View Full Version : Synchronization w/ Cat 5 Audio Distribution In The Mix?

2008-03-21, 13:57
Im in the process of planning a poor mans whole house audio with Squeezebox[es|en] as the main drivers. I also plan to split some of the audio out to a couple of my accessible rooms using Cat-5 audio distribution, likely something like On-Q/Legrand has here: http://tinyurl.com/2l4syn

From what I understand, this will essentially take my audio source, split it along multiple CAT-5 runs, each to a volume control. The volume control then outputs the sound via standard speaker wire to the speakers.

My question is this: Will synchronization amongst other Squeezeboxes in the house work correctly with output from the Squeezebox Receiver feeding the zones? In other words, should I anticipate any audio delay in the path from the Squeezebox through the CAT-5 controller to the various speakers?

This is pretty important, since I plan to have my dining room be fed either by a Squeezebox 3 or a Squeezebox Receiver fed into a small shelf stereo, and the surrounding rooms (kitchen and living room) will be two zones fed by the original Squeezebox Receiver. If there is much of a delay at all, I would imagine that it would create the annoying echo effect.

Any thoughts on this proposed set up?

Just to be clear, here is what Im planning:

Squeezebox Receiver -> Denon Receiver* -> On-Q Distribution Module -> Cat 5 to Four Zones -> Volume Controls -> Speakers
The zones in question are this: Kitchen, Living Room, Bathroom, Outside Deck

* Note that Im undecided whether or not to put my Denon in the mix here. I would like to include it so I can easily output AM and FM radio to the 4 zones, as well as possibly whats playing on the TV in the basement theater.

The other two pieces would be this:
Squeezebox Receiver (or SB3) wireless -> Shelf stereo -> Dining room (as mentioned, between the kitchen and living room)
Squeezebox Receiver (or SB3) wireless -> Clock Radio -> Bedroom


2008-03-21, 14:10
Whilst there will be a difference since the multizone bit has, possibly, an extra buffer amplifier, different amps and longer cables I really can't see it being significant unless you are very very sensitive.

Where you place yourself in the soundscape will also affect delay and it is more than possible that simply by moving you will experience different delays.

So basically I don't believer that it is anything to worry about.


2008-03-21, 18:24
I use a squeezebox via Russound amp into 6 zones as well as direct to home theater speakers via onkyo amp. I've not had any issues with delays, echos etc.

I do however have it with my TV's from the local cable service.

There is also a slight delay if I have a table radio on a local AM station and I'm feeding the same station via squeezebox into same room (celing speakers)

But back to your original question, I don't think you'll have any problems.

2008-03-21, 19:38
Thanks for the responses! I think this idea might finally be coming together...

I also did notice that you can adjust the delay a little bit between different Squeezebox units, so between that and the delay that I can probably do with my Denon, I might just be alright.

I can see how you might have the issue with the AM between a table-top radio and feeding through the Squeezebox - I would bet that's because the input from the AM radio into the Squeezebox has to go from Analog to Digital before streaming - probably not 100% real-time?