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Whole-house audio continued


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Don's Forum Posts: 15

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By Don in ID on 12/19/2004


After doing some research, I think I found why the comments to prices about A-bus whole-house audio persist. I have found a way to do an expandable 4-source 4-zone with unlimited room expansion (provided it's wired) for about $600 including some really nice wall plates. Although you could do it for less. I'm going to be adding to it over time as I want.


Worthingtondistribution.com as suggested by one of the O-B's here has cut my costs in half. I plan to wire my master bath, bed, kitchen, garage, office, game room, AND outside my front door. I visited a model home that had that and I think it adds a nice touch to the mood when you have a party or something and the guests are greeted by music before they even enter. Cat-5 makes it very easy and the A-bus system with built-in amp's in the keypads eliminates the need for big amps. You only need speaker wire for the run from the wall pad to the actual speakers in that room.

I'm happy to share my schematic plan with whoever would like to get some whole-house audio ideas.

Have a great weekend.

Don


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By Jeremy in NC on 12/19/2004


Have been searching to find out how to do whole-house audio cheaply; would love to hear how you want to do this.

I will probably have 8-10 different zones; and I trying to figure out what type of budget I need to come up with.

Thx.


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By Don in ID on 12/19/2004


This is a rough guess but with keypads, wire, and junctions per ADDITIONAL 4 zones, figure $375 per 4 additional AMPLIFIED (included) zones.


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By Jeremy in NC on 12/19/2004


You mind going into detail as to how you plan on doing this?  I have seen a few solutions that are reasonable, but most don't handle multiple sources which I would like at least a couple.

Also, what wall switches are you planning to buy? 

So would it work this way:

Cat-5 cable from "wiring closet" to wall switch and then Cat-5 to the speakers from the wall switch?

Thanks.


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By Don in ID on 12/19/2004


Once you have your 4-source 4-zone main hub component, you can daisy-chain these: russound.com, which will add four more zones each and so on. These are about $100. Your volume controls will run you $60'ish. Speakers, you're on your own. You can do $60 per pair or $150 per pair. Cat-5 is a non-issue for cost. So with these items on this list, you are at eight potential zones. And with the 4-source main hub, you actually have a 12-room potential although four of the eight rooms on the audio panel will be shared as a zone. Meaning in those eight rooms, two each will share music.

If you put this in smart I don't think that will matter, e.g. living and kitchen on the same zone, etc. They can all have their own volume control, so you are cool there; you just can't switch zones on those. So if you want, it's as many as 12 or as little as 8 with those two components.

Hope this helps.

Don


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By Jeremy in NC on 12/19/2004


That sounds like a plan. Do you know how it sounds all in all? Parts Express has some really good deals on speakers if you are interested (partsexpress.com I think)...

So do you run CAT-5 to the speakers as well; or do you just run the CAT-5 to the volume control and then speaker wire from there to the speakers?

The Russound stuff looks like the way of the future; you mentioned you were going to purchase some stuff from the Worthington Distribution; how does that work? 

This sounds like the best solution yet for me and my home... One more quick question, is the A-Bus stuff compatible between brands? Or if I choose Russound, do I have to buy Russound hardware?

Appreciate your time to help me out here!!


Thanks,

Jeremy


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By Don in ID on 12/19/2004


Yes, it sounds excellent! Very rich sound and since you have it spread over rooms, a moderate volume setting is plenty but you can thunder down the room if you want with some good in-walls. You run Cat-5/6 from the source to the amplified control knob. The Cat5 carries power for the in knob amp, the IR signal back to the controller and the left and right audio signal. Then you run 16 or 14-gauge speaker wire from the control knob to the speakers.

A-bus works over several brands, but the ones who seem to have it wrapped up best are Leviton, Russound and Channel Plus. You can find any of this stuff at Smarthome.com, but figure getting it half price from Worthington. If they give you any grief for a dealer account, give me your credit card number, shipping address and your wish list and I will order it all for you.

I have found all the stuff I wanted from smarthome and automatemyhome.com and then just hit in the item number at Worthington because their product info tends to be lacking. Seems like it's made for people who already know what they need/want so they don't waste a whole lot of content on "this is what this does". I just kept two browsers open and cross-referenced the sites. Then if you fill out a small user name, etc. at Russound you can access their installation PDF's that give you all the product and installation nuts and bolts down to the last punch-down.

Let me know if I can help. P.M. me anytime.

Don


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By Jeremy in NC on 1/6/2005


Don,

Thanks for all your help. Since I am going to set up like 15-20 speakers, I wondered what you recommend as far as speakers go..

I don't want to spend a lot, since I have to put so many in, but I don't want to get something that sounds terrible. Looking for in-ceiling speakers (have to be paintable).

Thanks,

Jeremy


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By Kevin in West Chester, OH on 1/12/2005


I have the Russound A-bus system in my current house, and will likely use it again in the house I am about to build. I have a one-source, four-room distribution (which can be expanded to four more rooms at a time). I really like the way the wall switches look - a lighted touch pad vs. some control knob.  I had no prior experience, and did the entire installation myself - and everything worked fine! It took me a time or two on the first control pad to figure out the right configuration of Cat-5 wires, but once I figured that out... everything went smoothly. I also did a whole house structured wiring system... so, doing the Cat-5 is basically the same process in both cases. 

Kevin


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By Jeremy in NC on 1/12/2005


I am glad to hear from someone who really likes it. Did you use in-wall or in-ceiling speakers? I am not sure what type of speakers I plan on buying yet; in-ceiling speakers seem to range from $30 - $300 apiece.

Thanks.


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