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Beginner system upgrade / guidance request


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#1 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted July 24 2014 - 07:34 PM

First of all hello and nice to meet you all!

 

I have been lurking as a guest for some time and doing a bit of reading here and there to try and figure out what exactly I'm after, etc.

 

Anyway, to keep things short(er), I currently have a hodge-podge 5.1 system comprised of:

 

Denon AVR-1612 receiver

Yamaha NS-AM200 mini-monitors as fronts http://usa.yamaha.co...200/?mode=model

Yamaha NS-A638 bookshelves as rears http://usa.yamaha.co...638/?mode=model

an ancient Yamaha NS-AC140 center (I can't find a specs page for it, it's from the early 90's I'm fairly sure!)

and a cheapy "DCM" 10" powered down-firing sub.

 

Oh and to top off the ghetto-style setup, I'm rocking a 42" Samsung LCD screen from ~2008Anyway, I have decided it's time to build a passable setup before i quit working to go back to school - and have thusly been researching to try and figure out what new parts I will really want/notice/can justify spending money on.

 

So far, I picked out a very nice 75" Samsung 120Hz LED-LCD display: http://www.amazon.co...AHYFMM4AK&psc=1

 

Yamaha RX-A1030 7.2ch AVR: http://www.amazon.co...=I1SALR0ZKX6DFD

 

Yamaha NS-C444 center: http://www.amazon.co...=I31Z8UW6AUT9EZ

 

Yamaha NS-6490 to replace the rears (and mount the current rears on the back wall): http://www.amazon.co...=I3Q69MHCIQO17R

 

and this BIC PL-200 sub to replace the laughable excuse that I have currently: http://www.amazon.co...=I3IC16ZJRCOLZC

 

------

 

For the questions: I know my current fronts are not exactly "home theater audiophile" equipment but they sound just fine (to me) now that i have them on stands at the correct height and aimed correctly so I am wondering if I should still consider replacing them with more modern 'home theater'-specific standing floor speakers?

 

2. Is my choice of center pretty good? I was trying to find something that went down to 60Hz, and above 20kHz and this seems to fit  the bill - certainly much better than my early 90's junkbox.

 

3. Do you think it will be fine to swap my current rears to the far back, and use the new 6490's as the sides? My thought was it should be ok since I want the newer, better, higher-frequency-response boxes on the side as their sound will be more easy to audibly pick-up than something that's completely behind my head.

 

4. Is that AVR a good choice? I wanted a solid 7.2 AVR with a few features: more than 1 each of optical audio and digital coaxial audio inputs, several s-video inputs, and full analogue-to-digital video conversion + upscaling so I can hook up lots of old video game systems (NES, SNES, N64, SMS, Genesis, PS1, PS2) and only have to run 1 cable to the TV.

 

I don't like Denon's menu system, or how the volume works (hold for more than a microsecond and it jumps up 100000dB), so I decided to give Yamaha a try since I like the sound of their speakers.

 

5. last but not least, what do you think about the subwoofer choice? 

 

My 'theater room' is about 12' x 24' x 8', carpeted floor and I have currently set the speakers and furniture up such that the 'sweet spot' is ~ 11' from the TV wall. 

 

Last weekend I cobbled together some stands to get the speakers all at appropriate heights relative to my seat, and that already made a HUGE world of difference improving perceptible sound field, clarity, directional perception etc but I want to really bring this room up a few notches before I don't have the luxury of a full-time income.

 

I don't really have a 'strict' budget per se, but this is already amounting to ~$4500 for the new pieces I already expect to purchase, so I would like to keep total cost in the same ballpark if there are different things I should be doing.

 

--

Thank you so very much for reading my novel of a questionnaire  and I appreciate any and all advice or suggestions!



#2 of 47 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 24 2014 - 07:43 PM

(1). Your choice. How often do you listen in 2.0?2. Nothing wrong there.3. I would put the "weakest set" at 6/7 as well.4. As long as it has all you'll need. The Aventage line is a solid choice. 5. I'd spend more to have the sub you'll have for the next 20 years.

#3 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted July 24 2014 - 07:50 PM

(1). Your choice. How often do you listen in 2.0?2. Nothing wrong there.3. I would put the "weakest set" at 6/7 as well.4. As long as it has all you'll need. The Aventage line is a solid choice.5. I'd spend more to have the sub you'll have for the next 20 years.

Awesome and thank you already!

as for the answers:

 

1. I don't really ever listen in just 2.0... I'm piping my music in from my PC in DDL over a Toslink cable, it's about 75% 320kbps MP3, 25% FLAC.  What would you recommend based on that?2. thanks - good to hear3. also good - do you think it would be worth junking the old speakers and just buying 4 of those newer bookshelves - or will my idea probably sound fine?

