Whole house audio- 1 receiver for whole house?

I installed a whole house audio system 6 yrs ago when I built my house. Now I am planning on moving and doing another. My media closet looks like a nuclear facility there are so many wires (6 zones, 32 speakers, 2 surround sound zones, wall keypads, etc). Anyway, I went to a friends new house that has about 18 speakers and looked in his media closet. There was barely any wires and 2 boxes: an Olivia box and a Denon receiver.

I looked up the Olivia, and it is basically a hard drive based media player. He doesn't have zones, but just on/off volume controls for the rooms, so I know that greatly simplifies things. I was surprised though that 1 receiver could drive all those speakers. I saw no pre- amp (unless the Olivia does it). Doesn't that seem like a lot of speakers to drive off a Denon amp? Am I missing something? The system sounded loud and good....

My other question is- given lack of wires in the closet (an no zones), it seems like homeruns of all the speaker wires is unnecessary. I know it is less flexible, but I am thinking they might run them all to one place per floor (there are 3 floors) and then do the run to the closet...comment on that?

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Mike C
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