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Need help with 3 zone receiver & speakers....please.

 

New member
Username: Daisybee

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-11
I have zero knowledge about home audio systems....I appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

I am looking to setup a home audio system as follows:

• Den area (wired speakers) -- zone 1
• Deck & Patio areas 1 pr wired speakers per area & volume control for each area) -- zone 2
• Pool area -- looking for wireless speakers -- zone 2 also only if volume control is possible. I am unable wire speakers.
• Living room/dining room area . Don't know yet if I can wire speakers or need to go wireless -- zone 3.

I'd like to be able to listening to music in all areas at the same time and I would also like the option of listening to music in each zone without music in other areas.

So far, I've already purchased 2 Infinitive Technology AW 5500 outdoor speakers for the patio area and the Niles WVC100E volume control. I plan to buy 2 more of the same speakers & volume control for the adjacent deck area.
I've also purchased the NAD C245BEE 4-channel amplifier.

My question are -- what mid-price receiver do you recommend? What speakers should I get for the den? Are there decent wireless speakers that I can get for the living room/dining room area? If not, then what wired speakers should I get for this area? For the pool area, are there any mid-price wireless speakers that you recommend that have volume control?

Again, thank you!!
 

New member
Username: Daisybee

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-11
I forgot to mention that I'd like to have iPod cabability, access Pandora.com, & possibly subscribe to sirius music. Is that asking for too much?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16049
Registered: May-04
.

Zones and areas are thought of as two distinctly different functions by a system designer. Designating a group of speakers to function together as a "zone" says you want independent and discrete sound/video sources in that area. Which means you want to be able to play, let's say, Pandora through that group of speakers while sending, say, the video of a sporting event and its associated audio to another group of speakers in yet another discrete location. If you wished to perform both functions simultaneously, you would need a "two zone" system. To add a third "zone" to that system you would then want to send yet another source - audio and/or video - to yet another group of speakers playing at the same time the other two functions were being performed. Pandora to zone one, CD to zone two and sports video/audio to zone three?

Is that actually what you want to do? Three discrete sources sent to three discrete zones all at the same time?


Or do you simply want to control the volume of the incoming sources when all "areas" are receiving the same source? In other words, you would have the flexibility to decide which source(s) are playing but all areas - or groups of speakers - will be sent that same source. CD in all areas, Pandora in all areas, DVD audio/video in all areas at the same time. With areas there are no "discrete" outputs to certain groups of speakers, they all receive whatever has been determined to be the desired source material for that moment.

Areas are rather simple to achieve. Zones are far more complex in their set up and operation plus they will cost you several times the amount you would spend on "area distribution".

I know of no "three zone" system in one box performed through conventional audio components. You'll have to start researching networked systems or computer distributed systems rather than looking for a reciever with three zone functions. That I don't know of a receiver with three zones doesn't mean there isn't such an item out there. But I would hestitate to suggest you build a system around such a device even if it does exist. Technology is moving quickly and what you wire for today will probably not be applicable to a system that requires a new central unit in a few years time. And that's about all you have with feature laden receivers, they are built to be disposable. The predominance of manufacturing money has gone into making a system look highly flexible rather than making the system reliable and long lived. Exceptions to that rule would be the very high end of distributed systems which also means the very high end of pricing. Asking for a "midpriced" receiver says to me you are not looking for that sort of investment in this system. Because that's what you'll need to do, make a long term investment in a high quality system incorporating whole house distribution and then cross your fingers the unit you've chosen has had designers who crystal balled the future correctly.


What you are asking for is not really a "midpriced" game with bleacher seats pricing. What's your budget for this system? Who is going to install and set up the system? Is this new construction or a retrofit to existing structures? Who will teach you how to use a somewhat complicated system that will require components pieced together from several manufacturers? Who will determine which single component is likely failing should problems arise? Are you working with a retailer or system installer at this point?


Finally, if you admit to not knowing how all this fits together, why did you begin buying components already? If you have an "amp", you don't need a "receiver". Yet most systems that might perform the tasks you are looking for will be based around a receiver - certainly at the midprice level they will need to be based around a receiver. What were your intentions when you purchased the amplifier if you understood you would eventually need a receiver? How did you decide the Niles volume controls were apropriate for a system that has yet to be designed?


Daisy, your posts are of the type that had you come to me on a salesfloor with the information you presently have along with the components you've already purchased and the wants you've expressed, I would have looked around to see if any of the other salespeople had set you up to pull my leg. Next you'll tell me you need this installed and functional in two weeks for the party you've planned.


