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Port for all receiver sources plus turntable

  • 18 October 2021
  • 12 replies
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Hi there,

I’ve read many of the posts on using Port for connecting turntables and older systems, but I’m still not 100% on the right solution.

I’m basically looking to add a couple Sonos Ones and a Beam to my TV/Turntable/Apple TV/Nintendo to Receiver set up. I want the option to have everything that’s currently connected to my receiver play through my wired speakers/Subwoofer as well as the new Ones and Beam. 
 

- Do I need to run the turntable into the Port, wouldn’t it make sense to keep the turntable connected to my receiver and somehow line-out everything in the receiver to the Port? 


-  I’d still switch the receivers source input depending on what device I want to use (turntable, apple tv, nintendo) correct? 


- And just to mention, I’m currently using an older Sony Str-dh540 (image below) but planning to upgrade that eventually. Is there anything I should be considering when searching for a new receiver for a situation like this? I thought Sonos AMP might be an option, but my TV only has two HDMI ports and I’d need to connect the Apple TV and the Nintendo to the TV, then TV to AMP…So unless I get a new TV I think that’s out. 


Thanks for any guidance!
 

 

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Best answer by melvimbe 20 October 2021, 14:56

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Adding a Beam and a pair of Ones to your current home theater speaker setup will not work. If you want to add more speakers, you are better off upgrading your current setup with a new receiver that supports more channels like a 7.2, 9.2, or 11.2 receiver. Then connect a Port to the receiver if you want your home theater setup to be part of a Sonos ecosystem.

This sort of thing used to be possible via the Tape in/out sockets on AV receivers, giving great flexibility. However, most modern receivers have done away with Tape sockets for obvious reasons and therefore, like your receiver, have plenty of inputs but no outputs.

To do what you want you need an analogue line out, to match the line in on the Port. Not many modern receivers seem to have these spare.

The other thing to be wary of is signal delays between your analogue kit and the Sonos devices, which may be unacceptable depending on how you use it.

I have a CD player connected into a ZP90 (old Connect) which is then fed into the AV receiver. I no longer have a turntable set up, so this sort of works - the CD can  be played through other Sonos devices, but all the multimedia stuff plays via the AV receiver only. As I don’t use DSP on the receiver, it seems to stay in sync with other Sonos kit when playing multiroom.

It would help if you clarify how you intend to use all these AV products.  Are you intending to to use your existing products in the same room, with your existing products and Sonos products playing together?  While you could do this for streaming music sources, it’s generally not a good idea.  Sonos products allow for trueplay tuning which would not taking your receiver and passive speakers into account.  It will be kind of messy.

You definitely cannot play TV audio with all this gear in the same room.  Getting the TV audio to Sonos through your receiver, or connecting TV to Beam and then using a Port to get the audio to the receiver, will cause a delay in the audio.  You’ll get an echo in the audio and lip sync issues.  You might be able to setup a complex setup that gets around that, but it will still be messy.

 

If you’re going to use the Beam and Ones in a different room(s) than you it can work.  A port connected to the receiver will allow the receiver and your Sonos gear to play in sync in their respective rooms.  I would connect the turntable to the Port directly, and there would be no need to have output from the receiver to the Port.  You would not get TV audio into the Port and the rest of the Sonos speakers, but you would have turntable audio everywhere.

 

It would help if you clarify how you intend to use all these AV products.

 

Thanks for the input all. @melvimbe here is my floor plan. It’s actually a really small house. I’m not trying to do any surround system or anything, the room is so small (about 10x10’) that the front facing bookshelf speakers are more than enough. But, when playing music from Apple Music via the Apple TV, or playing records via the turntable, we’d like to disperse it over into the kitchen, and then in the back of the house. The red squares next to the TV are the current speakers, the beam would be new under the TV, and then the two red squares in the left half would be new Ones. 
 

 

There isn’t much use of using the Beam and the receiver + speakers in the same room like that.  They are both fine for TV audio by themselves in that space.

