Where to start...


New member
Username: Tommy_cian

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-11
I am pretty new to home audio.

I'm looking to put a receiver in my home, for music only. I purchased 4 outdoor speakers (150W each) that I have wired to a centralized location in my basement. I have them two each, on the two sections of my back deck, with volume controls on each set.

My basement is large, in a kinda L shape, one side of the L has a bar that I just finished building, the other side has kinda a lounge, and there is a pool table in the middle. I'd like to set up 2-3 more sets of speakers in the wall/ceilling of this room as well as a sub. I still haven't purchased those yet.

Now, I'm looking for advice about what kind of receiver to buy to power this. there is no TV that is going to be plugged into this, in fact I don't think there will be much more than my ipod that is played on this, well, I like satellite radio a lot, I have it in my car, and wouldn't mind if I could add that functionality to it as well. I need a receiver that can power my speakers, and may need a speaker selector if it is not built into the system, as to shut off the outside music (either or both zones).

I'd love reccomendations, or at least what to look for (2.1, 5.1, gigawatts, I have no clue...). Thanks in advance for your help.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 15893
Registered: May-04

You should begin with the fact iPods and satellite radio are not the best quality in source players. They will be the clog in the performance of any decent quality system you put together even if you're nothing more than a casual listener. If this is what you actually want to use as your source player, then your system will always sound like a lower quality system no matter how much you spend. At this time it would be to your advantage to start looking at something like the Sonos music servers which can provide superior quality music at a modest cost. There are numerous music servers to choose from which would provide good to excellent sound quality. Your budget and your intentions for how you will use the system would determine which would best suit your needs.

So, the first question would be, do you intend to actually sit down and listen just to music? That means listen to music for the sake of hearing music and not doing anything else. Not reading or working on the computer. Not having music constantly be a background commodity that only fills the silences with something played on an ever rotating schedule. Will you ever actually sit and only listen to music? If not, that changes quite a bit about what system you might consider. No matter which way you answer the main question, I would first suggest you consider a separate multi-channel amplifier for the in-ceiling and outdoor speakers. The option to this is to load all those speakers and volume controls onto an expensive switch box and that will somewhat complicate the installation and provide less convenience should you want all speakers playing at different levels for entertaining.

Do you have a budget set for this purchase? Will it all be spent at once or over time? Who will do the installation of the system? You or someone else? Are you interested in remote control of the system from all locations? How about home automation being included in the system set up? This takes you down another road entirely. Have you listened to any components? Where will you buy this equipment? Do you have a choice of retailers other than the big box stores in your area? Anyone local to give you advice? Have you heard a system in anyone's home that impressed you? Did you ask what equipment was being used?

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