Voltage Audio

How do you connect a computer to an office sound system?

We are leasing a new office that is wired for sound. Each room already has built in ceiling speakers. There is a little closet with a bunch of colored wires where we are supposed to connect our stereo components. What equipment do I need to play music from my computer (via Pandora or other internet radio, or itunes) through this system? Can I connect my computer through a receiver? What is a good one to purchase? Thanks!

There is much investigating that you must do before you can even think of buying anything. One of the first things you must do is check on what type of speakers were installed. It is very possible that the ceiling speakers are set up for 70.7 constant voltage audio and if that is the case you will need to buy an amplifier that has 70.7 volt output - many public address amplifiers have that feature while most home stereos do not. You also have to consider how much wattage each speaker is going to handle as you will have to size your amplifier to match. ( ie 20 speakers at 10 watts each means at least a 200 watt amplifier).
If the speakers are plain 8 ohm speakers then you will have a bigger headache on figuring out how to wire them (probably some sort of series parallel arrangement) in order to drive them properly.

Once you have that figured out the easy part is hooking up the audio output of the sound card of your computer to the input of the amplifier.

Good luck.

Here are a couple of articles for you to read.

http://www.rane.com/note136.html

http://www.soundinstitute.com/article_detail.cfm/ID/101

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