Sonos Play 5, NAD amplifier, PSB Speakers and ZP100 question

  • 17 September 2015
  • 9 replies

Userlevel 2

I currently own a Play 5 and a Bridge (both 3 years old) and I absolutely love the ease of use and the sound coming out of those speakers. The Bridge is in my living room next to the router and the Play 5 speaker is in the kitchen.

I also use a separate, non-Sonos, system which consists of the following:

In the living room:
1) NAD 3020 Receiver from the late 1980s - Has "Aux", "Phono", "Tuner", "Tape" inputs
2) Rega RP 1 turntable connected to the above NAD's Phono input
3) PSB Bookshelf speakers also wired into the above NAD

In the bedroom:
1) In-wall speakers with homerun wiring that runs into the living room. They have their own volume control in the bedroom. But these speakers are not hooked up to anything so they are not in use right now.

A friend recently gave me his old, in working condition, Zone Player 100 (ZP100). My goal is to build a whole-home audio streaming solution using the components I listed above AND the old ZP100. I'm thinking this is the way this would work:

I would connect the bedroom in-wall speakers to speaker ports on the back of the ZP100.
I would run RCA cables from the red and white out ports on the back of ZP100 to the back of the NAD "Aux" inputs. The PSB speakers are wired to the NAD.
I would use ethernet connection between the router and the ZP100.

Will this allow me to stream music from the SONOS app to the NAD/PSB speakers? Will this also allow me to stream music from the SONOS app to the in-wall bedroom speakers? Can I select which zone I want to stream to (NAD,bedroom, Play 5)? Can I stream different music to each of the 3 different zones using this setup?

Thank you so much in advance for any help with this.

Best answer by Chris 17 September 2015, 01:55

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9 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
The ZP100 won't need to be connected to your router - it will work wireless or you can hook to router..

It will power your speakers in your bedroom via the speaker level outputs. It will feed into the Aux in of your NAD receiver so you can listen to music via the receiver. Since you have a volume control in the bedroom - if you want to play the ZP100 to your living room without sound in your bedroom just turn down the volume control in the bedroom. Vice versa if you leave your NAD receiver off you can then use the ZP100 just in your bedroom. But it will all be one zone in Sonos app.

You can also hook the TAPE out from your NAD to the Input on the ZP100. Then you can play your Phonograph or anything else hooked up to the NAD to your bedroom or the kitchen as well.

You officially have 2 zones then

Zone 1 - Kitchen
Zone 2 - Living Room / Bedroom

Just that with Zone 2 you can manually handle if both or either or are playing (via the volume know in bedroom and turning on/off receiver speakers).

Hope this helps!
Userlevel 2
Perfect. That's what I needed to know. With the NAD tape out / ZP100 line-in, if I understand correctly what you are saying, I should be able to stream my records to the Play 5 and to the bedroom as well?
Also, is there a need for a subwooofer at all in any of this?
Also just curious why the ZP100 has 4 ethernet jacks?

Thank you again.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Yes you can stream records to the Play:5 and bedroom. Your controller under Line In will show the NAD feeding into Sonos system. Then any Sonos Zone can play that Line In connection.

Subwoofer just if you for some reason need extra bass.

Extra Ethernet jacks - they were handy at the time because as with all Sonos units using Sonosnet they are active Ethernet ports (meaning you can get your home network off of them - useful for plugging in non-wifi devices like connected receiver, tv etc). More devices have wifi built in now so not as much of a need for the extra Ethernet network ports to get network access remotely.
Just to clarify, you won't be able to stream different music to the two areas connected to the zp100, it can only handle one stream at a time.
Hi - wondering if there are any opinions on this which are not entirely biased towards Sonos, since I see you have NAD and PSB gear. I have a NAD amp from the 80s or early 90s and pair of PSBs plus a bunch of Sonos Play 1 and 3s . I have swapped out the NAD for a Connect Amp to drive the PSBs, and it sounds OK but not great at low volume levels. I am thinking of getting rid of the PSBs and getting Play 5s. Will Play 5s be an upgrade sound experience from the PSBs (and NAD)? Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
In all likelihood, yes. But speaker sound preferences are very subjective and only you are the final arbiter of which speaker sounds better.
The most reliable way is to hear for yourself and decide which means getting a 5 pair on a try before final buy basis. Sonos themselves have a returns policy to allow this, as so many other sellers.
Thanks Kumar. I will likely do that. I am curious how speaker tech has changed in almost 30 years but my instinct tells me that the Play 5s can do things that PSB could not do 30 years ago.
A passive speaker of today will not do much more than what a 30 year old PSB in good condition will, because that tech has largely stagnated. Where the 5 gets the edge it has is because it can have as many amps as drivers, dedicated to each driver, and DSP to manage the whole show. Including tuning the speakers for room response via Trueplay.

But since the proof of the pudding is in the eating of it, listener tests still rule in what is a subjective preference at the end of the day.

IMO though, and equally subjectively, a play 1 pair + Sub is a better choice than a 5 pair. Of course a 5 pair + Sub will top that, if you can go that far. But not by as much as the price difference may require it to.
Ok thanks. I will start with a pair of 5s and see what difference there is. Cheers