CasaTunes CT-12X8 Matrix Amplifier

Important Safety Instructions

  1. Read these instructions.
  2. Keep these instructions.
  3. Follow all instructions.
  4. Do not use this apparatus near water.
  5. Clean only with dry cloth.
  6. Do not block any ventilation openings.
  7. Install in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Do not install near any heat sources such as radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other apparatus(including other amplifiers) that produce heat.
  9. Use the apparatus only inModerate climates (not in tropical climates).
  10. Do not defeat the safety purpose of the polarized or grounding type plug. A polarized plug has two blades with one wider than the other, a grounding type plug has two blades and a third grounding prong, the wide blade or the third grounding prong are provided for your safety. If the provided plug does not fit onto your outlet, consult an electrician for replacement of the obsolete outlet.
  11. Protect the power cord from being walked on or pinched particularly at plugs, convenience receptacles, and the point where they exit from the apparatus.
  12. Only use attachments and accessories specified by the manufacturer.
  13. Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or when unused for long periods of time.
  1. If you install the apparatus in a built-in installation, such as a bookcase or rack, ensure that there is adequate ventilation. Leave 20 cm (8”) of free space at the top and sides and10 cm (4”) at the rear. The rear edge of the shelf or board above the apparatus shall be set 10 cm (4”) away from the rear panel or wall, creating a flue like gap for warm air to escape. Good airflow is necessary to help ensure proper operation. Not only should you provide enough free space around the unit, but also ensure that air can flow freely and escape from the amplifier surroundings. Failure to do so may cause thermal shutdown of the unit, and reduced life expectancy.


Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel. Servicing is required when the apparatus has been damaged in any way, such as:

  • When the power supply cord or plug is damaged
  • If liquid has been spilled, or objects have fallen into the apparatus.
  • If the apparatus has been exposed to rain or water.
  • If the apparatus has been dropped or damaged in any way.
  • If the apparatus does not operate normally by following the instructions. Adjust only those controls that are covered by the operating instructions.
  • When the apparatus exhibits distinct change in performance this indicates a need fora service.

WARNING! Do not expose the apparatus to dripping or splashing.Do not place objects filled with liquids near the apparatus.

WARNING! To reduce the risk of fire orelectric shock, Do notexpose this apparatus to rain or moisture.

WARNING! Equipment must be connected to a Mains socket outlet with a protective earthing connection.

WARNING! Never push objects of any kind into the apparatus through openings as they may touch dangerous voltage points or short-out parts that could result in a fire or electric shock.

IMPORTANT! Ensure adequate ventilation. Do not install in a cabinet that is smaller than 60cm (24”) wide x 45cm (18”) deep x 20cm (8”) high. If you do the device may overheat.


AC Fuse

The AC fuse inside the unit is not user-serviceable. If you cannot turn on the unit, contact the dealer from whom you purchased this unit.


Occasionally you should dust the unit all over with a soft cloth. For stubborn stains, use a soft cloth dampened with a weak solution of mild detergent and water. Dry the unit immediately afterwards with a clean cloth. Don’t use abrasive cloths, thinners, alcohol, or other chemical solvents, because they may damage the finish or remove the panel lettering.



AC outlet voltages vary from country to country. Make sure that the voltage in your area meets the voltage requirements printed on the unit’s rear panel. e.g. ~ 110V / 240V, 50/60HZ The power cord is used to disconnect this unit from the AC power source. Make sure that the plug is readily operable (easily accessible) at all times.

If you do not intend to use the unit for an extended period, remove the power cord from the AC outlet.


The unit is defined as Class1 in EN60065 (low voltage directive) and MUST BE EARTHED. Connect only to a mains socket outlet with protective earth, and only use the power cord supplied.

  1. Finland: – Laite on Liitettävä suojamaadoituskoskettimilly varustettun pistorasiaan
  2. Norway – Apparatet må tilkoples jordet stikkontakt
  3. HandlingNotes - Apparaten skallanslutas till jordat uttag

Never Touch This Unit with Wet Hands

Never handle this unit or its power cord while your hands are wet or damp. If water or any other liquid gets inside this unit, have it checked by your CasaTunes dealer

Handling Notes

The AC fuse inside the unit is not user-serviceable. If you cannot turn on the unit, contact the dealer from whom you purchased this unit.

  1. If you need to transport this unit, use the original packaging
  2. Do not leave rubber or plastic items on this unit for a long time; they may leave marks on the case.
  3. This unit’s top and rear panels may get warm after prolonged use. This is normal.

Speaker Shorts

Under no circumstances should the speaker output terminals of the unit be short circuited, grounded or connected to another output.

