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doing whole house audio

Posted by tracey_b (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 24, 10 at 16:07

In our new house, I want speakers in several rooms. For those of you that have (or are doing) whole-house audio systems, what do I need for that type of setup? I read alot about Sonos, but that seems a bit pricey for us. Can I just run the speakers to an existing (albeit old) stereo system and get an amplifier, or whatever is needed, to handle the speakers? If I want to buy a new sound source (one that can accept mp3 player input), what do I look for?

X-posted in "home entertainment".

Thanks!
Tracey


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: doing whole house audio

Tracey - it all depends.

Here is what I would do as a minimum. Run speaker wires from a central location to your speaker locations. You are going to want to control locally. The minimum is to run cat-5 to keypad locations.

The next level up is to run the speaker wires past the keypad locations on the way to the speakers. This gives a bit of flexibility.

As far as the source - you can do an old stereo system but it gets really dicey when you start hooking up multiple speakers to an amp. There are impedance issues. If you don't know what that means, just know that you can have serious sound quality issues and easily blow an amplifier.

I believe Sonos is a bit pricey for what you get (IMO). But the best way to do this is with a multi-zone amp. Check out hometheaterdirect.com for a few reasonable options. Depending on the system and the $$$, you get varying level of local control and amplifier power. The base system is really pretty cheap and gives you a lot for the $. We have the intermediate option and it is quite nice.

The home entertainment forum is not exactly a wealth of knowledge in this arena. Cocoontech and AVSforum are 2 high level sources of info.


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I didn't do whole house, but I did do four sets of speakers. Each has its own keypad for volume control and source selection. The speakers are powered by an amp in each keypad(Cat 5 from router to keypad). I believe you can buy an expansion module to do more if you need them. I don't know what your budget is but I think I spent about $1500 on the router and speakers. It is an Aton DH44kt.

Here is where I found the best price for the router, you have to put it in the basket to see the price. Link is below.

www.a1components.com/itemdisplayn.aspx?item=12283


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RE: doing whole house audio

David_Cary is on the right track for flexibility during rough in. Unless you know all the products you'll use, go with his suggestion:

Speaker Wire from Speaker location to wall control box, then also back to central location.
Cat5 from wall control back to central location.

This will allow you to either get a whole house audio amp with wall plate controllers or use volume controls with a regular amp.

I used the BreatheAudio Elevate Master Amp. It came with 6 wall plates and has a built in IR repeater system. Over $800, but was easy to set up and use for a DIYer.

Using a regular stereo amp will require you to use a seperate IR system to change channels or songs. I'm still having trouble getting my stand alone IR system working.


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RE: doing whole house audio

Thanks!

Okay....so, if I do Cat5 from wall control to central location, why would I need to continue the speaker wire to there also (from speakers to wall control to central location)? To give myself choice of systems later?

Here's what I'd like to end up with: speakers in 7 to 10 locations, but some rooms could share the same volume (is that possible?). I don't need to be able to listen to different sources at the same time, although I suppose it'd be nice. I would like choices of source (CD, radio, mp3 player), but don't need to be able to choose it from individual rooms (don't mind changing it at the central location).

Up front, I only want to have the wires in place, then after the build is finished and we feel like spending more money, we'll add the speakers, volume controls, etc.

Thanks so much for the websites.....

Tracey


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RE: doing whole house audio

bdpeck - ir repeater systems are just terrible. Interference is the main problem. I solved a lot of my issues with RF. That crazy cheap system where you install a transmitting battery in the remote controls. I struggled for hours and spent countless dollars (well >$300) on special receivers/blocks etc. The only thing that worked was this RF to IR system. I can't remember the name but you can find it on Amazon etc. It is like $40 and each extra transmitter is $20. I have a single DVR cable box suppling 2 rooms on 2 different levels - works quite well.

Tracey - yes some rooms can share the same volume but you really want the ability to balance at least once. There are zones and subzones with some systems. Consider yourself warned on the reliability of any IR repeater or pass thru system. The basic $369 system (from hometheaterdirect) will do what you want initially and I think you are safe driving 2 pairs of speakers from each locaton so you can have 12 locations but only 6 volume controls.


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Tracy we are trying to do the same thing as you are and you have gotten lots of great advice. Hometheaterdirect.com has some really great stuff. Russound also appears to have some pretty installs that are a little more expensive that HTD but it seems more user friendly!

