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...i was reading the multi-zone posts about using speaker selectors. I was under the impression that for almost all 2 zone recievers you would need an autoformer to balance your 2nd zone speakers, whether you had 2 pairs or 16 pairs, but you could do it. All having volume controls also. I am looking to install, on the main zone, 2 prs, and on the 2nd zone 3 prs, 3 singles. 13 total. does this sound like the way to go? I am connecting the autoformer to the right and left spkr outputs then the 3 prs and 3 singles to that.
 

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Attaching multiple speakers to an amplifier really isn’t the way to go. Sure, you can get the correct load to the amp with an autoformer or other impedance-matching device, using combinations of series/parallel wiring, etc. But there’s no free lunch. The problem is that you end up overworking the amp.

For example, in your case let’s assume a 100-watt-per-channel amp. You’re going to be giving each channel 4 or 5 speakers (your total count is an odd number). The amp’s power is going to be divided out to all those speakers, so each one will be receiving only 20-25 watts of power.

Obviously that’s not a lot. The situation you’re going to end up with is that with any reasonable volume level, you’re going to have the amp running essentially at maximum. Obviously, an amp that’s run wide open most of the time it’s in use is not going to last a long time, so that isn’t a good long-term solution. If you add some speaker-level volume controls to the picture to balance the levels at the various locations, they’re basically just heavy-duty resistors that will soak up even more power.

Your best bet would be to get a real multi-zone system, not some cobbled-together mess like you’re talking about. Check Home Theater Direct, they seem to have the most affordable systems that could be used as a stand-alone system or connect to the Zone 2 outputs of a standard AVR.

Regards,
Wayne
 
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