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6 Zone Home Audio Multizone Controller and Amplifier Kit, NO LOGO
Distribute and control music and other audio material to up to six stereo speaker zones using this 6-Zone Home Audio Multizone Controller and Amplifier.
This multizone controller is a 6x6 matrix with six stereo audio inputs and six outputs. Each input channel can be independently directed to any of the output channels using the included remote control or the keypad controllers installed in each zone.
The six inputs are 2-channel stereo, with four line level inputs using RCA jacks, one input on a 3.5mm TRS jack, and a Toslink digital optical input. A separate PA input allows you to override selected audio material and broadcast a single audio source to each connected zone. Additionally, a mute input allows you to mute each output channel using a single source trigger.
Each output channel features an amplifier that is capable of delivering 50 watts/channel into a 4-ohm load or 25 watts/channel into an 8-ohm load. Each amplifier can be individually bridged to produce 100 watts into an 8-ohm load. The amp uses Euroblock connectors for the speaker level outputs, which takes less space than push-grip connector terminals. The Euroblock connectors can accept speaker wire up to 12AWG and can be removed from the amplifier for easier installation.
Each output channel also features RCA line-level output jacks, allowing you to use a separate, more powerful amplifier in any output zone or to send the audio to a self-amplified component, such as a television display.
Each zone is independently controlled at the zone using a wallplate keypad with lighted, soft-touch buttons. The keypads connect to the main unit using Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable. Each keypad features an infrared "eye", which can propagate single-band IR remote control signals to individual IR transmitters connected to the master controller. This allows you to control the source devices from each zone using their native remote controls.
The controller features 12 volt trigger outputs for each distribution zone, plus a master trigger for the entire system. This allows you to activate automated devices, such as lowering a projection screen or dimming the lights whenever the system as a whole, or an individual zone, is activated.
Up to three master controllers can be connected together to provide a massive 6x18 matrix, with audio source and control information passed between master controllers using the included 18-pin ribbon cable. The master controller can accept 115V and 230V inputs. The voltage selector switch is covered to prevent it from being accidentally changed.
The master controller features an RS232 serial input, which lets you program a computer for automated control. A complete list of RS232 commands and codes, including status reporting commands, is included in the manual. The package includes a 19" rack mount kit.
- 1x MPR-SG6Z master controller/amplifier
- 6x Keypad controllers
- 1x Keypad in-wall hub connection plate
- 1x Infrared remote control
- 1x Expansion ribbon cable
- 1x Rack mounting kit
- 1x AC power cord (IEC 60320 C13 to NEMA 5-15)
- 1x User's manual
|Stereo RMS Power (8 ohms)||25 watts/stereo channel x6|
|Stereo RMS Power (4 ohms)||50 watts/stereo channel x6|
|Bridged (mono) RMS Power (8 ohms)||100 watts x6|
|S/N Ratio||>85dB A Weighted|
|Frequency Response||20Hz ~ 20kHz|
|Input Impedance||>47 kilohms|
|Amplifier Protection||Overload, Short Circuit, Thermal|
|Systems ON Trigger Voltage||+12 VDC|
|External Mute Trigger Voltage||+12 VDC|
|Input Connectors||3.5mm stereo, RCA, Toslink|
|Output Connectors||Euroblock terminal, 3.5mm mono|
|Power Supply (switchable)||115 VAC, 60Hz / 230 VAC, 50Hz|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||16.9" x 3.5" x 16.4" (430 x 89 x 416 mm)|
|Weight||24.3 lbs (11.0 kg)|
- User's Manual (Oct 28, 2014)
- Specification Sheet (Jul 25, 2014)
- Manual de Usuario (Español) (Apr 08, 2015)
It’s a nice unit and works well, but yes 1990’s technology. I’ve a few friends using Denon or Sonos and that technology is really nice. But plan on spending 2-3K for it.
I ended up buying 2 of these units based on Monoprice's original description that said it would work as a 12x12 matrix. Well, it doesn't, it's 6x12. This means that if you chain them together, you can ONLY use the inputs on the master unit. And after I got it all installed, they changed their description to be accurate. Now that I've gone through the work of running the wire for keypad locations and installing it, I don't really feel like taking it out. But, there goes any hope of me connecting my TV's to the units so I can use the wall speakers for them. I'm more than a little upset about this, but the only consolation is that this setup was 1/3 the price of the Russound system I was going to put in.
