An Home Audio Newbie Needing Help - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello, I don't have much knowledge about receivers or home audio setups in general. In summary, I need help with 1) picking an receiver, and 2) picking out connections. Please pardon any mistakes I make.

Recently I purchased a nice TV, and decided to use the surround sound system that came with the house. There're 5 speakers in the ceiling arranged like the following looking from the ground. They are already installed, and there's almost nothing I can do to change them. The speakers are already installed in. The room isn't huge, but it isn't small either. From center to either left front or right front runs about 6 feet. (So, left to right runs about 12 feet). From the front to rear runs about 10-11 feet.

O O O
(front left) (center) (front right)



O O
(surround left) (surround right)

I'm guessing the setup is 5.1, but the center ".1" part is missing. I'm guessing that's missing because that would be the subwoofer (?).

The previous owner was kind enough to leave the instruction manual. All I know to interpret is the model information: 6.5" Sonance Symphony Series in-series speakers. In the instruction manual, there are also specifications for four different models. I don't know which one these speakers are, but these are what I see that are relevant. I unfortunately don't know which one I have.

624TR 623TR 622TR 621TR
Freq. Response: 38Hz to 20KHz+/-3dB | 40Hz to 20KHz+/-3dB | 45Hz to 20KHz+/-3dB | 55Hz to 20KHz+/-3dB
Impedance (Min.): 6 ohms (4 ohms) | 6 ohms (4 ohms) | 8 ohms (6 ohms) | 8 ohms (6 ohms)
Power Handling: 5 to 125W | 5 to 100W | 5 to 75W | 5 to 50W
Efficiency: 90dB @ 1W/m | 89dB @ 1W/m | 89dB @ 1W/m |88dB @ 1W/m

(How are these speakers?)

This is the output found on the wall (behind the TV).



I'm assuming what I need is a receiver for this to work out. Is there anything else I need besides the cables?
What kind of cables do I need? (What are these outputs called?) Does length and gauge of cable matter? I know that I won't use more than 2 feet of cable per connection because they're right behind the TV/stand.

Basically, I'm completely lost. Just need to have some insight. What do you guys recommend for an receiver/AVR? I do want some future proofing.

Thank you all in advance helping out a newbie.
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hscai View Post

Hello, I don't have much knowledge about receivers or home audio setups in general. In summary, I need help with 1) picking an receiver, Any 5.1 AVR will work. I happen to like the Denon line. Check the Denon XX13 or XX12 threads for more info. and 2) picking out connections. Speaker wire - you can either use bare wire or banana plugs. No difference b/t the two.
I'm assuming what I need is a receiver for this to work out. Is there anything else I need besides the cables? Not unless you don't have HDMI cables already. HDMI from your source (cable/PS3, etc) to AVR to TV
What kind of cables do I need? (What are these outputs called?) Does length and gauge of cable matter? Yes & No... but 16AWG speaker wire will be fine, cheap HDMIs work too - get from Monoprice. I know that I won't use more than 2 feet of cable per connection because they're right behind the TV/stand.
Basically, I'm completely lost. Just need to have some insight. What do you guys recommend for an receiver/AVR? I do want some future proofing. A good networked 7.1 will be fine. What's your budget?
Thank you all in advance helping out a newbie.

see text

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 11:45 AM
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Yes, you'll need a receiver, a subwoofer, and cables from the AVR to the wall sockets, one for each speaker. Those look like banana plugs. 14 or 16 gauge speaker wire will be fine. Put banana plugs on the ends that connect to the wall sockets and use whatever terminations that make sense on the AVR ends.

As for AVR recommendations, look at sites like Denon, pioneer, Onkyo, and Yamaha. There are many choices, depending on what you want your receiver to do.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys I really appreciate your helping.

I know that sounds vague, but my budget is whatever is good since I don't know the price ranges for these things. I don't need the best, but I don't want to be stuck with something crappy. Does $700 and below sound okay for what I describe?

For the cables, basically I grab 16 AWG wires, some banana plugs and w/e the receiver takes, and snap the adapters to the respective ends of a cable?

