Need help mocking up multi-room setup

CasaDuna

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Hi there. We're currently building a new home and would like some guidance on how best to approach setting up a multi-room audio system. Our contractors have proposed a system (please see attached image) but I want to see if there's an easier way. We plan on renting the house out to multiple families throughout the year so ease of use is very very important. Our ideal system would be one where anybody could play music from their own device (laptop, iOS device, etc.) without having to rely on a tethered music library. That's why I like Apple's AirPlay system and Sonos, although I'm not sure how well AirPlay would support multiple zones. With a Sonos type system, we would either have one of their proprietary remotes or a dedicated iPad that would be permanently installed at the house.
Basic Requirements
  • Multi-zone control
  • Ability to have guests easily/quickly stream their own music from computer/mobile device
  • Functionality>Sound Quality (we're not big audiophiles)
Suggestions needed on:
  • Built-in speakers
  • Amp/receiver
  • Anything I'm forgetting
Thanks in advance. I'm sure I'm leaving a lot out, but I hope this is enough information to get some good feedback.
 

schan1269

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Not exactly sure how you intend to have "5 streams at once", unless you are going to set up 5 routers...(which would mean 5 ipads).
Otherwise your picture is one of 100 ways to do it.
By the way, what is your "affordability goal" here?
A 5 source/5 Zone audio set up isn't cheap.
 

CasaDuna

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schan1269 said:
Not exactly sure how you intend to have "5 streams at once", unless you are going to set up 5 routers...(which would mean 5 ipads).
Otherwise your picture is one of 100 ways to do it.
By the way, what is your "affordability goal" here?
A 5 source/5 Zone audio set up isn't cheap.
Sorry, should have been a bit more clear. I've gone ahead and edited my first post.
Yes, we want to have the ability to have at least 3 different streams playing at once, with a total of 5 different outputs for sound. I know if we went the Sonos route we would have to buy a Sonos connect for each zone, paired with a receiver, or a Sonos Connect:Amp for each independent zone.
The issue with the system that's pictured is usability.
For price, the current option is around $7500, but we'd like to spend less than that if possible.
 

schan1269

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You can still "forget" three streams at once...
Unless you set this up for people bringing their own internet.
I know of no AVR, at all, that can operate on more than 1 network at a time. Meaning your wish to "not tether" is totally not feasible...
The Ipad(s) "could" be set where one of them "must use" the house internet and the other two can use whatever the guests brought.
I live in a house with all of these forms of internet, at the same time...
Wild Blue feeding a Netgear WNDR4500(the ONE router that makes an "entire home" network supremely easy)
Sprint thumb drive feeding a Cradlepoint CTR500 router.
ZTE hot spot on Verizon
2 Motorola Droid phones, both with hotspot.
We have, if all are fired up, 5 wifi. And my house, which is wired up for multi-zone...
Can't do what you are trying to do.
 

schan1269

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By the way, instead of "streaming"...
Use Bluetooth. Yeah, BT only works for around 30ft...but it is the only way you are going to accomplish this.
Find a 3 Zone AVR
http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR717-7-2-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B007JOO4YS/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351204713&sr=1-2&keywords=Onkyo+nr818 (pretty sure the 717 is the lowest price there is)
Let it run Zone 1.
Feed Zone 2 and 3 to this...
http://www.amazon.com/OSD-Audio-DSM4-Speaker-Selector/dp/B001YIV3M6/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351204856&sr=1-1&keywords=2+source+4+zone+amplifier
And, by now you are asking...so what "is" the source for Zone 2/3???
http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F8Z492TTP-Bluetooth-Music-Receiver/dp/B0047T79VS/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351204958&sr=1-1&keywords=belkin+f8z492ttp+bluetooth+music+receiver
Put two of those in. Then people pair their Ipad/Droid/Ipod/Computer/Iphone to those...and those feed the AVR for distribution.
Caveat:
I have no idea if "two of the same brand" BT Music Receivers will work at the same time. If not...
http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Speaker-Bluetooth-980-000540/dp/B004VM1T5S/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351205053&sr=1-2&keywords=bluetooth+music+receiver
http://www.amazon.com/Kanex-AirBlue-Portable-Bluetooth-Receiver/dp/B0056X78UG/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351205053&sr=1-5&keywords=bluetooth+music+receiver
http://www.amazon.com/Miccus-Mini-jack-RX-Bluetooth-Receiver/dp/B0038MA11U/ref=sr_1_7?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351205053&sr=1-7&keywords=bluetooth+music+receiver
Those four(out of the couple hundred that are out there) I know work well.
 

