September 18, 2013 by Grant Clauser
Let’s say you want a multiroom music system in your house. Sonos is a good choice for a lot of people, and now that Sonos can be integrated with a growing number of home control systems, it makes sense for both professionally-installed music systems as well as for the DIY market.
What a lot of homeowners end up with is a gear rack full of Sonos amps. Each Connect:Amp is a separate zone as well as an independent source (actually it’s many sources, when you factor in all the music service apps available on Sonos). If you have a lot of rooms, that can be a lot of Connect:Amps. At $499 each (plus you’ll need speakers of course) that adds up. Do you really need independent sources in each of those rooms (especially when they’re connected, as in a dining room and kitchen)?
That’s essentially the question that ADA’s PTM-1645-SNS multizone distribution amp asks. The solution it offers is the ability to connect three sources, such as three Sonos Connect players (which are cheaper than the Connect:Amps) and distribute them to eight rooms or zones. The volume in each room can be controlled independently, even if multiple rooms are playing at the same time (check out the illustration for an example of how the system would be connected).
ADA says that with the multizone amp each zone is stable down to 2 Ohms and features current-limiting to make it easy to drive more than one pair of speakers. Each zone features its own adjustable audio level so that rooms which are designed to turn on and off as one still maintain their unique acoustical balance. Zones also trigger on and off via audio sensing specifically designed for the Sonos Connect.
For integrating with control systems, the product includes RS-232 control and low-voltage triggering. The PTM-1645-SNS also includes built-in audio bussing for sharing a few Sonos Connects among multiple zones.
So what if you want to go really big? ADA is also bringing out the A-16D card, a component designed very large homes with many separate audio zones. It’s designed to work with ADA’s Suite 16 and Suite 32 systems and offers digital inputs for up to 8 devices, such as Sonos Connect players. Each also includes 8 analog inputs. It can be configured for up to 96 zones.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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