Please help me choose a sound system

I have a large custom house built around 2004 with multiple drops (cat5, tel, RG6 and sound in flexible conduit) in each room and am looking for a sound system to handle 8-12 zones.

Several contractors have each suggested _their_ pet system including Speakercraft, Russound and Elan. I just hate buying an expensive black box and would prefer something I could program myself - like a Linux box to handle control of zones and an mp3 server or something like Russound which I could install and tweak myself.

I like Russound because I could handle it myself. I have a lot of comptuer expertese and have built quite a few computers - lately mostly Slackware Linux as I'm moving completely away from Windows.

I've followed this group for several years now and know there is a lot of expertise here. So I respectfully some comments that apply directly to my situation.


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You could use a Russound CAV6.6. It has 6 zones plus 4 "slave" zones. The slave rooms use A-BUS amplified keypads to play music from their respective master rooms.

The primary listening room where all your source equipment and media are doesn't require a separate zone since the hardware there will play directly on the conventional HT receiver.

You can also piggy-back two Russound CAV6.6 units together. One of my customers did that and added slave zones for a large mansion in California last year.

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Robert L Bass

A-bus looks to be relatively inexpensive. The Harman-Kardon receiver I saw at Costco the other day even had the connector for it on the back. I have no idea what the sound quality is like, but I'm sure there are others here that can speak from personal experience.

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Frank Olson

I'd 2nd the CAV66, presuming the power is enough for your needs. [it's


It's well supported by DIY HT/HA software, so if you ever decide to go down that route, you'll be good to go.

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Yes, it works quite well. Everything in one box with easily to setup/install/manage parts.

For multizone control pretty much nothing beats J.River's Media Center for Windows. Nothing on linux comes close to be as friendly and flexible for managing multiple output zones of mp3 streams. As in, I feed 3 streams of mp3 into our CAV66 (along with an FM tuner card) and JRMC handles it quite well. I've tried damn near anything else you could imagine under windows, linux or macos and JRMC really does it the best.

-Bill Kearney

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