We're new. Here's our system. Would love some advice. :) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 61 Old 03-23-2009, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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***Updated pictures on page 2***

Hello. My wife and I have been into home entertainment systems off and on for about 10 years. As much as we'd love to pour more money into our little setup we just have too many other expensive hobbies that take a slice of the fun-funds. Anyway, this system really started with the JBL speakers I purchased back in 1996 when my parents gave me my first real stereo equipment, (a Kenwood Dolby Pro-Logic receiver), for my 16th birthday. Components have mostly been updated as needed.

Current Equipment:
TV: Sony KDL52W4100
Receiver: Pioneer Elite SC-37
DVD Player: Sony DVP-CX985V
BluRay: Sony BDP-S1700ES
Gaming: Sony PS3 Slim 160gig
HD Cable Box: Comcast Motorola w/ DVR
Protection: Panamx M4300-PM x2
Front L/R Speakers: Definitive Technology BP7006
Center Speaker: Definitive Technology C/L/R/2002
Rear Speakers: Definitive Technology BP2X
Remote: Logitech Harmony 1100 w/ PS3 adapter
Light Control: Lutron Maestro MIR-603THW
A/V Furniture: Sanus Systems Natural Series

Room 2 setup for music listening:
Amp: Sony STR-DB940
Speakers: JBL L3
Subwoofer: Infinity BU-1

Pictures, (sorry for the poor quality. I didn't realize how dirty the camera lense was until I uploaded them):













Our 27" Trinitron that was just replaced by the 52" LCD now resides in the bedroom:



Unfortunately for our little system, the other hobby that chews up a large piece of our extra spending money is racing cars.

We're open to any and all advice, criticism, etc. BTW, been surfing this forum a bit and I'm amazed at the amount of information and many of the members' home theater systems.

Update 5/28/09: Added 80gig PS3
Update 2/1/10: Added Pioneer Elite SC-25
Update 1/16/11: Added DefTech fronts and Harmony 1100
Update 7/25/11: Added Pioneer Elite SC-37, Sony BDP-S1700ES, PS3 Slim 160Gig, Panamax M4300-PM x2

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post #2 of 61 Old 03-23-2009, 10:33 AM
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Universal remote.
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post #3 of 61 Old 03-23-2009, 10:41 AM
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Haha...thats what we have plenty of...Information and Opinions! Love your JBL's. Also...love the katana on the shelf in the background! Nice touch. How do those JBL's sound? Ive got the studio series in my setup.

The only bit of advice id have, is get a logitech harmony universal remote. They have some really affordable models and its probably the last remote youll need. Ive got the xbox 360 model, (about 75 bucks) you can see it here sitting on my coffee table http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1128560

Great Setup!

Shades of Grey Theater

Live: Hero of Cannton 

Currently Playing: CoD Black Ops II

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post #4 of 61 Old 03-23-2009, 10:51 AM
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Ideally, your surround speakers should be to the left and right of the main viewing area. You currently have them on the back wall. I'm not sure if you have a wall (or shelf) where the surround right should go (can't tell from the pics), but if it's similar to the left area, I'd move the surrounds to the side walls.

I'd also move the center speaker to the top shelf and put the DVR on the bottom shelf of the TV stand. Move the center speaker as far forward on the shelf as you can. This will reduce the likelihood of sound being blocked by the cabinet and the coffee table.

"The dream never dies, just the dreamer."

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post #5 of 61 Old 03-23-2009, 11:47 AM
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agreed

Shades of Grey Theater

Live: Hero of Cannton 

Currently Playing: CoD Black Ops II

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post #6 of 61 Old 03-23-2009, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natrone06 View Post

Universal remote.

The remote for our receiever is actually a 2-way programmable remote so it can learn any function from any of the remotes. It's all set up for the DVD player but I haven't yet programmed it for the new TV and cable box.
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Originally Posted by premiertrussman View Post

Haha...thats what we have plenty of...Information and Opinions! Love your JBL's. Also...love the katana on the shelf in the background! Nice touch. How do those JBL's sound? Ive got the studio series in my setup. Great Setup!

Thanks for the compliments. The Katana was a present from my little sister. I love the JBL's. I got them from Circuit City on an open-box deal well over 10 years ago. They're great for music but not definitely not ideal for watching TV and movies.
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Originally Posted by Stew4msu View Post

Ideally, your surround speakers should be to the left and right of the main viewing area. You currently have them on the back wall. I'm not sure if you have a wall (or shelf) where the surround right should go (can't tell from the pics), but if it's similar to the left area, I'd move the surrounds to the side walls.

