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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

I built my home and at the time of building could not afford an audio system to save my life. So, I just ran 14 gauge CL3 wire in the attic to desired speaker locations for ceiling mount, and also ran to and from wires to 3 designated in-wall volume control locations for each bathroom & the main living area. A couple speakers are just home runs to the speaker. Hindsight is 20-20, and for the extra work to make all speakers their own volume control would have been negligible. At the time I figured "Hey the amp will have each independent zone control so I don't need to spend the extra $ for wire and the future knob.

Anywho, I am now looking into a system. At least something I can start saving up for. I have 6 speaker locations total, 1 will be outdoor on the deck when the deck is...built. :innocent:

I'd like to have a 6 zone system at least with independent volume adjustment for each zone. I confused myself a little with the livingroom/kitchen area because if I remember right, I ran independent wires to each speaker to the desired volume knob...but I think I could have just ran one feed to the knob and then run each feed to the speaker. This would mean maybe a 5 zone would work, but I assume they come in even numbers. I don't know where to start on brand and price range. I want a good system that lasts me many years, and has enough volume that I can really jam out to. I know a lot of that depends on my speakers, but I want the amp/receiver (not sure the proper term in this case) to push a decent amount of RMS Watts per zone and not just a small amount shared across all zones.

Thanks for input. I'll answer anything I can to help.
 

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I had a Russound CAV6 in my last house and loved it, but they have gotten pretty expensive now. Monoprice has their own one now that appears to be less expensive than the Russound unit used with out control panels.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...3_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=00RB0TB21NSR2TREARV1

I haven't tried it, but I have been happy with other Monoprice products...for the price it is worth trying out IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had a Russound CAV6 in my last house and loved it, but they have gotten pretty expensive now. Monoprice has their own one now that appears to be less expensive than the Russound unit used with out control panels.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...3_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=00RB0TB21NSR2TREARV1

I haven't tried it, but I have been happy with other Monoprice products...for the price it is worth trying out IMO.
Does Russound still produce new units? I'll have to look at the pricing. The monoprice looks nice, but it seems with only 6 reviews it has 2.5 stars out of 5. Seems a bit shabby for such a price if it's not very good.
 

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Does Russound still produce new units? I'll have to look at the pricing. The monoprice looks nice, but it seems with only 6 reviews it has 2.5 stars out of 5. Seems a bit shabby for such a price if it's not very good.
Yes they are still available new, but the CAV is a lot more expensive than when I bought mine...
https://www.amazon.com/Russound-CAV...9639&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=russound+cav+6.6

Here is a lower end model...which is closer to what I paid for my CAV new when i bought it.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...7_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=REJF70JHD65KKM3CD9HY
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How about this Dayton audio 12 channel unit. It has independent volume for each channel
http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-ma1240a-multi-zone-12-channel-amplifier--300-815
That's a decent price. Question though, since I don't have Left and Right 'channels'...what is the 12 channel going to play out to be like? See, I ran wire for 1 speaker centrally located in each room. Office, Master Bath, Main Bath, Living Room, Kitchen, and Patio. Do I just run the set of wire to 1 side (L or R) ?

Yes they are still available new, but the CAV is a lot more expensive than when I bought mine...
https://www.amazon.com/Russound-CAV...9639&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=russound+cav+6.6

Here is a lower end model...which is closer to what I paid for my CAV new when i bought it.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...7_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=REJF70JHD65KKM3CD9HY
Wow, that Russound Cav 6 sure is pricey now :p
The CAA66K looks like a nice set for 6 zones. I see it only says 20 RMS per zone. Does that seem low?

Might want to check out Home Theater Direct – they specialize in whole-house audio.

That said, the commercial audio world long ago figured out the best and cheapest way to accomplish multiple ceiling speaker installation – 70 volt systems.

Regards,
Wayne
I will look there, too. I have heard of the 70 volt system, but the volume is normally adjusted on that transformer that goes with the speaker instead of a volume knob. I'm afraid the knob would impede with the transformer.
 

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By your description it looks like you have three zone control locations, one at each volume control. However, you have two zones for each of those control locations. IF that is the case you will need to get a control similar to this
https://www.amazon.com/PyleHome-PVCD15-Speaker-Independent-Control/dp/B007A99ICA
However this one would only work if you are running a mono signal to each location.

