How Do I Wire My House for Sound?
February 4, 2011 2:25 PM   Subscribe

I need to split the audio signal outputs (CD, tuner, Computer etc) to different amplifiers in my house, what do I need to do this?

So I have a new house with several rooms. I have sets of speakers powered by little T-amps that will go in each room. The house is already wired with RCA cables to send the audio signal around and the individual T-amps will allow for adjusting the volume in each room, but my current main receiver does not have an output other than the Tape Out. Is there a switcher or pre-amp that has an input selector and multiple RCA outputs? I have been looking around on eBay and not finding anything that fits this description, just speaker switchers. I'm not even sure what this magical device would be called. Thank you!
posted by misterpatrick to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I recently bought this and it works well: I have it outputting to a t-amp and a headphone amp.

However it's only 2 outputs. Going by a few threads I've seen, if you want something more hi-fi, you'll need to custom build it and it will be $200-300 or more.
posted by rainy at 2:56 PM on February 4, 2011

Do you want to feed all the T-amps simultaneously with the same signal, or do you want to switch the sources among the amps? If a switch, do you need just a 1->N switch (one source, connected to any one of the amps) or something more like a full crossbar that can connect any of several sources to any amp or set of amps? Do you need uber audiophile quality, or just something whose imperfections an ordinary human can't hear?
posted by hattifattener at 3:06 PM on February 4, 2011

Thanks for the tips. I want to feed all the T-amps the same signal simultaneously. I don't need super hifi quality. Just something that someone who listens to a lot of music can deal with. Can I just use the tape out on the main amp and go out to some RCA splitter or will I degrade the signal too much?
posted by misterpatrick at 9:59 PM on February 4, 2011

Line-level audio isn't impedance-matched, so you should be able to connect a single line-out to multiple line-ins without any circuitry. (I'm assuming your Tape Out is line-level audio.) So a simple passive splitter or 'Y' cables should work fine. (I'm sure there's some limit to the number of loads the amp will drive without distortion, but I'd think that, say, 4 or 5 should be fine. If not, well, this is a really cheap approach so you're not out much money for trying.)
posted by hattifattener at 12:53 AM on February 5, 2011

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