Interfacing Sonos w/ exsisting system

  • 14 October 2005
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 2
I have a typical home stereo set-up - source, amp, and 4 zone speaker selector switch *but only using two zones so far). I want to add more zones to this system without running speaker wires everywhere agaib. Can I somehow intergrate a sonos system with this? If so, how?

3 replies

Userlevel 2
I have something similar in place... In your case, if I'm imagining this correctly - I would attach a ZP to your exisiting stereo system as another component (you will not be using the internal amp in this case) and this will allow you to split that to the 4 zones (all playing from one ZP) for your speaker selector switch.... and as long as that ZP is wired to your network you'll be able to add ZPs as you wish to other rooms utilizing the built in amp and attach speakers to each ZP...

The easiest way to connect a SONOS system is to connect the SONOS Line-in and Line-Out as if the SONOS was a cassette deck. This will allow you to play whatever is selected on your receiver through the SONOS and play whatever music is playing through the locally connected SONOS through your receiver.

There are two potential problem situations to keep in mind.

First, the Line-out from the SONOS responds to the SONOS volume control. This usually works out fine, but you'll need to set the receiver to a pre-arranged volume when playing the SONOS through the receiver.

Second, if you play a program through the SONOS Line-in and your receiver's speaker out terminals simultaneously, you will notice a slight delay between the music sent to the SONOS and the music playing directly from the receiver's own amplifier. The fix for this would be to connect the two existing speakers to a zoneplayer and not use the receiver's amplifier.

As a practical matter, if the direct speakers and the SONOS driven speakers are widely spaced or on different floors, I don't think the delay will annoy most people. If the rooms are adjacent, most listeners will notice an "echo" as they walk between the rooms.
Or, you could pull out the speaker selector switch, dump your old amp and wire the Sonos ZPs directly into the speakers.

The two caveats with that are:

1. Are the speakers compatible? They have to be standard non-powered speakers.

2. All your ZPs will be centralised near the speaker switch. Will you get the wireless coverage to make the controller usable in each of the zones?

Also, if you have the speaker wires accessible in or near one of the zones you can cut the wires locally and wire them into a ZP there. For instance, I had my "home run" system conservatory speaker wires going through my loft. I originally cut these in the loft, and connected them to a ZP I installed in the loft space. If you could do this with one or two zone it would improve wireless coverage significantly.