multiroom single source

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnVB, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a couple extra speaker wires installed in my house so my wife can hear the movie or music better from the kitchen. Our floor plan is such that she can still see the TV from the kitchen. We also have a set of wires going to our back porch, so we can hear music out there.

    How would we hook these up? Someone suggested I get an A/V receiver with an A/B switch in it. I'm wondering about hooking up two sets of speakers to the same speaker output. Wouldn't that be a problem?

    FYI, we don't have the speakers in the kitchen or patio installed yet, but I'm assuming we'd install in ceiling stereo speaker units at each location.

    Thanks for the help,

    - bones
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Wayne
    To eliminate the possibility of power loss, it would be best to drive the extra speakers from an outboard amp.
    To run them all from your current receiver you can use this speaker selector from Radio Shack.
    [​IMG]
    As noted, you can probably expect some power loss. To keep things easy on the amp, keep the ones you’re not using switched out.
    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Wayne,

    In that speaker selector, do I connect to it with speaker wire from the A/V receiver?

    If so, then I could probably use the A/B fearure on an A/V receiver, where the B speakers go to that speaker selector. Does this sound right?

    - bones
     
  4. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    John, I use a 4 port speaker selector ($100 Niles unit) to switch my fronts between the den, kitchen and living room. It works great. The only concern is when driving multiple pairs at once due to the impedance level shown the amplifier. If two 8 ohm speakers are wired in parallel off the same receiver output then the amplifier will see a 4 ohm load. The upshot of this is that the amplifier will be forced to work harder. Most receivers are rated for ohm loads between 6 - 16 but will drive loads lower than that. But when they do and you turn it up loud, there is always the risk of clipping the amp, and possibly damaging the speakers.
    I opted for the Niles unit over a cheaper Radio Shack unit I had been using since all connections are wired in parallel and a protection switch is used to protect the amp as opposed to the Radio Shack unit I had which had some combinations wired in series which served as its protection mechanism. The Niles is also a little more solidly built (The Radio Shack unit would not stay on a shelf - the weight of the wire kept dragging it backward [​IMG] ). The protection switch introduces a 2.5 ohm resistor into the circuit so even if all 4 pairs are chosen, if they are all 8 ohm speakers, the receiver see an ohm load of 4.5 ((8 / 4) + 2.5)
    As for the A/B thing, yes, I think you could wire your main fronts up to the A set on the receiver and then wire the speaker selector to B and then wire the two sets of speakers off of the speaker selector. One caveat to this is if your receiver will allow you to choose both A + B at the same time and if it does, are they wired in parallel or in series inside the receiver. i.e. you want to be able to choose the kitchen and the home theater room at the same time, I would assume. It may be simpler to run all 3 pairs off of the speaker selector.
    good luck,
    --tom
     
  5. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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  6. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    Several points...
    1.) If a rcvr doesn't have A and B or has them but doesn't allow them to run at the same time then it USUALLY means that the amp (in the rcvr) wouldn't do well with a 4ohm load...not a good sign...like cheap sonys (non ES), stay away from 'em
    2.)Now giving Joe 6pk a "B" SPEAKER that WILL RUN SIMULTANIUSLY with "A" is USUALLY a recipe for disaster....if "A" IS on (along with surround) the "B" will only play the left/right channels out on the deck (ie; no vocals in PLII)...further more, installing an external volume control on "B" would only be useful if you wanted "B" to play lower in volume than "A" ,unlikely in an outdoor scenario. Also, whenever someone else adjusts the rcvr volume the "b" speakers will likewise be affected...Not to mention the prospect of having to listen to the front L/R channels of Star Wars sans video out on the deck...or the inherent low-end amp "crap-out" after the umphteen engagement of 7/8 speakers off one mediocre power supply....
    3.) Indeed tape outs will NOT solve many of these problems because a straight (non-integrated) amp wants a "gained" signal and line level feeds often do not have enough juice to run at levels neccesary for outdoors...Pre-outs are gained but,alas, at the same level as the master volume and when we turn it up loud enough for outside it is TOO loud for indoors......
    4.)All these reasons are why ,if you have ANY inclination to EVER run additional speakers off an HT rcvr, you are well advised to buy a unit that has Multi-room/Multi-zone capabilities.....
    5.)Also , be wary of the ones that have the "EXTRA" amps on-board, these amps still share the same "mid-fi" power supply.....
     
  7. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's to clarify a bit. I don't know if that changes the recommendations at all.

    The kitchen spear will be for movies and music, but will always be playing the same thing as the rest of the HT.

    The patio speaker will be for music only. When we're watching a movie, I'd expect everyone will be watching the movie and the patio speaker will be off.

    The point about the kitchen speaker not getting the center channel is one I hadn't considered. I'm wondering, though, if I get a multi-room/multi-source receiver, what will the kitchen get for audio if I want it to be the movie audio. Won't that be the left and right fronts again w/o center, or will that be down mixed to stereo?

    - bones
     
  8. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    mixed down to stereo if everything is hooked up right
     

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