So your current plan was 

Sonos Beam: $450

2 Sonos One: 2-220 = $440

Port: $450

Total: $1340

 

If it were me I would use that money too get 

1 Sonos Beam: $450 (for TV, use Sonos directly for Apple music or Apple airplay)

1 Sonos One (kitchen): $220

1 Sonos Five (bedroom): $550 (use aux input for turntable)

Remove existing receiver and speakers entirely (or use it for HDMI inputs only if needed)

Total:$1220

The Beam may not sound as good as your existing speakers for music, but it will be pretty good.  You will also need to move the turntable to the bedroom

Or, you could just forget about the Beam entirely.

Existing equipment for TV

Port: $450 (for turntable, send audio to receiver)

2 Sonos Ones:$440

Total: $990

You would not be able to send TV audio to your Sonos Ones, except the Apple TV, where you should be able to use airplay.

Thanks @melvimbe! That last option actually sounds the closest to what I had in mind. A couple additional questions if you don’t mind: 

  • Would I be able to send the Turntable/Port signal to the Sonos Ones as well? Or would that only be able to play to the existing bookshelf speakers? 
     
  • We ONLY watch TV from the Apple TV box (no cable broadcast, no DVD etc.). We also ONLY stream Apple Music from the app on the Apple TV. So, if that’s the case, it sounds like your last note would make sense for both of these things, correct? 
     
  • Also, not sure if it really matters or changes anything, but the receiver I was thinking of upgrading to was something like the Marantz NR1510 or the NR1711.

     

Thanks again!


And just to add to my questions about the Port option above, I started thinking about this idea, using a Sonos Amp instead of the traditional AVR. Any thoughts on this: 
 

Sonos Amp / Wired bookshelf speakers / Sonos Sub wireless (or wired sub?)

  • The Turntable and TV are connected to the amp, assuming sound played through the speakers would also be streamable to other Sonos products.
  • I think this option would allow us to add as many other Sonos speakers as we want.
  • Would need to solve for where our Nintendo and Apple TV plug in (we only have two HDMI inputs on TV, and one is the HDMI Arc input that Sonos Amp would need to go to).

    * Question: Would the Nintendo and Apple TV, if plugged in through HDMI to TV, go to wired bookshelf speakers as well as the ability to stream to Sonos Speakers?
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Yes to the first two of your bullets. Remember the turntable needs a preamp if it does not have one built in and that Sonos allows for a maximum of 32 speakers on one system.

To the third bullet: you could use an HDMI-switch to connect the Apple TV and Nintendo. 

To you question: yes, but all TV sounds (including Apple TV and Nintendo of course) would have a 70ms delay on grouped speakers, but not on the HDMI-connected system itself.

Thanks @melvimbe! That last option actually sounds the closest to what I had in mind. A couple additional questions if you don’t mind: 

  • Would I be able to send the Turntable/Port signal to the Sonos Ones as well? Or would that only be able to play to the existing bookshelf speakers? 

 

 

Yes.  @106rallye does bring up a good point though in that you need to have a preamp with your turntable.  The turntable may have that built in.  Your receiver does have a preamp, but with the setup I was recommending, the turntable would connect to the Port first, then your receiver.  Your receiver doesn’t have an analog output, so that’s how it would need to work.

 

  •  
  • We ONLY watch TV from the Apple TV box (no cable broadcast, no DVD etc.). We also ONLY stream Apple Music from the app on the Apple TV. So, if that’s the case, it sounds like your last note would make sense for both of these things, correct? 

 

 

Yes, it does.  To be clear, I don’t use Apple and have no experience without how easy airplay is to use.  I don’t know for sure that airplay would work seamlessly, without any lip sync issues or other issues.

And your Switch audio would only play through the receiver+bookshelf speakers.  Not through any Sonos speakers

 

 

  • Also, not sure if it really matters or changes anything, but the receiver I was thinking of upgrading to was something like the Marantz NR1510 or the NR1711.

  •  

Thanks again!

 

I’m not crazy about either of those two options personally.  Not that they are not good products, but if you are only using it for a pair of bookshelf speakers and an older TV, it’s overkill for your needs.  In my opinion, it makes sense to integrate your existing equipment with Sonos to save money.  It also makes sense if you want to have a 7.1 wired system in a room, something that Sonos can’t do.  But having some of your equipment (receivers/amps) on Sonos and some not just complicates the setup and more difficult to use.