Since you have only one speaker in each location this should help you a bit
http://www.htd.com/s.nl/ctype.KB/it.I/id.2623/KB.37/.f

I would probably call HTD and explain to them your wiring and get their input
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
By your description it looks like you have three zone control locations, one at each volume control. However, you have two zones for each of those control locations. IF that is the case you will need to get a control similar to this
https://www.amazon.com/PyleHome-PVCD15-Speaker-Independent-Control/dp/B007A99ICA
However this one would only work if you are running a mono signal to each location.

Since you have only one speaker in each location this should help you a bit
http://www.htd.com/s.nl/ctype.KB/it.I/id.2623/KB.37/.f

I would probably call HTD and explain to them your wiring and get their input
I'll look into it.

I can't fathom what I was thinking back when I ran wire. I had just helped install a 70 volt system for a family member where we ran 2 strand wire. I should have definitely ran 4 strand wire, shouldn't I? One speaker in each location is fine, but it's probably a lot better if it's a 'Stereo' speaker with dual input on the back, requiring 4 wires instead of the 2 I ran! :doh::doh::hissyfit:
 

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Wow, that Russound Cav 6 sure is pricey now :p
The CAA66K looks like a nice set for 6 zones. I see it only says 20 RMS per zone. Does that seem low?
If you are just going to be using it for background listening it is fine IMO...You can always hookup a bigger amp for the rooms you want more power for though. I would look at the less expensive Russound I linked, and check to see if it can also handle external amps as it seems to be a very good price. The expensive part is the keypads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you are just going to be using it for background listening it is fine IMO...You can always hookup a bigger amp for the rooms you want more power for though. I would look at the less expensive Russound I linked, and check to see if it can also handle external amps as it seems to be a very good price. The expensive part is the keypads.
I don't mind background music but I'd like the ability to push 40 or 60 RMS since it's just one speaker per room and I have young friends who care more about dB than quality. :dontknow:

I don't mind a basic turn volume knob over a fancy keypad, so if there are savings there, I'd take them. I was thinking most multi zone amps do 40 RMS or 60 RMS, maybe I was only looking at multi 'channel' and not multi zone.
 

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I have heard of the 70 volt system, but the volume is normally adjusted on that transformer that goes with the speaker instead of a volume knob. I'm afraid the knob would impede with the transformer.
Actually it’s the wattage that’s adjusted at the transformer, which of course affects the volume. However, you can use outboard volume controls with 70-volt.

Regards,
Wayne

 

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That's a decent price. Question though, since I don't have Left and Right 'channels'...what is the 12 channel going to play out to be like? See, I ran wire for 1 speaker centrally located in each room. Office, Master Bath, Main Bath, Living Room, Kitchen, and Patio. Do I just run the set of wire to 1 side (L or R)
Most receivers have a mono setting but I'm not sure if that would play on all channels or just across the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Actually it’s the wattage that’s adjusted at the transformer, which of course affects the volume. However, you can use outboard volume controls with 70-volt.

Regards,
Wayne
Right, that's what I meant by adjusted at the transformer...the system I played with had a standard 8ohm speaker, forgot the rms, and then the transformer with a range of .5W to 10W with about 5 different choices. To adjust the volume of the individual speaker I had to unwire and wire back to a different lead. I want to avoid that, but also have something for a long time, so I want something that won't slowly cause the transformer to fail. I have had to replace 2 on some speakers only after a year but that may be the amp's fault not the transformer. Do you suggest using a volume knob *as* the transformer? (sounds pricey, but easier to replace than pulling a speaker once installed) or do you recommend a certain transformer for my situation that I just leave on the max wattage selection and run a standard volume knob to adjust the level?

Most receivers have a mono setting but I'm not sure if that would play on all channels or just across the front.
Not sure what you mean by front, since this isn't a multi channel room such as Front left, front right, center, rear etc...each room will be it's own zone. All playing the same source audio, but with a single speaker in mono instead of a single speaker in stereo as I didn't run 4 conductor wire like I probably could have easily done at the time! I know some amps can bridge left and right audio, so I'm guessing that's what I need to find.