David you have a wealth of knowledge! Can I send you my plans and you layout my design??? :-)


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RE: doing whole house audio

I'll have to look for the RF thing on amazon.

My system has the speaker wire go all the way back to the central location. So everything hooks up to the Home Amp there. I knew I was using this system, so I home ran everything.

But if you're going to use volume controls instead of wall control panels, then you need the speaker wire to go through that box on its way to the central location.

Heck, some systems need 2 Cat5 cables to each wall control.


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RE: doing whole house audio

all this is greek to me!!!! David - how did you learn about all this??? I need home audio for dummies. I assumed we didn't want it (not techno or audio philes) and figured we'd use a wireless speaker for our screened porch and then googled David's link and saw what it could do. I was picturing the old intercom systems of my youth :)


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RE: doing whole house audio

Yep, mostly greek to me, too, athensmom.

Okay, so I like the stuff at hometheaterdirect site and the Midset, MA1235 for $769 or whatever (6 zones) (Thanks, David). It doesn't mention needing Cat5, only speaker wire. So, if I decide up front to use this, I do NOT need to run Cat5 to the volume controls, right?

I need this system followed by my own audio source(s), and speakers, right?

Are there any receivers that can hook up to computers to access internet radio or audio files? If so, can this be done with Cat5 running from the computer location to the central audio closet (or wireless)?

We're talking "electricals" to the builder tomorrow, so I have to make my decisions rather quickly.

Thanks!
Tracey


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Yes - you do need cat-5 to all control locations. It may not mention it on the surface but you absolutely need it.

Internet radio - best solution is logitech squeezebox duet. My non techie wife uses it daily. You control the station, can fast forward (and rewind depending on source), change volume. I use Pandora and the interface is awesome. It uses wi-fi which for me works in all 5,000 sq feet and in the yard/porches/decks. It has an LCD screen with song and artist info. Sonos is a more expensive competitor. Check the logitech site and you will be impressed - it is about $350.

You can just do straight computer to receiver location but the logitech interface is sweet and you don't have to have the computer on. The device uses 5 watts total....


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Looking at the Owner's Manual, the MA1235 looks like it doesn't use keypads, just volume controls. That would mean that you don't need CAT5. I'd opt for a system that uses real keypads instead.


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Ok - next question. We are thinking of putting a small 20 inch deep closet where our front coat closet will be (we don't have one in the front hall). Our architect already brought up the venting issues. Could I use this both for whole house audio components and computer server (essentially, keyboard, cpu, monitor, router, cable modem).

Thoughts?? The closet is centrally located in the house.


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Hmm, all greek to me as well. DH is in charge of this and he knows more details. He's going to use sonos, but only one, so we can't play different music on different speakers. There will be speakers on the outside patio, master bath, kitchen, work-outroom, family room. Each set has a volume control switch in the room. All the speakers are wired to a central location in the office. Apparently, I will b able to select music from from iphone.


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Actually, after further browsing, I like the MCA-66. Those keypads do seem to require Cat5. So, Cat5 out to all the keypad locations and speaker wire from central location just to the speaker locations, right?

I'm wondering about the "closet" too, athensmom. My GC thought I should put everything in the basement, but we're not having it finished up front, and if I need to access something, I think I want it handy on the main floor.

Also, should this "central location" also be where my modem and router are located? I'll have add'l Cat5 run from several other places back to the router so I can have hard-wire if needed instead of wi-fi alone for computers.

Thanks!!!


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FWIW - my central location is not that central. It is under the TV since we have built ins there. I was doing video distribution as well so the cable box and dvd under the TV just made sense. The stereo did not have to go there but it did. My cable modem and router are on the opposite wall of the house with no issues. An internet drop to the stereo location and the tv location are good ideas.

Tracey - you are right in your speaker wire and cat-5 locations.

Basement is a relatively bad idea. My first thing was reseting crashed computers - including cable modem and cable box. If you wanted a cd player - woundn't you want that pretty central? Now you could wire it to the basement but why go through the trouble? From a wiring standpoint, the 1st floor makes the most sense because it is central - assumming you have 2 above grade floors.

There are a lot of issues here regarding location. Usually the low voltage people will want to wire homerun cable, phone, internet to a box that would often be in the basement. Then the router needs to be here. Bad idea b/c of what I mentioned above and your wi-fi is weak in the 2nd floor. You will transmit wifi better to your back patio/deck if you are higher off the ground. Now you can do seperate routers and WAP (wireless access points) but who does that in a residential setting? Try to find a WAP at best buy for example.

