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Need help with a whole house system

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Old 03-05-2014, 12:00 PM   #1  
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Default Need help with a whole house system

I've been doing a lot of reading and research and have come to the conclusion that we need a whole house audio system. Let me provide a little background about us and our habits:

-We have music playing pretty much at all times when we are home. In the morning I listen to sports talk radio in the kitchen on a basic under cabinet radio. My wife is getting ready for work at the same time and listening to either Pandora or saved music on her Samsung Galaxy S3 (no speaker...sounds bad) in the bathroom. When we get home from work music is playing on the Logitech S715i docking station in the kitchen playing either Pandora or music from our iTunes library. The only time it seems that we aren't listening to something is when we are watching TV.

- I am a big sports talk listener (AM radio) and my wife listens to Pandora and music from her library (music like Imagine Dragons, Match Box 20, KOGNOS, U2, etc). I like music but get sick of hearing the same songs over and over. When I listen to music I like music similar to her, 90s alternative, some 80's rock and 60's rock.

- We are in no way music experts. Like I said, my wife sometimes listens to music through her phone (no external speaker or headphones). We probably wouldn't notice much of a difference between inexpensive but good speakers and those that cost $1,000s of dollars.

- We spend a lot of time in our backyard during summer. We have a deck off the back of the house and an above ground pool with another deck. In the past we've always listened to music on the Logitech S715i but would like to run a zone or two outside.


So since radio/music is such a big part of our lives, I think it might be worth the effort to come up with some sort of whole house audio system. I am pretty handy and can handle most projects but need some help with the technical part. Here is some more basic info and some ideas I have.

- We have three tvs:
-56" rear projection Samsung HDTV (about 6 years old) in the family room. This is where we probably watch 50% of our TV. This is also the place where we watch most as a family. Right now I have a LG LHT854 box surround system hooked up to it. With satellite speaker (all speakers are 4 ohms) placed in each of the four corners of the room (cathedral ceilings). It sounds okay but the back two speakers don't normally have any sound coming from them and the system lack base. We also have a PlayStation 3 hooked up to the TV and we usually use this to play DVDs and the kids play video games on it.
-50" plasma Panasonic TV HDTV (bought last fall) in basement. We don't watch very often down here (maybe 10%) but basement was just finished last fall and we spend more time in the family room with fireplace/Christmas tree during winter. I imagine it will get a lot more use when summer comes and it's nice and cool downstairs. I have a Denon AVR-1613 receiver hooked up to the TV and a pair of Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf speakers and Polk Audio TSi CS10 Center channel speaker. The sound is good but lacks base and is missing the "surround sound" aspect.
-37" Vizio 720 HDTV (about 5 years old) in master bedroom. My wife and I use this TV about 40% of the time. We usually watch a tv show after the kids are in bed and before we go to bed. We have this tv hooked up to an old DVD player and an old Aiwa CX-NMT520 (very old speaker system) with a couple of old speakers. It does not sound very good but is a little better than the speaker on the tv.

-We always have our Samsung Galaxy S3 phones with us and they would be the most convenient to control any system. We also have a Ipod touch (usually in the LOgitech docking station and an Ipad (usually my son is playing games on it).

- I have four speakers that came with a JVC SP THM505 box surround system. They are only 4ohms so probably of no use.

Ideally, this is what I would like to accomplish:

- Have decent to good surround sound for all three tvs (in order of importance: family room tv, basement tv, master bedroom tv).

-Have a number of zones for music throughout the house. I envision a zone or two in the backyard (maybe one for pool and one for back deck). Maybe a zone in the garage, a zone in our bathroom, a zone in our master bedroom, a zone in the den, a zone in upstairs hall and downstairs, a zone in basement main area, and a zone in my work shop. I'm not sure how the zones would work into the three surround sound areas.

- Running wire would be doable. Basement and first floor would be fairly easy as the basement has a drop ceiling. To run speaker wire to the second floor I could come through attic.

Ideally I'd like a system that doesn't break the bank. Right now we are on a pretty tight budget (may have more flexibility toward the end of the year) so can't spend thousands of dollars. I'm thinking of maybe setting up a central station (whatever that maybe) and then wiring one room at a time as money and time permit.

Thanks for any and all suggestions. I'm still in the learning stage of this process so am open to any advice. Below are some pictures to show what I am working with.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Upstairs.jpg (36.9 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Downstairs.jpg (38.8 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Basement Layout.jpg (54.7 KB, 2 views)
pmsmith2032 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2014, 09:17 AM   #2  
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Let me chime in for a sec - the reason you might not be getting a lot of response is because that is a pretty tall order to do for 'dirt cheap' which is what you seem to be requesting. To do that many zones (8 or 9) and surround for 3 tv's could easily run into the thousand(s) even with inexpensive gear.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:43 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkkyler View Post
Let me chime in for a sec - the reason you might not be getting a lot of response is because that is a pretty tall order to do for 'dirt cheap' which is what you seem to be requesting. To do that many zones (8 or 9) and surround for 3 tv's could easily run into the thousand(s) even with inexpensive gear.
It depends on what you need.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:49 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkkyler View Post
Let me chime in for a sec - the reason you might not be getting a lot of response is because that is a pretty tall order to do for 'dirt cheap' which is what you seem to be requesting. To do that many zones (8 or 9) and surround for 3 tv's could easily run into the thousand(s) even with inexpensive gear.
Agree
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