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Old May 10th, 2006, 01:33 AM
trevorjdaniel trevorjdaniel is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9
Question How Many Speakers Can I Run?

Hi There,

I have a conservatory with 4 8ohm speakers in and a woofer. I would like to also run 4 external speakers on this zone via a volume control to enable me to "turn on/off" the outside speakers.

So, will a single sonos amp be able to drive 8 speakers?

In general, how does it work? Does it just get quieter the more speakers you add to a zone?

Many thanks


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Old May 11th, 2006, 08:49 AM
mr_a mr_a is offline
Digital Expert
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washougal, WA
Posts: 22


A couple things can happen.

1. If you amp is reasonably powerful, and you don't play music too loud, niether you nor the amp will ever know the difference.

2. The real issue is peak current levels. When we talk of power, most often the discussion is on RMS values- a sort of average over time. The real issue is peak-power- how much power (current) the amp must supply to drive a particulary microsecond.

3. The worst offenders are high frequency notes. While you would be hard pressed to listen to music on normal speakers with even a few milliwatts of RMS power (its loud), peak power can be 10's or 100's of watts.

4. Running out of peak-power results first in clipping- meaning the tone is not a nice pleasant sounding sine-wave, but rather a squared-off wave. It sounds harsh. When it gets worse, it can damage speakers.

5. All off this typically happens long before you run out of "volume".

So- the result of all that? I am not quite sure how Sonos amps are designed- but I would guess that if you are listening at reasonable levels - and you don't have $10,000 speakers that you are super concerned about- go ahead.

-Just my opinion on the amp stuff. There are as many different opinions as people.

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Old May 11th, 2006, 09:11 AM
DigitalBoy DigitalBoy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,346

the main issue with multiple speakers (in parallel) is the reduction in impedance that the amp is shown. You can't run 4 pairs of 8ohm speakers in parallel off any typical amp without other equipment. Unless you don't care about your amp at all...

Impedance matching volume controls are a popular choice. So are speaker switching units etc.

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