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#898797 - 05/17/11 11:42 AM Need advice on stereo/speakers  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 318
Z. Mulls Offline
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Z. Mulls  Offline
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I know I'll get good advice here from gearheads. I am *not* a gearhead, unfortunately.

We're redoing our kitchen/dining area. We're creating a long, continuous space that has a lounge area, a kitchen area and a dining area. Having music around is very important to me while I cook and when we have a party.

Most of the time I will construct a playlist on my MP3 player and plug it into a couple of speakers, or into the AUX plug of the little CD-Radio unit on top of the fridge.

I want to buy the right equipment for the new kitchen, including in-wall speakers. I want to have music close-in while I'm cooking, and be able to control music in the lounge and dining areas (and maybe over in the living room). I do not need the top-of-the-line stuff, my ear isn't that good -- good mid-range equipment will do me just fine. I want decent quality.

So, what should I get?

* There will be a set of shelves on the island behind me while I'm cooking and the first shelf will have the main stereo unit. I need something small, that can play a CD, or AM/FM radio, and has an AUXiliary plug for my MP3 player (so I can switch songs while I'm cooking).

* I would like to be able to turn the other areas on/off and control the volume to them

* I would like in-wall speakers for the other areas; I would also like to be able to control the volume at those speakers if necessary.

Any ideas or suggestions?


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#898846 - 05/17/11 03:14 PM Re: Need advice on stereo/speakers [Re: Z. Mulls]  
Joined: May 2001
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Well,
There are plenty of sources of Audio Equipment. You can check out http://www.JR.com/ If this link doesn't work just Google JR.com

You should be able to find a good selection of what you need and not spend a fortune.

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 05/17/11 03:16 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#898848 - 05/17/11 03:25 PM Re: Need advice on stereo/speakers [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Z. Mulls Offline
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Ray,

Thanks, I know about JR and Crutchfield -- what I'm finding is a huge amount of options and I am hoping to find some way of whittling them down.....


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#898862 - 05/17/11 04:10 PM Re: Need advice on stereo/speakers [Re: Z. Mulls]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Well,
Two choices I can think of. Search for a Audio Store that does home installations. You may have to go out of town, as it were. And probably Somewhat expensive. The other Choice is to get more than one "System" In my case I actually have two seperate systems, one in my Computer room and another in my Living Room. I've actually had them for a long time. For instance, in your kitchen you can go to Sears, or Radio Shack, and pick up a small portable player that plays Cd's and may still play tapes to play music. It is amazing how good even the small players are, that may have 2 four inch speakers in them. I also have one of those that is sitting in the closet. It also takes batteries or you can plug it into an outlet. Practially all Audio Equipment today is of very good quality and has been for some time. So no matter what you buy you probably can't go wrong.

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 05/17/11 04:12 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#898866 - 05/17/11 04:37 PM Re: Need advice on stereo/speakers [Re: Z. Mulls]  
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I think you have two issues here. The first is you want the same audio to be accessible and controllable from 2 or more areas, the second is you want to be able to listen to media from various sources (radio, CD, MP3, ipod etc). I would be tempted to speak to a specialist store; I think there is quite a market for this type of thing. Its pretty common in commercial premises, pubs, shops etc

In simple terms you need an amplifier that feeds 2, 4 or 6 (or how ever many) speakers and something to play your source material (radio, cd, mp3, wma, USB reader) some bits of equipment e.g. a laptop can play all your media, however, if you want to use separates (mp3 player, CD player, Radio etc) you will need to make sure your amp has the required number of inputs. Did I say simple? grin

#898875 - 05/17/11 05:29 PM Re: Need advice on stereo/speakers [Re: Nigel Quin]  
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Z. Mulls Offline
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Well, Nige, I know it's not *simple* -- I'm trying to cut through all the things I don't need to be thinking about so I can educate myself about the salient details I do need.

I'm pretty comfortable with the input side -- I know I can either get an integrated thingie with CD, AM/FM and Aux plug -- I have one on the top of my fridge now. It's going from that to something that lets me send the signal to several sets of speakers, and how I can control the flow.

