Receiver for home theater and outdoor speakers

bulldog72

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Just moved into a house that has existing speakers and wires. I am a total beginner, trying to figure out which receiver to buy. It doesn’t have to be fancy or high quality. I just want something at a reasonable price that gets the job done...doesn’t have to be super high quality. After some Internet searching, I am confused by how many channels and zones I need. I have 5 speakers and a sub for the TV in the living room (typical 5.1 if I understand the terminology). There are also 4 outdoor speakers. Finally, there is one speaker in the master bedroom which I really don’t have to include if it makes the setup more complicated.

Can someone please recommend a receiver? Is there other pertinent information that I need to provide to allow for a recommendation?
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Sounds like two zones, or three if you count the bedroom. You need a standard AVR with a Zone 2 output (maybe Zone 3 as well), and a separate multichannel amp to power the speakers on the secondary zones.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 
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bulldog72

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Thanks Wayne. I think 2 zones will be fine. So, with 5 speaker surround sound I just need a 5.1 channel AVR? Would the separate multichannel amp plug into the AVR so I could control music outdoors and TV sound indoors all from the same unit?
Alternatively, is there an AVR that would power all 10 speakers without the separate amp? If so, is it just more economical to get a standard 2 zone AVR and separate amp as you mentioned?
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Some AVRs have 7 or 9 channels, and allow you to assign two channels to power Zone 2 speakers. So you’d still need an outboard amp for the rest. The AVR could control all the speakers for both zones.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

bulldog72

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Ok. Now I think I understand. Last question (I think)...could you please list a couple of AVRs and multi-channel amps (brand and model) that I could pair together for my setup? If you do not like recommending brands, these don't have to be a recommendation as much as an example of specific units that would seem to work based on the information I have provided.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Any AVR from Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, Marantz, NAD, etc. with a Zone 2 output will work.

One thing to keep in mind is that many AVRs will only send signals from analog sources to Zone 2. If you intend to play audio on Zone 2 from a source that has only digital or HDMI outputs, make sure the AVR you choose will send digital or HDMI audio to Zone 2. It may require digging into the manuals to determine this feature.

Russound, Niles, and Home Theater Direct are companies that make multi-channel amplifiers for applications like this.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

bulldog72

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Thanks very much for your help. I think I have enough information to look around try to find some units now!
 

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