If sound volume is an issue (decibels) you should look more at the size of the speaker then that of the amp. You may find it counterintuitive but a 100watt amp pushing a 5" speaker may not end up sounding as good as an 8" with a 40 watt amp. Also how securely the speaker is mounted may make a difference.
True, I'm probably going for 5 to 8 inch speakers that can be installed from inside the house without crawling in the attic to install mounting brackets. My attic is a nightmare with all the web trusses.
 

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Because you currently only have wiring for mono going to each location this article my be of interest to you.
http://www.currentaudio.com/tektips/app_notes/AP_S101.pdf

Since you have not pre planned the size of speaker you will be installing I take it you did not pre install any type of bracket for you speakers and the plan is to suspend them from the ceiling drywall. Hopefully you don't have loose fill insulation or your hole cutting will make a mess...:) Anyway, if you are mounting the speaker on the drywall (i.e. some type of tab flips out when you tighten a screw on the front of the speaker) I will suggests that if its not already there get some foam tape for around the edge that sits against the drywall, this will help with the woofer vibrating the drywall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Because you currently only have wiring for mono going to each location this article my be of interest to you.
http://www.currentaudio.com/tektips/app_notes/AP_S101.pdf

Since you have not pre planned the size of speaker you will be installing I take it you did not pre install any type of bracket for you speakers and the plan is to suspend them from the ceiling drywall. Hopefully you don't have loose fill insulation or your hole cutting will make a mess...:) Anyway, if you are mounting the speaker on the drywall (i.e. some type of tab flips out when you tighten a screw on the front of the speaker) I will suggests that if its not already there get some foam tape for around the edge that sits against the drywall, this will help with the woofer vibrating the drywall.
I just ran wire to a center location between my trusses so any speaker size could be added. I taped the wire to my fiberglass insulation batting, and measured before hanging the ceiling 5/8" rock. The idea is to come in now, or when ready, measure to that taped wire location, cut a small diameter hole to find the wire, and then adjust the hole to the size I want for a speaker. I will then more than likely cut out some of the fiberglass insulation to fit a speaker without the speaker compressing into the fiberglass, since the kraft paper is facing down, it would dome my insulation causing a less R value in the whole general area since the insulation would not lay flat anymore.

I have installed speakers before that only required metal tabs to be bent over once the speaker is installed from the bottom, and screws through the rock to mount it. Yes, I plan on the 5/8" rock supporting my speaker. The foam is a good idea, I will probably look into 1/4" thick maybe 3/8" thick? If I got the wild hair......to blow an attic door in where I framed out for one, as I have sealed the attic for the time being since I do not need any access to it....then I may decide to then run 4 conductor wire...maybe ... hopefully I could just tape to the old wire, and gently pull it out from all the locations...wasting that $200 worth of 2 conductor wire...lol. At the same time I'd probably run some romex for desired can lights that did not fit the budget ;) Besides the horrible positions it would take to monkey through the atttic, I know I would never get the same R-Value I currently have since I diligently poofed each piece of insulation to maximum efficiency thinking it would never have to be walked on!
 

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I don't mind background music but I'd like the ability to push 40 or 60 RMS since it's just one speaker per room and I have young friends who care more about dB than quality. :dontknow:

I don't mind a basic turn volume knob over a fancy keypad, so if there are savings there, I'd take them. I was thinking most multi zone amps do 40 RMS or 60 RMS, maybe I was only looking at multi 'channel' and not multi zone.
The keypads also allow you to switch sources, and the difference between 20 and 40 is only 3db...barely noticeable. :T
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hindsight is always 20/20
You're telling me. I planned for several months, albeit alone not with outside sources giving input. My biggest crutch was not willing to go over budget on my build, and not realizing I would *really* want those extra things later on...costing more headache and money later.
The keypads also allow you to switch sources, and the difference between 20 and 40 is only 3db...barely noticeable. :T
Ah, I didn't look into that very far. And true, I guess I was thinking more along the lines of 20 rms vs 60 rms, but I'm sure it's not too noticeable either. More so than 20 to 40, though. :T
 
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