Looking for advice with a multi zone installation.

T

Tritonmarine

Audiophyte
Hello everyone! Thanks for having this forum. My name is Chad I am new here. Ive spent some time looking around and searching the forum and the internet, as well as reading the manuals for 3 pieces of equipment I am currently working with for an install for a friend.

I understand the basics of these equipments, but have not fully grasped an understanding on the ideal way to use these.

In the main living room there is a home theater type setup. All of the equipment lives in this entertainment center. All of the speakers in the other rooms/zones are all wired to here. The equipment is as follows

1 Onkyo Tx-rz610
1 russound cav6.6
1 episode ea-amp-12d-70a

Rooms/zones
Living room (5 speakers directly connected to Onkyo)
Kitchen (2 speakers) (uno1 controller)
Outside Back Deck (4 speakers)(no uno)
Outside Upper Deck (4 speakers)(no uno)
Dining room (2 speakers)(uno1 controller)(this room is basically right along side the living room, idk why an uno controller was put here, but tbese 2 speakers are not even cared for and any source playing in the living room satisfies the needs.

Inputs
xfinity cable
Blueray dvd player
Bluetooth
5 disc cd changer
Fm radio
The previous installation was really spaghetti , wasnt functioning, and we could not make heads or tails of much of anything. . Gauntlet thrown. Gauntlet picked up, we have basically disconnected everything other than the Onkyo. But I do remember this important detail. The Cav6.6 had no speakers coming out of it. As if it was acting as some sort of a matrix switcher. I saw in the manual for the Episode amp a suggested typical wiring setup with the cav6.6 used as a switcher. But it shows the inputs going directly into the cav6.6, then each zone going to the amp, and doesn't give any consideration to the onkyo.

When I first looked for this forum, I was looking to see of there was an awesome wiring wizard software with a nice gui that you could enter the components and speakers etc that you had and it created wiring diagrams for you based on your specifications. But I dodnt find anytbibg super intuitive. I used forums a lot growing up and thought this would be a good place to start . Thanks so much
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Hello everyone! Thanks for having this forum. My name is Chad I am new here. Ive spent some time looking around and searching the forum and the internet, as well as reading the manuals for 3 pieces of equipment I am currently working with for an install for a friend.

I understand the basics of these equipments, but have not fully grasped an understanding on the ideal way to use these.

In the main living room there is a home theater type setup. All of the equipment lives in this entertainment center. All of the speakers in the other rooms/zones are all wired to here. The equipment is as follows

1 Onkyo Tx-rz610
1 russound cav6.6
1 episode ea-amp-12d-70a

Rooms/zones
Living room (5 speakers directly connected to Onkyo)
Kitchen (2 speakers) (uno1 controller)
Outside Back Deck (4 speakers)(no uno)
Outside Upper Deck (4 speakers)(no uno)
Dining room (2 speakers)(uno1 controller)(this room is basically right along side the living room, idk why an uno controller was put here, but tbese 2 speakers are not even cared for and any source playing in the living room satisfies the needs.

Inputs
xfinity cable
Blueray dvd player
Bluetooth
5 disc cd changer
Fm radio
The previous installation was really spaghetti , wasnt functioning, and we could not make heads or tails of much of anything. . Gauntlet thrown. Gauntlet picked up, we have basically disconnected everything other than the Onkyo. But I do remember this important detail. The Cav6.6 had no speakers coming out of it. As if it was acting as some sort of a matrix switcher. I saw in the manual for the Episode amp a suggested typical wiring setup with the cav6.6 used as a switcher. But it shows the inputs going directly into the cav6.6, then each zone going to the amp, and doesn't give any consideration to the onkyo.

When I first looked for this forum, I was looking to see of there was an awesome wiring wizard software with a nice gui that you could enter the components and speakers etc that you had and it created wiring diagrams for you based on your specifications. But I dodnt find anytbibg super intuitive. I used forums a lot growing up and thought this would be a good place to start . Thanks so much
The Onkyo wouldn't be used for the whole house audio, which is generally called 'distributed audio' unless it's used as one of the sources.

How many different sources do you want to be able to listen to in the zones outside of the main room? If the Russound works to provide that number, use it but if you will only listen to a few or if you want to stream whatever the Onkyo can, the Russound could go away. You need to list the music sources you want to use- if you want to stream to each zone from smart phones, tablets etc or if you already have Sonos or something similar, that can change the setup. If you would play the same music everywhere, you don't really need the Russound, but the keypads make controlling each room easier than just having a volume control. Since the Russound system uses ABUS, it would be possible to remove all of it and install simple volume controls if that would work for you.

The Episode amp has a few main inputs and a pair for each set of channels- you can use them for specific inputs, or by setting the switch appropriately, one stereo pair will fee all amplifier channels.
 
T

Tritonmarine

Audiophyte
Thank you so very much for your reply!

