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204 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 42803 11-Oct-2009 14:30 Send private message

Does anyone know a good resource for home theatre basics?
Iwould really like to understand the basic differences between dolby digital and dts, amp and decoder, what kind of surround speakers I can connect to a DVD player and what I'd have to connect to an amp (or whatever it is) first, what do the wattage figures mean, what's the difference between component, optical, 3.5mm and other connectors... Like a Home Theatre 101 course I guess.




Hello, Ground!

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  Reply # 263285 11-Oct-2009 15:27 Send private message

Setting up your home theatre

AVR FAQ

Audio business can suck up your entire life (a bit like petrol head addiction) not to mention all your fortune. So start with a budget in mind and invest in 3 good matching speakers first. then a decent amp. then a powerful low sub that preferably goes down to about 20-25Hz. and then the cheapest 2 okay speakers. that'll give you a good 5.1 home theatre system. you dont need more than that for a start (well, actually, you really dont!)

example:
budget $3000
new: wharfedale diamond 10.6 pair 10.CM centre with an amp with HDMI out that carries full range colour signal.
a sub off trademe. a pair of bookshelves of trademe.
check out paulmoney.co.nz (note i am not affiliated to them) and they usually have half price specials all the time just ask for john tom.

budget $100,000
new sonus faber cremonas
some weird preamp
rotel torroidal amp
massive twin velodyne tsunami generating subs
gold trick interconnects
giant tv
room (walls carpet ceiling) sound treatment
etc ...

good luck!

what ever you do dont buy home theatre in a box ... just dont!



204 posts

Master Geek
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Reply # 263297 11-Oct-2009 18:08 Send private message

joker97: Setting up your home theatre

AVR FAQ

Audio business can suck up your entire life (a bit like petrol head addiction) not to mention all your fortune. So start with a budget in mind and invest in 3 good matching speakers first. then a decent amp. then a powerful low sub that preferably goes down to about 20-25Hz. and then the cheapest 2 okay speakers. that'll give you a good 5.1 home theatre system. you dont need more than that for a start (well, actually, you really dont!)


That's the most straight forward advice I've received so far. Thanks!


budget $100,000
new sonus faber cremonas
some weird preamp
rotel torroidal amp
massive twin velodyne tsunami generating subs
gold trick interconnects
giant tv
room (walls carpet ceiling) sound treatment
etc ...


Laughing Lol I had to google most of the words you used above just to understand what they meant. But then again, $100,000 budget... Where is that lotto ticket I bought last week again?


what ever you do dont buy home theatre in a box ... just dont!

Why not? No, seriously, from a lame person's point of view - wouldn't their components have been designed to work together?




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  Reply # 263311 11-Oct-2009 19:36 Send private message

Kookoo:
what ever you do dont buy home theatre in a box ... just dont!

Why not? No, seriously, from a lame person's point of view - wouldn't their components have been designed to work together?


they give you sound, makes some noise.
but they dont give you a home theatre, very poor sound quality/presence for the money you pay.

$1500 HTB sound is like a 21" CRT tv
proper sound in my $3000 budget will give the equivalent of a 40" full HD LED TV. the difference (well, to a sound engineer's ears) are like sea and sky.

of course, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. if you live is a tiny crammed area and can't be bothered making space, then HTB will suit them fine. but dont expect to be wowed by scenes that are meant to wow ... just expect sound to move left to right and behind, and perhaps your ears to hurt a wee bit instead of an out of body experience when you turn up the volume in a cool movie.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 263328 11-Oct-2009 20:34 Send private message

Nice. A 21'' CRT. Now I know what you mean. To do list:
1) Read the 101.
2) Research.
3) Convince the misus we need to invest in a decent HT.
4) Get the components.
5) Convert the couch into a bed. :)




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374 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 263360 11-Oct-2009 22:19 Send private message

Honestly, if youre not a HT buff, and by that I mean you don't have horrendously expensive speaker cabling etc and you aren't an audio engineer with ears for such things then a Home theatre in a box would more than do the trick. The biggest let down would be if you wanna play your CDs etc at full noise, they dont do this so well.

Ive got 2 at present (prior system was a $4k component amp/dvd player/speaker setup) and they both perform as well as the more expensive component set did... as well as take up far less room.

Another example
My parents recently built a new house, the lounge is huge (im talking 60-80 sq metres) and they recently bought a panyy 50 Hd plasma that came with a HDMI HT in a box. The old man was dubious about using it, but i convinced him to try (he already had al the cabling etc imbedded in the walls). The sound was very surprising, very clear and could maintain resonable volumes without distorting etc. He was impressed to the extent that he removed the old system (again an expensive somponent system) and relegated it to the family room.

