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Help with build from scratch basement HT project


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Benski

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Posted February 18 2012 - 03:23 PM

First of all, I'd like to say this is my first post here. I have read lots of posts on HTF and I have made use of the search tool quite extensively. I have learned more by doing so than with any of my numerous visits in electronic shops. I am a regular contributor on two other forums related to car maintenance and pellet stove users, and I like the virtual community that develops around a common interest. But in Home Theater science, I still have lots to learn. So here is where I am at now. The basic facts related to the physical space that will soon be our HT room in our basement. Room dimensions: 14 ft wide, 20 ft long, 7 1/2 ft high. Position of the TV: in the middle of the 14ft wall Position of viewers: at 12 ft from the screen, on a couch and rocking chairs (4 to 6 viewers max). Floor is concrete covered with a thick, new style linoleum. Walls are made of drywall. Ceiling is solid wood, actually the ground level floor structure that remains exposed (100+ yr old house). Current equipment: NONE ! But, I have run 2 speaker cables in the 2 corners behind the couch, and one RCA cable right under where the TV will be in the future, along with an AC outlet. Also, I have installed 2 HDMI cables (with decora finish cover plates) that run from behing the TV to the amplifier location. So now, what do we want? Obviously, a TV! Looking at something between 46 and 55in. To me, they all look decent. We want to stay away from latest technology like LED and 3D. We wish to save money for better sound now, and improve image later, especially due to the fact that we anticipate purchasing a 2nd tv in 3-5 yrs from now. Then, a HD cable TV receiver (we are Videotron subscriber in Montreal area, Canada).¸ + BlueRay DVD player + HT amplifier (most likely a 5.1) + Speaker set Budget: 3000$ is the desired target. What will the system be used for: - Watching DVD (includind a fair amount of Walt Disney's for a couple more years!!!) 60%, - some TV watching (news, documentaries, a few series) 30% - and some music listenning 10%, either from radio feed from the Cable provider, CD and MP3 files (laptop and apple gadgets). So far, I have heard a good number of speaker brands (kef and JBL). My current best experience is with a system that included Paradigm Monitor 7 main speaker. They were driven by a Yamaha amplifier of otherwize unknown specifications. Besides that, I now have a white page syndrom! The area I need most help is with the Amplifier. I find hard to believe some HTiB system sell for less than 500$ while other high-end amplifiers alone sell for multiple thousand $! Bear in mind I am just an entry level HT enthusiast. But I would like to purchase something that I won't throw away in a year because it's crap! Long enough post to start with. I'll leave to that for now, thanks in advance for your advices! Ben

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted February 18 2012 - 03:56 PM

The area I need most help is with the Amplifier. I find hard to believe some HTiB system sell for less than 500$ while other high-end amplifiers alone sell for multiple thousand $!

A Kia and a Ferrari will both get you to the grocery store but a Ferrari will do so much more. I don't have any suggestions now but a little advice - quality speakers will last for decades. There are always electronic upgrades every year but speaker technology hasn't really changed in the last 50 years. Spend the bulk of your budget there.

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Benski

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Posted February 20 2012 - 01:29 PM

I don't have any suggestions now but a little advice - quality speakers will last for decades. There are always electronic upgrades every year but speaker technology hasn't really changed in the last 50 years. Spend the bulk of your budget there.

Thanks, So does that mean top quality speakers won't get hurt by lower quality amplifiers? I think I will do some more shopping and gather a more detailed list of components and come back with request for appreciation on the overall balance or homogeneity of the kit along with prices. Ben

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted February 21 2012 - 12:19 AM

So does that mean top quality speakers won't get hurt by lower quality amplifiers?

Not unless you drop the lower quality amplifier on the speaker.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Benski

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Posted February 21 2012 - 03:09 PM

Not unless you drop the lower quality amplifier on the speaker.

Is this a bit of sarcasm? My apologies if my messages seem to sound strange... sometimes my choice of words is questionnable, but bear in mind English is a second language for me. It sometimes happens that I don't really get the hidden message behind the plain words I see. Thank you for taking time to answer my messages. Ben

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   raehza

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Posted February 21 2012 - 03:42 PM

Is this a bit of sarcasm? My apologies if my messages seem to sound strange... sometimes my choice of words is questionnable, but bear in mind English is a second language for me. It sometimes happens that I don't really get the hidden message behind the plain words I see. Thank you for taking time to answer my messages. Ben

lol, he meant that as a joke. Dropping the receiver on a speaker will hurt the speaker :) Ray

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted February 21 2012 - 10:43 PM

Is this a bit of sarcasm? My apologies if my messages seem to sound strange... sometimes my choice of words is questionnable, but bear in mind English is a second language for me. It sometimes happens that I don't really get the hidden message behind the plain words I see. Thank you for taking time to answer my messages. Ben

At least Ray got the joke.:D A less than perfect amp will not damage higher quality speakers. I word my answers differently based on the location of the person I am talking to. As you can see with my posts and Ray's, we both list our locations. It is always helpful to update your profile with at least your country. The language gap between MS and NY is sometimes larger than English and other languages.

