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Need help buying stuff and recommendations

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Cyn, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. Cyn

    Cyn Auditioning

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    Hi,

    I am very new to this. I first apologize for my very long request. I just bought a new house and it is being built at this time. We are going to buy surround sound speakers (at least 5.1), DVD player, receiver, etc. My budget is around $2500.00 for wires, equipment, etc. I have a Sony Vega TV 32" so do not need a TV at this time. I do not believe my TV is HDTV.

    I need suggestions. My living/great room is approximately 17 x 14. It is not a theater-type room, but a living/great room with carpet.

    I do not want to buy an all-in-one system. I want to buy separate components. I am looking at the H/K AV 520 and Polk floor standing speakers for left and right front, Polk center, Velodyne subwoofer 12", polk back left and right speakers. The only reason I know about these is because this is what Circuit City has shown me. I almost went with Bose. I live in Hawaii and I do not have a lot of places to buy from and if I buy off the internet, the shipping kills me.

    Anyway, I would love to get your expert opinions. We listen to music, but mostly watch movies and regular TV.

    Thanks much and Aloha,
    Cyn
     
  2. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Welcome to the Forum!
    #1) If your going top run wires in the walls, ceiling, or attic you should go ahead and wire for a 7.1 setup just in case the upgrade bug bites in the future. Seems to happen with great regularity around here.[​IMG]
    #2) Which Polks are you considering?
    #3) Velodyne makes a very good sub!
    #4) Be sure to include a SPL meter and setup/calibration disk in your budget.
    #5) Enjoy!!
     
  3. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Cyn,
    Doing your research in advance really helps beyond just a "help me!" post; thanks.
    Your budget seems within reason FOR EQUIPMENT/COMPONENTS. But just as any construction/remodeling project is faced with the dread hidden cost-overruns, installing your home theater system also may do so, or at least call for its own installation budget.
    It's never too soon to discuss custom speaker wiring, and even extra elec'l outlets strategically placed, with your builder or the buyer design center if he/she is a subdivision builder. You can even ask for a "dedicated" circuit and its own wall outlets to serve nothing but the home theater system: This is a real plus for cleanest power.
    Going to a Dolby type 5.1 system starts out with two rear speakers. Frank is suggesting future addn of two Rear Center speakers as well, given available wall space in the rear.
    Side speakers can be neatly secured to the walls either extr or intr usually with mounting brackets into a stud. Prewiring during construction (before the wallboard is closed) involves running the spkr wire from the entertainment center where the amplifier will be located to the rear locations.
    Bldrs or their elec'l subcontractors typically want to use 16 gauge since they have huge spools in the warehouses. Around here, we advocate 12 gauge all around (front floorstanders, center AND rears. The labor is the same, the material upgrade really minimal. Altogether, some bldrs can charge a whole lot for custom work: One needs to press them and negotiate.
    How much spkr wire? Some decor-minded spouses want the spkrs tucked away against the back wall or snug against the tv.[​IMG] Ideally, the rear spkr wires will emerge from the front location with sufficient slack to play with -- one can easier shorten than lengthen when the time comes to attach them to the amplifier. Same thing with the fronts = when you decide where to place them, then you can have the spkr wires cut to appropriate length.
    Just a few introductory pointers...
    bill
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    cyn -
    living in hawaii is tough ain't it? my sis lived in kailua for a while - i loved visiting her! [​IMG]
    the guys already addressed wiring issues, so i'll talk about components.
    i'm not sure if you have resources to check out "da kine" stuff (did i say that right?) but you should be able to do some shopping around.
    i absolutely recommend you do as much comparing as possible. try to listen to (and get your hands on) as much stuff as possible.
    speakers: different speakers can sound different - some may sound "boomy" while others sound really "bright". so, be sure to audition as many as you can - then pick one that suits your taste. also, remember that sound is subjective - if it sounds good to you, then that is what matters.
    receivers: again, get a feel for what is out there. don't be fooled by power-ratings. a good 70w/ch amp can blow away a lousy 100w/ch amp. clean power can sound better at lower volumes. find a receiver that you like. is it easy to operate? do you like the remote? do you like the way it looks? those are all important. hk is good stuff - since you were at cc, also check out onkyo. also nice stuff. stay away from everything else.
    subs: i noticed you picked a different model sub. that's smart. there's really no reason to go with a similar brand. velodyne is nice.
    also, be sure to read our beginner faq - TONS of info there!
    aloha,
    ted
     
