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Amplifer options?


troyfrezze

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I'd like some opinions on what would be the best option for an amp for my home. Looking around and I'm seeing people who have their owns, who use C4's and other but i'm not sure what is best for me.

It's a new home wired with Cat6. I'm looking to add speakers to the upstairs rooms. I'm currently only running a HC300 on the first floor. I am considering C4 speakerpoints that I will just tie to a switch upstairs and run wires to the rooms. I can pick those up for about $150 online. Another option would be to get a wired system like a 4 channel amp. Cost on those for C4 is around 700 to 800. I wasn't sure if someone could recommend an option or product I could order.

I'm only looking to stream music. We are are expecting our 3rd son any day now so I'd like to have one zone in his nursery that I could stream nursery music to that zone. Other zones would be to my other two boys bedroom and then to the master bedroom and master bathroom.

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If you have speaker wire to the appropriate rooms, I'd suggest the Control4 amplifier.

It's the easiest and best way to do distributed audio.

Other amplifiers can work, but are more of a hassle to ensure you have the right driver, get it setup, etc.

RyanE

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I don't have the C4 amp, my dealer had no issues setting it up and I don't have to do anything even after a reboot.

With that said, are you looking for seperate sources for each of those zones? Do you have those sources already? Will you or do you plan on expanding in the future?

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What's your budget, will you be expanding, do your have sources, does each zone need a different source? It's easy to say " yes the C4 amp is the best", especially for Ryan who works for the company and thus has a stake in the question/answer.

To give a true answer tell us more about your needs, expectations, and the questions above. There are different paths and some will be better suited the others

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Ok, well current setup is not much. I only have the 300, thermostat and several dimmers for the rooms. The 300 is setup on the main floor with the Comcast box, samsung bluray and the tv. We hadn't got our stuff moved in yet so this is where my dealer set stuff up. The basement is my theater, bar, office areas. My basement I have a custom built media center that does my cable tv (ceton) bluray and everything else along with my Xbox and my main 55" tv. I stream th cable to two other xbox on the 2nd floor to the master bedroom and the kids playroom.

The plan right now is to add some Yale door locks, more switches and dimmers, and the audio zones. I would like to add 4 audio zones to the second floor as stated prior. The intent is to just play music at this point. I'd like to have a dimmer and speaker in the nursery so that when he wakes up, we can hit a mutlibutton switch in our room to turn on dimmed hallway and nursery lights and possibly play a preset list of nursery music at low level to his room. If my wife is cleaning the house while i'm at work, I'd like her to be able to turn on some music that can play in our room while she does laundry or all rooms upstairs while she is cleaning the living areas. A speaker in the shower area (big stone shower and tub area) so we can relax to some music while taking a bath or shower.

I don't think I want any zones on the main floor, but I might add some later down the road by adding speakers above the fireplace near the TV, and possibly outside on the front and back porches.

In the basement, I don't think I'll need anything at this time. In the future, i'll probably get an 800 and install in the basement and make it the main center for everything.

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It's easy to say " yes the C4 amp is the best", especially for Ryan who works for the company and thus has a stake in the question/answer.

My reasoning is thus:

* If you're doing distributed audio, and you have speaker wires to the rooms, the "traditional" setup is best. I doubt there's a single C4 installer who would argue with that. It's easier to setup (basically, plug it in, attach the speakers, and you're done), and fewer 'moving parts' to go wrong (network to each zone -- network setup etc., power supply for each zone, etc.).

* If you're doing traditional multi-room audio, a Control4 amplifier is the easiest one to setup in a Control4 system.

* If you're doing a small setup, the 4-zone Amplifier nice because it's more 'green' (i.e. it can shut down quite a bit when not in use).

Yes, I "have a stake" in Control4 doing well, but I also think my reasoning is pretty solid, and if I didn't think the C4 amps were a good way to go, regardless of working there, I wouldn't recommend them. For example, I haven't recommended Control4's media player in years, since there's been better alternatives.

If the OP doesn't already have speaker wiring, it's a whole different ball game.

From what I've read, he didn't say.

