Whole House Audio

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Adam E, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Adam E

    Adam E halfway there

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    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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  2. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    Don't you have a TDI repair you should be saving up for??? :lol3

    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/product/501010-REG/Atlas_Sound_DAT35ST70W_DAT35ST70_70V_Stereo.html

    #2
  3. Buck760

    Buck760 Been here awhile

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  4. jeffm

    jeffm Been here awhile

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    Pretty pricey, but the Sonos stuff is pretty solid. Plus, you can piecemeal the system together over time.
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  5. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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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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  6. Adam E

    Adam E halfway there

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

    I forgot that you had whole house audio...

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  7. Attico

    Attico Wrong way 'round

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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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  8. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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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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  9. Adam E

    Adam E halfway there

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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.
    #9
  10. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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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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  11. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu Long timer

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    we are very happy with our squeezebox system. we are very, very sad that they are no longer making the squeezebox.:cry
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  12. xit109

    xit109 Been here awhile

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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.:nod
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  13. Adam E

    Adam E halfway there

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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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  14. Buck760

    Buck760 Been here awhile

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    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!
    #14
  15. jeffm

    jeffm Been here awhile

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    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 :D

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

    Jeff
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  16. josjor

    josjor Long timer

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    You're going to end up with a smart phone or tablet..............whether you want to or not. Dumb phones aren't going to be around much longer, I suspect. We sell systems at my shop and the Sonos is good stuff.

    In wall or ceiling is nice as you don't have anything sitting around or speaker wires exposed, but..............Are you sure that in five years that is exactly where you'll still want the couch/easy chair, etc in that same spot? The main consideration with in-wall or ceiling speakers is that you better be happy with your stereo imaging in that one spot where it's good, 'cuz its a bitch to move the speakers.
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  17. eddyturn

    eddyturn Wannabe

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    Good stuff as we are about done with our house build. We had the house pre-wired and now we have to decide what else to do and they are pushing us towards a Sonos. Other shop in town likes the Denon AVR2113 to power the system. I think we will like streaming music as our iPod selections are getting a tad boring. But if we go dependent on wireless and wireless is down we would have to revert to the old Sony VFET unit for sound. I need to read up some more too.
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  18. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    Sonos definitely pitches their wireless aspect pretty hard. That's because the majority of people haven't sorted out their wires. But this is the back of their amp. See the ethernet ports? Feel free to use them.
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  19. eddyturn

    eddyturn Wannabe

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    ^^^ I see. And I had them hard wire the house too.
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  20. Adam E

    Adam E halfway there

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    That's why I came here to ask. Great info- thanks!
    #20