Could you explain dual zone receivers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark_Sykes, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. Mark_Sykes

    Mark_Sykes Auditioning

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    I'm needing a little clarification on how dual zone works. We want to install a home theater system inside and also be able to power 4 outdoor speakers as well. My understanding of dual zone is that you can listen to dvd/cd/radio in zone A (inside) with surround sound?, or is it only 2 speakers, and also listen to cd/radio (outside) but is this only on 2 speakers or could it be 4 outdoors? So my questions is can the kids watch a dvd in surround sound indoors and also play a cd/radio on the speakers outdoors?

    We origionally planned on 2 receivers 1 for the surround sound inside and 1 with a cd changer for the outdoor speakers.

    But if this can be done with 1 receiver I would rather go that route.

    I'm new at this so trying to learn, thanks for the help.
    Mark
     
  2. Andy_SB

    Andy_SB Agent

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    Mark, there are several different features that are sometimes referred to as "dual-zone".
    First, there are receivers with a simple A-B switch. You can hook two sets of speakers up, but the receiver can only power one at a time, whichever you choose.
    Receivers with dual-zone capability (but not dual-source) can power more than one set of speakers at a time, but only from one source.
    What you want is a receiver that has dual-source capability. This will allow you to not only power two sets of speakers, but it will also allow you to choose a different source for each set of speakers, so you could, for instance, watch a movie inside and play music outside.
    You'll need to check the specs of individual receivers to see the extent of their dual-zone capabilities. For instance, some receivers use the surround-back terminals to power the 2nd zone, so you can't have a 6.1 setup AND the 2nd zone.
    - Andy
     
  3. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

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    You will also find receivers and pre-amps that have line level RCA outputs for their 2nd "zone". These connect to a seperate amplifier for your other locations. This "zone 2"
    output is usually independent, allowing source and volume settings. Many times, an IR eye can be used in the 2nd zone, offering almost full command of the main unit with just an additional remote control. "Multi-Room" or "Multi-source" are other names used. Being able to control your muti-disc player or change radio stations from outside or your workshop while others are watching a DVD inside is a wonderful feature.
    If your want to see just how far multiple zone distribution can be taken, visit the Niles Audio website.
     
  4. RobCar

    RobCar Stunt Coordinator

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    Andy, aren't there also receivers that allow A and B playback simultaneously? I run A and B at the same time off of my unit all the time, b/c I like to have music throughout the first floor. Maybe I shouldn't be doing this, though?
     
  5. Andy_SB

    Andy_SB Agent

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  6. RobCar

    RobCar Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, ok. Just making sure. I'm a little lazy about reading manuals. [​IMG]
    Some receivers appear to have both A and B capability *and* dual zone capability, but I might be wrong about that. The Yamaha RX-V1300 appears to have that (I'm planning to upgrade to that unit), but as you mentioned, you need a separate amp in the second room. Which makes me wonder, if you have a second amp plus an extra set of speakers in the seonond room, why not just set up an independent system in there? Just plug in your discman or something? Seems less complicated.
     
  7. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    Mark -

    You definatly looking at a flagship reciever if what your wanting is to play music outside, while playing a movie inside. Also You might be hard pressed to find one that will support 6.1 inside with 4 outputs for a different source that can be run together.

    The most I've played with is 2 zones, and not simultaneously either. And the second zone is only 2 channels.

    There are some that run 3 zones and more but I'm not sure how they work (Multi source, or just multi zone, or a combination of both).

    Rob-
    I had a reciever (Old 96' Kenwood 6070) that has both A and B zones and if you played them simultaneously it had a warning message. Something about speaker impedence, and the impedence selector switch on the back of the unit. It was a couple of years ago so I don't know what the warning was, but you might want to check.
     

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