home theater upgrades and opinions....please help! (kinda long)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Zack_b, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Zack_b

    Zack_b Extra

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    hello all! just wanted to take a moment to say hello to everyone. this is my first post and just wanted to tell everyone hello and say what a good forum this is.anyways the questions: i currently have a phillips FR968 500 watt reciver (which i love) 2 sony MF315 towers (love them too!) and the rest phillip sattelites. my questions: i am going to purchase a new center and could afford to spent about $220 max for a center (i watch 75% movies 25% music) but am considering getting a sony CN490 for my center for $100 so they will be " timber matched" to the 315's. i could buy a nicer one but it may not match. what should i do?? also right now i have the towers in front L and R corners, and at the far corners on the top of the ent. center i have the philips satalites (fronts) running off the same channels(frnt L frnt R)is this okay? am i robbing the towers? i like it cause they sit a boit higher than the towers and for the choppers,planes etc. it sounds more over head. anyways, sorry its so long but any help would be greatly appreciated.

    zack
     
  2. Jim_Stu

    Jim_Stu Stunt Coordinator

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    Zack,

    Get the Sony. I've found 'matching the mains' tone response

    to be most important for a center speaker. I would not

    consider anything else, unless your receiver or pre-amp

    has equalization capability.

    JRS
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Zack,

    If possible, try to buy the front three speakers at the same time from the same manufacturer. These are the most important speakers in the system, particularly the center, and they should match.

    For instance, if you have a soundtrack with a car driving and it pans Left/Center/Right, you want the sound of the car to be the same as it crosses the listening environment. The best way to do this is to have three identical speakers, but next to that, the best thing to do is buy speakers that were specifically designed to work together.

    TO answer the inevitable question, yes, this is important front-to-back as well, but pans like that don't happen as often as the across-the-front pans.
     
  4. Brian Sokol

    Brian Sokol Extra

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    Can you start a HT with just the front 3 speakers (no sub or rears)? If so do you have to select a certain type of playback on your receiver?
     
  5. Alan Curry

    Alan Curry Agent

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    Brian,

    Though you won't get the full effect, I don't see why not. This is the way I'm setup currently. I have the surrounds and sub turned off in the receiver.

    Alan
     
  6. Zack_b

    Zack_b Extra

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    okay, that answers the question about the center channel. on my reciver you can adjust each ind. speaker volume, so if the center didnt sound right couldnt i just turn it up? i will go ahead and get the sony tho. also can anyone help me with my other question? is it okay to have those 2 small phillips speakers hooked up to the same channels as the big sonys? will this make a difference + or -? thank you very much for all your replies.

    zack
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i'm not getting how you're using the satellites. it sounds like you have them sitting on top of the towers and plugged into the same speaker outputs as the mains?

    isn't your phillips a surround-sound receiever?

    if not, i don't know if it'd be a good idea to do what you're doing. i don't know a lot about loads and ohms, but i think what you're doing may cause your receiver to work "harder" than it should. especially if the sat's are a different ohm rating than your mains.

    does your receiver have A/B speakers. if so, i'd connect the sats to the B set.
     
  8. Zack_b

    Zack_b Extra

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    imsorry, let me clarify what i am doing. my reciever is 5.1 dolby digital and what i did was for the front left channel i have the original philips sattelite as well as a sony tower hooked up to the same front left output. the same also goes for the front right channel. the towers are located in the front corners of the room and these sattelites are located on top of the ent. center which is front middle. each sat. is about 2-3 foot away from the center and the towers are each about 6-9 foot away from center channel. the question is basically are these satelites putting too much strain on the reciver? is it hurting or helping the sound? the reciver is 100 watts per channel and i think (?) the ohms are the same for both towers and sats. is this okay to do? thanks for all the patience everyone...

    zack
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    bizarre dude...
    why are you connecting the sats to the same channel as the mains? doesn't make any sense to me. are you trying to increase the front soundstage or something?
    remember...in surround sound the center channel is probably the most important. most of the sound and almost all the dialogue will come from the center speaker. the mains are used mostly for panning and localized effects.
    in any case, i'm still not sure about whether this is putting a strain on the receiver. i still don't think it's a good idea anyway. [​IMG]
    if no one helps here, try posting your specific question in the receivers forum.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Zack_b

