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Thread: Outdoor volume controls

  1. #1
    Senior Member Hurricane Gio's Avatar
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    Outdoor volume controls

    hey guys,

    How do the outdoor volume control things work? is this something you just put inline on the outdoor speaker wires and that's it?

    thanks
    8,000 Gal, 11 x 26.8ft Shotcrete Pool with "Cool Blue" Diamond Brite by ESSIG Pools with Artistic Pavers Deck
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  2. #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    The volume controls I have seen mount into the wall like a light switch/outlet. They really just can reduce the volume.

    At my house, I have my stereo hooked to speakers inside (for the TV, etc) and then Channel B to the outside speakers. If we have the inside and outside speakers on, if I set the stereo volume so the inside is not too loud, then the outside speakers are too quiet out by the pool So, adding a separate volume control would not help me as that would just allow me to lower the outside volume even more.

    Of course there are probably better systems that may have a dedicated amplifier somewhere in the house where you could have better control over each set of speakers, but I do not see the point in adding a wall control for my speakers that are used 95% of the time to just watch TV.

    EDIT: Although now that I think about it, it may be worth running my main indoor speakers through one of the volume controllers so that I could easily lower the interior volume when we want the outside louder ... hmmmmmmm
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  3. #3
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Gio
    hey guys,

    How do the outdoor volume control things work? is this something you just put inline on the outdoor speaker wires and that's it?

    thanks
    Yes....they are just inline with the speaker wires.

    I have 4 pairs of outdoor speakers, located at various areas around my pool/yard. I have a speaker volume control outside for each.....allows me to balance the sound across the yard. My indoor Yamaha amplifier (same one for my surround) has a "Zone2" speaker connection which outputs a set volume level to the Zone2 speakers. I then use a speaker switcher to hook up all the outdoor speakers (with an impedance balance switch....critical to balance the load on the main amplifier when you have multiple sets of speakers on 1 line). Works great.
    Mike

    16.5k IG gunite pool/spa, pebble-tec type plaster, Aquapure 1400 SWG, Jandy 2hp ePump main pump, Jandy 1.5hp Stealth on waterfall, Polaris 280, iAqualink wifi control, Colorsplash LED pool/spa lights

  4. #4
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    I use the following on three separate speaker pairs in my backyard:

    http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/outd ... trols.html

    What is nice about them is that they come in a nice weather proof conduit box, and have built-in impedance matching. This means your amp sees the same impedance regardless of the volume adjustment on the different pairs. The other nice thing about them is that you can mount them near the speakers, not the amp. So, you can be sitting down at the patio table and have a nearby volume control to turn things down without affecting other zones. This is effectively similar to a zone control on a receiver, but gives you much more local control. Switch boxes are okay, but then you have to run back to the receiver to turn on or off a particular zone.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  5. #5
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigMW
    I use the following on three separate speaker pairs in my backyard:

    http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/outd ... trols.html

    What is nice about them is that they come in a nice weather proof conduit box, and have built-in impedance matching. This means your amp sees the same impedance regardless of the volume adjustment on the different pairs. The other nice thing about them is that you can mount them near the speakers, not the amp. So, you can be sitting down at the patio table and have a nearby volume control to turn things down without affecting other zones. This is effectively similar to a zone control on a receiver, but gives you much more local control. Switch boxes are okay, but then you have to run back to the receiver to turn on or off a particular zone.
    Does that say they have AMPS built it? Or is the listed watts a max to pass through them?

    Is it true that you are really just able to turn the volume DOWN from what the stereo volume is set at?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  6. #6
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigMW
    I use the following on three separate speaker pairs in my backyard:

    http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/outd ... trols.html

    What is nice about them is that they come in a nice weather proof conduit box, and have built-in impedance matching. This means your amp sees the same impedance regardless of the volume adjustment on the different pairs. The other nice thing about them is that you can mount them near the speakers, not the amp. So, you can be sitting down at the patio table and have a nearby volume control to turn things down without affecting other zones. This is effectively similar to a zone control on a receiver, but gives you much more local control. Switch boxes are okay, but then you have to run back to the receiver to turn on or off a particular zone.
    Does that say they have AMPS built it? Or is the listed watts a max to pass through them?

    It's a power-handling capacity, just like a speaker. There is no AMP.

    Is it true that you are really just able to turn the volume DOWN from what the stereo volume is set at?

