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Need some help with an old configuration (1 Viewer)

mskli1967

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Hello:

I have no experience with Home Theater hookup. I have an old (2007) receiver (Sony STR-DB870) and it no longer works properly so we need to purchase a new one. This receiver is not only hooked up to my surround speakers in our family room but it also hooked up to multiple speakers in our home (bedrooms/kitchen etc) so you could play music throughout the house. This part was configured via "MD/Tape In/Out" of the old receiver. I don't see these inputs in any new receivers that I have looked at. Is there a receiver out there that has current technology that could work for my home surround system AND also still connect to the speakers in the rest of the house?
 
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Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Most AVRs these days have secondary outputs labeled “Zone 2” that could be utilized for your whole-house function.

However, those outputs are typically analog, while the inputs of most components these days are digital (HDMI typically). The caveat is, not all AVRs will send digital inputs to the analog Zone 2 outputs.

Thus, for any AVR you are considering, you will have to dig in the owner’s manual online before purchase, to make sure digital sources are output to the Zone 2 jacks.

Admittedly, this can be a daunting task, given the size of manuals these days, but necessary. You don’t want to bring something home only to find out it doesn’t meet your needs.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

Al.Anderson

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MD/Tape In/Out are line level, so if you're using them to drive speakers then those rooms must have another form of amplification. Assuming you want to keep things the same, then you just need to look for a receiver with pre-outs. On the other hand, your current receiver also has pre-outs, so you may be able to use those instead of the MD/Tape outputs and not need another receiver quite yet. It would help if you let us know what equipment is in the bedroom/kitchen, and how the inputs are labeled.
 

mskli1967

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The bedrooms/office etc just have ceiling speakers. I have attached some pictures.

first photo: There are two boxes to the left of the receiver.

second photo: front view of these two boxes. Top box brings in all the speaker wire from the different rooms in the house. Then it is wired to the bottom box (is this the amplification?).

Then wired to the back of the receiver (third photo) at MD/TAPE
 

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Al.Anderson

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I *think* this is a jury rigged set-up. I say "think" because for the life of me I can't figure out why the MD/DAT 'input' is being used. (I'd love to know what that's connected to.) If I'm right then the setup is splitting power to multiple locations, which not standard but fine if you're not cranking it up or if you're only playing 1 or 2 locations at the same time.

In any case a few questions:
- Are you certain it's the receiver and not the amp?
- Do you want to replace only the broken part for the least amount of money, or are you looking for a complete refresh?
- Is the intent to always send a single source to all the speakers (same sound everywhere)?
- Exactly how many locations are you driving, with how many speakers in each location?

If all my guesses are correct you can probably get away with a Y-splitter on a new receiver with a zone2 pre-out. (Better would be zone2 and zone3 pre-outs; but receivers with both are usually in the $2k range).
 

mskli1967

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Certain that the Amp is connected to the receiver. Whatever is playing on the surround sound would play on the speakers throughout the house. We have always just turned the volume down (via a switch in each room) so you can't hear it. If we have company and want to play music in the house then we would turn in up (never too loud). Each room has two speakers (6 rooms total). this was hooked up in 2007.

I need the receiver to have ARC HDMI - that is why I need a new receiver but we also still want the ability to play music throughout the house. We want the same sound everywhere if wanted.

I think I could handle setting up a new receiver if it was the usual set-up but this seems like it might be a little much for me (Y splitter's etc that you describe).
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Just connect the new AVR the same way the old one is, except that the cables currently connected to the MD/Tape outputs will connect to the new AVR’s Zone 2 outputs. It will work.

Again, make sure the new AVR sends all audio sources, both analog and digital, to the Zone 2 outputs. That is a must-have function in your situation.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

mskli1967

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Wayne:

thanks. Can you give an example of a decent receiver that has Zone 2 outputs?
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Most everyone has them, except perhaps for the bottom-tier offerings.. Check the product lines (and manuals) for the popular brands to find models with the features you need.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

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