***Official HTIB Alternatives Thread*** - Page 25 - AVS Forum
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post #721 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

I don't want to see you undo the good you're doing here. Better for people to spend their money and time on areas where there's a known, huge return:
- Money is much, much better spent on better speakers than on fancy wires.
- Effort to get placement and the room right will make a huge difference.

Most people in these forums (not just this thread) have known compromises they've made. Address those, don't worry about fancy wires.

WTF??? You're preaching to the choir...I don't recommend anyone starting out explore wire and cable arcana....that's one to sup with a long spoon.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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post #722 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 12:57 PM
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Well after reading this thread and talking to several folks, I now have what should be a decnt system building.

Toshiba 57HM167 DLP 1080P Television $1518 Amazon
56" Toshiba Stand $99 HHGregg. Closeout. Worked perfectly with 57" TV
Oppo 981 1080P Upscale DVD Player $229 Amazon
Harmon Kardon AVR 235 7.1 Channel Stereo Receiver $210 H/K Direct
Velodyne CHT 5 speaker system $199 Velodyne
Sony 150 watt 12" sub. 7 years old, but works ok for me so far. Momma still complains about it rattling the windows. I dont think it is to bad. Got everything for about the same price as a comparable Samsung TV.

Maybe momma will upgrade my sub to a bic H-100 for Xmas.
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post #723 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 05:02 PM
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Ron, Pagash and Buzzy, thanks again. Yeah, 85 ft is very loooooooong, and I am waiting until I get my front speakers/center/sub before I make any decisions about whether I want to run that length for surrounds. Still trying to figure out some way to get them under the hardwood floors. I may ask a floor installer about that, and see if they can remove a section (without destroying it) and then I can maybe grummel a large enough path in the subfloor,,,,I don't know, but going to look into it.

52" Samsung 750, finally satisfaction
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post #724 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 06:26 PM
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Great thread guys! Anyways, I was just auditioning Master and Commander to some friends on my family's Onkyo htib s780. While the sound design was fantastic, I've come to realize that our system is lacking ... mainly in good speakers that will sound fine on their own with music and actual, pure, visceral bass.

These forums have been great and I've compiled a kind of dream system to get my home theater started. I hope to have a ht started in a couple years when I'm a junior in college. Tell me what y'all think:

1. For front and surrounds Paradigm Atoms or Av123 x-series (wouldn't have heard of the company if it wasn't for avsforum ... speakers look beautiful!)
2. Centers: Is it better to use the center that accompanies these speaker sets or to use a single unit (say one atom or one onix) for the center?
3. SVS PB-10 or Hsu 2.3 (Any preference? Both are apparently flip of the coin and should totally decimate our htib onkyo sub)

That's what I have so far. Any other recommendations for this av newb are appreciated
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post #725 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post

WTF??? You're preaching to the choir...I don't recommend anyone starting out explore wire and cable arcana....that's one to sup with a long spoon.

Well, people can explore the "arcana" all they want, but in the end it's the cable sellers who'll be wielding the "long spoon", and they aren't planning to "sup" anyone with it, though what they have in mind is a one-syllable word that kind of rhymes with sup.

Anyway, WTF was my reaction too the first time you posted a comment suggesting that cables were even worth considering as a place to spend money, and now you did it again. The latest WTF was this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post

Wire and cable (interconnects) are a long standing argument within the community. Many think expensive solutions do make a difference, but I don't think you should spend a bunch of time or money at this stage. Get quality 14 or 12g wire for a reasonable price, it will be fine. I may experiment shortly on ICs with some silver cable, but I'm not paying before I try. If they make a difference, I'll let you know.

You suggest here (and have suggested before) that it might be worth considering at some point. That's not going to help anyone. So, if WTF? is the question, that's TF.

No one has to really take a stand on whether it's total BS or not, because it never passes the practical test. The idea is:

1) Buy reference quality speakers
2) Drive them with amps with enough clean power to never, ever distort or clip.
3) Put it all in a dedicated listening room.
4) Hook it up with fancy cables.

And people might believe they hear a difference. Nothing you can measure, mind you, but they might believe. Well, until somebody has done 1, 2 and 3 - it's not even worth talking about 4.

And if that's not enough, the easy points: Nobody reading this thread needs to think about fancy cables. Nobody mostly interested in HT, instead of music, should think about it.

