Help needed please - I just 'inherited" a new home theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello. My wife and I just bought a new home in which the previous owner had a home theater installed. The components are mostly high end but some seem to range in age from the early 90s to 2008. I'm looking forward to learning more about this new system and making upgrades where needed.

With 2 small kids, the room will be mostly used to watch movies and once in a while TV (say Superbowl, etc). As none of these components have HDMI - what am I looking at needing to replace to add a Bluray and an HD Set Top box?

The following is the list of components. Any constructive help or insight would be very much appreciated.

Thanks so much in advance.


Front Speakers: Apogee Acoiustics Diva Ribbon Speaker System
Center Speaker ?? ??
Rear surround speaker Heybrook HB.5
Side Surround speaker ?? ??
Subwoofer Velodyne ULD-15 or 18
Subwoofer 2 Janis Interphase Electronic Crossover-Amplifier

Preamp / Surround Processor, Lexicon MC-1
Pre-amplifier / power supply, Krell KRS Dual / monaural preamplifier
Power Amplifier, Krell KAS-2
Power Amplifier, Adcom GFA-535
Power Amplifier, Rotel RB-850

Projector, Sony VPH-1252Q
Video Processor, Faroudja LD100
Motorized drop down 16:9 screen

Direct TV HTDV RCA DTC100 HD/DTV Receiver
Direct TV +DVR DirecTV Directv Plus DVR
SVHS JVC HR-s7600U
DVD/Recorder & Player Pioneer DVR-510H
CD Recorder Philips CDR765
FM Tuner Magnum Dynalab FT 101
CD transport Wadia
CD decoding computer Wadia Digital 2000

Video Sync Sensor AMX VSS2
AutoPatch Matrix Switcher AMX Half-Y
Integrated AXCESS System AMX Axcent2

Surge Protector / Line Conditioner Panamax Max 1000
LL
LL
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post #2 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 04:46 PM
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Welcome to the forum, That is an interesting collection of gear you inherited an in it's day pretty spiffy. Before I go further you should be aware there is a special section of the forum devoted to CRT projectors and you may want to drop in there with questions about your Sony.

Just so you know very few new theaters are built with VW sized CRT projectors on the ceiling as the newer class of 1080P digital projectors makes them less of an attractive solution and they are easier to install. But you will discover there are some die hards up in that forum.

Probably the path of least resistance to get in the Bluray HD game is to get the Oppo 93 player ($499) that will decode the audio internally and send the video out via component cables. Later, if you upgrade to a current standards pre-amp with the current audio standards decoders and HDIM switching you can just swap out the cables for HDMI.


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post #3 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 04:51 PM
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Can you say your RICH?, where did i go wrong in life?
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post #4 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 05:30 PM
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What an odd collection.
You may be able to generate some cash from the Krell and Apogee parts. Also the tuner and Wadia gear might have some value. You could do some extensive web searching for those, especially at audiogon.com. You might get a few bucks out of the Lexicon preamp. The Rotel and Adcom amps would be good for driving remote speakers - kitchen? Patio? The projector and video processor (and the rest of the video stuff) will be hard to give away.

The velodine subs might work in a new system.
The screen should work unless the gain is crazy high for the CRT projector.

I'd clear out just about everything and buy new equipment.
$3000 budget for a digital projector
$1500 for a mid-range receiver
$ 500 for the Oppo
$Free direcTV DVR
$???? for speakers
$150 of so for a universal remote.
$???? to get it all set up.

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post #5 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 05:38 PM
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On second thought...

Unless you are obsessed like many of us, you may be better off just getting a big 60" or 70" flat panel TV, a decent receiver and set of speakers, and the Oppo bluray player. That room is really not conducive to the best front projection experience with the light colors.

You'd probably get more day-to-day pleasure out of a nice flat panel setup than something more elaborate.

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post #6 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback - much appreciated. From the research I've done, i don't even think this system has component connectors for the bluray (at least the Lexicon doesn't). But it does seem that the Oppo 93 has composite outs (ouch!) which I suppose is a quick but dirty fix. Not sure if I can some how run component cables into the Faroudja or Sony "VW" projector but that doesn't seem ideal.

From what I gather so far, the speakers don't 'need' replacements nor the amps. So maybe I should just swap out the Lexicon with a new preamp that has HDMI. I already own a Denon AVR-3310CI which maybe could work (just not using the amps). Since that also does the video processing for me now, I could probably also get rid of the Faroudja LD100.

