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  • ESS hookup...

    I thought I should start another thread on this subject to explore the details more completely and to keep it out of the Power Buy thread.

    I have always wanted to do a limited install of whole house audio system (would this make it limited house audio? ) and never did, in part because I couldn't find a device like the ESS product line. Also in part because I could never figure out how to make the two sources that I want to work together effectively. Perhaps some of you would kindly provide me some insight into how to solve what I perceive as technical issues. I would like to have my 7.1 receiver deliver audio to the (default) primary channel and then my HS speaker output over-ride the primary channel when it has something to say. My HS machine and the ESS rack mount control modules will be in my wiring closet and my 7.1 receiver in my living room. I though about using my multi-room/source (stereo) connections on the receiver but I am not sure about what amplifier to get for the power? I can easily run wires from the living room, which would be about a 50 to 60' run, but I'm also not sure how to make the two sources (PC & MRMS) compatible with the ESS7 inputs? I have to believe someone has done this before (well, maybe not with the ESS modules), or has a good idea how to make it work, and I would very much appreciate some guidance.

    Thanks
    Gary

  • #2
    I would like to have my 7.1 receiver deliver audio to the (default) primary channel and then my HS speaker output over-ride the primary channel when it has something to say.
    As you know, you need speaker level inputs for the ESS, so the HS PC output must go through it's own amp. I use a cheap Sony. Then you can run both outputs (PC amp and MRMS) into one of these. When the PC output (TTS) goes active, the ABS-1 will cut out the MRMS (music). I've used this for years - switching is very fast, works great.

    Mark
    Mark

    Hometroller S6 w/ HS3Pro, Way2Call
    BLAB8SS, BL Backup, Easy Trigger, HSTouch, Open Sprinkler, SONOS, Ultra1Wire3, UltraM1G, WeatherXML, Z-Wave

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mark S. View Post
      As you know, you need speaker level inputs for the ESS, so the HS PC output must go through it's own amp. I use a cheap Sony. Then you can run both outputs (PC amp and MRMS) into one of these. When the PC output (TTS) goes active, the ABS-1 will cut out the MRMS (music). I've used this for years - switching is very fast, works great.

      Mark
      Mark thanks for the information. Actually no, I wasnt sure what inputs the ESS required. So by speaker level (vs line level?), you are talking about the stereo +- outputs from an amp (or receiver) that connect directly to the external speakers. In your case you would be running the speaker level outputs from your Sony directly to the ESS1? It would seem that when using the ABS-1 with only two sources this way you would not need the dual bus ESS1/7 but could go with the Ess0/8 and save a few bucks. Or am I missing something? I guess for the flexibility, and relatively small difference in price one may still choose the 1/7 combo.

      One question though, when going through the ABS-1 do you have any problems volume matching between the two sources?

      Thanks
      Gary

      Comment


      • #4
        In my setup, (currently with 2 AB8SS) I only use one channel of one input because I have a whole house audio system installed that is independant from HS (it is controlled thru MLServer and via the MLHSplugin controllable via HS) I have 3 ceiling speakers in each room. Even with that note I am buying the ESS1 and ESS7's because the cost difference is minimal and the features of the 1/7 versus the 0/8 is major. In my opinion it is better to have unused abilities waiting than down the road to need a feature/function that you don't have, also I believe the power buy that completelyhis is putting together is only for the ess1/ess7
        Over The Hill
        What Hill?
        Where?
        When?
        I Don't Remember Any Hill

        Virtualized Server 2k3 Ent X86 Guest on VMWare ESXi 4.1 with 3 SunRay thin clients as access points - HSPro 2.4.0.48 - ZTroller - ACRF2 (3 WGL 800's) - iAutomate RFID - Ledam - MLHSPlugin - Ultra1wire - RainRelay8 - TI103 - Ultramon - WAF-AB8SS - jvESS (11 zones) - Bitwise Controls BC4 - with 745 Total Devices - 550 Events - 104 scripts - 78 ZWave devices - 42 X10 devices - 76 DS10a's 3 RFXSenors and 32 Motion Sensors

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kbevo View Post
          So by speaker level (vs line level?), you are talking about the stereo +- outputs from an amp (or receiver) that connect directly to the external speakers. In your case you would be running the speaker level outputs from your Sony directly to the ESS1?
          Yes.

          Originally posted by Kbevo View Post
          It would seem that when using the ABS-1 with only two sources this way you would not need the dual bus ESS1/7 but could go with the Ess0/8 and save a few bucks.
          Yes, the ABS-1 allows two sources to share one input. But I agree with Jackpod's philosophy (post above) - better to go with the two inputs on the ESS1 - more likely than not you'll find a use for it. I plan on using it for a second music source.

          Originally posted by Kbevo View Post
          One question though, when going through the ABS-1 do you have any problems volume matching between the two sources?
          Not really. Each source has it's own amp, so you adjust the volumes of each amp to taste.

