Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 15 Old 12-26-11, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house

I am moving into a new house that is already wired with speakers in the ceiling all throughout the house and there are a few speakers in the backyard. It was explained to me that the house has 2 zones. 1 for the main den area and the rest are on zone 2. I have a Denon AVR-3808CI that I want to connect to these speakers and there is a spot there with the wires ready to be plugged in.

1. I was told I need to buy some sort of switching Sonos device to be able to switch between zone 1 and 2. Someone recommended a Sonos though I am not sure which to get. Can anyone recommend a unit to do this?


Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-26-11, 01:55 PM
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Re: Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house

How many speakers connected to each zone ?
Is it a Stereo speaker system ?
Do the ceiling speakers have Distribution transformers in them ?

In General . . .
you should not connect more than two 8 ohm speakers to the output of an amplifier, making a 4 ohm load.
3 speakers equals a 2.7 ohm load, and 4 speakers would make a 2 ohm load. As you can see it's getting close to a Short Circuit.

W o o f e r h o u n d
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-26-11, 04:38 PM
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Re: Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house

Hello,
Welcome to HTS. Excellent advice from WooferHound. It sounds like your new Home had a very integrated HT.
If you could possibly provide some pictures, it really should help us get a clearer understanding of your situation.

I would speak to your Realtor and have him or her speak to the previous owners to find out what Custom Installation Company did the initial Installation and Design. As they have already done all of the work, you might be able to put it back together for a relatively reasonable price while saving thousands of Dollars compared to what the previous occupant paid in the first place.
Cheers,
JJ

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post #4 of 15 Old 12-26-11, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house

Thanks guys for your responses!

Den = 5 speakers built into ceiling (zone 1)
plus a location for subwoofer (zone 1)
Kitchen = 2 speakers (zone 2)
patio = 2 (zone 2)
dining room = 2 (zone 2)
living room = 2 (zone 2)

I have no idea if the ceiling speakers have Distribution transformers in them. How can I tell? What will that tell me?

Thanks!!!!
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-26-11, 10:17 PM
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Re: Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house

I am confused with the 5 speakers in one room and the subwoofer outputs. In the place where you feed this system the speaker signal, is it labeled or are you going to need to guess what the wires are for? How many pairs of wires feed the system? Sounds like it's Mono to me.

If the system was installed properly to use all those speakers, then it will have distribution transformers in them. Just unscrew the 4 screws that hold a speaker to the ceiling and let it down enough to look at the back of the driver. Does the Signal wire go directly to the speaker terminals, or do they go through a small transformer first.

If it goes through a transformer, then you will need a special amplifier (or impedance transformers on the amps output) made for audio distribution. The amp should have a 70v output that will feed your system.

Here is some more information about it . . .
What you want to learn about is a 70v Distributed Sound System which is also called a Constant Voltage System. This involves getting a bunch of Impedance Matching Transformers. A small transformer goes onto each individual speaker in the system. This will present the amp with a proper load on it's outputs and lets you use inexpensive volume controls in the rooms that you want to control.
http://www.ticcorp.com/25v_70v_100v_systems.htm
http://www.wescomponents.com/datasheets/100v_guide.htm

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Last edited by WooferHound; 12-26-11 at 10:24 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-27-11, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house

Apparently, this is the device that the previous owner used, though it is no longer made. Sonamp 260 x 3 I can not post a direct link since I am a new member here, though the specs show up if you google it.

I can buy them off of ebay and some other places. Is there anything dated about the technology in it? Should I consider a newer device? any recommendations?

Thanks!!!!
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-27-11, 08:25 AM
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Re: Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house


Quote:
WooferHound wrote: View Post
Quote:
bellbound wrote: View Post
Den = 5 speakers built into ceiling (zone 1)
plus a location for subwoofer (zone 1)
I am confused with the 5 speakers in one room and the subwoofer outputs.
The explanation for that can be found in the opening post:

Quote:
bellbound wrote: View Post
It was explained to me that the house has 2 zones. 1 for the main den area and the rest are on zone 2.
So obviously Zone 1 is a standard 5.1 home theater set up.

Regards,
Wayne



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post #8 of 15 Old 12-27-11, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house

yes, Zone 1 is a standard 5.1 home theater set up.

I can buy this older switcher, or get a newer one. I'm not sure if technology for these types of switchers
has changed much over the past few years? Are there any newer features or things I should be considering? I know this makes a big difference with the actual receiver, though does it with a switcher?

Thanks!
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-27-11, 04:44 PM
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Re: Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house


Actually, the 260 x 3 looks like a pretty elegant solution, able to handle three pairs of speakers without the outboard switching devices commonly used in this situation. I imagine three pairs of the Zone 2 speakers were connected to it; it would require a separate stereo amp of your choice to power the fourth pair – perhaps the regular 260 amp.

S onance is still heavily involved in multi-room installations. You might want to contact them to see if they have suggestions, but any current-model product they offer will cost more than what you can get the 260 x 3 for on eBay.

Regards,
Wayne



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post #10 of 15 Old 12-29-11, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on zone switcher so I can have speakers in different zones of my house

I'm thinking of getting this:
russound SS-4.2

It does not have a built in amp, though from what I am reading, it should be able to handle the extra speakers in zone 2. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks!
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