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New construction with a nice size budget. How would you do multizone audio?
#1
New construction with a nice size budget. How would you do multizone audio? You would need to be able to control it all from one place, as well as have indiviudal controls in each room. Of course everything has to tie back into CQC.
Would you go with a sound card in the CQC server, or is there a dedicated hardware that you would use?

Thanks
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#2
I did this recently when I was down to studs and I ended up keeping my Sonos setup. It's easily controllable from a single pane in the Sonos native app or with CQC, there are 'accessories' to let you control it in the room via wall mount or little keypads, you can use the buttons on the devices themselves, and can load it into a Harmony Hub for remote control.

My own reasons to go with Sonos include me preferring local audio/video zones which cut down on wiring and the complexity of management and user interaction. And Sonos just works for me - we don't ever have an issue, it integrates well enough (software updates occasionally break things), Sonos Home Theater is awesome, and 100% of our listening is from streaming sources.

A biggie for me was local radio, which runs play-by-play of my local hockey team, football team, baseball team, and importantly my Mountaineers. It was a PITA, but I managed to track down the URLs for all of my streams and load them into Sonos as Favorites. To replicate this sort of availability would mean 2 or 3 radios as sources tuned to the different stations carrying my games. With Sonos, it's all right there.

My house is small, with small rooms, so I can easily get away with Play:1's. That factored a bit into my decision since it ended up being cheaper in the long run for me to do Sonos vs. something like the Monoprice, and the fact that I am not limited in the future if I want to add one somewhere that may have not been in my original plans (like the pool we plan to add this summer).
do the needful ...
Hue | Sonos | Harmony | Elk M1G // Netatmo / Brultech
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#3
I went with a B&K system, unfortunately, the company eventually was bought and support ended,  so the equipment is great, but without the ability to repair.

So, if I had to do it over again, I would probably go with a Nuvo Grand Concerto (although someone that has one can chime in on their thoughts), as I am assuming it is equivalent to the B&K system I have now.  

I love the system I have with 12 zones of music (a bit of an overkill, but at the time, seemed appropriate).  I have a Sonos box that feeds my digitally stored music and internet radio, but also able to have DirecTV and AM/FM in different zones, and makes for a nice party setup.  

Also, I love the keypads in each room - yes you can have a phone or tablet that controls it, but a keypad is always there, always available and one press and your going.

Best advice, just run the wires.  My contractor ran cat5e to each keypad location from the wiring closet, 14-2 to from each speaker location to the keypad location, and 14-4 to from each keypad to the wiring closet.  I put in the speakers, keypads, and terminated the wires after I moved n.

Good Luck!
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#4
We have 6 zones of Sonos Four of the six zones are Sonos Connects hooked to amplifiers, all controlled by CQC. I don't have keypads in the wall but we all carry our phones around with us anyway so it doesn't matter.
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#5
speakers in-ceiling or in-wall in every room except home theater. Homerun wiring back to the closet. Different Sonos Connect per room.
------------------------------------
Some of my devices: Sonos, Aeotec zWave, Nest, Rain8Net, Various H/T
What's next: CQC-Voice, Brultech GEM
My vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/c/IVBsHomeAutomation
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#6
I think the answer depends a bit on what sources you would use for music too and how comfortable you are using your phone to do various HA/Music stuff.  Personally we're more of an in-wall/minimal phone use so my opinions would reflect that.  Either can work well.

However, if you get the wiring right then you can change/add to the sources and change equipment out as time goes by.  I would recommend putting some conduit in at key wiring run locations so you can pull new wires as needed too.  We did a new build almost 15 years ago and I bet I've pulled new cables via conduit at least 10 times already...  It's usually a cat5 or HDMI cable.  I regret not pulling more of those at the beginning... but getting off topic.

If I were starting again I would still go the B&K/Nuvo(multi room amp) route myself.  You can feed anything into that and get multi room audio with whatever sources you decide you want. (Soundcard, Sonos, Radio, whatever is next).  I have a 6 zone setup with a B&K at the moment augmented by a couple AVR's for theatre zones.  CQC handles setting up each source and amp to whatever is desired in a seamless way. I still use a soundcard/ CQC audio player with a bit of Spotify mixed in.  Going to have to check out the Sonos connect too by the sounds of it.  I only have simple analog volume controls at a few locations in wall, but have cat5 in there too so could do more if ever needed.  I am hoping to use these some day for local audio controls - Brilliant Control

You may also want to include voice announcements in this planning phase.  Not sure how that goes on Sonos, but with a mult room amp setup it's just another source to switch into the mix.

Good luck on the build, fun times!   You should post some pictures as you go in the user Systems forum.
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#7
Here's a CEPro post from 2016 on the use of Sonos Connects.  I can't find the listings for 2018 installs of the year, one of the gold winners did a similar setup, just read about them and then tossed the magazine, not published on line yet that I can find.
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#8
Of course the one looming issue with Sonos is their stance on control interfaces. We use the unofficial UPnP one. They could whack that at any time. They have a new one, but it's less powerful and they only seem to want to let the big players have access to it so far.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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