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New to forum, how would these components rate?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Mike Milillo, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. Mike Milillo

    Mike Milillo Well-Known Member

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    Hello, I am new to these forums, and I am glad I stumbled across them. I have been into Home theater for about 2 years. I wanted to try to get an idea of how my stuff is. I think it sounds excellent, but to the trained ear, this may not be so. My digital cable box is hooked up with digital coax and my dvd player is hooked up optically. I use cambridge soundworks speakers:

    Sony STR-DE675 receiver
    Sony DVP-NS400D DVD player
    CS center channel 2
    CS movieworks 5.1 fronts
    CS surround 2 5.1 surrounds
    CS Powered Basscube 10S

    As for the speaker wires I am using standard radio shack 18 gauge speaker wire. Is it worth it to upgrade the speaker wiring to something high end? Will there be a noticable difference in performance? Basically, what I want to know is, would this system be considered low end, or mid level? Just looking to get a little feed back on my HT. thanks for any suggestions
     
  2. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Well-Known Member

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    Not a bad start definately better than my first system. I'd say that eventually upgrading the Reciever would make a world of change for you. I would also upgrade the speaker wire myself a larger guage say 14-16 would yield much better performance and less strain on the reciever. Who's your cable provider and what area you live in btw?
     
  3. Mike Milillo

    Mike Milillo Well-Known Member

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    I get cablevision IO digital cable. I live in NYC. when you say upgrade the receiver eventually, how much would be a good amount to spend. How much of a difference would changing it yeild. I have almost run out of inputs, with my xbox and gamecube. How much of a difference do quality speaker wires make anyway?
    Oh, and this isn't my first system, I slowly upgraded all this stuff from pieced together stereo speakers. I had no sub woofer for the longest time though, wow, what a difference
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mike. Welcome to HTF!

    Speaker wires DO make a bit of tone difference. But (and this is a big BUT), it only makes a difference if your speakers are sensitive enough. This means music/audiophile quality speakers and electronics.

    "Music is about accuracy, but home theater is about impact"

    This was the best explination I ever got about the difference between speakers for music ($$$$) and HT ($$). This is why there are MANY budget HT speaker sets that give great results. They dont need to be the more expensive/accurate speakers.

    So dont fall for the Myth that you need exotic speaker wires to improve your sound. Speakers, Source, Amplification, Placement, then wires make the difference.

    Now 18 ga is a bit thin. Many speaker sites (not wire sites) recommend these gauge based on run-length:

    1-10 ft: 16 ga
    11-20 ft: 14 ga
    20+ ft: 12 ga

    So yes, you need the THICKER wire for the long runs.

    Many of us just buy a spool of 12 ga wire like the Sound King brand from www.partsexpress.com and use it everywhere.

    Is your system Low/Medium/High end?

    It does appear to be a budget system. But for movies/games, it can do a great job thanks to that subwoofer. (But you noticed that.)

    Look at our FAQ/Primer and make sure you know how to place, align and calibrate your speakers. This alone can make a huge difference, and does not cost much money. A laser pen and a $40 Radio Shack SPL meter is all you need. (A camera tripod is handy though for the SPL meter).

    You also did not mention how you have your devices hooked up to your TV. Here is some more advice:

    Composite (single, yellow RCA cable): baseline
    SVideo (funny "keyboard" connector): 20% improvement over Composite
    Component (3 composite video cables in a bundle): 25% improvement over Composite

    These numbers all came from Home Theater magazine using a "Reference Quality" 50" RPTV. They noted that the differences were less for smaller displays, and greater for larger.

    It's very important for those game systems (which have lots of straight lines and contrasting colors) that you use at least SVideo for your hookup.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Mike Milillo

    Mike Milillo Well-Known Member

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    cool, thanks for all the info. I use s-video for my connection, my televsion doesn't have component hookups. If this is a budget system, I would love to hear a high end one. I couldn't imagine something sounding so much better. But hey, stuff costs thousands for a reason I guess.
     
  6. Anthony_Fros

    Anthony_Fros Active Member

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    Radio Shack sells a 3-in-one s-video hookup for the XBox/PSX2/GC. I bought one and it seems to work well. No complaints here. Best of all it's around $15. Much easier to swap the connection at the game system than to have to reach behind the TV every time you change out game systems.
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Well-Known Member

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    A better subwoofer is usually a big jump in quality for games. My SVS with Halo is almost frightening. I dont have "Run Like H*ll" hooked up to that system right now, but the sound track/effects are likely to cause complaints if I did.
     
  8. Mike Milillo

    Mike Milillo Well-Known Member

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    I got one of those system selectors from gamestop for like 20 bucks. Best 20 bucks I ever spent. I send all my video game signals to my receiver with it. Halo sounds so good with a sub cranked.
     
  9. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Real Name:
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  10. Mike Milillo

    Mike Milillo Well-Known Member

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    oh, ok, cool, that is something I have been wondering for awhile now. thanks
     

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