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Looking for a HT receiver that can do this....

Old 08-28-06, 04:53 PM
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Looking for a HT receiver that can do this....

My friend has some speakers installed throughout his house (bedroom and outside), on top of the normal 5.1 system set up in his family room. I'm looking for a receiver that can run all 3 zones, individually or in conjunction.

I helped him pick up a Yamaha HTR-5990 because it touts multi-zone setups. However, after getting it out of the box and messing with it, it doesn't seem to do as it claims. Apparently the other zone speakers are passive, and won't really work with what he wants (CD playing and radio). Or at least I can't get it to work if it does.

I've been trying to research an alternative unit, that can do what I'm looking for, but I don't seem to be having any luck. I'm thinking he may need to take a step up to get what he is looking for.
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Old 08-29-06, 07:50 AM
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There is a difference between a true multi zone receiver and ones with a simple a/b switch.

Generally speaking if it is a true multi zone receiver it is near the top of the line and is expensive. This is one such unit and if you were unable to make the multi zones work did you recheck the manual?
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Old 08-29-06, 11:09 AM
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Yeah, I've read the manual a few times.
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Old 08-29-06, 11:36 AM
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I'm not familiar with this unit, but I think you should be able to run at least one additional stereo pair with the two unused channels. What is your friend's budget? As Brian said, true multi-zone receivers tend to be quite expensive. Another option is to keep the Yammy and add some check amps for the extra speakers.
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Old 08-29-06, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
Yeah, I've read the manual a few times.

it doesn't seem to do as it claims
well let's try this, what is it not doing? A multi-zone receiver should be able to play cd's in one area and fm in another for example. I looked at a back panel diagram and what was confusing to me was the fact that the surrounds look like the are also the zone speakers.

To my mind that means that if this is a home theater receiver you may not be able to do zones.
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Old 08-29-06, 01:29 PM
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If you (your friend) want that many zones, you should separate your systems. They can have the same sources, like a CD player. But there are specfic controllers for multi-room systems that would be far better than an HT receiver. Almost any HT receiver with multiple zones (almost all of them have 2 zone capability) will still require separate amplification for the other zones because they only have line-level outputs. I don't know anything about the model I linked, it was just the first one I found googling. There are others, too, not necessarily from big electronics companies that most people have heard of. Often the only way to get these is through a custom installer.

The 3 top Denon HT receivers can handle 3 zones, 58xx, 48xx, 43xx. But I think only the 58xx series can actually amplify them (it has 10 amp channels), and even that will cut into your HTamplification needs. And it is $6000. And, it may only amp 2 zones, not all 4 that it can distribute.

Last edited by Spiky; 08-29-06 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 08-29-06, 01:36 PM
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Ok, that's good information guys. I figured out the need for having another amp to run the 2 other zones. That may not work with the setup that he has.

Essentially was going to try to run everything in the house w/ this one receiver, and have a nicer IR remote to control it from other room. Now, I see I may need to go another route.
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Old 08-29-06, 01:48 PM
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Well, if he can handle only 2 zones, the Yamaha should be able to do some powering of speakers by itself, it claims Zone 2 speaker output. But you would need to run speaker wire and set it up properly in the menu. Plus you would want to remove/not use any room volume controls that might already be in the house, those would not be designed to work with an HT receiver. And really the Yammy can only do 2 other speakers. You could perhaps wire 4 in series (not in parallel) which would reduce volume at each, but not mess with the impedance. (that's the ohm rating, using many parallel speakers on one channel can damage the amp)

If he has many speakers, simply getting a many-channel amp would work. (either like the one I linked above or just a straight power amp) The Yamaha could route Zone 2 to the external amp, which could then distribute the power to all the speakers. It probably could also turn on only certain speakers to power only the bedroom or only outside, if it is a specialized amp, not just a simple power amp. This wouldn't give you different sources at those 2 zones, though.

There are simple multichannel amps designed for multiroom, too. 6, 8, 12 channels with less power/channel than your standard HT amp or receiver.
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Old 08-29-06, 02:27 PM
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He's got 4 speakers. 2 outside and 2 inside in his bedroom on the other part of the house.

So volume controls would potentially create conflict? Interesting. I got the outside speakers to work straight out of the box w/ the reciever, but I didn't try the volume controls.
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Old 08-29-06, 05:31 PM
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Well, conflict might be the wrong word. But they could certainly turn down the volume and make it seem like it wasn't working. Or they could be broken and not letting any signal through. Depending on the setup and the particular products in the house, and assuming they are working properly, the other volume controls could:

a. kill themselves
b. kill the Yamaha receiver
c. kill the speakers
d. any combo of the above
e. work perfectly
f. work with somewhat muted volume
g. strain any/all of the components and adversely affect them eventually
h. start a fire (j/k, not likely with low voltage )

And I don't know enough to tell you how to figure out what's what. The little bit I have dealt with these kinds of controls was messy. I just know enough to know that I'd have to learn quite a bit more before doing DIY on this. I'm pretty sure that if they are rated to work with a standard 6-8ohm amplifier, then "e" is the most likely answer. But if they are part of some Niles, Elan, or similar whole-house-audio system, I don't know what they would be rated for or what kind of products can be hooked directly into them. That's my bro-in-law's area, but he's not on the forum. I let him be the family expert on this stuff, he's gotta be useful for something.
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