Starting to build a home theater

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allen Longcor, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    I have a few questions.
    1. Is it important that the center speaker be the same brand as your front speakers? I read somewhere that as a rule of thumb it is a good idea to do that, but is there really a difference? Or should I just go with another quality center speaker.
    2. Are there any CD's out there to specifically test the capabilities of your audio system? If not could you recommend some good albums/songs to do this.
    3. If anyone could please recommend some good receivers, TV's, and cd players that would be great. Thx.
     
  2. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    Hi Allen,
    Welcome to HTF! You have a lot of questions, and I will try to answer some of them. I'm sure other members will help out with some of the questions too.
    Usually it's recommended to buy a center channel made by the same company as your left/right mains because it's extremely important that the entire front soundstage (left, center, right) are tonally matched. In fact, it's a good idea to purchase a center channel speaker from the same line of speakers, not just from the same manufacturer, for this reason. Think of it this way: if you're watching a movie in which a race car drives from left to right across your TV, you want the sound of the engine to remain the same as the sound pans from left, to center, to right. If the engine sounds like a Formula 1 racecar through the left speaker, but sounds like a lawnmower engine through the center channel, it will be noticeable and will diminish the enjoyment of the film. That's why it's important to get a "matching" center channel speaker.
    As an aside, an enormous amount of information passes through the center channel (it's the primary dialog channel) so it's important to get a quality one.
    Are you looking for CDs or DVDs to test your system? And what do you mean by "test" - does this mean discs to demonstrate the capabilities of the system, or discs to diagnose the sound quality?
    Avia Guide to Home Theater and Video Essentials are two good HT diagnostic discs to help improve the audio and video quality of a HT.
    If you want good "demo" discs, you could do a search on this forum (perhaps the "Home Theater Software" board) and I think you'll find a lot of options.
    There are lots of good, informative discussions on receivers & CD players on the "Home Theater Hardware" board, and you can also check the "TV & Projectors" board for TV info.
    Hope this helps - good luck in your search!
    ------------------
    Scott
     
  3. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    Thanks a lot for the info. Regarding the second question, I was looking for CD's specifically made to test the sound quality of a system (bass, highs, lows, etc...). I'll have to check out your recommendation. I'm just starting to learn about home theater so I don't know a lot yet, but I hope to learn more from this board as well as other sites.
     
  4. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I use Strykes Basszone Test CD and a Radio Shack SPL meter to calibrate my speakers.
    You can order the CD at http://www.stryke.com.
    Also, some recievers/amps have a test mode built into them where you can adjust the volume levels of the different channels.
    Good luck with your system.
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    Dave Poehlman
    [​IMG]
    It doesn't matter how you get there if you don't know where you're going.
     

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