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New and need HELP

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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Fat Boy

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Posted May 05 2009 - 09:24 AM

I want to set up a blue ray player and a surround sound system. I have been reading a lot and keep hearing that the size of the room matters when it comes to buying a system. Home theater system for a small room and component system for larger rooms. How do I determine what is a large room and what is a small room. I live in Florida and have an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings.( living room, family room, kitchen and dining room all under the vaulted ceiling ) The family room is were the system is going. It has 3 sides the 3ed is open to the rest of the house. It is 20' deep by 11 1/2' wide.
The TV is a Panasonic Viera TH-46PZ85U. Any help would be greatly appreciated.Posted Image

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Robert_J


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Posted May 05 2009 - 10:15 AM

Your goals should also be factored into your decision as well. Do you want to watch action movies at ear bleeding levels and have gut wrenching bass? Or do you want a small system that will enhance your viewing no matter what you watch? Budget also matters. Some people just don't have the money to match what they want. We help with the best value purchases that we know. -Robert

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Fat Boy

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Posted May 06 2009 - 05:10 AM

Thanks Robert. I would like the best of both worlds if passable. I am looking at, but not set on, the Onkyo TX-SR606, not sure of the speakers or the blue ray player yet. I am just not sure the room, as open as it is, will give me the proper acoustics. I don't want to spend a lot and not get the full benefit from the system. PS The floor is tile, if that makes a difference.

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted May 07 2009 - 02:09 PM

Hi Jim.

Well - that room is a bit of an acoustic challenge. We have all tried to make combo living room and home theater rooms and while they do work, a dedicated HT in a spare bedroom usually works better.

If you buy modest but decent speakers - they travel. Never let someone try to up-sell you to high-end speakers because of your room. Even cheap speakers in a room with poor acoustics can still give you a good movie experience so we will keep it sane.

First - speakers and power: Since you surround your couch with an array of speakers, you do not need huge speakers and tons of power for this. In your case, smaller monitor-style speakers that do not create lots of side and back echo sounds might work better.

Second - its the subwoofer that needs to be higher end to fill an open space. I strongly recommend you look for "SVS Woofers" as this is an internet company started by two guys who have helped lots of people design and build their own subs, then amid pressure, created a company. SVS also sell speakers and one of their sets made the Editors Choice or Best of the Year in some review magazines in Jan. (hit your library for back issues to see this).

You must make the 5 speakers be from the same make/model so they tone match but the subwoofer can be from a different company.

The Onkyo is a fine choice and it also has been on "Best of the year" and "Editors Choice" in several magazines.

Some other things:

- buy a spool of 12 ga speaker wire from Parts-Express.com - Speakers, Speaker Building, Home Audio and Video, Pro Audio, Electronic Parts & Accessories PARTS EXPRESS, Speakers, Speaker Parts, Guitar speakers, Bass speakers, Woofers, Drivers, speaker upgrades and replacement speakers. Emine and use it everywhere.

- plan your interconnects and buy them from Blue Jeans Cable -- Broadcast-Quality Cables at Reasonable Prices. The owner is a member here and takes good care of us. My 'long' HDMI cable was $38.

- Go with a PS3 if you can to get a game and BluRay player. If not - look at some of the new Samsung BluRay players as they are running $180 and seem to perform well.

- plan on running network cable behind your equipment as many devices these days want internet access. Things like BDLive, Netflix, etc. are all becoming common and want internet access.

Once you get things setup - it will probably work fine.

There are things you can do with room acoustics like putting diffuser panels on walls to tame reflections. The tile floor -- this could be a little tough. You may want to find some thick rugs to tame early reflections.

Here is how you do this:

- Sit in the primary seat.
- Have a friend move a mirror tile along the wall until you can see the front speakers reflected. Mark this spot with a post-it. Repeat for the floor.
- Every spot you mark is a source of 'early reflections'. These are the places you put a sound panel or a thick rug.