Where does HDMI come here? From TV to receiver, or from cable box to receiver? (The cable box only has 1 HDMI, which I used for the TV. I think it has an s/pdif though.)
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 01:09 PM
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$700 is more than enough - considerably more than enough, actually. You should be be able to get a fine receiver that will meet your needs in the $300-400 range.

Yes on the cable jumpers from the AVR to the wall.

HDMI is used to connect your devices to the receiver - cable box, disc players, game consoles, and media players such as Roku and AppleTV. Th devices attach to the AVR using HDMI cables and then you run a single HDMI from the AVR to the TV for video. The AVR is the hub.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 01:29 PM
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For $700 I'd get the Onkyo NR818 - wait for the price to drop - it'll come round to $650 or so. I got mine from NewEgg for $679 - others scored for $649. It has Audyssey MultEQ XT32 - the best room correction that Audyssey makes. And it makes a big difference. You can find it on Denon and Marantz AVRs too but expect to pay more. Audyssey XT is also quite good - comes on some lower priced Denon AVRs - 1912/1913 - and may come on other models as well.

These are banana plugs. Mono-Price is also a great place to get speaker wire and other interconnects such as HDMI etc. The banana plugs make it easy to connect from the speaker lugs on the AVR to the speakers in the ceiling. If those speaker wall connections aren't labeled you can find out which is which by using a 9v battery and connect it to each set of terminals one at a time. You'll hear a soft pop from the speaker that is connected to the terminals. Write it down! You'll never remember one from the other.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #7 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all the help guys.

Now I have a better grasp of prices, what would be a good AVR for around $300-$500? Does it matter as long as I follow the good companies (e.g. Onkyo, Klipsch, Denon, etc.)? Are there any specific things I should look out for? In other words, what makes them different, or one superior to the other?
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 01:53 PM
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Best Buy had a Harman Kardon on sale last week for $199 that would have worked perfect. Just about any 5.1 system will work fine. You want as low a THD as possible and as high a SNR as possible, most of the better brands (Onkyo, Pioneer, Yamaha) have very acceptable levels at this day and age. Most people look for more HDMI inputs and the different eq/room correction features. Another big thing is the channels 5.1, 7.1, 7.2, 9.2.. do you plan on adding more speakers and maybe more than one sub? Might not now but maybe later. Something to think about. I wanted a 7.2 but couldn't turn down the AVR-1700 for $199.

Get a good powered sub.

Must be nice to have speakers already installed in the house, cool bonus.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 02:06 PM
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Oh yeah, you will want to look at the warranty, OSD, its ability to hook to the internet(if you're so inclined), if it supports the smartphone you might have.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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^

Thanks for the tips. Didn't know what they were until you mentioned it. I would like the receiver to have 7.1 or 7.2 available. (I can't imagine to use 9.anything.)

I looked around and found the following to my liking:
http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B002IKKFU0/
http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR616-7-2-Channel-Certified-Receiver/dp/B0077V88W2
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-VSX-1122-K-7-Channel-Receiver-Network/dp/B007O5ATGO/

I just don't understand one thing: power output. One is 75W, one is 90W, and another is 100W. There seems to be no straight correlation between that and the pricing. Does it matter, or is it more of a market gimmick? Which of those would you pick? Is there something around that price that might be a better choice? (Why is that Onkyo so cheap compared to MSRP?)
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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EDIT: Sorry I double posted for some reason.
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 02:51 PM
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Those speakers are all 8ohm rated and around 88db efficient. A receiver with 50wpc should drive them well. Don't worry about power ratings differences between receivers at this price point. They all pretty much have the same capability. Find the AVR with the gadgets bells and whistles you think you can't live without and buy it. For more 'bang for the buck' you might think about a refurbished AVR. Most of those 'refurbished' AVRs are returns. Think about it - any time one breaks you always hear about the wait the owner puts in waiting for it to come back from repairs. These are store returns and probably 90% of them are in perfectly good operating condition.

Something like this.

When all else fails - RTFM!

♫♫♫ Two Channel Rules! ♫♫♫

GO SEAHAWKS!!!
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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^ Thanks for the insight. Some of them say 6 ohms (4 ohms) and others say 8 ohms (6 ohms). I'm guessing that doesn't matter? I'm eyeing that Pioneer pretty hard. Is there anything about it I should watch out for? (Is there perhaps one better at that price?)
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