Setting up an embedded audio system in a new house.


Nov 2, 2013

Im building a new house soon and I want to include a centralized audio system that allows me to control everything from a dedicated server. I do a fair bit with computers though haven't gotten into digital audio much yet and am not really sure what each bit of equipment does and an explanation would help me greatly for each device.

The requirements I have for the setup are as follows;

- 6 independently controllable stereo output zones
---- Each to have an EQ and Gain control as a minimum.
---- Each zone should have 5 speakers plus a sub.
--------- (I'm pretty sure this means I need a crossover and amp setup)

- 9 independent stereo inputs
---- Each to be EQ'd and Gain control.
- The ability to be able to 'route' (for want of a better word) any inputs to any outputs
- Everything must be controllable from a dedicated server (I am open to any OS)
----- This means changing gain, EQ and which inputs are going to which output. I dont want to have to be manually changing things all the time.

I would also prefer that things be rack mountable as much as possible and I have 30U of space available in a 1070mm deep cabinet. Budget should not be an issue as I have allocate $50,000 AUD to accomplish this setup as I intend it to last me a long time. I hope that this great community can help me to learn about Audio equipment as well as advising me on the best way to accomplish my goal. :)
Some questions about your description of what you want to do. Even though this is an "audio" system you want 5.1 surround sound in 6 zones? Each zone would need it's own surround receiver to do this. You also want 9 inputs? These are audio and video? You would need matrix audio/video routing with RS232 serial control. HDMI for video and digital/ analog audio depending on source.
You also want to be able to EQ each source and each zone? Tone controls for each zone are common but not EQ or any adjustment for each input. That could be done with multiple EQs. If you use a surround receiver this might have EQ functions so you could do each zone from there.
You would need signal routing, surround processing, and amps and of course speakers.
I would suggest consulting a local home automation firm that does this kind of thing unless you want a full time hobby for quite a while. It is easier to use a packaged system that already has software to control this equipment such as Crestron, Savant, or Control4. Since Control4 is the least expensive of these options I would look at that first.


Nov 2, 2013

Sorry my description was a little off. When I say 5 speakers and a sub in each zone I was more thinking of a combination of speakers with dedicated sound frequencies seperated by crossovers. So as this isn't for home theater I shouldn't need video to be routed along with the audio. For routing the audio I am thinking something along the lines of the BOSCH PLM-8M8. That or for a DIY solution I was thinking of running Adobe Audition as a software mixer with multiple sound cards? And I will be having 12 months off work tied to this house so I was wanting to do it all myself as a project to keep me occupied.

However after looking through your suggestions I am rather taken by the SSA-4000 from savant. Would this do the job? However this still doesnt solve the EQ problem as far as I can tell, so I was thinking about having 6 of SAMSON S-CURVE 215 for the output EQ's and then forgoing the input EQ. I have sorted the processing in each room and all I need to make it work is to give it a stereo signal.
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