Enough to make your head spin?

If you can make your homerun location in a first floor closet, you will be better off. Venting is an issue and only gets worse as you try to do more.

athensmom - 20 inch deep is fine but how tall and wide? As a point of comparison, I have a dvd, cable box, whole house audio, and a few small things in a 2 foot x 2 foot x 3 feet. It gets a bit warm but not bad. A computer server is fine in the same location but that can be serious heat. And the difference from one computer to another could be a factor of 3 in heat production.

Thats it - I am going to write a book - home audio for dummies. I'm taking preorders now....


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David - please do write a book - and put me first on the list!

Basically it would be a coat closet but we wouldn't use it as such so there should be plenty of room. We figured our coats would be more convenient in the back hall where we enter the house, and as far as guests go we generally just lay those on the master bed rather than hang them up . . .


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RE: doing whole house audio

Thanks again, David! Now I don't feel so bad for telling my GC "no" to the stuff being located in the basement. And, like you, I could put all my stuff in the Great room's "entertainment cabinet". But, now I wonder what it'd look like on the wall with all those wires coming out. If we ever move, the next folks will have to put something there to hide it if they end up putting the TV over the FP like many do these days. Our cabinets aren't built-in. We'd have gone built-in, but we already had this nice, new furniture we needed to use. Sooo.....maybe I'm back to the closet--it's 2' by 2.5' and has a convenient triangular "chase" right behind it--maybe I could add a vent into that area or into the side of the closet to the master bedroom's closet.

Let me know when Home Audio for Dummies by David in Cary is out (I'm sure I'll hear about it on the local news). I haven't yet visited the more hard-core forums because I didn't want to feel too dumb in my questions! I wanted to get my feet wet first and get a basic understanding, so I'd know how and what to ask. People here on the GardenWeb forums are really nice and helpful and full of us neophytes trying to get started on things.

I have a video question too, but that'll wait for another time. This post is long enough. Gotta go see if my appliances' questions have been answered :-) I've decided I need a "home builder decider". I've been given waaaay too many options. Sensory overload.

Tracey


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RE: doing whole house audio

We did the central closet at the last house, and our Amp kept overheating. So in this house, we used the basement. Yes, when we needed to reset something or check on it, walking through the unfinished basement sucked... but not as bad as having the unit shut down during a dinner party because it got too hot. If you use built-ins, like David, you get enough airflow and ambient temperature release to make it work. And keeping the units dust-free while the basement got finished was tough too.

We have a 300 cd jukebox attached to our home audio, no need to swap cds. And we keep the BluRay and DVD players next to the TVs, that would be a big pain to swap in the basement.

I'd also keep the Computer WiFi out of the basement, concrete walls tend to limit the strength of signals. Ours is in a built-in on the first floor, not central, but most routers have a 150ft radius, 200 if you use an N router.

Can't wait to hear your video questions, I've got lots of answers after doing centrally located video and our Home Theater.


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a nice man came to our house and i told him what we wanted. the next day i received a proposal for $55K for said system. sticking my iPod into a docking station to hear throughout the house suddenly became a big deal. so my dh went online, bought a bunch of stuff and now there are speakers installed all over the place for not a lot of money. that's all i know.


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RE: doing whole house audio

I used the M&S DMC system. Bought all components online for about $1500, cost about the same to install it. Serves as intercom system and has stereo with mp3 player connectivity.


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RE: doing whole house audio

Okay. I talked to the guy who would do the wiring... like has been suggested--speaker wire plus cat5. They charge $130 per zone. They do have a package that includes the "OnQ" (?) system box ("service center") in the closet that is the home base for most the wires--phone, cable, etc. It includes 4 zones, the box, other stuff, 4 cable outlets for $845, then it's $60 for each extra cable outlet and Cat5 data outlet (and $130 per zone for audio). Boy, it adds up fast--hubby wanted cable in EACH room. Anyone know if this is fairly standard?

The guy naturally tried to sell me on their components. I told him I was obtaining that elsewhere. When I mentioned that for 2 of the 6 zones (on the previously mentioned htd MCA-66) I'd like an extra pair of speakers (specs on the website say I can do it), he cautioned me against it saying it wasn't a good idea. Anyone done this--2 prs speakers per zone? Maybe he was worried about when/if the whole house was on?