I'd also move the center speaker to the top shelf and put the DVR on the bottom shelf of the TV stand. Move the center speaker as far forward on the shelf as you can. This will reduce the likelihood of sound being blocked by the cabinet and the coffee table.

Unfortunately the wall where the right surround should go is too far away. That's why I'm contemplating putting them on speaker stands. Also, the center channel speaker won't fit in the top shelf of the TV stand. That's the only thing I don't like about our new A/V furniture. I'm hoping that once we get the new front speaker the slimmer DefTech C/L/R will fit up there.

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post #7 of 61 Old 03-23-2009, 12:21 PM
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Well, it looks like you already have the center channel angled a bit, I'd at least pull it as far forward as you can.

"The dream never dies, just the dreamer."

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post #8 of 61 Old 03-23-2009, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stew4msu View Post

Well, it looks like you already have the center channel angled a bit, I'd at least pull it as far forward as you can.

Yeah. I just put a piece of cardboard under it to angle it up a little bit. Will try moving it out a little further too. Thanks for the advice.

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post #9 of 61 Old 03-23-2009, 07:06 PM
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It looks like you really like Sony products but I think you could get alot more receiver for your money if you went with something else. I myself love the sound quality of Onkyo and Denon much more than any Sony I have heard.
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post #10 of 61 Old 03-23-2009, 08:36 PM
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Hey bh,

Welcome to the forum!!

I like the overall room layout, colors, rug and the katana of course!! It seems you've already gotten some really good advice from the posters above.

One thing though, if you're a working person like most of us here it's going to be really hard to have multiple expensive hobbies... Especially in the audio sector... But it seems you're handling everything well, so keep it up and mix in a non Sony component every now and then!!... Just kidding!!

Cheers!
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post #11 of 61 Old 03-24-2009, 08:22 AM
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Hey welcome to the forum,my first question is do you have Sony's logo or name tattooed over your heart,lol! Definitely move the center speaker up higher, it would be best if the center speaker is lined up with the main speakers ,is your room rectangular, if so move everything lengthwise you'll get more room to place the rear speakers properly. All the best to you and the family enjoy the home theater, PS. get ready for the never ending upgrades,lol!
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post #12 of 61 Old 03-24-2009, 09:57 AM
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yep, universal remote and you get rid of those 4 rcus. clean table and you have control always in your hand
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post #13 of 61 Old 03-24-2009, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techlvr33 View Post

Hey welcome to the forum,my first question is do you have Sony's logo or name tattooed over your heart,lol! Definitely move the center speaker up higher, it would be best if the center speaker is lined up with the main speakers ,is your room rectangular, if so move everything lengthwise you'll get more room to place the rear speakers properly. All the best to you and the family enjoy the home theater, PS. get ready for the never ending upgrades,lol!

He cant...center wont fit on middle shelf

Shades of Grey Theater

Live: Hero of Cannton 

Currently Playing: CoD Black Ops II

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post #14 of 61 Old 03-24-2009, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all of the input guys.

I'm not at all married to all Sony products. I just typically find that in my price range Sony tends to offer me the best bang for my buck. Also, when we purchased the CD and DVD players there was not another company out there that offered 400 disc units like those. I am however married to Sony TV's. In my experience there are no other brands out there that have the quality, reliability and durability of a Sony TV. We looked at a lot of different TV's when we got the new 52" but I just couldn't bring myself to buy something else. We've owned that 27" Trinitron for 10 years now and it still has just as good of picture quality as it did the day we brought it home.

So what receiver would you recommend over the Sony? I'm up for suggestions. I would say we'll be looking at something around $1000. Also, any feedback on using the PS3 as a BluRay player?

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post #15 of 61 Old 03-24-2009, 04:43 PM
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The PS3 will work great as a BD player, I'd recommend the Onkyo 806 or the Denon 2809.
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post #16 of 61 Old 03-24-2009, 04:58 PM
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As far as recievers go...you really cant go wrong with onkyo, denon, or pioneer.

Shades of Grey Theater

Live: Hero of Cannton 

Currently Playing: CoD Black Ops II

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post #17 of 61 Old 03-24-2009, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Triaxtremec View Post

The PS3 will work great as a BD player, I'd recommend the Onkyo 806 or the Denon 2809.

Cool. Thanks for the advice. I'll probably be looking into the Denon more than the Onkyo. I'm a little bit more familiar with their products. Although the extra power and THX certification on the Onkyo makes it very tempting. I have a little while to decide. Like I said before, I have to get the car ready to race and that's going to take a pretty large chunk of money at the moment.

