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Problems with using Y-cable for splitting sources to 4 & 8 zone amps?


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My dealer says that just using Y cables to split sources into the 4 zone and 8 zone amps can cause problems and that I would have to get the matrix switch to make it work seamlessly. That seems unnecessary to me since they both have matrix switching built in.

Can any of the dealers/power users chime in on what sort of issues could arise with just using Y cables to split the inputs, or does there need to be any special programming in place to make sure that the sources stay on if you play in one room off the 4 zone amp and then start playing the same thing on the 8 zone amp?

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A matrix switch is advantageous for a couple of reasons:

1) Less wiring issues, you don't have to 'Y' the inputs.

2) A matrix switch lets you have 16 inputs on each of your amps, where Y'ing the inputs will only allow you to have 8 inputs. In a large system, you may want more than 8 inputs for things like multiple Satellite (or cable) radio, multiple streams of MP3 or Rhapsody audio, etc.


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Yeah for me neither of those will apply.. the Y cables arent a big deal since this is all in the basement hidden away, and I really cant see myself using more than 4 inputs for audio, let alone 8. The ones I will probably use:

1. Radio

2. Radio 2 (unlikely to ever be needed simultaneously, but who knows)

3. MP3 player 1 (Ipod, C4 controller, or XBMC PC)

4. MP3 player 2

5. Video source 1 (XBMC PC - can double as mp3)

6. Video source 2 (Satellite/Cable)

7. Video source 3 (Satellite/Cable)

8. Video source 4 (?)

For the & splitter Id just lump together zones that will play together like the kitchen and dining room (one on 8 zone on one 4 zone), garage and deck, etc, and put things on the 4 zone that will rarely ever be used until we have at least 2-3 more kids, like the third 'guest' bedroom. That will minimize the chance that two users on the 4 zone side will want to listen to something like different radio stations at the same time.

All of the video sources will actually be fed via the 8x12 component video, digital coax audio, stereo audio switch I will have also, reducing the likelihood of a conflict in people trying to watch different things from the same source.

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Thanks Brent, yeah I just got a little worried when I was told there were issues with doing this with Y cables... put me off a bit since I didnt want to spend another $2500, especially after having designed the whole system with a certain budget, then after all was said and done being told it wasnt 'recommended' or whatnot.

Glad to hear it seems ok to do it this way.

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  • 5 months later...

No I still havent bought the 4 channel amp... The 4 zones I dont have connected will probably not be used for a few years for the most part. Only one of them may end up being used and so I might connect that directly to a receiver.

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