    Zack_b Extra

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    i guess thats really what i was getting at. i wanted a broader richer soundstage and thought that by doing this and spreading the speaker acorss the fron of the room there would be more sound from more places in front making it sound better. see what im saying?basically my thing was more speakers=better sound. sounds like i should just disconnect the sats and get rid of them. thanks for all the help guys, but try to think about the question of more speakers=better sound. i dont get it....(also just to clarify a little more i also have 2 rear channel sat. speakers in back) sorry for all the chaos.

    zack
     
  11. Zack_b

    Zack_b Extra

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    sorry to be a bother but just wanted to update this post and ask about a trick i used to use in car audio when you "bridge" an amp by running two speakers off one amp channel or vice versa. basically you take the positve amp wire and wire that to speaker one positive and then take the negative amp wire and wire it to speaker 2 positive then connect the two speakers negative termanals with a piece of wire. this should raise the impedance and not cause any prblems. is this correct? someone posted the same question i have only for rear surrounds, but they never got answered. thanks again...

    zack
     
  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Zack,
    Bridging an amp is only recommended if it was specifically designed with that option in mind. Most car amps (and pro studio amps) can handle bridging. Your HT receiver almost definitely can NOT. Bridging lowers the impedance load on the amplifiers (as you correctly stated) and most HT amps can not handle the impedence change. You should only hook up one set of speakers to each speaker terminal. Disconnect the Philips sattelites and go with three speakers in the front.
    Disconnect the Philips sattelites from the main outputs. If you don't have rear speakers yet, hook them up to your rear speaker terminals and get ready to enjoy. Your idea about the more speakers the better the sound is not really accurate. The real difference is better speakers and speaker placement. There's a really great article about speaker placement in our archives right here. I think you'll achieve the best sound by going with the suggestions in that discussion.
     
  13. Zack_b

    Zack_b Extra

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    philip,

    thank you VERY much for your reply. this is the quality avice us noobies are so thankful for when we do syupid things like this. in a matter of minutes i will go disconnect the phillips speakers and put them away for good. i understand that speaker placemnet is critical and will try to do my best on this. thank you and everyone else for the great advice!!!

    zack
     
  14. PennyB

    PennyB Auditioning

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    Zack,

     
  15. Zack_b

    Zack_b Extra

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    i already have a set of rear surrounds hooked up. this was something i was doing in the front. thanks for the suggestion though, i just didnt clarify myself.
     
  16. Jim_Stu

    Jim_Stu Stunt Coordinator

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    Re: Zack Post #13,

    Excuse me if I'm wrong, but didn't post 13 detail

    a serial speaker connection, not an amplifier bridge,

    and not a parallel speaker connection? If so, wouldn't the total

    impedance seen by the amp be 16 ohms? This should not

    harm the amp or speaker in any way. However, if connected as stated,

    would the two speakers be out of phase?

    If your amp is rated for 8 ohms, what is the problem with 16?

    I did this 100s of times on industrial systems, in the 1960's.

    However, I don't remember the correct +/- hook-up.

    However, I remember a small battery can be used to check it out.

    My amp manual says:

    Switch in 8 ohm position = 8 ohms or MORE.

    JRS
     
  17. Zack_b

    Zack_b Extra

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    this post is getting quite in depth for the newbie section. perhaps it should be moved? when i was talking about bridgin an amp in car audio that was for a 2 channel amp. what i am trying to do is the oppisite. go from one channel to 2 speakers. i guess you would call that being in a series. i didnt see what the harm would be except maybe too much strain on the amp. i dunno. im not gonna do it for now until this mystery is cleared up.....thanks for trying to help me everyone....

    zack
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Correct that's not bridging.

    The problem is with connecting two speakers to one terminal is that each speaker has different impedance loads during different times at playback. They could react against each other, the speaker with the lowest impedance load would sound much louder than the other during some sections, but when the volume changes, the sound could move all over the place. This is not a problem when all the speakers are identical like in a school or department store or such, but in your stereo as you described it, there will be problems.
     
  19. Jim_Stu

    Jim_Stu Stunt Coordinator

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    Phil,

    Schools and department stores use 25/70 volt systems with

    a transformer at each speaker. What a was reffering to

    were the large 'arrays' we installed in theaters and

    auditorums. However, we only series connected same part

    number devices. Therefore, you are correct, some degradation

    might be encountered with unlike devices

    connected in series to an amp. However, I don't think

    anything would be harmed.

    I'm sorry, I've used this post to 'take me back' 30 years

    when I was lucky enough to install and assist in the adjustment

    of some very big JBL installations.

    JRS
     

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