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What to connect speakers to?


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#1 of 31 swob111

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Posted June 20 2009 - 01:54 PM

I have recently acquired 5 speakers and a sub woofer. I don't really think I need the sub woofer, but I thought I would mention it. The five speakers that I have just have speaker wire coming out of them. I am new to speakers, and audio, but what I have researched so far is that I have to connect the speakers to a receiver. Receivers seem to be a bit pricey, so I was wondering if there is something that is fairly cheap, as I only paid five dollars for the speakers, that has an audio in, and 5 speaker wire ports that I can connect the speakers to. Thanks for any help.

#2 of 31 Stephen Tu

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Posted June 20 2009 - 03:36 PM

You need the sub if you want deep bass, and if the 5 speakers are quite small, you need the sub for *any* bass. Is the sub powered? What brand/model are the speakers?

Receivers are the cheapest & best option. How much you need to spend depends if you want new or used, and what you plan to connect to it (TV/DVD/Blu-ray) and if you want the latest & greatest. It sounds like you want ultra-cheap, so look for a used receiver on ebay or craigslist. You should be able to pick an older model up for ~$50 or so, + a bit for shipping. Try to get one with Dolby Digital, at least.

#3 of 31 swob111

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Posted June 21 2009 - 12:26 AM

Thank you for the reply. Yes, the base is powered, as I have to plug it into the wall. The sub also connects with a 3.5 mm headphone audio in I am pretty sure. The only speaker with writing on it is the sub. This is what it says.
Classic
Model NO: SP-700S
ACTIVE SUBWOOFER SYSTEM
POWER SOURCE: AC 120V ~ 60HZ
POWER CONSUMPTION: 75W
SPEAKER IMPEDANCE: 4 ohms

There is also a switch on the back that says 0 degrees Phase 180 degrees, what does this mean? As for the other speakers, there are 4 small square ones, one that is the same width as the square ones, but twice as tall, and then the sub. Thanks for all of your help.Posted Image

#4 of 31 Stephen Tu

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Posted June 21 2009 - 05:38 AM

The "phase" switch just controls whether the driver is pushing out or pulling in given a particular voltage bias. It's basically equivalent to whether you keep wiring polarity consistent with the other speakers + to +, - to -, or reversed. If it's wrong you get less sound output in the frequency range where the speakers overlap output, as the sound waves cancel out a bit.

Are there any other controls on the sub, like a volume knob or crossover setting? Any other jacks/speaker connectors other than the 3.5mm input? (Most subs have RCA jacks, I think yours was from some cheap HTiB system).

BTW it's spelled "bass" not "base" in this context though pronounced "base". English spelling & pronunciation just doesn't make sense sometimes.

#5 of 31 swob111

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Posted June 21 2009 - 01:28 PM

The sub does just have a 3.5 mm and a volume knob, thats it.

#6 of 31 swob111

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Posted June 23 2009 - 04:37 AM

kenwood receiver model kr 4400

would this work?

or is it too old?

and I can't find a picture or info of what inputs it has on the back, so I would have to go look at it first.

thanks.

#7 of 31 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 23 2009 - 06:06 AM

Quote:
As for the other speakers, there are 4 small square ones, one that is the same width as the square ones, but twice as tall, and then the sub. Thanks for all of your help.

The speaker that is "twice as tall" as the others is actually "twice as wide". That is your center channel speaker. It is designed to be placed horizontally on top of your television. Two of the others go to the left and right of the TV, slightly above ear level from your seating position, while the remaining two go behind the main seating position, on the left and right sides, again slightly above ear level. Since bass frequencies are less "directional" than higher frequencies it is harder to tell where the sound from a subwoofer is coming from, so you have more wiggle room when it comes to placing the sub. Most subs have what looks like a standard RCA-style jack for connecting an audio cable to the "subwoofer out" or "low frequency effects" jack on a receiver.

The KR-4400 is a 1970s vintage stereo receiver, not a surround sound receiver of any kind and not at all suitable for home theater.

Not sure what you're definition of "pricey". Granted $5 for even a fairly crummy set of speakers is a hard price to beat, and if you got a powered sub then chances are you didn't get an absolute bottom-of-the barrel set. Even if you spend $150 on a new audio-visual digital surround receiver (and Best Buy has a 500w Sony for that price this week), you'd have a pretty good surround system for $155, which is a heck of a bargain. (Most folks around here would spend that much for a single speaker.) You could save even more by going with used equipment.