So everyone wants to know about the sound quality. It'd say it's very good. I'm running several old pairs of Infinity speakers, some Monoprice 4101's, and some really phenomenal Pioneer bookshelf speakers recommended by The Wire Cutter. There is a little distortion at high volumes, but turning it down a couple of notches fixes that. The sound is very similar to one of my cheap Class-T amps, which is actually pretty good. A friend of mine found the manufacturer of this unit and was able to find out what they are using for amp chips in these. They are made by NXP and the model number is TDA8920C. The amp chip is actually a 2x110W chip. So, if they are claiming 25W at 8 ohms, it's definitely being underdriven, something I suspected anyway due to the low amount of distortion at high volume.
The one thing I just noticed tonight is that if I play music into input 4 (analog) or input 6 (using the optical input), when I set any zone to input 5 and crank it up, I can hear whatever is playing on input 4 or 6 very lightly. This is annoying. Audio is leaking somewhere in the unit. I bought 2 of them, so I tested this on the second unit operating completely separate from the first unit, and it has the exact same issue.
The manual states that you need to run Cat5E or Cat6 to each keypad. In my experience, this is not true. A couple of my locations already had plain Cat5 running to them, and it works great. One run is over 100 feet. 2 of my runs already had 4-wire alarm wire to them. I looked at the hub, and some of the keypads only required 4 wires based on the traces on the board. I wired the 4-wire into pins 2, 4, 6, and 8 on the RJ-45 plug, and it worked! From what I can see on the hub, the first 2 jacks use all 8 wires, and JK3 and up use only 4. I'm guessing this is an RS-485 bus with two legs. One thing to note is that while both of those ghetto wired keypads work, the longer run of the two (80 feet) started to not work reliably yesterday. Weirdly enough, it's only the volume down button that doesn't always work. I'll try swapping out the keypad first, and if the problem persists, I'll run Cat5e since I have a gigantic spool of it and my wife loves it when I cut holes in walls to wire difficult locations. Update: I took a keypad apart, it's it's using an RS-485 bus. RS-485 will operate over standard 4-wire alarm wire and has a range of up to 10,000 feet. The wire should be twisted pair though, and my 4-wire stuff isn't twisted.
As another reviewer pointed out, if you power down the main unit, all of the keypads lose their settings. This is ridiculously annoying. Having to go back and reset volume levels, inputs, and bass/treble settings is a pain in the butt. The IR repeating functionality works well. I'm not using it extensively since most of my stuff is network controlled, but I do use it for an FM tuner that's mounted in the rack with the rest of the stuff.
There's also an AGC button on the back of this. It's off by default. I'm assuming this is automatic gain control. I turned it on and noticed no real difference.
Another thing I should note, one of the main reasons I got this was for home automation announcements, and this has a paging function. The paging function works well. However, it would be nice if when it cut each zone back to the original input, it would fade the sound back in rather than just cut back to it. It would make things sound much more polished.
I hooked up the serial port control so I can integrate it with my Vera. I still have to write the plugin, but I'm able to control the unit through the serial port. The protocol is simple to use and it works well. The only thing it's missing is the option to send unsolicited update messages. For example, when someone changes the volume on the keypad, I would like the unit to send a message over the serial port notifying what was changed. Since it doesn't have this, I will have to poll the unit on a regular basis to keep the status of everything updated in the home automation system. Also note that when using the ribbon to connect multiple units, ALL units can be controlled through the serial port on the Master. You do NOT need a separate serial cable to each unit. The serial ports on the units are female, so I had to use a gender bender to get a standard serial cable working with it. The lack of unsolicited messages is disappointing. I assume this can only be changed with a firmware update, and I have no idea how one would go about that or if it's even possible. There's no USB port on it, and I have no idea if it can be flashed over the serial port.
Another thing I noticed is that the serial protocol supports Do Not Disturb for zones. I assume this is to keep those zones from being paged when using the paging function. I don't see a way on the keypads to put a zone in DnD mode, it appears to be only possible when using the serial protocol.
I am also using the TOSLINK connection on input 6 with a Sonos Connect. The Sonos Connect doesn't have a very good DAC in it, but it actually sounds better when plugged into an analog zone with RCA cables. The DAC that's built into this thing is even worse than the Sonos DAC. The sound is noticeably brighter and more lively when using the RCA inputs rather than the TOSLINK with the Sonos.
So, the bottom line is, this thing is a good deal for what you're getting. It functions just as the current description on it says. Sound quality is pretty good. Keypads feel solid and work well. It looks great in the rack. It's easy to hook up. But, there are a couple of annoyances. These annoyances aren't enough to make me return it, especially since my next cheapest option is nearly triple the price.
PROS: Great value for the money. A comparable system from another manufacturer would cost nearly triple the price, or more. Easy to set up. Looks great in a rack. Sounds decent.
CONS: Built in DAC for input 6 isn't very good. Keypads mounted in remodel boxes sit a little high and cause the wallplate to have a tiny gap. Sound bleeds over from some inputs very quietly, can be heard when turning up the volume on an input which has nothing on it.
