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Old 04-20-2009, 08:42 AM   #1
buzzm3
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whole house sound system

please help audio guys

my inlaws just bought a house, the previous owner had 15 or 20 speakers throughout the house (he also had 6 plasmas in the living rm and 4 in the bedroom !), he left the wires and the speakers, inlaws want to be able to hook up an amp and have music playing throughout the house either from cd or ipod, obviously most amps dont have jacks for 20 speakers and i assume its not a good idea to just twist all the wires together, all the wires are run to one central location so that helps

can anyone suggest a good amp and whatever else i need to hook up all of these wires please

not sure exactly what the budget is but a few grand would be ok (less than 5k total) this doesnt need to be nightclub quality
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:22 AM   #2
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small battery (D or C cell) could be used to help you ID where and what those wires go to, go to the central location and take each pair and tap + and - on the wire pairs and have people call out locations for you, mark the wires. 15-20 speakers? Seriously? Damn somebody liked to play music throughout the house eh? We've got a couple home audio specialists in here, I'm sure you'll get the answers you need.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:29 AM   #3
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like john said wireing them together is okay...just try and split them evenly...if the amp has 6 outputs for speakers...divide that by how many speakers you got....20 you said????..so it will be about 3 speaker wires together into 1 output in the amp.....first thing you need to do is look at the specs on the speakers...should be printed on the back.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:35 AM   #4
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Home Theater/Home Audio
Home Theater and Home Audio topics, suggestions, set-ups, tricks, tips, gadgets, technology.



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Old 04-20-2009, 09:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JonJon View Post

But if you wire speakers together (Series/Parallel) doesn't it drop/increase the OHM load on the amp?
Yup.

Does it look like the guy had a rack somewhere where all the wires went to? He must of had some kind of audio distribution system for all of those speakers.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:45 AM   #6
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opps thats what i thought you meant by that....

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Depending on how you wire those speakers, you need to do some research as far as the speaker specs/amp specs... Max Wattage/ Ohms/ etc.
So you don't blow anything out.

You cant just wire things together.
Yeah it does drop/increase the OHM load when you wire speakers together but as long as your taking into consideration the specs on the speakers you should be fine....for example if 1 speaker is 100 watts max and if you add another 100 watt max speaker and wire them together you have to think of it as one 200 watt speaker load into the amp in the same input....then you know what your working with when choosing a amp.




Quote:
Originally Posted by JonJon View Post
Great advice

I don't think I said that, lol

Its been MANY YEARS since my Home/Mobile Audio days....

But if you wire speakers together (Series/Parallel) doesn't it drop/increase the OHM load on the amp?

Last edited by Custom3; 04-20-2009 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:02 AM   #7
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Depending on how you wire those speakers, you need to do some research as far as the speaker specs/amp specs... Max Wattage/ Ohms/ etc.
So you don't blow anything out.

You cant just wire things together.
This isn't really necessary. Most in ceiling, in wall speakers are going to be around the same wattage and very rarely operate on different impedance.

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small battery (D or C cell) could be used to help you ID where and what those wires go to, go to the central location and take each pair and tap + and - on the wire pairs and have people call out locations for you, mark the wires. 15-20 speakers? Seriously? Damn somebody liked to play music throughout the house eh? We've got a couple home audio specialists in here, I'm sure you'll get the answers you need.
A battery would be the cheap way to do it. The correct way would be to get a toner from Home Depot, find which pairs go to which speakers, label them, then get an amp based on how many pairs of speakers you have.

As for equipment, you will need 1-2 amps depending on amount of speakers. I would reco. a Sherbourn amp. It has level sensing for channel power, always on, or switchable, along with a 12v sense.

Check them out here: http://www.sherbourn.com/products/index.php

With that you will also need some sort of audio switcher to switch between different sources. With this you can go fairly large with independent sources to each channel or you can get el cheapo from Best Buy and just feed the entire amp one source. I can give you more details on this if you want but it sounds like you are looking for the latter.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:54 AM   #8
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thanks guys

all the wires are labelled and in one location, we dont need the sound to switch between rooms or anything fancy, we just want the whole house wired as one so that music will come from all speakers at once

when it comes to amps should i just go for the biggest i can for the money ? i assume i should wait until i can find out exactly what wattage the speakers are

what would you suggest for hooking up the ipod to the amp ? is ther just a smple cable or are there docking statyions etc ?