CasaDuna

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Guys, thank you for all this great info. I've been going through these responses and now realize that what I was asking isn't going to happen (at least easily). I think that we're just going to go with a single zone system with individual volume controls at each speaker to control sound distribution. I'd still like to incorporate Apple AirPlay so am looking into compatible A/V receivers that could also support 5 sets of speakers. I know absolutely nothing about amplifiers, so was hoping for some input. I know that Denon and Panasonic, and probably others, support AirPlay. So now, I'd appreciate some input on the following:
  • AirPlay compatible receiver capable of supporting 5 sets of hardwired speakers
  • Options for built-in volume control knobs
Thanks again!
 

schan1269

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Ok, there are NO receivers(AVR or strictly stereo) that "support" 5 pairs of speakers without an exterior switch box.
This would work as well, and it would be much simpler...
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-TV-MD199LL-NEWEST-VERSION/dp/B007I5JT4S/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351262513&sr=1-2&keywords=apple+tv (although you probably want a 1st generation ATV, Gen 2/3* ATV don't have analog audio. So you'd have to search Ebay/CL for a used Gen 1.)
For powering the entire thing...
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha--S500BL-Integrated-Theater-Amplifier/dp/B0044779HW/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351262639&sr=1-1&keywords=yamaha+integrated+stereo+amplifier (you make no mention of needing/wanting FM, so you don't "need" a receiver. There is also a less expensive A300)
To hook up your 5 rooms
http://www.amazon.com/SSW-6-Speaker-Selector-Impedance-Protection/dp/B00006JQ62/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351262706&sr=1-1&keywords=6+speaker+selector (these are ALWAYS even numbers of pairs)
So each room can attenuate volume to their liking
http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AE100VC-Impedance-Matching-Control/dp/B003H3C94W/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351262763&sr=1-1&keywords=in+wall+volume+control (one for each room)
*If buying a "used" ATV isn't to your liking and you'd rather buy a new one, you simply need one of these between the ATV and amp...
http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Optical-Toslink-Analog-Converter/dp/B004C4WPXA/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351262987&sr=1-3&keywords=digital+analog+converter
 

CasaDuna

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schan1269 said:
Ok, there are NO receivers(AVR or strictly stereo) that "support" 5 pairs of speakers without an exterior switch box.
This would work as well, and it would be much simpler...
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-TV-MD199LL-NEWEST-VERSION/dp/B007I5JT4S/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351262513&sr=1-2&keywords=apple+tv (although you probably want a 1st generation, Gen 2/3 neither have analog audio)
For powering the entire thing...
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha--S500BL-Integrated-Theater-Amplifier/dp/B0044779HW/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351262639&sr=1-1&keywords=yamaha+integrated+stereo+amplifier (you make no mention of needing/wanting FM, so you don't "need" a receiver. There is also a less expensive A300)
To hook up your 5 rooms
http://www.amazon.com/SSW-6-Speaker-Selector-Impedance-Protection/dp/B00006JQ62/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351262706&sr=1-1&keywords=6+speaker+selector (these are ALWAYS even numbers of pairs)
So each room can attenuate volume to their liking
http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AE100VC-Impedance-Matching-Control/dp/B003H3C94W/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351262763&sr=1-1&keywords=in+wall+volume+control (one for each room)
This is great, thanks. A few questions...
Yes, I thought about just hooking up an ATV and going through that but the issue is that we would have to always switch the receiver to the ATV if we wanted to use AirPlay. Easy for you and me, but some of the people in my family would find that too confusing. With the compatible A/V receivers, you don't have to switch over (I don't think).
With what you sent over, we just need to connect the 5 sets of speakers to the speaker connector, then connect that to the amp? I was under the assumption that we could just plug all the speakers directly into the amp.
The only thing that I would add is that our TV/blu-ray player will also be connected, hence why I was thinking about the A/V receivers.
Are these speakers ok for the system?
 