Hope this helps.

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Fat Boy

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Posted May 08 2009 - 07:51 AM

Thanks for the response Bob. You have given me a lot of information that I never new or would have thought of and what seems to be good contacts. I'm one of these guys that hates hearing " you should have done this or that". I do extensive research on everything I buy. This is my first attempt at having a good ( decent compared to you guys ) system. I do very much appreciate the help. This is what I'm thinking buying. Your opinion would send me shopping.

Blu Ray........Samsung BD-P3600. Already have an X Box in my bedroom and do not want to have to start buying new games for Play Station.I know my son would haunt me forever if I did not.

Receiver....... Onkyo 607or the 706 ?? ( the 606 is the same price as the 607 and has a little less ) This is very confusing category for me. Some say that the 706 is THX Certified and worth the extra $240.00.Otherwise, the 706 does have some more up-grades then the others( certified 4 ohms, THX processing mode, pure mode and a couple of other that do not matter all that much to me. On the other hand, the 706 has Dolby PLTTz,DTS Surround Sensation Speaker,Audyssey Dynamic Volume and On Screen Remote Programming.

Speakers...... Well I was looking at Definitive Tech Pro Cinema 800, Atlantic Tech System 920 and Cerwin Vega CVHD 5.1 simply because everything I have been reading is saying that the speakers are first on the list of importance, but from what you are saying with my room layout I'm wasting my money.Can you recommend one of SVS's systems?

After this project I will be moving to my bedroom. I just put in a Sharp LC-42BD80U and love it so far. The built in Bul Ray is perfect of a bedroom. Posted Image

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted May 08 2009 - 04:40 PM

THX Certification - I give mad props to Lucas for creating the one and only standard that I know about for movie theaters.

But consumer equipment - many good names exceed THX specs, but the manufacturer does not pay the $$$$$ to get the units certified.

Does the 606 or 607 have the Audyssey calibration? This is a special circuit that instructs you to hold a mic at several locations in the room and it tests the room echos and equalizes the sounds. I have heard some good things about this so for your challenged room - the Audyssey auto calibration feature might be a must-have.


Yes - speakers ARE the most important part of sound reproduction. But you have a coke vs pepsi vs rc cola decision. All of the speakers you mention are well respected so its a matter of what flavor you like.

(yes - speakers have flavor. I could put the three in one order from best to worst, someone else would choose a different order and we would both be right. )

I looked up the SVS speakers that were well reviewed:

SVSound - MTS Family of Speakers

But the set is over 3 grand so that is more that I can honestly recommend unless you were really into music as well as movies.

Below is a link to one of the subwoofers. It is about $900 so do some research to see if they have a lower priced one (and check their clearance tab.) Yes this seems like a lot for just the sub, but my 20-39 cylinder fills 2-3 rooms with smooth, impressive bass.

SVSound - Cylinder Subwoofers

I own Definitive Tech speakers and love them. But Atlantic has been a darling of people 'in the know' for years and EngadgetHD just said they have 3 new speaker sets coming out. I dont think Atlantic has ever made a bad speaker.

So you have some soul-searching. Go out and listen to the DefTechs with a favorite CD. (Yes a CD, not a DVD - music is more demanding so it will show you things about a speaker that a movie will not.)

"I do extensive research on everything I buy"

You will fit right in around here.

One part of this hobby that many people do not think about is 'anticipation'. We spend time studying reviews, going out to see new gear and planning our next upgrade. You are doing the right thing by taking time to consider choices. (Just dont let my enthusiasm drive you into buying too soon. Posted Image )

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Fat Boy

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Posted May 11 2009 - 10:52 AM

They do have Audyssey calibration. From the Onkyo web site. (It's a little long but good info for anyone else that may looking at the Onkyo's)

The readings obtained during the automatic setup and those from the manual setup should be reversed.

