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New guy to HT, seeking advice on Onkyo setup

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by EricTut, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. EricTut

    EricTut Extra

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    Hi all-

    I recently took the opportunity to pick up an Onkyo TX-SR600 receiver and their HT-100 5.1 speakers to go with. Got em from a friend who was moving, very little use. They sound great!

    After reading here, and reading the manuals, I am a bit humbled as to my lack of HT knowledge. I have a set of semi-short questions, do help out if you can, thanks!

    1- On my sub, it is a down firing sub with the port in the front. Is it necessary to point the port toward the listening area (as the logo shows that way) or does it matter at all? Curious, in that I have a good place to wedge it that will keep my 2 year old away from it.

    2- While the amp is great, the speaker cables that came with are less than stellar. Thinking of buying the 80$ monster home theater in a box kit, comes with their basic cable for all speakers, sub cable, s-video cable, and they all have gold interconnects on them. The price is nice for that much cable, wondering what people here think of monster. Also- I suspect there might be alot of people who don't like monster, bear in mind I am looking to balance out the system, not overdo it. I know I could spend well over 1k on cables, but I would really have to get better speakers to appreciate the difference.

    3- Does anyone here use those extra AC pass thru plugs on the back of thier reciever? I ask in that this would auto shut off the sub when the system wasnt running, but the sub amp sleeps after 8 minutes anyways... just curious. I also read somewhere that your audio and video eq should be on totally seperate circuits, and that even the sub and main speakers should be on seperate circuits. I have everything on one right now. (Just bought this house, its in need of electrical work. Just curious what others would do in terms of pulling in extra circuits, I have easy access to the floor underneath this room so its not that bad.)

    4- Is it all that bad to have 20ft front speaker cables, if you really only need 8 or so?

    5-I haven't any shelves to put up my rear surrounds. What method is preferable, sitting on small shelves or wall mounted? Should I be worried about speaker cab resonation, or are these too small to be affected by such things? (Plus they are made of particle board glue lam wood, ugh. still sound good though)

    6- I am planning on running my rear speakers under the floor in a non-heated area. Will freezing temps bother my speaker cable? Should I insulate it?

    7- I know you cant switch component video to s video, but what about old composite video to s-video?


    I know some of these questions seem silly, but I really have no clue on some of this. My goal is a cleanly installed, well balanced setup where no components outmatch others drastically. Also, I get the impression that the things that will improve my setup the most are splitting the circuits up for power, and maybe investing in a voltage regulator/cleaner.

    Fire away, and TIA for you advice and opinions. Mods- if you want me to split these questions into separate posts, just ask.

    Thanks again!

    EricT

    Edit- I just realized I didnt mention the other eq I have! Fisher DVD player (old, but has all the necessary outputs and it works! Fiber out and all) and a sony TV, the black ones that came out prior to the XBRs. It craps out every once in awhile, the fix- smack it. I kid you not. [​IMG]
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Welcome to the forum Eric. I’ll give a few of your questions a go:

    1.It should not make much difference, but the implication of your jamming in the sub brings up a few points. Regardless of which way the port faces, you don’t want it too close to a wall or another obstruction. This is true of all ported speakers, many of which are rear ported. As a guide, measure the diameter of your port, multiply by a factor of three and that is the closest you should place the port nest to a wall.
    2.Pretty hard to advise on the cable package. But if you don’t have a use for them all (s-video for example) it might not make sense. Or if you still have to buy additional cables (component for example) it also might not make sense. There are lots of debates on the merits of premium cables, but if it were me, I’d see how much the equivalent amount of cables would cost. For example you can get 50 feet of 12-gauge speaker wire from Radio Shack for not very much. And even less from a lot of home service stores. And 14 gauge or 16 gauge wire is even cheaper. Unless you have an unusually long run, this should do fine for your system. Plus the smaller connectors are cheaper.
    3.I have at times, though I don’t right now—my receiver and DVD player are not co-located. As for being on the same circuit, a good many homes have all of the outlets in the same room on the same circuit, so it can get pretty hard to isolate different components on different circuits. Plus, if you use any kind of a surge protector you won’t want to in any case.
    4.It won’t make a big difference, but in general it is a reasonable practice to keep the lengths close to what you really need. Unless you plan on moving your speakers, in which case it can makes sense.
    5.This should not make any difference.
    6.I don’t think so, but electrical conductivity goes down as the as it gets colder, so I suppose that there is a chance that you would not get full power to those speakers. But I have no real experience with this.
    There are devices available that will do this, but the benefits are limited, because a composite signal that has been converted to S-Video will not be any better than the original composite signal (there are some possible exceptions to this general statement). The main reason to do this is if you want to run all of your outputs into one S-Video input because of an overall lack of inputs or to facilitate switching.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. EricTut

    EricTut Extra

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    Lew-

    You answered a ton of my questions! Thanks for that. I still have a few...

    On the switching- I have an older sony VCR that only has composite ins and outs. My older sony TV has S-video in. All other components are s-video (DVD player has component but only using S-video with optical audio). I tried plugging in the VCR on the composite and I didnt get any joy. Just curious as to whether my reciever can do that or not, it mentions that it cant switch component to svideo, but that is it.

    On the sub- I move it out to an appropriate position when I play movies. Do people usually aim the port at a wall though?

    On the cables... I would use all of them. The package I am looking at has the exact length needed (with about 3 feet slack, perfect) for my rears. The cable that came for the speakers is too short for my needs. It also comes with a better sub cable (mine is real thin) and another svideo cable which I would use. My questions was more of, is that cable decent, or crap? Right now I have 16 guage that came with the setup, its real thin.

    So my last question is, is this speaker cable package worth my money? monstercable.com/productPage.asp?pin=1594 the description aint great, while they are terminated ends on the cables I would like banana on the reciever ends, and I cant tell on monsters page if that is so. The description is lacking, mostyly a bunch of generic sales pitch they cut and paste on all thier items.

    Thanks again- and anyone, if you think I could/shold save my cash and do something else cable wise, do speak up!

    Eric
     
  4. EricTut

    EricTut Extra

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    Scratch that on the monster- I just found a thread that has everyones opinions on it. Looks like next home depot trip (I just moved in to a new house, I go there alot. The employees laugh at me when I get lost, in a good way though.) I am buying some cables...

    Any tips on cheap interconnects though?

    Eric
     

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