  5. Cyn

    Cyn Auditioning

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    Thanks guys for all your help. Talking about the prewiring. I do not have a rear wall, the kitchen is my rear wall. I am going to prewire for all of my eqipment. Is it okay to mount my rear speakers to the ceiling? Do I lose anything if I do this?

    Thanks again for everyhing.

    Cyn
     
  6. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Cyn,

    Ceiling mount? It can be done but is even more "custom." It will be a ceiling fan type installation, secured to joists with a down tube (wire inside) to a bracket that holds the speaker box. One may even have to screw into the spkr box.

    If you have a cathedral ceiling...hummmmmmmm

    Others may see a simpler method....

    bill
     
  7. Cyn

    Cyn Auditioning

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    Thanks Bill for your quick response. I do have about a 12 to 14 foot ceiling. Where is the best location for the rear speakers, below on floor stands or above?

    Thanks again,
    Cyn
     
  8. Jeff Bamberger

    Jeff Bamberger Second Unit

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    Hi,
    One note, everyone who loves their speakers is going to say you should get that kind. The key is to take these recommendations and then try and audition them in a store, if you can (or better yet, find a store that will let you audition at home, once your work is done).
    That being said, I have Definitive Technology speakers and love them. I am not saying they are for you, but I do like them and many members here will agree with me.
    I checked the dealer locater on their website and they do have an authorized dealer in HI.
    http://www.definitivetech.com/dealers/dealers.html#ha
    Honolulu Home Theater - Honolulu 808-944-1744
    Go listen if you can.
     
  9. Cyn

    Cyn Auditioning

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    Wow Jeff, this is awesome. I am going to go there today.

    I am such a nut about doing research and have such an A-type personality when it comes to stuff like this. I want the best for my family and I don't mind spending some bucks on it, but if I don't do the research and ask for all you guys expert opinions (oops, my pidgin english is coming out), I just won't feel good about my decision. There is so much out there.

    Keep the comments coming as I do not move into my house until Christmas (what a great Christmas present).

    Thanks again to all of you.

    Cyn
     
  10. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Cyn,
    Visualize/determine where the couch/L-Z-Boys will sit some 11 to 14 feet in front the the video display. Rear surrounds in classic Dolby Digital mode will be 2-3ft above ear level, approx. two feet behind the listening position.
    (The distance from ears to actual spkr is accounted for when they are sound balanced).
    Freestanding stands are fine if you can deal with the wires.
    For reference here is the Dolby Home Theater Guide
    Chap. 3 deals w/ spkr placements.
     
  11. Cyn

    Cyn Auditioning

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    Okay. I went to the Home Theater place here and this is what they requested to me and being a novice, everything sounds great but I really liked the sound of this system.

    Definitive BP-200GTL Front left and right $1079.00 pair
    Definitive CLR2300 Center $530.00
    Definitive BP-2X Rear left and right $449.00 pair
    Definitive Procenter 100 Center rear $179.00

    Receiver Denon AVR-1803 $449.00

    What do you guys think? Is this a good set-up? Is it easy for a complete, total novice (and my husband is electronically challenged) so I would have to do it myself :} to hook up and learn how to use all those remote controls etc.

    Also when they prewire for my components, what kind of wire should I use? Someone mentioned 12 gauge. It is necessary? What would the difference be? Is there a big difference in cost? Is it worth the difference in cost?

    Thanks again for all your help.
    Mahalo (thanks),
    Cyn
     

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