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250 posts

Master Geek

#195429 19-Apr-2016 23:17
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As part of our new extension (2 bedrooms and fmaily room) I am running speaker wire to every room with a inceiling speaker in each room.


My question is whats the best way to turn these on\off and control volume? Options I have seen include:


- plain wall switches (much like a light switch on/off only),


- specialist wall  switches with volume control and


- wireless controlled amps.


The wall switch option probably starts adding a lot more cost (plates, switch) and still requires a multi speaker amp.


What have you folks used?

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2169 posts

Uber Geek


  #1536136 19-Apr-2016 23:33
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With zones on your amp.

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Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #1536184 20-Apr-2016 05:41
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MadEngineer: With zones on your amp.


thats one way but i dont think its the "Best" way


and most amps only have 3 zones max, what do you do if you need more than 3 zones?


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Uber Geek


  #1536187 20-Apr-2016 06:48
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I'm retrofiting ceiling speakers at the moment, using a relatively low tech approach.


Normal light switches (PDL600) switch 12 volt to turn the amp on/off. Volume control wall plates from Amazon (OSD Audio slider) for volume. Cheap, small amps for each room (Topping TP10) back in central cupboard




Edit: But i'm feeding the audio from a Google Cast (Chrome Cast) so that's kinda high tech!

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Uber Geek


  #1536200 20-Apr-2016 07:41
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I have several small amps all hooked up to the 3rd zone RCA out of the HT amp. Very limited in that it will only pass analog inputs or the inbuilt spotify/dlna/whatever player to those outputs, so forget a chromecast, bluray player, PC over HDMI etc being playable.


Power those amps off and on as needed for the various speakers and use the knobs on them to set the max volume, then turn the whole lot up and down with the receivers remote or else the app for it.


I have used "leipai" 12v class T amps, but they seem to get some weird noises coming out of them sometimes that I cannot narrow down, so have ordered some nicer looking "breeze audio" ones for about $20 a piece off aliexpress for it instead. They will do 12-24v so get 50+50w on 24v instead of the 20 or whatever the leipai had. I dont really need that power but for replacing the power adapters (which could have been the problem with the leipais) why not get more power for stuff all outlay?


I never bothered with the inline wall plate volume controls. A friend has them on their system and they have quite noticible steps in the volume as they are chooseing a tap on a transformer, not a continuous potentiometer type control.


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Uber Geek


  #1536464 20-Apr-2016 12:18
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Have a look at the integra dtr 30 range

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Uber Geek

  #1536942 20-Apr-2016 19:34
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I guess it depends what you are trying to acheve, and how fixed you are on in-ceiling speakers. I have a more modular solution (but not in-ceiling speakers).


I'm using three Panasonic SH-ALL1C networkable music streaming units (one in lounge, one in bedroom, one in spare/rec room), connected to sound systems. Mini HiFi type units in the bedroom and spare room, a more substantial system in the living room.


They all pull music off my NAS using DLNA, work over wired or wireless network connections, and are:


  • controllable by an app on the phone
  • give separate volume control in each room
  • let me either stream different content to each room or, if I want, group them and send the same to some or all of them.

Not as neat as in ceiling, but less (or no if your WiFi is OK) wires to run, upgradeable, and don't require wall controllers etc.


There are also Panny units (ALL3 and ALL8) from memory that combine a speaker with the network integration, but I don't have those.


Overall, it works for me.

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Uber Geek

  #1536986 20-Apr-2016 20:40
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MadEngineer: Have a look at the integra dtr 30 range




The Integras are for Custom Installers only, not retail sale... or am I mistaken?




If you want to go for 'HiFi kit', then the below may help you.


Basically, on-wall volume controls are cheap enough and enable 'step by step' volume changes. Not entirely tweakable, but you can most often get the background levels spot on.


Running an impedance matching speaker selector out of your amp and into volume controls 'could' work for you.


Or, a non-impedance matching speaker selector into impedance matching volume controls...




A multi-zone AVR could work for you, but 3 zones would equate to a relatively pricey amp.


The benefits of multi-zone home theatre amps is that they tend to be 'smart' and offer Spotify / Pandora / Airplay / Bluetooth etc, as well as a simple built in app + you can plug in a host of other gadgets like Sky / CD players / USB sticks / play audio files of DLNA etc etc.




Or the likes of C.I. amps like the Sonos Connect amp, the Bose equivalent (the name escapes me right now... even though Bose evangelists hate the concept of in-ceiling speakers) or the new Yamaha MusicCast kit.










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  #1558892 24-May-2016 19:27
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Like you I wanted wall control plates, so ended up going with the Nuvo Essentia ( Ive added a Sonos Connect as an input so I can control music from my phone as well as on/off/volume from the wallplates.


I had 4 zones for my new build but once I bought this ended up using all 6, which may be helpful if you ever retrofit the other rooms.


It's not the cheapest option but looks good and works well for background music. Theyre 4.5k in NZ but you can import for 2.5k, they can handle 240V as standard.



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