Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    36

    Whole house audio. Lots of questions

    I am going to be building a home in the next 6 months and am going to wire it for whole-house audio. As you will be able to tell by all my questions I'm pretty much a newbie but I'd prefer to ask these questions here as most of you have more experience with this and are impartial to what brand you're selling.

    I want multizone capability but don't want to spend a ton of money. For the price, I may be limited to 2 zones. Things I've been considering are the Niles 4630 or Sunfire for the house and picking up another $600 (Denon) or so receiver for my HT. What are some other options for the multizone receiver? I would need a satellite speaker system as my wife does not want anything on the floor (speakers, wires, etc.) except the sub. Any suggestions?? What brand of in-ceiling speakers would you recommend for $200/pair? I know how most of you feel about Bose products but the Lifestyle 35 system may have a good fit for my situation as I would get my HT system and one more zone of sound capability, all I'd need is an amp to power the other rooms. I am concerned about the music quality out of the Bose. Any thoughts??

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ottawa-Ont
    Posts
    149
    Quote Originally Posted by twwesn
    I am going to be building a home in the next 6 months and am going to wire it for whole-house audio. As you will be able to tell by all my questions I'm pretty much a newbie but I'd prefer to ask these questions here as most of you have more experience with this and are impartial to what brand you're selling.

    I want multizone capability but don't want to spend a ton of money. For the price, I may be limited to 2 zones. Things I've been considering are the Niles 4630 or Sunfire for the house and picking up another $600 (Denon) or so receiver for my HT. What are some other options for the multizone receiver? I would need a satellite speaker system as my wife does not want anything on the floor (speakers, wires, etc.) except the sub. Any suggestions?? What brand of in-ceiling speakers would you recommend for $200/pair? I know how most of you feel about Bose products but the Lifestyle 35 system may have a good fit for my situation as I would get my HT system and one more zone of sound capability, all I'd need is an amp to power the other rooms. I am concerned about the music quality out of the Bose. Any thoughts??
    You could go with an AM10 or AM15 if you really want Bose and get your own reveiver how about bookshelves ?? out of the question too ?? I own a bose its now in the bedroom cause it didnt perform well for music in the main listening room or movies....if you must go with a sub/sat try athena,polk, jbl they will beat bose for sure.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    36
    I currently have bookshelf speakers (Infinity SM82s fronts, RS1 rears) as I live in an apartment, plus I've had the SM82's for 13 years and still love them. The problem is the 82s weigh 23lbs and I'm not sure I want to mount them. And just to clarify, it's not that I want Bose, I just saw that system and thought it would fit my needs.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ottawa-Ont
    Posts
    149
    Quote Originally Posted by twwesn
    I currently have bookshelf speakers (Infinity SM82s fronts, RS1 rears) as I live in an apartment, plus I've had the SM82's for 13 years and still love them. The problem is the 82s weigh 23lbs and I'm not sure I want to mount them. And just to clarify, it's not that I want Bose, I just saw that system and thought it would fit my needs.
    So did I and my wife...now liek I said they collect dust in the bedroom as my wife uses them for 10-15 mins everynight thats it...speakerstands are out of the question?? go and listen to the athena,polks,jbl and even energy maybe the take 5 system...athena has some very good products as well as polk and the energy. you can get the wall plated for your cables and make sure you have inwall speaker cables or any cables you run in there.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,890
    There are plenty of options for multizone music. Going with a receiver that has multizone amplification and simply wiring two sets of speakers into it is one way (you could also consider brackets and small bookshelf speakers as an alternative to in-walls). This approach though only sends music to two or three rooms. If this is all you want, then the only concern is the wiring and control units.

    The more elaborate systems that are coming onto the market include a central music server with distributed music clients in multiple rooms.

    The only real advantage to the Bose Lifestyle 35 is the UHF remote that allows you to control the system from a different room. Everything else about that system, from the expandability, to the format support, performance, upgradability, value, build quality, etc. is pretty lousy compared to other options available in that same price range.

    I would suggest that you visit a local home theater installer. Those stores typically carry higher end items and can do a lot more than just push product. They can do the installations and a lot of them can also build custom enclosures and do the interior layout and design. At the very least, they'll know what you need to do the multiroom setup that you want.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    414
    there are tons of multi-zone multi-source options out there and the best way for you to narrow down your choices is to answer these questions:
    1 what is my budget- we try to qualify customers to give them the right equip. but without that info any good salesperson will start showing you high-end gear first, possibly wasting your time, over extending your credit, requiring extensive programming, buyers remorse, etc....
    2 how many zones- basically determined by budget
    3 what do you want to distribute- mainly sources i.e. radio, cd, mp3, video, etc...
    4 how do you want to control it- basically determined by budget, remote control via in-wall sensors, keypads, radio frequency, PC based control, infrared repeater system, etc....

    if you've got your heart set on Bose then i would highly reccommend the lifestlye 50, it can get expensive to do a couple of zones but it will do it very well and easily; the Niles 4630 (gloria, her brother is bob-8630, dual tuner and video distribution) is a very nice piece, pricing starts around $2200.00 ( authorized dealers )

  7. #7
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    36
    I've recently been very interested in the ABUS system from Russound. Complete 4 zone/4 source with 4 amplified keypads for around $800. Anyone have any experience with this system (or type of system?).

  8. #8
    ISCET CET, FCC CTT, USITT Dual-500's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth
    Posts
    217
    A link to the gear you mentioned would be helpful.