Regards,

Joe

#8 of 31 swob111

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Posted June 23 2009 - 06:18 AM

So the receivers that you are recommending, will make surround sound, like the sound switching from speaker to speaker with the action on TV? Also, my main goal is to get a projector, and if I get one with an audio out, I should be able use that with these speakers and receiver also?

Thanks for all of the great help, you don't know how much I appreciate it! Posted Image

#9 of 31 Stephen Tu

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Posted June 23 2009 - 08:03 AM

At minimum, you want something with "Dolby digital" on it, and with 2 digital inputs. I'd try to stay below $70, since new is $150 for that Sony Joe mentioned.

#10 of 31 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 23 2009 - 08:34 AM

Quote:
Also, my main goal is to get a projector, and if I get one with an audio out, I should be able use that with these speakers and receiver also?

Not quite. You don't send audio from (or to) a projector. Your sources (DVD/Blu Ray player, cable or satellite box, game system) would connect to the receiver. If you buy an AV receiver you would connect both the audio and video from each to the receiver, then send a single video output to the projector. This simplifies connections and lets you use the AVR as a switch - changing sources on the receiver automatically changes what you see on the projector.

Alternatively you could connect the video from each device to the projector independently (assuming it has enough inputs) and then connect only their audio outputs to the receiver. In such an arrangement video and audio sources would be selected independently. (Although you could still accomplish it with one button if you get a good universal remote.)

Regards,

Joe

#11 of 31 Jason Charlton

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Posted June 23 2009 - 08:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by swob111
So the receivers that you are recommending, will make surround sound, like the sound switching from speaker to speaker with the action on TV? Also, my main goal is to get a projector, and if I get one with an audio out, I should be able use that with these speakers and receiver also?

Thanks for all of the great help, you don't know how much I appreciate it! Posted Image

Really, a projector won't have anything to do with the audio in a home theater system, so yes, it shouldn't be a problem. Think of the A/V receiver as the "heart" of the system. You take all of your sources (cable/satellite TV, DVD or Blu-Ray) and plug their respective audio and video feeds into the receiver. Then, you channel the audio out of the reciever into all your speakers, and you channel a single video signal into the projector (or TV).

You then switch between the various sources within the A/V receiver. The audio signal never even passes through the projector.

All of that being said, you should probably consider your eventual objective(s) when shopping to make sure that whatever you get will accomodate everything you plan to use. For example - is HDTV and/or Blu-Ray a consideration? If so, then HDMI support in the receiver would be recommended. There are some other considerations (room size, budget, etc.) but I'm not sure if you've decided for yourself what's best for your situation.

Jason

Ah, I see that Joe beat me to the punch. Ditto everything that he said! :-)

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#12 of 31 swob111

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Posted June 23 2009 - 09:45 AM

Again, thank you for all of your help. I will list what I have taken from all of your comments, and I would really appreciate it if you could confirm them.

So, I can get a receiver that has RCA inputs for Left,Right,Video (red,white,yellow). I would connect my DVD player, and my gamecube, and maybe even my ipod just for background music there. It could also have a place where I could screw in a coaxial cable so that I can connect the cable that we have which come straight from the wall. (If this is not a very common feature, or would cost a lot extra, I could run the cable through a set-top box, or an old VCR which would also then go into the RCA inputs.) I could also connect my computer through these inputs I believe. That is about it on the input side.

Now for output, I could have a place where I could connect 5 sets of speaker wire, and a 3.5mm audio out for my sub. And this would be surround sound so it would sound different than coming straight out of the TV? It would also have an output for video which I could connect to my projector. My question is what form would this be? (s-video, RCA, coaxial)??

Then, finally, could you recommend a receiver that can do this. (if what stated above is all correct.)

If I missed anything, don't be afraid to say it.
Again thank you for helping me creating a masterpiece!Posted Image
I really appreciate it.

#13 of 31 Stephen Tu

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Posted June 23 2009 - 11:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by swob111
So, I can get a receiver that has RCA inputs for Left,Right,Video (red,white,yellow). I would connect my DVD player, and my gamecube, and maybe even my ipod just for background music there.