During the Automatic Setup procedure the TX-SR702 (and any other models with Automatic Speaker Setup) outputs a test tone during the initial setup for each channel. This test tone is picked up by the supplied microphone and fed back to the receiver's microprocessor. The microprocessor determines the speaker configuration, speaker distance and speaker level. Once the receiver completes the automatic setup it prompts the user to accept or retry. Once the setup is accepted the microprocessor makes corrections based on the input from the microphone.

Instead of seeing the levels "read" during the auto setup function, you should see the inverse value for each speaker as determined by the microprocessor. This is perfectly normal as the receiver is compensating for speaker level variances due to distance, placement, efficiency, etc and making them equal. That is, if the levels read during the setup are:

0-4 Level (As seen in Automatic Setup display) :

Left + 3
Center 0
Right - 3
Surr Right + 2
Surr Back R - 2
Surr Left 0
Subwoofer 0

The correct settings shown in the manual setup would be:

Left - 3
Center 0
Right + 3
Surr Right - 2
Surr Back R + 2
Surr Left 0
Subwoofer 0

When added together (+3 – 3 = 0) these level changes would result in an equal or zero level setting for all speakers. Effectively making all speakers sound identical in level even though there may have been some differences.

I have started looking for my flavor of speakers. This may take me some time as anal as I am. Have you heard anything regarding Onkyo's speakers? Just wondering. When I was on there web site I was looking at there HT-S9100THX theater system. It looked nice and received some good reviews. I'm still a little gun shy about putting to much money into a room that may not handle the good (decent) stuff. I may save that for my bedroom. Is it possible to get good sound in a bedroom? It's about 20' x 20' and has carpeting. It does however have a tray ceiling. I'm not to sure how that would affect the sound (Theres a surprise. Me not sure Posted Image ).

Thanks for the help. Posted Image

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted May 11 2009 - 12:47 PM

What? I'm not sure I understand your post.... The correct settings are those found in your room. Not from a manual. Onkyo does not make good speakers. They are an electronics company. I suggest you start your search with the ones mentioned already in this thread.

I’m training to run a marathon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to raise life-saving funds to help those fighting blood cancers. Please help! See details and donation link here.


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#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Fat Boy

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Posted May 12 2009 - 02:47 AM

The info is from the Onkyo Web site. Here is the question that was asked.

"I used the Automatic Speaker Setup for my new TX-SR702 and it appeared to work okay. However, the readings obtained during the automatic setup did not match the readings in the manual setup when I checked them. The readings in the manual setup were the exact opposite of those from the automatic setup. Is there something wrong with my receiver?"

It appears that Onkyo has settings listed in the manual. Don't have one as of yet but should soon Posted Image

I was exspecting to here that. I will look at the ones stated.

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Fat Boy

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Posted May 13 2009 - 12:28 PM

FYI for anyone that may be interested in buying an Onkyo receiver. I have look all over the web and have been to every store in town and no one can beat BrandsMarts price. 606 $368.00, $450.00 any were else and the 706 is $578.00 compared to $680.00. That's a darn good price, I think, for what you get. I'm just not sure which one I want. I am leaning towards the 706 just not sure if the extra 10w, THX processing mode. pure mode, 1080p upscaling and optical front panel is worth the extra $210.00. Any suggestions? Now the hard part, speakers. I want to put speakers out side on my patio. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm down here in Florida ( don't ask, not sure how I wound up here ) so low temps are not a problem but high humidity for 6 months a year may be (?).

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   juda



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Posted May 13 2009 - 01:54 PM

Thanks a lot bob, really helped me out too!

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Fat Boy

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Posted May 19 2009 - 06:56 AM

Does anyone have any info on the new Onkyo 707? Went to Brandsmart to buy a 706 and they told me they didn't have any because they were getting a shipment of the 707's. First time I heard of them. The sales guy I deal with all the time told me he would give me the 707 for the same price as the 706 ( $588.00 ) and not knowing anything about it has kicked me into the "what's wrong with picture" mode. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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