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Need advice -- Connect or Connect:AMP

  • 23 March 2018
  • 8 replies
  • 612 views

So here is what my setup will be:

5 pairs of Indoor Ceiling Mounted speakers. These 5 pairs will need to be 3 zones (3 connect:amps)
1 pair of Outdoor Mounted Speakers (Understand this would require it's own Connect:Amp)

So I know the easy solution is 4 connect:amps and I am done. I have 2 pairs of speakers in garage and 2 pairs in kitchen/dining area which are open concept so that is why I only need 2 Connect AMPs for these 4 pairs of speakers.

My indoor/garage ceiling mounted speakers are Polk Audio RC80i's
My outdoor speaker is undetermined- leaning towards Bose 251 or Polk Atrium #? Will take recommendations

My question is: Should I go with 4 Connect:Amps to power/play through all of the areas mentioned above or should I go with a third party amplifier and just get 4 Connects. The difference in price is $600 ($150 extra between Connect AMP and Connect) and I figure I could put a couple hundred into a good amplifier and still save some money going this route. Any suggestions on 3rd party amplifiers which deliver enough power to all speakers. Would a bridgeable 12-channel amp work (that would give me 6 zones and I could bridge the 2 common zones -- garage and kitchen-- together?)

Thanks!
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Best answer by Chris 23 March 2018, 22:36

No you have to have individual amplifiers. There are some larger amplifiers that can output to 2 zones but your wanting discrete listening in 4 different zones. A 12 zone amp even if it allows 4 input zones is going to cost you way more than $600.

A single connect:Amp will power 2 or 4 (8 ohms speakers) with plenty of power.
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8 replies

Userlevel 7
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Go with the 4 Connect:Amps. It just makes life so much simpler. And the amplifiers you buy you would have to leave on 24/7. Your not going to save $600. You save $600 buying the Sonos units but then your at least going to spend at least $75 per amp for a fairly cheap one so that's at least $300 in amps.

Parts-express.com has always had the best selection of cheap amps.
I just wasn't sure. I've heard that the Connect AMP's don't have good power output, especially to outdoor speakers. I thought there might be one Amplifier that can power all the speakers and each speaker pair can be hooked up to it's own Connect without the amp.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
No you have to have individual amplifiers. There are some larger amplifiers that can output to 2 zones but your wanting discrete listening in 4 different zones. A 12 zone amp even if it allows 4 input zones is going to cost you way more than $600.

A single connect:Amp will power 2 or 4 (8 ohms speakers) with plenty of power.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Cheaper 12 zones like this https://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-MA1240a-Multi-Zone-Amplifier/dp/B003DKVZHQ or this https://www.amazon.com/OSD-Audio-MX1260-Universal-selectable/dp/B004S3PY9M/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_23_bs_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ECGXSM5N870WMTTMHKXN

are rated at 40 watts per channel. The Connect:Amp is a strong 55 watts per channel. So the Connect:Amp should be better.

Only advantage for the outdoor is I see the OSD will output in Mono. Although I haven't had any issues running stereo outdoor.

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/269/~/connecting-speakers-to-a-connect%3Aamp
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
And think also - you have to run all your wires to a single location with one of the distribution amps. Maybe that's not an issue for you ... but with the Connect:Amps you can have them in more convenient locations (shorter runs) to the speakers themselves.
Its a new construction and all wiring (network, routers, speaker, etc.) terminate (or originate) in the basement. So a single location is not an issue -- actually I have to use a single location.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Unless you get a distribution Amp that is 60watts or more per channel (8ohms) your not gaining anything over the independent Connect:Amps

Connect:Amp is 55watts/channel 8ohm 110watts/channel 4ohm and many people say that is conservative. I have never had trouble getting it to put out some volume.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Even Russound amp would give you a little less wattage per channel then the Connect Amps

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_543D850/Russound-D850.html?tp=9414