Multi-room Receiver


My parents just purchased a new home which has 4 rooms with speakers built in... I wanted to get my father a reciever as a house warming gift that would be able to take advantage of the speakers in each of the rooms... what reciever can control all the individual rooms and which would you recommend...

Are these bookshelf speakers or ceiling speakers? Is your fathers house wired for these speakers and do the walls have a volume dial? Are you going to run this off of a stereo receiver or an A/V receiver?

Not to say that they don't exist, but I can't think of any good home use receivers that have 4 separate room zone playing. There are a lot of commercial receiver/amplifiers with that capability, but there are better solutions than that for home use anyway.

Just get a reasonably powerful receiver for the main listening room and attach a speaker selector to it (like a Niles or Parasound). These have pushbuttons for each speaker zone so you can play these zones separately, simultaneously, or in any mix you want.

If your dads house is not pre-wired, you may opt to get an RF (Radio Frequency) home station with separate RF receivers in each room--but having the house wired and having a separate attenuators (volume controls) on each rooms wall is far better. If it isn't already wired, I hope you are handy, as it may well be expensive to hire an electrician to do all this work.

The following is a quality speaker selector and looks good too:


Retail Price: $120.00 Audio Direct: $108.00

Item # SPS-140

Selects up to four pairs of loudspeakers.
Exclusive non-inductive amplifier protection circuitry. Internal 60W non-inductive resistors protect amplifiers up to 250W per channel protection rating. Gold-plated barrier type terminals. Includes gold-plated spades lugs that accept up to AWG 10 speaker wire.

Dimensions: 1-3/4''H x 9-1/2''W x 7''D (2-3/8''H with feet)
Weight: 3 lbs.

My house is wired for sound in 4 rooms (other than my main listening room). Someone gave me a Niles speaker switcher when I bought the house. I originally had the selector hooked up to a good stereo amplifier ( An OCM-Belles amp with a Classe 30 pre-amp), but now it is hooked up to an Aragon 7-channel amp and an Aragon A/V pre-amp. Obviously it only plays in stereo in the rooms that have 2 speakers each in them. These extra speakers run the gamut from ceiling speakers to bookshelf speakers and they play as well as those speakers are capable of playing.

Hey thanks G-man...
they are Ceiling Speakers, the house is wired. no volume dial just a ton of wires coming out a hole in the wall 1 foot off the floor where an entertainment center would be ideal. Thanks for your help... I will definitely look into the Loudspeaker Selector...

Nick---Thank God your dad's house is wired. Saves a lot of aggravation and money. If you are handy you can add dial volume controls in each room or if not (or you don't have the time or inclination) you can hire a handy man or electrician to do that. Otherwise, you will have to go back to the main receiver and control the various room volumes from the home receiver's attenuator.

As I said before I have a Niles speaker switcher, but that Parasound unit looks beautiful. My tiny Niles unit performs fine, but it won't win any beauty contests.

It will be great when you have everything hooked up. It is nice to have quality music "pumped" into separate rooms from a good main receiver, rather than have marginal small radios, inadequate boom boxes, or unnecessary mini systems deliver compromised sound.

G-man, That's a great idea... I might look into adding volume controls, more than likely I'll get the parasound unit.

One question I have though, will the output from a regular receiver be able to handle so many speakers at once? I'm guessing we're going into Ohm's?

Thanks again! I agree about the sound and quality of music especially if you're doing house chores of some sort... :-) Too bad I didn't get a chance to see what the previous owners had hooked up... oh well...
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