How to get A/B speaker setup in HT receiver? (newbie)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thomas_J, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Thomas_J

    Thomas_J Auditioning

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    Excuse me if this is a basic question, I basically have been out of the loop in audio/video hardware for many years.

    Our present setup is a stereo receiver located in living room with a set of in-wall speakers in the kitchen set as "B" speakers. The receiver has died and I have spousal permission to make the plunge in setting up a home theater. It is mandatory that I be able to hook up the kitchen speakers to be able to play CDs and radio out there.
    The number and visibility of components is a big issue, too.

    I had my heart set on a HK AVR8000, but upon reviewing the manual online, it looks like I would have to add an outboard amp for the kitchen speakers. This won't do.

    Have A/B speaker selections been basically eliminated from AVRs? Is there a simple way to solve this problem and rescue my home theater dreams?

    A possible alternate is to build a whole new HT in our new basement addition. Any books or sources of info on how to do this? In that case, I would be looking for a plain jane stereo receiver for the living room with A/B speaker capability. Any reccomendations?
     
  2. JayDaniel

    JayDaniel Stunt Coordinator

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    Thomas,

    There are two different issues here. Many receivers have a/b speaker settings, but work in different ways. Most will allow you to play a, b, or a & b together, but it is from the same source (cd, radio etc.). This may suffice for your needs.

    However, if you want one source playing in one room (DVD for ex.) and another source playing in the kitchen (radio, cd), then you will need a higher end receiver capable of doing this. This is called, I think, multi-source, multi-room. Some have amplification built in for the extra room, others require separate amplification.

    Check out the better/more expensive brands and see what they offer. Start with Denon, Onkyo, Marantz, Yamaha etc. What you want is out there, it is just a matter of are you willing to pay for it. There may be cheaper methods of achieving the same goal. For example, you can get decent stereo only receivers for $100 - $150 (less if go the used route) which could supply the kitchen with power/sources.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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    I have a Pioneer VSX-D711 and it has A & B speaker outputs. The main difference from this DD, DTS,DPLII reciever and its Pioneer SX-203 Stereo reciever predecessor is that I cannot play both A&B channels at the same time. If you get a reciever that does not give you a B speaker output, do not get one of those distribution boxes to make more than two speakers share the same signal. This will drop the ohms load for that A channel and could fry your amp. You could buy one of these http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd..._ID=9369&DID=7 and use it to control two speaker sets. One at a time that is. It just adds another connection point between your amp and your speakers. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Thomas_J

    Thomas_J Auditioning

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    Thanks for the replies. The HK AVR8000 is pretty high-end and it has "multi-room" capability. Trouble is you need to add another amp to do so. I looked at the Outlaw 1050, too, which also doesn't seem to support A/B.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Juan, but if I went that route I'm afraid it would just be a matter of time before someone in the house fried the receiver.

    Just to clarify, when we run the speakers in the kitchen it will always be the same source as is running in the living room. What I'm looking for is the ability to play music in the kitchen, the living room or both at once when the system isn't in use to play movies on the TV.

    I'll keep looking, and will check out the Pioneer.
     
  5. JayDaniel

    JayDaniel Stunt Coordinator

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    Thomas, my cheapo Kenwood will do what your asking, and I assume that most receivers with an a/b switch can do this. When playing one source, I can select speakers a, b, or both a & b. Assuming b represents your kitchen speakers, I could just play them, or all speakers. And this is a $150 receiver. I think you only need an extra amp when you want to play two different sources at the same time. Just go to some stores and ask them to hook up two sets of speakers to a & b and try it out for yourself.
     
  6. David Kel

    David Kel Auditioning

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    I've been facing sort of the same situation you are facing. I will have my main theater setup in the living room with speakers on my patio outside. I'd like to be able to play both at the same time and not necessarily playing the same thing. To do this, I will need a multiroom/multisource capable receiver, as has been previously mentioned. I've been doing some research on inexpensive receivers that offer this and have come up with one that I will probably try to purchase. Check out the Sony STR-DE985. I've seen it for around $400 but as low as $319 at eTronics. It offers 100 WPC, multiroom/multisource, and 6.1 capabilities. I have a friend with this receiver and he likes it.
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i'm surprised a high-end receiver would not have a/b speakers. i've always thought of it as a pretty basic feature? [​IMG]

    i suppose you can also check out onkyo receivers. i know mine has a/b capability.

    also, in a worst-case scenario, you can pick up something like a niles switchbox.

    http://www.nilesaudio.com/products/s...n_systems.html

    i believe (but don't quote me) that these things will allow you to *safely* run two sets of speakers.
     
  8. charlie o

    charlie o Stunt Coordinator

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    my denon 3803 will play 5.1 in the ht and 2 channel from another source in the patio.
     
  9. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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    My point was, you need to find a reciever that has both A and B speaker channels, and will play both at the same time.

    Multi-Room Multi-Source is different, and obviously not what you are looking for.

    Some recievers that have both A and B speaker channels, don't allow for both to play at the same time.

    External gadgets are OK to use, but beware those that do not take into account for OHM load on your reciever.
     
  10. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Gee, I must be spoiled. I can't image a receiver without the 'B' speakers. Anyway, Pioneer is the way to go, and even on their lower end models you'll probably get more than you figured for that price.

    Glenn
     
  11. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Thomas, I have a Denon avr3300. It has a/b for the rear surrounds. I have the 5.1 set-up for my living room and use the a-surround for the rear of the 5.1 and the b-surround for my patio speakers. With the receiver in 5-channel stereo mode, it works just fine and no second amp needed. You can run a or b alone or together. The only downside is that in order to change the selection, you have to do it via the onscreen menu.Maybe that's not a downside for you?
    I imagine that other Denon receivers do the same thing.
     
  12. DudleyS

    DudleyS Auditioning

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    Gary, I have the same receiver and wish to do the same for my patio speakers. Is there any way to do it so that only the B surround (patio) speakers come on, without the FR-C-FL speakers playing in 5 channel stereo mode?
    Thanks in advance.
    Dudley
     
  13. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Dudley, I don't think that's doable.I think you can only switch the size of the mains, but I never really looked into it. For me, I've always been okay with the inside speakers playing when the outside ones are on.
     
  14. Marco Salvatori

    Marco Salvatori Auditioning

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    Try the Denon 3803. It has speaker outputs for simultaneous 2-Zone playback. You can either use them for Surround Back in HT or to listen to another source like radio in a different area (like your kitchen).
     
  15. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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    The Onkyo TX-SR800 and above have "Powered Zone 2", which means that they can either run different sources in two rooms (5.1 in one room, stereo in the other) or be 7.1 receivers.

    Just info,

    Me
     

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