Although receivers have RCA audio/composite video "AV" inputs for older equipment, for something like a DVD player you do *not* want to use the red/white/yellow AV plugs as they are not the best connection and don't give digital discrete channel surround sound. For DVD you want to use component (green/blue/red RCA plugs) or HDMI for video, and a digital connection for the sound (optical / coax / HDMI). So at the least you are looking for digital audio inputs as I mentioned above, video can be routed straight to the TV or projector if it has enough inputs.

Quote:
It could also have a place where I could screw in a coaxial cable so that I can connect the cable that we have which come straight from the wall.
This feature doesn't exist. They don't make receivers with built-in TV tuners. For a projector, the best source for TV is an HD-DVR. Plan on getting an HD-Tivo, or renting a cable/satellite company DVR, depending if your programming source is over-the-air, satellite, or cable, or some combo. Another possibility is computer with DTV tuner card for OTA. Old VCR would only work with cable TV systems that still provide an analog feed, and the picture would be terrible compared to modern digital HD options; not recommended at all.

Quote:
And this would be surround sound so it would sound different than coming straight out of the TV? It would also have an output for video which I could connect to my projector. My question is what form would this be? (s-video, RCA, coaxial)?
Yes it would have surround sound output if your source has surround. Video output is whatever your video sources feed in, typically you connect HDMI(or DVI) + component to the projector. Composite only if you have legacy stuff you really want to watch (old VCR). Some more expensive receivers have the ability to convert one type of source to another (so composite->HDMI), so that you only have to run a single cable, but unless you get a really high end one typically your video quality is better off just running all the types you are using to the projector.

You don't connect coax RF since projectors typically don't have tuners; coax only goes to your TV tuner device, which is DVR or cable/satellite box.

Quote:
Then, finally, could you recommend a receiver that can do this. (if what stated above is all correct.)

You have to state a budget. If you are planning on keeping this thing for long term (5 maybe 10 years), and building a real nice home theater system around it with a front projector/HDTV/Blu-ray, you need a modern new one since front projectors are often fairly limited on inputs. These would include HDMI switching capabilities, and ability to handle audio over HDMI. You'd need to spend at least $250-350, typical models are Onkyo 507, Yamaha 465, Pioneer 819, Sony DH700.

If you are looking for something dirt-cheap that you will upgrade later when necessary, like I said look for a used $50 Dolby digital one.

#14 of 31 swob111

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Posted June 23 2009 - 12:09 PM

So, first of all, I would get better quality by connecting things straight to the projector than going through a receiver?

If my DVD player does not have green,blue,red RCA outputs, would I have to buy a different one. My other option would use the DVD player on my computer, and I don't know if I could then use the surround sound system. I do have a pretty good sound card, but I was thinking I could just use the audio out to plug into the receiver.

For the next thing I was also purchasing Nero - Nero LiquidTV Introduction. I think this would work and I would also get the tivo option.

The next section I don't really understand to advanced language.

So if the quality staight to the projector is better, I don't have to buy an A/V projector, and my budget for the receiver would be less, and the projector more because it would have to have more inputs. I would buy used for both, so i was thinking 75 bucks for a receiver.

#15 of 31 Stephen Tu

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Posted June 23 2009 - 02:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by swob111
So, first of all, I would get better quality by connecting things straight to the projector than going through a receiver?
Shouldn't matter unless you are trying to change signal types (composite -> HDMI) or resolutions (480i -> 1080p) in which case the receiver's video processor comes into play. If you are just using it as a switch there shouldn't be any loss.

Quote:
If my DVD player does not have green,blue,red RCA outputs
That's highly unlikely. Only a few like this, from like 13 years ago.

Quote:
My other option would use the DVD player on my computer, and I don't know if I could then use the surround sound system. I do have a pretty good sound card, but I was thinking I could just use the audio out to plug into the receiver.
Sound cards have digital audio outputs these days.

Quote:
For the next thing I was also purchasing Nero - Nero LiquidTV Introduction. I think this would work and I would also get the tivo option.

Keep in mind you'd also have to buy a TV tuner card or box like the HDHomeRun, which is another $150+. Plus you'd be limited to over-the-air TV, or unencrypted channels on the cable. What is your cable provider, and do you get/want to record channels like ESPN-HD, or are you OK with just recording local channels (NBC/CBS/Fox/ABC)?

