Soundbar type solution w/o bouncing sound? - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 585 Old 08-25-2009, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bron View Post

If the only thing you need to switch is the analog audio to the ZVOX, there are a lot of fairly inexpensive audio switchers (or even cheap AV switches) that can do the job. They are small, pretty easy to hookup, etc. But you probably already know. Still some forget, because all any one talks about now is digital. The beauty of analig audio is it's pretty easy to deal with. Even a Y-cable (or adapter) is sufficient in many cases.

I'm a newbie when it comes to audio, unfortunately. But I'm also a simplicity freak, and the limited number of inputs on the KRP's sort of complicates things.

If only they had inlcuded an audio out on that thing!!!
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post #362 of 585 Old 08-25-2009, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hhaller View Post

I'm a newbie when it comes to audio, unfortunately. But I'm also a simplicity freak, and the limited number of inputs on the KRP's sort of complicates things.

If only they had inlcuded an audio out on that thing!!!

Agreed! Hard to understand, but there is a mindset out there that thinks everyone has A/V receivers set-up, whereas many (most?) do not, but still want better audio than available from built-in speakers. Plus HDMI really mucked things up when it came along.

Sometimes it seems they are designing more for their marketeers than for the purchaser. I try hard not to reward that with my hard-earned dollars.
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post #363 of 585 Old 08-28-2009, 01:23 PM
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Thanks for all of the great info on this thread.

I just ordered a 425xs and the SUPER friendly customer service rep said that the next new Zvox model will be an improvement over the 550, called the 575, I think. It will hold like a 150 lb TV and is wider and more powerful than the 550. Bad news is that it will be like 6-7 hundred bucks.
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post #364 of 585 Old 08-28-2009, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by damsker View Post

Thanks for all of the great info on this thread.

I just ordered a 425xs and the SUPER friendly customer service rep said that the next new Zvox model will be an improvement over the 550, called the 575, I think. It will hold like a 150 lb TV and is wider and more powerful than the 550. Bad news is that it will be like 6-7 hundred bucks.

Cool, damsker, thanks for the info! Hope you enjoy your 425xs!
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post #365 of 585 Old 08-29-2009, 09:02 PM
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I have had my ZVOX 415 for about a month and half now, and I can tell you all that I am very happy with it's sound and performance. I must thank AVS Member bron for his guidance and patience with answering my questions about the 415.

Here is some background information:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=309

I was looking to improve upon the Samsung LCD speakers for the LCD in the kitchen. I thought a soundbar would be the best solution, as I did not want to mess with hooking up a receiver and speakers (low WAF, too). I looked at the Yamaha products but just couldn't see spending that much for the kitchen. Polk, Sony, etc. didn't do much for me, either. It was by chance I came across this thread and started learning about ZVOX.

I did a lot of on-line research and determined the 415 was for me. I bought an "open box" unit from ZVOX off of eBay, and it couldn't have been an easier transaction. Believe me, I was nervous/unsure about an open box unit from eBay, but it arrived in a factory box with all the parts. It looks brand new, and works just fine. Can't beat that, and I saved some $$$, too.

I placed the 415 on top of the kitchen cabinets (see picture), angled down a bit towards the listening area. It's a shame it's up on top, as it would look great under a flat panel or on top of a stand-it's a great looking, heavy/solid feeling unit.

I connected the Dish Network box to Input 1 (did not use the headphone jack on the LCD). For Input 2, I connected a Belkin Dock with USB Wall Charger for iPod. I ran all the cables through the cabinet for a clean looking install.

To bring it all together, I got a Harmony 510 remote (based on feedback on this thread). It was very easy to program the 510 to work with the cable box and the 415. However, after some frustrating trial and error, I realized I had to create a custom program for the iPod dock to work with the 415 (volume only-doesn't control the iPod):

Dish Network Satellite: Dish Network Satellite is on
ZVOX Amplifier: ZVOX Amplifier is on
Belkin Digital Music Server: Belkin Digital Music Server is on
Other All other devices are off
ZVOX Amplifier: ZVOX Amplifier is set to "Input 2"
Dish Network Satellite: "PowerToggle" command is sent to the Dish Network Satellite

Now when my wife and daughter are cooking or baking, they can blast the iPod through the 415.

