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Thread: help with outdoor sound system

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    help with outdoor sound system

    I'm really looking forward to this summer. This will be my second year with my 18 x 33 above ground pool. We got it installed last July, and loved every minute of using it last summer. I absolutely can't wait to open and start swimming again. Unfortunately, I'm having to wait. March weather sucks.

    We have big plans for this year. We're building a deck off the back of our house, and it's going to integrate the pool with the house. We're also building an addition off the back of the house to have a larger family room. There are current pictures, and a crude drawing of what I'm planning attached in a following post. The drawing is done from the viewpoint standing on the roof on the back of the house. The house and planned addition are dark brown in the picture. The addition will be on the left side of the deck from that view, and there will be a small overhang bordering the deck. The deck is colored light brown, pool is obviously blue, grass is green, and sidewalk leading to the shed is gray.

    My goal is to have music all around the pool and the deck. We'll probably be listening primarily to radio and MP3's from the tablets. We have Sirius as part of our satellite TV, but we don't listen to those stations much while inside the house, so I'd be a bit surprised if we did while outside. I already know that there won't be any internet streaming, as our internet connection sucks, and we can only use a certain amount per month.

    I'm not terribly interested in Sonos. I know it gets great reviews, but I'd prefer not to spend $500 on a speaker, only to have to move it in and back outside. We live in the middle of nowhere on 2.5 acres. The closest neighbor is 250 feet away, so volume is not a huge issue. There are no plans for permanent shelter on the deck as of right now, so there is no outdoor kitchen to hid equipment. There is a shed near the far end of the pool, and I was thinking that might be a nice place to hide weather sensitive equipment. The shed is weather-tight, heated to 40 in the winter, and uncooled during the summer. I assume I'd need a special remote to control the receiver though, correct?

    My original thought was to buy a 7.1 receiver, probably used, and hook up seven speakers scattered evenly around the deck. I already have two Yamaha outdoor speakers, and was planning on mounting those on the back of the garage, under the overhang. There will be an overhang on the addition, and that seems like a good spot for two more speakers. That leaves three more speakers. I was thinking two along the long side of the pool, and one more along the house.

    Thoughts? I already have a 7.1 system in the basement, but it's on the absolute opposite corner of the house, and I have a finished, insulated basement, so running wires would be a royal pain. I'd also have to run to the basement everytime I wanted to change audio sources. The addition will be part of the family room, and close by, but I have no plans to put anything special sound-wise in there. Movies and special events get watched in the basement.

    Any words of wisdom? Pics to follow in the next post.

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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    OK. The pictures are too big. Will try again later. Still interested in your thoughts.

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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    We have a 7.1 system in the house with a second zone that goes to the patio speakers. The receiver is AirPlay compatible so it syncs up and plays music from all our devices wirelessly.


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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    DSC00003.jpg

    Here is the crude sketch.

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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g6...t/DSC00006.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g6...t/DSC00005.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    There. Finally got them uploaded and posted. Simple tech stuff kicks my butt sometimes. I don't touch a computer at my job, and I get out of the loop about things.

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    sargent's Avatar
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    I don't think the seven speakers are going to work the way you are thinking. You might be better off with a stereo receiver that can power both an "A" and a "B" set of speakers, and you could cover your area with 4 speakers.

    I have a stereo receiver in my garage that powers a couple of old Radio Shack Minimus 7s under the eaves of the house, and I have thought about adding a second pair, but my area is a little smaller than yours, and I haven't felt the need to add a second pair of speakers. I usually listen either to the radio or to spotify streamed through my cell phone, which I connect to the aux input on the stereo. This summer I plan to get a bluetooth receiver and mount it so that I can connect the phone to the stereo from the patio.
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    I know you said no Sonos but have you considered the Somnos connect amp? It's a Sonos receiver with built in amp and you hook up your own speakers to it (even a sub woofer if you want). I brought my Sonos in and out last year and will buy the Connect in a few weeks and run speaker wire outside. It really offers so much more than a traditional setup. If you go with a traditional setup then do what shock11 does. Also run the speaker wire in conduit (even if it just underneath the deck). It will cost very little and not much more time.

