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Dave Moritz

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Like many of us here my HT is a work in progress and I have been working at it since 1984. My home theater started off with a basic Kenwood rack system, I then added components like a JVC CD player, Onkyo Integra Turntableand a Onkyo Integra Cassette Deck. At that time I used a 19" Color TV, not sure what brand actually. This hobby has been funded off of $10 - $14/hr so it allways takes longer to upgrade than I would like it to. But like many of us here we do what we can and it is a passion.
At some point I added a Yamaha laserdisc player, JVC 4 head Hi-Fi VHS was purchased at some point along with a and a Sylvania 27" TV. I own a pair of Altec Lancing A-7 Voice Of The Theater speakers that I purchased from my father for $400.
Equipment has come and gone and since I started I have added components like a Denon DTR-2000 DAT Recorder, Denon DCD-1290 CD Player, JVC QL-50 Turntable, Marantz LD-520 Laserdisc Player and Toshiba 31" TV. I also have owned a McItosh MX-130 pre/pro which was one of the best a/v peices I have ever owned, wish I still had it. I also purchased a Yamaha RX-V995 just to have DTS & DD and it has been trouble free and sounds very good. It still sits in my current HT system and is part of my HD configuration.
Over the past two years I have been upgrading to HD and this has been the most serious upgrade so far. I have added a Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player, Sony BDP-S300 and a Sony KDF-F50A10 720P 50" LCD HDTV. The Sony KDF-F50A10 was actually only purchased as a temperary HDTV and will be ugraded in the near future.
I am also planning on upgrading the following gear:
Yamaha RX-V995 5.1 Receiver ---- Possible Denon AVR-3808ci or Onkyo ?
Sony BDP-S300 Blu-ray Player ---- Panasonic BD-30 or Denon DVD-3800
Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD Player ---- Most likely will not upgrade to HD-A3
Sony KDF-F50A10 50" HDTV ---- Mitsubishi Laservue or Samsung 60" -73" 1080p HDTV
Add Subwoofer - Velodyne or SVS
Old Kenwood system that I started off with many years ago.

First Dolby Prologic Surround Setup

Past HT Configuration: McIntosh MX-130 Pre/Pro
(Harman Kardon CD Player, Denon CD Player, Denon DAT Recorder, Onkyo Integra Cassette Deck, Onkyo Integra Turntable, Yamaha Laserdisc, JVC VHS Recorder and a Onkyo Amplifier).

Yamaha RX-V995 5.1 Receiver with 31" CRT TV

Altec Lancing Decal

Yamaha configuration: Yamaha RX-V995 5.1 Surround Receiver.
(Marantz Laserdisc Player, Denon CD Player, Denon DAT Recorder and Onkyo Integra Cassette Deck).

Yamaha 995, Sony DVP-S9000 ES and Toshiba HD-A1

Yamaha 995, Sony BDP-S300, Tohshiba HD-A1, Sony DVD and Denon CD

A/V Rack with Sony HDTV and Altec A-7

Possible candidates to replace current Yamaha RX-V995
Denon AVR-3808ci
Denon AVR-4308ci
Onkyo TX-SR805
Onkyo TX-NR905
Marantz SR-7002
Marantz SR-8002
Receiver brands that will not be used:
Sony
Kenwood
Sherwood
The next upgrade: Profile 1.1/HDMI 1.3 Blu-ray player with bitrate output.
Next upgrade: HDTV 60" - 73" 1080p, not sure what brand I will purchase at this time but I am keeping an eye on the upcoming Mitsubishi Laservue HDTV and the Samsung is another brand I am considering as far as rear projection models go. I might consider a Panasonic plasma but I will be doing alot of research between now and then before locking in a choice.
This is what my HT could possilbly look like if I go with a Denon receiver and Blu-ray player.

