My Improved Home Theater System.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by BluHT, May 6, 2012.

  1. BluHT

    BluHT Extra

    Apr 22, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Well, I've finally upgraded to a true 5.1 surround system. So, in addition to my existing television...
    Pioneer PDP-5070HD 50-inch plasma television
    ...I’m now the proud owner of the...
    Denon AVR-1912 Receiver
    …and the…
    Aperion Intimus 4T Hybrid,170,71,416.aspx
    The speaker set includes the following components (all in a high-gloss black finish, except the subwoofer, which is available only in satin black):
    Intimus 4C Center Channel Speaker (single),114,0,263.aspx
    Intimus 4T Tower Speakers (pair),164,0,404.aspx
    Intimus 4B Satellite Speakers (pair),113,0,261.aspx
    Bravus IIa 8D Powered Subwoofer (single),305,0,858.aspx
    In addition, and furthering my pursuit of that submersive audio experience in an alternative way, I also added one pair of…
    Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones
    And, of course, I still have my existing…
    Sony PlayStation 3 Game Console and Blu-ray Player
    and my…
    Cable DVR Service from Time Warner Cable
    …and my old…
    Samsung DVD-HD960 DVD Player
    …which I suppose, at this point, is kind of a relic, but I still use it as a backup player once in a very great while.
    The speakers are connected with speaker wire from Aperion using banana plugs, also from Aperion. Although using the plugs took more time to set up, it seems worth it. It makes for a simpler and cleaner connection from the speakers to the receiver.
    The sub is connected with subwoofer cable Aperion also provided; it has a single connector on the receiver’s end and is split into right and left connectors at the sub’s end.
    The TV, PS3 and DVD player are connected via HDMI cables.
    The DVR/cable box is connected via component video (3 plugs on each end) and analog audio (left & right; 2 plugs on each end). I may upgrade this to an HDMI connection in the near future.
    Though I’ve certainly started to enjoy my new surround sound experience (Inception and The Tree of Life were the among the first test titles) I have a few questions.
    I feel as though the output (volume) from the center speaker and subwoofer are, for my taste, a bit low compared to the other speakers. What are some good ways of adjust the output for just those speakers?
    While the AVR-1912 receiver sports a built-in Ethernet port, it does not have a Wi-Fi dongle. I would like to somehow add it to my existing Apple Wi-Fi network so I can take advantage of its network-based services (AirPlay, iTunes, etc). I have an Apple iMac desktop computer, which, like other devices in my household (e.g., my printer and my PS3), is connected wirelessly to my cable modem via an AirPort wireless router. I understand that it’s possible to “work around” the receiver’s lack of a Wi-Fi dongle and connect it to a wireless network indirectly. How, exactly, would I do that and have a high-quality, reliable and fast connection for the receiver?
    Would an HDMI connection substantially improve the picture & sound quality of cable broadcasts and recordings beyond my current connection (see above)? I’ve noticed that I do have surround sound even with my current connection.
    What HDMI cables would you recommend, considering quality and cost? Generally, I look for high quality but with a reasonable price point.
    There are times when it would be nice to be able to use two headphones simultaneously, but the receiver has only one headphone jack. Are there any devices that would allow me to connect two or more headphones into the receiver? What else should I know if I do that?
    In the Future
    I still have more improvements I want to make to my home theater system in the future. (Don’t we all? :))
    Very Near Future
    Additional HDMI Cables (for my cable DVR, old DVD player and future blu-ray player)
    Speaker Stands for the two 4B satellite speakers (the speakers need to be higher)
    Near Future
    Region-Free Blu-ray Player (another item I’ve been wanting for a long time—I already have several locked-out-of-my-region titles)
    Maybe within a Year
    Larger Subwoofer or Second Subwoofer
    Perhaps Next Year
    New 60-inch Plasma Screen TV (maybe with 3D)
    …One can dream, right?
    Anyway, those of you who can, please answer my questions above…as I go back to playing around with my new toys. :D
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

    Feb 11, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Oconomowoc, WI.
    Real Name:
    You need to raise the decibel level for the center speaker and sub. Doesn't your receiver have the automatic speaker setup(Audysey)? If so, you need to run that. If not, you can set the speaker's decibel levels with a calibration disc such as the Disney WOW disc, Avia or DVE. But with this method, you'll need a decibel level meter. I use the digital model from Radio Shack. For cables I highly recommend You can try a headphone Y-adapter, but it may not work. When I tried to run 2 pairs on my receiver with a Y-adapter, the volume was so low that it was barely audible. If it won't work, you will need to buy a headphone amp. Check out
  3. BluHT

    BluHT Extra

    Apr 22, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for the suggestions, Jim.
    I do have Audyssey and I used it to help set up the speakers and I've been using a preset that sounds particularly good. But despite all that, I still feel the center speaker's volume is a bit low. I'll try to adjust the speaker's volume manually — as soon as I figure out how.
    I found the issue with the subwoofer's volume was I needed to turn the volume and crossover knobs up on the back of the actual unit. Now I can easily detect that satisfying, floor-vibrating rumble. :)
    This new audio setup has truly made a positive difference in the quality of my experience with movies (earlier today I watched, on blu-ray, Bronson for the first time), certain TV series and sports broadcasts (as I type this I'm watching the 76ers-Celtics game).

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