Whole house speaker system

Our new house has speakers in eight rooms, with the speaker wires all exiting from an outlet in the family room. What do I need to obtain to use them for listening to CD’s and the radio? Each room has it’s own volume control, so I figure I don’t need any on/off control at the the receiver itself. I figure a stereo receiver and cd player. What do I use to connect all eight pairs of wires to the receiver? Do I need anything I havent thought of? I don’t really know the power requirements of the bose speakers but they are about 8 inch speakers–about what wattage receiver will I be looking for?

Apparently impedance issues will preclude you from just hooking them up in parallel to any old receiver.

What about something like one of these?

Ammplifier? How big? Individual line controls? What is the input device? Radio or WHAT?

Better/complete information = better answers!

Slow down and reread the OP. He doesn’t have the amplifier, he’s asking how many watts he needs it to be. What devices are being plugged into it (radio, CD player, whatever) doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference. At all. Here, go play with these pretty blocks…

Anyway, to the OP: Something like this from DMC’s link ought to do nicely, if you want to drive all the speakers at once. I would also use one of the selector switches from that same link so you’ll have the ability to turn pairs of speakers on or off, should the need arise. As for the wattage of the receiver, you’ll want enough to meet the minimum drive levels for all the speakers combined and to provide clean, low-distortion sound. I’ll say a minimum of 20 W per speaker is a good rule of thumb. OTOH, you don’t want to greatly exceed the power-handling capability of the speakers, so, if possible, you ought to add them all up (the ratings are usually on the back, or on a label affixed to the magnet for in-wall types). As a rough guide, you can exceed this figure by 10-20% if need be, but there’s other factors to consider, such as speaker placement, what sort of volume level you plan on running them at, and so on. A great deal depends on the speakers themselves.

Budget is another big consideration, and you haven’t told us how crazy you are. :slight_smile:

If money is no object, you could probably create a setup where you walk into the room, the lights brighten and the speakers come on.

The OP also said that each room already had a volume control. Note that some, like the Niles Volume controls, have an impedance adjustment built in. The OP may want to check out if his volume controllers have this before buying anything.

Ditto to what the others said on the Niles brand speaker selector boxes.
They’re not all as complicated looking as the one pictured and actually very easy to use. Expect to pay around $125.
Power necessity all depends on how many you want to run at any given time and at what volume. Without going into a pricey commercial unit you can get a
100w x 2 receiver/amp for around $120 and plug your cd/tape players into it.

There are also dedicated amps you can get that will drive that many speakers. If you want to do it ‘right’, this is the way to go. Companies like Niles sell such amplifiers. The problem is controlling them from each room. You might want to look at getting some RF remotes or X-10 based remote extenders for the other rooms. Get a four-room controller/preamp, and four room amplifier, and you’re off to the races. You can have different sources playing in different rooms at the same time.

Even mid-priced consumer receivers often have at least one extra zone on them. My Yamaha RX-V1400 was $999 US, and it has three separate zones, one of which also has video out and all of which can run their own sources indepently of the others. I use it to drive speakers in my living room and office. I wired each room with CAT-5 and use a Niles remote extender to control the receiver.