schan1269

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If you want to get "tricky"...
You could get 5 of these...
http://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-APA150-Power-Amplifier/dp/B000VKXLBO/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351263618&sr=1-1&keywords=dayton+apa150
Daisy-chain them together. Then if your guests want to listen to anything directly on their own, they simply unhook the daisy chain.
 

schan1269

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I'll respond to the "deleted post" while I can still see it...
The tidbit of "main room will be HT" would have been nice to know from the beginning.
So, you need an AVR capable of 3 zones. Airplay is a headache in that(as far as I remember) there is only one AVR on the market where Airplay can be used Zone 2/3 without it having to be involved in Zone 1 at the same time(part of the whole "Apple doesn't play nice with others"). If I remember correctly, that AVR is the Denon 4311. Might be the 3311/2, I don't remember off the top of my head.
Throwing Airplay into an AVR situation and wanting Zone 2/3 throws a big wrench in. And that wrench makes the ATV(especially the Gen 1) more necessary.
You still need a 3 Zone AVR. But...
Do you want the AVR to power Zone 2/3 itself...
Or do you want the AVR to send the signal to outboard amps?
 

schan1269

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I'll even throw a "more fun" scenario out there...
The Elite SC67(look it up at Pioneer's website).
It has Airplay and Zone 2/3 as well as "Zone 4 HDMI".
You "could" run an ATV via HDMI...then run the Zone 4 HDMI into a 1x4 HDMI splitter and send HDMI to all 4 other rooms and send Zone 2/3 to each room as well. That way the other 4 rooms can watch a streamed movie...or listen to tunes via the networking of the AVR. I "assume" all 4 rooms will have a TV? If so, the SC67 would fulfill all your needs and some you didn't even think of...
 

CasaDuna

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schan1269 said:
I'll respond to the "deleted post" while I can still see it...
The tidbit of "main room will be HT" would have been nice to know from the beginning.
So, you need an AVR capable of 3 zones. Airplay is a headache in that(as far as I remember) there is only one AVR on the market where Airplay can be used Zone 2/3 without it having to be involved in Zone 1 at the same time(part of the whole "Apple doesn't play nice with others"). If I remember correctly, that AVR is the Denon 4311. Might be the 3311/2, I don't remember off the top of my head.
Throwing Airplay into an AVR situation and wanting Zone 2/3 throws a big wrench in. And that wrench makes the ATV(especially the Gen 1) more necessary.
You still need a 3 Zone AVR. But...
Do you want the AVR to power Zone 2/3 itself...
Or do you want the AVR to send the signal to outboard amps?
Apologies for all of the confusion. That was due to two things: my own lack of knowledge about AV and my family recently changing their minds about what they want in a system. That said, here's the final scenario, and what information I'm looking for:
Setup Info:
We will have a single TV w/ Blu-ray player in our living room. This will also be where the main receiver is located. We'd like to hook up the TV to all of our speakers, but that's about it (i.e. we don't need to stream video to any other room since we only have one TV). I'd like to install an ATV to allow guests to stream their music from their wireless devices. We will have 6 pairs of speakers located throughout the house/outside. We will need three of those pairs to be volume-controlled by local volume knobs (see first post for schematic). Together, these will all comprise a single zone. We aren't audiophiles so overall sound quality is not a priority. Rather, ease of use, value, and longevity are essential.
Looking for guidance on:
  • Receiver that's capable of supporting this setup and is good value.
  • Are the speakers suggested by our installer ok?
  • Anything I'm forgetting?
Thanks again
 

schan1269

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http://www.amazon.com/SSW-6-Speaker-Selector-Impedance-Protection/dp/B00006JQ62/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1352141634&sr=1-1&keywords=6+speaker+selector
http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AE100VC-Impedance-Matching-Control/dp/B003H3C94W/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1352141675&sr=1-1&keywords=volume+control+in+wall
And any multi-zone AVR...
 

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