    Not knowing what you want exactly - let me propose simple.

    I use an Adcom GFA-2535 4ch 65wpc amplifier for my house system. it is simply connected to an auxillary pair of outputs on the HT A/V pre-amp. What goes through the house system is what is playing on my HT rig in the den. FM when I want music throught the house and HT when that is playing.

    I don't use zones yet as I am still setting up the amp rack. I plan on using speaker selector switching boxes for zone control. An option would be to install individual volume controls in each room in addition to the master zone switching.

    The Adcom will run 2 ohm loads, and at 4 channels out it will easily power 8 pairs of (8 ohm nominal) speakers with 360+ watts of power - way more than enough. I have Radio Shack LX-5's throughout the house and a retired pair of bose 301's in the shop/garage.

    This is a very simple setup that works very well - no frills or gadegetry. You can pick up a used 4ch Adcom or Carver amp on eBay for around $250-300.

  9. #9
    AR Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    4

    You didn't mention a budget yet.

    Hello twwesn,

    I did a whole house audio system two years ago and will be doing another in two weeks. Both of my systems are refits to existing homes. The first system was a 6 room, individual volume control at the speaker switcher, one source easilly upgraded to two sources if I want. I paid about $400 (some new some quality used electronics) for the electronics, about $140 for 14 ga wire, and about $100/pr for the bookshelf speakers. It runs background classical music 24/7 and I can turn it up more than I need/want. I had about 20 hours in the instal job including mounting the speakers.

    In the new home, I'll have about a dozen prs of speakers running and will have in-wall volume controls. For now I will have one source again, but will upgrade to two sources again switchable at the speaker switcher(s). I looked at the Niles stuff and saw no need to go there for my needs.

    The installers are great if you don't mind spending the money on labor and new electronics. If you are interested in hearing more, I'll check back on the discussion later this week.

    Good luck,

    Chris

  10. #10
    AR Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1
    Hello neweller,

    Are you talking about a true multizone system, where you can source different music in each room? Or just one music source for all the rooms? Either way, I'd be interested in knowing what electronics you used for your volume control and swithing.

    Thanks,

    BD

    Quote Originally Posted by newellcr
    Hello twwesn,

    I did a whole house audio system two years ago and will be doing another in two weeks. Both of my systems are refits to existing homes. The first system was a 6 room, individual volume control at the speaker switcher, one source easilly upgraded to two sources if I want. I paid about $400 (some new some quality used electronics) for the electronics, about $140 for 14 ga wire, and about $100/pr for the bookshelf speakers. It runs background classical music 24/7 and I can turn it up more than I need/want. I had about 20 hours in the instal job including mounting the speakers.

    In the new home, I'll have about a dozen prs of speakers running and will have in-wall volume controls. For now I will have one source again, but will upgrade to two sources again switchable at the speaker switcher(s). I looked at the Niles stuff and saw no need to go there for my needs.

    The installers are great if you don't mind spending the money on labor and new electronics. If you are interested in hearing more, I'll check back on the discussion later this week.

    Good luck,

    Chris

  11. #11
    AR Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by chillerb
    Hello neweller,

    Are you talking about a true multizone system, where you can source different music in each room? Or just one music source for all the rooms? Either way, I'd be interested in knowing what electronics you used for your volume control and swithing.

    Thanks,

    BD
    Hello Chillerb,

    I had, in the old house, a true multizone system. It was switchable at the speaker selector (Sima SSW L6EX) which also had volume controls (on the selector that is). I was running a Denon receiver as the head unit. You could power A speakers on one input and B speakers on the another. Frankly, I never used the other source and added a 7th pair of speakers using the B speaker setting. The Sima L6EX is the only cheaper speaker selector ($200) that I know of that can have two input sources.

    In the new home, I have only the second floor wired as of right now and do not have this Sima switcher. I have one source working since we just listen to classical music anyway. I ran separate runs of wire to each speaker location (instead of ganging the wire from volume control to volume control) and also included 8 strand phone cable to the volume control. Currently, I don't use the phone wire, but it will allow me to upgrade my speaker "splitter" to the sima unit or to the "professional" electronics such as Niles or Russound and have individual in wall controls for changing the source and volume. I will probably do this when the kids are older. I am using Monster volume controls that parts express had on clearance for about $28 for in room volume control. The splitter is installed in the attic and is a glorified buss bar that parts express has for a resonable price. One advantage of this buss bar in the attic is that you don't need to pull each pair of speaker wire into the closet (or where ever you have your electronics). You just need to run left and right to the buss bar. It keeps the install really neat and orderly.

    I'll wire the first floor, basement and back patio later this year. I plan on using the sima switcher for this install and probably wil use two receivers that I'll pick up on ebay when I find the right deal.

    There are lots of ways to do a whole house install.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Chris

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. DTS/DD vs. CD Audio quality-opinions?
    By kexodusc in forum Digital Domain & Computer Audio
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 11-10-2005, 04:55 AM
  2. New audio club in S.E. Michigan - hopefully
    By soundhd in forum General Audio
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-07-2004, 06:31 PM
  3. Audio Illusion
    By Swerd in forum General Audio
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-06-2004, 06:53 AM
  4. Newbie Asks Questions!!!
    By perla4u in forum General Audio
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-17-2003, 06:57 AM
  5. How to Use this Forum - No posting questions please!
    By Chris in forum How-To Articles
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-16-2003, 09:17 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest AudioReview Articles

Hot Deals

Latest News

AudioReview on Facebook