Wire hookup help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Todd Trombley, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. Todd Trombley

    Todd Trombley Auditioning

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    Hey everyone!
    I've been browsing the forum recently, desperately searching for anything to help me out. The FAQ's are absolutely amazing, and helped to greatly increase my knowledge of the home audio world. It's helped me to learn a lot of the terms, unfortunately, I'm still somewhat in the dark about all cable/wire connections. I know I'm asking a lot here, but hopefully someone can help me out without too much trouble.
    The system install was done in a makeshift job by my dad at our old house. We moved about a year ago, but only last week did we finish the new room up in the basement. Now that I'm home from school, I'd like to do it right, and be done with it!
    Our equipment is as follows:
    Sony KP-61V75 Television
    Pioneer VSX-D608 Receiver
    Sony DVP-S330 DVD Player
    Mitsubishi VCR
    Pictures of all this equipment, can be found at:
    http://www.nerdish.com/todd/Home%20Audio/
    We currently have one digital optical cable, one S-video cable, and a bunch of your basic audio/video analog cables. Can we make do with that? Or will we benefit from additional cables?
    Like I said, I know this is a lot to ask...but if someone could take a lil time to help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it. I fully intend on learning more and more, and becoming an active member of this forum. Thanks in advance for all your help! [​IMG]
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Todd. Welcome to HTF!
    Great pictures of your equipment.
    My advice would be to do the following:
    - Run SVideo from everything to the receiver, then one SVideo cable from the recevier to one of the inputs on the TV.
    - Run 1 set of Component Video cables straight from the DVD player to the TV.
    For normal operation: Turn on TV, Receiver, and any source. Use the receiver remote to select the source. The TV is left seeing the SVideo feed from the receiver. When you want to switch, just use the receiver remote for everything.
    (The TV now becomes a dumb On/Off device. All volume control is handled through the receiver. Channel surfing is done through the VCR).
    When you want to do some serious DVD watching, take the extra step to grab the TV remote and flip to the component input for the slightly better video feed.
    Rack Layout:
    I strongly suggest putting the receiver on your lowest shelf. This allows the speaker wires to flow out without obscuring/interfearing with the other devices. Put the devices you actually touch a lot (DVD, VCR) up at standing-level so you dont have to stoop to use them. Leave shelves open in-between to store DVD's, tapes, and ventilation.
    Once you do this, now you can measure the lengths of cables you need.
    Speaker Wire:
    From the picture you are using solid-wire speaker wire that looks to be about 18 ga. Most of us buy a spool of 12 ga stranded wire and use it everywhere. I suggest you do the same. www.partsexpress.com is where you go to order the "Sound King" speaker wire.
    Go to Radio Shack and check out their dual banana plugs (xxx-308). If these stick out too far, go with the single banana plugs (xxx-306). They make wireing that 12 ga wire fast, safe and easy.
    (Note: Radio Shack sells a cheap $20 Composite-to-SVideo converter. Use one of these for the output of the VCR so all sources look like a SVideo source.)
    For cables, a lot of people like the Acoustic Research brand from places like Best Buy. Very good quality at a budget price.
    If you want to try a really good component video cable, the custom cables sold by www.bettercables.com are hands down the best. Take the cost of the electronics you are hooking up and take 10% of this price. This is the limit of what you should spend for a cable.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    PS: this thread on hookup help has a lot of my similar advice.
     
  4. Todd Trombley

    Todd Trombley Auditioning

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    [​IMG]
    Thanks very much!
    So now, if we don't opt to get both the composite and the SVideo to go out from the DVD, should we just take the SVideo from the DVD to the TV? I know...we're being kinda tight.
    It's also unlikely that we'll get the composite ---> SVideo connector for the VCR, seeing how we haven't used the thing in months. I know...tight. So use composite from the VCR to receiver? Or straight to the TV?
    I understand we have a capable receiver that is not completely being taken advantage of. [​IMG]
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ok, there are 3 types of video connections:
    Composite: Single RCA cable, usually yellow
    SVideo: Funny 'keyboard' plug and a wire that LOOKS like one wire, but is really 2 wires
    Component: Three RCA cables, usually in a bundle.
    So when you said 'composite', I think you mean 'component'.
    You actually caught me in some bad advice. You only need to run video through the receiver if you have 2 or more of the same type of devices (composite, svideo, component). I did not count your equipment as well as I should have.
    By all means, go straight to the TV with the video feed. But this does mean a little more complex switching when you want to watch a DVD.
    You can use a SVideo cable, but a $30 Component cable would not be a bad thing to try.
     
  6. Todd Trombley

    Todd Trombley Auditioning

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  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  8. Kurt_U

    Kurt_U Agent

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    "From the picture you are using solid-wire speaker wire that looks to be about 18 ga. Most of us buy a spool of 12 ga stranded wire and use it everywhere. I suggest you do the same. www.partsexpress.com is where you go to order the "Sound King" speaker wire."
    Three questions on the previous posts:
    1. What is "solid-wire"?
    2. The description of the 12 ga wire on Partexpress doesn't mention shielding, yet it is talked about all over the forums in relation to wiring. If it doesn't have it, why do most people go this route?
    3. Does it come in any other colors on other sites (black or white)?
    Thanks for info. I never knew how much I didn't know.
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    1. What is "solid-wire"?
    I'm not sure where this was mentioned but... Most speaker wire is made up of braded strands of thin copper. This allows the wire to bend/flex without much damage. You can also use solid electrical wire, but this is a solid piece of copper designed to be run in your walls and never touched for 10-40 years. It does not hold up to handling.
    The description of the 12 ga wire on Partexpress doesn't mention shielding
    Speaker level signals dont need shielding. Line-Level signals DO.
    Ok, lets talk about the 2 types of signals in your system:
    Speaker Level - Your speakers are in effect a MOTOR. It takes a lot of power to create the mechanical movement to make sound. The wires need to be thick to carry the current, but dont need to be shielded because the real signals are very strong/powerfull. Any electrical noise is simply ignored/swamped by the real signals.
    Line Level/Un-Amplified - These signals are very weak, 0-2 volts and almost no current. They flow from the boxes in your system to your receiver/tv. Because these signals are weak, any nearby power wires or electrical noise could be mistaken for actual signals. You DONT use speaker wire for these signals. Instead you use "Interconnects".
    Have you ever cut the end off of some CATV coax? If you cut an Interconnect with RCA plugs it would look nearly identical: A solid center wire encased in white insulation. Around this is either foil/wire braid that acts like the "Shield". The shield is what protects the weak signals that run on the inner wire. The shield is also connected to your electronics as the zero-volt reference.
    Does it come in any other colors on other sites (black or white)?
    Yes. While Sound King only comes in clear, you can find flat 14 ga wire that is white to blend in with the walls. I've not seen any other colors.
    Hope this helps.
     
  10. Kurt_U

    Kurt_U Agent

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    How about wiring for a subwoofer? What makes this different?
     
  11. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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    Nothing, except that it's usually longer, so people who make a big deal about wiring will recommend better and better shielded cable for it. Plus, it carries almost exclusively low-freq sound, and so (if you believe wirephiles) can be optimized for that purpose. It's still a line-level signal carried between two RCA jacks...

    Me
     

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