You need to begin with an established budget which you realize will soon be overshot. Either your needs require trimming or your budget needs to accommodate your wants.



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New member
Username: Daisybee

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-11
Thanks for your reply Jan.... You're probably right that I may need to increase my budget to accommodate my wants but this is the reason why I research & blog - to be better informed. And no, I am not pulling your leg nor did anyone set you up. Frankly, I actually don't understand what you meant by that.

For anyone who is interested -

Per your explanation of zones, the answer is no -- I simply want the same source with separate volume controls for each designated area. Thank you for the clarification.

To explain further, this is not going into new construction. However, since we recently had our den remodeled, the contractor ran the speaker wires for the den & outdoor deck/patio speakers.

Regarding the amp & outdoor speakers that I've already purchased, I chose them based on reviews and email exchanges from various sources i.e. cnet, Crutchfield , Vanns, etc. Two receivers that were recommended to me are: Denon DRA-397 and Yamaha RXA3000BL . TheYamaha is not within my price range ($1800). Regarding the amp, this is what I was told:

'From your description you may want to consider a few different components to have the sound produced all over the house in multiple areas. One would be a speaker selector to control the different zones. Most of the receivers will only go up to 2 and 3 zones. So the speaker selector would help get sound into those multiple locations. Additionally, an extra power amp could be used to send power to all of the multiple speakers that you will have placed around your home'.

I was looking into the Marantz SR5005 but I was told that it wouldn't be a good choice for me...'The Marantz SR5005 is a surround sound receiver and is not designed to drive stereo speakers in several rooms. It is designed for a home theater room where each speaker receives different information for a movie or television.'

For accessing online music i.e. Pandora, I was advised that the easiest way to add Pandora or other Internet music to your system is with the use of Sonos. So it looks like in addition to an iPod dock I will also need Sonos. For now, I just need some advice about choosing a receiver or any other equipment that I might need. Thank you again.
 

New member
Username: Daisybee

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-11
One more thing....I do NOT need these items installed within 2 weeks but it would be nice to have it done by the Summer so that I can use my outdoor speakers.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16054
Registered: May-04
.

OK, so you're taking advice from someone who appears not to know the difference between zones and areas. That's sort of like taking your car in for repair and the mechanic doesn't recognize the difference between the intake and the exhaust systems or the mechanical and electrical components of the car.

And you bought an amplifier based on this advice despite the fact you have yet to determine exactly which components you might need or want and without a clue as to how they would all operate together as a finshed and complete system.


"You're probably right that I may need to increase my budget to accommodate my wants but this is the reason why I research & blog - to be better informed."


I don't mean to insult you but I don't think you're being well informed. Ever hear the adage of "too many cooks"? How many forums and blogs are you participating in regarding this topic?

Most importantly, are you working with a reputable retailer or installer at this time? If so, can you explain why you're doing this "research"? Do you not trust the person(s) you are working with? I certainly understand being informed and wanting to know more about the subject and I applaud your efforts in that case. But getting random opinions through forums and blogs is IMO very dangerous and will very likely lead to total confusion resulting from massive amounts of disinformation and just plain lack of knowledge on the part of those persons who actually know very little but enjoy seeing their misguided opinions in print.

No one can tell you which components to buy nor how to connect them into a working system when they are trading posts over the internet. I certainly can't do that and I sold high end audio for twenty five years. If that's your end goal with all of this "research", then I don't see that this thread will have much for either of us and you're best hope would be for another member to come along who thinks they can do the impossible.

At best after an in person meeting with you and an on site survey I would say a respectable installer/system designer could come up with at least a half dozen ways to connect this system together to make an operational, working system that satisfies your goals and desires. Each option would likely contain a few components not found in other options as the selection of "X" receiver would necessitate the inclusion of "Y" components or the exclusion of "Z" systems as the design becomes a very fluid process of feedback from both parties. Each option would have various advantages and disadvantages which would then be discussed and some options favored and some eliminated. Each qualification would serve to inform the buyer and the designer of a more specific direction for the final installation and operation. Ideally, a competent designer should introduce options the client is unaware of in the initial stages of consultation. That is very difficult to do over a forum.

