An introduction and lots of questions

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by MikeArcher, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. MikeArcher

    MikeArcher Extra

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    Well, I have spent the last couple of years in the car audio arena. Now it's time for me to see what it's like on the home audio side. I've spent the last couple of days reading your site and I've learned a ton, what an awesome messasge board.

    Just recently I, ironically, set a car speaker on top of my T.V. and now half of the t.v. screen is green. I'm sure it's probably a fairly easy fix, but it has served as a catalyst to launch me into Home Theater stuff. I've kind of always wanted to have a nice HT setup but I was under the impression that it is a grossly expensive hobby. I now realize that it certainly can be, but it can also be relatively cheap.

    With that said I have several questions I hope you guys can help me with?

    The first rule in car audio, for Sound Quality anyway, is no rear speakers. They, of course, draw the focus away from the sound stage and ruin imaging. This has me a little concerned for 5.1. I want my new setup to be able to do cds as well as DVDs. I realize the DVDs are encoded for 6 channels, but what about stereo cds? Is it better, in this situation, to just get two higher quality sets of speakers and run them in stereo than say 6 lesser quality surround sound speakers?

    I mainly watch DVDs and basic cable, mostly DVDs. I'm not so much concerned with picture quality as sound quality. Would it be better, then, to put say 50% of my budget towards speakers and the other 50% towards a DVD player and reciever?

    In car audio it is pretty much taboo to run any sort of quality setup using the deck as an amplifier. Is the same true with recievers? Am I better off getting a cheaper reciever+amp?

    Finally, what kind of equipment would you all suggest? I've got some ideas for components but I'd love to hear suggestions. I plan on going to a big box store for my t.v. but I should be able to order the rest online. My budget is $1000 or so (without the t.v.). I have no problem buying used or refurbished. Thank you very much!

    Mike
     
  2. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    Id say setup your system for HT and then when you wanna listen to your music and such just switch the receiver to stereo mode.or have a seperate system for music, thats what I did and its cool. using just the receiver is fine no taboo in doing that, you can always add xtra amps and what not if you need the xtra punch, expecially if your HT is in a large room or something.
    Also before you buy your speakers online, go to some places and listen to some of the different stuff out there, or try and get a home demo of the stuff you like, better to listen to everything in your own house if possible so you can check out the acoustics. Ive been messin around with HT systems for around 10 years or so and Still get to learn new stuff pretty often it seems like. as far as suggesting equipment for you,
    would be kinda tough without knowing what kind of budget you wanna spend on your stuff.
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    Most all systems allow you to go to straight 2 channel, for music listening at the touch of a button.


    The amplification section of most quality AVR's is respectable enough, nothing like the low end amp sections of car audio head units.

    On the ways to divide up the budget, well as you already see, there are so many ways to go. There probably isn't a golden rule, just get products you like and run with it.

    Best of luck with your new home theater audio setup!
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I take it you've removed that car speaker from atop the TV. Unshielded speakers can ruin a CRT screen permanently -- and in very short order.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Mike,

    First welcome to the Forum!

    Nope. Because of the low operating voltages and space limitations, car decks are saddled with a meager 10-15 watts per channel. If you’ve looked at any specs from home receivers, you already know that power is not an issue with home theater receivers. There are good reasons to add amps to home theaters, but the improvements are not as night-and-day as they are in car audio.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Quality amps will make a significant improvement in a home system over ANY receiver's built in amps, though this is also dependent upon the gear in question. The less powerful the receiver is, and the more power hungry the speakers are (room size as well), the bigger the difference a good amp will make.

    If you'd like some specific help, shoot me an e-mail. I specialize in budget systems. I just put together a very nice setup for my girlfriend for $700 consisting of (used and refurb) Marantz receiver, Polk LSi speakeres and Panasonic DVD.
     
  7. MikeArcher

    MikeArcher Extra

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    Wow! Thanks for all the replies already!


    I think I will probably do just that. For future reference, is it important to have the same model of speaker for the reaer channels as the front?

    I'm going t.v. shopping this weekend, are there any specific things I should look for in a good t.v.? The room I'm going to have all the HT stuff in will be fairly small so 34 inches is about as big as I will consider.

    Thank you guys again for all your help so far, it's been great!
     
  8. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Put the TV through ten turn-ons and turn-offs with an hour between each. (A week of normal viewing will probably accomplish that). This gives the internal degausser a chance to fix the picture tube. Should that fail, a serviceman with a degaussing coil may be able to help before you give up on the TV except that the cost of the visit may not be worth it.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  9. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    "Decks are also oftentimes advertised at max power as opposed to RMS. Good to hear home audio manufacturers don't participate in that stupid number game"

    haha thats what you think. its much more prevelant in the PC surround speaker setups, but you will see a few off brands and some name brands doing this especially in the BB [best buy] and CC [circuit city] price ranges.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    It's a benefit for sure, but not a necessity, and you can always upgrade later. The majority of the sound comes from the front three, so it is much more important to match them. Ideally, the surrounds would be from the same family, or even the same speaker as the mains, but to start off with, it won't be horrible if you have any decent (cheap) speakers back there. My surrounds did not match my mains for about a year, because the matching surrounds were just a bit more than I wanted to spend for surrounds ($750/pr), so I waited until I found a used pair for a lot less. I was always happy with my mismatched setup, but it does sound even better now that I have matching speakers all around.
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]

    you'll see this no matter where you go. bb carries yamaha, pioneer and sony. cc carries hk and onkyo. do you trust those brands any more or less then any other brand?
     
  12. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    "do you trust those brands any more or less then any other brand"

    I trust those alot less than the ones I use.
     
  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    okay, i gotta ask! [​IMG]

    what brands do you use?
     
  14. John S

    John S Producer

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    I prefer the same exact speaker in all locations, but have heard equally impressive systems, both with and without the exact same speaker in every location.
     
  15. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted, I use a B&K video Sonata 5 [I might be getting another one here real soon] for my speakers and a Nikko Alpha II amp for my sub. Also I have [getting fixed] are 2 Bogen tube amps. the only 'name brand' (such as brands that are from BB, CC) that I have is my JVC DVD player.


    Mike, if your room wont be that big, ie reason for the smaller TV, you can get the Paradigm Cinema Series,

    Cinema 70 speakers (front L/R) $149 USD per pair

    Cinema CC center-channel speaker $119 USD
     
  16. MikeArcher

    MikeArcher Extra

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    You guessed right, the room is going to be fairly small. I will definitely check out the Cinema speakers. Thank you!
     
  17. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    nice stuff charlie! [​IMG]

    but i just don't want to give somebody who reads this thread the misconception that all the specs from big-box stores are false.
     

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