Then its a matter of the video projector and perhaps the 'right' thing would be to get rid of the screen and projector and replace it with a nice flat panel.

Again - I very much appreciate the feedback. Feel free to pile on if you have other suggestions. I'm really eager to learn. Thanks.

As a funny side note, the former owner of the home was a "Mr. Rich"
Can't make this stuff up.
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post #7 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 06:37 PM
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That Denon has pre-outs, so you're good to go there. I'd guess you could run phantom center with great results with the Apogees. Finding a suitable center could be a challenge.

If the Rotel and Adcom amps are running the surrounds I'd do away with them and run the surrounds directly off the Denon built in amps.

Then it's just a decision on which display is right.

Did the theater chairs come with the house too? Did the realtor put a positive spin on them?

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post #8 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 07:04 PM
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Wow. Can't believe someone let all that go with the house. At any rate....

Replace the Lexicon with the Denon.....done.

Find and buy a very good center speaker that you like. Place it on a stand just below the screen (or behind it if the screen is AT-acoustically transparent). http://www.vmpsaudio.com/HT-LRC.htm

Buy a new 1080P PJ. My BenQ W6000 is about $1200, so I'm sure you could swing that. Get the best you can afford, but DLP or LCD. CRT is so 80's.

Buy the Oppo BD player. Easy day. $500.

Run HDMI cable from the 3310 to the PJ. Probably the hardest part of the whole gig.

For TV, get something like this http://www.tivo.com/products/tivo-premiere/index.html.

Keep the Faroudja LD100 for any older video sources like the SVHS deck.

Get rid of all the other stuff. That Dynalab tuner may be worth some bucks. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Magnum-Dynal...item41609b252b

Power the center off the 3310. This way you don't have to fire up that Krell all the time for the kids to watch Bugs Bunny.

DO NOT get rid of the Krell or Apogees. That is just plain silliness.

Dial in your sound with the Audyssey. Hire an ISF calibrator to come in and dial in your PQ.

You are good to go my friend. All of the above is just my opinion of course.

Edit: Never mind about the center speaker...I see the big white one there. Audyssey should be able to match it pretty well. You could take out the Lexicon and Krell preamp now and replace them with the Denon and get vastly better 5.1 sound IMO. (After running Audyssey)


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post #9 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legierk View Post

...
Keep the Faroudja LD100 for any older video sources like the SVHS deck....

I'd bet the Denon VP chip will out perform the old Faroudja. Plus the Denon will upconvert to HDMI allowing a single cable to the display.

I wonder what the power draw is on the Krell amps.
"The KAS2 is over-engineered where there are 60 power transistors per channel on the KAS-2 (200W Output)"
Yikes you could weld with that thing.
Found info here.

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post #10 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I could have been more accurate in my first post, sorry about that. There is a center channel speaker (I didn't get the brand - will have more info once I take possession of the home in and move in in about a month). There are also two in-ceiling speakers mounted to either side of the seating area.

I know the two KAS-2's power the Apogee Ribbon speakers. And the one Adcom, and two Rotels power the center plus 4 surrounds.

So from the advice so far: (and trying to minimize the bill at least for near term)
Use Denon Denon AVR-3310CI, power center and surrounds with it.
Use the (2) KAS-2s to power the Apogee Ribbons
Velodyne sub is self powered
Buy a DLP projector or mount an LED panel

Keep
Most of the sources (SVHS, DVD Recorder, CD Recorder and maybe the
Wadia CD transport)

Sell / Toss
Sony projector
Lexicon MC1 preamp
adcom amp
both rotel amps
faroudja LD100
direct tv tuners ( or maybe just hold on to them)
FM Tuner (thanks for tip and ebay link!)
Janis Crossover/Amp for Sub (apparantly this thing is REALLY old, designed for record players)
both KRS Balanced / krsp 2 units (found info on them from that same website)

I'm probably going to stick with Verizon FIOS - picking up 2 new Motorola 7232 DVRs tomorrow. Will use one of them in this room. The TIVO idea looks interesting too. I really miss my old Sony SAT-T60 - the cable companies just can't quite get a DVR to be as good as TIVO. The new FIOS software is close though and the price is hard to beat.

Then it's a question of bringing in an installer to replace or reprogram the AMX control screens and making it all look good. A bit beyond my skill set.

Great advice! Did I get anything wrong?
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post #11 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 09:01 PM
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I don't know if this is what you are looking for but I'll throw it out there. Maybe you could do a rear projection DLP TV? Like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Mitsubishi-WD-.../ref=de_a_smtd

Obviously they are thicker than an LED but you get a large television for a fairly cheap price. It's certainly a lot cheaper then the new Sharp 80" LED:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sharp+-+...&skuId=3552918

I have a 62" Samsung DLP in my upstairs living room and love it. Just a thought.