    Yes. At full volume it just passes 100% of what comes in.
    My answers are in bold above.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    This one, while not outdoor rated, DOES contain an amplifier. http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/50-7830
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  8. #8
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    Quote Originally Posted by Durk
    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigMW
    I use the following on three separate speaker pairs in my backyard:

    http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/outd ... trols.html

    What is nice about them is that they come in a nice weather proof conduit box, and have built-in impedance matching. This means your amp sees the same impedance regardless of the volume adjustment on the different pairs. The other nice thing about them is that you can mount them near the speakers, not the amp. So, you can be sitting down at the patio table and have a nearby volume control to turn things down without affecting other zones. This is effectively similar to a zone control on a receiver, but gives you much more local control. Switch boxes are okay, but then you have to run back to the receiver to turn on or off a particular zone.
    Does that say they have AMPS built it? Or is the listed watts a max to pass through them?

    It's a power-handling capacity, just like a speaker. There is no AMP.

    Is it true that you are really just able to turn the volume DOWN from what the stereo volume is set at?

    Yes. At full volume it just passes 100% of what comes in.
    My answers are in bold above.
    That is what I thought ... still would not help me lower the volume in the house (stereo) while increasing the volume outside ... unless I only put one inside to lower the house speakers.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, Dolphin Diagnostic Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Gone: Hayward RS1500 pump, undersized DIY solar heater, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    Just in case it got skipped, above...
    This one, while not outdoor rated, DOES contain an amplifier. http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/50-7830
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

  10. #10
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    These are simply stereo volume controls, called L-pads. They have special circuitry to ensure that the current load to the amplifier is even and does not dip too low. They are passive devices and do not themselves amplify the sound. If you need to control sound indoors, you could get an indoor volume control (these can be stand alone or put into a low voltage wall box). Better yet, either use a receiver with a second zone to drive the indoor vs. outdoor speakers, or do what I do. Use a second amplifier/receiver to drive the outdoor speakers separately. You can either route a preamp out signal from the main receiver to one of the input channels on the secondary receiver/amp, or use y-connectors of the RCA type to route the output from a CD, BluRay, iPod or Squeezebox to the two receivers. I use two Squeezebox Duet receivers to connect to my main receiver in the house, and separately to an integrated amp in the pool house. The latter drives all outdoor speakers.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    The MCM single-gang stereo volume controls to which I linked above, do, in fact, contain a 50 watt class-D amplifier (2x25w).
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

  12. #12
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    Ohm_Boy:

    Sorry, I was referring to the OSD volume control. I can see the MCM powered unit being handy in some cases, but it seems pricey for what you get. When you add the power supply, it's nearing $150. For that price, you can purchase a much beefier stereo receiver that can be wired passively with the OSD volume control. A Squeezebox or BluRay player connected to a receiver can be controlled remotely using an iPhone or Android phone. So, you can have complete control of your music (be it from a music library on a DNLA device such as a computer or NAS, or using internet radio, e.g. Pandora). In my case, I use my Android to control both the SqueezeBox in the house and a separate one in the pool house. I can sync these two such that the same music is playing in the house and back yard. I'm in the process of adding speakers to different rooms in the house, each of which gets its own volume control, so our whole property will be "wired for sound."

    There are a number of different ways to do this though, some much more expensive than others (e.g. Sonos).
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  13. #13
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    I believe the best outdoor solution that I have seen is Sonos. http://www.sonos.com/system

    This system has pods utilizing a mesh network that can be controlled by your cell phone app. Different zones, different controls and music. Pretty amazing stuff. I wired a friends entire house with this and it performed flawlessly. Yamaha and Polk atrium speakers throught out inside and out

  14. #14
    Junior Member Panzer's Avatar
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    Re: Outdoor volume controls

    I tried looking at several outdoor solutions for volume control.
    Was steered towards the Niles (www.amazon.com/Niles-WVC100E-Grey-FG009 ... 079&sr=1-7 ) or similar units. Between $30-$90

    After considering just how much I wanted to invest in running my stereo to the deck speakers. I actually wound-up purchasing an inexpensive receiver to place on the bar, just inside the door from the deck.
    Insignia™ - 200W 2.0 Channel Stereo Receiver

    Yep... came with a cheap remote and for ~$100 I can sit on the deck and adjust volume, switch to sat. radio, Ipod, or CD and enjoy. Sounds wonderful through the Klipsch KHO-7 speakers I coupled it with.

    Sometimes it's cheaper to buy another than to figure out how to work with what we've got.

    Best of luck in your search.

    Respectfully,
    Panzer
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