 

4. Far as I can tell it will do it all5. Can you offer some recommendations? I don't really know what to look for with home theater subs  :(



#4 of 47 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 24 2014 - 10:51 PM

1. I always err big in speakers. My main theatre is 6 floor standing speakers, each capable of <40hz.3. Try the pair first...if glaringly obvious...buy 2 more(keep in mind Yamaha has front and rear Presence, as well as DPL IIz, so...you could eventually do 9.1 or 11.1. I don't know if the 10x0 do 9.1 with an external amp, but the 20x0 do...then the 30x0 have rear as well)5. Have decent woodworking skills? If so...build one. It is "just a box"(there are internet plans and Robert J can help here...as he knows a whole lot more about VAS, Q and all the other things).If no skills...Hsu, SVS, PowerSound...If real adventurous...Cult of the Infinitely Baffled

#5 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted July 25 2014 - 02:33 PM

This is basically the layout I have right now, minus that the rear wall-mounted speakers are not there yet.

 

The couch is off-center because I have a computer desk on the right wall, and I have not yet purchased another couch to run along the left wall.

 

big square back center is the sub location currently.

 

You should not trust me to build anything with wood, so I will probably end up getting the SVS SB2000 subwoofer, as it seems like it should be more than adequate, yes?

 

Anyway - do you think this room could benefit from perhaps 4 matched floor-standing speakers I guess? I found some Yamaha NS-777 http://www.amazon.co...s=yamaha ns-777 which seem decent but I will have to listen to them in person before plunking down 1200-1400 for a 4-pack of them...

 

Thanks again and please tell me what you think :)

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  • HT room.jpg


#6 of 47 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 25 2014 - 03:17 PM

We(along with many others) reviewed that sub.Very good...and for many...more than adequate (keeping in mind...my adequate is different than yours).I think 4 floorstanders is a great idea. Of course, if the 777 isn't up your alley...BIC DVPolkMordaunt Short InfinityJBLAnd on...

#7 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted July 25 2014 - 07:03 PM

We(along with many others) reviewed that sub.Very good...and for many...more than adequate (keeping in mind...my adequate is different than yours).I think 4 floorstanders is a great idea.

in that case I do have one more tiny question if you don't mind sir:

 

Let's say I take the jump and get 4 of those 777's... space-wise I need wall-mountable rears. Since I would like to stay in the same family, should I use the 6490 bookshelves I mentioned in my first post for those rear surrounds or should I look instead at a pair of NS-333's since they are in the same series as the 777's ?

 

I'm just trying to piece together a setup that makes sense  :lol:



#8 of 47 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 25 2014 - 07:39 PM

Stick with the same series.

#9 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted July 28 2014 - 07:26 PM

Well, I spent all day at work scouring for deals for those components and everything looks good.

 

With the TV, AVR, sub, 4 towers, center, and pair of bookshelves I am looking at just shy of $5k which doesn't seem like a bad deal.

 

If I don't splurge on anything, I should have everything set up before Halloween - including painting the room flat-black, making and placing some acoustic panels, and installing some non-reflective blackout curtains  ;)

 

Thanks again for the help!!



#10 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted August 16 2014 - 05:02 PM

I got this crazy idea to buy 5 of those 777 towers (LCR, and side surrounds), possibly 2 more down the road if I can clear the back of the room out to allow a pair on the floor there.

 

Do you think having 2 small 'component shelves' on either side of the center tower will work out ok? initially I was going with the 'traditional' C444 horizontal center on a wall mount, above a wide/short TV stand.



#11 of 47 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted August 16 2014 - 05:35 PM

5 777 is not a crazy idea. My main theatre uses 6 towers mentioned and a traditional center...only because there is a plasma in the room. The screen(AT) comes down in front of everything.

 

Your components can go anywhere in the room you want. If symmetry is what you want, split them up on either side of the center speaker.

 

Some people put their components closer to the seating, or behind the seating...then run the signal to the display.



#12 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted September 16 2014 - 12:37 PM

major WIP but right now I have the fronts in, and using the 333 bookshelves as side surrounds in 5.1 until I have 2 more 777's and the receiver.

 

Even still... setting up that center tower last night absolutely blew me away over the old traditional 2-way speaker I had!!

 

 

Oddly, I did try moving the towers all out from the walls 12" but nothing sounded different that I could tell, so I just put them back.HT.jpg



#13 of 47 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted September 17 2014 - 10:26 PM

Your TV is...a bit high. But...not out of line.

 

Bet you have no issues hearing dialog...



#14 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted September 23 2014 - 06:05 PM

Your TV is...a bit high. But...not out of line.