Direct Sunlight

Avoid installing the amplifier in positions where the front panel is exposed to direct sunlight – may cause control to become sluggish.

Controller Connection

Never connect more than eight CasaTunes controllers. The supply is internally fused (self resetting) and may open circuit. Never connect the unit’s 12VDC terminal (‘BusRun’ port) to an external power supply.

Declaration of Conformity

We declare under our sole responsibility that this product, to which this declaration relates, is in conformity with the following standards:

  • EN60065
  • EN55013
  • EN55020
  • EN61000-3-2
  • EN61000-3-3

Following the provisions of Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC and EMC Directive2004/108/EC, the EC regulation 1275/2008 and its frame work Directive2009/125/EC for Energy-related Products (ErP).

TUV Certification

This product has been certified and conforms to UL60065 and certified toCAN/SSA, IEC 60065

For North American Models

FCC interference statement
This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation. certified and conforms to UL60065 and certified toCAN/SSA, IEC 60065

IMPORTANT! Changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party responsible for compliance could void the user’s authority to operate the equipment.

NOTE: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one of the following measures:

  • Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
  • Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
  • Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.
  • Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.

For Canadian Models


For models having a power cord with a polarized plug:

Modèle pour les Candadien


Sur les modèles don’t la fiche est polarisée:


  • This product’s packaging materials are recyclable and can be reused. Please dispose of any materials in accordance with the local recycling regulations.
  • When discarding the unit, comply with local rules or regulations.
  • Batteries should never be thrown away or incinerated but disposed of in accordance with the local regulations concerning battery disposal.
  • This product and the supplied accessories constitute the applicable product according to the WEEE directive.


The features below are only available when using the CT-12X8MA with a CasaTunes music server to control one or more CT-12X8MA and CT-5X4MA matrix amplifiers.


The amplifier has six separate amplified zones and two pre-amplified zones. Each zone has controls for bass, treble, balance, loudness, gain, mono and maximum volume limiting.

The two pre-amplified zones include a low pass filter that when selected only passes low frequency audio, ideal for driving Active Subwoofers. When the low pass filter is selected the tone and loudness settings are defeated.

Each zone maybe set to a specific volume level when powered on.


You can have up to 96 zones by adding more CT-12X8 (and CT-5X4MA) matrix amplifiers.

To share sources between amplifiers CasaTunes uses distributed sources, which allows any source connected to any matrix amplifier to be shared with all amplifiers using audio-over-IP.


The amplifier has twelve separate input sources.

Sources 1-8 are either Analog Stereo, or Coax Digital Audio (PCM). Digital Coax has priority if both are connected.

Sources 9-12 are either Coax or Optical Digital Audio (PCM). Only one connection  to each source is allowed.

You can adjust the gain on each Analog Source, up to +18dB in 2dB steps.

For each zone you can configure up to a 600ms delay for each source.

7-band Equalizer

Each zone sports a 7-band equalizer.

CasaTunes provides various Equalizer Presets you can select from. These presets are selectable in the Now Playing screen in the CasaTunesX App, and include music presets for Acoustic, Classical, Dance, Electronic, Hip-Hop, Jazz, etc.

IP Control

The amplifier is controlled, monitored and programmed via Ethernet. In most instances, the CasaTunes music server will be used to control the amplifier.

CasaTunes automatically detects all your matrix amplifiers.

Firmware Upgradeable

You can use the CasaTunesX App to check for, and update, the firmware on your matrix amplifiers.


The amplifier has 10 buffered IR emitters. Ports 1-8 have IR routing, and are intended to control specific input source components. Two IR ports 9 & 10 are the sum of all IR sources; these control All the zone source components.

Amplifier ON Status (Amp-On)

There are 8 outputs, one for each zone, on the rear panel of the amplifier labeled AMP ON Control 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. When a  zone is powered, the associated output is switched to 12V DC. This can be used to control a secondary amplifier and switch it in & out of standby mode.

Restore Defaults

The  amplifier may be readily set to the default settings. Restoring Defaults clears all memory and resets the zone allocations to zones 1 – 8

Power Failure Restoration

After an AC power outage the amplifier restores its settings to the pre-interrupted state. All internal settings are stored in non-volatile memory.

Thermal Control

The amplifier automatically monitors the temperature and takes progressive action depending on the temperature.

When the temperature reaches:

  • 194°F (90°C) the amplifier volume is reduced 20dB
  • 212°F (100°C) the amplifiers are shut down until the temperature drops below 194°F (90°C)

The CasaTunesX App will warn the user when the safe operating temperature is exceeded.

