Finally.... New System Installed

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Jamie Peters, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. Jamie Peters

    Jamie Peters Agent

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    MODERATORS: I looked thru the main menu and I didn't see where I should place this topic, so I figured the receiver/Separates/Amps section would be good since this is where I got most of my information. If this is the wrong place, I am sorry and you may move to the appropriate forum....

    First of all, I want to give some thanks and credit here... This forum is an awesome resource for non-audiophiles to learn about HT equipment when researching their first system. I read for about 2-weeks before doing any buying. That is the smartest thing I have done in a while. Thanks HTF for providing a great site. Secondly, two HTF members, Phil "Mr. JBL" Iturralde and CHADLB, helped me off-line on several items, spending great time and efforts to make sure I knew what was going on and to help me layout my new hardware....

    After buying my new Hitachi 51S500, I definitely needed some sound to go with it. I had a $1000 budget and wanted more than I felt I could get in a HTiB unit. I knew with this budget constraint, I could not go "top shelf" on all my equipment but wanted to buy a good base system that could be expanded/upgraded at a later date. After much thought and research, I ended up buying the following:

    Receiver: Onkyo 701. Since this is the "heart" of a HT set-up, I felt like I needed to purchase a little more than entry if I ever wanted to upgrade. I got a really good buy on this at bestpriceaudiovideo.com $599 with free shipping.

    Sub: HSU STF-2. After all the research, I found that everyone agreed that for a mid priced sub, this one would be hard to beat. I ordered this from HSU at $399 and free shipping. I will also say that I am impressed with the delivery time. It came from California to my door in Tennessee in 4 days (did I mention it was FREE shipping!)

    Speakers: This is the place where I was looking to get entry level performance/price. After much research, reading reviews, and listening to local set-up's, I decided on the JBL NSP1 Home Theater system. The size was right and with the 4" drivers they were a little better than true satellites. These were purchased at Bestpriceaudiovideo.com at $205. Since I bought these the same time I bought the receiver which had free shipping, these were also shipped for free. Wanting to do a 6.1 system, I needed one extra N24II speaker. I could not find one on ebay or here in the classifieds, so I ended up buying a new pair from buy.com for $79. With shipping this came to $94. I got a on-line rebate for $20 so when this get redeemed by mail, I will only have $74 in them.

    Cables/Wires: Because I did not know how I would route everything, I decided to wait and buy locally. I know I could have gotten better cables at a better price on line, but did not want to wait. I ended up buying 2 Monster Optical Audio Cables, a Monster 12ft Sub Cable, and a 250ft spool of WOODS brand 12ga speaker wire. All together I had $110 in cables. I already had the Component cables for my DVD and HD Cable box.

    So, for those of you keeping score... For the audio portion of my system, I spent right at $1400. Over budget, but I felt spending extra on my receiver and sub merited the overage.

    Wiring it all up: The installation went slow, but I did not have any major problems. Doing this for the first time could be intimidating, but with a little thought and much patience, it is a snap. Running the surround and rear channel speaker wires was the most time consuming. Since I had the extra N24II, I now have two rear channel speakers. Even though I have only one powered output on the ONKYO, I wired these in series. It worked fine.

    SET-UP: The set-up menu on the ONKYO was very straight forward. Setting the inputs, speaker sizes, speaker distances, and crossover takes about 5 minutes. After that, using a SPL meter and the DVE disk took me about 1-hour of tweaking, but never the less, was very straight forward.

    RESULTS:
    In one word "AWESOME". After the calibration, I put in the Pearl Harbor DVD and went straight to the attack scene. That HSU sub kicks butt. It hits so hard (even below reference levels) I had to pick some of the room decorations up off the floor. It is very clear and crisp. I guess the biggest surprise in the whole system is the JBL N24's all the way around and the N-center. The front and rear sound stage is seamless. The imaging is also remarkable for speakers that I thought would be entry level. The cross over is set at 80hz. I have listened to several pieces of music that I know well and I can not detect any holes at all. To say the least, I am very happy with my choice to purchase these speakers. Although reported by several people, the N-center sits directly on top of the Hitachi RPTV and I DO NOT have any shielding problems.

    What I learned:
    1. You don't necessarily get what you pay for....sometimes you get more as in the case of the JBL's.
    2. Don't forget the cables/wires! I was shocked on how much they cost.
    3. Your room does not have to be symmetric if your receiver has the capability of setting distances and you have the power in the receiver to compensate.
    4. There is no substitute for research when buying electronics.
    5. You CAN HAVE good quality audio, even on a budget.

    Sorry this was so long, but I just wanted to share what I learned and what I did. Maybe, this will help others who are starting from ignorance as I did about 2 months ago....

    Jamie
     
  2. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    One thing I will mention... I dont think its a good idea to have the rear centers in series. That presents a 4ohm load on the receiver. First of all it may not be able to handle it and second it will make those 2 speakers louder than everything else, but you can adjust that.

