System Plan - Comments Requested

  • 27 November 2007
  • 11 replies
  • 2290 views

I am planning a Sonos System. I’ve read the manuals, FAQ’s and spent hours following threads on this forum. I think I have it worked out, but as the old adage goes “you don’t know what you don’t know”. If I could get some comments, critique, and cautions on the plan it would really be helpful. Thanks

The house is 3200 ftsq. There are 18 sets of speakers. Most are Elan series (8 ohm, 5-75w) in the ceilings with another group planned for the exterior. All the speaker wires are home run to a central equipment room (closet) which has a Cat-6 feed and good ventilation. All the speakers have Russound ALTx2D impedance matching VC’s in the wall (except exterior speakers). Wire runs are 14 gauge. The equipment room is no more that 50ft (as the crow files) from any other place in the house.

I am planning 6 zones. Four zones would use ZP-100’s and would carry 2 to 3 speaker sets. The fifth zone would be a ZP-100 with four speaker sets in which 2 of these are dual voice coil speakers connected to a single ALTx2D (i.e. a 4 ohm load).

The 6th zone is for the exterior speakers. These have Niles non-impedance matching controls and are connected to an ADCOM GFS6 impedance matching switch which in turn is connected to an old Onkyo receiver/amp. This stuff is all existing gear I want to reuse. I plan to feed this zone with a ZP-80 from the analog output set at fixed.

The Home Theatre will be isolated from the Sonos system except for a convenience feed from the ZP-80 optical output to its receiver (also Onkyo TX-SV909PRO vintage 1995). This receiver’s optical input says “44.1 KHz Sampling Rate” and the connector appears to be TOSLINK.

I may also feed the ZP-100’s with analog inputs from some of the other HT components (CD/DVD, Tape, Phono, Cable Box and/or a back feed form the receiver).

I have one Cat-6 feed from a giga-bit switch and can connect the 6 ZP’s in one of the following ways:

1. Daisy Chain from one to the next.
2. Feed to the 1st, connect 3 more to it, and connect the last 2 to one of those 3.
3. Feed directly from the router to a new switch to be located in the equipment room. All 6 ZP’s connect to the switch. I would have to buy this switch.

I plan 3 CR-100’s with charging cradles. One would be in close proximity to the equipment room. The other 2 would be remote. If I have reception problem I can connect a Zone Bridge to a Cat-6 outlet in a remote room.

I haven’t explored the Digital Music side much except that I want to rip my CD’s lossless to one of the computers or set up a media server. Rhapsody seems attractive.

When shopping for the units. I see that Sonos no longer sells the BU-101 bundle but it still seems to be available at Amazon.com. Are there any other places that anyone can recommend to find a good price?

11 replies

Hi, Afaik, that all works. You don't need another switch, and you can plug the zp100s up as you like. They can also interface wirelessly, but no reason not to hook them up with wires.

I am no expert with the multiple speaker sets on one zp100, just make sure they all have loads between 4-8 ohms. In case you are not sure about this, better ask someone who is (or wait until Buzz sees your post).

I stead of buying Zonebridges you might also be able to extend wireless coverage by strategically placing one zp100 at another location. But a Zonebridge will work as well, just costs extra.

The Zp80 does put out a 44.1 kHz Toslink signal, so that will work.

Rhapsody or Napster together with Sonos is well worth the 10 bucks per month, it is pure luxury. You get a free trial for both with your system. As for a media server, if you are only going to use it for Sonos, then a simple NAS will do, advantage is that it uses less energy and that it just works.

As for the bundles, I don't know, but maybe you can find a dealer that is willing to give you some volume discount (or swap the zp80 in the bundle against a zp100).

I am planning 6 zones. Four zones would use ZP-100’s and would carry 2 to 3 speaker sets. The fifth zone would be a ZP-100 with four speaker sets in which 2 of these are dual voice coil speakers connected to a single ALTx2D (i.e. a 4 ohm load).



Overall your plan is fine. Note that, unless all controls are strapped at 1x, you should insert controls in all speakers connected to an amplifier -- otherwise you'll need to carefully calculate the final system impedance and you will probably not be able to balance the room levels.

Compared to power switches and dimmers the volume controls are huge. The controls will accept #14 wire, but it will be a tight fit as you attempt to jam the fat wire into the wallbox along with the control -- especially if you are mounting multiple controls in a cluster. I recommend using simple plaster rings or plastic boxes with the backs cut out. It would pay to test your mounting scheme early in the construction phase.
Userlevel 2
I am thinking of moving my Sonos units to their own switch in my wiring closet. I seem to need to reboot my switch once every 1.5-3 months, and I'm still not sure why.

I don't have a real solid reason for putting them on their own physical device, but for some reason I "like" it.
I am thinking of moving my Sonos units to their own switch in my wiring closet. I seem to need to reboot my switch once every 1.5-3 months, and I'm still not sure why.


Is this a simple switch or is it actually a router?

What is the model number of this device?
Userlevel 2
Is this a simple switch or is it actually a router?

What is the model number of this device?


It's a Dell Powerconnect 2716 - 16 port managed gigabit switch.
Buzz
Thanks. Between the zone 6 exterior speakers and the amp is the ADCOM speaker switch which the impedance matches. The Volume Controls for each speaker set in this zone are the older style that do not impedance match (i.e. no x settings). So I think I should be ok. The other 5 zones all have the newer Russound ALTx2D VC’s. I know well your caution on the wall box from my last house. Fortunately all these are open back mud rings. Any opinion on the Ethernet connection scheme?

Avee
Thanks. I looked all over for some spec on the Optical Digital output on the ZP-80. Where did you find that it was 44.1 KHz? Which do you prefer Rhapsody or Napster?
El lobo,

On lightly loaded home networks, the wired topology does not matter much. If you want to capture that last few percent of performance out of the network, use a central switch.

If you elect to use the ZP100's switch rather than a local or central switch, minimize the number of hops (don't daisy chain the ZonePlayers).
not as an argument, but to help me clarify, I was pretty sure a ZP100 could only handle 2 sets of 8-ohm speakers. I know this works well and have not had problems. maybe I am just not being adventurous enough to I am too hindered by my fear that following instructions could save my thousands of dollars worth of equipment 🙂 If there are those out there who have successfully done 3 sets I would love to know as I can think of good ways to expand then.
Ubertaffy,

You are correct, two pairs of 8-Ohm speakers is the limit for directly connecting speakers to a ZP100.

The volume controls that we are describing tinker with the "8-Ohm" part of the equation. If you used these controls to convert each speaker to 16-Ohms, you could connect four pairs of 8-Ohm speakers to a single ZP100.

Rather than force the consumer to go through some uncomfortable math, the controls have a little switch or some jumpers and some instructions about how to set the switch or jumpers, based on the number and type of speakers that are connected to an amplifier.
oooh... very tricky. I knew you could pass through various volume controls, and I myself plan to have the master bedroom sonos control 2 speakers there and then go through to the master bathroom for either 2 speakers or one stereo in ceiling speaker there, and I planned on running 1 or both through volume control first so I can obviously not be forced to have both on and at the same level. As far as the impedance issues and whatnot, I may need to learn more about that later next year when I am expanding other parts. Thanks for clearing it up!
One point to keep in mind: If the controls are set for anything above 1x, use a control for EACH set of speakers. One usually sets all of the controls for the same "x", but if you can do the math, other combinations can work in special situations.

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