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aubuti
2007-07-10, 08:50
Apologies upfront for this question that is not really SB specific, but after all the caption for this forum is "the kitchen sink".... And I know that a lot of forum members have expertise in this area.

We're doing some remodeling in the kitchen/dining area. While the walls and ceiling are open I want to put in 2 pairs of in-ceiling speakers, a volume control for each pair, an amp that turns on automatically when it senses an audio signal, and my existing SB3. The two pairs of speakers will be close enough that I don't need to entertain the idea of playing from different sources -- one SB will do just fine. That also means that I'm fine controlling everything with the SB's remote.

I haven't decided on the speakers yet, but to make things easier I'm limiting the search to 8-ohm models. The amp will probably either be a Parasound Zamp or an AudioSource Amp 100. The user reviews indicate that the auto-sensing on the AudioSouce is less reliable than that on the Zamp. Another difference between the two amps is that the Zamp only has outputs for 1 pair of speakers, while the AudioSouce has outputs for 2 pairs.

Now for the questions:
1) If I go with the AudioSource, is the wiring as simple as:
A-spkr-output-->volume control-->A-spkrs
and
B-spkr-output-->volume control-->B-spkrs

2) If I go with the Zamp what's the best way of running the wires to the speakers? I don't need a speaker selector box, because the volume controls will suffice. Should I run the speaker outputs through a parallel connecting block, and then to the volume controls and the speakers, or is there a way to wire them in parallel directly?

3) If I'm only looking at 2 pairs of 8-ohm speakers, do I need to get impedance-matching volume controls? Does the answer depend on which amp I use?

Many thanks in advance. I'm getting psyched about this project, although my contractor is still a little puzzled at this stage!

Russell
2007-07-10, 12:20
Aubuti

I've only got two sets of remote speakers but decided that the impedance
matching controls are better in the long run. You have the easy ability to
add without tearing apart what you have installed, and the difference in
cost is not that much.

Russ


----- Original Message -----
From: "aubuti" <aubuti.2tiiln1184082901 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
To: <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 11:50 AM
Subject: [slim] basic multi-room audio questions


>
> Apologies upfront for this question that is not really SB specific, but
> after all the caption for this forum is "the kitchen sink".... And I
> know that a lot of forum members have expertise in this area.
>
> We're doing some remodeling in the kitchen/dining area. While the walls
> and ceiling are open I want to put in 2 pairs of in-ceiling speakers, a
> volume control for each pair, an amp that turns on automatically when
> it senses an audio signal, and my existing SB3. The two pairs of
> speakers will be close enough that I don't need to entertain the idea
> of playing from different sources -- one SB will do just fine. That
> also means that I'm fine controlling everything with the SB's remote.
>
> I haven't decided on the speakers yet, but to make things easier I'm
> limiting the search to 8-ohm models. The amp will probably either be a
> Parasound Zamp or an AudioSource Amp 100. The user reviews indicate
> that the auto-sensing on the AudioSouce is less reliable than that on
> the Zamp. Another difference between the two amps is that the Zamp only
> has outputs for 1 pair of speakers, while the AudioSouce has outputs for
> 2 pairs.
>
> Now for the questions:
> 1) If I go with the AudioSource, is the wiring as simple as:
> A-spkr-output-->volume control-->A-spkrs
> and
> B-spkr-output-->volume control-->B-spkrs
>
> 2) If I go with the Zamp what's the best way of running the wires to
> the speakers? I don't need a speaker selector box, because the volume
> controls will suffice. Should I run the speaker outputs through a
> parallel connecting block, and then to the volume controls and the
> speakers, or is there a way to wire them in parallel directly?
>
> 3) If I'm only looking at 2 pairs of 8-ohm speakers, do I need to get
> impedance-matching volume controls? Does the answer depend on which amp
> I use?
>
> Many thanks in advance. I'm getting psyched about this project,
> although my contractor is still a little puzzled at this stage!
>
>
> --
> aubuti
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> aubuti's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=2074
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=36701
>
>

aubuti
2007-07-10, 13:46
Thanks Russ. After doing some more research -- which I should have done *before* posting -- it seems that whichever amp I get I should use a speaker distribution block and impedance-matching volume controls.

The diagrams that I had seen of wiring speakers in parallel gave me the idea that I'd be running wires all over the place, not realizing that you could do the same thing a lot more cleanly with the distribution block.

JJZolx
2007-07-10, 14:59
Thanks Russ. After doing some more research -- which I should have done *before* posting -- it seems that whichever amp I get I should use a speaker distribution block and impedance-matching volume controls.

The diagrams that I had seen of wiring speakers in parallel gave me the idea that I'd be running wires all over the place, not realizing that you could do the same thing a lot more cleanly with the distribution block.

