ampless version, with digital out?



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garty wrote:

I installed an A-Bus system in my previous house, it is an easy and cheap way to distribute music, the cat five having 8 wires carries line level left and right channel, dc voltage and ir signal and something else I guess, but those 5 watt amps in the wall controller really struggled. I just used it as a single source 4 zone system. I'd probably give it 5/10. Sonos for me rates 10/10.


I hate to hear you rate 5/10 for the ABUS- I just wired for the a/bus in a new home construction. I was going to run two ZP's line out to the abus. I was going to run an A/V to my main room and the ABUS to bedrooms etc... In your opinion would you trash the ABUS and just buy 4 ZP's to distribute to 8 rooms? Would the sound quality be that much better? At this point it would take some major work to change over for me since the drywall is up.
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SSaudio wrote:

I hate to hear you rate 5/10 for the ABUS- I just wired for the a/bus in a new home construction. I was going to run two ZP's line out to the abus. I was going to run an A/V to my main room and the ABUS to bedrooms etc... In your opinion would you trash the ABUS and just buy 4 ZP's to distribute to 8 rooms? Would the sound quality be that much better? At this point it would take some major work to change over for me since the drywall is up.



I don't want to give the wrong impression of the A-Bus system, it is very good for the price and ease of installation, but if you are using the amplified keypad A-KP2 you get a 7.5 watt amplifier and in some applications that just wasn't enough. With sonos you are looking at 50 watt/channel.

It's a hard call really, my gut would say yes go with the 4 zp solution and get your contractor to rewire but the extra cost may not be worth it to you. The other thing to consider is that the zone players work better spread out around your house, that way you avoid signal attenuation issues with the controller.

But having said that, were I still living in my previous house I would probably hook up a zp to the a-bus first to try it out and then if that didn't work look to putting a zp in every room i want music in.

So hows that for a politician's answer 😃
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garty wrote:

I don't want to give the wrong impression of the A-Bus system, it is very good for the price and ease of installation, but if you are using the amplified keypad A-KP2 you get a 7.5 watt amplifier and in some applications that just wasn't enough. With sonos you are looking at 50 watt/channel.

It's a hard call really, my gut would say yes go with the 4 zp solution and get your contractor to rewire but the extra cost may not be worth it to you. The other thing to consider is that the zone players work better spread out around your house, that way you avoid signal attenuation issues with the controller.

But having said that, were I still living in my previous house I would probably hook up a zp to the a-bus first to try it out and then if that didn't work look to putting a zp in every room i want music in.

So hows that for a politician's answer :D



That is a great political answer. I think I will take your advice and try it first. For low level listening I should be OK, I could always add another amp. here and there if more power is needed. But that would just add to the cost. By the time I finish the lower level I will need 12 zones - that is why I chose the A/Bus method. Plus I have 3 decent stereos that I planned on running a line out from the ABUS controller - by just using the ZP's line out and not the amp. I thought I would eliminate the volume level problems that seem to be evident.
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bigyogamuffin wrote:

I either connect my speakers to the Sonos and route everything in to Sonos (not enough inputs - or connect the ZP to my amp via its line out. However, the output from the line out on the Sonos is too low so I have to crank my home cinema amp up loud to get any decent listening out of it. If i then switch sources without turning the volume down it either blows the speakers or wakes everybody up.



This seems like it would be a fairly straighforward enhancement to implement via a firmware-only upgrade. Why can't we toggle a menu setting that makes it variable or set it at a fixed nominal level? I absolutely hate the fact that this level is dictated by the preset speaker-out volume for the zone. If it was made to be selective then both sides would be happy. Sonos, PLEASE consider this enhancement for your next firmware upgrade - Thanks.
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tmtuohy wrote:

This seems like it would be a fairly straighforward enhancement to implement via a firmware-only upgrade. Why can't we toggle a menu setting that makes it variable or set it at a fixed nominal level? I absolutely hate the fact that this level is dictated by the preset speaker-out volume for the zone. If it was made to be selective then both sides would be happy. Sonos, PLEASE consider this enhancement for your next firmware upgrade - Thanks.



I've forwarded this thread to the product management group. Thanks for everyone's feedback.

