Recommend an Audio Distribution System

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Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Recommend an Audio Distribution System

I'm looking to create a multi-room single-zone audio distribution in my home. Any suggestions on which amplifier I should take a look at?

Paul Thomas
Paul Thomas's picture
For multi-room systems, you

For multi-room systems, you should look into a 70 volt setup. You can use a PA amp and 70v speakers ot.

You can get transformer to swith to and from 70 volts using an 8 ohm amp and speakers. make sure you hook the 8 ohm side to the amp or speaker and the wire run to the 70 volt side.

Otherwise, consider a wireless system.

How many rooms are we talking? If you have an old 5.1 Reciever laying around with 5.1 Analog inputs then you can drive 5 different zones off one box. And if by chance it could handle 4 ohm loads then your really set. If it can't handle 4 ohms you could still run to 2 speakers off each channel if you only turn the amp up past 50-60% But thats living close to the edge =)

Paul

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
I'm only talking about 3

I'm only talking about 3 rooms (other than the source room). Interesting though to just use a 5.1 receiver as a hack. All the "real" solutions I've looked at -- second amp in my control room, etc -- seem to cost a fortune.

Any suggestions on specific brands / units?

Paul Thomas
Paul Thomas's picture
Jeff,The first question you

Jeff,

The first question you have to ask is: “Do you need to run a 70volt system, or can you get by with a standard 28.8v?” If you can keep your speaker runs shorter then 50ft, and you can get 14awg shielded wire you will be fine with a consumer amp (28.8). If you need to go much further then 50ft, or you are going to be running wires next to AC mains, or metal HAVC ducts you will be much better with a 70volt system. The 70 volt system will be more costly, and harder to get every part you need. But if you need it you have no choice.

First off lets say you are fine with running just a normal sound system and you will be running to 5 rooms, each with their own volume control. The first thing you will needed is an amp that can drive ten 8ohm speakers. Most 5.1 systems will are able to drive 4 Ohms on each of there channels. So a 5.1 receiver that has 5.1 analog inputs will work great. (Two 8Ohm speakers per channel) If it is a 500Watt system you would be able to deliver 50Watts per channel, per room, at a system maximum. (100Watts per channel, per room, if only half the rooms are on) The only additional hardware you would need would be the 10 in wall drivers, and a stereo 8Ohm volume control for each room.

Now if you need, or want to go with the first solution you will have to drop alittle more cash into the system. The first thing you are going to need is a Professional Amp that can create a 70 volt signal. For your needs I would recommend the Crown CE1000. It is a two channel amp that can drive a 2Ohm load on each channel @ 70 Volts. Meaning you could power 4 pairs of 8Ohm Speakers. You would also need 70 Volt compatible Volume controls, and 70 Volt speakers, or a transformer solution for each speaker. Normal speakers will work with a 70volt amp, but I would recommend getting something that was designed to run on a 70volt source.

Also if you think you want to make a serous investment in a multi room system then you would be very, very happy with the following components: 1 Crown CT500, 1 DBX Drive Rack 260, and JBL SE70 In-wall speakers. The crown CT500 is a 5 channel 2Ohm amp. The DBX box can be plugged into your home network, and feed audio over the network, be controlled by any PC, and be controlled by Volume controls that are also connected to the network. The DBX could be plugged into 2 sources and with the Digital Volume controls you can select the source you want for that room. This would be a PRO System. I have installed this exact system recently, and I can contest to its greatness!


Paul

 

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