12 Sonos Connect's + Multichannel Amplifier OR 12 Sonos Connect AMPS?

  • 27 February 2017
  • 4 replies
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I am remodeling my house and putting in 12 zones. I am considering two basic approaches and would appreciate input on my choice:

1) Purchase a multi-channel amplifier. Connect amp to speakers in each zone. So speaker cables would run from the AV closet to each of the sets of speakers in each room. Connect 12 Sonos Connects to the multichannel amp. These Sonos Connects could stay in the AV closet.
OR
2) Purchase 12 Sonos Connect AMPS and connect the AMPS to the speakers in each room. I would wire most of the AMPS to the network for improved signal strength. The Sonos AMPS could be kept in the AV closet also.

Which is best? I'm focused more on music quality, functionality, signal reliability etc..

Cheers, Andrew

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4 replies

Well, this is much larger than what I've ever done, but let me ask you a question:

How are you connecting 12 Connects to the receiver/amplifier? Are there 12 separate inputs on the receiver?

Unless this is one super awesome receiver/amp, I suspect that 2) is your better choice, if you want to be able to have 12 disparate streams, one in each zone. If you don't need that many different streams, then you could modify 1) to have many fewer connects, and possibly make that work.

Note that 2) is ultimately to be likely much more expensive, but potentially offer you greater control. At the end of the day, you may not need that receiver/amp anyway, if you end up going this route. You could connect a CD/DVD/Tape player to one of the several Connect:Amps, and have that propagate to any room on your network.

Hope this is helpful.
In terms of functionality 2) is best.

With most AV distribution amps, you are limited on how many sources your can use and, sometimes, which combinations of rooms you can play them in.

With Sonos, you can play anything, in any room, in pretty much any combination. You could, for instance:

* Play 12 different sources (streaming songs, internet radio, etc.) in 12 different rooms

* have a group of any number of rooms which plays the same source. You can have as many of these groups as you like at the same time, playing different sources: all the upstairs rooms could be playing a Spotify playlist, whilst all the downstairs rooms are playing an Internet Radio station; or all the rooms on the west wing of the house playing a Google Play Music rock playlist whilst the rooms in the East wing play a Google Play Music classic playlist, etc.

* You can add rooms to a group or remove them at any point, and move them between groups, all pretty much seamlessly

* You can also use Line-In on Connect Amps as a source, each Connect Amp Line-in can act as a separate source. If you have 12 Connect Amps, you have 12 separate Line In sources that you can use as well as all the other sources. Each of these can be played in the room they are connected in, or in any other room, or to a group of rooms. You can even play the Line-In on a different room whilst listening to something else in the Room where the Line-in is connected.

These are just some examples, but think of any combination of settings and with Sonos it's almost certainly possible.

Cheers,

Keith
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With 12 CONNECT:AMPs in one closet I would be concerned about heat dissipation. These ZonePlayers are slightly warm to the touch, and rely on upwards convection to take away the heat. But certainly Keith is correct with his recommendation to use C:As. Perhaps you can reduce the number required overall by having two pairs of speakers share an amp? Does not offer the same flexibility obviously, but is a cheaper choice.
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I went with option #1 and love it. Dayton and OSD re-sell the same AMP and it works great in my house which has 24 speakers (in ceiling). Some of the zones are wired together (decks, etc) and I added Sonos Sub to one of the bigger rooms.

This set up works great and I am currently adding more Connects and am not sure about the best cables to use (coax, RCA, etc) or if it even matters and I am debating on adding a hardware rack for a switch, power strip and the amp if I decide to hardwire the all the Connects.

If you have no problem with buying 1 Connect for every zone, then #2 is probably better. For me, I wanted more zones but I diidnt want to be married to the idea of 1 Connect:AMP for ever zone, so the Amp gives maximum flexibility.

I think a lot of people that answered your question have a different use case for their set up than you do.

Just me 2 cents, and good luck. Please update this thread and let us know what you decided and how it worked out