Thanks!


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el cheapo way to get audio in every room. get a wireless fm transmitter. it will transmit to an fm radio in any room or outside within 300 feet.you can plug in any audio source such as mp3,internet radio,audio reciever ect.
they cost about $120


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RE: doing whole house audio

I've got two of my zones with two pair (4 total) speakers with no problem. Some systems have a problem with that, but mine doesn't and yours doesn't sound like it does either.

Not that you asked, but our pre-wire was $75 per Cable and $75 per Cat5 (phone or speaker) and $125 for speaker wire back to central.

We let them do the Coax and Cat5 for cable and phone, but did our own for the audio. Spent about $500 on wires.


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RE: doing whole house audio

Thanks, bdpeck. Hmm.....you spent $500 on the wires that YOU ran....the other cost (pre-wire) included the wires, right? I never thought to ask about materials. I just assumed that their quote included materials and labor. I guess $60 isn't bad then, if yours was $75. I asked my builder if the regular electrician could run the cable and he said he charges $50 and that doesn't include running to the central location (he runs to the outside, or something like that).

(I'll start a new thread when I get to my video questions.)

Thanks!


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RE: doing whole house audio

I'm not sure how they price it out, but I would assume if they are quiting you 60 or $75 per outlet thjey are including wire.

my cat5e was less than $100 for a 500ft box, same with my speaker wire.


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RE: doing whole house audio

Pandora.com and a wireless router :)

Of course, we have computers in every room.


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RE: doing whole house audio

Maybe it's just because it's late and I'm tired, but I was just reviewing what all the audio guy (who's gonna run the wires) said and I'm not understanding something..... He said that the speaker wires all go straight to our entertainment center where we'll have the stereo stuff (decided against the closet I thought of using earlier), but that the Cat5 handling the volume control of each speaker pair goes to the "service center" box (central location for all Low voltage wiring). Okay, so what is it that runs between that location and the stereo that ties it all in together? What am I missing? Maybe I misunderstood?

Hmm....do all the Cat5s go to a router at the service center and then a single run back to the amp and other components?

Thanks.


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RE: doing whole house audio

No - you are not tired....

The cat5's must go back to the entertainment center location.

Don't get me started with these people..... Our biggest LV (low voltage) sub around here is an idiot (or he likes to make his money coming back and redoing things).

Think $800k house (construction cost) with $7000 LV budget. In this scenario, he won't run cat5s to the volume control - just a speaker wire pass thru (which works fine in the most absolute basic system). Cat5 is so cheap. My friend has so much drywall repair from upgrading his system - he easily spent in drywall what I spent in cat5.

Builders are generally not up to date with these things. The subs should know better but there is not enough competition and it takes a while to discover the original wiring problems. I know my friend complained back to the builder and he might not use that same sub. But the better subs are far more expensive. And lets face it, only the true geek (or $$) wants to spend $10-$15k on LV wiring.

Anyway - trust noone in this area. Do not expect your LV person to be adequate. There is no licensure or exam for this - just a shingle and smooth talking the builders.... Time for a second career for me... (since medicine's future is bleak).


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RE: doing whole house audio

Thanks Dr. David. I definitely have more questions for the audio guy then (nope, not in Cary--in N. Raleigh off Capital). I did go by one Cary place, but it's for the central vacuum--the only one nearby I could find that did the hide-a-hose. I asked him about a couple of audio things, but the first guy seemed to be able to explain things to me a little better, so I'll just use the Cary guy for CV.

Did you get your speakers from HTD also? I'm thinking about going ahead and getting the speakers so I'll have the template so the drywall guys to go ahead and cut out for them.

Thanks.


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I don't think I realized you were local.

Slick but annoying website - don't know anything about them. Look high dollar. The pics are a good reminder that you have to plan for wall mounted flat screens if that is what you want. Not slick to have a wall mounted tv and then a visible cable box or wires. This is where a whole house video system comes in handy.

I got monoprice's speakers despite decent reviews from HTD and the discount if you got them at the time of the system. I can't remember why monoprice but I suspect it was because of 100s of good reviews and they are super cheap.

