Domestic Audio Distribution

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Many of our clients have expressed an interest in feeding their domestic audio entertainment from their living room into other rooms of their house. We were aware that companies existed who would gladly install such zone systems on a domestic basis but the investment in technical hardware had to be reasonable for us to include the service as part of our interior design mandate. We also needed a system which an electrician could confidently install without needing to learn about the technical background of the equipment they are installing.

In short, we needed a reliable and workable solution that could utilise the customer's existing hi-fi equipment and be flexible enough to work in any environment the customer chose for installation.

We have teamed up with a British electronics company and an American loudspeaker manufacturer to bring together a system that can allow up to four zones of controlled audio from a suitable domestic hi-fi power amplifier...and the good news is that most people already own a suitable amplifier.

Note: All components are available separately - please call for details.

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How does it work?

Simplicity is the key - just take the leads that normally go to your living room loudspeakers and plug them into the heavy duty switcher box. Then take the four outputs and hook them up to your existing loudspeakers and up to three additional pairs of loudspeakers via independent volume controls. You now have four zones of audio from the same source all in glorious stereo.   

The system works by employing a special parallel and series switching circuit that ensures the amplifier load will not fall to less than half that of the speakers in use. As long as 8 ohm loudspeakers are used the minimum load never drops below 4 ohms. Nearly all amplifiers will accept a load of 4 ohms. 

What does it look like?

This was a major concern for us. Intrusive or ugly components have no place in an elegant interior design scheme. Another concern was the differing environment for various rooms - we had to consider installation in steamy bathrooms and kitchens as a likelihood for most clients and permanent installation on a patio or deck as a possibility. So we sourced a range of weather-proof loudspeakers from America. We were satisfied that these were tough enough to survive in the harshest exterior and interior locations yet were stylish enough to find a place in the most stylish decorating scheme. All loudspeakers are available in black or white, the white versions can be painted to blend in with a particular room colour scheme.

All our distribution packages are made up from the following components:

Also pictured at the head of this page, the 800 series is a premium quality wedge shaped loudspeaker. We would recommend these as replacement speakers for your main listening area. The custom-designed Wave Guide Tweeter produces crisp and clean reproduction of voice and instruments. Supplied complete with Tri-Angle mounting hardware to ensure optimal positioning. Technical Specifications
To be used on patio or balcony environments or large secondary interior zones, the 600 series has the power to fill the space. The tweeter is mounted on a tilt mechanism so high frequencies can be "aimed" at the optimum listening position. The Tri-Angle bracket included provides several alternative mounting positions from wall or ceiling locations. Technical Specifications
The smaller 300 series is perfect for kitchen and bathroom zones. The simpler mounting bracket and its diminutive size both mean that it can provide high quality audio while remaining unobtrusive in the smaller space. Mounting flexibility is enhanced by the tilt tweeter system, allowing you to direct the highs to where they're needed. Technical Specifications
For the more cost-conscious application we recommend the 200 series. Compactly housed in its aluminium diecast housing this speaker has power and clarity that are unsurpassed in its category. The performance specifications on this small speaker exceed many domestic hi-fi speakers in the economy range.

Comes complete with mounting bracket. Technical Specifications 

One fully water resistant volume control is required for each set of speakers used with the switcher (including the existing speakers). With individual control available in each zone it then becomes unnecessary to adjust the amplifier volume at all. When leaving a zone simply turn down the volume to zero to close the system in that zone.
The magic ingredient is the BT913 Hi-fi Loudspeaker Controller. This unit contains the wiring that "fools" the amplifier into driving four pairs of loudspeakers instead of one.

Will it work with my amplifier?

The system relies on presenting the amplifier with a load that stays at or above 4 ohms. Most amplifiers will accept that load. Take a look at the back panel of your amplifier and you should see something along the lines of "maximum load impedance 4 ohms" (the symbol for ohms is like a small horseshoe). If you see this then all is well.

Bear in mind that if your amplifier is not suitable it is almost certain that using the switcher will cause equipment damage to occur.

Can I use my own speakers?

The switcher must be used with 8 ohm speakers. Using speakers of less than 8 ohms will cause equipment damage. The speakers we supply are all 8 ohm. Check the back panel of your loudspeakers and you should see a label which says something like "impedance 8 ohms" (again the horseshoe symbol may be used). If that is the case your speakers will work with this system.

Must I use the volume knobs?

Without the volume knobs in each zone the volume of playback would be dictated by the amplifier settings in the main zone. Other zones could be muted by switching them off, but much of the convenience and usability of the system would be lost.

Will I have to redecorate?

For the best visual results all cabling should be chased in. The volume knobs will have to be installed in backboxes similar to lightswitches. So, yes, some disruption is inevitable. Installation can be carried out by any electrician who will suggest the best locations for the volume knobs to minimise the inconvenience. 

What are the drawbacks?

Any distribution system involves compromise and trade-off, this one is no exception:

How much does it cost?

Because each interior will have different priorities we have devised a number of systems that we believe will cover most requirements: 

The Executive Two pairs of 800's
One pair of 600's
One pair of 300's
Four volume controls
One switcher
Two very high quality zones with exterior zone "3" and one other zone. Existing speakers not used. 1,150.00 inc VAT (excluding cable, delivery and installation)
Standard Plus One pair of 800's
One pair of 600's
Two pairs of 300's
Four volume controls
One switcher
One very high quality zone with exterior zone "3" and two other zones. Existing speakers not used. 1,000.00 inc VAT (excluding cable, delivery and installation)
Standard One pair of 800's
Three pairs of 300's
Four volume controls
One switcher
One very high quality zone and three other zones. Existing speakers not used. 880.00 inc VAT (excluding cable, delivery and installation)
Economy Plus Three pairs of 300's
Four volume controls
One switcher
Uses existing speakers for zone "1". Three other zones. 600.00 inc VAT (excluding cable, delivery and installation)
Economy Three pairs of 200's
Four volume controls
One switcher
Uses existing speakers for zone "1". Three other utility zones. 510.00 inc VAT (excluding cable, delivery and installation)

Once you've chosen your system we can quote competitive retail prices for high quality speaker cables, four core cable for the run from the switcher to the volume control and two core cable for the runs from volume control to speakers.

Please contact us for further details.

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