 

Bet you have no issues hearing dialog...

haha yeah that TV is going in the garbage in 2 weeks.  I just threw it up here in a rush when we moved in several months ago. Upon further inspection it's a 40" CFL-backlit Costco special from ~ 2009 I believe. I took another owner's 'calibrated' settings and tweaked my set by eye a little which improved the picture considerably, but it's still a mid-level, aged, heavy hunk-o-junk as you would imagine.The 75" H6350 should be mounted to sit just a hair above that center tower once it arrives. I'm just hoping i can bribe a friend to help me put it up on the wall... not worried about the weight but it's so wide I'm worried about being able to hang it safely.You're absolutely right about the dialogue!! I've been re-watching a few favorites and am still blown away by how much better everything sounds with all 3 fronts being identical like that!! Thank you so so so much for the support in going for all floorstanders!*EDIT*Also, the whole room is more or less being remodeled as I buy all these components too. It had 2 nasty fluorescent bar lights before, which I just recently replaced with 6 of those recessed cans + dimmer switch.Still waiting for the contractor to come back and remove the two windows on the TV wall, and we're still not 100% sure what to do with the giant gaping used-to-be-a-window hole on the right wall. Right now the options are either glass block (room on the other side is a living room with no other option for natural light entry), or just frame it in and drywall it up entirely.Once that's all done I'll be ready to paint, find some real blackout curtains, and figure out where acoustic absorption panels need to go.



#15 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted September 23 2014 - 07:30 PM

Sam - I do have another question for you regarding AVR selection.As I've done some research and feel reasonably comfortable modding any retro consoles for YPbPr or at least RGB to be converted to YPbPr, I no longer need the Yamaha RX-A1030's s-video inputs.Given that, I am entertaining the possibility of another receiver (still would prefer some analogue-to-HDMI upconversion if possible). I am not 100% sold on Atmos, and fairly certain that a 7.1 setup will be sufficient, but would like to be a little more open-minded with regard to brands. The only reason I did not consider a Denon is that I have been annoyed by my current Denon AVR-1612's volume options. With the included remote, the volume seems to shoot up or down far too quickly and i have not found any way to slow it down.Do you have any personal recommendations that I should check out in the $600-850ish ballpark?



#16 of 47 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted September 23 2014 - 07:47 PM

Everything in that price will have HDMI upconversion. Yamaha is the only one to still include S-video.This year, because of half-baked HDMI 2.0...I'm suggesting you go cheap as you can handle. I would look for a Yamaha RX-V667. Those are current enough(3 years old-ish)...and possibly under budget.Or look for an Onkyo X09, X1X or X2X.There is only one thing(right now) that HDMI 2.0 does over 1.4. That is support 4K/60. There is no content for that. There won't be till this time next year...So...buy something you can live with for the next year.

#17 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted October 02 2014 - 07:23 AM

Sam,

 

how do you feel about dual SVS SB2000's in my case? My boss just told me I can get a $1k bonus if I complete a project soon...I'm not sure if the room is big enough to need/benefit but would appreciate your input.



#18 of 47 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 02 2014 - 07:30 AM

I, personally, don't think you need 2 subs. Your current speakers play down to 50(40?) hz. Run the main/center to their lowest extension.Buy 1 really good sub with as close to 20hz extension as you can afford.The problem bass(40-70) you'll have more than covered.

#19 of 47 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 02 2014 - 07:38 AM

By the way. I'm one of those people who can tell where bass is coming from. Yes 80hz is the golden number(chosen as under that is imperceptible).I can tell to 40. Hence why I use speakers capable of it.

#20 of 47 OFFLINE   kalm_traveler

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Posted October 02 2014 - 10:55 AM

I, personally, don't think you need 2 subs. Your current speakers play down to 50(40?) hz.

Run the main/center to their lowest extension.

Buy 1 really good sub with as close to 20hz extension as you can afford.

The problem bass(40-70) you'll have more than covered.

Yamaha claims the 777's do [color=rgb(74,74,74);font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:13px;]30 Hz - 35 kHz[/color]. I'll get the new AVR soon and run the crossover settings by you if that's all right.

With 5 777's (F C R, SL, SR) 2 333's (RR RL), with this extra $500-1k would you recommend I look at a higher model than the SB2000 ? I'm just exploring options for using the unexpected extra dough.

I'm not sure where else it might be better put - I'm a week away from ordering the TV so I guess I could get a higher model panel or something but I really don't care about 3D so I'm not sure if the 2D quality improvement would be that noticeable.

I'm with you on that uncommon localization of bass - I'm not sure exactly how low but in every 'family room' theater setup I've been in, I can always tell where the sub is without having seen it first.

 






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