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post #12 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 09:37 PM
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The Krell Audio Standards are awesome amps and pretty collectible. I think you can get a good price for them but if it were me I would be really tempted to keep them. One side benefit is that you will not have to heat the room when those are running


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post #13 of 44 Old 12-22-2011, 10:10 PM
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You may need to keep the KRS Balanced units if the Krell welders do not have unbalanced (RCA) inputs. I'm not familiar with these pieces at all - just speculating.

TiVo does not work with FIOS, IIRC.

You've got a really fun project ahead of you.

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post #14 of 44 Old 12-23-2011, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Your right, the 'welders' only have balanced inputs.
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post #15 of 44 Old 12-23-2011, 01:04 PM
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Well, regardless, I wouldn't get rid of the Krells.

You've got it right. Rear projection? Nah, once you have a 120" or so screen, looking at a 65" (like mine in the living room) is like me looking at the 22" computer monitor now. Go big or go home...wait you're already there!

Yep, power everything except the Apogees off the Denon. No sweat. The Denon should be able to convert component into HDMI for output to the PJ.


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post #16 of 44 Old 12-23-2011, 04:01 PM
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I take it this is a dedicated room in a walkout basement?

What size is the room?
Are you open to re-doing the layout or just replace gear?
What acoustic treatments?
Total light control?

Have you watched and listened to anything there yet as part of home buying?

Simply, why so eager to replace it....
You could add this to your PJ, and have it for a while till the whole PJ scene settle's down some more..
http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7563

IMO, if your home has that gear, and the rest of the home is upscale, and you really want to spend coin after just moving in, then you should consider the new Sony 4k pj and appropriate screen, or at least the VW95.

Can you post the home real estate listing so we can see details.

Mike R,P.E. clickable DIY hot links:

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post #17 of 44 Old 12-23-2011, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. It's a walk out basement. Room is 23x25
.
The seller did demo the equipment for me. Music sounded phenomenal, played some classical music. Close your eyes and you can almost imagine the stage in front you and locate the position of each instrument across the front of the room. The video was a little on the dim side but he said the projector needed a few mins to warm up. Frankly, I didn't have the time to stick around to wait. I figured the projector was relatively old anyway and all the gear was 'free'. Also, the lights were a bit bright which certainly had an impact too.

The main reason to upgrade is simply to add HD to the setup. As you all know (probably far better than I), this is a slippery slope. Hence, the desire to upgrade the 'video' side of the set up. From the suggestions, this also means at a minimum an upgrade of the pre-amp too.

Light control in the room is automated via Lutron. I believe the AMX gear is hooked into this as part of the control system. The motorized recessed screen is integrated in the AMX too.

At least initially, I don't want to spend $$$$$ to upgrade so redesigning the room is not really an option. You are right on with your comment about getting the 4k projector given the rest of the home. But I don't feel like I need to be on the bleeding edge and can wait for the prices to come down a bit for that tech.

One of the suggestions was to axe the Rotel and Adcom amps - and use my Denon to power the surround speakers. Does that mean the general view is that the Denon amp is better than the standalone Rotel and Adcom?

Also - correction on the equipment above.
Pre-amplifier / power supply, Krell KRS Dual / monaural preamplifie
should read: (2) Krell KRS Balanced / krsp-2
They must feed the pair of KAS-2 amps which need a balanced input.
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post #18 of 44 Old 12-23-2011, 07:11 PM
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Something as simple as a Bluray player and a HD Fury could give you high definition 720P with the gear there.......
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post #19 of 44 Old 12-23-2011, 07:21 PM
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So you already own the Denon w/ HDMI?

I would swap that into the equation, if so.