My HT with a Mitsubishi Laser TV
 

Dave Moritz

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Update:
HT upgrade is on hold until later this year 2009. I can not wait to get my aging Yamaha RX-V995 replaced. It is nice that there is so many good choices out there but I am leaning towards a Denon AVR-3808ci over everything else. I was close to pulling the trigger on the Onkyo 805 but after Onkyo castrated it with the new 806 I decided not to go that route. Just incase there was a major problem where Onkyo tried to replace it with an 806. I know that the chance of that happening is small but I wouldn't own the 806! The amplifier section on the 806 will not touch the 805 and there is now no Burr Brown DAC's so no sale on the 806 or 805. I could go Marantz or Integra but I like the Denon more and I can always get a power amp later on. It is amazing how much time and money can be spent planning and building a home theater system and the job never ends.
I do know I do not want a Sony receiver in the mix as I would rather have the wimpy Onkyo 806. The Denon seems to put out closer to advertised specs and I know that the video section is going to be better on the Denon as well. This has been the hardest upgrade I have ever done as I can not believe how much time I have spent going back and forth which receiver will do the best job for the money. :eek:
And trying to finish off refinishing my old Altec A-7 VOTT's

Denon AVR3808ci

Possible power amp added later? Emotiva mps2
 

Kevin Stewart

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All I see is equipment references, do you have any links to the actual theater? What type of sound treatments did you use? Insulation? How many rows of seating? What type of lighting/scenes? Soffits? Columns? Riser? Share the details.
 

Dave Moritz

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Sorry I forgot to finish my update post yesterday.
My home theater is still in the upgrade stage and does not have theater seating or sound treatments yet. The pictures above are pictures of the equipment I have now and how it might look with certain upgrades. I also am in the middle of restoring my Altec A-7's and hope to have them refinished in a piano black high gloss finish this year or next year. I do not make alot of money so it is going to take me alot longer than I like to actually finish this project. :eek:
Planned upgrades:
Denon AVR-3808ci (unless I find a reciever that will do a better job ?)
Denon DVD-2500 Bluray player (or equivelent)
DirectTV HD receiver with DVR
New Center Channel and Rear Speakers
Subwoofer
1080p Projector
110" - 120" Stewert Film Screen
Room Treatments
The equipment set up has been changing and has been added to over and over again over the years. Sorry I forgot this detail regarding the things I had vs the things I still needed to actually upgrade and buy.
I will also look into posting some nice pictures once the home theater is actually finished. Feel free to make suggestions as they are welcome.
Here is a crude picture of what the system would look like with a projection screen and after make my move. Altec A-7's still need to be refinished in a piano black with new voice of the theater decals. And a new tv stand so I can fit a larger center channel to go with the Altec A-7's.

 

Dave Moritz

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As if upgrading and adding to a home theater was not enough for most of us. ;) :laugh:
This is my second project that I am taking my time on and will hopefully not take to long to finish.
What I need to finish:
1970's JBL Speakers
Pioneer Reel to Reel Tape Deck
Stereo Power Amplifier
AM/FM Tuner
 

Dave Moritz

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Here it is August 13th, 2009 and I am still trying to stash money away for a new a/v receiver. I am still wanting to get that Denon AVR-3808ci as I feel it would be the best choice for replacing the current Yamaha RX-V995. But if it takes to much longer to get the money the fallback plan is to find a smoking deal on a discontinued Onkyo TX-SR805 for under $600.
Here are some current photos of my HT after moving back to California:


 

Dave Moritz

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9/08/2009 Well I could kill for a Onkyo TX-SR876 after seeing it priced at Fry's for ether $899 or $999! It is sad when money is so tight that you can not seem to save up for a receiver or even get one on credit! /img/vbsmilies/htf/frown.gif">
My focus still remains on replacing my lacking Yamaha RX-V995 with something with more power, better amplifier section, component video, HDMI & upscaling to HDMI, internal decoding of DTS-HD MA & Dolby True HD, Audyssey and multi-channel input and output. I really do not want to move down from the 995 and unfortunately I honestly see the lower end receivers as just that, a downgrade!
The other things I want to focus on is upgrading my Sony BDP-S300 to a Denon 2500 or Marantz Bluray. If I wasn't so dam poor I could have picked up an open box Denon 2500 Bluray for $499 @ Fry's.
 

Dave Moritz

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Well time to call off all upgrades for the foreseeable future! Have been trying to save up for a new receiver but I am sure many here can relate. Upgrading the HT will be put off for about 2 year and hopefully the economy will be better and I will get full time hours back at work.