RyanE

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At the end of the day you have to run some sort of cable that ends up carrying electrons to the speakers. That's because mankind has yet to power something like this thru thin air (as far as I know)

Even these so called "wireless" XEO speakers from Dynaudio still have to be plugged into a socket somewhere..

But for the purest audio nut's out there there is the issue of how far you can run speaker wire (and at what calibre) before you run into speaker "powering" problems...

It just all depends what speakers you want to power at the other end and what quality sound you want coming out of them..

If I was starting from scratch, with endless funds, I think I'd go down the central amp -> speaker wire run out to the periphery route. But I wouldn't skimp on speaker wire quality. And I'd be darn sure I knew where the speakers were going to end up... Good quality speaker wire is expensive. The trouble with this is any huge funds you sink into the property at build stage, stay with the property. At least with the other wireless network set up's like Sonos or Dynaudio or C4 speaker points etc etc, you have the option of taking it all with you and not blowing your hard earned on something that isn't really necessarily appreciated or valued by the next owner....

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I asked about your set-up or anticipated set up because more and more people are utilizing A/V receivers to drive separate speakers for their tv's. These people also generally don't want to add more speakers to their rooms. A C4 amp is in this case a very poor choice.

As much as people swear by the matrix amps such as the C4 unit they have some short comings and are not very flexible. The most flexible solution is to utilize a matrix switch with a separate multi-zone amp.

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That is certainly true in a *theater*, but I certainly don't want to have an A/V receiver for each zone in my house.

Seriously, 16 A/V receivers is quite a bit more money than 2 Control4 3rd Gen Amplifiers.

Yes, one for the Home Theater, to drive those speakers, and a line level input from the Control4 Audio Switch takes care of that zone.

RyanE

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Ryan, everyone I know has this setup. AV receiver and either 3.1 or 5.1 in every tv room. No one uses TV speakers. Also at least around my neck of the woods no one builds dedicated theaters anymore, it's about functional media rooms. Lots of flat screens and projector screens in family rooms, bars, game rooms, etc. The only rooms using tv speakers are bathrooms and kitches.

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Well as stated prior, I'm not in need of audiophile hardware. I just want to stream music for a newborn, a 7 and 5 year old kid, my wife and me. I already have a speaker setup for my basement theater/gaming needs. So I need something that I can install either in a central location and ill run wire to the speaker locations, or in going to go with speaker points. The question is, for my needs what is the best options when considering price and quality. I'm not going to be watching an HD movie through these speakers.

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Everyone you know has a *lot* more TVs than everyone I know.

I totally agree with you for *TV ROOMS*. I don't use TV speakers for multi-room audio, either.

I only have 2 TVs in my house, but have 16 audio zones.

What you're talking about is *not* multi-room audio. It's every-room TV, which you're also piggybacking audio on.

RyanE

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CFUG, why would announcements only work with a C4 amp? An HC running into a matrix switch from any manufacturer would work, wouldn't it?

I run a bunch of Sonos ZP's into my audio matrix for distributed audio and output it to my AVR's and a lexicon amp. I've also got my HC hooked into the matrix. Announcements would still go to all zones without issue.

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Announcements should work the same through a 3rd-party amp, as long as the amp turns on in time for the announcement being played.

RyanE

I know if pioneer or onkyo amps are off when the announcement is triggered, they do not turn on in time for the announcement to be heard.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I ended up acquiring an AVM-16A2 Amp last week, along with a newborn child so sorry for the lack of feedback. We had our 3rd son last Monday and I got my amp in yesterday. Tested it out and it works like a champ. Going to spend the weekend running wires and speakers in the home. If anyone's got advice on things to setup with this system I'd love to hear about it!

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I think he was pointing out that a new child is WAY more important in the big scheme of things.

Nothing more nothing less

Brent

In my house that would be debatable....

In mine it wouldnt be.

And yes that's EXACTLY what I meant.

In no way am I saying there's anything amiss or negative about the amp or getting the amp in.

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Yea, from what I played around with it testing the inputs and outputs and adjusting the levels, it did really well. Can't wait to run the cables and install everything this weekend. My older boys are already super excited to have music in their room they can dance too.

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