Apartment HT. Any Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew Signore, Feb 22, 2002.

  1. Andrew Signore

    Andrew Signore Auditioning

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    Typical newbie question. I've been reading and researching on this site for a few weeks and now I'm hooked[​IMG]. Now that I'm convinced I have to build a home theater system, I'm faced with two limitations:
    1) I live in an apartment building and I don't have a seperate room for a HT. The setup will have to co-exist in my livingroom (17' x 12'). While I definately want something powerful enough to create a theater experience, I have to be somewhat consiterate to my neighbors.
    2) Budget! I really don't want to spend more than $1500 on the reciever and speakers. I'm strongly considering the Outlaw 1050 after reading some impressive reviews. HTD Level 3's have been reviewed well on some sites but I'd like to hear from someone who actually has owned these, not just auditioned them for 30 days. Any other suggestions for speakers would be greatly appreciated. I've considered spending my alotted speaker budget on just mains but the temptation to get the whole system completed is just too great.
    My display is a Sony Wega 32" FS16 and I have a Pioneer DV-444 DVD player and TiVo.
    Also - Does anyone know if Comcast digital cable signal is Dolby Digital(when applicable)?
    Thanks in advance. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I live in an apartment also. My living room/home theater is about 12'x15'. I have a Yamaha HTR-5250 (100Wx5) receiver that is great for me. I have much bigger speakers than what would be sufficient for my space--JBL S312 mains, S-Center, and S26s for surrounds. I have the JBL PB12 subwoofer. I try to be considerate of my neighbors (above, below and next door) by playing movies or loud music only before midnight on the weekends and 10:00 on weeknights. I haven't had any complaints. I think my building has good insulation because it is pretty quiet and I hardly hear anyone else. My advice is to be considerate and maybe invite them over!

    I can't comment on the Outlaw or HTD's, as I have never heard them. With $1500 for a receiver and speakers, you should be able to put together a nice set-up for your needs.

    Comcast Digital cable does not offer DD 5.1 sound, at least not in DC where I live.

    -Chris
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i also live in an apartment. i've got an onkyo/polk setup, but not sub. it can get pretty loud, but i try to be considerate to my neighbors. i feel that's the key...regardless of setup. as long as it's not 2:00am and you're cranking something, i think you'll be fine.
    i've never heard the outlaw, but i know it's very well regarded. take a look at denon, onkyo, and yamaha too.
    for speakers, i strongly recommend you go audition as many speakers as you can. that way, you'll get a better idea of what's out there. once you find the speakers that sound best to you then your job is done!
     
  4. paul watkins

    paul watkins Stunt Coordinator

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    i've been called one time for the noise,but they were not rude or demanding about me not playing my movies too loud,only that i be consderite of people and the time of day,so not after 11 on weekends,and 10 on week nights.luckily i live in a college area not too many older peeps.
    paul's HT
     
  5. Aaron_Meyers

    Aaron_Meyers Auditioning

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    I bought satellites. They're small and usually sound good with a sub. Listen carefully and compare. Most places you go aren't set up very well acoustically and none of them are like your living room. I went in looking for Bose and walked out without because I like the mid range. Eventually you won't live in an apartment. I rent a house now and because I got speakers that I liked and can stand to be punished, now I can listen in splendor. A had 13 people crammed in my living room to watch Episode 1 and ear bleed levels. When I build or buy in a few years I'll do it official and use the satellites so that the kids can watch Barney in 6.1.
     
  6. Scott Hayes

    Scott Hayes Second Unit

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    My living room in my apartment is 12'x15'. I bought larger speakers than I needed for when I move into a bigger place. Receiver technology advances alot faster than speaker technology so I put a good percentage of my budget into speakers. I figure I will keep my speakers for a good long time, but will probably upgrade my reciever a few times in the next decade.
    As far as noise and the neighbors I have a few sugestions.
    First fill the room up with everything. Pillows, books, nicknacks, memorobilia, furniture... It all helps to quiet the room.
    Second but your sub on a concrete slab. I bought a 16"x16"x2" slab from Home Depot for a couple of dollars. Really helps in keeping the bass from traveling thru the walls.
    Third, if you really want to go all out, I got a 3 4'x4'x1/4" pieces of plywood and covered them in a nice thick carpet remnant which I rigged so I can hang them on the walls when I watch a movie. You have to experiment with the size because it is possible to quiet a room too much.
    Last but not least throw some movie parties on the weekends, have the neighbors over to watch movies once in a while. It helps if they enjoy your hobbie too, they will be less likely to complain.[​IMG]
     
  7. Andrew Signore

    Andrew Signore Auditioning

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    Thanks for all your input. I have decided to go for the Outlaw 1050 but I'm still undecided which way to go for the speakers. I'm sure though, with the help of this forum, my decision will be informed and appropriate for my situation.

    Thanks again.

    Andy
     
  8. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I opted to go with low-end B&Ws for my speakers. This way, I get the really good quality, but it's the right power for my room and not too painful on my wallet.
     
  9. Vasanth B

    Vasanth B Stunt Coordinator

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    Andrew

    I'll try not to be too long-winded and get to the point:

    First question: DO NOT use loudness or perceived power output as a reason to limit yourself in your home theater. It's very likely the home theater will outlast the apartment. The only thing that should hold you back from absolute pursuit of sonic and video bliss (assuming that you are like most of us on this forum) is your wallet.

    Second questions: I think your $1500 budget will allow for a GREAT HT setup. You will love whatever you put together especially if this is your first HT setup. To give you an idea of what you can do with $1500. I came in right around $1500 including interconnects. (but not including DVDs, TV and DVD player) My setup is a Denon 1802 receiver paired with PSB Image 1B mains and surrounds and a PSB Image 8C center. Finish it off with a Sony SAWM40 12" sub and home depot speaker wire. I am very satisfied with my setup. I have disturbed my neighbors before but that's what the volume control is for.
     
  10. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Supporting Actor

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    How about this,get the outlaw 1050(I have no experience with this unit,but would love to have one) a pair of Klipsch Sf-2(I own a pair of theese and for apartments they do pretty well on the low end and you could probably get by without a sub) matching center-sc-1 a pair of surrounds,I use the sb-1 then you have to decide for the 6th channel if you want another matching center or a pair of sb-1,last time I checked they were around the same price...,so,sf-2 will run $650,I got mine for $500,sc-1-$225,I got 10% off,sb-1 again around $225 again,Igot 10% off and around $225 for the 6th channel,that should put you a few hundred under budget,spend that on some good speaker wires and your set.

    Now I live in an apartment and I have an svs..but I lived in a house before and I cannot imagine life without the svs,but the sf-2 do well on their own if set to large,just set the others to small
     
  11. Sean Dayton

    Sean Dayton Stunt Coordinator

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    Same situation for me and I live a 525 square foot one room studio apt with vaulted ceiling so it was real challange for me to set up the proper sound stage but some how I did by moving things around. I looked into the Outlaw but it does not do Prologic 2 and that made it a no go for me. Prologic 2 is very usefull for me since most of my TV viewing is watching movies on Cox digital cable. I ended going with the Onkyo 696 due to its easy to program remote and full bandwith componet video swicthing. I was considering the HT level 3 X setup for speakers but I heard that the sub was not so hot. I ended up going with the Energy Take 5.2 system with 8.2 sub and have not been disapointed yet. I bought a 2" thick concrete patio stepping stone from my local home improvement store to stop the coupling effect from the sub making it apartment friendly. Hanging wall tapistries on three sperate walls really helped deadend the sound of the room and manage the sound out side the apartment.

    Sean
     

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