New HT about to be bought and I have some questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jaimin, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. Jaimin

    Jaimin Stunt Coordinator

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    First off I want to say that this forum is great and I have learned a lot from just reading posts.

    I am planning on purchasing a Denon 3802 and matching it with the klipsch reference 3 series of speakers and an svs sub. I was also considering to get B&M or M&K speakers, I just need to do some more research on those brands.

    First off, the room for the stereo is a decent size, about 25x30 feet, therefore I need to by a significant amount of speaker cable, can anyone recommend what kind of cables I should get. I know very little about whats out there.

    Secondly, is it important to get the surround speakers for the rears, or can I just get four towers. The reason I ask is cause it might be some trouble to mount the rear speakers at the proper height.

    Lastly, is there other equipment I should consider purchase that is either a necessity or that would help. I think maybe a decibel meter might useful to tune the speaker?

    Thanks for any replies
     
  2. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    The wire question is a little more involved than you might think. As you may have noticed on some threads there are those that feel the only way to go is to use $$$$$ cables. Then there are those (like me) that feel basic 12 or 14 gauge wire is fine. I picked up a 500 ft spool of 14g from Lowe's for around $70 when I started working on my HT.

    As for surround speakers you can and should use whatever will work best for your particular installation. Have you considered using bookshelf speakers on stands for the surround/rear channels? It may save you a few bucks.
     
  3. Josh P

    Josh P Agent

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    As the previous fellow said, towers for the rears would be fine, especially if you plan on using multichannal music, however some believe that bipoles/dipoles give better surround for movies due to the diffuse sound. It really depends on what you use your system for. Some find towers for the rears a lot of money to put into speakers you won't use much and that you're better off putting the money else where.

    As for cables I believe the idea of cables is that it won't improve your system as much as making perform to it's best ability. Good cables (not necessarily $$$$) prevent information loss. I found QED's silver anniversary biwire to be nice but only a slight improvement. A better investment would be in a good digital interconnect between your source (dvd) and your amp and the amp and sub. As these are low voltage signals, and thus more susceptible to signal distortion. I found they benefitted greater from good cables.

    A good setup disc is a good investment as is more dvds!
    40 dvds or a $500 power cord????
     
  4. Jaimin

    Jaimin Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies guys. The reason that I would go with towers in the back is because, for the klipsch rf3 its only 200 more for a pair of towers than a pair of surrounds. And if I add in the cost of stands they are pretty much the same price. I just wanted to make sure that buying towers wouldn't cause a serious reduction in quality, or I guess even a small reduction in quality would make it not worth it. This system will be mostly for movies and occasionally for music which will not be multi channel. Pro Logic II would probably be used often for the music that will be listened to on the system. And as for speaker cables I agree with you guys about not spending to much on them. Again the input is much appreciated.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    denon and klipsch? nice! [​IMG]
    i believe that going with the towers for the rears is a better option. you'll be able to have all your speakers completely matched (well...the center may be slightly off, but that's cool). it's really an optimal setup. if you ever get into multi-channel music you'll be several steps ahead of the game. also, factoring in the price of stands is smart...i'll have to keep that in mind for myself. i'll assume that the rear speakers will be at least as high as your listening position?
    regarding speaker wire - i always recommend people test. i did a simple test between generic stuff, rat-shack, and monster. i heard a difference between generic and rat-shack, but not rat-shack and monster. just make sure you can return the stuff. i suspect middle-of-the-road wiring will work for you. best-buy has some decent AR cabling that isn't too expensive.
    regarding accessories - a radio shack spl & a calibration dvd (avia, video essentials or soundandvision) are an absolute must! don't even consider these accessories, consider them a necessary part of your gear! but a cool universal remote would be pretty neat. check out www.remotecentral.com for some good suggestions. i have the hometheatermaster mx-500 and love it - it replaced eight of my remotes without a problem.
    good luck and congrats on you new toys!
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    When you go to run the wire, run 3 sets of wires to the rears. The extra one is so you can upgrade to Dolby Ex with a rear-center speaker in the future. The wire is cheap compared to your labor of running it in the walls.

    The guidelines for wires from some speaker sites is:

    1-10 ft: 16 ga
    11-20 ft: 14 ga
    20+ ft: 12 ga

    But most of us buy a spool of 12 ga and use it everywhere.

    A nice investment is a Radio Shack analog SPL meter, and a copy of the Avia DVD. This will allow you to level-adjust/calibrate the levels for the various speakers.

    A inexpensive laser-pen is another nice tool. You make sure the beam is aligned with the body by rolling it on a flat surface and watching the spot on a wall. If the spot moves back and forth, it's aligned, if not, find another. Then you can use the laser pen to see where each speaker is pointing by holding it against the side of the cabinent.

    Most people have their L/R speakers toed in towards the listening position. There are 3 popular ammounts:

    A) So the 2 speakers focus 1-2 feet in front of the primary listening position. (This is the traditional music alignment).