PROS: The sound quality is good and comparable to the high-ned NUVO I also own. Price is incredible. Installation is simple. Allows home automation via RS232.
CONS: The unit stopped working. No lights. I checked the fuse in the back of the unit by the power supply and its fine. No lights on the front and none of the panels light up. Its dead.
As reported by others the time to turn off a zone by pressing the keyboard is annoyingly long. There is no way to turn off (or on) all zones from a keypad. Would be simple to fix with a software update.
PROS: Great package with superb amp, great looking room controlers and ability to control via RS232.
Great manual with needed information including RS232 controls sequences.
Monoprice delivery and service.
CONS: Keypads are a little bright at night and cannot be dimmed.
As I mentioned in the cons, the keypads glow blue whenever the system is turned on and blue light makes sleeping difficult. I got around this by bringing the Cat5 cable out of the wall with a jack that continues on to the keypad. I leave it unplugged except when I want the system on in the bedroom. Plugging it back in is not a big deal since it's right by the keypad, but I wish there were a better solution.
PROS: Pretty easy to set up for basic operation. No configuration necessary as long as you don't mind supplying and programming a universal remote in each location to perform simple tasks like jumping to next song or changing a channel. Nice looking keypads.
CONS: Keypads are blue backlit, and they dimmed when the zone is off, but even at the dim setting, they are still pretty bright. Fine for living areas, but they are very bright in a sleeping areas with other lights out. Other than power the system down (whole house audio that you need to shut off to go to sleep?), it appears your only option is to unplug the keypad to shut off the light.
PROS: Quality built product, 6 zone capability, nice wall plate controllers, affordable price.
CONS: None really. Only wish it came with color options for wall plates.
PROS: Great for the Price
I wrote a Mixer for windows to centrally control and allow IP\Http commands
Hope to have Html5 mobile app and Homeseer soon
CONS: A lot of people have already commented on minor bleeding, but for the price it cant be beat!
Version 1 of the audio system was a home theater router with multizone output hooked to a few Apple TVs. It worked to stream mustic from our phones, but volume control was patchy and the ethernet controls were too slow to implement via a homemade Arduino/Raspberry Pi solution (dispite a fun few months of trying to do it).
Other solutions were doing much more than I wanted and cost way more than I liked, but then lo and behold I found this. It was exactly what I wanted.
Installation was pretty simple since I already had the ethernet cables routed to where I needed them (don't ask how I managed to go 2 years with a two-gang hole in my kitchen..) and voila! Volume and source control, with decent room to tweak the bass and trebble. I'm in musical hog heaven.
Now there were two catches, one othem my fault. My patch cabling skills are still being worked on and I found that I had improperly set up my ethernet jack in one of my walls: even though I could pass a network cable tester and route a decent internet connection through the cable, plugging in the wall mount on that one cable literally shut off all of the ohter units. I don't know what protocol they're using but it uses every wire and is more sensitive than my netbook is. In any case, replacing the jack fixed the problem.
Secondly, and its a minor thing, as mentioned I'm using Apple TVs to stream music from our phones. This means converting the HDMI/Optical audio output to analog inputs. That in and of itself is annoying but ultimately okay. The really odd part is there is one input group that allows digital inputs BUT it's input 6. This can be confusing to anyone who didn't do the installation, especially since it makes the most sense (at least to me) to have that be the primary music Apple TV. Oh well, minus one star for confusing the users a bit.
As is I have 2 Apple TVs, an AM/FM tuner, and my old record player patched in and plenty of room to grow. Life is good, highly reccomend this product!
PROS: Great sound quality
Easy to use/install
CONS: Only one digital audio input, and its in zone 6, not zone 1
The only thing lacking was the ability to control via my Iphone so I decided to write a webapp
PROS: Cheap and Solid
CONS: Long time to shut off zones, and Volume keys aren't active while changing sources.
PROS: This is a solid unit with plenty of power. I've tested it with many different speakers beside other amps and it performs really well. Better than expected. I'm so pleased with the amp that I'm buying another one. Great support too!
CONS: Keypads do not have mute option (only on the remote) and it's not easy to quickly silence a zone from the keypad (you need to hold the power button for 4 seconds to turn it off / mute it without the remote). Also (in case it's not clear), it's not possible to adjust other zones from any keypad - this would have been a very nice feature. Finally, when you bridge the amp for more power / use with a single speaker, the Left and right input channels are not summed (i.e. you will only hear the left or right input channel). All in all, these are minor cons with workarounds.
CONS: No Ethernet input for the commands, could support RS232 over IP.