23 posts / 0 new
Last post
AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 07/01/2009 - 11:48
Posts: 2159
A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend
English

I have been asked by a friend to put together a multiroom music system for 5 rooms over 2 levels of a semi-detached house. She has given me a budget of 2,700 and it is all up to me. She already has an iMac (as well is iPhone and iPad) and listens to her music from iTunes (ripped CDs) and BBC iPlayer, mainly listening to classical.

I have looked into two platforms: Sonons and AirPlay and have decided to go for AirPlay as it turns out cheaper and she already has Apple hardware.

I will also be using active speakers - for maximum sound quality and lowest box count.

Level 2 has 3 zones, one of which is the room where the iMac is. Network on this level will be via powerline ethernet and two AirPort Experesses. In the main room the iMac will feed directly via analog out to a pair of AVI ADM 9RS. The two other zones will be AirPort analog out to Monitor Audio WS100 (small actives).

Level 1 has 2 zones and as it is unfortunately on a separate electricity meter so it cannot use homeplugs and it will have to be served wirelessly. Two AirPorts, analog to Monitor Audio WS100.

Control will obviously be via iPhone/iPad.

All in, it fits inside 2,450.

I will also have to upgrade her software to the latest OS X, iOS and iTunes and – as she is not currently doing it – get her a USB hard drive to Time Machine back-up (another 60 quid).

That’s the plan. Orders placed, most stuff gets delivered this week with the ADMs within two weeks.

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 07/01/2009 - 11:48
Posts: 2159
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

Hardware:

3 pairs MA WS100 - 250gbp = 750gbp (one zone will use her existing Bose speakers)

 

AVI ADM9RS = 1,300gbp

 

Devolo AV200 Mini homeplugs, two sets of two, 30gbp per set = 60gbp

4 Airports, 70gbp each = 280gbp

 

 

+ cabling (electrical extension leads, audio and network patchcords)

John Duncan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 08/01/2008 - 17:25
Posts: 23081
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

The fact that she plays from iPlayer is the only thing that would have made me go with Airplay, tbh; a Sonos Play:3 (or even Play:1) is much cheaper than an Airport Express plus the MAs (and neater).  And multiroom flexibility is much better, IMO.

Moderator: john.duncan.whf at gmail dot com
Kit in state of flux

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 07/01/2009 - 11:48
Posts: 2159
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

True. But they are single units (have no distance separation between channels) so would need 2 units each to achieve good stereo effect, making it more expensive. Also, I did not like the sound of Sonos 3 and 1 when I tried them. I did seriously consider Sonos and I agree it is an excellent option but in this case - Airplay it is.

 

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 18 min ago
Joined: 16/10/2008 - 13:23
Posts: 13165
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

AlmaataKZ wrote:

True. But they are single units (have no distance separation between channels) so would need 2 units each to achieve good stereo effect, making it more expensive. Also, I did not like the sound of Sonos 3 and 1 when I tried them. I did seriously consider Sonos and I agree it is an excellent option but in this case - Airplay it is.

I don't get the impression Airplay is really suited to this sort of multi-room idea. If you wanted to use active speakers you'd only need a Sonos Connect for each pair. If you're using passives you could get away with two pairs of speakers on one Connect:Amp, provided each pair was 8 Ohm impedance.

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 07/01/2009 - 11:48
Posts: 2159
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

The_Lhc wrote:

AlmaataKZ wrote:

True. But they are single units (have no distance separation between channels) so would need 2 units each to achieve good stereo effect, making it more expensive. Also, I did not like the sound of Sonos 3 and 1 when I tried them. I did seriously consider Sonos and I agree it is an excellent option but in this case - Airplay it is.

I don't get the impression Airplay is really suited to this sort of multi-room idea. If you wanted to use active speakers you'd only need a Sonos Connect for each pair. If you're using passives you could get away with two pairs of speakers on one Connect:Amp, provided each pair was 8 Ohm impedance.

