Help A Newbie

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by ManicMunky, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. ManicMunky

    ManicMunky Auditioning

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    Hi All,


    I am a newbie in HT. Planning to setup one in my home. I really need advices from those who are experienced and knowledgeable in this. All Help would be greatly Appreciated! :)


    I currently hook up my Laptop, STB, PS3 to Samsung LED UA32C5000 for display and planning to upgrade the sound system. Currently all are connected to a 4x1 HDMI switch. So now i am left with an AV Receiver.


    My objective is to get a decent surround sound where i can enjoy Videos and Audios from my Laptop, STB, PS3.


    So this is my plan so far. ( Planning to get as much advices before i start buying my setup.) Planning to get a PIONEER VSX-1020-K but instead of using 5.1 or 7.1 i intend to get a mid-range monitor speakers for the system instead if thats advisable. So this is where i need all the help i can get as i don't know much about it.


    - Pioneer VSX-1020-K - Is this model recommended?

    - Is it ok to use monitor speakers or stereo speakers instead?

    - If so any recommendation?


    God Bless!!
     
  2. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    There's no such things as a "stereo speaker"; and monitor speakers are usually just a general term for a manufacturers line of speakers that have a very flat response curve. Maybe you are referring to using speakers that don't come in a complete 5.1 or 7.1 set. If so, then yes, that's actually the preferred method of acquiring them, except it is best to get the front 3 in the same line. (Usually all the non-subwoofer speakers are from the same manufacturer, and the sub is purchased separately; but using a different speker for the rears and surrounds is not unheard of.)


    Apologies if I mis-understoof you question.
     
  3. ManicMunky

    ManicMunky Auditioning

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    Hey thanks for your reply. Really appreciate it.


    SO what kind of speakers shall i get for the said setup that i wanna do?

    I do not know if it would be wise to just use a monitor/bookshelf speakers so to speak.

    I don't think i need a huge sub for the big boom.

    I was thinking of 2 speakers L/R that can give me sufficient Highs, Mids and Lows.


    Cheers!!
     
  4. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Are you going to keep using the 32" TV, or are you going to a larger TV? If it's the 32" TV, I would just use 2 bookshelf speakers for the front, and maybe a small 8" sub. Yes, that Pioneer receiver is very popular, but way overkill for what you're doing.
     
  5. ManicMunky

    ManicMunky Auditioning

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    well currently its gonna be the 32"

    but i do have plan to upgrade it further in the near future..even for the speakers..

    sorry but what do you mean by overkill?
     
  6. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I have to disagree with the overkill comment. I just have a 23" in my computer room, but I have a 5.1 receiver setup with Axiom mains and Advent surrounds (14x13 room) and I fully enjoy the 5.1 sound. Granted, I went with better speakers because I mostly listen to music in this room, but it worked well for the occasional late night movie also.
     
  7. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Since you're going to a larger set in the future, I'll take back the overkill comment. I meant that it's a lot of money to spend for audio with such a small TV. I would still buy speakers that you plan to use in the future. Even if it means just buying the 2 fronts now.


     
  8. JimatMilkyWay

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    I think you used the term 'surround sound' in a loose sense. I say that not to imply that you confused the pros here. It's just that surround sound is most often associated with accompanying video. It seems to me that you are interested in music playback from a number of sources and to that end I think the larger HDTV future upgrade is only one consideration. Your present music enjoyment will be greatly enhanced by upgrading to a more contemporary HT receiver and speaker set.
     
  9. ManicMunky

    ManicMunky Auditioning

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    thanks all..

    anyway i want to start small as i am really a "virgin" in this AV & Home Theatre Setup..

    i was thinking that for a start i start with what i planned above..get the feel of it u know..

    furthermore its due to the space constrain..

    abd i am caught in btw Onkyo 808 and Pioner 1120 now..

    as for the speakers..any good ones to recommend?
     
  10. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I'm still not sure what you want to buy. Is it just 2 front speakers? If yes, bookshelf speakers? Subwoofer? And what is your budget?
     
  11. ManicMunky

    ManicMunky Auditioning

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    Hi Jim..


    Is it possible to set up with bookshelfs and no woofers?

    i wanna start simple and add on the the setup as i go along..

    so if i can get bookshelfs with sufficient bass it would be great..

    most prob the setup would be a couple of bookshelfs and a centre..advisable? :)
     
  12. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    There's a lot to consider when buying speakers, most of all, the thing that hasen't been mentioned yet. Price. What's your budget? You're not going to get many members to recommend using large tower speakers without a sub let alone bookshelves. Finding bookshelves that put out enough bass to satisfy without a sub is difficult these days without spending an awfull lot of money. They don't produce 8" models too much anymore. Maybe something with dual 6 1/2" woofers might work. I have a pair of Infinity Beta 20's which go pretty deep but they dis-continued them a couple of years ago. Closest thing now is the Primus 162's.


