Please Help!!!!


New member
Username: Palavi

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-09
I have six outdoor speakers that I want to hook up to some system that can play all six speakers (3 pairs) at one time or be able to play three in one area and three in another or what ever....

I was thinking to hook up speakers to a AV reciever, but i was told that it will not be loud enough for the roof top being its 1700 sqft. and that I should buy a 2x40 integrated amplifier (I'm guessing that means two chanels@40 W) and a 5 pair speaker selector. But again I was told that would not be loud enough.

So then I was told to buy a 2x75W power amplifier and a six pair speaker selector. I really need music that I can hear at a normal level not Blasting Loud!!!
Please advise which type of system to buy, I do think Denon has good reviews, and keeping cost to the lower end. Thanks in advance. Hoping to get some clarity.

Here is the info for my speakers:
Three-way design handles up to 50 watts RMS of power.
Power handling: 50 watts RMS, 100 watts peak
4" polylite woofer with PVA-treated surround
40 mm polypropylene midrange and 20 mm piezo dome tweeter
4 to 6 ohms impedance
Frequency response: 100 Hz to 20 kHz
Dimensions: 5-1/4" W x 8-1/4" H x 5-1/4" D

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 13673
Registered: May-04

I don't understand about the "roof top" part. Are you wanting to play music on a flat top roof? Or are the speakers just mounted on the eaves under the roof?

Buying more wattage is not much of an answer unless you buy a tremendous amount more wattage, going from 40 to 75 watts will gain virtually nothing in this situation.

If we are talking about the average backyard and you want "normal volumes", you will certainly need a speaker selector switch once you install more than two pair of speakers. Buy one that utilizes autoformers to make the speaker connections and the amplifier will be much happier with the load you are going to show it with multiple speaker pairs. An autoformer based switch can handle as few as three pair and as many as sixteen pairs of speakers.

So that should be your first purchase and from there your conditions will dictate what other equipment you should buy.

In the average backyard, you want to install multiple speakers to cover as much area as possible. Sound has no reinforcing walls in this situation therefore speakers tend not to play as loudly or with as much bass reinforcement as you would expect inside. Once you move your listening position away from the speakers the sound levels drop rather quickly without those reinforcing walls. So installing speakers situated around your living areas outside will get you the most volume where it will be the most effective.

Aim the speakers in toward your yard/pool/patio area to get the most benefit from your speakers and the least annoyance to your neighbors. Remember sound bounces of walls and hard surfaces so use this to your advantage to both provide you more sound and your neighbors more peace and quiet.

If the speakers are to be permanently mounted outside, you should install a minimum of two speakers for any area that has some reinforcing surface close the speakers, this would typically be a patio against the house where you sit relatively close to the speakers. In areas such as a pool, you would be advised to install four speakers around the perimeter of the area. If the pool is close to the patio, you can use your best judgement as to how many speakers and where to install them in your situation. One thing to always keep in mind is to minimize the intrusion on your neighbors' space. Sound doesn't travel well outside unless it is sound you are not wanting to hear as you sit inside your own house and the neighbor's are blasting away with their stereo.

Be considerate of others.

A well trained audio salesperson should be able to look at a diagram of your yard and give reasonable suggestions for how this concept should be applied. Doing so on a forum is all but impossible.

Allow at least one extra speaker hook up on your selector switch in case you decide you need to add another set of speakers to fill out your system. Using an autofomer based switch allows speakers to be coupled together and allows for the extra set of speakers if needed. If you are shopping where they do not sell autoformer based switches, stop and find another shop - you're wasting your time at a store with such limited facilites and usually untrained sales staff.

Once you make this investment in a system, you'd like to have the same person to talk to in a month's time should problems occur. This is more likely to be the case at an audio specialist than at a big box that also sells appliances, computers and car stereos.

You'll want to control the volume of the various speakers as conditions ebb and flow over the course of a single night or over the years so I suggest you investigate an autofomer based switch that incorporates volume controls in the selector box. There are several options available to you in such a system and once again any well trained sales staff should be able to provide as many options as you might need.

If the speakers are not going to be permanently mounted but rather carried out for each listening session (like a flat top roof where you wouldn't leave the speakers exposed to the elements), then you would want a speaker that boasted high electrical sensitivity and probably a speaker that used horn loaded drivers. Klipsch would be a good choice for such a system. Horn loading provides more volume with less watts and directs the sound pressure waves in more specific areas giving more sound where you want it and less where it is not useful. This is the basic reasoning behind using horn loaded speakers in any outdoor concert or the fire house alarm. The speaker selector would work with either permanent or non-permanent installations or a mix of the two.

Your choice of amplifier is then dictated by your budget and other features desired. If you are shopping for a receiver without home theater applications, I would suggest you begin with about 40-50 watts per channel. Any good audio store should provide the option of trying a receiver/amplifier for a week and swapping for a more powerful unit if you feel the volume is lacking. However, as I stated at the beginning of this post, buying just a few more watts won't give more volume. You would need to buy at least three or four times as much power which places you in the 150-200 watt range and takes you out of both receivers and big box store amplifiers.

If you have the basic system well thought out and competently installed and you feel you need more volume, your better option would be buying a few more speakers to give more complete coverage in specific areas. If you have the autoformer type switch/volume control, this should be a relatively easy solution to manage. A simple switch with only "load protection" switches will not serve you well when adding more speakers so don't even waste your money on the cheap way out.

The first thing to do is call around to find out which shops in your area sell such a switch and talk to the sales staff with a basic diagram of your layout in hand. From there, I would hope most of your problems would be solved.


New member
Username: Palavi

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-09
Thanks Jan for your advise. I live in Hong Kong and it's very hard to find a store that sells equipment that I would need, rather than just making a sale.

I have the third floor of my building as my "back yard", hence the six speakers. Can I use a 7.1 AV receiver about 90 W per chanel with a speaker selector? If so do you have any suggestions? Once again I appreciate all your help.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 13675
Registered: May-04

"Can I use a 7.1 AV receiver about 90 W per chanel with a speaker selector?"

Probably, it depends on the receiver. You would have to switch the receiver to "stereo" or "five channel stereo". In stereo you would still need the switch box.

I have no suggestions for what to buy but I would suggest it is worth your time to find a dealer who is willing to work with you. I can almost guarantee just buying something from someone just wanting to make a sale will be the worst thing you can do. Put some effort into this if you want good results. Good dealers are not impossible to find in any large city.

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