Also, using the 510 improved the range of the remote to control the volume. With the ZVOX remote, you basically had to be holding it right at the 415, whereas with the 510, I can be off center and it will control the volume.

Referring to the 1 page (!) instruction guide, as well as bron's recommendations, I adjusted the PhaseCue, bass, and treble and was good to go. I've tweaked the PhaseCue a little bit here and there, and feel that I'm dialed-in now. WOW-what open and warm sound this unit puts out! It's nice and clean, and the "little" details of sound that I never heard or noticed before are there now. The bass is clean and tight, too. Music through the iPod sounds equally as well, and it's nice that I can use the Harmony to switch between the cable box and iPod and run it through the 415.

It's an amazing unit and just what I wanted-much improved sound, a sleek and good look, all at a very reasonable price.

The only "negative" I can think of, and it's not the 415's fault, is how crappy and inconsistent the audio is from program to program on the Dish Network box. Since the 415 is so good, it brings out the bad in the audio-what I wasn't or couldn't hear before! Some channels just sound flat at times, whereas HD baseball on ESPN or Discovery HD sounds great-good bass and the surround effects are really cool.

To sum it up, this is what made me smile knowing I had done the right thing: My daughter was sitting at the kitchen island watching TV and she goes "Wow Dad, it sounds like there are speakers over there (points toward the far, opposite side of the kitchen)!"

I'm really excited to learn about the new ZVOX products being discussed right here in this thread, as I will happily recommend ZVOX to family and friends (already have).

Thanks again, bron. That's what AVS Forum is all about.
LL
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post #366 of 585 Old 08-30-2009, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAX279 View Post

I have had my ZVOX 415 for about a month and half now, and I can tell you all that I am very happy with it's sound and performance. I must thank AVS Member bron for his guidance and patience with answering my questions about the 415.
...

The only "negative" I can think of, and it's not the 415's fault, is how crappy and inconsistent the audio is from program to program on the Dish Network box. Since the 415 is so good, it brings out the bad in the audio-what I wasn't or couldn't hear before! Some channels just sound flat at times, whereas HD baseball on ESPN or Discovery HD sounds great-good bass and the surround effects are really cool.

To sum it up, this is what made me smile knowing I had done the right thing: My daughter was sitting at the kitchen island watching TV and she goes "Wow Dad, it sounds like there are speakers over there (points toward the far, opposite side of the kitchen)!"

I'm really excited to learn about the new ZVOX products being discussed right here in this thread, as I will happily recommend ZVOX to family and friends (already have).

Thanks again, bron. That's what AVS Forum is all about.

You're more than welcome, my friend! As you say, that's why we're here. Many have helped me and happy I am to return the favor.

I'm so glad you got things squared away and to your liking. I really like the 415 - it's the best looking sound bar I've seen and sounds as good as it looks.

And you nailed it on your 'negative' - I have the same problem. The crappy broadcast audio really stands out when you have great audio with which to compare it. It has affected my viewing habits as I definitely lean now towards material with good audio and skip or minimize the 'flat' stuff. Same with my music - I now find myself able to tell the loss-less and high bitrates from the low and crappy. Made me realize how lazy I had become in my listening. But now it pays to have good quality audio, so I'm a lot more choosy these days.

Thanks for the picture and the post. I had to laugh, though. At first glance, I thought your wife had turned the 415 into a planter!

Enjoy your 415, you certainly deserve it after all the hard work you did getting everything setup just so.

