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Continue or Start Over?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Shadow277, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. 1 Jan 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    Shadow277

    Shadow277 Auditioning

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    Hey everyone,

    So I am pretty new to this whole audio even though I have music experience.
    What I did will completely gross everyone out; I have cheap RCA speakers and some iLive subwoofer connected to a
    Denon AVR-S510BT.
    My question is, should I upgrade the speakers and subwoofer or just start over again from scratch? I would like to try and use the current amp because it has the codec good enough for video games (some games actually use DTS).

    I have tried at looking different speaker options but it seems the connectivity is incompatible, unless I can just stuff the copper wire into the amp, regardless of the wire type.

    Edit: My nighboors don't care if I am too loud.
    My speakers (Without the avr)
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-Bluetooth-Home-Theater-System/105223402?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227000000000&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=42423897272&wl4=pla-51320962143&wl5=9029983&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=105223402&wl13=&veh=sem
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I don't know what speakers you are looking at, but that is a conventional receiver, and will work with any conventional speaker that isn't part of some package system that has proprietary connections.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Speakers are perhaps the most important part of the system. If you've got a competent AVR -- which is pretty much any device from major brands -- going from bad speakers to decent speakers will give bit improvements in sound quality.
     
  4. 4 Jan 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    You might be limited on the gage of wire on the back of your avr but what your real limitation is matching the speaker to the power of the avr. The connectors are like the old style of connector but you can still use any speaker with it. You should be able to find a speaker wire plug that will go into the small terminal that will allow you to use a slightly larger gage of wire. A nice sounding speaker is Polk and they make some inexspensive bookshelf speakers that you can use for left, right and rear channels along with a different center speaker. Then just pick you subwoofer as that will have it's own amplifier and just run a rca cable to it. You can even go with a set of floor standing speakers but in my opinion you want speakers close to the output of your avr or amplifier. Your avr will work for what you want but it will limit you! If it has enough features for you and your not going to get a 4K TV and a 4K blu-ray player anytime soon you can stick with your avr. Speakers will make all the difference in the world, so upgrade your speakers.

    Upgrading your avr will give you more features, more connectivity, better quality avr, more power and the ability to have larger speaker terminal that you can use quick connect banana plugs on the speaker wire with larger gage speaker wire. It depends on your budget and what your looking for but like I said above you can get away with just upgrading your speakers. You can have a great avr but if you have bad sounding speakers the avr will still not sound very good. If you like listening to your movies at louder volumes you might want to consider an avr with more power then you will need to go with different speakers. Are you just using it to play games from a gaming consoul or pc? Will you be watching movies? Do you listen to music? Will you be doing critical listening of music? How big is the room? How loud do you like to listen to your content? Things you want to ask yourself before moving forward!

    polk 4736ef3e.jpg
     
  5. Shadow277

    Shadow277 Auditioning

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    This is all good information. I should elaborate on my situation:
    I have some good spending money for an entry level speaker set up. Keep in mind that I am in the second floor of an apartment complex built from the 80s. My neighbors don't mind when I play movies loudly. (I went through the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and they had no issue).

    If I remember correctly, my speakers are gauge 7 I think.
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    7 gauge is car jumper cable. Doubtful.
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    That receiver probably accepts 16 gauge, possibly 14 if you’re careful, but that discussion is completely off track. You just use whatever gauge it can accept. It’s not that big an issue.
     
  8. Shadow277

    Shadow277 Auditioning

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    Thank you for correcting me Rice.
    Would my avr accept banana clips?
    I apologize for all these basic questions; I understand some of the terms, I just do not know what could be compatible with my avr.
     
  9. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Spring clips, which your receiver has, don't work with banana clips. No doubt, someone will come in saying they do it and it works great, but you need extremely thin clips and there will be almost no contact. Depending on you speakers, you might be able to use them on the speaker end.

    Let's see if we can get you back on track. What is your budget for new speakers? What is the size of the room, and what type of surround system (5.1, 7.1, etc) would you like to set up?
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Maybe some terminology will help. Gauge refers to the size of the wire between the amp (usually in a receiver) and the speakers. Ideally you want to use at least 16 ga, but there's no harm in going up to 12, though it's really not needed in most cases.

    Ohm refers the how much the speaker resists the signal from the amp. 8 Ohm is standard, and what works best with most receivers, but it's very common for better speakers to be 4 Ohm, which can cause amps many to overheat. Then you're best using a suitable external amp to power them, unless you never play them very loud.

    The most overlooked spec with speakers is sensitivity. The combination of resistance (impedance) and sensitivity are the main way to determine what you need to power the speakers. For instance, with a speaker that has 98dB sensitivity, you can reach a given volume level with 20 watts that you'd need 200 watts with a 88dB speaker. So, a high sensitivity speaker with standard impedance will be easy to power with anything. High end speakers might be 85dB and 4 Ohm, like mine. That's why I use an amp that's 500 watts per channel and weighs almost 80 lbs. Most of the time you don't need that.
     
  11. Shadow277

    Shadow277 Auditioning

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    I'd be willing to spend up to $600 for nice speakers, to include a subwoofer with it's own PSU.
    My room is about 330 square feet.
    I would like a 5.1 system. Hopefully the wife will be okay with a 7.2 system once I graduate college like she did, but that is a future story.
    The focus of this system is honestly for streaming Netflix and gaming from a modern PC that I made last year.
    I normally play mid level speakers, so speakers that do great with lows and highs are out of the question I suppose.
    My Fiance's ears and my own are pretty well tuned as we have played in classical bands formally, so we can definitely hear the difference between my set up, an old Dolby TrueHD was brand new, and my Brother's home theater that is just simply magnificent.
     
  12. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    There are some connectors that will work with the spring clips which I have had on past gear and they are on my current surround speakers and I find they are kinda flimsy and do not hold up. But again there are connectors you can put a decent gage wire and plug into those spring clip connectors on the back of your receiver.

    This is what the connectors would look like on the back of a receiver that can accept banana plugs and what the banana plus look like.

    IMG_5506a.jpg
    IMG_4990 (a).jpg




    This is basically what you would need to use with your receiver to use larger gage speaker wire.

    Pinconnector-58dadd765f9b584683bd2678.jpg
     
  13. 13 Jan 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
    JohnRice

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    Regarding how to connect speaker wire to your receiver, just use bare wire, and twist it at the end. Don't use any kind of plugs. Spring clips simply aren't intended for them.

    Seriously, there is nothing wrong with bare wire. It is often the best way to conduct the signal, and HTFers used it for thousands of years, before the banana plug was invented.
     

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