Templating.... What drywall people want is brackets - which are not always available and are ridiculously expensive for what they are (like $20+ for a piece of plastic). I really think they are more than the speakers sometimes. Why an 8 inch round speaker is not an 8 inch round speaker, I'll never know. I guess there is 7 15/16 and 8 1/8. But either way, you are supposed to use matched brackets. A quick check of prices showed from $5 to $50 a piece for the brackets.

Check out monoprice.com for some cheap good speakers (and really good prices on everything related to LV). I personally don't think a ceiling is a place for $350 a pair speakers. It is a fantastic place for $50 a pair speakers. We have some 8 in monoprice on our screened in porch with the HTD system and they are plenty loud and sound really good. 6.5 inside with 9-11 ft ceilings


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RE: doing whole house audio

LOL...when you wrote "trust no one in this area", I thought you meant the Triangle, not audio stuff, which is why I mentioned not using the Cary guy (on an earlier post of someone else's a month or so back, I asked you if the "Cary" part of your name was for the town because of something you said that made me think so. We were relocated here last summer and have been renting until we learned the area--we decided we wanted out in the country a bit).

So, pardon my complete ignorance of all things related to building, cutting drywall, installing speakers, etc.--but I thought that ceiling or wall speakers came with whatever was needed to mount them. Thanks for the heads up on that!

What I'd at least like to avoid is having hubby cut the drywall after we move in--would rather all that get done at drywall time. I'll have to ask and see if they can do that and we'll come back in and put in the speakers.

Thanks.


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You can't have holes in drywall for a CO - think places for rodents to get in and hide.

You don't need the brackets, they just make it easier for the installers. Maybe some brackets come with covers but not the one's I've seen.

Most people just run the wires and cut the drywall later. It isn't that hard.

I'm curious what the "place off Capital" quotes because I have a feeling that it will be high. LV requires no real training, licensure or certification but they seem to think their time is worth $50 an hour (on top of their marked up supplies). Landscapers do the same thing but everyone knows the hard work is done at $10 an hr.


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RE: doing whole house audio

Yes, I bought 4 boxes of speaker wire and 2 boxes of Cat5, then pulled them myself for the Audio system. The contractor for the rest provided his own wire in the price. My wife and I spent the better part of a day doing it. I put normal single gang electrical boxes to hold the wires, just have to put a blank plate on them for inspection. In hind sight, I'd just tack them loosely in place and make careful notes to find them again. Some of my electrical box place holders made for bad speaker locations and required some drywall repair.

I think your contractor is getting the Cat5 for phone/internet/network confused with the Cat5 for the Audio. Cat for the Audio needs to go to the same place as the speaker wire. Cat for the phone/internet/network needs to go to the service center.

We did the audio in the same place, so it didn't confuse the contractors.

I went with cheap speakers I bought off ebay. I'd read in an audiophile site that in wall speakers can't produce good sound without their own housing to control the sound, and even then, most rooms won't have good accoustics. So don't bother spending big money on them. So we went with non-in-wall speakers for the Home Theater.


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Thanks you two. I'd dearly love for us to do this audio stuff ourselves, but hubby is worried about possibly holding up drywall if we can't get in to do it at the right time (hubby's work schedule shows a couple of trips this month). We did the LV in our basement theater room project 3 yrs ago at our last house, but we were our own contractors for the basement, so we could take our time. I guess where we'll save during the build is on the landscaping since we're fairly good with that--hubby has a Ph.D is agric. research, so he feels more at home in the dirt than in the walls of a house :-)

I was wondering about the brackets because I watched a video on installing speakers, and it didn't use them. I'll probably go ahead and buy the speakers and have the drywallers cut out for them and after painting, we'll install them.

Yes, I guess I misunderstood the audio guy about the cat5 going to the OnQ box. I see now that the Cat5 running there is for data or phone. Do I have to specify which it'll be? I'll only need probably 1 for phone jack and the rest for computer.

In looking at the quote sheet from off Capital Blvd place, I see that the audio rough-in says: (for each zone) 16/2 from 2 speaker locations to volume control box; 16/4 and Cat5 from volume control box to stereo head. He's charging $130 per room. The guy in Cary said $160 per.

The OnQ box et al is rather expensive. I'm sure if I had enough time to feel comfortable with all this, I could assemble what I need, but with having to make the kitchen decisions this week, and drywall scheduled for beginning next week, and getting our taxes done, I'll just have to bite the bullet. I wish I'd delved into this much earlier!