Best Regards,

Bron
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post #367 of 585 Old 09-01-2009, 02:16 PM
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I've got an LG 60PS60 60" Plasma, and it only has one optical audio out (no analog). If I were to look at something like the ZVOX for better sound without a whole home theater setup, would I be able to run an optical cable from the TV to an "optical to coaxial" converter (http://www.cablestogo.com/product.as...103&sku=40019#), and from the converter to the ZVOX in order to successfully use the ZVOX? If so, what exactly would I need in between the converter and the ZVOX?
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post #368 of 585 Old 09-01-2009, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by electech98 View Post

I've got an LG 60PS60 60" Plasma, and it only has one optical audio out (no analog). If I were to look at something like the ZVOX for better sound without a whole home theater setup, would I be able to run an optical cable from the TV to an "optical to coaxial" converter (http://www.cablestogo.com/product.as...103&sku=40019#), and from the converter to the ZVOX in order to successfully use the ZVOX? If so, what exactly would I need in between the converter and the ZVOX?

I think what you need is a Digital Audio To Analog Audio Converter. There's one sold on Amazon for about $60 (Gefen). I've seen others for twice as much. Can't believe they're dropping analog audio from these sets.

If you try the converter option, make sure you have the right to return with a refund in case it does not work. Sometimes they don't work well with certain sets.

If you are using the internal tuners you don't have much choice, but if you are using external devices, you might be able to pull the audio directly from them. So, for example, if you use a cable box, you could pull the audio from the cable box to your ZVOX. Same for external DVD players, Bluray players, and so on.

Hope this helps.
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post #369 of 585 Old 09-01-2009, 08:11 PM
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I very much dislike this credit card remote that came with my Zvox 425xs!

If I want to switch to my Mitsubishi DLP remote or my comcast cablebox remote, what code can I use? I'd prefer not to buy a $50 remote if possible.

Thanks!
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post #370 of 585 Old 09-01-2009, 10:00 PM
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Contact customer service and they should send you the new and much improved remote for the 425 xs. I spoke with Kate and she sent me one and I also read in one of the AVS forums that they would do this for anybody. I had already purchased the Harmony One because of the poor credit card remote but the new remote seems to work well,
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post #371 of 585 Old 09-02-2009, 12:08 PM
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Thanks for the review GAX! I am looking forward to someday getting a 430 (which just replaced the 415) or perhaps waiting for whatever replaces the 425. These boxes are simple and sound like they perform wonderfully!
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post #372 of 585 Old 09-04-2009, 03:32 PM
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Zvox's new remote is 100% better. However, at their suggestion, I also purchased a Sony RM-VL600 remote for $20 from Amazon. It controls my cable box, my TV, my blu-ray (sort of...I have to work on that), AND every function of my Zvox 425xs. It was able to learn every setting, including phasecue, treble, subwoofer, volume, and power. Had it all set up in about 10-15 minutes.
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post #373 of 585 Old 09-05-2009, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bron View Post

I think what you need is a Digital Audio To Analog Audio Converter. There's one sold on Amazon for about $60 (Gefen). I've seen others for twice as much. Can't believe they're dropping analog audio from these sets.

If you try the converter option, make sure you have the right to return with a refund in case it does not work. Sometimes they don't work well with certain sets.

If you are using the internal tuners you don't have much choice, but if you are using external devices, you might be able to pull the audio directly from them. So, for example, if you use a cable box, you could pull the audio from the cable box to your ZVOX. Same for external DVD players, Bluray players, and so on.

Hope this helps.

Question regarding connecting the external devices directly to the ZVOX: if most of the ZVOX's only has 2 RCA on the back, only one device would be able to be connected, right? And optical / digital outs would be out of the question, right?
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post #374 of 585 Old 09-05-2009, 01:33 PM
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So......which is a better the 425 or the 430?
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post #375 of 585 Old 09-05-2009, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electech98 View Post

Question regarding connecting the external devices directly to the ZVOX: if most of the ZVOX's only has 2 RCA on the back, only one device would be able to be connected, right? And optical / digital outs would be out of the question, right?

I believe all of the ZVOX units have 2 inputs (they are both active, so the output will be mixed if both devices connected are on, not sure what they were thinking in that regard, but not a big problem). Several have an additional input on the front making 3 total.

But don't forget, this is analog audio. That means cheap and simple! For very little ($25?) you can buy a switch that will let you hook up 4, 5 or 6 devices. If you shop carefully, you can find some with a remote control (meaning your Harmony can be set up to do the switching automatically as needed). Many of the older model A/V switches had both analog and digital audio outputs that were both switched along with the video, this would be the perfect solution if you also need more video inputs (and who doesn't?).

