Sonos Connect automatically switching to line-in (turntable) even when it is not selected as source

  • 19 September 2018
  • 13 replies
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I've been using my connect along with a turntable on the line-in for years, but recently switched out to a new Denon AVR (AVRX3500H). I have the Connect wired via Toslink to the AVR Media Player input and the pre-out on the AVR to the "input" on the Connect. Same wiring scheme I had with my old AVR, which worked flawlessly by the way.

The issue is that every time I open the Sonos App and try to play from a music service like Spotify for example, it starts to play briefly, but then automatically switches to line-in as the source and the music stops. I can hit play again and it finally starts playing and continues, but as soon as I try to switch tracks or change the source it happens again. I've tried changing the auto-play groupings as well as the line-level impedance, but no luck. Not sure what I'm doing wrong here. Everything is up to date and I've tried searching through the forums and via Google with no luck finding users with a similar issue. Any thoughts or advice here is greatly appreciated.

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13 replies

Userlevel 7
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For some reason the CONNECT must be detecting a signal on its inputs from the AVR, and switching to the Line-In input. This implies that you have Autoplay enabled. Instead, disable Autoplay by setting the 'Autoplay Room' to 'None' in the Line-In settings for the CONNECT device.

Of course, this means that you will need to select Line-In manually in the App when you want to listen to the AVR source via the CONNECT.
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So far this does seem to have resolved my issue. Thank you!

Gosh, I'm sure not getting near the volume I was with my previous AVR on the upstream Sonos speakers. I've read many a thread on this. Is there a general rule of thumb on the variable line-out level? Is there anything I could be missing on the AVR side? I'm at max volume on my other Sonos rooms and you can barely hear it. My AVR does indeed have a phono pre-amp, so that's not it and as mentioned in OP, I was running this same setup for years with my old AVR and had much louder levels, so not sure what I'm missing.
Userlevel 7
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Gosh, I'm sure not getting near the volume I was with my previous AVR on the upstream Sonos speakers. I've read many a thread on this. Is there a general rule of thumb on the variable line-out level? Is there anything I could be missing on the AVR side? I'm at max volume on my other Sonos rooms and you can barely hear it. My AVR does indeed have a phono pre-amp, so that's not it and as mentioned in OP, I was running this same setup for years with my old AVR and had much louder levels, so not sure what I'm missing.
The Variable Line-Out Level setting applies only to the output from the CONNECT to the AVR. It does not affect anything connected to the Line-In on the CONNECT.

For Line-In input on the CONNECT, three things affect the volume at the end Sonos speaker:

1) The Pre-Out volume from the AVR -- probably controlled by the main AVR volume control
2) The Sonos "Line-In Source Level" amplification, 1=lowest, 10=highest
3) The volume set at the Sonos speaker

I'd verify that (1) and (2) are set optimally.

Which Pre-Out connections (from the picture below) are you using from the AVR to the CONNECT?

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Sorry, I worded that wrong. The line-in source level is the setting I had been playing with and found little success raising the volume on the upstream Sonos speakers--even at their max it was very low.

I am using the Pre-Out Front L/R on the AVR and connecting to the "input" on the Connect. I also tried using Zone 2, but had no sound.

Really appreciate your help. Thank you.
Userlevel 7
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I'm guessing a little, but I'd be tempted to use the ZONE2 outputs if possible, allowing you to control the output volume (and source) to the CONNECT independently of the main zone & speakers.

You need to follow the instructions on pages 145 & 146 ("Playback in ZONE2") of the product manual, to switch on ZONE2, select the source, and set the volume. I've attached an image of the relevant pages for convenience.
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Just wanted to circle back and thank you for your help. This did the trick. I don't seem to have the same functionality as I had before--I think because my old Pioneer Elite AVR had a "Tape Out" set of RCA's, but it's working.

The bummer is that I can no longer control the volume on the Living Room zone with the Sonos App in line-in mode. For example, with my old setup, I used to be able to physically turn the AVR volume up quite high and then could back it down with the app to the desired level. I can no longer do this from the app and have to physically use the Denon remote to control the volume of that living room zone. The app still controls the other zones, which is good, and obviously works on all zones when listening to other sources, so for now, I'm happy.

Thanks again for your help, it is greatly appreciated.
Userlevel 7
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Happy to help. Thanks for circling back.