I would like to wish everyone here at home theater forum a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
 

Brett DiMichele

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Dave,

I can relate.... I'm 33 and up until April of this year my Dad and I lived together and we made and shared all the bills together, it was a mutual arrangement after my parents split years ago that I would stay and step up and help support the household. And together we did great things. Well this April my Father passed away very unexpectedly at the age of 62, I should say he was stolen from me, but I never regret the things we did or how we lived our lives.

I lost not only him but his income as well, and it's been a struggle ever since. We had bought many toys that we had no problems paying for, that suddenly I had problems paying for. But I've worked hard at restructuring my life and paying my bills.

I tried to get my home Mortgage company to get the government involved to restructure my home loan (no I do not have an A.R.M, I was smarter than that) but any little bit would have helped. It would seem though, that hard working Americans who pay their bills on time do not quality for a helping hand from the Government in this Country.

So I sold some things, paid some bills off and eliminated some debt. Of course the company I work for gets gobbled up by another company and then they say how great they are doing and to treat us all, they cut our pay. Mind you I do NOT make big money to begin with and I am the lowest paid on my team. Some of my team members took as much as a 26% pay cut.

Then just last week they gave me a whopping $500 bonus (otherwise known as less than a percent of the money they took from me, while reporting steady and growing profits).

Earlier in 09 Dad and I made a trip to Circuit City and I waked out with 3 grand worth of stuff on a charge card (not something I regularly do, but it was interest free till 2011) so I've been doubling and tripling the monthly payments to make sure I am paid off before 2011. I also went into my credit union with a check for 15K against my car loan of 17K and I've been doubling up on those payments as well.

Thank the Lord his truck was paid for!

So I know how hard it is! And if no one else will say it, I'm proud of what you have accomplished, and if you need to take some time off from buying equipment, there is certainly no shame in that! And it also never hurts to look for good pre-owned gear either! Lord knows there is tons of it out there and at fantastic prices.

Keep us posted!
 

Dave Moritz

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Thanks for the complements, much appreciated. Was really hoping to upgrade the Yamaha receiver and get a better center channel to go with my Altec A-7's but it will have to wait. While I am very disappointed that nothing is moving forward I am still glad that I have the gear that I do own. My HDTV may not be 1080p but I have been very happy with it and it is still on its original bulb and it is over 3 years old so I think I am doing good on bulb life so far.

A little over a month ago my pc's power supply failed and took the motherboard with it so now there goes money that I could have saved for a receiver. The one thing I promised myself is that I will not downgrade from the current Yamaha! I see no point in spending hard earned money on something that doesn't do what I want and something that makes to many concessions. So I figure that it is ether a Denon, Marantz, Onkyo or Pioneer Elite upper models or nothing and just keep using the Yamaha 995 that I have now.

I feel your pain Brett its not easy when you are barely paying the bills. I was doing ok until my x-wife messed me over and before my divorce she got me to sell all my Snap On tools and tool chest because I wasn't working in the industry anymore. So now I can not make better money doing what I used to do and I was stuck moving back in with my parents which isn't easy to have to do when you are past 40! I just goes to show you never know what kind of curve life is going to throw you sometimes. I also work for a company that no matter how hard you work they are never happy. They want more and more out of you and pay scale to work is horible! The upper management is ungrateful and the work is thankless but at least it is a paycheck.

I wish I could afford some used vintage JBL's for surround speakers, that would be nice. Another thing my HT could really use is a subwoofer for the really deep base, ya I know many would think that would not be a problem with big speakers. But the A-7's are not ment to reproduce really low base dispite the large woofer and physical size of the cabinets.

Right now I would be happy if I could just get a new Bluray once in awhile! But what it boils down to is I am lucky to have a job and a roof over my head so it could allways be worse!
 