Now that HDMI (I curse you HDMI!) is here, things have gotten more screwed up and newer switches and monitors seem to be dropping analog audio. But there is plenty of tried and true gear still out there, if you look, and will be for a long time. So no worries.

Optical/Digital is out of the question unless you 1) purchase a converter or 2) cleverly let another device you already own convert for you. This "other device" is the TV usually, but could be a cable box or something else.

Where there is a will, there is a way, as the old saying goes.
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post #376 of 585 Old 09-05-2009, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MrMcCrackin View Post

So......which is a better the 425 or the 430?

The one you buy will be better.

They're both excellent. The 425 has twice the power (133 watts vs. 60) and a little deeper bass. But it's also twice as big and a lot heavier.

The 415 sounded great and I'm sure the 430 does, too, though I have not heard it myself. The 425 remains the top of the line, but the 430 is an excellent choice, and probably the better choice for most people/setups.

But only you can decide.
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post #377 of 585 Old 09-08-2009, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electech98 View Post

Question regarding connecting the external devices directly to the ZVOX: if most of the ZVOX's only has 2 RCA on the back, only one device would be able to be connected, right? And optical / digital outs would be out of the question, right?

bron is correct...you could connect 2 devices to the ZVox but only one device can be on when in use...or else you get a mix up of audio.
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post #378 of 585 Old 09-09-2009, 07:30 AM
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http://www.engadgethd.com/2009/09/09...75-soundbases/


Very interesting but none of them are on Zvox's site yet (except the already released 430). I would be most interested in the 440 for my 60" tv but by the time I add a HDMI switcher it would be quite pricey for what it is. It's tempting but I have been quite happy with my cheap CT100 .
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post #379 of 585 Old 09-15-2009, 09:22 AM
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Hello,

I just received and installed my new ZVOX 430 (which I selected thanks to the very helpful advice on this forum). I am very pleased with it so far, both in terms of ease of set-up and use and in terms of sound quality.

Here is my question: when listening to an audio CD using my Blu-Ray player, is there any way to turn off the picture on my TV? I have my equipment wired so Blu-Ray and DVR both connect to the TV via HDMI, and the TV connects directly to the ZVOX via analog.

The sound quality of the CD's is very nice, but it would be even better if I could listen without seeing a boring 46-inch blue menu screen on my TV.

(My TV is the Panasonic TC-P46G10, and my Blu-Ray is the Panasonic DMP-BD60.)

Thanks so much in advance!
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post #380 of 585 Old 09-15-2009, 11:27 AM
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It would appear there will be no successor to the 425. ZVOX has 4 new models this year...the 430, 440, both of which are more like the 415, then the 525 and 575, which are Z-base models. Here is the weird thing...the 440 has the exact same specs as the 430 but is just a few inches wider, and costs $100 more. What kind of a stunt is that?? You pay $100 so that you can get a soundbar that matches the width of your TV and no additional speakers?
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post #381 of 585 Old 09-16-2009, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdleo View Post

Hello,

I just received and installed my new ZVOX 430 (which I selected thanks to the very helpful advice on this forum). I am very pleased with it so far, both in terms of ease of set-up and use and in terms of sound quality.

Here is my question: when listening to an audio CD using my Blu-Ray player, is there any way to turn off the picture on my TV? I have my equipment wired so Blu-Ray and DVR both connect to the TV via HDMI, and the TV connects directly to the ZVOX via analog.

The sound quality of the CD's is very nice, but it would be even better if I could listen without seeing a boring 46-inch blue menu screen on my TV.

(My TV is the Panasonic TC-P46G10, and my Blu-Ray is the Panasonic DMP-BD60.)

Thanks so much in advance!

No easy way that I can see. You either have to interrupt/disconnect the video signal, or substitute another signal. And I don't see any easy way to do that without introducing something new (a switch at minimum), but maybe someone else will.

