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Indoor/Outdoor setup question...

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Old September 5th 03, 03:55 AM
Barry Mann
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Default Indoor/Outdoor setup question...

In > , on 09/01/03
at 06:26 PM, (Paul Cockren) said:

>I am currently in the middle of buying components to setup a new
>system. I would like to have 5.1 surround in my living room, and two
>sets of speakers outdoors. One set will be going near my pool and the
>other near the hot tub. I would like the outdoor speakers to be
>playing from the same source, but be able to be controlled
>independently(as far as which speakers will be on and the volume of
>each). Another feature I would like is to be able to play a different
>source inside than the one outside(dvd player inside and cd player
>outside) or have them all play from the same source, but again have
>the volume of each set controlled independently. The salesperson at
>the local shop suggested a speaker selector (Russound 4.1 selector)
>and we already purchased the outdoor speakers from him. The question
>is if i use the speaker selector, what features do i need in a
>receiver to accomplish the tasks i would like? Or should i just go
>with a multi output amplifier? Any help would be appreciated...please
>email me at
with any help you could offer...thanks

I'm not sure which RUSSOUND box he is suggesting, but if it is one of
the boxes that contains volume controls, you will be creating an
operational problem for yourself because any of the speakers running
through the box will not be quite as loud as the ones not going through
the box. (I'm assuming that your main speakers will not be connected
through the box) I won't go into why this happens, but it is not a
fault, just a characteristic of how the box works. Typically, all the
speakers should run through the box and the relative levels of the
speakers will remain the same, but you will notice that you'll be
running the receiver's volume control higher than before adding the

You would want to connect the front left and right receiver speaker
outputs to the box and then on to the outside speakers. If you also run
the main inside speakers through the box to deal with the above
mentioned level matching issue, then the surround and center speakers
will be too loud relative to the main speakers. If your receiver set-up
level adjustments have enough range, you can adjust for the main
speaker level shift and everything will work out. If you can't adjust
for the level shift, you'll have to decide which shift is worse.

Your requirement for different music outside cannot be satisfied by any
of the above because you don't have enough amplifiers. Essentially you
need two systems that share sources.

Many of the newer receivers are designed for this situation. There will
usually be a reverence to "ZONE2", "Multi-zone", or "Whole House" in
the receiver brochure. These units have two or more source selectors.
The main selector runs the home theater and the auxiliary selector(s)
can run other rooms. Some receivers come with two remote controls, one
for the main and one for the zones. Note that you must read the fine
print very carefully. Most units do not have enough amplifiers to
operate the remote rooms, you may need to provide additional
amplifiers. Some units do not provide a volume control for the remote
zones (this is not really a problem because you will be using external
individual room volume controls). Some units don't pay attention to
what is on and what is off. You may be surprised by the main speakers
turning on when all you wanted was the remotes. A few units are really
stupid and turning off the main speakers will not mute the surround
speakers or the subwoofer -- you could end up with subwoofer thump in
the main room while you are listening in the remote area. (turning off
the EFFECTS will usually solve this problem) Don't be too hard on your
salesman if he doesn't immediately know the answers to all these
questions because the poor guy has sold hundreds of different models
and each has its own quirks in this area. Reading the instruction
manual may not answer all of your questions, you may have to try the
unit, give it specific situations, and see how it behaves.


I recommend one of the multi-zone units for your application.


wordgame:123(abc):<14 9 20 5 2 9 18 4 at 22 15 9 3 5 14 5 20 dot 3 15
13> (Barry Mann)
[sorry about the puzzle, SPAMers are ruining my mailbox]


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