Just entering the HT market

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by WalterG, Jan 16, 2002.

  1. WalterG

    WalterG Auditioning

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    We are building a small room 20' x 27' livable space over a new garage. Construction has taken most of my funds by I have enough available to select an Onkyo LSV925 system. I listened to the system at circuit city and it had the best sound of any box HT system.

    I have been reading forum posts to try and determine the A/V and speaker cables that will complement the Onkyo system. After reading the posts I don't feel any closer to picking the appropriate cables. I must admit electronics is not easily understood by me. Any recommendations are appreciated. Also, I have a 50" inch Hitachi rear projection TV with S-video capability.

    I am a first time poster and I look forward to reading your posts.
     
  2. Chauncey_G

    Chauncey_G Second Unit

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    Hi, Walter. Welcome.

    You'll find a lot of people that will say lots of different things about cables and connections.

    I've got all Monster Cable on mine, but there are a lot of other, equally good (and less expensive) options out there. Best Buy carries a brand called (I think) Acoustic Research. Their cables have a similar look to Monster's and are branded with "AR" near the connections. I've heard that these are good quality cables for less than you'd pay for the Monster name.

    Does your TV support Component Video (also known as RGB) connecitons? If you have a DVD player, then I'd recommend hooking up your video that way. It's quite an improvement.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer
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    Welcome aboard Walter!

    I'm a "get the best bang for the buck guy" when it comes to cables and speaker wires. I think your best bet budget wise for speaker wire would be to go to Home Depot etc and pick up some spools of speaker wire (16 gauge perhaps should be just fine).

    As for cables, I as well as many people now and over the years have had great luck using the Radio Shack gold series cables. They are reasonably priced, and won't compromise your sound.

    Best of all with the money you save you can either pocket the $$$ or by a few extra DVD's !

    Good luck

    Alfer
     
  4. Mark O'Donnell

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    I too am always looking for the best that budget will allow.

    I have replaced all speaker wire with RadioShacks 4-Conductor CL3 speaker wire.

    PVC insulation, very pliable and with 4 condutors in one housing it gives you a couple options on wiring.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Walter: wecome to HTF!
    A good rule of thumb is to calculate roughly 10% of your equipment cost to cables to avoid over/under buying.
    I have seen someone with a $150 tube TV and a $200 DVD player and consider a $300 Monster video cable - very out of line.
    Speaker Wires: Some speaker sites recommend the following -
    1-10 feet: 16 ga
    10-20 feet: 14 ga
    20+ feet: 12 ga
    But most of us buy a spool of good 12 ga wire and use it for every speaker. The Sound King brand from www.partsexpress.com is very popular, as is the good 12 ga speaker wire sold by the foot at Home Depot. About $0.40/ft.
    We also like the dual-banana plugs from Radio Shack as a easy way to hook that thick 12 ga wire to the binding posts. (Check your receiver & speakers to see if they have binding posts).
    Audio Myth: "You have to make your speaker wires the same length" - This is false. Leave a few inches or a foot of extra wire so you can move things around. Dont leave coils of excess wire. If you MUST have several feet of excess, snake them in a large "S" pattern, not coils.
    Video Cables: Home theater magazine compared the 3 different ways of hooking up video:
    Composite (Single RCA cable): baseline
    SVideo (Funny "keyboard" looking plug): 20% improvement over Composite
    Component (3 RCA cables): 25% improvement over Composite
    * This was with a reference 50" RPTV. Smaller displays show LESS difference, larger displays show MORE.
    So if you have SVideo, use this from your highest quality source - the DVD player.
    Coaxial Digital Cable: This is a 75 ohm video cable. A inexpensive vs expensive one makes little difference. Just get a good Video cable from Radio Shack, or the AR Brand from Best Buy for about $15.
    How Much to Spend: Since your eyes are much more sensitive than your ears, I would budget more money for the SVideo cable than for the speaker wires.
    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    walter...i second everything that has already been said:
    cables: rat-shack or acoustic research are fine. one thing i do recommend is that you buy yourself a higher-end cable (that you can return) and see for yourself.
    speaker wire: go with 12g all around.
    plugs: go with rat-shack. they work very well.
    one question though...it sounds like you're buying an onkyo htb? if so, does the back of the unit have the "correct" type of plugs? do the speakers have binding posts or spring-clip connectors? obviously, banana-plugs will do you no good if your terminals don't accept them! just another thing to consider...as if you don't have enough already! [​IMG]
     
  7. WalterG

    WalterG Auditioning

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    Thanks you all for the responses. Your input just fueled the home theater fires. I need patience for three more weeks until everything is complete.

    My first DVD will be Caddy Shack.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. RobG

    RobG Stunt Coordinator

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    Definitely Home Depot or similar for their bulk 12g speaker wire, if your inputs can accept it. Rat Shack has decent stuff too. I use their s-vid/audio combo cables and wire plugs. I use a little of AR and Monster as well. All are sturdy and work well. I have 3 AR s-vid cables that I no longer use because they are too short. They are 6 ft and in perfect shape. If you need one or all let me know and we can work out a deal, cheap.
     

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