    If you have the speakers spread all over I don't know that the sound will deliver properly. It's meant to be in a room while viewing a TV at one end with the speakers strategically placed right? I could be wrong (I don't have one).

    Whatever you decide, please update us. I'd love to see the final product. Good luck!
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    Sargent, Can you elaborate on why you don't think it will work that way? I'm mostly an AV noob, but I do have a 7.1 in the basement that I'm somewhat familiar with. My current Onkyo receiver has 7 channels, all at 110 watts. It also has a listening mode called "Full Mono" where it doesn't matter where you are in the room, all the speakers sound exactly the same. I can also run it in "all channel stereo" where there is different music output to the left and right channels. I don't think I'll be able to listen in stereo outside due to the size of the area involved and the difficulty in placing speakers, but would like to try.

    Nectarologist - I've seen the Sonos amp before, but I don't think it works for me. I won't be streaming anything due to Internet limitations, and most typical receivers are now capable of WiFi, Bluetooth, and Airplay.

    The bottom line for me is that I want to be able to hear the music. I have some mild hearing loss from chronic ear infections as a kid, and hate having to blast the volume to hear the music. I'm hoping that with more closely spaced speakers playing a lower volume I will be able to hear a little better vs only a few speakers and blasting the music. It's the little things.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    That full mono or full stereo mode will be fine. I think Sargent was thinking, and I was too but he said it faster, that in surround sound mode you wouldn't get good music reproduction out of the rear channel speakers. Onkyo makes good stuff!
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    With full mono mode I suppose it would work. I don't have that mode on my receiver, so I have no experience with it. If that is your plan, make sure the receiver you get has that mode.
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    Nectarologist's Avatar
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    Good to know about the mono mode Mithesaint. I have an older receiver that I'll need to look at before I spend any money. I used to have Bose outdoor speakers that were very good (251 model). I had them for 13 years and left them & stereo with the house when I moved.
    Inground, vinyl liner, 16 x 32 (approx. 21k gallons), roman end w/ bench, 2 Jandy LED lights
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    I went with cheap and easy. Cheap Pyle Speakers http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...rch_detailpage
    Pyle Amp http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...rch_detailpage
    and a bluetooth receiver http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...rch_detailpage

    Stream from my phone or tablet. does the trick well. We only have two speakers, but that more than covers the area. all the electronics are contained inside a weather proof sprinkler control enclosure http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...rch_detailpage
    21,000 gal In Ground Plaster pool; Nautilus FNS 60 DE filter; WhisperFlo WFE-6 pump; Polaris booster pump and pool cleaner;Rainbow Lifegard HiFlow Chlorine Feeder (not in use); Purex Triton pool light;Hatteras spa light; Intermatic model PF122T Freeze Sentry pump controller; Sta-Rite U-3 Skimmer.

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    Nectarologist's Avatar
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    Crusemm, great option for such a low price. Thanks for sharing. Did you mount the amp and receiver inside the sprinkler box or do they just sit inside? I.e. will they fall out?


    Inground, vinyl liner, 16 x 32 (approx. 21k gallons), roman end w/ bench, 2 Jandy LED lights
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    You might also check out the Bluetooth audio receiver on Amazon. It has a small amp and stays connected all the time. I have this with the definitive technology speakers and works really well. The amp is kinda underpowered for these speakers, but didn't want to have to buy twice in case I changed amps in a few years.
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    amp and bluetooth are mounted inside. The sprinkler box has a mounting plate inside that I cut to allow me to set the amp inside. I will try to post a picture when I get home. There was an existing outside junction box that housed an outlet and the switch for the pool light. I piggybacked off of that junction box and ran power up to a GFCI outlet that I mounted inside the sprinkler box (it's already set up fort that). I then mounted the amp and bluetooth module to the mounting plate inside and plugged them in to the GFCI. So in the winter, I turn off power using the GFCI as an on/off switch, and reset it in the summer when I'm ready to use it again. Speakers are mounted up under the eaves of the house. I imagine you could run at least 2 sets of speakers, possibly 3.
    Just noticed, Pyle has an amp with integrated bluetooth now, so it's even simpler http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PCA12BT-B...=bluetooth+amp
    Pictures:
    http://imgur.com/C2BNcgM
    http://imgur.com/Veltg99
    http://imgur.com/mDvyc9j
    Last edited by crusemm; 03-17-2016 at 10:59 PM. Reason: Added Pictures
    21,000 gal In Ground Plaster pool; Nautilus FNS 60 DE filter; WhisperFlo WFE-6 pump; Polaris booster pump and pool cleaner;Rainbow Lifegard HiFlow Chlorine Feeder (not in use); Purex Triton pool light;Hatteras spa light; Intermatic model PF122T Freeze Sentry pump controller; Sta-Rite U-3 Skimmer.

