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Needing Home Theater Advice

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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   ptodd



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Posted January 01 2010 - 02:10 PM

Hello guys,

I just found the fourm and joined up.  I've completed about all of my my wife's "holiday" projects and decided to diagram my current system.  I have a decent setup, but need some help chosing a new receiver and possibly some new speakers.  I just purchased my first Blu-ray player, a fairly entry level one to get my feet wet.  I want to stay under about $550.00 for a 7.1 receiver.  Also, I'm not sure if I can benefit from a 7.1 with my room layout.  I have attached a diagram of my setup and a couple of pics of the room.  Any advice on a receiver, speakers, and placement is appreciated.

Current Gear:

BrandEquipment ModelType
Sony Sony KP-57WV600 Rear Projection Television (1080i)
LG BD-370Blu-ray Player
DirecTVH22-700Satellite Reciever HD w/DVR
JVCCame with RX-6018Sub
JVCCame with RX-6018Left, Right, Center, & Surround Speakers
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#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted January 01 2010 - 02:44 PM

Philip- Welcome to Home Theater Forum.  Your first post is unusual since it includes so much info.  Even though you have included so much info, I am going to move it to our basics area as I think it will get a bigger response there.  Keep in mind that just about any receiver these days will come as a 7.1 even if you only run it as a 5.1.  Denon and Onkyo have several models under $550.  Your existing receiver doesn't have any HD connectivity.  I'm not familiar with your TV or sat receiver.  Do they both support HDMI (or DVI)?  To help narrow down the models what is your biggest reason for wanting a new receiver?

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   ptodd



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Posted January 02 2010 - 04:06 AM

 Thanks Adam,

The biggest reason for wanting a new receiver is that I have moved all of my components to a seperate area and only have one HDMI cable running to my T.V.  I really need HDMI switching now.  Upconversion of analog sources would be nice as well.  The DirecTv does output up to 1080p as well, but my T.V. only supports 1080i (until it gets upgraded).  

I'm not sure if in wall speakers would work well here.  By looking at the pics, do you think I could install in-wall speakers on each side of the T.V. ?


#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted January 02 2010 - 04:28 AM

There are a lot of receiver options in your budget with full featured models from Yamaha, Onkyo, and Denon.  Personally I am partial to Denon as I like Audyssey EQ room correction SW, but for every Denon fan there is a Onkyo, Yamaha, Pioneer, Sony, etc fan.  Look for something with at least 3 HDMI inputs so you have some expansion room.  The very basic models might not do analog up-conversion, but you should be able to find it in your price range. I think in-walls would be a great solution.  You can even do that for the surrounds.  I am partial to Atlantic Technology in-walls, just because they sound phenomenal, but they are more expansive than the equivalent floor standing models.  What ever make and model you go with spend the extra money and use a back box or put foam in around the speaker. 

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted January 02 2010 - 06:05 AM

I want to stay under about $550.00 for a 7.1 receiver.  Also, I'm not sure if I can benefit from a 7.1 with my room layout. 
At that price you can get the Denon 1910. I'd take it over the Onkyo 607 which can be had for under $400. Onkyo allows their receivers to be discounted quite a bit, Denon does not. They can be found on-sale occasionally but only $50 off or so.

I've seen the Onkyo 707 for $499 on Amazon and 6th ave recently (thanks, Ed) and it would also be an excellent choice. As Adam said, Audyssey is real popular around here.
The Yamaha 665 (with YAPO) and H/K 1600 (EzSetEQ) are also alternatives as is a low end Pioneer Elite like the VSX-21 (MCACC/ALC). Whatever you buy make sure it's from an authorized dealer to protect your warranty coverage.

When it comes to in-wall speakers, make sure you know where your studs are first. Sometimes those Pesky things are right in the way. And I'd find a way to position the speakers where you want them to go and hook them up first before cutting holes in the walls. They may look good there but not sound right. Better to make sure first. On walls may be a better option. They can be moved easier if things change later on. I set up a system at a friend's house with some relatively cheap Infinity OWS-1's (similar to the Beta 20's but in a smaller plastic housing) bought used on ebay and they sound surprisingly good crossed over at 100 and used with an HSU/Dayton sub.

The rear surrounds really should be mounted higher than ear level. Not sure how you would do that with your room configuration. Maybe mount them in the upper part of the wall behind the couch? I used Infinity satellites from the 750 series speaker package (same driver/tweeter design) in my friends house and stuck them on a counter behind his couch. His room is similar to yours. His wife didn't put up too much of a fuss. Speaker placement is critical whether they be in-wall, on-wall or free standing. Compromises are inevitable but....

Here are some Athena in-walls from  www.audioadvisor.com/and matching tiny surrounds if you need to go that route. They're no where near as good as Atlantic Technology but are much more budget friendly. They also have these Parasounds which should be better than the Athena's but they don't have a smaller surround alternative. A sub from SVS, HSU, EDdesign or PartsExpress would round out the system.

You first have to decide between in-walls, on-walls and free standing then listen to as many as you can. On-line vendors usually have a good return policy but return shipping is usually up to the buyer. But I really would replace those JVC's.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.


#6 of 8 OFFLINE   ptodd



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Posted January 03 2010 - 04:31 AM

 Thanks Gene!  I am going to go with the Denon 1910.  I'm going to start working on evaluating speakers after that.   I can definitely do the in-wall above the couch (if that works well).  I will do the testing to see what works best.

Thanks again!  You guys are great!


#7 of 8 OFFLINE   CB750



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Posted January 03 2010 - 04:50 PM

Having recently completed a kitchen and family room remodel.  I would take a look at removing that half wall that separates your kitchen from family room (where the sofa is)  I removed a similar half wall that separated more than 1/2 of the opening between my family room and kitchen and it really opened up the space and made both rooms appear more open and larger.   This would  allow you to move your sofa closer to your TV and give you more seating area in your prime viewing and sound stage area.  Changing your seating arrangement closer to your TV will also help in proper the placement of the surround speakers for either a 5.1 or 7.1 system.  It will also pull more of your seating closer to the cozy fire place that you have. 

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H


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Posted January 04 2010 - 10:33 AM

I agree with Bill. My HT setup is in my unfinished basement. It's a 7.1 surround system fed by a Sony BDP-S350 and Toshi HD-A30 with a Sony 7.1 receiver with HDMI. My setup backs onto my laundry area, so the area is wide open. This allows me to put my couch closer to my 32" LCD and place my surrounds and rears fairly close while maintaining appropriate placement. Because most 7.1 receivers come with a calibration mic (from my experience anyway), you can optimize your soundfield for your surroundings.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

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