Building a new home - clueless about audio

N

nitekast

Audiophyte
Hi all - would appreciate any help I can get here.

I'm building a house, and currently are wiring the audio system. Our main room is going to have a 7.1 surround system, and we will have additional speakers throughout the house for entertaining. I have:

7.1 in main living room
2 in-ceiling speakers in kitchen
3 in-ceiling speakers in main hallway
3 in-ceiling speakers on outdoor patio

I have the speakers picked out, but I'm unsure about how to hook everything up. I would like to be able to play audio from all of the speakers during entertaining. Is there a way that I can accomplish this while being reasonably cost-conscious? Any suggestions on specific brands and/or items would be much appreciated.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
Whole House Audio = Call your local Audio Installer :)

Clueless but have your speakers picked out. Hmmmmmm
 
D

Dan_Cronstein

Audiophyte
Talk with a Sonos dealer. I am sure there are other brands available, but Sonos would be a good place to start.

I have a russound system in my home, but it was there when I bought the house. Russound needs to be installed by a dedicated dealer and maybe Sonos too. (If you want the best and easiest to use system.)

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
 
N

nitekast

Audiophyte
Thank you both for your replies - I would like a system that I could install myself so I can reduce costs and also work on it myself going forward. I love learning this type of stuff and enjoy the DIY lifestyle - any more information would be appreciated!
 
Gmoney

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
Thank you both for your replies - I would like a system that I could install myself so I can reduce costs and also work on it myself going forward. I love learning this type of stuff and enjoy the DIY lifestyle - any more information would be appreciated!
Get online and Research! It's Your home and only You can decide whats best for it. Unless you've done something like this before, than get a Pro installer to do it.
 
D

Dan_Cronstein

Audiophyte
Sonos can be a "do it yourself" project. I am just not very familiar with it. I know people that have done built in Sonos.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
Read up on multi-zone receivers. You would want 11.2 receiver. I know you want to save $$, who doesn't, but I think for installed/distributed sound it's smart to talk to an installer.

You could look at htd.com for their Alexa enabled multi-zone solutions.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Yep multi zone avr might be best solution with some additional gear like jinjuku sez.
 
N

nitekast

Audiophyte
Is it possible to hook up two receivers so they both play from the same source simultaneously?
 
pcosmic

pcosmic

Senior Audioholic
Hi all - would appreciate any help I can get here.

I'm building a house, and currently are wiring the audio system. Our main room is going to have a 7.1 surround system, and we will have additional speakers throughout the house for entertaining. I have:

7.1 in main living room
2 in-ceiling speakers in kitchen
3 in-ceiling speakers in main hallway
3 in-ceiling speakers on outdoor patio

I have the speakers picked out, but I'm unsure about how to hook everything up. I would like to be able to play audio from all of the speakers during entertaining. Is there a way that I can accomplish this while being reasonably cost-conscious? Any suggestions on specific brands and/or items would be much appreciated.
Forget the installer!! It hould be very straightforward (with resultant diy cash savings) if you can crawl around in your attic with speaker wire and wire up the 3 zones you need, kitchen, hallway etc. You will need a multizone receiver (at least 3 zones like the Yamaha RX A3080 or similar) to operate each zone or all zones simultaneously.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Forget the installer!! It hould be very straightforward (with resultant diy cash savings) if you can crawl around in your attic with speaker wire and wire up the 3 zones you need, kitchen, hallway etc. You will need a multizone receiver (at least 3 zones like the Yamaha RX A3080 or similar) to operate each zone or all zones simultaneously.
There's all kinds of wrong in this advice-

- Not everyone is able to, or wants to crawl around to run wiring
- Not everyone knows that code requirements exist for cabling, or best practices- it's bad enough that some installers suck at it, but if you haven't seen some of the bad wiring that has been done, you should search for it online.
- Some places don't allow non-contractors to work with electrical wiring and don't differentiate between low voltage and high voltage. If a homeowner decides to do this on their own and an inspector decides to piss out their territory, the homeowner usually loses.
- Insurance companies don't want to pay under the best circumstances, when wiring is done badly/wrong and it doesn't meet code, they don't want to pay, at all.
- How many threads show that people don't know how to set up a single zone of sound? How will they be able to navigate two extra zones, let alone the method of controlling everything?

Distributed Audio IS NOT the same as home theater and AVRs are really not that great when it comes to DA. A better way to manage three zones is to use something like HEOS, Yamaha MusicCast, Sonos (if they already have some) or something like them and feed the audio to a multi-cahnnel power amp or an amplifier for each pair of channels. The streaming devices can be used as stand-alone zones, or grouped in the app, very easily.

The OP is building a house- they already have enough on their plate, so it might be better/faster to let someone with experience do it for them.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
Hi all - would appreciate any help I can get here.

I'm building a house, and currently are wiring the audio system. ....
:) Welcome to AH

When you say "I'm building..." do you mean you are personally building it or having it built by others.
Your project is in the wiring stage now, it seems. Will the project stop while you are trying to figure this out? Just curious and more curious that you waited this long to ask questions.
Have you thought of Atmos configuration? Do you have all your ethernet cables in, TV cables if you are planning on cable and wi-fi?
You will get great advice if not too late before you have to remodel for rewiring.;)
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Hi all - would appreciate any help I can get here.