Meanwhile, there's a bunch of areas where there's no debate about the huge impact, that's what people need to talk about:
- Get the placement right - height, toe in, etc. Look at the off axis charts in some of the reviews - huge benefit to getting the placement right.
- Think about the room.
- Get the best speakers you can get.
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post #726 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 07:39 PM
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- Get the placement right - height, toe in, etc. Look at the off axis charts in some of the reviews - huge benefit to getting the placement right.


damn, sounds as difficult as Golf, lmao. Hey, how do I quote someone without getting the whole text? I had to copy and paste on this one.

52" Samsung 750, finally satisfaction
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post #727 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post

Not surprised, the first time I hooked R30s into my Onkyo system I was pretty amazed. On the sub, it will really pay off overall if you calibrate with an RS SPL meter. Generally, to get clean/blended bass you very rarely need to go above 0 on the AVR and a 1/3 to 1/2 on the gain on the sub. The gain on the sub is not volume, it's an attenuator for the signal, just like the trim on the receiver. You want the sub to get enough signal from the AVR and enough output (gain) from the sub to balance with your front speakers. A nice sounding sub will only be noticed when off for music and make you sh*t your pants for HT

Hey Ron could you give us a few pointers on how to calibrate with a meter? Is a cheapie(Radio Shack) ok? Which Disc would you recommend? Hey guys, thanks a ton for that Hanes moment that you were talkng about. My wife is going to have a hard time getting me to go to the movies now.
Brian

P50G20/25
Polk CS125
Polk R150(2)
Acoustech H100
Onkyo TX-SR506
Sony Blu Ray BDP-S350
Harmony Remote 880
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post #728 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studdad View Post

EDITED OUT BY UBER DBROWDY!damn, sounds as difficult as Golf, lmao. Hey, how do I quote someone without getting the whole text? I had to copy and paste on this one.

You just quote it and then go edit it out of your reply thusly...
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post #729 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studdad View Post

damn, sounds as difficult as Golf, lmao. Hey, how do I quote someone without getting the whole text? I had to copy and paste on this one.

Just hit quote and delete the excess.

I'm on another forum where they have a function where you can highlight someone's post, hit one button, and it gets placed in the quick reply field with quote tags added. VERY handy.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #730 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianjen13 View Post

Hey Ron could you give us a few pointers on how to calibrate with a meter? Is a cheapie(Radio Shack) ok? Which Disc would you recommend? Hey guys, thanks a ton for that Hanes moment that you were talkng about. My wife is going to have a hard time getting me to go to the movies now.
Brian

There's a few great howto's in the Home Theater 101 thread (linked in the first post).

D
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post #731 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasherrr View Post

Panicking about speakers again - help needed!

I had my meeting with my custom install guy today, and I think I need to revisit my speaker decision. I am installing in my 14x23x9 room:

*Panasonic PT-AE1000U 1080p projector
*Focupix 105"screen (actual viewing area 100)
*Onkyo 505 Receiver
*HSU VTF-1 subwoofer
*HD-DVR, Upconvert DVD player
*Old but serviceable PSB center channel, two front PSB Century 400i, and two PSB Alpha Mites

My problem is that the PSB's now look chunky, and I am revisiting my decision to keep them all. I am thinking about keeping the Front three, junking the Alpha Mites, and buying 4 Orb Audio speakers with the wall mounts - they just look money in the online photos. The whole speaker setup would cost me $500 - but is it worth it? The guy is wiring the room, so it makes sense to do 7.1 while he is there I guess, but will I be able to notice the difference from 5.1?

Lastly - are there aesthetically pleasing wall mount-able or maybe even in-wall options anyone would recommend?

Thanks people!


OK - I am done..almost. I ended up learning a lot more about wires and cables lately. Bottom line - 16gauge wire seems fine, and buy your cables from monoprice or other reputable online seller. I needed 2 25' HDMI cables and they had them for $20 each, smaller HDMI cables were sub $8, and the wall mounts for my PSB's ended up being $6, and then I just spray painted them black to match the room.

I bought 4 Orb Audio speakers for the back half of a 7.1 setup (only the two rear speakers are yet to be installed. The old school 1997 version PSB's sound money in the front, and the HSU sub is just plain silly. I had a kid's house party over the weekend and there was about 70 people in my house, all had positive things to say about the sound and picture.

I promised pics, and here they are (obviously I need to buy furniture still!) All in all, I did this for less than $6k including installation, paint job, wires, cables, mounts, and components - with this Forum's help - so thank you!

http://picasaweb.google.com/jasherrr...ey=oSlzmxYMdsk
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post #732 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 08:19 PM
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I'll chech it out, thanks.
Brian

P50G20/25
Polk CS125
Polk R150(2)
Acoustech H100
Onkyo TX-SR506
Sony Blu Ray BDP-S350
Harmony Remote 880
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post #733 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jasherrr View Post

I promised pics, and here they are (obviously I need to buy furniture still. All in all, I did this for less than $6k including installation, paint job, wires, cables, mounts, and components - with this Forum's help - so thank you!

