Multi-room configuration

I have a nice stereo system in my family room which I have no immediate desire to replace. But, I have to turn it way up to hear throughout the house. How can I use my exiting preamp (it has an available unbalanced output) as the front end to two or three other rooms (each with on/off and volume capabilities)? I could get another power amp and use a swithching device with wall volume controls in each room, but will that provide lower quality reproduction? I'm starting with nothing but my main system -- no other speakers, amps or switching devices. Since I'm building a new house, it will be easy to run wires where I want them. Thanks in advance for your help.
I use an Adcom GFS-6 Speaker Selector to feed 4 pairs of speakers throughout the house. Used to have all 6 sets wired up in another house, and never had a problem. I also don't try for audiophile sound through the house system, but it does a fine job for ambient music throughout the house. It has a protection circuit that "is designed to protect your amp from the very low impedances.." of driving multiple speakers, it has worked well for me, driving sundry speakers ranging from cheapo outdoor speakers to Paradigm Monitor 9s with a NAD amp. But - it doesn't have volume control on each line - for that you would need controls in each room. Again, if you're not trying for audiophile grade sound, I wouldn't lose sleep over those, either.

When I really want to hear music, it's not on this system, obviously, but for day to day, and especially when entertaining, it certainly makes for a pleasant environment.

Niles Audio offers a full line of medium to (sort of) high end products that deal with nearly every concievable multi-room configuration to you imagine. I use and can highly recommend the SI-1230, which is a 12 channel amp at 30 wpc all channels driven (brigable to 60 wpc). You can pick up a new one on Ebay for about $500-$600. I use 2 of these amps in my system for ceiling speakers located throughtout the house. I agree 100% with Costrock that the purpose in designing of a whole house system (which is ambient music for most of us) must be kept firmly in mind or you can get carried away on the cost!

I also use a Niles MRZ-6 multiroom controller which allows "audiophile quality, independent line level volume control for each of six rooms..." (but more than that-it's an amazing device in terms of it's ability to allow you to control everything through the Niles RP-9 keypads or other IR devices such as the IntelliPad). The MRZ-6 goes for about $700 and the RP-9's are about $45 each - I use only 3 of them because my zones are fairly well defined. For Niles stuff, the best prices I've found are at Reliable Audio at

For speakers, there are quite a few options. On the bargain side, look at the BIC VI-38 in-walls - easy to find for about $150 / pair online. If you're after a truly high end listening experience, the BEST of the BEST in-walls IMO are the B&W Signature 7's at about $1,200 / pair. I bought a used pair for $500 online - maybe the best bargain in my system. Niles and Polk Audio also do well for value per dollar across their lines.

One caution - if you are running speaker wires over long distances (more than 30 feet or so), make sure to invest in higher grade wiring. 14 gague for sure, or better yet, 12 if you can afford it.