Front Panel

1 - Front Panel

Solid Aluminium front Panel

2 - Infrared Receiver

Receiver for front panel IR control – Used only for amplifier control, not IR passthrough

3 - Power Indicator

The power indicator glows blue whenever AC power is applied

4 - 2.4” Color LCD Touch Panel display

LCD Touch Panel display for menu guided control and programming. The display is dimmed to “Off” after 15 minutes of inactivity

5 - Chassis Feet

Set high enough to provide unrestricted airflow through the chassis for convection cooling

Back Panel

1 - AC Inlet

IEC socket

2 - Speaker Terminals

Plug in terminal clamp connectors accept 1.5mm² speaker wires

3 - Coax Digital Source Input Terminals

Coax digital inputs

4 - Coax Digital Source Output Terminals

Coax digital outputs for expansion to further amplifiers

5 - Ethernet Port - MAIN IN

MAIN IN is 10/100 Base T primary Ethernet port for connection to the Home network Router or switch

6 - Ethernet Port - EXT OUT

EXT OUT is 10/100 Base T secondary port for connection to another amplifier MAIN IN Ethernet Port

7 - Zone Preamplifier Outputs

Zone 7 & Zone 8 analog audio L/R outputs

8 - Analog Input Source Terminals

Source S1 – S8 analog audio L/R inputs

9 - IR Emitter Ports

3.5 mm mono jacks. IR1 thru IR8 are used to control specific source equipment, where each IR port may be assigned to a specific keypad(s). IR9 & IR10 are used to control source equipment common to all zones. These ports output the combined IR1 – IR8 infrared signals

10 - Optical Digital Source Inputs

Optical digital source inputs

11 - Keypad Ports

For connection to keypads

12 - AMP ON Control

AMPON 1 thru 8 outputs are set to 12VDC when zone is on

13 - PRESETS - Door Bell

12– 24V AC/DC powered doorbell trigger terminals

System Configuration Example

Example of a typical whole house music installation using a CasaTunes CT-12X8
Figure 1 - Typical System Configuration

Figure 1 depicts a typical configuration where the amplifier is providing audio into six of the possible eight listening zones. Only three of the Zones are depicted. Each zone consists of a room with a pair of speakers and a suitable controller. Each zone may be listening to any of the connected sources: CasaTunes music server, Amazon Echo Link, TV, etc


Each zone has a specific control requirement. Choose the controllers that best suit the application.

  • Zone1 – The Living Room: Keypad with IR receiver
  • Zone2 – The Kitchen: Phone
  • Zone3 – The Master Bedroom: iPad

The CasaTunes CT-KP2 keypad’s may be plugged into any of the eight keypad ports. Source control IR emitters are plugged into the IR Ports. There are ten IR ports: IR1 thru IR8, and IR9 & IR10.

IR1 thru IR8 route source specific IR signals from connected keypads, while IR9 & IR10 output the common IR or the sum of all received IR signals.These Ports may be used for source equipment that is common to all zones.


Speakers in each zone are connected to the amplifier by “Home Run” speaker cables.

Preamplifier Zone Outputs

The preamplifier output zones are completely independent of the digital amplifier zones. These can be used in locations where a high or lower power amplifier / speaker is required.

A preamplifier zone may be connected to a secondary power amplifier for higher power amplification, or an AV Receiver.

Source Equipment

The amplifier has eight stereo RCA audio inputs for connecting source equipment. These source inputs also feature a coax digital input. If a signal is present on the coax digital input it takes precedence over the analog input. There are four additional digital-only source inputs featuring both coax and optical inputs.

A zone may select from any of the connected sources. Someone in the Lounge may be listening to stream 1 from the CasaTunes music server while another in the Study may be listening to music from stream 2 on the CasaTunes music server.

Multiple Amplifiers

In larger installations, multiple amplifiers can be used together to increase the number of zones (and sources). You can add multiple CT-12X8MA amplifiers, or a combination of CT-12X8MA and CT-5X4MA matrix amplifiers, providing greater installation flexibility. For example, you can use a CT-12X8MA with a CT-5X4MA when you need a 12 zone system.

When using a CasaTunes music server with more than one CT-12X8MA and/or CT-5X4MA amplifiers, CasaTunes uses audio-over-IP and the built-in distributed sources capabilities of the amplifier to virtually connect sources between amplifiers.

To simplify setup in a multiple amplifier setup, CasaTunes implements a Master/Slave model.  The master amplifier is the primary amplifier that CasaTunes communicates with (and always includes Zone 1).  Slave amplifiers are any additional CT-12X8MA and CT-5X4MA amplifiers on the network.

