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Just bought a house wired for sound, now what?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by nocluecolorado, Jul 11, 2019.

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  1. nocluecolorado

    nocluecolorado Auditioning

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    Hello, I just closed on a house that is wired for sound. It has 5.1 surround in the living room, 7.1 in the theater, and it has 3 sets of two speakers for music.

    All of the wires go to one box in the basement. I have done a little research and know that I need to power the speakers, and I need an audio controller that can do 4 zones, if there is such a thing. (two of my music speakers are close together, so we can keep them on the same zone.)

    So, do I find a audio system that has 4 zones and like 20 channels to power the speakers? or do I get two systems with 10 channels or so, or do I get a system and an amplifier?
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    You may find that using the existing wiring isn't worth the trouble, with more advanced, and simple streaming and WiFi distribution these days.

    So, you're saying the 5.1 wiring from the living room and the 7.1 from the theater all go to a single location in the basement? That sounds like a nightmare. Maybe someone like @Wayne A. Pflughaupt who knows a lot more about whole-house stuff can help.

    Personally, I'd be tempted get those surround system wires back into the room the system is in, rather than trying to do some remote, whole house thing.
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    A couple more thoughts. Don't think of it all as a combined system. There are three separate systems. One each for the living room, theater and music. Even if you do it all remotely how it's set up now, I expect it would be three systems in the basement. Most equipment can be controlled by WiFi these days using a mobile device. So, as I think about it, there might be decent solutions that aren't too complicated. The hurdle is the media you play, especially video media. If you only stream content, it should actually be rather simple. Playing discs will probably be a pain, unless you convert them to hard drive storage yourself first.

    Of course, you mentioned connections for the speakers in the basement, but what about video connections?
     
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  4. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    My advice (especially if it's a relatively new installation) is to do some sort of consultation or visit with the company who installed it.
    If it was 2 Men and A Truck level then I'd be worried it would work at all, it is was a legit Custom Install group then it could be quite nice and they would be able to explain the ins and outs and possible help you set up something pretty impressive
     
  5. nocluecolorado

    nocluecolorado Auditioning

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    Not sure who the builder contracted to wire it all up, I can find out. I read another poster who just bought the discontinued Denon 2400 on amazon for $300. It has two zones and a preout, 7.1 channels. so, could I buy two of these, hook one up for the basement and a zone of music speakers, and use the other one to hookup the upstairs surround with the remaining 4 music speakers on one zone? with amps of course.
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    The Denon 2400 might be a good option, but you won't be using pre-outs. You might use zone 2, but, then you need to add amps for the remote zone, so for $300 you might be better off with a third 2400 instead.

    Keep in mind, the built-in speakers might be junk. That's pretty common. My point is that if they are, it might not even be worth the trouble trying to use them. To find out what they are, you have to remove a few to look at them. Where are they located? Walls, ceilings? I expect the music ones are in the ceiling, but what about the surround ones.
     
  7. nocluecolorado

    nocluecolorado Auditioning

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    thanks for your help John. The music speakers are in the ceiling. The prewire locations for the surround sound are mostly in the ceiling, then some in the front wall in the theater area. Maybe I will just grab three of the denons and be done with it. How do I control the Denon's wirelessly? Do they have an app?
     
  8. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Denon has an app. The whole idea behind the line of receivers that includes the 2400 is wireless control. That gets out of my area. I have a couple Marantz units, which is kind of the premier line to Denon. As in, they're the same company. So, they have very similar features. I've never dug into how much can be controlled remotely, but it might be quite a bit. I think you can probably use the remote that comes with the receiver, or a mobile device, either phone or tablet.

    You still need to be sure video is passed up from the basement, and it's most likely NOT 4K compatible wiring.
     
  9. Message #9 of 11 Jul 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    And don't dive in based solely on my advice. Get some other feedback. I seem to be messing things up today.

    BTW, I see two options for purchasing the 2400 from. ListenUp and Huppins. Both are reputable companies. ListenUp is here in Colorado, FWIW. I have personal experience with both businesses. Thought I'd mention it in case you go for three and have to buy from more than one place.
     
  10. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    I agree with @JohnRice in that the centralized wiring seems odd and you should definitely make sure the speakers and wiring are even suitable for your performance expectations before purchasing gear to support them.

    Aside from that, it may not be as simple as buying receivers/amps as you will also need sufficient power capacity. If the original system was installed by a knowledgeable professional then hopefully they included at least two separate 15 [preferably 20] amp circuits.
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Welcome to HTF
    POST PICTURES OF TEH CENTRAL BOX. =)
     
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