Where they are?

Grats, I'm glad you're happy with your purchase! Hopefully you'll stick around and share your new knowledge and experience with others.

D
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post #734 of 3363 Old 05-09-2007, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dbrowdy View Post

Where they are?

Grats, I'm glad you're happy with your purchase! Hopefully you'll stick around and share your new knowledge and experience with others.

D

I couldnt figure out how to include the pics in the thread so I slapped them up on Picasa and included the link - can someone tell me if they can see them?

I definitely learned a lot and feel that this system is something I can build on. Mos definitely will stick around - this site is super sticky!
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post #735 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

Well, people can explore the "arcana" all they want, but in the end it's the cable sellers who'll be wielding the "long spoon", and they aren't planning to "sup" anyone with it, though what they have in mind is a one-syllable word that kind of rhymes with sup.

That's my personal opinion as well, I think you read too much into my statment...

Quote:


Anyway, WTF was my reaction too the first time you posted a comment suggesting that cables were even worth considering as a place to spend money, and now you did it again. The latest WTF was this:You suggest here (and have suggested before) that it might be worth considering at some point. That's not going to help anyone. So, if WTF? is the question, that's TF.

I actually said that no one starting out should be considering this step, as you quoted. What "many audiophiles think or perceive (paraphrase)" is a statment not an endorsement. The fact that I have considered an audition is also a statement. A friend has some silver cable, he swears will sound different...fine...I'll listen and decide if there's any appreciable difference, but, as stated, I'm not putting my own coin into this, just curiosity.

Quote:


1) Buy reference quality speakers
2) Drive them with amps with enough clean power to never, ever distort or clip.
3) Put it all in a dedicated listening room.
4) Hook it up with fancy cables.

This might be true for many down the road...I'm not there yet nor suggest it.

Quote:


And if that's not enough, the easy points: Nobody reading this thread needs to think about fancy cables. Nobody mostly interested in HT, instead of music, should think about it.

Agreed, yet from your tone you believe I've overstepped...well we should all read our posts to make sure we are conveying what we truly feel, but your emphasis on what I posted certainly is not how I read it. Seems to be a sore subject for you (and others).

Quote:


Meanwhile, there's a bunch of areas where there's no debate about the huge impact, that's what people need to talk about:
- Get the placement right - height, toe in, etc. Look at the off axis charts in some of the reviews - huge benefit to getting the placement right.
- Think about the room.
- Get the best speakers you can get.

Agree 100%

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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post #736 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianjen13 View Post

Hey Ron could you give us a few pointers on how to calibrate with a meter? Is a cheapie(Radio Shack) ok? Which Disc would you recommend? Hey guys, thanks a ton for that Hanes moment that you were talkng about. My wife is going to have a hard time getting me to go to the movies now.
Brian

I use the RS meter all the time. I've tried both the Avia and DVE disks, but using the receiver test tones, as well as, free downloaded test tones for finding the subs frequency response (it's the fun and sometimes hard part) has been just as rewarding for me. The first rough calculation after setting up speaker distance, setting speaker size and crossover, then running the receiver tones is dead simple. Sit in the listening position, point the meter at ear level at a 45 degree angle toward the front speaker, then set the channel trims so that the speakers all match (75 or 85db depending on which reference you use). The sub gets tricky because long sound waves in the deep hz can give you funky responses depending on your room and placement. Also, a calibrated sub matching the mains, will actually be 2-3 db louder (the meter isn't as accurate down low). You may want to go slightly hotter than that. The meter is pretty essential, Avia will help you blend the bass with the mains easier. If you elect to go this route, PM me, I'll walk you through it.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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post #737 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbird View Post

2. Centers: Is it better to use the center that accompanies these speaker sets or to use a single unit (say one atom or one onix) for the center?

stick with the same manufacturer/series for the front three to ensure that the speakers are tonally (timbre) matched.


Quote:


3. SVS PB-10 or Hsu 2.3 (Any preference? Both are apparently flip of the coin and should totally decimate our htib onkyo sub)

either one will make the onkyo sub sound like a clock radio. i own the PB-10, and i know firsthand that it is capable of that gut-wrenching, deep, visceral bass while remaining extremely linear and clean. the Hsu is also a terrific sub with great reviews, i've just never had the chance to hear one. if its between these two, it might come down to cost/features/appearance. SVS offers more (and nicer, IMO) finishes, but the Hsu comes with more options, the most useful of which would be variable tuning (maximum output or maximum extension mode).

good luck.

