Audio Systems/Receiver



I'd like to have an audio system where it can cover my living room, dining room, and the patio. I have the wiring already done. My problem is I don't know which receiver I need to purchase to control those three areas independently. I'd like to get something close to the Sonos system. My receiver can only control 2 rooms.
Thank you in advance for your input.

ANSWER: Multi-room systems are not easily assembled due to the complexity of impedance matching to the amplifier and achieving loudness control separately to each space.

Therefore, the most simple way of solving the problem is separate amplifiers.  Since amplifiers are relatively inexpensive it is a better solution than matching transformers and 70v line architecture.

With a separate amp you can use any receiver and avoid having to install matching transformers or parallel lines.  If you can centrally locate the amps near the receiver that is a simple solution to having audio for as many rooms as you want and individual volume or loudness control over each room.

In your case if you wish to use the two rooms as you have suggested that would be fine; should you want to have sound in just one additional room that would require just one stereo amp.  Should you wish to add another room or outside sound you can do it later with no re-engineering effort.

You will need a line out from the receiver or, if not, you can acquire a hi-low converter box that will take the speaker level and lower it for input to another amplifier.

An alternative to the above approach, in your case, is to just purchase another low cost receiver and feed the third room with it.

The above are just examples.  There are many others to choose from.

Let me know if you have more questions.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Sorry for my ignorance. But do you connect the amp to the receiver? So if I have 3 areas and I want to control the speakers independently, I need one receiver and 2 amps, each for each area. Correct? What does the amp do? Thnaks

ANSWER: You must have power to the speakers.  That is what they do.  A receiver is unit which contains an audio amplifier section that drives the speakers.

You must take an output from the receiver to each amplifier input.  The room amplifier will have its own volume control for setting the level of sound you want for that room.

The output from the receiver is either already at the back of the receiver in the form of rca connections and some marking that identifies it accordingly.  But not all receivers have such.  Since you did not give me a model number I cannot tell you if you have such an output or not.

Something like this could be used to feed the extra amplifiers:

If your receiver does not have a rca low level output you must use a high-low converter like this one:

to provide a low level feed line to the extra amplifiers.

Hope this helps.

PS:  Typically, the low level output we are dealing with is 1v audio.  That level is what is required to drive an amplifier to its full power output to the speakers.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I am in the process of getting a new receiver. Mine is dead. You seems to be an expert in audio system. Is there any tutorial on the Internet where I can see diagram an learn more about the setup. I am excited about this project but I am a beginner and I am not sure where to start or what to google. Thank you very much for your help

A good place to start is where they have many tutorials available for such topics.

Also, google around for multi room sound system design and installation.  Use key words such as "tutorial multi room sound" or alternates thereof.  You will find many to study.

Wishing you the best.  

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Audio Design Engineer; systems, loudspeakers, cd/dvd players, etc. I am knowledgeable in all high end audio equipment and installations. MAKE SURE YOU GIVE A MAKE AND MODEL NUMBER AND CAR IF IT IS AN AUTO QUESTION. Note: I am getting some who ask good questions that take a lot of time to research but then the questioner fails to read the answer. Please don't ask questions unless you are seriously looking for an answer. If you find an answer to your question otherwise then let me know with your reply. Thank you.


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