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Advise on a budget HT system
3 replies to this topic
Posted February 15 2013 - 09:20 PM
Folks, I intend to purchase a new HT system for my house. As I am a rookie on AV stuff, I initially went through some fancy HT shops, those in which they advise on configuration, sell it and install it for you. As you can imagine, it end-up being too expensive, so I decided to do by myself. My usage for the system will be XBOX, 46" LCD TV, Cable TV and iPod connectivity. I will also connect the laptop to watch some movies. Firstly, 5.1 with ceiling surround speakers would be fine, but wife wants 2 additional zones in which I intend to put ceiling speakers. The 3 rooms are not large and I am short on budget. I had a look at some HTiB and found Yamaha YHT-797. It seems to be a fair system with lot of air play connectivity which caught my attention, but does not have the Speaker B functionality (which I believe it is necessary for additional zones). I have also compared with Onkyo but read through some review on HDMI issues and at the shop, the guy said that Yamaha is better. Anyway, any slight difference in sound wont make happy as I my driver is reliability and the connectivity features. So, in order to address the triple zone, had to move from HTiB and purchase a different receiver. I have tried to get the same speaker specs from the HTiB above and my pick is: Receiver: Yamaha RX-V573 - It has the Speaker B and all those "glowing" Apple Air play features. What also amazed me is the AV controller App which you can control some Receiver functionality from your Apple gadget. It also has the Audio return feature that you don't need the digital audio and can do just with HDMIs. - $ 350 Center Speaker: Yamaha NS-C210BL. Same spec as of the HTiB - $ 100 Front Speakers: Yamaha NS-B210BL. Same spec as of the HTiB - $ 160 / set Sub woofer: Yamaha YST-SW216BL. Same spec as of the HTiB - $ 130 Surround: Yamaha NS-IW280CWH. I am not sure if a 3-way speaker is necessary for the surround, so would like some advise on this. Also, they are 6ohms (a guy at the shop told me speakers should be no less than 8ohms) but reading the RX-V573 manual, it says you can control minimum impedance down to 6ohms) - $ 150 / set Other rooms will use the same ceiling speakers, 2 per room. Again, is it necessary to have 3-way speakers? Switcher: 600W 4-ZONE Stereo Speaker Selector Switch Switcher with Volume Control. It has no brand, but found this on Specialty-AV... As power protection, there is a lot out there, but I am not that concerned with voltage or UPS, as my grid is reliable. I was just looking for some EM or other equipment interference and power surge protection. Found this Furman PL-8C at $ 150, with the cross interference reduction feature, but it seems to be more used for professional sound instead of HT. I don't care, as long as it is within my budget provides the required protection. I understand from this configuration I will have the wiring restricted to HDMI and speaker cables only, as well as avoid installing amp for the other zones. Kind of all-in for $ 1,400. I appreciate your comments on this!
Posted February 16 2013 - 02:31 AM
You do realize "Speaker B" and "Zone 2" are not the same thing. Speaker B is nothing more than an extension of the 5.1. Speaker B also plays at the same volume. Zone 2 allows a different source to play in the other two rooms. Both the 5.1 and "Zone" can be different volumes. And, all you need is a 2 pair speaker switch. Not 4.
Posted February 16 2013 - 02:51 AM
Thanks, I was not aware! 1 source is fine for me. If the speaker B has the volume control, can I plug 4 speakers in paralel without the switcher? I know will lose independence betwen 2nd and 3rd room, but am unsure about the power source...this may save $150 bucks and a slot on my rack. I could not find a 2 pair switcher. Any advise on brand and model?
Posted February 16 2013 - 03:03 AM
Last I checked Amazon(on my phone at the moment) there were a few hundred 2 pair speaker switchs as cheap as $10. You can probably find somebody selling one on Ebay for $10. Depends how "advanced" you want it(2 pair don't get very advanced). Want volume attenuating? One with that might set you back $40 instead of $20. Unless you plan to put a volume attenuator in each room. Which if you are already running wire, it might take you an extra 2 hours and $20/each to put in in-line volume attenuators. (In line volume attenuators look just like rotary dimmer switches for ceilung fans/ lights, cause they do, more or less, the same thing. Just ceiling fan/lights are designed to work on 120...in-line volume controls work on "speaker electrical"...different animal) And "yes" you can run the speakers in parallel(or series) since that is all a 2 pair speaker switch does in the first place. If you run parallel(or series) you don't need to split at the AVR terminals either. You can run the wire to a "spot" and split there. By the way...the "volume attenuating" will be called simply "volume" or "volume control". I call it attenuating, cause that is what it does...to cut out the confusion. Basically "volume control" in the speaker selector...or in-line in the room can only "turn the volume down"(attenuate). You still have to raise it at the AVR itself...then back it off if you wish. And, make absolutely sure you use CL rated in-wall speaker wire. Period.
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