Need more input on basic HT concepts for Newbies

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Maskeeper, Mar 15, 2002.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Hey Guys,
    As some of you might know- we're compiling a basic primer for the HTF titled "What Every HT Newbie Should Know..."
    We're asking forum members to contribute on small nugget of knowledge about any important HT subject. THese can be very basic observations and concepts you think a newcomer to the hobby of HT should know-- maybe something you've learned from hanging out on this site.
    I ask that some of you PLEASE take a minute and post some knowledge here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=55635
    I'm trying to get it up to a few pages so I can be a permanent part of our archives... but so far the turn out has been less that hoped. So, come on guys- Picth in and help author an intro to basic "must have knowledge" for HT newbies.
    -THX certification (most newbies think its a sound format)
    - Different video and audio connection cables
    -What are laserdiscs, and is there any reason to own them anymore? (how does laser compare to DVD?)
    -Do receivers have a built in amp for a sub, do I havve to buy an amp?
    -Speaker cable- what do I need to know?
    -Large or Small setting on receiver- what does this mean?
    -Are bookshelf speakers okay for HT?
    -How should I point my speakers- should they toe in, where should surrounds be?
    -Vince
     
  2. Richard Harvey

    Richard Harvey Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I have a newbie question to add, but I don't have an answer. Could you please define "speaker" vs. "monitor"? Are the two the same? If not, what are the differences? I keep seeing various brands of speakers offer both speakers and monitors, though I have no idea what the true difference is.

    Rich
     
  3. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Robert,

    1) That link goes no where.

    2) If you think what you had to post is worthwhile, feel free to add it to the newbie thread.

    -Vince
     
  5. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    Sorry about that, I forget that I was still logged into that site when I copied the link. I guess I'll just have to cut-n-paste it here then. This was in response to a question of why Bose is not liked or hated, well, here it is...

    "...Well let me explain by example how bad Bose really is for a speaker company that maybe have outsold almost all other speaker companies in the world (similar to McDonalds selling burgers). No professional major label company uses this brand for sound mixing or editing. No movie theater brags about having these in their theaters (they brag about THX, DTS, SDDS, Ultra-Stereo, and even digital surround and based on most peoples lack of knowledge admitting to having Bose would draw some people but then driving away the knowledgeable). No major performer uses these when going on tour. No major audiophile label (Chesky for example) uses these as monitors. No major film studio uses these to mix their films (a MAJOR concern for those purchasing HT speakers). No major audio magazine reviewer use these as a reference system for comparative review or even for their own primary home system. None of their product even carry a THX badge or even the select badge (they maybe considered the "Anti-THX" since they promote high level of sound reflection vs controlled dispersion). Finally at all these audio forum sites (at least to my knowledge...) not even one site out there have I even seen or known about from people who take this hobby seriously have I even seen people suggest these are "the" speakers to get above all others in their price range.

    I know that if professionals don't use them, knowlegeable hobbist groups look down upon them, and most of all they just sound far worse than most cheaper set of speakers they just simply aren't worth it. McDonalds may sell more burgers but I wouldn't buy one of their burgers if they charged the same price for the burger that at a good steak house I could have a good steak. I advise to check out some of the other audio stores in your area if possible for other products or buy a set of Energy Take 5s and an ES8 or ES10 sub..."

    I added something like this at a different forum to the above, but can't remember the site.

    "If you want small check out some of the competition (Nht SuperZero, Energy Take5, Polk6600, Atlantic Tech, etc), if you want a name that professionals use (M&K, B&W, JBL, Klipsch, etc) get something they use, and if you want hidden buy inwalls (Niles, RS, Parasound), and remember don't buy from a company that just simply isn't respected or used by those who know through use, profession, and who takes this seriously."

    Sorry about the dead link for all who took the time to look.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I don't know about speakers, but one thing that HAS to be put in the archive, because it gets asked at LEAST once a week, is "I can't get DTS to play with my receiver" And I'm not saying I didn't have the same problem the first time I hooked everything up...:b but I still think this is something that should not need to be repeatedly answered.

    /rant
     
  7. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    Most of the replies so far have been in the form of a newbie question that might go in a sort of FAQ. I'll do the same:

    1)Do all my speakers need to "match" each other?

    2)Does my subwoofer need to "match" my speakers?

    3)Why do I get audio dropouts when watching the Dolby 5.1 track of Pearl Harbor/JP3/Atlantis?

    4)What's the difference between the LFE signal and the Subwoofer signal?

    5)How does a crossover work?

    6)What's the difference between an active crossover and a passive crossover?

    7)What does it mean to connect speakers in parallel or in series?

    8)How does my amplifier react to different impedences (loads)?

    9)Which digital connection is better - optical or coaxial?

    10)Why is calibration so important?

    11)I calibrated using my receivers internal test tones. How come it still doesn't sound right?

    12)My new receiver has a digital volume control, how come I have to turn it up so high before it gets loud?

    13)I set the gain control on my subwoofer to 1/4 so I'm only using 1/4 of its power, right?

    You probably know the answers to all of these, Vince, but if you'd like my take on some of them just ask.
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Ok Vince, I added my subwoofer comments to the main thread.
     
