I am slowly building my home theater... I just bought some Klipsch RF-15s on CL for a great deal.. $200. they sounded amazing when guy demo'd them on a cheapo receiver in his garage....
i have them setup but i didn't own a receiver... i gave up on trying to find a good deal via CL.. everything was either way outdated, or people still wanted too much.. i have a Fry's electronics close to my house.. so I scored a Yamaha RX-V375 for $169. It is a refurbished unit... but for my budget it's perfect. I"m off to get it now. very excited.
I am going to come home and wire it up to my RF-15s and my existing Klipsch SW-8 sub (20 years old and still works great!).
I will post up some pics and my thoughts later tonight... very excited and thanks to you all for the advice along the way... there are a lot of you hear running RF-7s and big $$$ audiophile stuff.. I am a newbie... I have been listening to music on my TV speakers for the past couple of years or computer speakers..and it's time for a real home system.. but i'm on a budget.. all your help has been very valuable... thanks.
UPDATE - I was up late last night hooking everything up...
For those of you not following my posts.. I am putting together a home theater / music system and trying to do it on a budget. I want something really great for music and home theater... but I plan to do a lot of music listening .. I doubt I will ever try to do a 7.1 system... 5.1 is plenty for my needs. I had no good speakers except for an old Klipsch SW-8 sub. I had that hooked up to the audio output on my TV. I would listen to movies using the TV's built in speakers and my sub.. it was not very good and I finally decided it was time to get some nice speakers.
I wanted to post some pics of what I have put together so far and throw out a few more questions. My goal is to get the best sound possible, try to buy mostly used stuff or new stuff that provides great value, and to buy stuff that I can either easily sell to upgrade, or to buy components that I can grow with.
My starting point was basically at zero. I had ONE speaker - my old Klipsch SW-8 powered sub. It has an 8" woofer, and I think it has an 80 Watt amp.
so here is what my house looked like before i put in the system
the Klipsch sub is inside the wooden TV stand on the right, laid on it's side. I added small rubber feet to the side to keep it from rattling all over.
this is with the RF-15s slid along the sides of the TV. I had to remove the feet on the bottom of the speakers to get them to fit... I have very little clearance and to me, even though they fit, they look a bit jammed in there.
i love how the RF speakers look with the grills off.. very nice! the above photo is before i even had a receiver.. I had no way to hook them up so they were just sitting there as pretty decorations... so for the past few days I"ve been researching receivers, trying to figure out what to get. I was debating between going ultra cheap and getting something of CL that would be suitable.. or get something new. I got a refurbished Yamaha RX-V375 for $169 at Fry's. i figured I"ll try it out and if I decide I don't like it, I have 30 days to return it and change my receiver. It's advertised as having 100W per channel but I also saw somewhere it was rated at only 70W per channel... it's basically the entry level Yamaha receiver, but it's new and has HDMI connections so that is nice.
I bought some banana plugs, and used speaker wire I had from before.. heavy gauge stuff.. probably 14 gauge I think... and wired up the RF-15s, the receiver, and fed the pre-amp sub output into my old Klipsch SW-8. I also got out the vacuum and cleaned out my tv stand cabinet.. what a dusty mess... wow was it dirty in there.. here is my messy family room late last night...
so I hooked up my receiver to my apple TV and then streamed music from my phone.. i had everything just laying on the floor so I could see how it worked..nothing was installed where it would ultimately go... and I was just playing around having fun....
i had some issues getting the sub to work... i bought an adaptor to split the sub output into RCA L/R so it would plug into the back of my old sub..and I found a setting in the menus and the sub out put was off..turned it on... and it was all running.
