etc. so I can start looking down the right lines? I assume this would work with the AVR rather than replace it.

    Many thanks again - sorry this is a new area for me!

    John
     
  9. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    The transformer for the amp needs to be equal or greater to the total wattage of all the transformers on the speakers, so if you had 6 speakers all set to 10W, you would need a 60W amplifier transformer.

    Transformer generally step up or step down voltage. In this case the one on the amp steps up the voltage, allowing for thinner wiring and easier volume control, while the one on the speaker steps the voltage back down, allowing a low impedance load (the speaker) to be driven.

    I think you would need transformers for any zone with more than 4 speakers, as you can connect 2 speakers quite easily to one channel of an amp, and each zone will have 2 (left and right) channels.

    Hope this helps?
     
  10. johnpinn

    johnpinn
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    Thanks noiseboy. Sorry if you replied to my previous message; I deleted it as I realised I was wrong on how the watts worked. I guess I just didn't realise how expensive amps are. On the plus side, I've now worked out how I blew my stereo up at the age of 10 by connecting a load of speakers.


    Here is how I think I can get it to work – comments appreciated!


    The AVR has three powered zones.


     --- 220 W per channel (4 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9 % THD, 1 ch driven [European Model])

     --- 140 W per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.09 % THD, 2 ch driven)

     --- 220 W per channel (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 10 % THD, 1 ch driven, JEITA)


    I need two of these powered zones for:


    Zone 1: Bedroom (2 speakers) with volume control to en-suite (1 speaker)

    Zone 2: Kitchen (6 speakers) with volume control to garden (2 speakers)


    Link to AVR:Yamaha RX-A2030 Aventage AV Receiver


    After each output of the AVR I will connect a 100V slave amp which is 250W:


    Adastra S251 Slave Amplifier 100V 250W 1U


    Unfortunately it seems like I need two of these. This has a built in transformer.


    The ceiling speakers will be 100V speakers (30 watt although options to select a tap on a transformer). I will keep the wattage at 70% of the maximum for the AVR zone – apparently the quality is better. E.g. With 8 speakers they will be set at 20W rather than the max of 30W (or even save money and buy 20W speakers).


    I will use 0.75mm cable for 240W as this will give me 100m without loss and reduce cost of the cabling.


    Volume controls will be 100V inline controls which I understand will not result in variation of sound when they are used due to the 100V system.


    Speakers will be wired in series to ensure impedance stays higher than the amp minimums.


    I have a query on the relationship between the slave amp and the AVR:

    - Is the slave amp wattage too high i.e. should it match either the 220W or 140W outputs to stop drawing too much power from the AVR? It seemed counter productive to have a lower wattage. I assumed that if the speakers are set at the maximum draw of the AVR zone (i.e. the 220W or 140W that they won’t draw through more power regardless of the slave amp wattage)



    Any thoughts to see if I’ve got it right would be useful! Also recommendations for products would be appreciated as I don’t own any of this yet.


    Thanks!
     
  11. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    You should not connect a slave amplifier to the speaker output of the amp! You only need a transformer - CLOUD ELECTRONICS LTD CXL-200T transformer one of these would do the job. You will need to work out the wiring, but this should be easy to figure out.
     
  12. johnpinn

    johnpinn
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    Excuse my absolute ignorance with the transformer, but more or less are we looking at: power, input and output on the transformer? I can work that much out but was wondering if there is a lot more to consider than that! I went onto amps as the transformers were confusing me, especially at £5 each!
     
  13. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    Basically, you need a big transformer for the amp - as it is delivering the power, followed by a small one for each speaker. It is the speaker ones that are £5 or so each, but spend more, as they do sound better.

    Match the amp transformer to your rated output - give or take 25W and you will be fine.

    100V is the nominal voltage, so it does not matter if your system is not exactly to spec, as it will all still work.
     
  14. johnpinn

    johnpinn
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    I was going to go for 100v speakers with built in transformers so am I loosing quality here with no gain?

    The transformer suits me much better over the slave amp, saves a fortune. I was worried about the wiring but might just have to go for it!
     
  15. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    No, you will be fine with the transformers built into the speakers, as these will be designed for the speakers and will work fine. You can get "speech quality" transformers which have limited bass and treble, but this won't be an issue with either the speakers you are getting or the transformer I have specced.

    Wiring should be parallel, so connect each transformer across the speaker cable. If a speaker is too loud, change the tap to a lower wattage and it will get quieter without affecting the others. This is the beauty of 100V line! I fitted out a church with a speech system, blending down some areas to keep constant audio gain throughout the building. Worked very well indeed :)
     
  16. johnpinn

    johnpinn
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    Thank you for the above; sorry for the slow reply. With much thanks to your help I think I have it sussed. I'm going to start wiring the week after next although will hold off buying the AVR and transformers. I've looked at the wiring diagrams for the transformers and it seems like I should be able to follow it! Here is what I think is going to work...as always comments are appreciated:

    Bedroom/En-suite zone:
    Connect to 220w (4 ohm) output of AVR.
    Connect CXL-200T 200W transformer to AVR output.
    Connect two speakers in parallel to transformer. Set tappings at 20W.
    Connect in line 100v volume control: http://www.canford.co.uk/Products/21665/58-285_MUSTANG-MVC-100-B-100V-LINE-VOLUME-CONTROL-100W-brass
    The 100w version will be used (total speaker are 60W). Or could save money and go for this: http://www.rs100.co.uk/100v_Line_Speaker_Volume_Control
    Single 100v ceiling speaker (assume speakers are stereo?!) in the en-suite.

    Kitchen/Outside zone:
    Connect to 220W (8 ohm) output of AVR.
    Connect CXL-200T 200W transformer to AVR output.
    Connect six speakers in parallel to transformers Set tappings at 15W.
    Connect in line 100v volume control: http://www.canford.co.uk/Products/21665/58-285_MUSTANG-MVC-100-B-100V-LINE-VOLUME-CONTROL-100W-brass
    Put in wiring for two outside speakers to be installed at later point. Check total wattage doesn’t total more than the 70% of amp output and that total wattage of speakers does not total more than 100W for volume control. If so, either reduce number of speakers or change the tapping.
    Impedance isn’t a problem I believe on 100v systems.

    I am going to use 1.5mm cable as the technical spec on the transformers recommends this as a minimum and this barely gives me any DB loss.

    Lounge:
    Direct connection of 5.1 speaker system to AVR.

    Ceiling speakers I was looking at are: http://www.inta-audio.com/adastra-100v-2-way-ceiling-speaker-5-25-p4574

    Hopefully I have the basics correct in my head so at least I can get the basic wiring right and play around with it a bit whilst understanding the limitations of all the parts of the system.

    Alternative products or comments welcomed!

    Thanks again.....
     
  17. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    Yep, that sounds correct!

    100V line is very simple and it looks like you have the basics correct. Let us know how you get on.
     
  18. johnpinn

    johnpinn
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    Well it all works! Finally got the system up and running with everything as described. System works very well with control via my phone/pc for inputs etc. Exactly as I wanted so thank you very much for all the advice. I do have a problem with an audio delay which I'll create a new post on but wanted to come back and acknowledge the help & supports.

    Cheers!
     

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