          Mark
          Mark

          Hometroller S6 w/ HS3Pro, Way2Call
          BLAB8SS, BL Backup, Easy Trigger, HSTouch, Open Sprinkler, SONOS, Ultra1Wire3, UltraM1G, WeatherXML, Z-Wave

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mark S. View Post
            Not really. Each source has it's own amp, so you adjust the volumes of each amp to taste.

            Mark
            Yes, of course, thanks Mark. In my case, according to the users guide, it looks like my (Pioneer Elite SX81) MRMS outputs also require an amp. I wonder if there are workable, cheaper, stereo amp solutions than $100 (or there about) receivers? Also, in my manual, it says that only the analog sources are available for output via MRMS. It wasn't clear whether or not this referred to just the video or both video and audio. I suspect the later. In any case there is no mention of converting the 7 channel sound sources to stereo. Are you using MRMS from a 7.1 receiver for one of your sources?

            Thanks
            Gary

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kbevo View Post
              Yes, of course, thanks Mark. In my case, according to the users guide, it looks like my (Pioneer Elite SX81) MRMS outputs also require an amp. I wonder if there are workable, cheaper, stereo amp solutions than $100 (or there about) receivers? Also, in my manual, it says that only the analog sources are available for output via MRMS. It wasn't clear whether or not this referred to just the video or both video and audio. I suspect the later. In any case there is no mention of converting the 7 channel sound sources to stereo. Are you using MRMS from a 7.1 receiver for one of your sources?

              Thanks
              Gary

              Gary, The quality of the amp would depend on the quality of the sound you want to have and the type of speakers you want to put in each zone. Analog audio is like from a cd player, regular stereo which uses 2 RCA type connectors, digital on the other hand is usually either coax or fiber optic and can handle multiple channels, so what the manual is saying is you can't get 7.1 sound from the MRMS outputs, only left and right. I am not familar with your Pioneer, some receivers allow you to down mix the 7.1 to a stereo signal to feed secondary zones
              Over The Hill
              What Hill?
              Where?
              When?
              I Don't Remember Any Hill

              Virtualized Server 2k3 Ent X86 Guest on VMWare ESXi 4.1 with 3 SunRay thin clients as access points - HSPro 2.4.0.48 - ZTroller - ACRF2 (3 WGL 800's) - iAutomate RFID - Ledam - MLHSPlugin - Ultra1wire - RainRelay8 - TI103 - Ultramon - WAF-AB8SS - jvESS (11 zones) - Bitwise Controls BC4 - with 745 Total Devices - 550 Events - 104 scripts - 78 ZWave devices - 42 X10 devices - 76 DS10a's 3 RFXSenors and 32 Motion Sensors

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jackpod View Post
                Gary, The quality of the amp would depend on the quality of the sound you want to have and the type of speakers you want to put in each zone.
                My distributed audio (DA) requirement's don't demand a lot of high quality components. I'm thinking I will probably use Dual Channel (8 ohm) single speakers in most rooms. Unlike most folks, music to the planned rooms is not the highest priority. Mostly, but not exclusively its the voice feeds that I am after.

                Analog audio is like from a cd player, regular stereo which uses 2 RCA type connectors, digital on the other hand is usually either coax or fiber optic and can handle multiple channels, so what the manual is saying is you can't get 7.1 sound from the MRMS outputs, only left and right. I am not familiar with your Pioneer, some receivers allow you to down mix the 7.1 to a stereo signal to feed secondary zones
                Yeah, its probably one of those things you have to test out to see how works. However, it is the "down mix" issue that has had me reluctant to progress DA for some time. Its not clear that the MRMS analog signal available from my receiver is a derivative of the digital signal, and if it is do they mix it in a way to be close to true stereo. Frustrating that the guides and/or specs are not more clear. Hopefully someone that has been there with this family of receivers can enlighten me before I spend money on something that "clearly" wont work or work well. I do appreciate your insight it has helped greatly

                Gary

                Comment


                • #9
                  Technically the only time there would be a "downmix" is when the source is digital (example DVD Player while watching a dolby digital DVD) CD or other source is stereo to begin with. Now if you are looking to distribute the audio of a Dolby Digital movie throughout the house, that could be a concern
                  Over The Hill
                  What Hill?
                  Where?
                  When?
                  I Don't Remember Any Hill

                  Virtualized Server 2k3 Ent X86 Guest on VMWare ESXi 4.1 with 3 SunRay thin clients as access points - HSPro 2.4.0.48 - ZTroller - ACRF2 (3 WGL 800's) - iAutomate RFID - Ledam - MLHSPlugin - Ultra1wire - RainRelay8 - TI103 - Ultramon - WAF-AB8SS - jvESS (11 zones) - Bitwise Controls BC4 - with 745 Total Devices - 550 Events - 104 scripts - 78 ZWave devices - 42 X10 devices - 76 DS10a's 3 RFXSenors and 32 Motion Sensors