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted February 21 2012 - 11:01 PM

At least Ray got the joke.

I had to read it twice and English is not my second language. The first time I started thinking, is he referring to low gain and clipping. So I tried it, and then it hit me - damn those receivers hurt!

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Benski

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Posted February 24 2012 - 02:49 PM

I word my answers differently based on the location of the person I am talking to. As you can see with my posts and Ray's, we both list our locations. It is always helpful to update your profile with at least your country.

I agree with that and it's now done. Ben

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Benski

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Posted March 04 2012 - 03:23 PM

I think I will do some more shopping and gather a more detailed list of components and come back with request for appreciation on the overall balance or homogeneity of the kit along with prices. Ben

Here is a summary of what I think I would buy now: Amplifier: Yamaha RX-A1000 Speakers: Paradigm Monitor 7, Rear Atom Monitor, Sub PDR-100 (I think I am missing a center speaker spec!) TV: Plasma 1080p, 600hz, 50in or so, either Panasonic, Samsung or LG Blue-Ray player Cable TV, HDTV receiver with recording capability. I have heard this system played in a demo room and was just amazed! I did compare with DEF and JBL speakers as well. The other amplifier I considered was the Onkyo 809. On the cost side, I still need to do some more serious shopping, but so far, here is what I have to give an Idea: Ampli: 800$ Speakers: 900$ TV: 750-850$ Blue-Ray: 125$ Cable TV receiver: 400$ Accessories, wall mount, cables, surge protection (gimmick?) : 250$ Total: 3325$ + taxes Any thoughts on this? The area I need most help now is with the subwoofer. Alternatives to suggest? Thanks, Ben

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 04 2012 - 11:04 PM

Ampli: 800$ Speakers: 900$

Most people put more money into their speakers. Sometimes a 60/40 or a 75/25 split. Speakers will last for decades while processing technologies will change with the next format.

Cable TV receiver: 400$

You have to buy yours in Canada? Down here you rent them. When the hard drive fails (and it will fail) then you take it to the local office and get a new one (hopefully the latest model).

[B]The area I need most help now is with the subwoofer.

What's your budget? That will change the ratio on your speakers/receiver split. SVS sells in Canada. eD ships there but border fees, etc. will add to that. Nathan Funk will build you a custom sub. And there are 2 companies that will sell you great parts to build your own sub.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Benski

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Posted March 05 2012 - 01:30 PM

Ampli: 800$ Speakers: 900$

Most people put more money into their speakers. Sometimes a 60/40 or a 75/25 split. Speakers will last for decades while processing technologies will change with the next format.

Cable TV receiver: 400$

You have to buy yours in Canada? Down here you rent them. When the hard drive fails (and it will fail) then you take it to the local office and get a new one (hopefully the latest model).

[B]The area I need most help now is with the subwoofer.

What's your budget? That will change the ratio on your speakers/receiver split. SVS sells in Canada. eD ships there but border fees, etc. will add to that. Nathan Funk will build you a custom sub. And there are 2 companies that will sell you great parts to build your own sub.

I have to stick with my original budget: 3000$ for the whole system. I will possibly strech to 3500$, but that's the limit. So I am not going to spend 1000$ just on a subwoofer! On the TV receiver, I will check for rental fares, now knowing about the likely failures... I am going back to the store sometime this week. I will come back with more details. I'll ask for a system with a little more budget on the speakers than the ampli and see what I come up with! Purchasing from the States is out of the question, especially if the hardware was built outside of the USA or Mexico, it gets hit by customs fees (NAFTA doesn't apply then!). I find the last part about home made kits for subs intriguing... I am a DIY professionnal!!! When this home theater project is finished, my next one in line is for a home made heat tube solar panel kit to heat our basement floor which is arrayed by 1300 ft of glycol tubing! Thanks for the input to my HT project. Every day I learn a little more! Ben

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 05 2012 - 11:00 PM

http://www.creativesound.ca/ They have drivers and kits. Great guys to work with. http://www.funkaudio...i-fi_Glory.html May be a little over your budget since some of his subs are more than what you want to spend on everything. http://www.istonline.ca/ Mach 5 sells sub drivers.

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Benski

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Posted March 06 2012 - 02:28 PM

SVS sells in Canada.

Indeed, I found this vendor of SVS in Canada. The link below includes a GREAT write up about subs. http://www.sonicboom...?chapter=5&id=3 I will try to find a PB12-NSD. From what I read, it would be a good fit. I need to feel the difference now! Thanks again Ben




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