Most video device makers don't seem to have given this much thought. I have the same problem. I've addressed it by using a different device (sometimes) to play my music. Some of the devices will display a 'visualization' of the music (i.e. a light show).

One possible alternative, on my TV you can set-up various 'modes' like sports, movies, user1, etc. I defined a 'music' mode in which I turned the video signal down as low as it would go, so the screen is almost (but not quite) blank. You might be able to do something like that.

Another thing I've done in the past was to transfer my CD's to a DVD together with a video or still picture slide show that would play as the music played. Very nice, but a lot of work.

You might also consider using a different input other than HDMI for music, this would give you more flexibility. Easier to disable or sub an alt video feed with component or composite, for example.

Let us know if you come up with a solution!
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post #382 of 585 Old 09-16-2009, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete C View Post

It would appear there will be no successor to the 425. ZVOX has 4 new models this year...the 430, 440, both of which are more like the 415, then the 525 and 575, which are Z-base models. Here is the weird thing...the 440 has the exact same specs as the 430 but is just a few inches wider, and costs $100 more. What kind of a stunt is that?? You pay $100 so that you can get a soundbar that matches the width of your TV and no additional speakers?

Well, I agree to a point. I don't think we have all the info. Probably the 440 will have more power or some other differences that were not mentioned.
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post #383 of 585 Old 09-17-2009, 11:29 AM
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Well, I agree to a point. I don't think we have all the info. Probably the 440 will have more power or some other differences that were not mentioned.

I hope so...if that is the case, that's my box right there. How was the bass on the 415? The 430 says it is improved, but I don't want to get rid of my 10" Paradigm sub if the 430/440 doesn't have at least some decent bass. My Paradigm is way overkill since I never come close to its potential, but I do like a bit of thunder even at low volumes.
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post #384 of 585 Old 09-17-2009, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I hope so...if that is the case, that's my box right there. How was the bass on the 415? The 430 says it is improved, but I don't want to get rid of my 10" Paradigm sub if the 430/440 doesn't have at least some decent bass. My Paradigm is way overkill since I never come close to its potential, but I do like a bit of thunder even at low volumes.

The bass on the 415 was pretty good. For music, I'd say very good. And for most HT stuff, also fine. But for some hardcore action movies, you might miss your sub. It could definitely turn out some great bass, though. It's just that good standalone subs are without peer (in my opinion).

Most material would never tax either the 415 or your Paradigm, of course.
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post #385 of 585 Old 09-22-2009, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, Pete...I think you were right to begin with. From what I've been able to find, no difference other than cabinet size and a very slightly lower bass response due to same. Same power/amp and speakers. Not sure I, personally, would pay an extra $100 for just an extended cabinet, but maybe some would. Have to admit, I'm a bit puzzled. Maybe someone else will "see the light" on this one, but I'm scratching my head.

By the same token, they shrank the 550 down into a 525 for $100 less ($399 vs $499). And it appears the new 575 matches the 425 series, with the same power in the 550 style cabinet and larger (6.5 vs 4 inch) (sub)woofers (but same freq range).

Gone are the front inputs on all of these, which I understand (given the design), but which I would miss as I use mine all the time. Not a big deal, though. Probably a lot of people won't miss 'em.
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post #386 of 585 Old 09-25-2009, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdleo View Post

Hello,

I just received and installed my new ZVOX 430 (which I selected thanks to the very helpful advice on this forum). I am very pleased with it so far, both in terms of ease of set-up and use and in terms of sound quality.

Here is my question: when listening to an audio CD using my Blu-Ray player, is there any way to turn off the picture on my TV? I have my equipment wired so Blu-Ray and DVR both connect to the TV via HDMI, and the TV connects directly to the ZVOX via analog.

The sound quality of the CD's is very nice, but it would be even better if I could listen without seeing a boring 46-inch blue menu screen on my TV.

(My TV is the Panasonic TC-P46G10, and my Blu-Ray is the Panasonic DMP-BD60.)

Thanks so much in advance!

Bump for this question...I am curious about this as well since ZVOX tells you to use the TV as the switcher, it would always have to be turned on.