The bummer is that I can no longer control the volume on the Living Room zone with the Sonos App in line-in mode. For example, with my old setup, I used to be able to physically turn the AVR volume up quite high and then could back it down with the app to the desired level.
It sounds like you may be referring to the CONNECT output, for playback via the AVR? Perhaps you have the 'Line-Out Level' option set to 'Fixed' instead of 'Variable'. The latter option allows you to control the Line-Out volume via the Sonos controllers, the former doesn't.
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Nope, I have it set to variable for sure on the Connect, which is a zone named "Living Room" in my setup. When I play any music source OTHER than line-in, I have full volume control of that zone, but when I switch to Line-in as music source, I am no longer able to control the volume level of that Living Room zone from the Sonos App. I have to use the Denon remote to raise/lower the volume. With my old setup, I used "Tape Out" from the AVR the Input on the Connect and could change the volume regardless of source. Am I missing something?

Just to recap
Connect is connected to Denon AVR via Toslink to Opt 2 on AVR. Zone 2 Out to In on Connect. Zone 2 volume level set to 70 and Zone 2 "ON", Living Room Connect set to variable and "2 (Airplay)" for impedance.

Are you saying, I should still be able to control the volume in that zone from the app when in line-in mode?
Userlevel 7
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Are you saying, I should still be able to control the volume in that zone from the app when in line-in mode?
Ok, I think I now understand (*). The Sonos app can control the volume only if the signal passes through the Sonos device. I think your current scenario is (using the TT as an example source):

(1) TT -> AVR -> AVR speakers: No Sonos in the path here, so no App control. AVR volume control only.

It's convoluted, but you could instead try the following:

(2) TT -> AVR ZONE2 -> CONNECT Line-In -> CONNECT Line-Out -> AVR -> AVR speakers

This loops the signal via the CONNECT, and hence the Sonos volume control will work. (However, I'll note that the CONNECT is then digitising its Line-In signal, which is passed straight back to the AVR to convert it back to analog -- an unnecessary round-trip conversion, albeit one that is not likely to affect sound quality discernibly.)

With your previous AVR you probably had: TapeOut -> CONNECT Line-In -> CONNECT Line-Out Analog -> TapeIn.

Alternatively, if you want app-based volume control for your AVR, I believe you could connect your AVR to your network and use the Denon HEOS app instead?

(*) It's also entirely possible I'm barking up the wrong tree with this advice, as I'm trying to 'hallucinate' aspects of your setup!
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You're spot on regarding the old setup (if I remember correctly!).

Couple questions though regarding this statement:
(2) TT -> AVR ZONE2 -> CONNECT Line-In -> CONNECT Line-Out -> AVR -> AVR speakers

I don't think I fully follow this. If I'm reading this correctly, does this mean I lose other music source ability?

You're saying connect the TT to Zone 2 Pre Out? Then connect Connect IN to Connect Out? How does the signal from other sources make it's path to AVR? Via OPT 2?
Userlevel 7
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You're spot on regarding the old setup (if I remember correctly!).

Couple questions though regarding this statement:
(2) TT -> AVR ZONE2 -> CONNECT Line-In -> CONNECT Line-Out -> AVR -> AVR speakers

I don't think I fully follow this. If I'm reading this correctly, does this mean I lose other music source ability?

You're saying connect the TT to Zone 2 Pre Out? Then Connect IN to Connect Out? How does the signal from other sources make it's path to AVR? Via OPT 2?

You don't need to change any physical connections now that you have it working.

First, I should say that I'm not necessarily recommending this approach. Second, I don't have a representative Denon AVR, so I can't test whether my advice is correct.

Caveats over, these are the required configuration steps:

(1) AVR: Switch on ZONE2 and select the source you want to listen to (e.g., TT)
(2) Sonos: Select Living Room Line-In as the source for the Living Room zone
(3) AVR: Main zone, select the Sonos CONNECT as the input source

This sets up the path I was describing. Of course, if you want to listen to something streamed via Sonos (e.g., Spotify), you only need step (3).
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This is what I was missing!
(3) AVR: Main zone, select the Sonos CONNECT as the input source

I'm going to try this later today, but I'm betting that's what I wasn't doing!

Thank you again so very much for your help! I'll let you know later today.
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That doesn't work. I think because in order to hear the TT through the AVR, I have to have the AVR selected to PHONO source (using AVR's phono preamp).

If I'm listening to other sources like Spotify for example, I change the input on the AVR to CD and I'm good. When I change the Input on the AVR to CD when I'm on line-in, there's nothing there because the TT is connected to PHONO.

Make sense? See why I'm struggling?

It's not a HUGE deal, but it would obviously be nice to be able to control the volume from the app on the main living room zone versus having to pick up the Denon remote or use HEOS.

I still can't help but think there's something I'm missing.

/edit

Also in case it matters, when I goto Sonos settings for line-in source name on the App, the box is empty and there is a blue ! to the right of the empty box. This has been happening. Not sure what's up there.