Newbie Setup-- help!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eddie Ras, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. Eddie Ras

    Eddie Ras Stunt Coordinator

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    first let me start by saying i'm an electronically declined. so go easy on me!

    i just ordered the following:

    Denon 2802

    Klipsch SF 2, SS 1, SC 1 and the KSW 10 subwoofer.

    I have a 31 inch TV with only RCA inputs

    a dolby digital satellite receiver (direct TV)

    and Replay TV (Panasonic Showstopper) no digital audio out, tho both have s-video and it pisses me off my tv doesn't!

    My living room is 19x13, with the tv, etc is at one end of the living room

    QUESTIONS:

    -does everything go into the receiver (replay tv, too) and then out to the tv?

    -Speaker wire recommendations- from what i've read here 12 gauge is the way to go. any brands or other things i should look for?

    -what about the sub- i've read here about special cables, coax etc. don't they use the same wires as the rest?

    -is the distance of the sub speaker wire an issue- the way mine will run, will require about 45'.

    -optical cable? what should i get? is the RCA Brand ok? i've seen them on ebay for as cheap as $6.00! what brand?

    -any other hook ups, wires etc i'll need? i want to have everything here when the order arrives so i can get cookin!

    -is this stuff tough to set up? remember, i'm an idiot with these things!

    -any other tips/advice you can share??

    thanks so much!

    ed
     
  2. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    I know nothing about Replay TV so I will leave that for someone else. I know that the configurations can get confusing to say the least.

    Speaker cable: It is recommended to get 12 gauge cable. I personally would not buy Monster cable or the like. You can get it at Home Depot by the foot. I like using banana plugs, but they are overpriced. I was a able to get a deal when I purchased mine. BTW, banana plugs attach to the end of the cable with a set screw or solder giving you a cleaner connection. When I say cleaner, I mean appearance.

    Sub cable: You should not use any old wire for this. It should be shielded. You can purchase subwoofer cables, but again they are way overpriced. You can make your own that will work flawlessly from RG6 Coax. It is easy to do and will only cost you around $12.00.

    Sub cable length: 45' should do fine with good quality shielded cable. This is yet another reason to make your own. A 45' sub cable will be expensive and possible not as good. Plus, when making your own, you can get the exact length you want. Let us know if you want to know how to make these.

    Optical cable: The cheaper brands tend to come loose easier than the more expensive brands. They will pop out of the optical socket. It is my opinion that one optical cable is just as good as another in terms of acoustic quality. This is debatable here at the HTF.

    C. Ryan
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Since you asked for "tips": [​IMG]
    - Put your receiver on the BOTTOM of your rack/shelf. This allows the speaker wires to flow out with a minimal drop and not hide the back of the rest of the equipment.
    - Put devices you actually touch (DVD, VCR) on the top to avoid bending over a lot.
    (From this layout, you can now 'guestimate' the lengths of cables you will need)
    - Can your speakers accept Banana plugs? If so, go to Radio Shack and get the dual-banana plugs (with the solid spacer bar) for behind your speakers. Get the 2-piece banana plugs for behind your receiver.
    - Do NOT try to hook everything up at once. Install the receiver & hook up the speakers. Use test-tones to make sure all the speakers are properly hooked up. Then hook in the VCR, CD, CATV box. Make sure these all work. Then hook up the DVD player as the last step.
    - Make sure to buy:
    Batteries for the remote
    A Radio Shack SPL meter to level adjust the speakers
    Good Luck.
     
  4. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Needed to add a few more things....
    You can look here for pretty good optical cables. I was really suprised by the quality when I received them. Click on the following link and search "toslink."
    http://www.mcmelectronics.com/Profil...gistered.jhtml
    Also, everything can be run through the receiver if your receiver has enough inputs. That is what I do with my s-vid components. Letting the receiver do the switching makes everything much easier to use.
    Cannot think of anything more to add except that you will want a new TV after all of this.
    Have fun,
    C. Ryan
     
  5. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    One more note on what Bob said. First, you do have to determine whether on not your receiver and speakers can take banana plugs. If they can, the dual ones will not allways work. They would not with my receiver. The spacing was different than what the dual plugs required. So you do need to check that.