I'm building a house, and currently are wiring the audio system. Our main room is going to have a 7.1 surround system, and we will have additional speakers throughout the house for entertaining. I have:

7.1 in main living room
2 in-ceiling speakers in kitchen
3 in-ceiling speakers in main hallway
3 in-ceiling speakers on outdoor patio

I have the speakers picked out, but I'm unsure about how to hook everything up. I would like to be able to play audio from all of the speakers during entertaining. Is there a way that I can accomplish this while being reasonably cost-conscious? Any suggestions on specific brands and/or items would be much appreciated.
The fact that you want to use speakers in groups of three tells me that you either have little understanding about speaker impedance and amplifier load, or you do understand and know that it can be done, just not as an optimal configuration.

Which is it?

Do you have another thread about this build? Try to merge them, so people don't have to toggle between them.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
In every profession be it Auto Mechanics, Electrical, Plumbing, no matter what it is always remember it's more expensive to call a Professional after you've messed things up then it is to call them from the start
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Hi all - would appreciate any help I can get here.

I'm building a house, and currently are wiring the audio system. Our main room is going to have a 7.1 surround system, and we will have additional speakers throughout the house for entertaining. I have:

7.1 in main living room
2 in-ceiling speakers in kitchen
3 in-ceiling speakers in main hallway
3 in-ceiling speakers on outdoor patio

I have the speakers picked out, but I'm unsure about how to hook everything up. I would like to be able to play audio from all of the speakers during entertaining. Is there a way that I can accomplish this while being reasonably cost-conscious? Any suggestions on specific brands and/or items would be much appreciated.
I would love to have the time to tell you how to design and do this, but it is literally a book. If you know nothing now, then you need professional help. Your house will be finished before you can start.

This is way more complex than you think. It involves layout, running of conduit for wiring. If you just lay it out all over the place and then close the walls it will be a disaster and you will likely have multiple code violations.

You have to make complex decisions about powering, grounding and integration of the house Ethernet backbone and distribution for a start.

I have two builds behind me, one a remodel 2005/6 and a new house in 2019. It involves arduous planning and design. Then you have to be prepared to put in hours of very hard work.

This sort of hard work.







For what you want to do, be prepared to pull thousands of feet of cable.

However the whole process starts with a well thought out plan. Make sure you know where everything will go. Make careful lists of what you will need and where to get it from. Plan your equipment list carefully. In this day and age everything pretty much needs an Internet connection. So an important part of foundation planning is a good Ethernet architecture. This needs a carefully planned hierarchical structure. The design also needs to be integrated with a good house grounding plan. Also you need to minimize radio frequency radiation from lighting circuits, especially SCR LED light dimmers. Good planning will help you avoid getting the disappointment of a loud buzz from every speaker after switch on.
 
D

Dan_Cronstein

Audiophyte
I agree it needs to be well thought out.

However, it sounds like the original question stated he wanted to build in speakers.

It doesn't need to be that complicated. If you run your cabling to the speakers and run them all to one spot, it gives you a starting point.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
 
D

Dan_Cronstein

Audiophyte
My house, which had a russound whole home audio system put in well after the home was built shows that it can be done (properly) without having to run conduit and worrying about code violations.

I am no expert, but it does not REQUIRE an installer. He wanted to do it himself and is willing to learn while he goes.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
All I know is the same message from multiple, experienced, members have strongly encouraged hiring a consultant. I worked in commercial AV for 7 years so I'm my own consultant having done AMX and Crestron in addition to straight up broadcast mastering and production suites.

My advice is get all the rooms working on the bench to satisfaction and then hire someone to install it to code.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
The key is planning, planning, planning.

If all you want is some speakers in a bunch of rooms in the home, then think in stereo pairs. DO NOT USE ODD NUMBERS!

Speakers are sold as pairs, install them as pairs. There are some locations that use things like 'rock speakers' around a pool that may be appropriate for a single speaker in a lot of locations, in which case you will need to run those as mono instead of stereo at each location.

The main thing is to get a speaker wire at every speaker location.
Pick a head end (a central location) where all of your wiring will run back to. This location should afford you expansion as well as access. A small space in your family room is a TERRIBLE location! A unused closet or a storage/unfinished space in your basement is much better.

Be aware that surround sound receivers are not the same thing as whole-house audio solutions. In fact, they tend to be terrible at this functionality. If you want whole house audio, you should look for products and solutions designed around delivering a good experience.

Home Theater Direct has some whole house audio packages which include proper amplification as well as iPhone control for a reasonable price.

So, you also want to consider control. Whether you want everyone to be forced to use their phone to adjust volume up and down or if they want to be able to use a on-wall keypad to adjust things. I'm a big fan of having both available to anyone using the system. So, I have keypads, remotes, and a iPad available for whole house audio control as part of my setup. When my wife broke one of the remotes for our family room, she was able to use the iPad to start watching TV. It worked well, even though she didn't use that as the main control ever (like - ever!). Easy enough.

Yes, I've got a bit more of an extreme setup in my home than almost anyone will have, but I know this stuff backwards and forwards. There are 'cheap' solutions which you can do with just volume controls and a speaker selector and a single amp if you want to as well. Nothing wrong with that as a choice, but be sure that you understand the limitations you get when you do that. Same with using Sonos. Know the advantages and the limitations.

My system (I need a new thread on this)....
 

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