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Help a newbie find his way please

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Cass M, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. Cass M

    Cass M Auditioning

    Jun 21, 2006
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    Hi! I am trying to find some info on the basics of receivers/speakers. A guide would be nice. But if there isn't one around, these are a few of the questions I was looking to have answered. I found the formula for dBw[ log(Watts)*10 ]. But is louder always going to be better? Are there different qualities of sound from different receivers with the same dBw?
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi Cass. Welcome to HTF!

    Our Pimer FAQ has a lot of good startup information:


    Some Advice about power:

    In the 60's and 70's it took tons of power to make music and people tried to make it sound loud in the next room.

    But a HT system is different. You surround yourself with an array of 5 speakers all pointing at a few seats. You dont need megawatts of power, just good, clean 80-150 wpc RMS.

    It gets better. The real power-hungry speaker is the subwoofer. You can get many good self-powered subwoofers which usually leaves lots of power for the other speakers even with a modest reciever.

    My favorite starter system recomendation is this:

    - Get a name-brand reciever (Yamaha, Dennon, Kenwood are my favorites) with about 80-100 watts per channel.

    - Get a matched set of small, monitor style speakers.

    - Get a better-than-average subwoofer (www.svswoofers.com are a local favorite)

    And this can give you a outstanding HT experience without costing too much.


    This is a fun thing to do. Take a favorite DVD and a favorite CD with you to stores and listen. Most speakers will sound good with the DVD, so use the CD to pick your favorite speakers.

    Speakers can run 300 to $5,000. The difference is usually 'Accuracy'. This is highly prized for serious music listening.

    Music speakers and sound is very different from HT for the following reasons:

    - HT sound is highly compressed compared to a CD.

    - HT sound is largely artificial. Highly accurate speakers dont really help.

    - HT sound does not tend to drive all 5 speakers all the time unlike music so it's kind of a waste to buy highly accurate rear speakers for 20% of a movie.

    So dont snear at sets of small, less-expensive speakers. Many people have put together HT systems for $300-$800 and have great sounding systems.

    Then - ask your questions here or in the Recievers or speakers fourm.

    One caution: newbies always ask: "Which of these 2 speakers AAA or BBB are better?". Try to avoid this. You see - speakers have 'flavor' just like brands of beer or ice-cream. If I lined these up in "best->worst" order, my order would be different than everybody elses. And nobody would really be 'right'. It's a matter of taste. Do your own auditions with a Movie and Music you are familar with. This will give you the best chance towards HT happiness.

    Hope this helps and enjoy your visit! [​IMG]
  3. JawhnM

    JawhnM Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 9, 1999
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    Shop, and demo within your budget. It can be very Anti-Inspiring to listen to "GOOD" inexpensive (within your budget) speakers, after listening to "GREAT" (definitely NOT in your budget ) $10,000 Martin Logan's at a speciality store.

    If you don't want to spend beyond your budget, don't shop beyond it.

    Having said that, I love to listen (and DREAM)!

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