Thanks!
Tracey


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You really don't want to hold up the project so you can save some money on LV wiring. I was even thinking of doing the security wiring myself, but I didn't know if a monitoring company would like that. And if I screwed up, I'd never hear the end of it from my wife.

The speakers I use don't have a bracket per se. They have four drywal clips attached to screws, so you cut the hole, attach the wires, push the speaker into the hole, and turn the screws until it snugs to the drywall. As long as you install before the final cleaning, you don't need brackets or holes from the drywallers.


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I'm about to order my audio stuff and had a few more questions:

David--which of the intermediate htd.com's controllers did you get? "Watts" don't mean that much to me--a non-audiophile, so if I go with the MCA-66 amp/controller w/ 60 watts/zone do you think that'd be good enough? Those w/ external amps offer more watts per, but at a higher price. Don't know if I'd miss the extra or not?

Also, which Monoprice speakers can you recommend?

And, anyone know how you hook together 2 amp/controllers? We're going to end up with more than 6 zones eventually. I know I can use 2 amp/controllers, but how do they share the same audio sources? Splitters from the sources out to the 2 controllers?

Many, many thanks!
Tracey


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Tb. Just get the cheaper intermediate unit. You're right, you don't need the power. You can buy splitters for the audio sources, I think the manual explains hooking up 2 amps.

I just got the cheapest monoprice speakers. There are 2 channel speakers that are more expensive and used when you have one speaker in a room (usually a hall or bath). They also have other more expensive options that you don't need. I went with 6.5 inches inside and 8 inches on a high ceiling screened in porch.


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RE: doing whole house audio

Thanks for all your input on this, David. I appreciate it. I'll think of all of you who helped on this thread when I listen to my music all through the house (can't wait for that day--we're getting closer!).

My greatroom ceiling is 12' (10' elsewhere). I seem to recall the LV guy saying I should use 8" speakers in that room. Is it the height of the room or the square footage that drives the need for bigger speakers?

Thanks!


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A little of both. I have 11 ft ceilings in a roughly 20x20 great room with 6.5 inchs. The outdoor ceilings with the 8 inch was more like 14 feet ceilings and then there is more background noise outside - and it is nice to help transmit even further since I haven't put deck or patio speakers in yet.

I bet 12 feet is roughly the switch over in common practice to 8 inch. There are no absolutes and size is certainly not all that matters. But an 8 inch on 9 foot ceilings would be out of place. It is a bit like recessed cans - 6 inch on 8 foot ceilings is a bit big. I absolutely think you will be fine with 6.5 inch in your great room. You can always go bigger but going smaller would be a mess. You might think that 8 inch speakers are visuallly intrusive.


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After posting, I checked out the specs of the 8" speakers....quite large over-all dimension (11.3"). Yep, I think I'll go with the 6.5".

Thanks again.


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RE: doing whole house audio

Bump for Ponydoc


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RE: doing whole house audio

So, we're OH SO close now to moving in.....and trying out my whole house audio. Can't wait.

New question: the wires coming from the speakers/keypads are in the location where our audio components will be kept, but the ends are "raw" (don't know correct term). Can I put the connectors on them myself (if so, what do I need?) or do I need to have the audio guys come back out to do it for me?

Thanks!


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RE: doing whole house audio

Most of these units have terminals for the raw speaker wire, just strip a little bit of the insulation off, slide into the post adn tighten a screw to secure. Make sure that you don't leave any exposed wire beyond the terminal, you don't want the wires touching each other.

For the Cat5 lines, mine required the ends at the amplifier and the keypads to have a RJ45 connector. You can buy a crimper and connectors at HD and Lowes, I bought mine online. I also bought a tester, you connect the unit at one end and then a small tester at the other, it cycles through each wire so you know if it's all connected properly. Very helpful when you're new to crimping the RJ45 connectors.


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RE: doing whole house audio

Thanks, bdpeck. Like you, I need the RJ45 connectors, but for the speakers, the back of my controller/amp shows that I'll need what I think is called "banana plugs"? I'll check into getting a crimper and connectors. Thanks.


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RE: doing whole house audio

It's one more thing to buy, but the banana plugs will probably make the install a little less messy. My system has 6 sets of speakers and keypads, all connecting to a double gang sized panel. That's 6 Cat5 and 24 individual wires for speakers... can you say spaghetti?


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