If one of the matrix amplifiers you are installing is a CT-12X8MA, we recommend you configure this amplifier as your master amplifier. All sources on the master amplifier, that are not hidden, are automatically configured as distributed sources, and are available to all the other matrix amplifiers.

CasaTunes automatically configures any CT-12X8MA and CT-5X4MA matrix amplifiers when discovered on the network. Therefore, it is very important to add the master amplifier to the network first, before any additional amplifiers, otherwise the amplifier selected as the master will be unpredictable.

A major benefit of using audio-over-ip to share sources between amplifiers, is the amplifiers no longer need to be physically located next to each other, as long as they have access to the same network.

Configuring the CT-12X8MA using the CasaTunesX App

If you are using a CasaTunes music server, you must configure the CT-12X8MA using the CasaTunesX App.

You can install the CasaTunesX App on your preferred device, including Amazon, Android, and Apple iOS devices, or you can use any HTML5 browser.

Learn more about CasaTunesX

Navigating to System Setup using the CasaTunesX App

To configure your CT-12X8MA (and/or CT-5X4MA) matrix amplifiers, select the menu option in the CasaTunesX App header and navigate to Settings > System Setup as shown in the figure below.

Use the CasaTunesX App to configure the Settings
Figure 2 - Configuring your System using the CasaTunesX App

Configuring your Matrix Settings

Navigate to Settings > System Setup > Matrix Amplifier and select CasaTunes CT-5X4/CT-12X8 as the Matrix Model. The selected option is used to setup both the CT-12X8MA and CT-5X4MA matrix amplifiers. To simplify setup, CasaTunes will automatically discover the IP address of your master matrix amplifier.

The CasaTunesX settings page for the CasaTunes CT-12X8MA and CT-5X4MA matrix amplifiers
Figure 3 - Configuring the CasaTunes CT-12X8MA and CT-5X4MA matrix amplifiers

The Amplifier Interconnect Settings should be configured to use Audio-Over-IP to connect the sources between the amplifiers, when using more than one amplifier.

Configuring the CT-12X8MA Sources

Here's a thought!
By default the CasaTunesX App will prompt the user to confirm saving changes to a source, room or room group. This can be cumbersome when configuring your setup for the first time. You can disable the confirmation prompt by changing this setting in SettingsAppGeneral Settings. After you have completed the initial setup you may want to re-enable confirmation prompts to avoid accidentally changing these items.

Navigate to Settings > System Setup > Sources to configure the sources for your matrices. The App displays all the available sources that are available on the first, or master amplifier (see previous discussion about Multiple Amplifiers).

The column on the left is used to display the source number, and whether the source is to be hidden from the UI. Blue items are visible in the UI, gray items are hidden. To hide a source, disable the Display Source checkbox in the Source Settings detail view.

Location field identifies which amplifier and which source index the CasaTunes source is associated with
Figure 4 - Configuring Sources on the CT-12X8MA and CT-5X4MA

Navigate into a source to configure the source settings. You can configure the Source Name, select the Source Type, whether to Display a Source, and depending on the Source Type selected, there may be additional settings to configure.

The most commonly used Source Types are:

  • None - Select this option if you are not using this source. Selecting this option, automatically hides the source from the UI (by automatically unchecking the Display Source setting). We recommend hiding all sources you are not using
  • CasaTunes Media Player – Select this option for all media player connections from your CasaTunes music server
  • Unsupported – Select this option when you want to add a source that is not natively supported by CasaTunes. When you select this Source Type for a room, you will be able to power the room on/off, control and mute the volume, but to control the source you will need to use the control App for the source component
  • SONOS – Select this option to connect a SONOS Port or Connect and allow CasaTunes to access and control the SONOS network. Refer to the SONOS integration page for more information.

The Location setting identifies which source this is. Since you can connect a source to any amplifier, the location setting identifies the amplifier, and which source on the amplifier, this source is connected to. In the example shown in Figure 4, the David Player source is located on the Amplifier whose ID is 187 and connected to Source 1.

Adding sources from other amplifiers

Both the CasaTunes CT-12X8MA and the CT-5X4MA matrix amplifiers support up to 32 distributed sources. Any input source, on any amplifier, can be configured as a distributed source. Distributed sources are shared (virtually connected) with all the other amplifiers via the network using a low latency audio-over-ip protocol.