 


And just to add to my questions about the Port option above, I started thinking about this idea, using a Sonos Amp instead of the traditional AVR. Any thoughts on this: 
 

Sonos Amp / Wired bookshelf speakers / Sonos Sub wireless (or wired sub?)

  • The Turntable and TV are connected to the amp, assuming sound played through the speakers would also be streamable to other Sonos products.

 

yes, but the preamp is a concern as mentioned already.

 

  • I think this option would allow us to add as many other Sonos speakers as we want.

 

You can always use up to 32 devices in a household.  However, there are limits to what you can do in a single Sonos room.  A room is essentially a group of speakers that always play the same audio at the same volume.  So an amp + sub is a single room.  A pair of Sonos speakers is a room.  You can group rooms together to play in sync (although there is a delay between rooms for TV audio) as you wish.  Hope that makes sense.

And yes, with the amp, you can use a Sonos sub or a wired sub.

 

  • Would need to solve for where our Nintendo and Apple TV plug in (we only have two HDMI inputs on TV, and one is the HDMI Arc input that Sonos Amp would need to go to).
  • * Question: Would the Nintendo and Apple TV, if plugged in through HDMI to TV, go to wired bookshelf speakers as well as the ability to stream to Sonos Speakers?

You can get a separate HDMI switch, but that is not always the best option for ease of use.  As far as your second question, assuming you are using a Sonos amp, then yes. Those other speakers setup as different Sonos rooms (your kitchen and bedroom) would be slightly delayed though.  Not a problem for your master bedroom, but you may get an echo effect in the kitchen.

I do like the idea of getting the Sonos amp instead of getting a new receiver and port.  It simplifies the setup, and with the money saved, perhaps you can get an upgraded TV with more HDMI inputs.  I also like the idea of getting a Beam for TV audio and Sonos Five in another room for your turntable.  Again, you have the preamp and HDMI inputs to deal with.

 

Thanks all for the input! And @melvimbe Thanks for taking the time for such a detailed response! Appreciate that. To answer a couple questions and confirm a couple last things:

  • I have an external preamp for my turntable so should be good there.
  • Being such a small footprint our usable space is limited, so I’m planning on keeping the turntable by the media console area rather than moving it to another room.
  • As for HDMI, I think I’ll just have to go with a TV upgrade with more inputs. 
     

So you can see from the floorplan here where the walls are in this scenario, the house is basically a long skinny rectangle. My goal with doing this is mainly to extend the the sound (specifically music, turntable or streaming) through the length of the rectangle towards the mud room in the back. For the TV sound we’ll just use the wired bookshelf speakers.
 

Is there anything else that might be an issue I’m not thinking of? I’ve read some stuff about echos from delay, do you think I’ll have an issue with that here?

 

 

Is there anything else that might be an issue I’m not thinking of? I’ve read some stuff about echos from delay, do you think I’ll have an issue with that here?

 

 

So about the delay.  In order for Sonos to properly get music in sync across different rooms in the house, it’s sets up a buffer, so that if the signal gets to the mud room a little late for example, it has time to catch up.  And all this work great for music sources.  The issue comes when you are watching TV, since you will the audio to match up with the TV.  So what Sonos does for this is that it plays the audio for the room the TV is in immediately (your Sonos amp in your case I think) while the other rooms are buffered/delayed like normal.  That would not be a problem for the speaker in your mudroom, since it's far enough away, you likely are far enough away you wouldn’t hear the the speakers connected to amp or see the TV screen to notice a difference.  It would be an issue for your speaker in the kitchen speaker.  So essentially, you would not want to group your living room and kitchen rooms together to play TV audio.  Just use the amp+speakers for TV, and you could group in the mudroom if you wanted to.

Your turntable would be a music source.  Sonos assumes there’s no TV connected to the aux inputs, so it buffers it the same as it would if you played a streaming source.  If you are using airplay from your Apple TV or your phone, I believe Apple handles the buffering essentially and will delay both the audio and video.

Hope that clears it up.  And I assume you’re going with the amp and 2 Sonos One plans, based on your last post.

Thanks again!

Yeah I think right now I’m leaning towards the Amp + 2 Sonos Ones, possibly a Sonos sub too, but that kind of depends on whether I upgrade my bookshelf speakers. 


Thanks all for the feedback. 

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