"That's right Mr. Martini...there is an Easter Bunny".
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post #738 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasherrr View Post

I couldnt figure out how to include the pics in the thread so I slapped them up on Picasa and included the link - can someone tell me if they can see them?

I definitely learned a lot and feel that this system is something I can build on. Mos definitely will stick around - this site is super sticky!

Pics look great. I envy this set up. Really super. Love the colors. Let me know when its ready, you play the flics, I'll bring the single malt.

Great installation, good luck with it.

Some days it's hardly worth chewing through the restraints.
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post #739 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 06:59 AM
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I just ordered the new Onkyo TX-SR 505 receiver, so I'm ready to start trying out different speakers. I think I read earlier in this thread that the Polk Audio R15 and the R150 are virtually the same speaker, except that the R150 can't be wall mounted. Is this accurate information? I can get a hold of some R150's to listen to, but the R15's are a lot harder to find right now. I thought if I liked the R150's, I could find some R15's online somewhere, because I need them to be wall mounted for the surrounds.
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post #740 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 08:08 AM
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I remember a while ago when I was first looking at HTIB's someone mentioned some towers for the front and more bookshelf sized ones in the back that were supposed to be really good bang for the buck. I can't for the life of me remember the name or find it anywhere now. I do remember they were made by a guy up in Canada and it was a fairly small operation. Does anyone have any idea what I am talking about?
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post #741 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasherrr View Post

I couldnt figure out how to include the pics in the thread so I slapped them up on Picasa and included the link - can someone tell me if they can see them?

I definitely learned a lot and feel that this system is something I can build on. Mos definitely will stick around - this site is super sticky!

That system looks great man, congrats! I really like the colors of the walls and carpet and such. The Spiderman 3 poster looks great in there too (too bad the movie is such crap! I'd be embarrassed to have the poster up, as cool as it looks...) How's that sub sound in the room? Looks kinda small and lonely. Are you gonna put up any acoustic dampening stuff on the walls?

D
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post #742 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 01:24 PM
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I think I am going to get the Onkyo 504 after all since it is so cheap at Amazon. The 604 has 90 watts/channel listed verses the 75 for the 504. I am pairing this up with the Polk Audio RM6750 speakers. Is the 15 watts/channel more that the 604 produces worth an extra 250 bucks since I won't be using the HDMI features?

Thanks!
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post #743 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 02:26 PM
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Thanks to everyone's help, I'm (almost) all set up.

Have my Onkyo 674, bic h-100 sub, and a pair of Polk Rti6 speakers to complete my 2.1 system.

Couple questions for the gurus:

1). My wife's major complaint about speakers has always been balance issues between dialogue and background noise. I notice this somewhat with the Polk speakers, but they're certainly 1000% better than my old cheap htib.

Would adding a center speaker help with this? The problem with a center would be that it would be difficult to place if not attached to the top of my plasma. I was taking a look at the SVS center speaker (http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-sbs01.cfm) as that can attach to the top of my tv, but if it's not going to blend well with my speakers and not improve dialogue volume, I don't want to drop any more money.

2). Is lifting my front speakers off the ground to ear level going to make any difference in the sound I hear? I have a bit of a tight space, and currently have the Polks on the ground. I bought some stands, but it might be difficult raising the speakers without blocking the tv, which obviously is a no no. Also, kinda hard to describe without a pic, but one speaker actually sits about 4 inches higher than the other as it's sitting on the raised marble by my fireplace.
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post #744 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 02:48 PM
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SMJ,

Adding a center channel speaker would certainly help the dialogue, since that is its primary purpose. As far as mounting one on your plasma, I cannot give any advice, outside of a stand designed for that purpose. Looking at the SVS center speaker you linked, I don't see how it is better suited for mounting on your tv, any more so than one from "Brand X".

Getting your speakers of the floor will dramatically improve the sound you hear. With your ears at the same level as the speakers, you will get a more directed effect. I can't think of any advice given in these forums to the contrary.

A picture, diagram or description of your room may shed some light on your placement dilemma. More information on the room would probably provide better assistance from much wiser and sound-savvy than myself.

Hopefully, those better versed in HT audio will follow me and supply you with more/better advice...
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post #745 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveMeJebus View Post

Thanks to everyone's help, I'm (almost) all set up.

Have my Onkyo 674, bic h-100 sub, and a pair of Polk Rti6 speakers to complete my 2.1 system.

Couple questions for the gurus:

1). My wife's major complaint about speakers has always been balance issues between dialogue and background noise. I notice this somewhat with the Polk speakers, but they're certainly 1000% better than my old cheap htib.