By asking advice and doing your online "research" of individual components you have thrown out the actual process which turns a collection of individual components into a working, functional system. Now you've reach the point where you are doing heart surgery by email. If you begin taking advice from a handful of people who you do not know and of whom you have no idea of their own knowledge and biases, the result is unlikely to be to your complete satisfaction. These online advisors cannot tell you where to mount a touch pad or how to connect components together to arrive at the most intuitive performance desired. They can't look at the structure of the house and envision firebreaks inside walls or see gable ends which make it near impossible to install wiring in that location. They won't be there to consult when problems arise. Particularly if you begin committing yourself to owning components based on the advice of someone who doesn't appear to recognize the difference between zones and areas, you risk a very unsatisfactory outcome IMO.

I'm certainly not asking you to trust only me as I will admit to you right now that I do not make individual component recommendations. I will suggest you eventually find and consult with a reputable retailer or installer who can do the on site leg work to begin a well organized design intended to suit your actual needs plus your growing list of wants. I will offer the advice which I feel is suited to this thread and that's all I can honestly provide. You'll need to make decisions on your own and with a clear idea of exactly where you are headed since I see heading in no particular direction or taking the direction of several self-proclaimed internet "authorities" to be counterproductive to success.


With that in mind, Daisy, how would you care to procede?





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New member
Username: Daisybee

Post Number: 5
Registered: Mar-11
Ha Ha Ha....you've made my day once again Jan. How I procede will certainly not be influenced by your 'advice'....which has been zero at this point. I sense a deep resentment on your part towards those who are ignorant and instead of coming to someone's aid in a constructive manner, you procede to insult their intelligence. Perhaps you should not be blogging or be in this part of the industry. I wish you well and I'd prefer if you did not continue posting your comments if you have no real advice to give.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16057
Registered: May-04
.

Sheeeesh! Another one.

 

New member
Username: Daisybee

Post Number: 6
Registered: Mar-11
Another one? I sense a pattern........
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16058
Registered: May-04
.

There is a pattern. A pattern of people who admit to not knowing anything about the subject but then, when presented with a few facts they should know before spending hard cash, feeling they know everything they need to know about the subject. They also think they know who does not know anything about the subject. I've sold audio for twenty five years and I've given the same sort of advice innumerabe times on this forum. Most people who fall into the pattern you're following either move on thinking I'm the problem or they wise up and realize what I've told them is the truth and what some other internet conversations have amounted to is not. If your mother never told you so, Daisy, you decide how you react to people. It's you who gets upset, not me. I'm very confident in what I know and I can already tell what you do not know.

Daisy, according to you I've provided no assistance whatsoever. Yet, I can point to the distinction between zones and areas to say you are also wrong about my advice giving potential. If you choose to follow the lead of someone who doesn't recognize that distinction, you will either end up without the system you had hoped for or you will have spent several times more money that you should have invested. Building a system around components which the buyer owns - but doesn't understand why they own them - is more difficult and almost always more expensive than starting with a clean sheet and actually designing a system around the real world needs and desires of the buyer and taking into consideration the real world facts that some desires are not based in the reality of what can be achieved. When it comes to working with existing structures, what can be achieved is not something that can be determined over a forum. You need someone with experience and intelligence to do an on site survey to get the basic idea of what the house allows and what it does not. Someone needs to sketch out a flow chart of how components operate together and what is being sent to each location before you ever buy a single component - even a volume control. You need to sit down with that person and make an agreement that what you've been told and shown is what you agree you want. You have already violated that rule - at least twice.


Your "research" is not research at all. Now, I've been through this many times before you came along and I can offer you the decision to continue to be the haughty know it all @ss you have so far shown yourself to be or you can accept that there are people willing to assist you to the best of their ability through the constraints of a forum and that there are also people who are incapable of assisting you in any way.

I cannot make single product recommendations for you. I can provide some guidance as to what is reality based and what is not. You will have to work with a system designer and an installer to get this job done safely, properly and efficiently. If you've been doing previous "research" and you still hadn't realized the basic difference between zones and areas, then I'm not of the opinion you can take on this task by yourself.


Daisy, you are not the first nor will you be the last who doesn't care for the way I go about offering my assistance. Fools like you come through this forum on a regular schedule. You can now call me whatever names you prefer and move on because no one else here seems willing to help out someone with your attitude and your problems. Or you can say you want to procede with my help. It makes no difference to me which you choose other than the time I will invest if you decide to stay with me. I've been through this before and I do understand it is the individual who decides how they react to the truth. As I said, I'm very confident in what I know and what you do not.



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