There will unlikely ever be a need to have any more than two sources at any givin time. However, it is important that not all zones play simultaneously. The most common situation will be, someone watching TV in the main room, and someone else listening to music in ONE of the other zones. The outside decks, both aft and upper, cant always have a source playing when the other zones do, as not disturb the neighbors . It IS possible to have a situation where they would like to play one audio source in a zone other than the main room and another source in one of the other non main room zones. Such as cd player in the kitchen and Bluetooth on the aft decks.

The aft decks CAN be combined just on a side note. They dont need to be two separate zones.

So...

Main room :all sources
Kitchen : tv, cd player, Bluetooth,
Aft deck tv, cd player, Bluetooth
Upperdeck: tv, cd player, bluetooth
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
I'm not familiar with the software setup or control of the CAV6.6. That may be worth digging into as that would be the central control point for the whole house audio (WHA). All of your sources need to connect to the CAV and then it will handle sending them to the proper rooms and adjusting volume as you choose. That's typically what a keypad in the room will do, or with a more advanced system, it is what a phone interface can allow for.

Yes, you need to make analog (red/white RCA jacks) connections to the CAV. This is life these days, and so the cable tv tuner, needs to push out both HDMI audio as well as analog audio on RCA jacks. You run into issues when you start mixing HDMI only devices with distributed audio when you have both surround sound areas (living room) and stereo areas (everywhere else) because HDMI doesn't support both stereo and surround sound at the same time. This means you have to force all of your HDMI only devices to stereo only if you want to hear them in rooms outside the living room.

If you contact your cable TV provider, they may offer cable tuners with legacy connections on them. That may be worth having if you want TV audio everywhere.
I expect most decent CD players to have analog audio connections on it, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Same with many Bluetooth receivers. Maybe consider something better than Bluetooth like Sonos or similar for audio playback with a modern phone interface.

The job of the CAV is to allow any room to select a source and then adjust volume up and down for that source, or to turn that room's power off so no audio is playing in that space.

The job of the amplifier is to just amplify audio to the pair of speakers (or 4 speakers) in that room. A good amplifier will be at least 4-ohm stable so it can handle a couple of pairs of 8-ohm speakers in it. This is common usage.

What concerns me most is that I'm not sure how you control the CAV from the extra rooms you have listed that don't appear to have a wall-controller in them.

I'm just not familiar enough with the Russound ecosystem and their constant discontinuance of products to have a clue how you would control all those separate rooms. I lean towards using the Crestron BIPAD8 with a CP2e processor instead. In my world this can give someone up to 8 sources to up to 8 rooms with an interface which works on the iPhone. Basic, but works well.

I found some decent photos of the CAV here: https://www.amazon.com/Russound-CAV6-6-Controller-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B0006V7308
 
T

Tritonmarine

Audiophyte
Great information !! Thank you.

Okay.
Here is the most about how it was configured upon my arrival
The AVR in the living room was connected to the 5 speakers in the living room. Underneath it was tbe WHA Cav6, which had no speakers coming out of it and all 6 of the red lights on tbe front were red, no zones seem to be working and we couldn't get then to. The controllers wouldn't even power on, later to find out they weren't even plugged into the back. On the other side of the entertainment t center was the episode amp, which had speakers
1.dining room 2x speakers
2. Kitchen 2x speakers
3. Aft deck 4x speakers
4. Upper deck 4x speakers

I guess the cav6 was just acting as some sort of switcher? And I assumed the cav6 had an amp built in?

For simplicity, the cav6 would suffice using the 2 controllers that ARE installed. There is one in the kitchen, and one in the dining room, which is basically right along side the living room where all this equipment lives. We've decided the aft deck and upper deck can be combined, both being outside. So the single uno controller already installed in the dining room, although not quite as convenient, would suffice for controlling it. He may decide later to add another controller on the upper deck, as im sure it will get quite annoying being uo there and having no control, other than the phone he will use as a Bluetooth device almost exclusively. Pandora is his source of choice.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
I guess the cav6 was just acting as some sort of switcher? And I assumed the cav6 had an amp built in?
The CAV6 is a multi-zone switcher and pre-amplifier.

So, any connected zone (room) can pick from being off, or one of the available sources to the system.
So, yes, a 'switcher'.

But, after you've selected a source for the room, it also controls volume for that room. It does not adjust the volume of the source, but of the room itself.

Imagine if you have Bluetooth playing in 4 rooms. You think it is a bit loud outside, so you turn down the Bluetooth connection. Well, not only will outside get quieter, but every other room playing Bluetooth will also get quieter.

This is why the keypads are important. They adjust the volume in each room specifically.

As I said, I'm not sure if the CAV6 has any iPhone interface available or any additional control it offers. I know I just did a project with an older Russound piece and I could pretty easily control the source select and volume for each zone through the RS232 interface on it. But, that gets into advanced control system work.

At the very least, I would download the CAV6 software and try to connect to the unit to set it up. You likely will need a RS232 cable and connection from your computer to the unit.
 

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