sorry, its been a long time since i have done this type of thing and ipods werent even a glint in apples eye at the time
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:04 AM   #9
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he had something and took it with him. I am guessing it was pretty expensive whatever it was. I have seen some fairly complex stuff. For example I went to hook up computers at a client's house, and he had this unit in the basement that had quite a few inputs for cd, ipod, aux, am/fm of course.. we hooked an ipod up to it and it could be controlled and it could be controlled by little touch screens next to the light switches in several rooms. I was trying to get him to have me hook up a computer down there to it, but it was pointless since it would be much harder to control and this system had built in ipod controls.
I have no idea what it was called.
Try talking to the old owners of the house? They have no know something, especially if they knew enough about it to know how to take it with them, rather than just leaving it with the house.

did a quick google search: http://www.russound.com/cseries_system.htm
this is actually fancier than what they guy had, but the same idea.. (probably just newer) I think you should look into going that route though.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:21 AM   #10
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that thing looks awesome, but too awesome for what we need, we dont need to switch zones or anything like that, these are my inlaws, they just want something simple that they can turn on and play music through the whole house at once during parties

so far it seems like i just need an amp, size TBD and then some way of hooking up an ipod to it, they dont really use cds any more but friends may bring some over so i'll have to get them one of those as well

anyone know of any nice docking stations for ipods that i can use ? the system will be in plain site so should look pretty nice if possible

house was a foreclosure so theres no way of contacting the previous owner
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzm3 View Post
thanks guys

all the wires are labelled and in one location, we dont need the sound to switch between rooms or anything fancy, we just want the whole house wired as one so that music will come from all speakers at once

when it comes to amps should i just go for the biggest i can for the money ? i assume i should wait until i can find out exactly what wattage the speakers are

what would you suggest for hooking up the ipod to the amp ? is ther just a smple cable or are there docking statyions etc ?

sorry, its been a long time since i have done this type of thing and ipods werent even a glint in apples eye at the time
All you need is a mini to analog line level adapter. They sell them pretty much everywhere.



This example will not charge, but there are cables that will if you want that sort of thing. And you will more then likely need more than 1 amp. My suggestion like I said is to go with Sherbourn or maybe Speakercraft.

Or if you want a dock:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1142295759733



Go to bestbuy.com and look at the ipod stuff.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:25 AM   #12
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why do i need more than one amp ?

sorry for the noob questions, i just want to understand, thanks for being patient
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:29 AM   #13
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why do i need more than one amp ?

sorry for the noob questions, i just want to understand, thanks for being patient
It sounds like you have more speakers (channels) than most amplifiers will hold. Like I said before you need to figure out how many PAIRS of speakers you have. Once you have that number you will need an amplifier that has that many channels.

If you have 14 speakers, you probably have 7 pairs, i.e. you would need a seven channel amp.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:31 AM   #14
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like john said wireing them together is okay...just try and split them evenly...if the amp has 6 outputs for speakers...divide that by how many speakers you got....20 you said????..so it will be about 3 speaker wires together into 1 output in the amp.....first thing you need to do is look at the specs on the speakers...should be printed on the back.
WHAT in the HELL are you talking about?

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Old 04-20-2009, 11:36 AM   #15
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It sounds like you have more speakers (channels) than most amplifiers will hold. Like I said before you need to figure out how many PAIRS of speakers you have. Once you have that number you will need an amplifier that has that many channels.

If you have 14 speakers, you probably have 7 pairs, i.e. you would need a seven channel amp.
so its not ok to twist 2 speakers wires together and put them into one channel ?
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:39 AM   #16
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so its not ok to twist 2 speakers wires together and put them into one channel ?
It's typically not a god idea.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:40 AM   #17
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You need a better than average speaker selector box and/or impedance matching volume controls at a MINIMUM.

The easiest and fastest way to do this properly is to find 6 rooms that you want to listen to.

Take those six rooms and run them to a 6 pair controller, then connect the controller to the amp.

You WILL BLOW YOUR AMP if you wire several pairs together.

I have a New Niles SSVC6 for sale for $300 if you need it...

It protects your amp and gives you independent volume control for each of the 6 rooms...



http://www.crutchfield.com/p_190SSVC...6.html?tp=2997
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:43 AM   #18
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so its not ok to twist 2 speakers wires together and put them into one channel ?
NO.

Google: speaker wiring parallel vs series
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:45 AM   #19
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i dont need volume control for each room, i dont need to switsh between rooms or anything like that, they want it simple
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:47 AM   #20
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opps thats what i thought you meant by that....



Yeah it does drop/increase the OHM load when you wire speakers together but as long as your taking into consideration the specs on the speakers you should be fine....for example if 1 speaker is 100 watts max and if you add another 100 watt max speaker and wire them together you have to think of it as one 200 watt speaker load into the amp in the same input....then you know what your working with when choosing a amp.
You have NO idea what you are talking about.

Please DO NOT give advice on subjects that you are not proficient in.

Opinions are opinions, but elecrical wiring is not really subject to opinion.

You can easily have someone destroy their electronics with advice like this.

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