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post #18 of 61 Old 03-26-2009, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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So I've been thinking this whole new receiver thing over and over and I want to explore every option. What would be the benefits to getting a seperate amp and preamp setup versus the all in one receiver? I know that the cost will likely be higher but would it be worth the extra dough? Also, if you guys think this would be a good way to go, could you recommend a good setup for us?

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post #19 of 61 Old 04-06-2009, 03:27 PM
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Nice to see someone else that likes Sanus racks.

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post #20 of 61 Old 04-06-2009, 03:43 PM
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PC!

Dude, you are so lazy! It's time for to stop piggybackin' and create your own thread!

Your system looks GREAT! What a make over!

Regards.

"Chance favors only the prepared mind. "Louis Pasteur"

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post #21 of 61 Old 04-06-2009, 05:43 PM
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Ha, yeah it's time. Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.
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post #22 of 61 Old 04-07-2009, 08:27 AM
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Those Sanus racks are very nice indeed.

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post #23 of 61 Old 04-08-2009, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Definitely enjoying the new TV and the new Sanus A/V racks. We actually purchased a matching set of racks made by VAS when we purchased the TV from Ultimate Electronics. Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), when we got home and set everything up the shelves on the audio rack weren't deep enough to fit the CD or DVD players. (Anybody that has or has had one of these behemoths understands what I mean). I loved the Sanus Natural furniture since the first time I saw it so I looked up the specs on their site and realized that they would fit the components perfectly. I couldn't find anybody in town that sold Sanus furniture so I ordered the racks from an online vendor and returned the VAS furniture to Ultimate. I couldn't be more pleased with them. They were slightly higher in price to the VAS furniture but vastly better looking and much higher quality. If anybody is looking for affordable quality A/V furniture I highly recommend taking a look the Sanus lineup.

BTW, we're going to be looking into the Denon AVR-2809CI or the 3808CI when it comes time to replace the receiver.

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post #24 of 61 Old 04-08-2009, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhpizza View Post

Unfortunately the wall where the right surround should go is too far away. That's why I'm contemplating putting them on speaker stands. Also, the center channel speaker won't fit in the top shelf of the TV stand. That's the only thing I don't like about our new A/V furniture. I'm hoping that once we get the new front speaker the slimmer DefTech C/L/R will fit up there.

Nice set up!

How far away are you talking? it doesn't have to be completely symetrical. my left surround is 2 time closer to my sitting position than my right surround and it sounds fantastic. I tried the "rear" approach and it didn't have the submersion factor as the sides did. But then again, it may just come down to how the room is treating it...
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post #25 of 61 Old 05-28-2009, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally broke into the BluRay age with a PS3 and loving every minute of it. A little bit irritated by the fact that some of the movies don't come with a standard 5.1 Dolby Digital track. We rented Taken and it only had a DTS-HD soundtrack that our older reciever wouldn't decode. Oh well, all the more reason to upgrade the reciever I guess. Can't stop playing games either. I almost forgot how addicting video games can be.

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post #26 of 61 Old 05-28-2009, 09:25 AM
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If your receiver decodes DTS tracks then it should receive the 1.5 mbps DTS "core" of the DTS-HD audio track. It should sound excellent.
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post #27 of 61 Old 05-28-2009, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Our reciever does decode DTS but it couldn't pull anything off that disc. I tried changing some settings on the PS3 but nothing worked.

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post #28 of 61 Old 05-28-2009, 12:13 PM
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With a PS3, the receiver not decoding something is a non-issue. It's the fact that it isn't running over HDMI that's the problem.

PS3's have automatic decoding of these tracks...you can't shut it off even if you wanted to, which is only a big deal to those of us who would prefer that the receiver's pretty lights would light up. Problem is, it will only send them via LPCM over HDMI.

If you had a receiver that didn't decode those tracks, but accepted audio over HDMI, you'd be able to enjoy the benefits of it.

You could still have a DTS "core" solution if your PS3 is set up right. It will still send Dolby Digital over Toslink.
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post #29 of 61 Old 05-28-2009, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Gotcha. So here's how I have the system set up currently. Both the PS3 and the digital cable box run straight to the TV via HDMI cables. Then the audio runs from the TV to the receiver via a toslink cable. Is a better way to run the video from these components to the TV with the HDMI and then run seperate toslink cables from them to the receiver? BTW, I have successfully received 5.1 channel audio with this setup from both the cable box and the PS3. I only ran into the issue with one or two BluRay discs.

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post #30 of 61 Old 05-28-2009, 04:41 PM
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Running optical directly from the PS3 to the receiver should allow you to listen to the DTS "core" track. Remember to select the proper settings under the audio menu in the PS3's menu system. You don't ever want to run the audio from the television to the receiver. Just go directly from the source to the receiver via optical.
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