Outdoor volume controls

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#2
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
 

ntxpool

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2007
80
0
Allen, Texas
#3
Hurricane Gio said:
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.
 

CraigMW

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2011
696
0
Orange County, CA
#4
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.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#5
CraigMW said:
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?
 

Durk

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2007
654
0
New Jersey
#6
jblizzle said:
CraigMW said:
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.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#8
Durk said:
jblizzle said:
CraigMW said:
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.
 

CraigMW

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2011
696
0
Orange County, CA
#10
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.
 

CraigMW

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2011
696
0
Orange County, CA
#12
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).
 

edkozak

New member
Jun 2, 2012
1
0
#13
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
 
Jun 2, 2009
19
0
South Chicago burbs
#14
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