I fell into a similar situation last spring with our new home. The projector, although DLP, was only 720p and didn't work. It was ~$12k projector new, but I figured the price of the bulb or repair for only 720p old tech, wasn't worth it, so I swapped out for a Panny AE4000. Great projector for the money, if you don't care about 3D just yet. Also, they left a Denon 5803. Flagship AVR in its day, and rocking about 300Wx7ch into 4ohms. But no HDMI. So... long story longer... I ended up keeping the 5803, and not using it for video switching or upscaling, but running two HDMIs from bluray and DVR to the projector directly. Got a bluray player that decodes all newest audio codecs and ran analog 7.1 from the BR player to the 5803 getting all new audio modes. Easy peasy. I would find the shortest path between what you have right now, and full 1080p HD/ HD audio, and settle in with it for a while. Then make whatever upgrades you want after you have some time with everything.

p.s. get a Harmony One or equivalent and a cheap IR repeater to handle switching everything on and off


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post #20 of 44 Old 12-23-2011, 08:38 PM
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Ok,

I'll give my .02 cents worth and play devils advocate too. While an interesting collection of gear it all seems to work well together correct? You have also have admitted that you have not had any time to spend with the setup as well. So before you rush in and start changing everything or somethings be patient and see/hear what needs the attention. Patience is a virtue my friend.

If you are dead set on changing anything I would (as you have indicated) look at upgrading the video part first as the audio seems to be well taken care of. I would caution you though, once you experience the "big screen experience" is is hard to go back to a "regular" TV at 50-65" or so. As Big said there are some die hard CRT guys and you might find someone who would pay you a fair price for the the "VW" on your ceiling. Just don't stand under the thing while loosening the bolts!

You have a very interesting setup there and I for one am curious to see your end result and just how this all ends up coming together.

Congrats on your new acquisition and enjoy.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #21 of 44 Old 12-23-2011, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks - I'll keep you all updated. Moving in, in about a month. Doing my homework in the meantime. It is truly amazing how much knowledge there is on this board. I've also checked out your own home setups for those that have links in their sigs, very cool stuff. Love the banter - I'm a curious person by nature so its great to see so many varied suggestions. The HD Fury and/or IFB-FULLHD v2: Sony HDMI 1.3 Input Card look like good 'baby step' moves I can make quickly to add HD to the setup without having to do too much rewiring and tweaking.
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post #22 of 44 Old 12-23-2011, 09:27 PM
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Looks like the Denon is a drop in replacement for the Lex prepro (which has unbalanced RCA outputs). Leave the Adcom and Rotel amps right where they are - as RTROSE said, no sense in jumping in and pulling out functional equipment.

I'd still ditch the projector for a modern digital unit and get a bluray player with HDMI. IMHO, messing with an old CRT isn't much different than fixing up an old Windows 98 box. I know you can get a great picture out of a CRT but at what cost in $$$ and PITA.

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post #23 of 44 Old 12-24-2011, 05:11 AM
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You didn't mention a budget but if you can afford it I'd consider the Anthem D2v A/V processor.
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post #24 of 44 Old 12-24-2011, 08:00 AM
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Dang, no wonder we all have upgraditis. Anthem? Nah, stick with Denon. Do like most of the post have suggested...upgrade the video portion to HD. You can do that for as little as $1200 to $12k, take your pic. Your audio should be outstanding. Plus, the Denon will tie everything together nicely.

Regarding removing the Rotel and Adcom amps, just trying to simplify things, that's all. I used outboard amps with my 4311 while testing and the Denon amps turned out to be just as good as my Adcoms and Fosgates. I was worried about heat and lack of headroom from the Denon. Turns out, my fears were for naught.

I could probably have the Lexicon and Krell preamp replaced with the Denon in 10 minutes. Bam. That simple. The most difficult part as stated earlier is running the HDMI cable from the Denon (back wall) to the PJ. You could use the existing cable to pull the HDMI with. And...pull two HDMI cables just to cover all future issues.

I have an old Adcom D/A converter that won Stereophile budget product of the year or something in about '92. I think its the GDA600....anyhow, the technology was cutting edge then, but now? The D/A converters in my 4311 are just as good as the Burr Browns of 19 years ago in the Adcom.


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post #25 of 44 Old 12-24-2011, 10:48 AM
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Denon/Marantz = Overpriced Junk.
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post #26 of 44 Old 12-24-2011, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensmith48 View Post

Denon/Marantz = Overpriced Junk.

Talk about a drive by...

Batter up!


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post #27 of 44 Old 12-24-2011, 11:12 AM
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Yeah, I thought I'd raise a few eyebrows!! Still stand by it though.
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post #28 of 44 Old 12-24-2011, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Kensmith - what do you recommend for a similar price point?
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post #29 of 44 Old 12-24-2011, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
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Kensmith - what do you recommend for a similar price point?


Yeah, I'm all ears as well...

Actually, what do you recommend for any price point?


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post #30 of 44 Old 12-24-2011, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensmith48 View Post

Denon/Marantz = Overpriced Junk.

Probably drives an Olds Bravada.

High Desert Theater -
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