Dave Moritz

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now March 7th, 2010 and I would have thought that not only would the economy be better allready, but there would have been a nice shinny reciever in my a/v rack by now! There is to much to do an no money, I bet everyone here hates that!
Still on my to do list:
Replace my aging Yamaha RX-V995 with a Denon AVR-4310 or 4810, Onkyo TX-NR5007 or a Rotel RSX-1560.
Replace Polk Audio CS100 center channel with a Klipsch or ?
Buy a subwoofer- Klipsch or SVS
Replace current tv stand with one that will acomidate a larger center channel speaker
Refinish Altec Lancing A-7 Voice Of The Theaters with ultra glossy piano black finish
Upgrade my Sony BDP-S300 with a Denon Bluray Player
oh the ultimate part of my upgrade would be a Sony or JVC 1080p projector with a 100" - 120" Stewart Film Screen.
hopefully I will be able to get a Bluray or two this payday?
Secondary 2 Channel System: Needs some work but its yet another project! Needs to wait till I get a new reciever!
Pictured is the first nice intergrated amp I ever owned, purchased from Circuit City. Onkyo Integra A-8190 and a matching Onkyo Integra TA-2600 Cassette Deck. Also pictured is a JVC QL-50 turntable, Denon DCD-1290 and Denon DTR-2000 DAT Recorder.
 

Adam Gregorich

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Do you really think the to-do list is ever going to go away? This is home theater we are talking about /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif. Nice setup BTW. Its fun to see how its changed over the last few years.
I would vote for sub, then receiver as that is where you will probably see the biggest difference. Are you going to refinish the speakers yourself?
 

Dave Moritz

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[SIZE= larger][COLOR= #303030]Hey Adam,

Oh I know the to do list is never going away, ROFL

I have been buying equipment and upgrading since the late 80's and there is always something new to buy. Thank you for the compliment as it is very much appreciated. And speaking of really nice home theaters, wow very nice Adam!

I agree my system does need a sub really bad. I have been dying for a new reciever for so long now and have researched the heck out of it, now new models are out and it is time to start researching all over again, LOL. I have been thinking of three different brands on the subwoofers but have to wait for my hours at work to get back to normal. I have been thinking of the following for a subwoofer: Klipsch, Velodyne or SVS 12" or maybe a 15" ?

How much sound does your perferated screen block? I would love to get a 1080p projector some day and I thought about going with a perferated screen if I went that route.

Oh no I will not do the speakers myself! I tried to do it once but it turned out so bad that is when I decided to start stipping the paint down to bare wood. A friend recomended a place here in So Cal that I am going to look into. I made a base to lift the cabinet off the ground about 3/4" and I am thinking of staining that with a cherry stain. And the cabinets will get painted with about 10 - 11 coats of automotive black lacquer. I also want to look into seeing if I can powder coat the horns, but then I would have to have the old decals remade somehow. So I may just have them sprayed along with the cabints and a dark blue cloth for the grills. And I need to have a place redo the Altec decals for the side of the cabinets.

The EPI's on my secondary system need new passives and the grills need to be recovered and I might need to have the crossover in one of them fixed.[/COLOR]
[/SIZE]
 

Adam Gregorich

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And the cabinets will get painted with about 10 - 11 coats of automotive black lacquer.
That is going to look nice!
Thanks for the compliments. It was a 7+ year project. I never want to see a roll of fabric again!

How much sound does your perforated screen block? I would love to get a 1080p projector some day and I thought about going with a perforated screen if I went that route.
Not much if any. I measure well over 100 db in the center of the room with the screen and the volume cranked. I got a weave screen though and that makes a difference. It does eat a lot more light though. Here are the audio specs on screen I got: http://www.smxscreen.com/audio-measurements.html
 

Adam Gregorich

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All those subs have a good reputation. There are a lot of big SVS fans here. I went with Atlantic Technology 642e subs. They sound great, have great response and I got a killer deal on them.
 

Dave Moritz

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Who made your screen? Is it a Stewart Film Screen?

Would love to have a room as nice as yours some day.

I will check out the Atlantic Technology subs as well, thanks.
 

Adam Gregorich

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Stewart makes some great screens, but they were out of my price range. The Stewart microperf screens have a higher gain, but impact the sound. I went with an SMX screen. Its only a 1.1 gain (probably closer to a .99), but was much cheaper and has no impact on the audio. Cost was the main factor though. Call SVS, see if you can talk to Ron and tell him Adam G from HTF sent you and see if he can shave a few bucks off. If you are considering Atlantic PM Gregg Loewen and see what he can do. Tell him I sent you. I don't have any connections with Klipsch, so you are on your own there.
Thanks again for your thoughts on the room. If you want it you will get there someday. It just takes time, a patient wife and a willingness to take on a project that in hindsight you probably should not have /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif
 

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