    But it sounds like you got a good system. I am very glad you are happy.
     
  3. Jamie Peters

    Jamie Peters Agent

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    Jesse,
    Unless I am mistaken, In series, the resistance is additive R1+R2+R3....... 8 ohms + 8 ohms = 16

    In Parrallel the resistance is cut in half for two loads (i.e. 4 ohms for two 8 ohm speakers). When I set this up, on the initial test tone the speaker pair was actually quiter requiring more volume. To me this indicated a larger load.

    If I am wrong, somebody please chime in.....
     
  4. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    Your right. Im sorry... LOL Im a car audio guy and I deal with this stuff all day. :b
     
  5. Jamie Peters

    Jamie Peters Agent

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    No problem man!!! If you deal with this stuff all day, then your brain must get really tired. After I wired this new system, it was all I could do to think to turn it on!!!!
     
  6. Mark Romero

    Mark Romero Second Unit

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    Yeah, Ohm's Law is reversed for car audio. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Congrats on your system and the installation, Jamie! Pretty impressive what you’ve accomplished – overcoming a steep learning curve, etc.

    Since you’re using 8-ohm speakers I would think twice about this. The 16-ohm load cuts the amplifier power in half. That in turn is divided between the two speakers. So each speaker is now getting only 1/ 4 of the amplifier’s maximum power rating.

    In other words, each speaker is seeing only 25 watts, whereas a single speaker would get 100 watts. As you can imagine, you are severely limiting the headroom of this channel.

    There’s no reason to think one of the speakers is “going to waste” if you don’t use both. For instance, you aren’t using all the inputs on your Onkyo, are you? You don’t feel compelled to plug in stuff that you really don’t need just so that none of them go to waste, do you? It’s pretty common to let the receiver handle crossover duties and not fully utilize the one in the sub, but you don’t see people beating their heads against the wall trying to find a sub without a crossover.

    Bottom line, you got what you needed when you bought the extra pair of speakers, even if you only used one of them. That’s all that matters.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Don't be sorry, ... your synopsis with your whole HT experience was Excellent!!! And you're right, what you have shared will benefit another HT newbie consumer!

    Now, let me add that one thing that Jamie didn't include above, was that he consulted with his wife and shared all his research material & INFO!!!

    Thus ensuring all the possible positive WAF equation to make the experience as seamless as his surround sound!!! [​IMG]

    Phil
     
  9. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

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    Jamie, nice post - one of the better ones I've seen recently by folks putting together a new system. Must be pretty satisfying to have done the research, the work, and now you get to enjoy!

    Let us know when the upgrade bug hits...[​IMG]
     
  10. TimGRA

    TimGRA Stunt Coordinator

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    Jamie,

    Congrats on your new theater!

    tim
     
  11. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Congrats on the new system. I remember getting my first system and wanting to watch movies all the time.

    We should warn you, however, as Greg alluded to, that you will probably be afflicted with a condition that plagues many of us called upgradeitis--that is, the insatiable desire to want newer and better equipment and tweak it unceasingly.

    Fortunately(or unfortunately depending on your perspective), spouses and credit card limits, while not cures, are a way of treating the condition.[​IMG]

    DJ
     
  12. Todd^B

    Todd^B Stunt Coordinator

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    Jamie,
    Just curious. Where did you buy your subwoofer from. sounds like you had great service.
     
  13. Jamie Peters

    Jamie Peters Agent

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    Todd^B, I bought the sub straight from HSU at hsuresearch.com

    What do you mean when the bug hits? It already has.... lol. I would really like to get another DVD player to replace the Pioneer that I have!!!! I also need to start my research on an ALL IN ONE remote. It is just too cumbersome to sit down to watch a movie and have to have 3 remotes!!!!!

    I really did have a lot of fun putting this system together. I learned alot about HT, receivers, speakers, etc. AND met some really nice people in the process...

    As for my wife... she was really cool thru the whole project. Although she won't admit it, I think she likes the new system as good or maybe better than I do.... We watched "Open Range" the other night and in the opening scene where the storm is rolling in over the prarrie, when the first big roll of thunder filled our room via the HSU, we both just about jumped off the couch! Per her request, we replayed that several times..... [​IMG]
     
  14. TimGRA

    TimGRA Stunt Coordinator

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    How real did the gun shot sound!? It is one of the best recordings of that effect I have ever heard.
     
  15. Jamie Peters

    Jamie Peters Agent

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    Tim,
    I agree. In most modern westerns (like Unforgiven, Tombstone, etc) the sound of the guns firing are always just too "crisp". Those old western six-guns do not sound like modern smokeless ammo.. (I know, I shoot them). This is the first western where I felt the guns actually sounded "Right". PLUS, when Cosner shot that dude in the head at the begining of the gunfight, it was just too real. I watched it thru the new system and then watched the whole gun fight again thru the tv speakers.... I might as well had it muted!!! Ha!
     
  16. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Jamie,
    Keep the guns out of the house....we don't want any blown speakers.....
     

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