Quesitons about whole home audio

Posted by: NOLAGT

Quesitons about whole home audio - 05/08/13 01:46 PM

I am about to build a new house and I would like to have some ceiling speakers through out and a pair outside. I am at the beginning stages of planning. I want something simple and was looking at the Sonos system. I picked up a Sonos Connect amp that is 55wx2 and hooked them to my Algonquin outdoor speakers. I really like how it has all the internet radio stuff preloaded and is super easy to control via my iphone. It sounds pretty good too but I feel it could have a little more power maybe. It could be that its outdoors and inside would be better.

What I am debating is:

Should I have the sonos amped units all over the house close to the speakers they will drive with 55w (master bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, garage). I will have axiom in wall M3s in the ceilings and the Algonquins outside and garage.

Another thought is all the non amped sonos connects in a central spot with a axiom ADA-1000 8ch running the 4 zones I plan to have with 125w to the same speakers.

Is that too long of runs for speaker wire to warrant the added power. Do I really need that added power? I have not heard what 55w will be like in a room and I also dont know how the inwall sounds vs the Algonquins.

Another side question...can a M3 be setup with a lower ohm rating to get more out of the sonos 55w amp?

Thanks for any input.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Quesitons about whole home audio - 05/08/13 02:25 PM

Hey Nolagt

I'm bored on a call so I'll take a stab at a few of your questions. Greater experts should be along shortly to clarify.

55 watts is plenty to fill most indoor rooms at "comfortable" levels. If you like it loud, then you will want more power otherwise your risk clipping the amp and causing damage to it. Outdoors, you don't get any reinforcement from walls, so it can take more power to satisfy volumes at distance. It may be fine depending where you sit/stand in relation to the speakers but you will need to be more careful. Turn things down and consider investing in more power if the sound begins to sound a bit distorted or tiring.

I would hard wire, where ever you can practically do so. Cheaper than buying remote amps like Sonos in so many places. It's really budget and preference here though.

You ask if speaker wire is suitable for your distance but I can't see where you mentioned the distances. You can probably traverse your house with 12 gauge wire. If your pushing over 100 feet, then maybe 10 gauge, although you will find some wiring guides stating 10 gauge is good up to 200 feet.

You can't modify the Ohm rating on a speaker. At least none that I know of. The rating is the result of it's inherent design. It would not change unless you swapped out internal components.

You can change the omh level involved electrically enroute to the speaker by doing things like hooking up a second pair of speakers on the same run of speaker wire. It will basically double or half the ohms in play depending on if you wire the extra speakers up in series or parallel.

If your not familiar with this concept, I'd suggest that you don't try it until you research it a bit and can decide if this is both safe and desirable for your situation.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Quesitons about whole home audio - 05/08/13 07:16 PM

I think some of this depends on whether you need to have the option of separate zones or not. i.e. will it ALWAYS be okay to have the same content playing on every pair of speakers or do you need to have options?

People seem to like the Sonos stuff a lot. I can't afford it.

Parts Express has some impedance-matching panels where you send one signal to the panel and then run multiple pairs of copper from there to volume controls in various rooms. That wouldn't help with independent zones, but it would help with the cost of amplification.

Personally, I think an 8-channel ADA1000 is WAY overkill. Many of those inwall volume controls are only rated to 50W.

Whatever you do, I strongly urge you to find a solution that you can control from an iPhone, smartphone or tablet.
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: Quesitons about whole home audio - 05/08/13 10:13 PM

I agree. Its very nice to change the source and or volume from any seat within +/-100 ft of your wireless router.
Posted by: mrspeeed

Re: Quesitons about whole home audio - 05/18/13 07:12 AM

I built a home and set it up so that each room would have its own amp or receiver and apple tv. I wish I had just run all the speaker wire to one central location now and used wired or wireless controlling systems.

That all being said 90% of my listening I now do in the main zone and my 2 outdoor zones I can control with my Denon 4520 and the the Denon remote app generally using Pandora as my source.