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Topic Title: Sonos Sound system
Topic Summary: Any experience?
Created On: 21 March 2010 01:26 PM
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 21 March 2010 01:26 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3037
Joined: 20 July 2006

My client is refurbishing an old house and is going for the good quality, but not gold plated option. He looks to be settling on the Sonos system for his home.

http://www.sonos.com/howitwork...dr=true&LangType=1033

The Sonos sytem will probably be running Napster for the music. Now that looks fantastic and I'm very tempted to install a bit of kit and go down the Napster route myself (will give you a link in a mo but don't know how to do two at once).

Television will be digital. Quite possibly only the BBC iplayer and the like when it gets used. They don't watch TV and there will only be one in the house.

I'm running cat 5 E broadband to each room, some with more than one outlet in each room, and speaker cable which he will specify to given positions.

I've arranged for all the data and sound cables to travel under the floors on the other side of the landings and rooms from the normal cables to try to separate. Am also putting any alarm cables in with them.

Will be setting up a patch panel in an upstairs cupboard, now affectionately known as ' the hub'. The clients are a lovely French couple so we get him to say 'the 'ub' as often as possible.

It looks like a pretty good system to me, but am happy to stand corrected if any of you have had experience. It isn't ordered yet so I'd appreciate any feedback.

And yes, there will be quite a bit of celotex in the floors downstairs. There will be a pumped underfloor heating system going in. Am trying to confine all this to up and over to avoid past problems with inductance.

any soundy bods out there? Does this look ok?

Zs
 21 March 2010 01:31 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3037
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Now if this works I have to have it for me as well!

http://www.napster.co.uk/

Zs
 21 March 2010 02:44 PM
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keylevel

Posts: 482
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Can't comment on Sonos, but I would be inclined to run Cat 6 in to allow for future developments. Cat 5e can be used for gigabit if the runs aren't too long. but Cat 6 would be safer.

If you're running low-level audio (not speakers) I would also try and separate them from anything else to minimise cross-talk.
 21 March 2010 05:05 PM
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clansman

Posts: 180
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I did all the donkey work once for a specialist who installed. As I was re-wiring the place was asked to install speaker cable (expensive) and Cat 5e. Base station and 2 zone bridges were installed with wiring for up to 8 pairs of speakers.

Doesn't seem to be any problems. I was also installing LEDs lights with dimmers which required special screened cables to reduce interference. Tried to install away from other cables etc. but in some cases wasn't possible. So I think the Cat5e and speaker cables are quite resilient to any mains interference.
 21 March 2010 05:14 PM
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hughesx5

Posts: 78
Joined: 18 June 2007

never fitted one of these so cant help , but have been to a few houses that have this system and i am very impressed . the walk about keypad is a nice touch too.
 22 March 2010 06:52 AM
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normcall

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It seems a complete waste of money if the sound sources are going to be things like the internet.
Bit rates are so low that even my aged ears can hear the difference between the usual 'digital' bitrate of 96 to 128 (BBC 'quality!). I even encoded my old records at 256 b/s just to get reasonable quality for the car.

Funny really, as even BT have cottoned on to the better quality of proper telephones compared with the highly compressed mobile telephone - and that's just speech!

And don't get me on to the digital TV that pixilates every time anything moves faster than slowmo.

At least the move from AM to FM radio was an improvement (just the programming got left behind).

Luddites rule OK!

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Norman
 22 March 2010 07:48 AM
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Matt1010

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Joined: 22 March 2010

Hi.

You could use balanced connections for line level signals if the system supports it (XLR or TRS usually). Or as an extreme, use star quad cable (a magnetically coaxial structure) for ultimate interference rejection. However the latter is designed for long runs of cable carrying microphone signal, which can be 60dB below line level, so probably not necessary here!

In my opinion Cat 5e is fine for gigabit ethernet, even works with 10Gig on shorter runs, I haven't found any benefit to using cat 6 so far.

Cheers.

Matt.
 22 March 2010 08:46 PM
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Zs

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Thank you so far.

Really tempted to give the system its own DB and nice separate clean earth. I'm in TT heaven.

Normally I would just chuckle at a Norm comment like that. If it were about day to day electrics. But in this case I expect it has a good deal of gravitas because Norm knows about sound and signals. Will pass the comment on to the client. I wonder if he is doing anything aobut internet speeds etc.

Matt 1010, your comments re balanced connections for line level signals apply to the internet part of this as opposed to the speaker wiring I assume? What does that mean? Sorry if that's a dumb question but the word line means so much these days, would like to know more. If providing a balanced connection is within my grasp and not too time consuming then I'd go for it. I'm off to google. I've been given carte blanche on how and where to connect all this. On a day rate so a good set up could be achieved while I have the empty house to myself. Two weeks before the plumbers arrive.

I love doing the electrics for sound.

Zs
 22 March 2010 11:10 PM
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Maxpower

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The clients are a lovely French couple so we get him to say 'the 'ub' as often as possible.

Should that not be "Ze ub", Zs?

Really tempted to give the system its own DB and nice separate clean earth. I'm in TT heaven.


Good point - true afficionados do this frequently. Go to www.avforums.com, and type "separate consumer unit" into the search box, make tea, stay up all night reading.

Also http://www.blue-room.org.uk/ is worth a look at: more roadie orientated, but they get some interesting problems on there, takes me back a few years to my "if in doubt, earth-lift it" days...
 23 March 2010 01:43 PM
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AJJewsbury

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Matt 1010, your comments re balanced connections for line level signals apply to the internet part of this as opposed to the speaker wiring I assume? What does that mean?

Ethernet wiring (e.g. CAT 5) is normally (these days) 'twisted pair' - i.e. each signal is carried using a pair of wires (rather than just one wire and a common return somewhere). The receiving end looks for the voltage difference between the two wires of the same pair (rather than looking at the absolute voltage about say earth). The idea is that any interference appears in equal measure on both wires of the pair (having them twisted together means that on average they're likely to be the same average distance from any interference source) - but as it's added to both, it doesn't alter the difference in voltage between the pair. For example, if the pair are initially at 0V and 5V and 3V worth of interference is imposed on them, they arrive at the far end as 3V and 8V - but the differential circuit still sees 5V - i.e. the original signal, unharmed.

I think that the audio world has been doing similar things for years - and I suspect that's what's Matt's referring to. I think of "line level" as being the 1V pk-pk signal that runs between audio boxes (turntable/tape desk etc to amplifier), but could well be wrong!

- Andy.
 26 March 2010 07:31 PM
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Zs

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Thanks for taking the time to explain that Andy. Good and clear.

Part of this job involves restoring an old door bell and servant call system. Just for the feature of it but they's like it to work. the old bell clapper set up is here being silver leafed and I've been noting how it was connected as it comes out.

This morning I was a bit teed off to find a travis perkins sack left on my tools. It contained a big skein of bell wire. I had a bit of a 'don't tell me how to do my job, just let me get on with it' moment and did some Mutley muttering. I've enough to do without pressure to get the flippin' doorbells in just yet. But while I had the floorboards up for the hall lights I thought I'd bung a run of this old stuff in. Quite nice bell wire as it happens, a bit pearly when you hold it up to the light.

Client came in at five and asked me if I found the speaker cable.



Zs
 29 March 2010 11:47 AM
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OMS

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Client came in at five and asked me if I found the speaker cable


LoL - that'll teach you to get distracted by 5 o'Clock heroes when fishing around under the boards.

OMS

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