Best,
-graham
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bigyogamuffin wrote:

...I either connect my speakers to the Sonos and route everything in to Sonos (not enough inputs - or connect the ZP to my amp via its line out. However, the output from the line out on the Sonos is too low so I have to crank my home cinema amp up loud to get any decent listening out of it. If i then switch sources without turning the volume down it either blows the speakers or wakes everybody up.

Frustrating - which means in my main listening environment I can't listen to my music.




OK, now THIS is a problem I don't want to have! (I'm sooo glad this forum exists!)

I would hook up ZPs to my three separate receivers in my house and I can't imagine having this problem all over the house! Looks like I'm going to have to wait until Sonos addresses this :(

Can anyone else comment on this problem?
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I run the output from the zp high so that the receiver doesn't need to be turned up higher than it would be for other components, even though you would still get the same problem switching from say a dvd player to a tivo as all components seem to have a different output level. But I would say that it really needs to be a fixed level output for the line-out.

Put it this way - it wasn't a show stopper for me.
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MagicMtnDan wrote:

OK, now THIS is a problem I don't want to have! (I'm sooo glad this forum exists!)

I would hook up ZPs to my three separate receivers in my house and I can't imagine having this problem all over the house! Looks like I'm going to have to wait until Sonos addresses this :(

Can anyone else comment on this problem?


Are you wanting 3 seperate zones, one for each receiver? Are you also trying to add more zones besides the 3 receivers?
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bigyogamuffin wrote:

Anybody got any experience of the Russound AB-3.2?

"The Russound AB-3.2 Automatic A/B Selector is an affordable solution for automatic switching between two amplified sources to a single set of speakers. This allows you to use one set of speakers in a given location for two different sources such as a television and a multiroom audio system."

Is this the answer to my problem?



Yes - I have one :D

I use this with my ht receiver so if I can't be arsed to go into the other room to turn my receiver on I can still hear music.

It would be a partial answer in as much as you can bypass your receiver but if you ever want to use your receiver - because it sounds better, has a sub, has dsp settings you like etc., you will still have to set the output level and running your zp at full volume might not be desirable if you output directly to your speakers. So for eg. if your zp was up at full volume because you were using your receiver then you started playing music with the receiver off you will be outputting at full volume to the speakers.
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tantalus wrote:

I have to add my support for a single ampless version with digital out. I have a home cinema system and would love to integrate my MP3 collection into my TAG Mclaren suround processor. Even better if SONOS make a SLIM box (like most hifi components) for this purpose - rather than the zone player (which looks like my 3 year old's booster step for standing at the toilet!).

A simple sleek box with digital out and wireless connectivity which can be considered a new 'zone' would be brilliant.



Please add my vote to the growing camp of users and buyers who are waiting for Digital Outputs.

For my uses Digital Output(s) are vital, even if the Digital Outputs are simply added to the existing Sonos Zone Player.

On the other hand, having a "ZonePlayer Pro" version, with a digital outs (1 Toslink and 1 RCA/Coax) packaged into a slim, hifi component box which would stack in any hifi system, W/O an amp, would be far better.

We have 15 zones, 3 zones call for digital outs and a slim box. I like the idea others have proposed of calling this a "Zone Player Pro".

I hope to see this product announced before the upcoming Consumer Electronic Show in January 2006.

When this product is announced I become a Sonos customer. Until such an annoucement I simply have to use a bunch of Squeezebox 2 units.
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I want to put my strong vote behind DanielS5's suggestions. I have not purchased Sonos yet (to replace and/or augment my three Audiotrons) because i need digital out for my use. The existing Sonos system with digital out = ok if i have no other choice, DanielS5's "ZonePlayer Pro" = ideal.

Usually a good thing to listen to the market.

thanks!
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I'm with you on the "Zone Player Pro". I'd like to add that I'm not looking for a better price, just a product that's a better fit as an upgrade or adjunct to centralized music systems. The other "deal breaker", is the lack/incompatibilty of 3rd party control. There's got to be another way to control these things, or it remains a tricky proposition.

audiojeff
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bigyogamuffin wrote:

I will only connect the ZP to the speakers. There is no point connecting the ZP to my amp as it is almost unusable.



