On March 15, 2012 at 22:50, mobes53 said...
I want to use a stereo receiver to run 2 zones.
Why? I find this kind of comment among people who have researched and have decided that they know what they need (or will put up with whatever happens) as well as among people who make a decision and hope it does what they want.
One thing is that a friend installer once put in a two-zone system using, I believe, a Denon 987 (don't remember the prefix, but it's a stereo receiver). Her family room runs off of Speaker A. Speaker B runs to a 6-output speaker switch/volume control combo such as the Sonance SS6VC. Speakers running off of this are a pair each in the kitchen, living room, north patio, and south patio. She never cranks the music, but she has never had a problem getting the speakers loud enough.
For zone 1, should I use the receiver's amp to power one zone and an external amp to run zone 2?
As I suggested earlier, you should try something out and see if it suffices. We can suggest all day long, but we need your feedback on some actual thing to give you any more advice.
If you're going to be okay with volume controls all near the receiver, get a multiple output switcher with volume controls. That unit will do the impedance matching. If you're going to have volume controls near the speakers, get impedance matching volume controls (most VCs that we installers use only come as impedance matchers, but you set them at X1 and that's a plain old eight ohm volume control). In that case, run four conductors for each pair from the main receiver location to each volume control location. DO NOT run wires out in parallel. If you have four sets of zone two speakers, you should have four sets of wires going out from the main location. These are called "home runs" and have the virtue that no matter what you do, the wiring is correct for it.
Your first trial should be to run the switch off of Speaker B as my friend's client above. If it works for you, you're done. If it's not good enough, then, for now, you've got a working system that you can improve by adding another amp.
Or can I run both zones through the external amp for better power capabilities?
This is curious to me. I would want the main zone to run through the receiver and the second zone to go through the external amp, if you decide you need one.
This brings up another issue. Zone 2 is often designated for a type of system where the main room plays one program and all the rest of the other rooms can play a second program (same as each other). That's why zone 1 just comes off of the receiver, and it's why you can't use the receiver for zone 2: you have to get into pricey A/V amps to get one with an internal zone 2 amp that can play something different from zone 1, and even then, the manufacturer tells you to limit that to one pair of speakers in zone 2.
I think zone 2 would go to the line out for zone 2 but, where would zone 1 hook to the amp?
See, that's what's curious. If you have a zone 2 output, then yes, that might go to the zone 2 amp. But zone 1 output IS the receiver's speaker outputs.
If your receiver's zone 2 is selectable as different from zone 1, and you always want them to be the same, you'll have to select them to be the same every time you switch. This is tedious and wastes the money you spent on getting a unit with zone 2 out.
If you want them to be the same, then your receiver has to have a record out that is active for all inputs, and your inputs all have to be wired with analog inputs; then you take a record output, feed it to the second zone amp, and adjust the volume of the second zone amp so that every one of your pairs of speakers will play as loud as you need it to.
Am I just kicking a dead horse here??
Nope. You're just not letting the horse up and seeing if it trots as nicely as you want. You're holding it down and asking it how fast it can go. It can't -- you're holding it down.
If you have more to say, please say it here and then drop me a PM. I like to share the conversation with everyone, but I don't come to this forum very often.