I strongly recommend Tivo-HD as a more powerful, easier to set-up solution, that does dual recording and can get all cable channels. It is pricey though. But over the long run it wouldn't cost much more than the LiquidTV since that only includes Tivo sub for 1 year. Personally if going PC DVR I'd try to use completely free software like Windows media center.

Quote:
So if the quality staight to the projector is better, I don't have to buy an A/V projector
Huh? Do you mean don't have to buy A/V receiver?

Quote:
and my budget for the receiver would be less, and the projector more because it would have to have more inputs. I would buy used for both, so i was thinking 75 bucks for a receiver.
Requiring lots of inputs on the projector is going to seriously constrain your buying options on the projector. It is really, really hard to find cheap projectors with multi-component & multi-HDMI. If you buy $75 receiver without component/HDMI switching, you end up spending another $60 for a video switcher anyway! So at least get the Sony STR-DH500 for $150 that Joe mentioned at Best buy, it'll switch video for you. The audio has some minor limitations since it won't handle the Blu-ray latest & greatest, but for the price it's good.

#16 of 31 swob111

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Posted June 23 2009 - 02:53 PM

OK that post really cleared things up, thanks. So, can you reccomend any software for recording tv. Sadly, my computer only has xp which does not have media center. My cable provider is charter communications and it does not use a set-top box. I don't know if it will work like this or not, but I am pretty sure I can buy one. The last thing I was thinking is it would be really great if that I can get a receiver with everything connected to it. Then I can connect it all to the projector by one input. This means I would be able to buy a projector without a remote, saving money. And my last question is what would the receiver connect to the projector with? Thanks. I appreciate it so much. Just want to be educated before I buy.

#17 of 31 Stephen Tu

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Posted June 23 2009 - 06:06 PM

If you are OK with local networks and other clearQAM stuff, can try BeyondTV. Also need tuner card with QAM like Hauppage latest cards. Total cost in $250 range, but no fees beyond that. You could also try to get by with just the software included with the Hauppage card, saving you $100 but maybe hard to use. Remember, *clearQAM only*. That means no ability to record non-local HD like ESPNHD, TNTHD, USAHD, etc. Broadcast networks only, and sometimes some expanded basic channels. If you want to record everything you need Charter DVR or TivoHD.

Receiver that will output to projector with only one input will cost much more than you have shown willingness to spend! You aren't going to save that way, projector with missing remote isn't going to save that much money! Receiver connects with component + HDMI, as stated above. Get the Sony.

Get a $60 refurbished Harmony 670 remote, that will control everything, including projector with missing remote.

#18 of 31 swob111

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Posted June 24 2009 - 01:38 AM

Ok I looked at the sony, and it looks nice. This is the picture that I was looking at Other Image Views. I saw that is had the spots for the 5 speaker wires. Now I am going to list all of the things that I want to connect to the receiver, and then could you please tell me what the projector need to have.

These would all be connected to the receiver.

DVD Player
Gamecube
Computer, with Google Image Result for http://www.onecall.com/ImageCache/DVDO_DVDO-HD15-VGA-3-RCA-Cable-2m-6.56-ft_300x250_s.jpg

Thanks.

#19 of 31 Stephen Tu

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Posted June 24 2009 - 06:25 AM

For a projector, long term you want one that has at least one HDMI input and one component video input. More inputs always better to give you more hookup options. If it has DVI but not HDMI, make sure it has "DVI-HDCP"; not all do. Without the HDCP some HD sources won't work.

That is the wrong cable for a computer. Computer connection to the projector depends on the outputs of the video card & the inputs on the projector. You can of course replace video card if desired (typically only necessary if want install Blu-ray drive in computer and video card is old). The typical ways are:
HDMI -> HDMI receiver -> HDMI display
DVI-D -> DVI/HDMI cable -> HDMI receiver -> HDMI display
DVI-A -> DVI/VGA adapter -> VGA display
VGA -> VGA display

#20 of 31 swob111

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Posted June 24 2009 - 02:57 PM

Good news, I have gotten a receiver, and for even less than my speakers, free!Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image It is a Denon AVR-2802. I pretty sure this will service all that I need. I do have one question though. I am looking at the back, which looks exactly like this: http://www.superfi.c...r2802rearlg.jpg and i am pretty sure that the lower right, the black and red things, is where you connect the speaker wire. How do I go about doing that. Thanks a lot!


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