In contradiction to joker97 and hopefully without starting an argument/ fight/jovial jesting btw the 2 of us I think the HTIAB are good for HT, theyre unobtrusive and you may be able to sway your partner round to getting one easier as a result. Theyre cheap comparatively (both mine are sub $800 and the old mans currently retails for around $600).

On another note.....oh no thinks those readin :-)
Consider whether you're likely to use foreign Dvds (or Blu-rays) from your collection. Some units are alot harder to make "region-free" than other brands. PAnasonic ones from what Ive been told need to be taken to a service agent to de-zone, whilst for samsungs a few clicks of the remote is all thats needed.

and if you get an HT inabox, youll be able to spend more on the 50 inch LED TV youve always wanted. :-)

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  Reply # 263376 11-Oct-2009 23:32 Send private message

In contradiction to joker97 and hopefully without starting an argument/ fight/jovial jesting btw the 2 of us I think the HTIAB are good for HT, theyre unobtrusive and you may be able to sway your partner round to getting one easier as a result. Theyre cheap comparatively (both mine are sub $800 and the old mans currently retails for around $600).

and if you get an HT inabox, youll be able to spend more on the 50 inch LED TV youve always wanted. :-)


you could be right. as i said, 'eye of the beholder'. i spend literally hours on my home theatre, buying and selling different speakers and different amps coz i didnt like them despite doing a lot of research. but then i'm a hobbyist sound/stage engineer ...

(also can be hard to setup/lots of cables etc etc)

and you might just not be able to tell the difference, although i tell myself they're like sea and sky, but to anyone else (esp my in laws!) they went - huh, you have a new home theatre? what's new? (when before i only have the tv!)

REGARDING RESEARCH: a lot of the the US forums discuss products not available in NZ

have fun!

ps - why dont you ask for a comparison between HT and HTB in a professional sound place, NOT an electrical supermarket like harvey norman where the background noise is high. just a thought

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  Reply # 263391 12-Oct-2009 06:26 Send private message

I have recently been through this exact same dilemma of first trying to get up to speed on what's available here in NZ, then setting a budget based on the optimum price/performance ratio, and finally going out and actually hearing some of this stuff with my own ears.

I'll spam my recent experience of a few "relatively cheap" speaker systems (between 1k to 2k, not including amp) - of course its impossible to describe sound with words but still, this might be of some use to the O.P.

Boston Acoustics CS2310 - wasn't really impressed by this, thin and ordinary sound lacking in all departments really.

KEF HT2005.3 - Definitely an improvement, this system had enough dynamics to produce an enjoyable movie experience, I'd certainly recommend you attempt to demo this system, but just not down at JB Hi-Fi in Wellington as they seem to have configured this horribly wrong and it just sounds like crap there. Try it out at your local "Eastern HiFi" if you can.

Mirage Nanosat 5.1 - Certainly on par with the KEF system, in fact I was torn between this and the KEF's at one stage. This system is supposed to produce a "omni directional" sound field - well I couldn't be sure, but it was definitely impressive - very sharp treble and the sub was perfectly matched to its satellites, in that you couldn't detect when it began handling the lower frequencies - also worth a listen.

Q Acoustics 1010i Series 5.1 pack - On carefull A/B comparison of this system against the KEF's, I felt the sub could express more "musicality", in that it could reproduce a larger range of bass tones without just becoming boomy - probably the better system but I still think there all worth a listen.

In the end I took a gamble and purchased a more conventional "pre-loved" set composed of PSB Image B25 fronts, C40 center and Alpha LR1 surrounds, unfortunately I've yet to hook the damn things up for lack of speaker wire, but all of the people I asked assured me that this would be the best buy in my case.

Buying a receiver was a whole other ballpark though, in the end I decided to purchase a 2008 Yamaha RX-V663 which is equivalent to the 2009 RX-V765. What swayed me towards the Yamaha is reports from dealers themselves of Onkyo's running extremely hot, new Denon's suffering various electronic failures and Marantz's being good but just too damn expensive. You'll be hard pressed to find another new RX-V663 in NZ unfortunately.

If your seriously on a budged though, consider the Logitech Z-5500 system which can be found for around $600 online, it's probably is the best bang for the buck at that price point.

Hope all that was of some use :)

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  Reply # 263528 12-Oct-2009 17:24 Send private message

the RV663 lacks nothing (in performance) at all. perfect.
it's got a lot more room to perform if given speakers upto 5-10x as good as the psb image b25, but hey, will anyone notice it on geekzone ... not many probably

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