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Old 11-20-2012, 04:37 AM   #1
adam_c_eckhardt OP
done with Chemistry!
 
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Whole House Audio

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

I'm thinking 6 zones, including 1 outdoors and 1 in the master bathroom. I'd like to be able to connect it to a laptop (wireless would be awesome) to stream pandora or a playlist. AM/FM is also important. Someday we'd like to have a home theater system in the basement (can't afford it now.) if that's important to know.

I'd like the main zone(s) to be our living area/kitchen, and I'd like to be able to turn it up and have good full sound (hide a sub somewhere). This might have to be two zones?

2 zones for the master bedroom (one in the bathroom)

1 zone for the deck.

This is definitely a budget killer, but at the very least I'd like to run the wiring for it now. If it's not crazy money I might bite the bullet and just do it because I hate retrofitting things.

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:54 AM   #2
A-Bone
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Don't you have a TDI repair you should be saving up for???

On wiring:
You've been to our house...

Run the wiring now and label everything... and make a diagram...

Go nuts with the wiring.. you won't really know where you spend the most time until you move in...

Wire is cheap... and you will only have open walls once...
Hardware:
I won't be much help on this.. we just use a basic 8 zone system feeding off a pretty beefy Yamaha 7.1 receiver.. not how it should be wired.. but it works for what we have it set up for...

Controls are in each room so you can control volume in each space

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...0V_Stereo.html

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Old 11-20-2012, 03:32 PM   #3
Buck760
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Russound

I have a four-zone Russound, and am very pleased with it. Not affiliated.
http://www.russound.com/
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
Can anyone point me in the right direction?

I'm thinking 6 zones, including 1 outdoors and 1 in the master bathroom. I'd like to be able to connect it to a laptop (wireless would be awesome) to stream pandora or a playlist. AM/FM is also important. Someday we'd like to have a home theater system in the basement (can't afford it now.) if that's important to know.

I'd like the main zone(s) to be our living area/kitchen, and I'd like to be able to turn it up and have good full sound (hide a sub somewhere). This might have to be two zones?

2 zones for the master bedroom (one in the bathroom)

1 zone for the deck.

This is definitely a budget killer, but at the very least I'd like to run the wiring for it now. If it's not crazy money I might bite the bullet and just do it because I hate retrofitting things.

Thanks!
Pretty pricey, but the Sonos stuff is pretty solid. Plus, you can piecemeal the system together over time.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:07 PM   #5
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You should look at the DBL Distributing website. Search for amps that have multiple zones. All of them should have either a USB in for a Ipod which includes being able to use a smart phone or a laptop. If they don't the headphone jack on the laptop will work too converted to a stereo RCA pair for an AUX input.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:24 PM   #6
adam_c_eckhardt OP
done with Chemistry!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Bone View Post
Don't you have a TDI repair you should be saving up for???


E doesn't need a running car. Shoe leather express will work.

I forgot that you had whole house audio...

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Old 11-20-2012, 07:26 PM   #7
Attico
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Run the wiring to a central location. Make a detour for each speaker wire pair to a jbox where you may run a volume control.

Put in speaker rough in brackets and buy a bunch of blank grills or some speakers from monoprice.com.

Cutting and finding speaker locations is a bitch even if the wiring is in the wall or ceiling....trust me, been there done that.

I think you have too many zones. If you cannhear the music from one room to the next, make that 1 zone. I cant imagine people listening to two sources in adjascent rooms unless you have a McMansion.

I would do a main floor zone, deck and outdoor, and bedrooms
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:05 PM   #8
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Take a look at the Sonos system. You can stream to it from a computer, Pandora, etc. Multiple zones. Control it from your smart phone, or a remote. Not cheap, but not too bad, considering what it does.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:25 AM   #9
adam_c_eckhardt OP
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Good info so far, thanks!

One thing I was wondering- it seems as though with some systems you just run speaker wire, while others require Cat5 cable (or something similar). I'd hate to run the wrong stuff and have a bunch of useless wire in the wall.

I like the idea that some of the systems have nice panels in each zone to let you pick your source, etc. It would be nice if this stuff is upgradeable because I imagine it won't last forever.

Probably have to take a road trip one of these days and check out a showroom or two.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:14 AM   #10
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sonos is the established go-to solution for a modern whole house arrangement. The cheaper alternative used to be Logitech Squeezebox, but that has been end-of-life, with no clear replacement in the pipeline.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveShaft View Post
sonos is the established go-to solution for a modern whole house arrangement. The cheaper alternative used to be Logitech Squeezebox, but that has been end-of-life, with no clear replacement in the pipeline.
we are very happy with our squeezebox system. we are very, very sad that they are no longer making the squeezebox.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:11 AM   #12
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+1 for sonos. I install them all the time. It will do everything you want it to do. You can have a subwoofer in a room as well. Only need to run speaker wire. You can purchase 1 room at a time if budget becomes a concern. They sound great. I would encourage you to have a hard wire network connection though. Some laptops have been problematic to stream wirelessly. If you have a good laptop you should be fine.( lots of memory and newer wifi standard) If you use a cheap, slow, or older laptop or net book expect problems.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:33 AM   #13
adam_c_eckhardt OP
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I looked at Sonos and my hesitation with them is that it appears as though they're wireless speakers. That seems a little sketchy to me, but what do I know?

It also looks like you have to control the system with a smart phone or tablet. We have none of the above, and we're both pretty happy with our dumb phones. I'd be just as happy to walk up to the wall control to pick a source and control the volume.

Also- I was kind of hoping to go with in ceiling or in wall speakers so it's one less thing to collect dust.

Thanks for the advice so far!
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by GHbuck View Post
I have a four-zone Russound, and am very pleased with it. Not affiliated.
http://www.russound.com/

I have the "A-BUS" system. Wall controllers and ceiling speakers in four locations (family room, master, bonus, and deck). I hooked up an Apple Airport Express to the system, and am able to stream Pandora and iTunes wirelessly via AirPlay, controlled via iPad. The system also comes with a remote for volume, etc., although volume control is available via AirPlay.

High Tech Redneck stuff!

Buck760 screwed with this post 11-22-2012 at 10:06 AM
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:13 AM   #15
jeffm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
I looked at Sonos and my hesitation with them is that it appears as though they're wireless speakers. That seems a little sketchy to me, but what do I know?

It also looks like you have to control the system with a smart phone or tablet. We have none of the above, and we're both pretty happy with our dumb phones. I'd be just as happy to walk up to the wall control to pick a source and control the volume.

Also- I was kind of hoping to go with in ceiling or in wall speakers so it's one less thing to collect dust.

Thanks for the advice so far!
They have a couple of different options there. They have the standalone wireless speakers - which sound great, but the also have a small brick amp that lets you hook up other speakers to their system. Think its now called the CONNECT:AMP. We have the previous generation driving our in-wall stuff.

They have controllers that can run on windows or mac computers, and they also have a standalone controller. The price of their hardware controller was what drove me to buy an iPad in the first place

Not trying to sway your decision - just laying out some options...

Jeff
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