    B) So the 2 speakers focus on the primary listening position.

    C) So the 2 speakers focus 1-2 feet behind the primary listening position.

    Since the speakers and rooms are different for everyone, you just have to play around and pick one.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Jaimin

    Jaimin Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, good to know. Thanks for the great advice. I am almost ready to buy now, but I have one last decision. Has anyone ever compared energy speakers, specifically C-7 towers against Klipsch RF3-II towers, I am basically deciding between those two now. I expect that listening to both would the best option which I hopefully can do soon, but if anyone has any input I would appreciate it. Again thanks for the advice on the positioning, getting the speaker wire, and the other essentials.
     
  8. Dimitri H

    Dimitri H Auditioning

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    Hey guys - I'm also a newbie. Jaimin, I hope you don't mind me piggybacking on your thread but I'm also interested in the 3802. I'm seriously looking at Boston Acoustics speakers. However, due to having a small boy in the house (who'll either knock over towers onto himself or stick something into the speaker grill), I've resigned myself to buying all bookshelf speakers and mounting them using wall speaker mounts. My dilemna (besides the fact that my living room is going to look tacky), is I'll have to mount the speakers high and in the corners of the room facing down (the layout and size of my living room doesn't give me much choice). Should I even consider doing this (without degrading the performance of the system) or just bag the idea and stick with what I got (DVD and Sony 32" WEGA). Thanks for your help, it's great that you guys take the time to help out us rookies.
     
  9. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    Jaimin,
    You have surround options with that receiver that are great. I seem to recall that "Surround B" can be used for additional corner-placed, tower speakers for multi-channel audio at a later date. Check the manual for how this option works. Since your priority is movies, stick with wall-mounted dipoles or put them on tall stands (where are the surround speakers in movie theaters?). Most soundtracks of distinction are mixed in dubbing stages with diffuse surround speaker arrays or dipoles. The issue is room size. Your room is on the large side for a home theater but small compared to commercial movie theaters or professional dubbing stages.
    There is a movement in the professional community for multi-channel audio recordings to begin using the same techniques as multi-channel film soundtracks. There is a serious compromise in achieving what the producer of the audio program intended if you are limited to one format over the other. Perhaps with your "Surround B" option you can adapt when you want and if you want, just include the wire in your plan.
    That receiver does not have a lot of power for your size of room. Films frequently are more demanding of dynamics than music. The Klipschs are much more efficient than the other models you mentioned and won't stress your amps as readily. They may not have the subtle nuance of the M&Ks or B&Ws (B&M?) but will play louder with less power on transients and sustained dynamics.
    Depending on your seating position, it is most likely you would benefit from using the back surround channel as well. I currently have this receiver in my modest demo theater at my office. We do not consider multi-channel audio a greater priority than movies in our room. I'm using Atlantic Technology THX Select speakers with dual subs. The back surround is a genuine improvement in my setop.
    You did not mention what your video display is. If room acoustics are a factor in your planning so should viewing environment conditions. You did not mention any plans for acoustic treatments. Both elements are critical to achieve the best performance from your equipment investment. They can be attended to later in many instances, if cost is a concern, but should be thought through before proceeding very far in your overall plan. The room is the costliest component and least likely to be changed down the road due to cost and mess. Equipment wears out and becomes outdated or upgraded much more often than the room construction. How high is your ceiling? Do you have openings into other rooms other than doors that can be closed? How well ventilated is the room?
    Best regards and beautiful picures,
    G. Alan Brown, President
    CinemaQuest, Inc.
    THX Certified
    Insist on HDTV![​IMG]
     
  10. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Dimitri,

    Upgrading your system to include separate speakers will greatly improve the sound. TV speakers aren't the best.

    However, speakers sound best if the tweeters (the drivers that produce the high frequencies) are at the same height as the listeners' ears. Having the speakers much higher than the TV screen also will be somewhat distracting since the sounds won't be coming from near the image. Some people don't find it that bad, though. In-wall and in-ceiling speaker systems, for example, are often used.
     
  11. Jaimin

    Jaimin Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello George, thanks for the generous response. So one thing you are saying is that using towers in the rear will be a much poorer choice than using dipoles? Also I did mean B&W and not B&M, sorry. As far as having a back surround that would have to be an option that would be pursued later, but I will definetly give it thought. My display is a Toshiba 57h81 which is a moderate TV I guess, and I plan on purchasing a progressive dvd player along with the home theater. I wish we could have HDTV, but our provider doesn't feed it over cable yet and we are too far from Downtown LA to receive over the air channels without a huge antenna. Oh and about the acoustics, I realize that it is a crucial part of sound, however I don't have a budget to change anything in the room. The ceiling starts off at 12 feet high and then angles up to center of the room at about 18 feet (just eyeball estimates). Should this change my decision in the receiver and speakers I purchase, I really want to stick with speakers in the price range of the Klipschs? Thanks again for your response.
     

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