Audio into multiple rooms -- approaches?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joel Noble, Jan 26, 2002.

  1. Joel Noble

    Joel Noble Extra

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    My neighbor is half-way done building his house, and is just about to do all the wiring. The other day he asked me if I knew anything about being able to get audio from his audio system into multiple rooms of the house, presumably with the ability to choose which rooms.

    My first reaction was that I suspected one would want to get the un-amplified audio signal to each room, and to feed it into an amplifier in each room near the local speakers.

    Are there a few "standard" ways of approaching something like this?

    I know it's not a "home theater" (he's doing that too, in a small way), but I figured you folks would be among the best to ask!

    Joel Noble
     
  2. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    There are two "right" ways to do it. One is multi-room audio. You use a multichannel amplifier (or a very robust two channel amp) and speaker selector with volume controls in each room or you can use a speaker selector with volume controls. Every room is limited to the same source. The other way is to use a multi-zone system. These are much more expensive but the price has come down substantially with the release of products like the Niles 4630 multi-zone receiver. For $3000 list you get a 6 zone receiver and 6 keypads. With a multi-zone system you can choose different sources for each zone. A six zone system used to cost a minimum of $10-$15,000 for a decent system. They've become much more affordable. There are other ways to get music to other rooms but they all involve compromise. Regards.
     
  3. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    You might want to order the free booklet from Crutchfield about home theatre instalation. It gives tips and tricks for hiding wires, hanging speakers, multiroom systems, etc. You can get the booklet by calling the number in their magazine, or if you do not have a subscription, I think you can order it online at www.crutchfield.com
    It is a handy resource for your general ht needs.
    Jeff
     
  4. Joel Noble

    Joel Noble Extra

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    Bill,
    I think he's OK with every room being the same source -- that's what he has in mind. Plus, I don't think he's talking about spending $10K. [​IMG]
    Are you saying that a single multichannel amp could have enough power to feed speakers throughout the house? That is, there's only one amp and everything else going to the rooms is speaker wire (with a volume control in-line)?
    I'm not sure I'm getting a clear picture. Where can I learn more about the method you describe?
    Jeff, I'll see what Crutchfield has to say. Thanks.
    Joel Noble
     
  5. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    Joel,

    After I posted I went to crutchfield's website. You do have to call the number, but after you go to their info section, then the home theatre installation book & it will give a # you can call.

    Jeff
     
  6. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    Check out the Russound site. Pretty nice stuff.
    http://www.russound.com/catalog/
    I know the CA series is pretty nice, and the A-Bus system looks very interesting, too. The A-Bus system will be cheaper, around a grand, most likely, with the CA6.4 system running 2 grand. These systems would allow the flexability of multiple sources in different rooms, of course.
    Aaron
     
  7. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Joel,

    There are many amps available that are robust enough to drive multiple rooms. Dending on what speakers you are using and how many rooms you need to drive you could get away with something like a Niles SI-275 (2 X 75 and stable down to 2 ohms) and a Niles speaker selector at the head unit with volume controls in each room. I've used this setup to drive up to four rooms for clients. You can also get multi-channel amps that fit the bill but the price tag will go up. You'll need a speaker selector anyway if you want to be able to use different combinations of rooms without going to each room individually to turn it on or off by using the volume controls so a very robust 2 channel amp is a solid choice. Regards.
     
  8. Joel Noble

    Joel Noble Extra

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    Thanks, Bill!
    I've been doing some reading today since your first reply, and it seems that matching/balancing the impedance is an important thing in these applications. Speakers' impedance varies from speaker to speaker, and I would assume that the different run lengths to the local vs. remote rooms would also make a difference. Should I be on the lookout for means of tuning impedance in order to minimize audible changes as rooms turn on and off? Or am I misunderstanding things? (I'm a software geek, not an eletronics one!)
    Jeff, I found that I can download the Crutchfield catalog/install-guides in sections as PDF files. You can get these at http://www.crutchfield.com/download/
    Aaron, I'll take a look at that vendor's site. As of yet, I don't know enough to know what I'm reading there!
    Thanks to all,
    Joel Noble
     
  9. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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  10. Scott Holt

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    Try calling Reference Audio Video. They help me with any question I have. He can set you up for as cheap as anyone. Tell him Scott referred you. 800-947-4434 Ask for Ken. Good Luck.
     

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