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Beginner Question - Help setting up new system (1 Viewer)

RockyPi

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Aug 19, 2014
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Jared
Hey Everyone. I recently bought a house that has two in ceiling speakers in the living room (they are in the back of the room, so would be the two rear speakers in a 5.1 system), 1 speaker in the kitchen, and 2 outdoor speakers. I am coming from a small apartment where I made do with what I had and was using a powered soundbar with wireless sub. I have read a lot on here about the drawbacks of using a sound bar, especially for someone trying to get surround sound quality. My issue is I'm currently a little restricted by budget (new house and all), so buying some new speakers and a sub is a little ways off. I do, however, want to find a way to integrate the other speakers already installed in the house if I can.


My thought is to purchase an amp to run all of my inputs through, hook up the bar's Audio IN (probably using HDMI or Fiber Optic) to the Amp (essentially running it as a Center and Front L/Front R) which would activate the sub whenever it is turned on, then hook up the two rear in the living room as Rear speakers. I'll hook up the kitchen & outdoor as channel B so that they can be operated separately.


My question is - has anyone attempted to do this? Will a self-powered sound bar even operate as I am trying to? To me it is the same as plugging just a TV into it, or using an A/V Switch to manually change which input i am using. While i realize I am not going to get the quality a typical 5.1 system with better speakers may provide, I am just looking for a temproary fix until I can scratch some more funds together.

Thanks for any advice or input!

EDIT: I re-read my post and wanted to clarify one thing: Where I said my plan is to use the Audio In on the sound bar, I should have mentioned i'll probably just buy an RCA Audio cable with plugs on one end (for the bar) and wire at the other to hook up into the Center speaker hook up on the amp. If I'm missing something that is going to cause that to not work, please let me know -- I'm a bit of a novice but know just enough to get myself in trouble trying to do this.
 

ArmSC

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Tony
What is your budget for this project? If I understand you correctly you want a minimum 2 zone with 3 speakers in the second zone that operates independently of the primary zone 5.1 setup in the living room? Do you plan on watching a movie in 5.1 mode while having another source play outside and in the kitchen?

It sounds like you're going to need a speaker selector no matter what you do. I think I would just run a speaker selector off my mains and get a less expensive pre-pack set for the living room and move the soundbar to a bedroom.
 

RockyPi

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Aug 19, 2014
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Jared
Thanks all for the responses. I've taken some of this info and done some more research, and want to run by you what I think i've come up with:

Purchase a 2-way 5.1-Ch Receiver with pre-outsHook the sound bar into the pre outsHook Rear speakers into the rear/surround speaker connections on AmpHook outdoor speakers into "B" speaker hook upsIgnore Kitchen speaker for now -- my main goal is to get the surround in the den and outdoor speakers working -- Football season is fast approaching!

Is there anything in this that I've missed? Am I wrong in assuming that individual speakers will still work even with another speaker hooked up into the pre-out (is it an either/or situation?)?

Thank you all again for your advice and support.
 

Robert_J

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Purchase a 2-way 5.1-Ch Receiver with pre-outs
Just trying to confirm your terminology. By "2-way" do you mean dual zone?
Hook outdoor speakers into "B" speaker hook ups
You have to make sure zone 2 has powered outputs and not just pre-amp out or you will need another amp. They aren't expensive ($20 and up) but that's just something else to buy.
Am I wrong in assuming that individual speakers will still work even with another speaker hooked up into the pre-out (is it an either/or situation?)?
They will work. If not Sam, who has more experience with receivers, will correct me.
 

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