True. So in that case the AB3.2 will enable you to share your main speakers between the sonos (when the amp is off) and the amp. Personally I like it - it's nice not to have to manually throw a switch. It also has adjustable settings for delay and sensitivity so a bit of tweaking will enable you to set it so it doesn't switch over during quiet passages played through the amp (can;t remember now if this is an ht setup or straight 2 channel)
To those claiming the amp adds nothing to the price/size of the ZP, please allow me to say that you are all on crack. Those of you from Sonos who are claiming this are either mislead or misleading.

First off, the chassis of the ZP is a bulky casting, which is needed to sink the heat from the amplifier's output chips. If I had to guess I'd say this part is either the first or second most expensive bit on the bill of materials. I appreciate nice build quality, but big metal castings are just not required. The other expensive widget is the truly huge toroidal transformer feeding the power supply. It's nice, but would be pointless without the amp. If the box was all low-current circuitry you could use a compact EI or much smaller toroid. Next down on the list would be the four inductors in the amp's reconstruction filter. They are big, low-resistance, and probably cost a couple dimes each. Then of course there's the three chips that make up the Tripath amp itself. Those aren't cheap.

So an ampless ZP would not need the amp, the amp's heatsink, nor the high-current/high-voltage power supply and its crazy input transformer. If that doesn't knock $50 off the bill of materials, I'll eat my hat.
[font=Verdana][size=2]$50??? No doupt.[/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2]How much does it cost to build the new prototype. How many do you have to sell to re-coup that? And do you get many additional sales or just sales of this new item with same margin?[/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2]I'm sure your right... Sonos is out to make money and if there is money to be made /i'm sure they;ll do it... I'm just not sur there is money to be made![/size][/font]
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I posted my thoughts here in the http://forums.sonos.com/showpost.php?p=7607&postcount=40 and want to reiterate the quest for an ampless version with digital output is not driven by price, at least for me it is not. I will gladly pay the same price or more for what was described above as "Zone Player Pro".

Escient has released a lower priced offering, as compared to there other products, The $999 SE 80 Music Server. I am considering this to replace my 400 CD Changer, but would really prefer a "Zone Player Pro". I think Escient has realized they are missing a large part of the market; hence, they made a more affordable solution.

With no word or hint that an Ampless Digital Out Zone Player may be coming, I am seriously considering the Escient as it is the only affordable viable option I can find currently available.

Still hoping Sonos wakes up and realizes they left out a major market segment and there is plenty of money to be made if they would just make it. Boy would I like to find that under my Christmas tree...

Phil C.
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There may be more than financial limitations at play. Consider the human resources aspect as well as others unknown to us, that may be involved.

All companies have finite resources and deciding exactly how to use them is an important test of managements skills and judgement. For very small companies it is even more critical, as there are apt to be minimal reserves for mistakes, (investments of resources that do not pay back quickly enough or adequately to cover their costs and provide profits for other investments, meaning from our point of view, 'improvements'.)

In a way this is interesting, in that all of us have made investments in this company, but know very little about its people, their agenda, financial position, motivations, etc.

Just thinking out loud.
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Rickp,

All good points; however, I fail to see how introducing a "Zone Player Pro" would be a bad thing for Sonos or how it would affect sales of the current Zone Players? The two can and should happily exist together. The Zone Player as it is without changing a thing is a complete product. The "Zone Player Pro" is meant to compliment the current offering expanding and making for a complete Sonos Solution.

I hate that I have to look for another solution to do what should be a simple painless highly profitable offering from an already great product line. The current Zone Player was not meant to sit in an Audio/HT rack regardless of the fact
that you can use it that way, it is not the most effective, best sounding or looking solution.

There are no development costs other than case design. All the rest of the pieces of the puzzle are already in place and not only do they work, but they work extremely well and as advertised with little muss and fuss.

Sorry to rant. This has been beat to death here. I wish I knew why Sonos is against this.

Phil C.
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FWIW, I posted a Poll Here .

Maybe it will catch the attention of Sonos if there is enough support.
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SSaudio wrote:

Are you wanting 3 seperate zones, one for each receiver? Are you also trying to add more zones besides the 3 receivers?




Yes, I am wanting (at least) 3 separate zones, one for each receiver. I will probably add another one or two ZP's to those three.

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