I'm not sure that a distribution block is necessary for just two pairs of speakers. The thing a distribution block (or panel) does is simplify the physical wiring hookups by giving you a bunch of screw terminals. It's essentially a splitter - with one pair coming in and multiple pairs going out, so you only need to have a single set of speaker cables coming off of your amp.

The only way it might be used to save in the total amount of the cabling run would be if you located the block close to your two pair of speakers - say in the ceiling between the rooms, with a single speaker run coming from your amp. Most of the time a distribution panel is located in a central location, such as in a structured wiring panel in the basement.

aubuti
2007-07-10, 15:43
I'm not sure that a distribution block is necessary for just two pairs of speakers. The thing a distribution block (or panel) does is simplify the physical wiring hookups by giving you a bunch of screw terminals. It's essentially a splitter - with one pair coming in and multiple pairs going out, so you only need to have a single set of speaker cables coming off of your amp.

The only way it might be used to save in the total amount of the cabling run would be if you located the block close to your two pair of speakers - say in the ceiling between the rooms, with a single speaker run coming from your amp. Most of the time a distribution panel is located in a central location, such as in a structured wiring panel in the basement.
Thanks for the info. I had the impression that the distribution block also effectively takes care of wiring the speakers in parallel, i.e., (+)L from the amp to (+)L for the first pair of speakers and then to (+)L for the second pair of speakers and likewise for the (-)L and for (+)R and (-)R (as shown here, for example http://www.lalena.com/audio/faq/wiring/). If I run them all amp-to-speaker-to-speaker where would I work in the 2 volume controls (one for each pair)?

Also, if I use the Parasound Zamp, it only has one pair of speaker outputs, so wouldn't that also require the splitting of a distribution block? Otherwise I'd have to hook up two wires to each terminal, and that doesn't seem right to me. For 30 years the only speaker wiring I've done is basic A-to-A and B-to-B, and I readily admit that I don't yet completely understand what the distribution block does, so please let me know if I'm wrong about this.

BTW, in this case I was thinking of putting the speaker distribution panel pretty close to the amp, which will be hidden in the pantry between the two rooms.

JJZolx
2007-07-10, 18:30
Thanks for the info. I had the impression that the distribution block also effectively takes care of wiring the speakers in parallel, i.e., (+)L from the amp to (+)L for the first pair of speakers and then to (+)L for the second pair of speakers and likewise for the (-)L and for (+)R and (-)R (as shown here, for example http://www.lalena.com/audio/faq/wiring/). If I run them all amp-to-speaker-to-speaker where would I work in the 2 volume controls (one for each pair)?

Also, if I use the Parasound Zamp, it only has one pair of speaker outputs, so wouldn't that also require the splitting of a distribution block? Otherwise I'd have to hook up two wires to each terminal, and that doesn't seem right to me. For 30 years the only speaker wiring I've done is basic A-to-A and B-to-B, and I readily admit that I don't yet completely understand what the distribution block does, so please let me know if I'm wrong about this.

BTW, in this case I was thinking of putting the speaker distribution panel pretty close to the amp, which will be hidden in the pantry between the two rooms.

I don't believe there are any electronics in the distribution blocks - at least not the ones meant to be used with impedance matching volume controls. Like you say, they effect parrallel connections to the speakers, so if I'm not mistaken, using one is electrically equivalent to attaching two, three, four, or more sets of speaker cables directly to an amp's speaker terminals. Obviously that's physically difficult with so many cables, so there's the need for the distribution block. And as I mentioned, in the typical whole-house audio scheme the block would be located in a wiring panel, so becomes a permanent centralized distribution point to which you run your audio source. For a zone with just two rooms and an amp located nearby, you could probably just as easily connect two pairs of speaker cables to the amp using two sets of spades, spades on one set and bananas on the other, or using bare wires.

aubuti
2007-07-10, 18:48
Okay, got it. Thanks again for the info, and for saving me some $$ on the distribution block.

jeffmeh
2007-07-11, 04:52
If the amplifier terminals make it difficult to connect more than one wire to each, you can always attach one set of speaker wires to the amp and splice in another along the run. Four wire nuts would allow you to effectively make "Y" connectors for two speakers. You may not get it past the audiophile inspector, but it will work, lol.

Russell
2007-07-11, 16:50
Or head to your local Radio Shack and buy a terminal strip

Russ
----- Original Message -----
From: "jeffmeh" <jeffmeh.2tk25n1184154901 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
To: <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 7:52 AM
Subject: Re: [slim] basic multi-room audio questions


>
> If the amplifier terminals make it difficult to connect more than one
> wire to each, you can always attach one set of speaker wires to the amp
> and splice in another along the run. Four wire nuts would allow you to
> effectively make "Y" connectors for two speakers. You may not get it
> past the audiophile inspector, but it will work, lol.
>
>
> --
> jeffmeh
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> jeffmeh's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=3986
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=36701
>
>