    C. Ryan
     
  6. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    Bob:

     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Well you DO need to have clearance around the vents for the receiver. Neither position will work unless you have 2-4 inches above the receiver to vent the heat.

    Since heat rises, putting the receiver on top is actually worse because the heat from ALL the components will be heading right for it.

    And for those hot summer days, the bottom-shelf puts the receiver at just the right height (in my rack at least) for the small box fan on the floor to blow across it. Putting the receiver higher now creates a mounting issue for the fan.
     
  8. Magnar_v

    Magnar_v Auditioning

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    Re the optical cable advice. Don't go for optical go for digital (coax) cable instead. Same price. Remember that the signal needs to be converted to "light" between the components. The quality of optical converters in a budget component is not excellent. Better quality on the D/A converter so I would suggest a coax (like Taralabs Prism??) instead.[​IMG]
     
  9. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    See, what did I tell ya! [​IMG] There will always be a debate on whether or not to go toslink (optical) or coax. It is possible that your components will make up your mind for you since not all components included both hook-ups. You may have to go with what your equipment will allow.
    And welcome to the forum Magnar! [​IMG]
    C. Ryan
     
  10. Eddie Ras

    Eddie Ras Stunt Coordinator

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    hey guys -- thanks so much for all the info. a few follow-ups...

    regarding the banana plugs, is it just for aesthics, or does it help? i checked the specs on the receiver and all it states is Binding Post Speaker Terminals. will the plugs work here? the speakers do take them.

    what is the Radio Shack SPL meter -- and why/what am i testing??

    back to the sub - so i can't use the 12 gauge for this?? - i do need a special cable-- did i mentioned it's a powered sub- or are they all powered????!

    thanks again- i really appreciate all the great help!

    ed
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  12. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Eddie,

    Banana plugs are a convenient way to attach speaker wires to the amp's binding post, and speakers, by just pushing into the post. You can pull 'em out while moving the gear around, easier than putting bare wire into the post and screwing them in. It's an initial investment == Radio Shack's plain vanilla sell for $6 or $7 a pair.

    The $35 RS Analog sound pressure level meter (9volt battery) is what most people use together with a tone-generating disk, that also shows you how to adjust your tv picture to its best using the tv's contract, brightness, color, tint and sharpness controls. You want yr new spkrs to sound the best in YOUR room, right? Get the meter and use the easy, step by step disk -- AVIA, Video Essentials, Sound&Vision Home Theater Tune-Up. Use the Search engine to find more on these disks.

    Many recommend a regular RG6 cabletv type cable with F-Connectors and two F-to-RCA adapters (Radio Shack) between the amp's SUB OUT and the powered subwoofer. Say you put the sub in a front corner -- what's the distance in cable length along the wall baseboard to where your amp will be?
     
  13. Eddie Ras

    Eddie Ras Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Eddie, the setup discs do not come with the meters. The meteres are used for other purposes outside of home theater. They just happen to be very convenient for our purposes.

    The setup discs are, of course, DVDs, so obviously you can't use them without a DVD player. You can still use the receiver's test tones, but it won't be as accurate.

    The basic idea is, you set the meter to a reference level. This is somewhere around 70-80 decibals, depending on your preference (I think 80 is movie theater reference, but most people prefer to set it lower than that for the practical reason that most folks won't crank it up that loud. I went with 75 for my small living room and relatively low-end sound equipment). You play a test tone from one speaker and change it's volume until your meter reads the reference level. Do this for all speakers.

    I don't mean to sound negative, but one questions why a person would buy all this equipment without a DVD player. That's really the only way to watch movies in a home theater setup, unless you plan on getting by with a Laser Disk player.
     
  15. Eddie Ras

    Eddie Ras Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    A few more items:

    - You can rent Avia or VE from most stores (Blockbuster, etc.)

    - The majority of receiver's can't convert video formats. (S-video to composite, etc.). Since your TV is only composite (that yellow RCA connector) run RCA for all your video.

    - There is absolutely no need to purchase fancy cabling. I'd suggest going with the digital coax (vs. optical) if possible for the reason that it's cheaper.
     

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