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  1. #1
    Junior Member Spy021's Avatar
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    Question Assistance with Receiver for Multi-Zone

    I'm looking for some guidance and recommendations as to the best approach for tackling a possible multi-zone setup in a house that I recently purchased.

    The main living room currently has a 5 speaker set up in the ceiling consisting of 5 same size speakers with a panel on the wall allowing easy connection to all 5 speakers via banana plugs. I'm unsure of the brand at the moment as I haven't yet brought over a ladder to take a look. I presently have an old 5.1 setup that I have been using in my previous house that consists of a HK AVR 320 receiver (5.1 with multi-zone) paired with a JBL NSP-1 5 speaker surround and a HSU STF-2. Old gear I know, but it continues to serve me well since I bought it new.

    Here's my question... Is it possible to use a single receiver (the AVR 320 or a new one) to connect the five ceiling speakers as a separate zone just for audio playback, while using the main connections for my existing JBL NSP-1 setup? I guess what I am asking is basically, can I drive all 10 speakers with a single receiver (albeit not at the same time).

    Ideally, what I would like to do is drive both the 5 speaker in-ceiling setup as one group (B) strictly for music and the 5 speaker JBL NSP-1 setup as another group (A) for my home theater. I also have several Sonos speakers and would like to incorporate the receiver driving group B so that it all works in tandem with my other Sonos speakers. Is this possible with a single receiver or am I better off splitting the work between two units?

    If you made it this far, thanks in advance for any insight.

  2. #2
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
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    I've never heard of anyone trying that. I guess you could, but you'd have to use some type of switcher to accomplish the task. I wouldn't hook up two sets of speakers to the same input. I'm curious what other's will say about this scenario.
    David Vaughn
    Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
    Sound and Vision Magazine

  3. #3


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I would want to know what the make and model pf the speakers are and more importantly, the ohm rating. From your description, it sounds like you have one set of inputs for each speaker so they aren't ran in series or parallel.

    I think that the main challenge is making sure that you didn't have both sets of speakers running at the same time. Doing so would drop the impedance and possibly damage your AVR.

    The safe, but more expensive, way would be using the zone two outputs, stereo I assume, and have that feed a separate power amp. Alternatively, Amazon or Monoprice may have A/B speaker switches, although if it's a stereo switch you would need three of them.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Spy021's Avatar
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    Thanks Tracy... I'll take a look at the in-ceiling speakers when I get a chance to get a ladder over to the new place. Based on how I'm reading your response and the inputs I have on the back of the AVR 320 (http://pix.crutchfield.com/products/...R320-B_MT.jpeg) I would either need a switch or would just be better off going with a separate amp for the in-ceiling speakers and one for the home theather speakers.

    I guess could always have a contractor relocate the in-ceiling speakers so that the 3 front and 2 rear are moved to the correct position. I think I was just concerned that even doing so, having the speakers in the ceiling would produce an inferior sound stage compared to the way I have the JBLs set up on stands at just about ear height when sitting.

  5. #5
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
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    Depending on how the in ceiling speakers are placed, you are correct. I hate the front three channels coming from the ceiling, especially the center speaker. It just sounds wrong. You can buy a cheap AVR off eBay (an old model). You really just need the basics, right? No HDMI, etc?
    David Vaughn
    Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
    Sound and Vision Magazine

  6. #6


    I think that in-ceiling speakers have come a long way in the past few years.

    I have two GoldenEar HTR 7000 in-ceilings that I am using as surrounds, but I would use them in the front in a new setup. They really are that good.

    As for having them mounted in the ceiling, it wouldn't be an issue for me. Actually, I'm considering using one as a center.
    https://www.goldenear.com/products/invisa-series

    As for yours, I would see exactly what they are, and how they sound. If they're good quality, you might be surprised at how they sound. I would do that before I decided to have them moved.

    However, you could easily do as David suggested. Buy an inexpensive used AVR, and use it for your music-only system.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Spy021's Avatar
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    Yes, if I decide to go with 2 separate receivers, I may use the existing HK AVR 320 to power the ceiling speakers, which would be used solely for music and pair it with a Sonos Connect so that I can use it with the the other 4 Sonos speakers throughout the house. I would then purchase a modern AVR to pair with the home theater equipment. However, I'll wait until I see what kind of in-ceiling speakers I'm working with and demo them for a bit before making that decision. I may even take a closer look at the GoldenEars that you mention, Tracy. At least I've got a few options to consider, so I do appreciate all of the advice you two have provided.

  8. #8


    Keep us updated with what you find out about your current speakers and what you decide to do. I love reading about other user's systems.

    Also, I just noticed your original join date. That puts you as an original Home Theater Spot user. Welcome to the "new" forum. I hope to see you posting more.

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