How do the ZP100's sound? Plus setup feedback

  • 3 September 2007
  • 4 replies

Badge +3
So I have had sonos for a while now and like many I am hooked. I had the luxury of having whil I completely gutted my house and now have all of the walls open and ample time to set it up optimally.

One of the opportunities I took was embedding quality speakers in all of my walls and ceilings. Some rooms have 6, but all have at least two. There are a few rooms that will be running full surround sound and others that will be strictly for music.

The rooms with surround sound are driven by receivers so this is my question. I will play audio over video almost 95% of the time. To solve the issue of having to power up the receiver and then use the sonos controller I was going to use the receiver for the surround and a zp100 for the audio along with a sound trigger a/b selector with sonos as the default and the receiver's surround sound as the override. My issue is the quality of a zp100 vs the power of the receiver, all of my speakers can take at least 100 watts.

I am in no way an audiphile (yet) but for those of you who are, doe sthezp100 crank like a receiver would?

Also has anyone figured a way out to trigger a receiver (and switch it to aux) upon turing on the sonos? That would make life easier since right now I have put all of my sonos, receivers, and cable boxes in the basement with all of my speakers wired to this central point and controls done by I/R repeaters for the non-sonos equipment. I was looking for suggestions on the optimalsonos setup before Iclose the walls up! 😃

4 replies


I recommend that you rethink the idea of lumping your ZP100's together in the basement because you may have handheld controller wireless range issues. Scattering the ZP100's will resolve or prevent this sort of issue

Rather than using the sound trigger version of the automated A/B speaker selector switch, you can use the "slave" version and trigger it from the receiver's switched power outlet. In addition to being cheaper, they work better in this application. All of the sound detection schemes are subject to false triggering (or not triggering) on quiet signals.

I don't have any good tricks up my sleeve for automatically switching the receivers to AUX. The problem is that the ZP100's are too efficient and any ot the detection schemes that I've seen are very likely to assume that the ZP100 has switched off when the volume is low.

Rather than running an additional set of speaker wires back from the remote ZP100's, you can locate the A/B switches at the ZP100 sites and connect the switch trigger back to the central receiver.

If all of your receivers, DVD players, cable boxes, etc are the same brand, be careful with your IR control emissions at the central site because you may key multiple units with the same IR command. This can happen if the IR emitters leak at the central site or if it is possible for a command issued in one room can strike a second room's IR receiver.

There are various solutions for this situation. First, it may not be possible for a command to spill from one room to the next. Second, some units now feature direct control input jacks and there will not be any IR leakage at the central site. (I don't recall any cable boxes or satellite receiver boxes with this feature)

Finally, high end IR controllers such as the Philips TSU-9600/RFX-9600 allow you to route IR commands to various units. For example, you could send a command only to the kitchen cable box. Using a TSU-9600/RFX-9600 and an appropriate receiver, you could program a button to select AUX and set the receiver's volume to a predetermined point.


Don't assume that the receiver's amplifier sounds better than the ZP100. Correlation between power and goodness of sound is poor. While it is not likely, if you truly have a 100+ Watt application, you'll need to use an external amplifier with a ZP80 or ZP100. In my experience this is more of an ego issue (100 watt amplifiers are matcho) than a technical one.
Badge +3
I have two remote zp80s in the house and have tested the signal in the furthest reaches of the house and have been fine, even in the backyard.

I have actually embedded the IR transmitters inside of the components and it has worked like a charm for leaking the signals.

Thanks for all of the info.
Userlevel 2

I don't have any good tricks up my sleeve for automatically switching the receivers to AUX.

FYI buzz - There is a Xantech piece that will trigger an IR command (or macro) from a contact closure. The model number escapes me right now 'thou.

Sorry to HiJack thread.:D
FYI buzz - There is a Xantech piece that will trigger an IR command (or macro) from a contact closure. The model number escapes me right now 'thou.

Sorry to HiJack thread.:D

590-10 ($300 + Power Supply) plus you need the Xantech programming tool ($400). I'm not sure if the average DIY should get involved with this one.

While the 590-10 can call up the IR commands, a current sensor is needed that can reliably detect when the ZP100's amplifier turns ON and key the 590-10. The sensors that I've seen need a 30 Watt power differential for reliable detection. The ZP100 is so efficient that I don't think that you can depend on the detectors.