I'm looking at wireless solutions, based on some recommendations at Musicians Collaboration. I know I can stream from my Macbook but don't really want to (the central unit will be in the kitchen and I don't want my laptop in the cooking area -- and I hope to have a special shelf for the audio, where the laptop won't fit).

But I'm looking at Amphony products -- it looks like I can pipe the audio to a transmitter, and send the audio to receivers elsewhere (which connect to speakers). That may be the solution, giving me some flexibility in speaker choice -- I'd have to give up the idea of in-wall which may be fine. I need to learn more about what I can and can't do with that set-up though.


ZMULLS.COM
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#899426 - 05/19/11 11:12 PM Re: Need advice on stereo/speakers [Re: Z. Mulls]  
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
What you are suggesting seems to be a VERY expensive complicated and intrusive way of doing things. Imagine miles of cable going from room to room and then back to one system.......I do not see the point. You will still have to go to the other room to change the CD or at the very least have a special remote capable of sending signals through walls plus you will need control boxes everywhere to switch on the speakers.....or face having to go to one room everytime you want to change the configuration of the speaker output.
I would buy a system for each room...much cheaper and far easier to control. Most modern audio appliances will have a usb input so a memory stick will do the job of storing Mp3 and plugging into each device.....save you the problem of having a Mac in the kitchen.

#899448 - 05/20/11 01:18 AM Re: Need advice on stereo/speakers [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Z. Mulls Offline
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Jim, it's actually not that far apart. We are creating one continuous space (lounge/kitchen/dining room) -- so we will be able to have music at both ends, with a station in the middle. For parties, or when I'm cooking, I will plug my MP3 into whatever we have. The contractor will drop cable into the basement and straight up to where it needs to go.

We were considering stringing it into our living room (again, not far) but will probably not do that.

My problem right now is that the shelf I have to work with is small so I may have to get a "micro-system" and go from there. I may have to get something to boost the sound, and may have to get a control panel to send to three sets of speakers. We're looking at in-ceiling speakers for the two ends of the space.


ZMULLS.COM
My Soundclick

2007 Grand Prize Winner International Songwriting Competition

Avatar Photo by Diana (used with permission)
#899604 - 05/20/11 07:57 PM Re: Need advice on stereo/speakers [Re: Z. Mulls]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
I get it...but a micro system seems too small and will certainly not feed a speaker system you will need another amp.....sounds too complicated to go that way. Active speakers may be the way forward.....the kind used for a pc will do the job....each pair has its own input (by stereo jack) and volume control. I used to have a pair that had a volume remote control.....here is a link to the kind of thing I mean......I have not used this but this might give you some idea of what I mean and what can be done. This system has a remote and can be linked wireless to other pairs. http://www.tangent-audio.com/en/model/162_EVO-E5A-Active-speaker.html

#900611 - 05/26/11 01:20 AM Re: Need advice on stereo/speakers [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Z. Mulls Offline
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Big Jim

Just so you know how it ended up.....I took some expert advice and just ordered what I need.

I'm getting an Onkyo Receiver, which was on sale at Crutchfield. It's about 2 inches deeper than the bookshelf we're using, so we're going to either punch out the back of the bookshelf or let it stick out a tiny bit.

We got a Sony DVD Player (it was only $60, and it plays CDs and MP3 disks, so we're using it for audio only).

Our stereo station on the kitchen island is so close to our lounge area, we decided to forgo speakers in the "lounge." I'm getting Bose 161 for the kitchen island that I can use when I'm cooking, or we can crank them during a party for that side of the space.

We're doing Polk in-ceiling speakers, and I was persuaded to get a pair of them rather than one integrated speaker.

Since we only have two speaker pairs now, I don't need an amp, the receiver will do the work.

Thanks for the input....took me a while to get it all sorted out in my head.


ZMULLS.COM
My Soundclick

2007 Grand Prize Winner International Songwriting Competition

Avatar Photo by Diana (used with permission)

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