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Installing a multi-room ipod docking station and ceiling speakers sounds system.?

I've seen many houses which have ceiling speakers and iPod docking stations built into the wall in each room. I know this cannot be that hard to install as initially you would be installing an ipod dock in each room looping them all together and then just installing you speaker outputs.

Any knowledge on the materials that are used such as the docking stations and speakers would be helpful as most of the ceiling speakers I have seen are bose which I know is a very expensive manufacturer. I am just trying to price up how much the materials would cost excluding labor of a company as I would be installing the system myself.

My house has 4 bedrooms 1 bathroom 2 large living rooms a dining room and a large kitchen.
I am trying to install the system as cheap as possible without using low quality materials.

FIRST OF ALL: Buy EVERYTHING on ebay. I have done it this way and always found great deals.
Ouch. I hope you don't mean literally in the ceiling! That can get expensive fast. If, by saying in the ceiling, you mean mounted on little platforms up by the ceiling in all the corners of the room this would be a much better choice for price and sound quality.

I had a friend that put speakers up in his ceiling and I warned him not to. They sound like crap up there because they're pointing down at the floor and not out into the room.

I've set up audio systems all throughout my friend's and parents' houses. I've never actually linked up one system into multiple rooms though.

Things can get complicated whe you're doing that.

Here's the easiest and cheapest way I can think of:

Set your speakers where you want them and your Ipod docking stations. Run speaker wire in the least conspicuous place possible without having to go through the ceiling as things can get pretty hairy up there. I remember setting up a big Klipsch system with floorstanding speakers and having to rewire it through the ceiling. We had to take down most of the ceiling tiles just to REPLACE some old speaker wire. I couldn't imagine trying to do that with a conventional solid ceiling.

Like I said, stay away from throwing wires up in your ceiling at all costs. It's a pain in the neck. (LITERALLY) You could run the wires along the edges of the ceiling and put molding up there. It would be much cheaper that way.

Next thing you want to do is decide where your main amplifier is going to be. You should place this in the room you are in the most often, as it is the center of your entire audio system. All of your speaker wires are going to go to this amplifier if you've got a hi fi system. (one with the positive and negative leads)

***YOU DO NOT NEED AN AMP WITH A MILLION CHANNELS***
2 CHANNELS is all you will need 90% of the time. You need to read up a little bit on how to wire speakers together to get the right resistance and this will help save you a boatload of cash (a couple hundred dollars) on your amp.

These are a few simple terms and definitions you need to know about before you go plugging all 20 some odd speakers into a single amp.

Parallel wiring
Series wiring
Impedance

Seriously... Learn all about those 3 things and you will have saved enough money on your amp to buy a 40" flatscreen to put in your main room.

I have an Aiwa stereo with 2 channels. I have 6 speakers hooked up to it and it works just fine because I've learned about how to get the speakers hooked up properly using the techniques and terms above.

The rest of your issues will be hiding wires and plugging in RCA cables to the right spots and getting all the necessary adaptors.

You're probably going to spend a good $200-350 on wires alone. 100' of good sized speaker wire is about $15. You're probably going to need around 500-600 feet and a lot of long RCA cables and adaptors to take the signal from all of your Ipod docks to the main amp.

Amps big enough power speakers over such long distances will cost you pretty dearly. Like I said, these are the most important part of your audio system and are usually the most expensive. You're looking at another $300-700 for an amp big enough to power up all of the house's speakers.
***I would almost never buy a used amp*** Go new or something that you've seen working.

I personally buy aftermarket car audio speakers for about everything I do. I build my own enclosures and wire the speakers myself. These are a lot cheaper than any home audio equivalents.
Boss audio has some alright products. For a pair of speakers that can carry a full range of frequencies might cost you $20 (I have a pair in the 2 rear doors of my Toyota)
Most car audio stuff you can find at pretty reasonable prices. The only downside is you'll have to buy some sort of wood or drywall to make the enclosures out of.
If you're going to get 4 speakers for every room you want to do it will cost you a minimum of $400 and a moderate price for a little bit more advanced speaker systems of about $800-900

The reason I'm suggesting wired systems as opposed to plug in stuff is because it's easier to hook up over long distances than regular home audio. (for instance a 5.1 computer desk system) You also won't need to use up so many outlets this way for all your seperate speaker systems. They'll all be powered by one big amp using one wall socket.

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