Upgrading a cheapo Home Theater System - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-12-2013, 04:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,

A while ago, I bought a Samsung LED TV that had quite a steep discount only to find out later that it had a really poor sound quality. At normal levels, I could barely hear a dialogue thanks to the nosy neighborhood I live in. After a couple of weeks, I went into a store to buy a sound system for that TV and, after listening to a couple of 5.1 systems, I bought an LG HT906TA as it was quite cheap (around 250$ because it was an older model without Blu-Ray support) and it sounded pretty nice.

I was quite happy with the system until a couple of months ago when I added an WD TV Live to the mix, as I started hearing some sort of static sound when the movie had low pitched sounds. I assumed this happened because of the WD TV Live, but yesterday I finished building a computer that's supposed to be a gaming machine and a overpowered HTPC and tried to watch a movie and the same thing happened: low pitched sounds generate some sort of static noise, as if somebody was hitting the mic every second or so. The same thing happened if I tried to use the Nvidia pass-thru audio on my card or the optical digital connection from my motherboard's sound system, so I guess I found out why the system was so cheap.

That being said, I started to look for a A/V receiver in order to replace the unit that came with the HTS from LG. I hoped that I could find something reasonably priced to enjoy a movie in my rather tiny living room without spending a lot of money and, hopefully, without having to change all the speakers. For example, the Yamaha RX-V373 seemed like a really nice product with a very budget-friendly price.

However, I cracked open the HTS manual that came with my LG and noticed that the speakers look extremely well on paper: all of the are 2 way 3 speakers with an impedance rating of 4 ohms, an input power of 180 W and a maximum input power of 360 W, except for the passive subwoofer which is rated at 3 ohms, 200W and up to 400 W of maximum input power. The receiver specs are also great: 180 W for each speaker (4 ohms at 1 kHz) except for the subwoofer (200 W, 3 ohms at 60 Hz), all of this in surround mode. Is this some sort of marketing gimmick because I can't find a receiver with similar specs under 2000$.

Unfortunately, right now I'm on a rather tight budget and I can't afford to invest into an AV receiver and a decent 5.1 speaker set so my only option right now is to try to replace the AV receiver and plan to change the speakers in a couple of months from now, maybe even more. So, could somebody help me out with picking a decent AV receiver for my system?

Thanks :-)
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-12-2013, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by andreimaxim View Post

Hey all,

A while ago, I bought a Samsung LED TV that had quite a steep discount only to find out later that it had a really poor sound quality. At normal levels, I could barely hear a dialogue thanks to the nosy neighborhood I live in. After a couple of weeks, I went into a store to buy a sound system for that TV and, after listening to a couple of 5.1 systems, I bought an LG HT906TA as it was quite cheap (around 250$ because it was an older model without Blu-Ray support) and it sounded pretty nice.

I was quite happy with the system until a couple of months ago when I added an WD TV Live to the mix, as I started hearing some sort of static sound when the movie had low pitched sounds. I assumed this happened because of the WD TV Live, but yesterday I finished building a computer that's supposed to be a gaming machine and a overpowered HTPC and tried to watch a movie and the same thing happened: low pitched sounds generate some sort of static noise, as if somebody was hitting the mic every second or so. The same thing happened if I tried to use the Nvidia pass-thru audio on my card or the optical digital connection from my motherboard's sound system, so I guess I found out why the system was so cheap.

That being said, I started to look for a A/V receiver in order to replace the unit that came with the HTS from LG. I hoped that I could find something reasonably priced to enjoy a movie in my rather tiny living room without spending a lot of money and, hopefully, without having to change all the speakers. For example, the Yamaha RX-V373 seemed like a really nice product with a very budget-friendly price.

However, I cracked open the HTS manual that came with my LG and noticed that the speakers look extremely well on paper: all of the are 2 way 3 speakers with an impedance rating of 4 ohms, an input power of 180 W and a maximum input power of 360 W, except for the passive subwoofer which is rated at 3 ohms, 200W and up to 400 W of maximum input power. The receiver specs are also great: 180 W for each speaker (4 ohms at 1 kHz) except for the subwoofer (200 W, 3 ohms at 60 Hz), all of this in surround mode. Is this some sort of marketing gimmick because I can't find a receiver with similar specs under 2000$.

Unfortunately, right now I'm on a rather tight budget and I can't afford to invest into an AV receiver and a decent 5.1 speaker set so my only option right now is to try to replace the AV receiver and plan to change the speakers in a couple of months from now, maybe even more. So, could somebody help me out with picking a decent AV receiver for my system?

Sounds like the subwoofer in the LG HT906TA has a rubbing voice coil or there is a loose connection to it or a fried suibwoofer amplifier in the HT906TA's little AVR.

Try running the system using an analog (RCA jack input) input.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-12-2013, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Sounds like the subwoofer in the LG HT906TA has a rubbing voice coil or there is a loose connection to it or a fried suibwoofer amplifier in the HT906TA's little AVR.

Try running the system using an analog (RCA jack input) input.

I can't hear those sounds when using the analog input, but the HT906TA has only two inputs, so the 5.1 system will basically be a 2.0 system.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-12-2013, 07:37 PM
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Be careful. Most HTIB (home theater in a box) speakers have lower impedance than typical consumer loudspeakers and, at 4 ohms, yours are no exception.

The Yamaha RX-V373 is a nice, budget-friendly receiver but it has one of the weakest amp stages and is not rated to handle 4-ohm speakers. Also, your subwoofer is passive. No AVR is set up to amplify a passive sub.

Perhaps your only choices are to try to have your system repaired, or just start over with 8-ohm components that are more fungible if something breaks down the road. Or maybe someone will chime in with a better solution.

NB: Your suspicion is correct that the 1000W is a marketing gimmick.

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post #5 of 5 Old 07-13-2013, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JBWIII View Post

The Yamaha RX-V373 is a nice, budget-friendly receiver but it has one of the weakest amp stages and is not rated to handle 4-ohm speakers. Also, your subwoofer is passive. No AVR is set up to amplify a passive sub.

I did not know that. Thanks for the information!
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Originally Posted by JBWIII View Post

Perhaps your only choices are to try to have your system repaired, or just start over with 8-ohm components that are more fungible if something breaks down the road. Or maybe someone will chime in with a better solution.

The unit is out of warranty and probably they'll have to change the entire PCB, which will probably cost a lot more than it's worth. At the same time, I'm not sure I can justify the costs of replacing the entire sound system, at least not yet, but it's good to know that probably some parts of it broke and I'll need to come up with a budget to replace it soon :-)

Thanks for all the help!
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