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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am at a loss here. Onkyo NR818. The front wide speakers are hooked up to zone 2. If the receiver is set so zone 2 and zone 3 are powered, I can play zone 3 independently in the garage. Zone 2 can be independently controlled to play the same music as the main speaker set up, and the volume can be controlled to match but it is independent -> meaning set main volume, click on zone 2 change volume. Want to change it again? Change main volume, then click zone 2(wide R&L front) and set it independently.

In contrast if I set zones 2 and 3 in setup to powered off, the setup will see (zone 2/Wide right and left) during set up and adjust them as part of the main speakers but then the garage (zone3) is no longer active. If PLXII is chosen then the wide speakers will track up and down with the main speakers. However when I do it this way Zone 3 in the garage cannot be made active.

This is so anti-logical to me. I also own an older Onkyo TX-SR703 in my office that I ocassionally use for records. Its logic is more like one would expect - the main control handles all the main speakers and zone 2 is only zone 2. There is no mixing of uses like the NR818 where zone2 can be zone2 or wide speakers, and zone3 can be high speakers.

What I want is the main system to use zone 2 as the wide speakers and zone 3 in my garage. I don't want to have to set the main volume, then the wide volume, then the garage. Set the main in the house and set the garage. Does anyone know how to make this happen?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
let's try again. I suspect that only someone who has a NR818 or NR717 will understand what I am asking but I will try again. Onkyo NR818

The unit can be programmed to play 5.1, 7.1 and 9.1 modes. The connections for 5.1 are left, center, right, sides etc. The receiver also has built-in amps and connections for two additional speaker pairs. They are (A) [zone 2/wide L & R], and (B) [zone 3/high L & R]. These last speaker pair connections can be used either for 7.1 and 9.1, OR they can be used for music in other rooms of the house. Each zone has a separate pre-amp and controls.

There is a choice one has to make in the system setup to set the powered up status of zone 2 and 3 [Yes or No]. If the choice made is "No" then the NR818 will automatically include any speakers connected to Zone 2 and Zone 3 in any 7.1 and 9.1 formats that call for wide L & R, or high L & R. However once zone 2 is told "No," that automatically turns off zone 3 also. If the user then selects Zone 3 and tries to use it, it will say "Not Active." To make zone 3 active, zone 2 must be made active first which eliminates its use in 7.1 and 9.1 formats.

Something is badly programmed here or I do not understand the setup.

I should be able to just use zone 3 for the garage without eliminating the Zone 2/wide L & R speakers, and forcing them to be used as another zone instead.
 

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I am surprised that zone 3 turns off...I would have thought you could turn off only zone 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am surprised that zone 3 turns off...I would have thought you could turn off only zone 2.
me too. People here in this forum have been exceptionally helpful in the past. It sounds like a firmware bug or programmer/developer brainfart. But I accept it could just my lack of understanding.

Turn on powered zone 2 and 3 in system setup then there is music on zone 3 in the garage but the wide fronts on [zone 2/wide front R & L] no longer participate in zone 1 main area. Turn off powered zone 2 in system setup so we can have 7.1 with wide fronts in zone 1, and zone 3 settings gray out. Zone 3 then reads "not activated if one tries to turn it on. One would think that if Zone 1 and 2 work together for 7.1 that the user could simply hook speakers up to Zone 3 and choose either to use them as high fronts in Zone 1, or run them in the garage as an independent Zone 3. So far I can't make it such.
 

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Okay, I get it now. :T

What does it do if you set it for Zone 2 “Yes” and Zone 3 “No?” If that leaves Zone 2 operating as you intend, then you could just switch the speaker connections for Zone 2 and 3 (assuming the speakers currently connected to Zone 3 are the only ones you want operating separately).

If not - it is what it is, and you’re out of luck. You can chalk it up to “stupid intelligence.” Seems to be a common thing these days, I all-too-often find myself asking in frustration, “Did the people who designed this thing ever actually use it themselves?” :(

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I thought about that solution but zone 3 is high front so the airplane buzzing overhead now changes. Well, I was afraid to call it stupid intelligence but all these manufacturers put so many gizmos in things they fail to notice what the customer wants.
 

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I suspect it was a cost-cutting measure. If you are using L+R Wide speakers (instead of Zone 2), they presume you also will use L+R High. Odd, my Yamaha offers L+R High, but not wide.

Why cost-cutting? I presume that the internal amps will either work for extended surround in Zone "1", or multiple zones -- but not a mix of the two. (sad trombone)

If this amp has pre-outs, then you'll apparently have to power a separate amp for additional zones. On the plus side, you won't be limited to the volume adjustment shenanigans you described.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
tonight we had zone 3 on to Network- Pandora in the garage, and then turned on zone 1 for TV. We could not get sound from zone 1 for TV until zone 3 was switched off. I know that it works Ok zone 1 and zone 3 are both on Pandora. Weird arrangement, or I am missing something here.
 

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tonight we had zone 3 on to Network- Pandora in the garage, and then turned on zone 1 for TV. We could not get sound from zone 1 for TV until zone 3 was switched off. I know that it works Ok zone 1 and zone 3 are both on Pandora. Weird arrangement, or I am missing something here.
Very strange , only works if both are on Pandora?
 

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tonight we had zone 3 on to Network- Pandora in the garage, and then turned on zone 1 for TV. We could not get sound from zone 1 for TV until zone 3 was switched off. I know that it works Ok zone 1 and zone 3 are both on Pandora. Weird arrangement, or I am missing something here.
Sounds like what Yamaha calls "party mode," in which all zones play the same content. Yay, hurray, partay. ,:-\
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am surprised that zone 3 turns off...I would have thought you could turn off only zone 2.
thought I would bring this back to life to document the behavior. The 9.1 doesn't really work well. To use the wide speakers or high speakers one must manually toggle them on, and independently set their volume. The master volume does not affect these speakers. So to use 9.1 you turn on the 7.1 format you want then adjust the volume. Next turn on the wide and/or high speakers with a separate control on the unit, adjust those volumes and you are done. Want to turn it down a little? Turn down the master for the 7.1, go to the receiver and choose zone 2, adjust it then zone 3 and do the same. Not really practical. I would say Onkyo fudged on their marketing when they sold it as 9.1 with wide and high speakers, that or never finished programming it. Most likely we will remove the 9.1 wide speakers and use them in the back as it is too cumbersome to use them, maybe set the zone up with under eave speakers to listen outdoors.
 
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