HERE IS SOMETHING FUNNY.... at first I didn't think it was that loud... I wasn'tt used to the volume starting with negative numbers... .. like -60db... and as I turned it up i thought 0 was max!! I'm a total newbie to this... so I stopped turning up the volume as I got closer to 0..thinking that was full blast.. so I was at like -10db and I thought "this is nice but nothing amazing" It certainly didn't seem as loud as when I demo'd them. then I thought.. I bet 0 isn't' the max and it actually goes into positive numbers... so I cranked it up... OMG.... holy crap! the combo of my little 8" sub and these two RF-15s was INSANE. I LOVED IT.. IT SOUNDED SO LOUD, SO CLEAN, SO CRISP. I have to admit.. I got this big ear to ear grin when I cranked it up... the RF-15s actually have a decent amount of punch to them, especially if you are sitting closer to them. my sub is not that big, but it added just enough bass so that the sound wasn't unbalanced.. there was some thump in there, although not tons as my sub is only an 8". but my overall impression was "WOW". :)
It is amazing how much fun it is to listen to music with good speakers. I'm sure my setup is archaic to many of you... but given where i started from, this is a big step forward. I must have just listened to my songs for a couple hours, going through a bunch of my various music seeing how it sounded. With some of the tracks I heard sounds / things that I had never heard before. I've heard people say that happens with good speakers..and I know what they mean now. everything sounded really good! some styles of music sounded better... rock/roll, stuff with beats but not heavy bass sounded absolutely amazing. the only stuff that sounded lacking was when I put on bass heavy stuff like a rap song, or some of the modern top 40 stuff that is really heavy with bass/beats... but 90% of it was totally mind blowing.
so now I have to put it away because my floor is a mess and it's almost 1am... :) I decided to NOT put the speakers back alongside the entertainment center, but to instead position them outside my niche alongside the wall. maybe not where my wife will like them, but for the time being this will do. I put the feet back on the bottom of the speakers. the seller still had the little carpet spikes that go into the bottom of the feet, but I haven't put those in.. not sure if I should or not?
here is everything put away.
First off - thanks to all of you who helped me with your suggestions and comments along the way. I really enjoy the setup I have. It didn't cost a ton and it sounds great.
Here are some additional questions I've come up with i"m hoping some of you will chime in on:
1) Should I upgrade my sub?
The RF-15s sound great, but I can tell they don't have enough bass to run on their own as main speakers. At least not for my tastes - I still like to put on some bass heavy stuff once in a while and it seems like my sub has a hard time with the really deep stuff. also my room is large and that could be a factor too. when I play certain tracks that have tight bass sounds.. it sounds great. If I put on something with deep bass.. say a rap song or some really beat heavy modern music.. I can tell the bass sounds wimpy. when I was Fry's yesterday I went into their demo rooms and they had one full of just subs. they had a 15" Klipsch sub.. it was like $800. OMG. It sounded CRAZY. it felt like the bass was going through my body. I WANT that in my family room!!! my little SW-8 isn't even close.. not as deep note as powerful by any means.
I"m not going to drop $800 on a new 15" sub... but I have no problem spending 200-250 and picking up a used one. I"ve seen several 10" or 12" Klipsch subs for sale on CL. given how long mine has lasted I have no reservations about buying a used sub from Klipsch. would a 12" sub probably make a ton more bass than my 8"?
I also thought about moving my SW-8 OUT of the wooden TV stand and putting it somewhere else int eh room. I can even get a wireless kit if necessary and play around with where I position it int eh room. I was curious if you think that my Sub might work better if i moved it to a different spot in my family room. My existing sub sounds awesome when I am in some parts of my family room, then it sounds wimpy and almost not there in other parts. I can walk 8' away and the bass just drops off.. i walk another 8" to the far edge of the room and it booms again. I know this due to the bass waves being large and I have heard you get "dead spots" with subs.. but are they ALL like this, or is it worse with smaller ones? If I upgraded to a 12" sub.. would I still get this same effect? or would it be much less noticeable?
I have seen halfway decent prices on used Klpsch subs on CL. I'm sure I could find a used 12" synergy line sub for under $200. i'm guessing that would outdo my 8"???
they also make a wireless system for subs by rocket fish.. i could use something like that and move my sub all over the family room to try different positions and see how it affects bass... any of you think that is a good idea to help produce more bass? or do I just need a bigger sub?
here is one small cable question - I also connected my sub using an old RCA plug.. it's a quality plug but not a "subwoofer" cable like some i"ve seen on the shelf at the store. are those "sub" cables anything special that would help bass production or just marketing crap and my existing RCA cable is perfectly fine?