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jackpod View Post
                    Technically the only time there would be a "downmix" is when the source is digital (example DVD Player while watching a dolby digital DVD) CD or other source is stereo to begin with. Now if you are looking to distribute the audio of a Dolby Digital movie throughout the house, that could be a concern
                    Not looking to distribute the DD, but the down mix of the DD to analog. Specifically, the important thing is to be able to distribute the dialog from DD Recorded/Live TV (HTPC, Satellite, Football games, etc) and HD-DVD being played in my Living room. So an effective down mix of the audio from DD to two channel analog would be very important. In this case, understanding the dialog is more important than music quality. I suspect there are receivers out there that do this down mix, how well I'm not so sure, even if my receiver will not. Buying a new receiver is not out of the question once I am sure my receiver is a lost cause and know what will work well. Looks like I may be in for a call to Pioneer, as painful as that process has been in the past.

                    Thanks again,
                    Gary

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      most cable boxes and satelite boxes supply a stereo feed (look for a pair of red & white rca jacks) that is how I get sat into my WHA system

                      Does your receiver have a tape out? that would be a downmix
                      Over The Hill
                      What Hill?
                      Where?
                      When?
                      I Don't Remember Any Hill

                      Virtualized Server 2k3 Ent X86 Guest on VMWare ESXi 4.1 with 3 SunRay thin clients as access points - HSPro 2.4.0.48 - ZTroller - ACRF2 (3 WGL 800's) - iAutomate RFID - Ledam - MLHSPlugin - Ultra1wire - RainRelay8 - TI103 - Ultramon - WAF-AB8SS - jvESS (11 zones) - Bitwise Controls BC4 - with 745 Total Devices - 550 Events - 104 scripts - 78 ZWave devices - 42 X10 devices - 76 DS10a's 3 RFXSenors and 32 Motion Sensors

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jackpod View Post
                        most cable boxes and satellite boxes supply a stereo feed (look for a pair of red & white RCA jacks) that is how I get sat into my WHA system
                        Good to know those are hot along with the HDMI output. I had wondered about that. Of course thats only one source. My perception is that if I can find a way to use my receiver in some way, I could/would cover all sources.

                        Does your receiver have a tape out? that would be a downmix
                        Yes, it does. I had forgotten about this as an option until I saw your post over on the Power buy thread. It is certainly something to explore and may (or may not) do the trick. Here is what the Guide says about those outputs:

                        You can make an audio or a video recording from the built-in tuner, or from an audio or video source connected to the receiver (such as a CD player or TV). Keep in mind you can't make a digital recording from an analog source or vice-versa, so make sure the components you are recording to/from are hooked up in the same way.

                        • The receiver's volume, AV parameters, and surround effects have no effect on the recorded signal.
                        • Some digital sources are copy-protected, and can only be recorded in analog.
                        • Some video sources are copy-protected. These cannot be recorded.


                        Again, to me, its pretty ambiguous whether it is going to down mix all digital sources that I need. In one place it gives optimism and then in other places makes me have doubts. Especially for the digital audio from something like a HD-DVD player. What do you think?

                        Thanks
                        Gary

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kbevo View Post
                          Good to know those are hot along with the HDMI output. I had wondered about that. Of course thats only one source. My perception is that if I can find a way to use my receiver in some way, I could/would cover all sources.



                          Yes, it does. I had forgotten about this as an option until I saw your post over on the Power buy thread. It is certainly something to explore and may (or may not) do the trick. Here is what the Guide says about those outputs:

                          You can make an audio or a video recording from the built-in tuner, or from an audio or video source connected to the receiver (such as a CD player or TV). Keep in mind you can't make a digital recording from an analog source or vice-versa, so make sure the components you are recording to/from are hooked up in the same way.




                          Again, to me, its pretty ambiguous whether it is going to down mix all digital sources that I need. In one place it gives optimism and then in other places makes me have doubts. Especially for the digital audio from something like a HD-DVD player. What do you think?

                          Thanks
                          Gary

                          It does seem to contradict itself doesn't it

                          sounds like you would need to actually test it
                          Over The Hill
                          What Hill?
                          Where?
                          When?
                          I Don't Remember Any Hill

                          Virtualized Server 2k3 Ent X86 Guest on VMWare ESXi 4.1 with 3 SunRay thin clients as access points - HSPro 2.4.0.48 - ZTroller - ACRF2 (3 WGL 800's) - iAutomate RFID - Ledam - MLHSPlugin - Ultra1wire - RainRelay8 - TI103 - Ultramon - WAF-AB8SS - jvESS (11 zones) - Bitwise Controls BC4 - with 745 Total Devices - 550 Events - 104 scripts - 78 ZWave devices - 42 X10 devices - 76 DS10a's 3 RFXSenors and 32 Motion Sensors

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