    In any event, if you're going to use anything without a sub, set the crossover in the receiver to 50, 60 or 80 just to protect them. Depending on what you end up with you won't notice the missing low frequencies since the bookshelves can't re-produce them anyway.


    Going with just fronts and a center might work in some instances but I bet you would miss the surround effects, not to mention what a good sub can do.


    You should always spend a lot more on speakers than you do the receiver unless a higher priced avr has some features you just can't live without.


    I'm not a big fan of the low end Pioneer's. The amp sections are kind of light-weight. Same with Yamaha and Sony. They are all probably enough for most situations but still....Look at the weight difference between the 1020 and 1120. I have an Elite VSX-32, which is almost identicle to the 1120, and even it starts to run out of gas when I crank it up all the way (I have a fairly large living room with pretty large speakers all around). My 94txh does a much better job.


    Entry level Onkyo's and Denons are fairly strong, though. My recommendations usually include the Onkyo 308 and 508 (608 if you need video up-conversion), Denon 1611 and 1911, then back to Onkyo for the 708 and 808. With Yamaha I'd start with the 867 and Pioneer the 1120. But the lower end Yamaha's and Pioneer's aren't as bad as I might make them sound, I just prefer Onkyo and Denon in this price range. Professional reviewers seem to love the sound and features of enrty level Pioneers.


    Harman Kardon and Marantz purport to offer a higher level of performance and refinement, but at a higher price. Another thing that never gets mentioned, and maybe for good reason, is appearance. I really like the looks of Pioneer Elite and H/K receivers, Denons and Yamaha's are O.K. but I don't care for Onkyo or Sony at all. Integra is also very attractive but not worth the price when you can get a similar Onkyo for much less.


    I'd take the 808 over the 1120 but don't short-change the budget on speakers by buying a more expensive receiver.


    Oh, Merry Christmas!
     
  13. ManicMunky

    ManicMunky Auditioning

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    Thanks Gene!


    Well for a start i don't have a budget to state as i do not know where to start with the speakers.

    I have that idea of just using bookshelves..

    but looking at the not so positive responses..i guess i would probably go with the surrounds..

    would have to look for small combos.. any ideas anyone?


    Anyway still considering Onkyo 808 and Pioneer 1120.. hehe
     
  14. essstjames

    essstjames Auditioning

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    Re ManicMunky and responses.

    As a non-expert and butting in "outsider', I found this discussion to be excellent and informative for me. So, here goes some additional thoughts, hopefully relevant. If not, sorry for the intrusion. Too late:


    To me, it appeared MM wanted technical advice to purchase a quality amplifier/processor that is sufficient for his various inputs in one place, with decent speakers, even maybe his own current speakers. Tech specs are one major thing, But, to me, listening to/hearing something before one buys is equally important based on individual preferences. Also, whether a company labeled authorized warranty/repair center is within driving distance, or just in another state/province, China or India--that require original packaging for mail-in delivery at one's own expense. Whether the manual has legible pictures and larger than microscopic small print. And where to put the wires, the wires, the wires.


    Why not suggest going to various listening centers in the Big Buys shops, even friend's homes, and check out and listen to the all-in-one 6 speaker packages-- with/without current preferred Company's processors/amplifiers including current 5.1/7.1, HDMI, and sufficient inputs/outputs for all owned devices? And buy the cheapest one that with eyes closed wowed you and you really liked for its sound and your input preferences, not its label. To me as a first purchase, a personally impressive sound package with matched easy-to-connected 6-speakers ($300-$900) is better than one expensive super 100 watt per channel processor/amplifier, hooked to cheap tinny sounding speakers, with multiple setting adjustments one may never use or tweek in 5 years once you set your initial preferences, except to turn the sound down when the wife talks. But that's me.


    Since the 70's, I have taken pliers, tape, end clips, solder, and spit-- gerimandering (sp) front paired speaker upgrades when my sound preferences changed, moving current ones to the rear,and former rears to other rooms. Anything less that 12" Bass was sneered at. Who needed a "subwoofer" when Terminator bass rattles books off the speaker shelves. To me current 6-speaker packages looked like 3"x3"speaker jokes, compared to my my more expensive @24"x16" paired bookshelf Pioneers. I was certain they would produce trebelized, ear-piercing, shrill cd-distorted sound. Wow, have I been corrected by hearing the current minimee packages with easily hidden speaker systems. Some without wires. And they're lower in price that my paired huge Pioneer book shelf front speakers, that I still like and have nowhere else to put them, anyway. Next upgrade is amplifier/processor with 1.4HDMI, then never again.
     