How is the bass and midrange on the 430 mdleo? Are the highs clear and bright as well?
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post #387 of 585 Old 09-25-2009, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete C View Post

Bump for this question...I am curious about this as well since ZVOX tells you to use the TV as the switcher, it would always have to be turned on.

How is the bass and midrange on the 430 mdleo? Are the highs clear and bright as well?

I asked ZVOX the same question, and they suggested I look closely at my TV settings. That proved unproductive, but it turns out that the Blu-ray player has a "screen saver" function for listening to CD's. I haven't tried it out yet, but I think that will be the answer.

As for the 430's sound -- apologies in advance if I get my terminology mixed up, because I am far from an educated audiophile. But in short, I think the 430 sounds great. It's a world of improvement over the Panasonic's speakers, obviously (although to be fair, I didn't think they were as bad as many flat-panels are). I think it delivers a solid bass without being overpowering; it doesn't shake my walls, but I also haven't turned it way up (and haven't needed to). Most of the time I am just watching TV, and dialogue is quite clear. Sound on movies is good; I watched ConAir in HD last week and found it very enjoyable. As others have said, it's far from "true" surround, but you do have the impression of sound to the left and to the right, as well as in front and behind. And I thought the CD's I put in sounded fabulous -- clear, natural vocals; every instrument was distinguishable, really wrapped you in sound.

I chose the ZVOX mainly because I wanted improved sound with simple set-up, and I am very happy it. My previous system was a Harmon-Kardon HTIB (5 speakers plus sub) paired with an Onkyo receiver, and I have to say that I prefer the ZVOX. I probably could have done a better job of calibrating my old setup, but I think the ZVOX produces a much clearer, more balanced sound.
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post #388 of 585 Old 09-27-2009, 07:54 AM
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i'm looking to buy 525 when its available for my computer have a question on zvox unit placement. my computer is in the left corner of the room. will that affect the sound. but if placing it in the middle is a requirement than can i place it in the middle of the room about 7 ft high. not below the monitor as i was planning to do.
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post #389 of 585 Old 09-27-2009, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdleo View Post

I asked ZVOX the same question, and they suggested I look closely at my TV settings. That proved unproductive, but it turns out that the Blu-ray player has a "screen saver" function for listening to CD's. I haven't tried it out yet, but I think that will be the answer.

As for the 430's sound -- apologies in advance if I get my terminology mixed up, because I am far from an educated audiophile. But in short, I think the 430 sounds great. It's a world of improvement over the Panasonic's speakers, obviously (although to be fair, I didn't think they were as bad as many flat-panels are). I think it delivers a solid bass without being overpowering; it doesn't shake my walls, but I also haven't turned it way up (and haven't needed to). Most of the time I am just watching TV, and dialogue is quite clear. Sound on movies is good; I watched ConAir in HD last week and found it very enjoyable. As others have said, it's far from "true" surround, but you do have the impression of sound to the left and to the right, as well as in front and behind. And I thought the CD's I put in sounded fabulous -- clear, natural vocals; every instrument was distinguishable, really wrapped you in sound.

I chose the ZVOX mainly because I wanted improved sound with simple set-up, and I am very happy it. My previous system was a Harmon-Kardon HTIB (5 speakers plus sub) paired with an Onkyo receiver, and I have to say that I prefer the ZVOX. I probably could have done a better job of calibrating my old setup, but I think the ZVOX produces a much clearer, more balanced sound.

Great post, thanks for sharing! An excellent review. Thanks for contributing good info to the thread!
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post #390 of 585 Old 09-27-2009, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xgeo View Post

i'm looking to buy 525 when its available for my computer have a question on zvox unit placement. my computer is in the left corner of the room. will that affect the sound. but if placing it in the middle is a requirement than can i place it in the middle of the room about 7 ft high. not below the monitor as i was planning to do.

Xgeo, it should not be a problem. Although placement in a room always affects the sound to some degree, the ZVOX is not "sensitive" to this in any unusual way. Depending on the model, corner placement might even be a plus.

But they'll work just about anywhere. One of their advantages.
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