2) Adding Surround Sound / Center
I'm anxious to get a center channel and plug in rear surrounds. It would be fun to listen to movies and have all the channels going.
Until I can afford better speakers, I'll just make due with what I have. as far as stuff I have laying around the house / in the garage - I have some small bookshelf speakers that are old and nothing special but they work and I could hook them up. here is a pic of what they look like..
I also have an old Panasonic HTIB that had several cheapo speakers.. I could use some of those as a center or rear surrounds.. Will it sound better / ok to have these running, even though they are not "matched" to the Klipsch speakers... and they are cheap - or will it degrade the experience? just curious what you think??
3) Is my existing receiver sufficient as I upgrade to bigger/better Main speakers / center?!?
This just shows you that the bug has bit me already.. when I was at Fry's.. I went into their demo room where they had all the floor standers..they had the RF-42s up to the RF-82s... I listened to the RF-62s.. which looked quite a bit bigger than my RF-15s... the size difference is quite noticeable and I think the sound was better...more midrange punch... so right away I catch myself thinking .. about how I could eventually upgrade to RF-62s for fronts or even RF-82s... :) and then move my RF-15s the rears and use them as rear surrounds. Would that work? are RF-15s usable as rears?? and if I did that, will my existing receiver push all these speakers? could my receiver push RF-62s up front, a RC-62 center, and my RF-15s to the rear and sound good? or will it be too much for it and I am bound to need to upgrade the receiver???
I have 30 days to return the receiver...and if I am doomed to upgrade if/when I get bigger/better speakers.. I was tempted to either upgrade my receiver NOW and return this one.
one thing I noticed I didn't have as a connection on the rear of my receiver was a plug to install my sub.. meaning the power. so my sub is plugged into the wall and I have to turn it on/off separately.. instead of just plugging the sub into the back of the stereo and having it atomically come on when my recover turns on. that kind of bothered me.. maybe i'm just anal... i wanted the whole system to go on/ off at once..
also.. my apple tv plugs into the receiver. if my tv turns off, the whole things turns off. I was trying to just stream music to apple tv and listen to it via the receiver with the TV OFF but once I turn off the tV the whole system shuts off. Is it supposed to do this?? I ran the apple TV HDMI from the Apple TV to the receiver. the receiver has an HDMI output that goes to my TV. is there a way to listen to music and NOT have to have my TV running?
4) Wireless rear surround question
Whether I hook up my little cheap speakers as rears, or I eventually move my RF-15s to the rear - I was looking at wireless setups.. which would make it much easier to install, but how do you get adequate power to run the speakers if you don't have the receiver actually connected to them? I can't imagine the rocket fish system has that much power??? maybe enough to run my little audio source crap speakers..but certainly not enough to run RF-15s to the rear???
5) Should I use the YPAO setup or is that a gimmick?
I havne't tried this yet, and wondered if it would help? with only left and right and a sub would it even do much??
i know I"m written a ton, and asked a bunch of random questions.. i'm partially still really excited about my speakers and am just having fun sharing.. I'm sure you all know exactly how I am feeling.. it's great to be able to turn up the sound, and listen to great music. I am the kind of person who loves music, I appreciate having a good system, and it's been way too long since I've had a half way decent system..
If you've read this far, thanks, and thank you for any advice, input you can give me for my questions and helping me make good decisions on how to setup my system, what will work, what won't, and what will give me the biggest bang for the buck!
Thank you everyone!!
I've updated my speakers connected to my Yamaha RX-V673 to a set of Klipsch speakers (since they were on a nice sale at BB). Not to top of line ones like a lot of Klipsch owners on here, but these suit my needs and then some:
Klipsch - Icon Dual 4" 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker (Pair) Model: KS-14 - Use as rears
I ended up getting some HDTV monitor mounts to mount them to the wall - none of the speaker mounts really seemed to what I needed.
Also got a polk subwoofer PSW-10
I gotta say, this yamaha and these speakers sound great! I've upgraded from old kenwood surround which i've had for about 12 years....LOL.
Tasdom - that setup is insane! must sound like you are IN the movie! i'm sure the music sounds amazing too! i am quite a few "upgrades" away from a system like yours... ;)