  15. ManicMunky

    ManicMunky Auditioning

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    Hey Ken,


    Great reply.


    Yes need great advices before i indulge myself in this AV thingy if u know what i mean. :)

    I want a future proof AV for at least 3 years maybe.

    I dont wanna buy something that would be old sch in a couple of years. hehe


    As for the speakers what do you suggest or think would somewhat suit the setup that i am trying to set.

    I don't mind 5.1 if i could find small enough speakers to be part of the setup. Even a smaller sub too.


    Well i don't have a clue as to where to start. Thats the problem. haha

    Thats why i am here getting feedbacks from experienced and expert peeps.


    God Bless!!
     
  16. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    The problem with "future proof" is there's no such thing. We all thought multi channel analog inputs would cover all future devices but then came hdmi and automatic setup programs like Audyssey and MCACC which don't work through most 6/8 ch inputs. Then came hdmi 1.3 for TrueHD and Master Audio. Now it's 1.4 and 3D. Who knows what's next. In my everyday room I'm sticking with my 7 year old H/K 7200, OPPO BDP-83 and Audiocontrol Rialto 5 channel EQ. That's the closest thing to future proof. Being incredibly happy with what you already have .
     
  17. ManicMunky

    ManicMunky Auditioning

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    Hey Gene,


    Very very informative.


    Well i guess the setup that i am looking for are those warmer sounds perhaps. I like klipsch and polk and might seriously consider them. And yes i hate gg sound testing cos most of their setup and surroundings sucks. SOme are just too close or just too compact with stuffs in there. SO far my research and tests are from firends places. Too bad no one using Pioneer at the moment. Most of them are using Onkyo.


    So do i have to spend more on speakers or receivers?

    What are those small speaker sets available out there that i can check out? perhaps i would be able to have a surround setup if i can find some


    As for the sounds, as my STB is attached to it, most of the time i am watching my cable through it..i don't need a big boom where it will shake my room or house.. a sufficient bass or sub would suffice for me. I play mostly rock and psychedelic/ambient sounds ( lotsa bass ). I like to hear the kick or the drums and the groove of the bass guitars. I dunno if this is clear enuff as to what sound i want to achieve for the experts to advice.


    As for the cables i am already ordering from monoprice. Even the HDMI switch which i ordered from monoprice. I am fully satisfied with the cables and switches that i purchased from them. Its just down to the receiver and speakers.


    Cheers!!
     
  18. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Speakers make a much bigger difference in the way your over-all system will sound than the receiver will. And there can be a pretty big difference between different speakers. Not so much with receivers. The number of inputs and outputs plus their features are the biggest differences in receivers. IMO there can be a difference in the way receivers sound do to things like DACs and Audyssey vs MCACC vs EZSetEQ vs YAPO, etc. but the speakers are what you actually listen to.


    There are some fine satellite speakers out there like Definitive Technology, Mirage, Polk, Infinity and so on, but I'm not sure how well they would do with bass heavy music. I think they do much better with vocals and movies/tv. You could always get large speakers for the fronts and center and tiny ones for the surrounds.
     
  19. ManicMunky

    ManicMunky Auditioning

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    kewl Gene..thats another one thing i want to know about..

    i read about Audyssey Vs MCACC and there are mix reviews about it.

    Peeps out there prefer one over the other.

    Which one is the better one for my kinda setup?


    As for the speakers what determines the performance of it? Watt? Ohm? Hz? etc

    And what kinda specs to look out for?


    God Bless!
     
  20. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Audyssey seems to get the most love but those with MCACC seem very satisfied with it. I've had a few receivers over the years and none of these things work very well for me. It must my fault . Harman Kardons EZSetEQ in my 435 gave me by far the best results but I think I just got lucky with that one.


    There's no way to determine which one would work better for you.


    From what I can tell, the speakers internal crossover network probably has more to do with how well it performs. Drivers, tweeters and cabinet construction also have a big impact of course, but a well designed crossover can make a speaker sound better than it should.


    The ohm rating is very important as the receiver must be able to handle it. The spl (sound pressure level) is also important in certain instances. If you have a very large room or a low powered receiver/amp a higher spl can be a plus. Frequency response should be as flat as possible anf the highd should extend to or past 20,000hz. The fronts should be able to blend in with the sub as much as possible. Otherwise it's just overall build quality and how well they sound.


    Don't worry too much about the power rating. Give them good, clean (un-distorted) power and they should last a long time.
     

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