Why do you think Airplay is not suited for this case?

Sonos connect is 280 gbp so ove200 gbp more than an Aex and that is for each zone, plus a bridge in zone 1,  making it an 870 gbp more expensive option overall.

Passives are not an option (I am using the cheapest stylish actives known to me) and putting two sets of speakers on one amp/one zone is not an option either.

chebby's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 5 min ago
Joined: 02/06/2008 - 09:40
Posts: 16428
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

AlmaataKZ wrote:
In the main room the iMac will feed directly via analog out to a pair of AVI ADM 9RS.

Did you give the KEF X300A Wireless speakers consideration / a listen? They'd have saved £450 and they have AirPlay built in. (A couple less cables and would not require the iMac to be switched on.)

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

John Duncan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 08/01/2008 - 17:25
Posts: 23081
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

Or the DM5s.  Even the owner says they're all the hifi you'll ever need©.

I'd still have Sonos over Airplay, but I don't have the iPlayer requirement.

Moderator: john.duncan.whf at gmail dot com
Kit in state of flux

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 07/01/2009 - 11:48
Posts: 2159
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

chebby wrote:

AlmaataKZ wrote:
In the main room the iMac will feed directly via analog out to a pair of AVI ADM 9RS.

Did you give the KEF X300A Wireless speakers consideration / a listen? They'd have saved £450 and they have AirPlay built in. (A couple less cables and would not require the iMac to be switched on.)

Yes, I did consider the KEFs, as well as DM5s.

The KEFs indeed are convenient due to airplay being built in but for some reason (probably the looks) I have never pushed them and she did not pick them (based on looks) when I offered them. For the main room I have actually recommended her to go for the DM5s, and ADM9s were an alternaive for which I said 'more expensive, more powerful, deeper bass, more flexibility with sources for any future needs' and she strongly preferred the 9s as she wanted a 'strong' system int he main zone. Teh other zones all needed only small speakers for which the WS100s were the cheapest good lookng actives I coudl find.

 

 

Um's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 14 hours ago
Joined: 17/06/2013 - 14:33
Posts: 111
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

And the WS 100's sound awesome

Yamaha AS501 +Tannoy Mecury V1

 

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 07/01/2009 - 11:48
Posts: 2159
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

Um wrote:

And the WS 100's sound awesome

I really hope she likes the whole thing. But my biggest worry is not sound quality (I think I got that covered) but stability of the two wireless zones - I cannot find a workaround allowing wired connection for the 2 rooms in the lower level.

richardw42's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 02/05/2010 - 18:56
Posts: 2006
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

I know there are wi fi extenders on the market which aim to boost the win fi from the router making it reach further (stronger)

daveh75's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 3 days ago
Joined: 31/07/2008 - 18:54
Posts: 8403
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

richardw42 wrote:

I know there are wi fi extenders on the market which aim to boost the win fi from the router making it reach further (stronger)

There are and AEXs will do it but it isn't a good idea if stability/reliability is the goal.

Using extender/repeater mode halves throughput, increases latency and potentially issues with interference.

ANOther's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/10/2013 - 10:08
Posts: 18
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

John Duncan wrote:

I'd still have Sonos over Airplay, but I don't have the iPlayer requirement.

There is always the clunky iplayer work around with Sonos.

Meets my needs but I don't rely on it as a major source for music.

John Duncan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 08/01/2008 - 17:25
Posts: 23081
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

What clunky iPlayer workaround?

Moderator: john.duncan.whf at gmail dot com
Kit in state of flux

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: 07/01/2009 - 11:48
Posts: 2159
RE: A 5-zone multiroom airplay system for a friend

A bit of an update: she bought a Time Capsule so I plan to use that instead of the BT hub (plug the bt infinity modem into the WAN port on the TC and set up the TC for that). Then create a new wifi network from the TC and connect the iMac, homeplugs and the aexes (join) to that.

Pages

Log in or register to post comments