Would adding a center speaker help with this? The problem with a center would be that it would be difficult to place if not attached to the top of my plasma. I was taking a look at the SVS center speaker (http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-sbs01.cfm) as that can attach to the top of my tv, but if it's not going to blend well with my speakers and not improve dialogue volume, I don't want to drop any more money.

This is pretty much the whole point of the center speaker. It plays the dialogue and the fronts play sound effects and music and such. Once they're separated out you can adjust the levels to your tastes.

I ordered a whole SVS SBS set so I'll let you know how it sounds when I get it all setup. :-]

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveMeJebus View Post

2). Is lifting my front speakers off the ground to ear level going to make any difference in the sound I hear? I have a bit of a tight space, and currently have the Polks on the ground. I bought some stands, but it might be difficult raising the speakers without blocking the tv, which obviously is a no no. Also, kinda hard to describe without a pic, but one speaker actually sits about 4 inches higher than the other as it's sitting on the raised marble by my fireplace.

It's my understanding that after purchasing good equipment, the next step is making sure it's setup correctly. Lifting your speakers to ear level should make a noticeable difference. If you can't manage that, at least try pointing them towards ear-level a bit.

I read a big article saying how audio frequencies become more directional the higher they get. By that I mean bass sounds good everywhere but treble goes where your speaker is pointed. If your speaker is significantly below ear-level, you will hear very little treble, some mids and most bass. This could definitely affect your ability to pick out dialogue from everything else.

D
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post #746 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveMeJebus View Post

I was taking a look at the SVS center speaker (http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-sbs01.cfm)

From what I understand it would be best to timbre match the front 3 speakers, so you're probably better off looking at a Polk CSi3 center to give you the best seamless sound.

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Originally Posted by SaveMeJebus View Post

Is lifting my front speakers off the ground to ear level going to make any difference in the sound I hear?

It will make a huge improvement.
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post #747 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dbrowdy View Post

That system looks great man, congrats! I really like the colors of the walls and carpet and such. The Spiderman 3 poster looks great in there too (too bad the movie is such crap! I'd be embarrassed to have the poster up, as cool as it looks...) How's that sub sound in the room? Looks kinda small and lonely. Are you gonna put up any acoustic dampening stuff on the walls?

D

Ha! The poster is 10 times better than the movie I have heard (havent seen yet). The sub is outrageous, I read GSTAR talking about the gut wrenching house shaking sub - and the VTF-1 certainly does the trick for my little setup. Its in the basement and if you are on the main floor, it literally sounds and feels like there is a rock concert downstairs. I decided between SVS and HSU but really have no point of reference on which is better, I just know this one is nice.

I am done tinkering for a while - so likely no soundproofing until I make some more money!
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post #748 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 03:57 PM
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I think once you get the speakers off the floor dialog will get better. 24 to 28" stands will place the tweeter at ear level. Toe them in toward the LP a bit (depending) will get you a clear center image in the sweetspot (wife will have to sit next to you) until you get a center. The center provides clear dialog off axis and it's why it's recommended(but not essential for HT). The CSi3 has a beveled top that allows you to mount the speaker under the TV facing upwards if you can find the space. If not you can purchase a center bracket mount with a ball joint that can be tilted toward the LP.

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post #749 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ac556 View Post

I think I am going to get the Onkyo 504 after all since it is so cheap at Amazon. The 604 has 90 watts/channel listed verses the 75 for the 504. I am pairing this up with the Polk Audio RM6750 speakers. Is the 15 watts/channel more that the 604 produces worth an extra 250 bucks since I won't be using the HDMI features?

Thanks!

You're fine with the 504. 15 watts at the top end (all out) won't add much...slightly more headroom for dynamic peaks. Most of us rarely use more than 30 watts even a relatively loud levels. It's those 25db peaks that come up from time to time that stress the amp sections.

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post #750 of 3363 Old 05-10-2007, 04:55 PM
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So I'm ready for a home theater system and this forum has been a big help. However, I seem to be stuck. I don't know what I need. I know I want a 5.1 setup eventually. Here's what I have:

HDTV has 2 component inputs, 1 HDMI, 1 digital audio optical, and a few composites which hopefully I won't need

Cable box has 1 component in and 1 component out, 1 optical out

DVD player has 1 component, 1 digital coax, 1 composite

XBOX 360 will use digital optical

So I want the Home Theater to work with the TV, DVD, and the 360.

Can you suggest a few receivers to get me going (I don't want high end, just whatever will do the trick for a non-audiophile) and which cables go where? I'm such a novice

Thanks
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