List of cables for new system for newbie

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephenZ, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. StephenZ

    StephenZ Extra

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    I am getting my system this weekend.
    Onkyo 600 or Yamaha 5560
    JBL NSP1
    JBL JB10 woofer
    Toshiba 4700 DVD
    Would like a basic list of the required cables to set up my system. I will run it all thru the Receiver.
    Also, is the Avia or a sound meter really needed to set this up?
    I guess I need a surge protector of some kind.
    Didn't really budget for cables, protector, etc. I was a little surprised how expensive Monster products are, which seem to be sold everywhere.
    Hoping with your help, I don't overspend for these accessories.
    I really appreciate any feedback...........
     
  2. Barry BB

    Barry BB Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm in a bit of a rush so I'll let someone else give you a shopping list. But as a general suggestion Monster is good but overpriced. If you are a bit budget conscious (sounds like you are) then check out the Acoustic Research Pro Series cables. Decent cables at a low price. You can buy them at accessories4less.com.

    Another good place to check out is avcable.com. They make their own cables, the component cables that I bought from them are top notch. Great service and prices and they will make custom lengths for you. Call them up and they will help you select what you need.
     
  3. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    You don't need stuff that is real expensive. Go to Home Depot and get 12 gauge speaker wire for your speakers. For the rest of the cables go to some place like Best Buy and buy Acoustic Research cables. They are just as good as Monster but don't cost nearly as much. I have a mixture of MOnster and AR and they sound exactly the same.

    You'll need an Acoustic Research subwoofer cable and S-Video for DVD player. You also need to get an Acoustic Research digital coax cable or optical depending on what you want (this is for digital sound from DVD player).

    I think this is pretty much it.
     
  4. StephenZ

    StephenZ Extra

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    Thanks, that should take care of my cable needs.
    Any ideas concerning a surge protector? Can I just use a basic one under $20?
    Also, are the Avia and sound meter needed?
     
  5. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    You should definitely get a Radio Shack SPL meter along with Avia or Sound & Vision home theater tune-up, which is what I have. I use a basic surge protector, but some people's receivers have been fried before from lightning. Something under $20 should be fine. But definitely get the Rat Shack meter and S&V tune up disc.
     
  6. Pete Jennings

    Pete Jennings Second Unit

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    You can find used cables in the For Sale forum. :b

    Pete
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Stephen.
    No, A SPL meter and Avia are NOT required. You will enjoy your system without the calibration. But later, when you do buy & calibrate, the difference will suprise you.
    An inexpensive surge-supression power strip is a good, cheap insurance policy.
    Step 1 - rack layout
    Put your RECEIVER on your lowest shelf. This allows the speaker wire to flow out without covering the rest of the equipment.
    Make sure to leave 5-6 " (or more) of clearance above the receiver to allow it to vent the heat.
    Above the receiver, put electronics you do NOT touch/interact with like CATV box, DSS receiver.
    On top, put the electronics you DO interact with like the DVD player, VCR, CD player.
    Now you get some idea of the lengths of wires you need to buy.
    I'm running to a lunch date. When I get back, I will take you through each cable you need and where to save money, and where to spend it.
     
  8. StephenZ

    StephenZ Extra

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    Hi Bob,

    Hey, my sister lives just down the road from you in Alamo.
    I did their system 5+ years ago. Can't seem to talk her into upgrading, not like they can't afford it.
    Her husband flys me up often to do fix-it stuff around the house. Was there two weeks ago, built their son a sandbox while they laid around the pool. As he is the President of my company, he tells all the executives about my various skills.
    One of the VP's in my company has asked me to set-up a HT system for him. I figure I would do my own and use the experience to do others. He wants to see mine when I am done to evaluate if he wants a higher end system.
    If I persue this, I will definitely invest in a meter, etc.
    Look forward to hearing your input.
    Thanks.
     
  9. SteveChrist

    SteveChrist Extra

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    Welcome Stephen,
     
  10. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Stephen,
    Bill Kane is a knowledgeable guy around here who often posts on relatively inexpensive surge protectors (in particular, a certain Panamax model, I believe). You might try doing a search amongst his posts for such.
    My thinking here is that if you live in an area where lightening strikes and power surges are a real concern, then you might find $50 or so (for the Panamax) money better spent than for one of the el-cheapo $20 protectors that may or may not work.
    For inexpensive cables, I like the Acoustic Research Pro stuff also. The prior www.accessories4less.com link is a good one for these. I prefer the AR Pro to the standard AR at BB (from the standpoint of construction).
     
  11. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    Spend the $30 or whatever for the Radio Shack analog
    sound meter. It's dirt cheap (if it were from a cable company, they'd ask $200 for it)and offers the fastest,
    most accurate way of setting sound levels on your
    speakers. Going by "ear" is a waste of time.
     
  12. Nico

    Nico Stunt Coordinator

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    For your setup, get Home Depot 12 or 14 AWG speaker cable or Acoustic Research 12 AWG at Lowe's. No need to spend more than $.50/ft for you IMO.
    For interconnect, digital cables, get Phillips Magnavox ICs and its toslink at Walmart. If your DVD player has digital coax, get a digital coax cable at Rat Shack.

    Nico
     
  13. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ok, back from lunch.
    (Yes, Alamo is a nice area [​IMG] )
    Lets go through the cables.
    Subwoofer: Nearly any good coaxial cable will work for the sub. If you can find a long audio or video cable to work - fine. If not, go to Radio Shack and buy a 10/20/30 foot hank of CATV coax with the connectors already attached, and two "F-to-RCA Male" adaptors. This will give you a 25 foot cable for about $12.
    Coaxial Digital: This goes from the DVD player to the coaxial digital input on your receiver. It was designed with a Video cable in mind. Go get a video cable and hook it up. The AR brand from Best Buy, Radio Shack or the low-end Monster cables are fine. (The signals are digital so they are fairly insensitive to the cable). This should run you under $20.
    Video: If your TV offers SVideo, go straight from the DVD player to the TV. This is where I would suggest you buy a good Monster/name brand cable for about $50.
    There is NO need to go through the receiver unless you have 2 or more video sources of the same type.
    Speaker Wire: Most of us use 12 ga for all our speakers. The Home Depot, Lowes, or "Sound King" from www.partsexpress.com are all great values.
    Many speaker sites recommend the following thickness of wire based on the length of run:
    1-10 feet: 16 ga
    11-20 feet: 14 ga
    20+ feet: 12 ga
    But as I said, most of us just buy a spool of 12 ga and use it all around.
    And thats about it.
    Note: There is a very good primer about nearly every HT topic compiled by the members here for the basics area. It's in the archive.
    Good Luck.
     
  14. StephenZ

    StephenZ Extra

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    Thanks Bob,

    I printed out your comments and will add theses items to my list. It should be a exciting weekend........

    Everyone, thanks for all the great responses.
    My Company V.P. has digital cable and a HDTV. I am sure I will be back when I do his system.
     

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