To add a source that is connected to a slave amplifier:

  • Select Edit in the Configure Sources page
  • Select Add Source
  • Casatunes displays all the available sources from all the other (slave) amplifiers, including the source number and amplifier ID
  • Select the source to add to the available sources
  • Configure the settings for the added source (similar to all other sources)
Location field identifies which amplifier and which source index the CasaTunes source is associated with
Figure 5 - Adding a slave source on the CT-12X8MA and CT-5X4MA

Configuring the CT-12X8MA Rooms

Navigate to Settings > System Setup > Rooms to configure the rooms for your matrices. The App displays all the available rooms. This includes all the rooms available on all your matrices in your network. In addition, if you enabled SONOS support and/or transmission to AirPlay speakers, then all your SONOS and AirPlay speakers will be listed as well.

Similar to sources, the column on the left is used to display the room number, plus whether the room is to be hidden from the UI. Blue items are visible in the UI, gray items are hidden. To hide a room, disable the Display Room checkbox in the Room Settings Detail view.

To configure a specific room, navigate into the room.

Low Pass Filter and frequency selection option available for Zones 7 & 8
Figure 6 - Configuring Rooms

For each matrix amplifier room, you can configure the following settings:

  • Room name
  • Assign a picture to the room
  • Select whether to display or hide the room
  • Select whether to exclude this room from the "All On" command
  • Set a maximum, turn on, and/or fixed volume for the room
  • Configure balance, bass, treble and loudness for a room
  • Configure whether to output audio in stereo or mono
  • Select an Equalizer Preset for the room (which utilizes the built in 7-band equalizer)
  • Select which sources can be assigned to the room
  • Select whether to "publish" this room as an AirPlay speaker
  • Specify whether this room is included in a global page, playing a chime or mute operation
  • Configure the page, chime or text-to-speech volume for this room
  • Specify whether the output of this zone is connected to an AV Receiver (available on Zones 7 & 8 only)
Low Pass Filter and frequency selection option available for Zones 7 & 8
Figure 7 - Configuring Detailed Room Settings

Connecting Subwoofers and AV Receivers using the CT-12X8MA

Zones 7 & 8 are two pre-amplified zones that include an optional low pass filter option. You can use one or both of these zones to connect to an Active Subwoofer, an AV Receiver, or you can connect these zones to the CasaTunes CT-250A and
CT-2100A stereo amplifiers to power these rooms.

To support using an Active Subwoofer, the CasaTunesX App provides the option of enabling a low pass filter and configuring the cut off frequency.  Please read the blog post, "Adding a Subwoofer to the CasaTunes CT-12X8 Matrix Amplifier", for more information.

Low Pass Filter and frequency selection option available for Zones 7 & 8
Figure 8 - Low Pass Filter and frequency selection option available for Zones 7 & 8

When connecting the output of Zone 7 and/or Zone 8 to an AV Receiver, you can configure the receiver model/type to be controlled, whether to use IP or serial control, the parameters for the communication protocol, and to select which AVR input is connected to the output of this zone.

CasaTunes supports many popular AV Receivers, including single or multi-zone receivers, as long as they support IP or serial control. From a user perspective, listening to music in a room that is powered by an AV Receiver is the same as any other room. For more information on seamless AV Receiver integration please refer to the following Tech Note.

Low Pass Filter and frequency selection option available for Zones 7 & 8
Figure 9 - Configuring the CT-12X8MA to connect to an AV Receiver for Zones 7 & 8

Using the CasaTunes CT-KP2 Keypads

Each CasaTunes CT-12X8MA supports up to 8 optional CT-KP2 keypads. Out-of-the-box, each keypad port is assigned to each zone on the matrix amplifier. ie. Keypad port 1 is assigned to the first zone.

You can assign a keypad port to any matrix zone, and you can also configure multiple keypad ports to control the same zone, however, you will need to use the built-in CT-12X8MA web application to re-configure the default settings.

The keypads can be used to control a room, as well as control the CasaTunes media player source, if assigned to the room.

When controlling a CasaTunes media player source, the following functionality is available:

Low Pass Filter and frequency selection option available for Zones 7 & 8
Figure 10 - Functionality provided by the CasaTunes CT-KP2 Keypads
Here's a thought!
Each CT-12X8MA amplifier supports up to 8 keypads. You connect the keypads to Keypad Ports 1-8. By default, the keypad connected to Keypad Port 1 will control the first zone on this amplifier (Zone 1 if this is the Master or only amplifier), the keypad connected to Keypad Port 2 will control the second zone on this amplifier, and so on.

It is possible to assign any zone to any Keypad Port and even assign the same zone to multiple Keypad Ports. To change the default assignment you will need to navigate to the configuration page of the built-in, native amplifier web interface (see Configuring the CT-5X4MA and CT-12X8MA using the built-in web interface). You will find the Keypad Port setup at the bottom of this screen.