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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    Quote Originally Posted by crusemm View Post
    amp and bluetooth are mounted inside. The sprinkler box has a mounting plate inside that I cut to allow me to set the amp inside. I will try to post a picture when I get home. There was an existing outside junction box that housed an outlet and the switch for the pool light. I piggybacked off of that junction box and ran power up to a GFCI outlet that I mounted inside the sprinkler box (it's already set up fort that). I then mounted the amp and bluetooth module to the mounting plate inside and plugged them in to the GFCI. So in the winter, I turn off power using the GFCI as an on/off switch, and reset it in the summer when I'm ready to use it again. Speakers are mounted up under the eaves of the house. I imagine you could run at least 2 sets of speakers, possibly 3.
    Just noticed, Pyle has an amp with integrated bluetooth now, so it's even simpler http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PCA12BT-B...=bluetooth+amp
    Pictures:
    http://imgur.com/C2BNcgM
    http://imgur.com/Veltg99
    http://imgur.com/mDvyc9j
    Thanks for taking the time to put the pics up!
    Inground, vinyl liner, 16 x 32 (approx. 21k gallons), roman end w/ bench, 2 Jandy LED lights
    Pump: Jandy Flopro, 1.5 hp Heater: Raypak, 266k btu (P-R266-A-EN-C; nat gas) Filter: Jandy C340 (cartridge filter) Robot: Doheny's Dolphin Discovery

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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    I purchased a set of rock speakers and a small 60 watt per channel amp and connected it to a Raspberry Pi with a DAC running Volumio and it works great. I have a 16gig USB drive that I have all my music on and I just control it from my phone to pick a play list and let it play. I have it in a waterproof sprinkler system box. I got the amp and speakers from http://www.parts-express.com. If you want any info on the Raspberry Pi setup let me know.

    IMG_1611.jpg
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    Quote Originally Posted by duckvader View Post
    I purchased a set of rock speakers and a small 60 watt per channel amp and connected it to a Raspberry Pi with a DAC running Volumio and it works great. I have a 16gig USB drive that I have all my music on and I just control it from my phone to pick a play list and let it play. I have it in a waterproof sprinkler system box. I got the amp and speakers from http://www.parts-express.com. If you want any info on the Raspberry Pi setup let me know.

    IMG_1611.jpg
    I'm looking at something similar, Raspberry Pi based setup. Was it easy to put together?

    What DAC did you use? I found some relatively cheap amps with a standard input jack that the Pi can connect with. I'd read a USB sound card was worth the upgrade.

    I'd love to go Bluetooth but all our wiring is in our front room. It's too far to the pool for Bluetooth to reach. I'd have to go inside to change songs. That's why I want the Pi setup. I can control it from outside as long as I have wifi.

    My guess is this will be around $100 all in for me. We already have speakers wired and mounted.
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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    I used a Hifiberry DAC. It's pretty awesome.


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    Re: help with outdoor sound system

    I'll post more in a day or two when I have time, but just wanted to bump this thread up while I was thinking about it. Dont't want the thread to fall off the page. I'm still going with the 7 channel receiver, and will be using a total of 6 speakers. More to come later. It's bedtime.

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