Help wiring indoor and outdoor speakers from receiver, volume too low outside..

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Help wiring indoor and outdoor speakers from receiver, volume too low outside..

  • Hey all,

    Please bear with me as I am a complete novice. Here is my situation....

    I just bought a pioneer vex-830-k receiver. This powers everything for my audio at home. My tv is hooked via optical line. PS3 via hdmi. In my living room I have two front speakers, center, two rears and a subwoofer. I just bought four cheap rock speakers for outside off amazon. I am not looking for crazy volume but id like to be able to hear the music outside over multiple conversations going on (aka a party). Here is how I have it wired....

    Speaker A and B (Front) from the receiver wire going to the input of speaker selector box. Surround, Center, (soon to be sub) go directly to receiver.

    On the speaker selector box....

    Front A and B speakers go into one of the zones.

    All outdoor speakers go into other zones.

    My issue is the outdoor speakers are never loud enough. Do I need a separate AMP to power the outdoor ones as well? The wire run is about 50 feet per speaker, I used 16 gauge wire to do the runs. The speaker selector box does have impedance protection. Any help is appreciated and please bear with me

  • I wasn't able to finds any info n a Pioneer "VEX" model but they do list a "VSX-830-K" model on their website. This model is rated to provide up to 80 watts on each of it's 5 channels. If you're running the main channels through a speaker selector, you're not only splitting that wattage up multiple times, you're severely limiting the ability of your front left & right speakers in your main theater system (as they are getting a fraction of the power that your center and surrounds are getting).

    Assuming you have a 4-pair speaker selector and that the selector is 100% efficient (it's not) you'll get no more than 20 watts per speaker and that's only with the Pioneer set to maximum volume. While this can be enough to get decent listening levels indoors, you generally need additional power for outdoor speakers as there are no walls to contain the sound.

    It also appears that this Pioneer offers no pre-amp outputs for providing signal to an external amplifier (the best option to get the wattage you need outdoors) so, your best bet would be to exchange the Pioneer for another model that offers at least 7 channels and multi zone capability. These receivers offer at least 7 channels of amplification allowing you to use 5 of them for your theater system and the additional 6th & 7th channels for powering additional speakers in another location (outdoor rock speakers). Most models will even allow you to enjoy different sources in each location at the same time.

    I hope that helps.

    Anyone else have a good recommendation?


  • Thank you so much. Yes you have my correct model. One more question. Would I be able to use a 7.2 receiver that is not multi zone. Off one of those extra Channels run it to the speaker selector snd then the outdoor speakers from the selector?

  • Or a 7.2c receiver that allows you to switch between a and b speakers? 150w per channel

  • Looking at the Sony strdn850

  • Actually, no, the Sony is not a good solution. While it does provide the option of using the 6th & 7th channels as a "B Pair" for powering stereo speakers in another location, it does not provide an independent volume control for this pair. So, because you're connecting these channels to a selector, and will need the volume set rather high to get the full rated wattage (which will then be split among your outdoor speaker pairs), it's best to get a model that provides independent volume controls for each zone.

    Having said that; the Sony can still work if you'll never use the outdoor and indoor speakers at the same time. If both are selected, you'll have to crank the volume to get any real output from the outdoor speakers, making the indoor ones far too loud.

    A multi-zone receiver will have independent volume controls for each zone allowing you to set the output on the outdoor channels high, and the output for the indoor speakers at a much more acceptable level.

    I hope that helps.