New home, no drywall, help me wire the house

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by RobbieP, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. RobbieP

    RobbieP Agent

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    Hi all!

    The guy who built my house is building one for himself, and he doesn't want to pay for a professional audio installation, he just wants me to help him plan the perfect pre-wiring setup for his floorplan.

    First off, here's the floorplan: http://www.jackneedham-homes.com/images/3465_plan.gif
    (linking to save him the bandwidth)

    He wants the following:

    Surround sound (6.1? 7.1?) in the Living Room

    Stereo sound in:
    Study
    Master Bed
    Master Bath
    Kitchen
    Both Garages
    Rear Porch
    Office (Maybe)
    Dining Room (Maybe)

    The kicker is, he wants all of it of course fed from one primary input on the left wall of the Living Room, with switches on the walls to control which rooms receive sound
    He wants to have Left and Right balance sliders on the wall if possible IN the rooms that have stereo sound.

    My confusion is: do I wire the surround sound in the living room separate from the stereo sound in the other rooms, or do I just use the front-left and front-right of the surround channels to feed the other rooms with stereo.

    Also...balance sliders in the rooms...is that even possible? I know they will be affected by the balance settings on the amp, but he wants some control in each room also.

    I'd also like advice on speaker arrangements in each location listed if ya'll feel up to it.

    And lastly, the good news. The house is under construction, the drywall isn't up yet and won't be for 2 weeks still...so I have time to get in and do the work without worrying about getting in the walls...he's going to build niches in the walls for speakers wherever I tell him to, prior to drywall going up.

    Thanx for any input ya'll are willing to give.

    Rob
     
  2. KenA

    KenA Stunt Coordinator

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    I definitely recommend a whole house audio system. You not want to keep the other rooms seperate from the main listening area (livingroom). Most receivers have A/B speaker outputs. The A speakers for the primary room with surround sound and the B speakers for a second location. If you wire multiple rooms to the B speakers (instead of using a distribution amp) you'll need to install impedance matching volume controls in each room. I really don't think you're going to find impedance matching balance sliders. Check out http://www.nuvo.com for great audio distribution products.

    I would also forget about building niches for speakers. There are great in-wall solutions these days. There is a broad range of quality and price. Do it right the first time and you won't have to open those walls to upgrade in the future.
     
  3. RobbieP

    RobbieP Agent

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    Thanx! I need to read more on impedence matching I guess huh?
     
  4. RobbieP

    RobbieP Agent

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    I looked at that Nuvo.com website and saw nothing about audio anything...sure thats teh right one?
     
  5. Tom D

    Tom D Stunt Coordinator

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    I think you need Sonance or Parasound distribution amps. Your main rcvr needs to have 2 zone or multi zone capabilities first - but to feed as many rooms as you desire would over burden the rcvr's amp. I am not aware of any volume switches that would also act as balance controls. You may also want to think about splitting the zone 2 preout signal and feeding separate stereo rcvr's in other rooms.

    Regards Tom
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Robbie,

    In-wall control panel, balance controls in each room – for a guy who “doesn’t want to pay for a professional audio installation,” he’s asking for a very complicated system, one that pretty much demands professional attention.

    It wouldn’t be too hard to split off a Zone 2 send to an audio distribution amp, where he might be able to control from the front panel, but getting into central in-wall control panels usually requires additional interfacing equipment, programming, etc.

    A few thoughts:
    • It’s rather silly to have a central control panel just for the sake of selecting which rooms to send sound to, when you can simply control the volume and mute the rooms locally.
    • Balance controls in each location is silly, too. If he really wants it probably the only way to get it is to install two volume controls in each room, one for right, one for left.
    • Why is a guy building a home with a 5-car garage too cheap to hire someone to do this right?

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. RobbieP

    RobbieP Agent

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    Thanx,

    good points too. I'll address the last point first. He's a home builder...he's VERY stingy with his money...he cuts corners for everything.

    He retracted the balance controls for every room...he just wants to be able to control the balance for each room individually, which I misread as having balance control in each room.

    he's not going to want to send the sound to all the rooms at once...so he should be safe on that front...perhaps a solution to prevent it from accidentally happening? I knwo he's not going to want to go with separate receivers for specific rooms.

    The main thing I'm doing for him is the wiring. Which shoudl be relatively easy considering there's no drywall, just a frame. But I need to consider in advance how the wiring panels will be for interfacing purposes.

    Should I have inputs for each room at the main panel or just one input for surround and one input for the rest fo the house? or split the rest of the house into two separate zones and go for an amp that has A/B/C outputs?

    Thanx for all the advice thus far!
     
  8. Adam Gregorich

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    What about a Niles or Russound multiroom reciever? Programming is fairly straitforward. This will allow different sources to be played in different rooms at the same time. If you are just going to share a reciever look at the Denon 3805. You can use the system for a 5.1 movie, while you use the two remaining channels to play another source in additional room(s). For future use make sure you pull a cat5 cable to each volume control location.
     
  9. RobbieP

    RobbieP Agent

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    Sounds good....so in regards to wiring...what should I do? I take it splicing teh Zone B output to a series of control and volume control sliders on the wall for each room would be a bad idea?
     
  10. Adam Gregorich

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    It's not a bad idea. Combined with impedence matching volume controls or speaker selector its the cheapest way to get sound in additional rooms. Its just not as flexible as a multiroom reciever.
     
  11. RobbieP

    RobbieP Agent

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    Well, we went shopping for stuff for the project saturday. Got a Yamaha 5790 (I think) receiver, with two zones. Zone 1 will be the surround sound, and zone two will go to a 6 room speaker selector...we've cut down our room choice to of course fit on the 6 channel selector. We got a Monster sound stage 3 power center. He already has cable (I think CL3 rated? is that correct?). We bought 4 of the 6 volume control knobs, we'll get the rest later, and they are impedence matching. And the best part is...he threw down for a 62" Mitsubishi DLP television. Wasn't expectign that but considerign the size of his living room, he wanted the bigger television. We got optical cable, DVI to HDMI cable, and Component Vid cable for all the different stuff he'll be hooking up.

    Also, he threw down for one of this NICE harmony universal remotes...expensive but for someone who's not very tech-savvy and wants things to be easy...thats worth the money.

    We run the wire this week or this weekend...so far so good?
     

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