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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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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?

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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:

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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Discussion Starter #8
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?

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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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Discussion Starter #10
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?

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Discussion Starter #12
What happens if I do not use an amplifier but instead only use my Denon receiver? Can my Denon receiver power all of these speakers with the switcher without needing the separate amp?
 

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With a switcher that has impedance matching you can use the Denon Zone 2 output. You will be limited in the level to which you can drive a large number of speakers, however. A more substantial amplifier would be best.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
1. How do you determine if a switcher like the russound SS-4.2 would be able to power all of my speakers loud enough? Do I look at my receiver's RMS, Peak, etc.?

2. The reason I am considering the russound SS-4.2 over the 260x3 is I actually have 4 pairs of speakers to connect to the second zone. Is it a bad idea to piggy back one of the extra pairs of speakers into the 3 ports on the 260x3?


Thanks everyone!!!!
 

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Loud enough is subjective. Divide the rated power by 2 to account for the drop across the load limiting resistors, then divide by the number of speakers to get the max power that your amp will be able to deliver.
 
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