  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Guys.
    Don't post in this thread. Post your stuff here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=55635
    I can't transfer your stuff from here to there- YOU HAVE TO POST IT!!
    Feel free to post any nugget you think should be included! PLEASE! We really need your help!
    -Vince
     
  10. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Richard Harvey---A monitor is a speaker used as a tool for listening to playback in recording studios. Once (and still) these speakers were very large and made by pro-sound companies like Altec-Lansing, RCA and JBL (though Altec and JBL made furniture versions of their monitors for home use). Most of the music recorded from 1945 to 1980 or so was mixed over Altec 604s and VOTs and they're still in use in many studios. In the 1970s the BBC developed a small monitor, the LS3-5A, for use in the cramped confines of mobile recording studios, soon people were calling it a "mini-monitor" when several companies such as Rogers and Spendor started selling it as a home speaker and it became popular and trend-setting. From there people starting calling all 5" 2-ways in small boxes "mini-monitors" and then just "monitors". But that's just audiophile talk, strictly speaking the term "monitor" has to do with a speaker's use or intended use, that it be used as a recording tool. When you say monitor to me I think of a great-big Altec 620 cabinet with a gray painted finish and a 15" 604 DuPlex driver inside.
     
  11. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    One that I could see being included (though I wouldn't be qualified to write):

    When people talk about how speakers sound, they start using adjectives that don't seem to be about audio (like "warm" or "bright.") Why are these terms used, and how does one figure out what the heck they mean anyway?
     
  12. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Great point Marc! Maybe you could find something you would be qualified to write, and someone will return the favor by posting about your idea! Even the most simple consepts are welcome- write anything you think a newbie should know. Even if it's the most simple thing you can think of!
    Here is the current table of contents, and I'm sure you can see topics that are missing from a basic newbie primer:
    Table of Contents
    I. General Concepts
    What is Hometheater anyway? by Mike Knapp
    Home Theater Means Accuracy & Calibration by Jay Mitchosky
    Who Invented DVD? by Adam Barratt
    HDTV Overview by Ray Melnik
    DVD vs. CD, they look the same by Adam Barratt
    DVD vs. VHS, why we need DVD by Nate Anderson
    Why DVDs are letterboxed by Vince Maskeeper
    Why Some DVDs aren't letterboxed by Adam Lenhardt
    Common Film Aspect Ratios by Michael Reuben
    Music Listening as Part of Your Home Theater by Mike Broadman
    II. Software Concepts & Specifics
    Anamorphic DVD by Michael Reuben
    Dolby Digital Audio Format by Adam Barratt
    DTS Audio Format by Dan Brecher
    Dolby Prologic and Prologic II by Chris Tsutsui
    Older Surround formats vs. modern 5.1 / 6.1 formats by Patrick Sun
    A 7.1 surround sound format by Jeff Kleist
    THX - is this an audio format? by Dan Brecher
    Layer Change Pause, Dual/Single Layered DVDs by Chuck Mayer
    HD-DVD: High Definition DVD by Jeff Kleist
    The Criterion Collection, and its purpose by Paul Dalmaine
    Twin Peaks on DVD, and proper viewing order by Greg Yurkovic
    Evil Dead on DVD buyer guide {!GREAT INFO!} by Greg Yurkovic
    Great sounding DVDs to show off my system by Ash Williams
    Easter Eggs on DVD by Keith_R
    Why are DVDs released on Tuesdays? by Jeff Kleist
    What is a DAD disc? by Philip Hamm
    III. Hardware Concepts & Specifics
    Understanding of Basic Hardware by Chris Matson
    General Hookup Tips by Steve Berger
    Why receivers have video ins and outs by Neil Joseph
    Options for Routing Audio & Video by Ted Lee
    Digital Audio: Optical Connection vs. Coax connection by Neil Joseph
    Purposes of 6 channel inputs and outputs on HT equipment by Vince Maskeeper
    DVD setup with 16:9 TVs by William K F
    Amplifiers & Preamplifiers by Cees Alons
    Why You Need So many Speakers by Ted Lee
    Do I really need a subwoofer?? by Cees Alons
    More on the purpose of Subwoofers and how to connect by Neil Joseph
    Dipole Type Speakers by Andy W
    Line conditioners and surge protectors by Bill Kane
    Color and Video Signals by Cees Alons
    So where do I put all this stuff? by MarcVH
    Universal Remote Controls by Ted Lee
    IV. Shopping, Buying, Choosing
    How to decide what to buy (best bang for the buck) by Max Knight
    More advice on picking components by Greg R
    Choosing Speakers by Jeffrey Forner
    Isn't Bose the best? by Jeffrey Forner
    Advice on Auditioning and Shopping by Robert Gaither
    More Auditioning Tips by Jim DiJoseph
    More Auditioning/Shopping Tips by Elbert Lee
    More Shopping Tips by George King
    Budgeting for HT, what you need by Adam S
    Specific Components Suggested by Robert Gaither
    V. Advanced Concepts
    Displays: Color Decoder, Red Push, Grayscale by ThomasL
    Speaker Designs and Methodology by Kerry Hackney
    Amplifier Wattage and how it relates to speaker output by Dustin B
    What's an OHM? by Charles J P
    Crossovers: Basics and Advanced by Dustin B
    Bi-wiring & Bi-Amping Speakers by Vince Maskeeper
    -Vince
     
  13. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    OK Vince, did so. The fun part comes at the end, when ideally some editor re-works it, groups things together, trims anything that doesn't quite fit with "what every newbie should know," etc. It should be a tiresome and thankless task.
     
  14. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I've offered several possible suggestions in my first post for those who couldn't think up one on their own:

    -good looking DVDs to show off my display device.

    -Do receivers have a built in amp for a sub?

    -Speaker cable- what do I need to know?

    -Large or Small setting on receiver- what does this mean (Bass management basics)?

    -Are bookshelf speakers okay for HT?

    -How should I point my speakers- should they toe in, where should surrounds be?

    -Recommended/respected brands for receivers

    -DSP modes, what they do

    -Composite vs. Svideo vs. Component Video Connections

    Anything else anyone can think of.

    Please take part in this thread NOW, I'd like to archive it in the near future!!

    -Vince
     

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