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matt49's picture
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House full of sound

This starts off really boring but will get interesting soon, I promise. And there'll be pictures!

This is where I started from: a few Arcam components and some speakers bought between 1993 and 1999, and then a whole slew of Sonos boxes rolled out across the house from 2006. The Sonos boxes are connected by cat5 cable, and the infrastructure works really well. The whole family (Mrs 49 and the two teenage 49 girls) loves Sonos. And why not?

Living room: Sonos ZP90 and Arcam CD73 (now defunct) > Arcam A65 > KEF iQ5

Dining room: Sonos ZP120 > Linn Unik (wallmounted)

Kitchen: Sonos ZP120 > Linn Unik (wallmounted)

My study: Sonos ZP90 > Arcam Alpha 5 > Musical Technology Kestrels

Mrs 49’s study: Sonos ZP120 > Mission

It was a combination of two things that got me interested in hifi again. Mrs 49 gave me a pair of Grado SR325is for Christmas 2011, and then I had my study redecorated in 2012. The study system soon moved on with the purchase of an Audiolab MDAC, Cyrus X Power, and a pair of Sonus Faber Venere 1.5s.

It was only then, in 2012, that I started getting serious about replacing the living room system, which is the main subject of this thread and will be very interesting (honest). The dining room system also needs upgrading.

Just recently I had the ZP90 in my study upgraded by Fidelity Audio (which was the subject of some fractious exchanges on the audio forum).

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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RE: House full of sound

I look forward to your experiences, which speakers are you trying?

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RE: House full of sound

As a repeat Sonos offender (see sig) I look forward to hearing from you on the upgraded Sonos. My HiFi (in the study) is similar to your living room system but cost and size constraints mean I have the diddy AE Compacts as my speakers.

Regarding running SONOS ZP90s hardwired only - i.e. if they're all connected by ethernet cable. There is a known issue where this can cause dropouts, pauses and slow responses from the boxes as the wired and wireless signals conflict. Mine aren't fully hardwired, as the S5s are wi-fi only, but a good friend of mine had this issue in spades with a fully wired Sonos system. If you get this problem, there is a way to turn off the Sonos radios (bit of an undocumented feature!) that cures the problem and survives a reboot/power down.

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RE: House full of sound

BigH,

thanks for your interest.

I plan to demo a range of speakers once the new amp's in place. Of the speakers I've heard while demoing amps, the most appealing have been Harbeth Super HL5s.

Matt

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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RE: House full of sound

scene wrote:

As a repeat Sonos offender (see sig) I look forward to hearing from you on the upgraded Sonos. My HiFi (in the study) is similar to your living room system but cost and size constraints mean I have the diddy AE Compacts as my speakers.

Regarding running SONOS ZP90s hardwired only - i.e. if they're all connected by ethernet cable. There is a known issue where this can cause dropouts, pauses and slow responses from the boxes as the wired and wireless signals conflict. Mine aren't fully hardwired, as the S5s are wi-fi only, but a good friend of mine had this issue in spades with a fully wired Sonos system. If you get this problem, there is a way to turn off the Sonos radios (bit of an undocumented feature!) that cures the problem and survives a reboot/power down.

Scene,

thanks for your post.

I wasn't aware of the problem with cabling Sonos. I guess that's a good thing, because it means I haven't experienced any dropouts at all.

The Sonos upgrade is excellent but very expensive. I wouldn't have done it but for the hope that I might still be able to use Sonos in the new system being planned for the living room. So I guess it was an experiment. Once I have a new amp and speakers in there I'll trial the modded Sonos against a Linn Majik DS or similar.

The living room system has done stirling work, but is now bound for hifi heaven. I enjoyed owning Arcam; a sweet and mellow sound.

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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RE: House full of sound

I am having a lot of work done by Fidelity Audio on my Arcam Alpha system (amps and CD player) and plan on getting some new speakers and a Sonos ZP90 or two, so I am looking forward to hearing about your upgrade plans. Post bookmarked.

Pete

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RE: House full of sound

scene wrote:

Regarding running SONOS ZP90s hardwired only - i.e. if they're all connected by ethernet cable. There is a known issue where this can cause dropouts, pauses and slow responses from the boxes as the wired and wireless signals conflict. Mine aren't fully hardwired, as the S5s are wi-fi only, but a good friend of mine had this issue in spades with a fully wired Sonos system. If you get this problem, there is a way to turn off the Sonos radios (bit of an undocumented feature!) that cures the problem and survives a reboot/power down.

Scene, I certainly do get this problem.  I have a play:3 in the kitchen and a ZP90/Connect connected to my stereo.  I generally get problems with radio but assumed it was down to my Broadband.  I would be interested to learn how to turn off the sonos radios.  Both of my boxes are hardwired.

As for the house full of sound - lets see some pics then  Smile

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RE: House full of sound

JamesOK wrote:

As for the house full of sound - lets see some pics then  Smile

Thanks, @JamesOK, and also @12designs.

Pics will start in a week or so. The study system should be complete then, once my MDAC returns from its upgrade in the Czech Republic. (Amazing, it took less than 24 hours to get there.) In 10 days I'm getting some Neat Iotas wall mounted in the dining room. Also need a small power amp to sit between them and the ZP90.

The main system in the living room will take some time though. I've demoed 20 amps so far, another 5 or so to go before I pull the trigger and then move on to speaker demoes.

There's also a slight issue as to how my wife will react to the look of the new living room set up. I hope it's not :whack: 

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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RE: House full of sound

Also intrigued by the turning off, of Sonos radios......Pray tell!

Ah, hold on, this is it....

http://wojo.com/blog/2011/11/20/disabling-wifi-on-sonos-players.html

 

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RE: House full of sound

iamthegruffalo wrote:

Also intrigued by the turning off, of Sonos radios......Pray tell!

Ah, hold on, this is it....

http://wojo.com/blog/2011/11/20/disabling-wifi-on-sonos-players.html

Thanks for that, Gruffalo.

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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RE: House full of sound

I can't see the pictures. 

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RE: House full of sound

BenLaw wrote:

I can't see the pictures. 

Ben,

I'm sorry, they're not up yet. I'll have some up in a week or so, once things start moving.

Matt

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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RE: House full of sound

matt49 wrote:

iamthegruffalo wrote:

Also intrigued by the turning off, of Sonos radios......Pray tell!

Ah, hold on, this is it....

http://wojo.com/blog/2011/11/20/disabling-wifi-on-sonos-players.html

Thanks for that, Gruffalo.

Thanks - been away for the weekend and was struggling to find the command - as the blogger states, threads explicitly stating the command seem to get trimmed on the Sonos forums and it's often stated there is no way to turn of the wifi.

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Spot the difference

OK, so a few trivial differences between these two pics, but two significant ones, which were installed this morning.

Before ...

And after ...

The babies are currently being driven by a Sonos ZP120. Tomorrow I'll bring down the ZP90 and Cyrus X Power from my study, as a trial to see if it's worth splashing out on a bit more power for them.

 

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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RE: Spot the difference

matt49 wrote:

OK, so a few trivial differences between these two pics, but two significant ones, which were installed this morning.

I thought the glass of  beer was one!   :doh:

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Spot the difference

CnoEvil wrote:

I thought the glass of  beer was one!   :doh:

Yes, after the afternoon I've had, you could certainly call the glass of beer significant.

:cheers:

 

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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