Do I have the right components to bring my system to the 20th century

  • 5 January 2022
  • 2 replies

I recently bought a home that came with an ancient audio system already built into 4 ceilings. In total the system includes an amp, a switch, cd and cassette player, 4 ceiling speakers in 4 different rooms and 2 speakers (potentially one of them is an amp but neither is working) in the same room as the audio system. See picture's of equipment below.


r/sonos - Help in bringing my house into the 20th century

only the switch is staying from this picture.


r/sonos - Help in bringing my house into the 20th century

current amp that I'm hoping to replace with sonos amp

My short term goal is to keep the in-ceiling speakers but enable streaming (I'm going to remove the cd and cassette player as neither work). This lead me to the Port vs Amp decision. Ultimately I choose amp, which just shipped, as the current amp is an enormous heat producer and felt like something I'd want to replace sooner than later. In investigating further I'm now worried the Sonos amp won't be able to power the 4 in ceiling speakers through the switch as well as the ones in the living room (which will likely need to be replaced- I was thinking of going with a single Sonos one or five in that room).


Long term I'd like to add out-door speakers to the mix.


I'm an absolute novice when it comes to this sort of thing and just want confirmation that I'm thinking about this in the right way. Is amp the right way to go or should I have gotten a port. Can I add a Sonos 5 to replace the two speakers in the living room (if it turns out its not just a wiring issue which it very well might be).


Really really appreciate the help.

2 replies

hi @limabean while I haven’t checked the power specifications of your legacy amplifier, I believe you made a good choice - replacing any of the legacy speakers by Sonos speakers should be easy since they will directly connect to the Sonos Amp via your local network (wired or wireless) - it would be good for a start to have the Sonos Amp wire connected to your router - depending on the surface to cover, you may start by adding Sonos One (or One SL if you do not use voice commands) speakers - bear in mind that you will need a power outlet nearby


The main point though is whether a single amp can power all 4 speakers.  The answer is, yes and no. The amp is really designed for a single pair of speakers.  However, you can connect two pair, but the pairs will be playing the same audio at the same volume.  

The other factor is that you stated that each of the four rooms has a single speaker,  not two, meaning that it is mono, not stereo.  The amp does have a mono mode, so that fine. 

Basically you could use a single amp, along with your switch, but it’s really go to limit your control.  You can only play a single source at a time, and only at a single volume, though you can mute some pairs of speakers of speakers with your switch.  Ideally, you want each room to be a separate room/zone in the Sonos app, to be able to play a single source at a single volume, or grouped together as you wish, all controlled at the Sonos app.

Honestly, it may not be worth trying to preserve your existing system.  If the existing speakers aren’t great quality, then you will want to replace them.  Since they are mono, that still might not be ideal for the room.  A pair of Sonos Ones would be a better option possibly.