View Full Version : Multiple Sources is squeezeslave with multichannel sound card best solution?

2011-06-03, 06:03
I have a nuvo 6 channel applifier in my media closet with ceilling speakers in all the main rooms. I currently have been playing around with squeezeslave, controlling it via one of the android squeeze controller applications. The output on my server's soundcard is then connected to a source on the nuvo. I have a program called CQC which is a whole house automation system. It has a driver that can look to see if something is playing on squeezeslave and turn on and off the amp as needed.

My problem is right now I only have one zone support. I would like to at a minimum have different real (or virtual) squeeze players for each zone. This way CQC can turn on the proper channels on my nuvo amp when that zone is playing something.

Is the best solution for me to run multiple squeezeslaves? If so can anyone recommend a audiocard that I can subdivide into different zones?

I thought about getting individual squeezeboxes but my reasons against that were
1)I dont really need a full squeeze radio as I dont need the speakeres, I just need a nice GUI
2)My amp is downstairs in a closet and wired to each rooms ceiling speakers. It appears if I were to use individual squeezeboxes I would have to wire coax/rca cables back through the house to the amp that is downstairs in the media closet? In some rooms I am properly pre-wired for this but should I be concerned about sound loss over 100 foot runs?

2011-06-03, 06:28
Sorry, but I can't help you on a soundcard that can sub-divide into different zones. But I may be able to clear up a couple possible misunderstandings on your last two points.

1) As you don't need speakers, you're correct that an SB Radio wouldn't make sense. But an SB Touch or SB Duet Receiver would work just fine. Or second hand SB2, SB3/Classic, etc.

2) If I were adding SBs to that setup I would add as many SBs as needed and place them in the same closet as the amp. Then you control them via wifi.

Whatever you do, don't run line-level RCA over runs anywhere near 100 feet. Besides sound loss, your potential for picking up hum from electrical mains is huge. If you want SBs in the rooms with the speakers then you would be better off using cat5e and baluns at either end. But I would still argue that the best solution in your case would be to put the SBs with the amp in the media closet.

EDIT: On the soundcard, you might try contacting Andrew at www.vortexbox.org (he frequents these forums under username agillis). In addition to being a NAS/Squeezebox Server, the Vortexbox Appliance he sells has a soundcard that uses does multiple zones (I think up to 4) using squeezeslave. He may have some tips for you, including his #1 tip, which is to buy a Vortexbox Appliance!

2011-06-03, 07:06

The touch looks really nice but doesnt it have the same RCA output that would need to go back to the amp if I wanted to use my ceiling mounted speakers? The touch would be a perfect interface but I was wondering it would still end up RCA'ing it back to the amp... That being said, a few of my rooms are wired with nice mini-coax and I have ran TVs in the rooms with a cable box in the closet. None of the rooms had a hum so I might be okay if I did that.

I thought about putting the SBs in the closet, that is what drove me to look for a multichannel audio card. Once I put the SB in the closet it loses any value as a display and I am using an android device to control. At that point I would think a squeezeslave with a multichannel audio card might be easier/cheaper.

Some of my searches pointed me to www.vortexbox.org but when I looked on the site the only box I saw had one output. I will have to get some more info on that option.

2011-06-03, 07:42
Yes, you could use the Touch's RCA outputs to connect to the amp. Or use the digital outputs if your amp has digital inputs. Either way you can put it in the media closet, and don't need to run more cable. If you're worried about "wasting" the display, then try to find a Squeezebox Duet Receiver, which has no display. I've heard of some users who have a "home-run" setup like yours who use a small stack of SB Receivers sitting on the top of the amp, one Receiver per zone.

The Vortexbox Appliance has what appears to be a single multi-channel soundcard, but I know Andrew has said that it is (or can be) setup to do multiple zones. I never understood how, so it's best to contact him. Here's one old-ish post that mentions the capabilities: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=416019#post416019

2011-06-03, 14:36
I don't know about multichannel soundcards but another option that I have had success with is to use multiple stereo soundcards. You'll need a case and motherboard with enough spare pci(e) slots but half-a-dozen basic 2-channel cards could be picked up very cheaply. Some of the more fancy 5.1 & 7.1 soundcards can be made multichannel using customised drivers (I did find one but couldn't get it to work with my card and I can't remember what it was called). Also, I find the asio flavour of Squeezeslave to be far superior to the regular version.

There are some things that squeezeslave cannot do that the hardware players can (eg sampling rates other than 44.1kHz) so a hardware player is more flexible and has better sound. I think your best hardware option would be a stack of receivers as previously mentioned if you choose this route.


2011-06-07, 06:22
The VortexBox appliance has 3 separate outputs. We use VortexBox-Player not squeezeslave. VortexBox-Player works much better with may players running on the same system. If you want more outputs you can use a cheap USB dac. These cost about $30 each and you can use as many as you need to get the rest of the outputs you want.

2011-06-07, 15:54
This might be of some assistance: