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post #1 of 41 Old 02-22-2012, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I have no Idea where to start, so I'll just jump right into it. I have a very old yamaha receiver, with 5 speaker surround sound, and 3 cheap subs ran through a shitload of splitters! And ontop of all that, the receiver has no HDMI inputs only 2 optical ins - so I have to have a splitter there to collect sound from dvd, ps3, dvr, etc. Basically, I have a wiring mess! But truth be told, minus the quietness, it is a very good sounding system!

Anyways, I built this theater system very cheaply, and it is a nice system, but I would like to slowly start upgrading components and build it into a better theater. I figured I would start with the sound. Ideally, I want a new receiver (and something to get rid of all of the wiring mess and other people besides myself can figure out how to use my tv) new speakers, and would like to build my own sub/subs.

What kind of low/midrange priced setup would you recommend. I have found this http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...-Cat80&topnav= and it incorporates everything that I think I will need. 4 HDMI inputs, 1 out for the projector. It has good sound and an A/B switch that I need for speakers on my rear patio.

Does anyone have any recommendations/comments on that receiver? How about on a speaker/sub combination for down the road?

Thanks...
LL
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post #2 of 41 Old 02-22-2012, 02:46 PM
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The Pio 821 is a good startsin point. This will drasticly improve your wiring situation! Not sure on your budget but, next go with a good pair of speakers for the front. Look at Newegg for good deals. Polk Monitor 40s and then a CS1 center can be had for under $200 total.
Drop one sub out of the mix.

Sounds good!
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post #3 of 41 Old 02-22-2012, 04:00 PM
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First order of business: Rid spaghetti and run in-wall wirings!
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post #4 of 41 Old 02-22-2012, 04:30 PM
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I'd also recommend an audio stand. I have this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Silver-C...item5ae22b98b7

The receiver will thank you.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #5 of 41 Old 02-22-2012, 06:50 PM
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Something absorbent to prevent reflections. That's a hard room.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #6 of 41 Old 02-22-2012, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey thanks guys for the reccomendations. I did run everything through the wall that wasn't going to be hidden,(the projector and the front mounted speakers). Trust me, it looks much cleaner with the furniture in place.

Also, with the new receiver, I'm going to drop my additional dvd player and the psyclone switcher. So basically I will just have the PS3, DVR, and the new receiving. I am guessing that will clean up not only the wiring but should be fine without a racking system. Hell it works ok now with 5 units back there!

As for the room, yes, hardwoods and straight drywall, it is kind of echoey, but aside from maybe getting a throw rug, I spent way too much time laying those damn floors to tear em back out. Plus, I am planning on moving this year or next, i will set my next theater up more ideally.

The quietness comes from the front speakers. I think there are probably 2 culprits. 1, The couches sit about 20 feet back from the screen. And two, as I have been reading up here, I ran the front speakers with 16 or 18 guage cheapo wire. Each strand is probably 50-60 feet long. I don't know much about sound, but from reading up, I guess I should have used thicker wire.

May I ask why you suggest getting rid of a sub? I have them all turned only about 50% up, since they are cheaper subs (and probably because of the room) they are real 'punchy' when running full bore, so I basically turned them down and added more. Seems to be good sound, atleast for now....

Anyways, the plan I guess is to get the new receiver (unless someone has something bad to say about it) and upgrade the front speakers, along with re-running better wire. I think that should clear the sound up wonderfully for now and make the surround sound experience better.
LL
LL
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post #7 of 41 Old 02-22-2012, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derekhonda View Post

The quietness comes from the front speakers. I think there are probably 2 culprits. 1, The couches sit about 20 feet back from the screen.

The distance for their size is part of it. Also, they're way up high. And I don't see that they're angled down, so they're effectively radiating into the upper wall and ceiling.

The wire gauge has little to do with the "quietness." You could go heavier, but that's not addressing the main problem.

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post #8 of 41 Old 02-22-2012, 11:38 PM
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I'm a little confused as to some of your dimentions. 60 feet of wire in a 20 foot room? Anyway, 18 AWG wire is a little thin but, 16 AWG would be fine. As for the subs, it is more a matter of calibration than just having too many. Two subs is a lot easier to calibrate than three! And as Kal said, do a little work on the room. A rug and some side reflection deadeners would work wonders.
I'm not suprised you can't hear those little things from 20 feet!

Sounds good!
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post #9 of 41 Old 02-23-2012, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Eh maybe I exxagerated. It might be 40 feet, but yes, ran them from the receiver over 5 feet to the hole in the drywall. 8 or 9 feet back up through the wall And then even though it is probably 20 feet to the front of the room, it is a raised ceiling that goes up to about 14 feet high in the apex, so maybe 25-30 feet of wiring to go up and come back down a 20' distance, plus I'm sure I left some extra wire 'just in case'. Anyways, that doesn't sound like it is as big of a problem as I thought it was.

Yep, I think I have decided new receiver to clean up the mess and add a little bit more power and cleanness, and will look into upgrading either the front 3 or all 5 speakers and perhaps get some speaker stands for the rears to get them up a little higher in the air. I will also see if I can't angle them down any, but no promises there. I guess for now I will leave the speaker wire alone, I didn't really want to get back into the attic again anyways!

As for the room, I'll look into a rug for around the couch area, but I'm not positive I want one. I guess I'll just see how it sounds with the new set up and play with it from there if I need something or not.
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post #10 of 41 Old 02-23-2012, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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.......

Well crap I just went to newegg, looks like it would be about $450 for the receiver, the Polk 40's and the CS1. The price is inline with what I could spend (although from the reviews it sounds like the speakers go on sale every other week so maybe i wait) but The size and weight of those 40's and the center, Im not sure it would work with my current set up. It would be about 40 pounds of weight to hang up plus my screen, and I have no idea how I would fasten it to my current mount, its almost like I'd have to either sit them on the floor with wires dangling or else start from scratch with new mounts, etc. hmmmmm

I also see where they are doing a close out on the monitor 50's floor speaker. $85 each, could solve that problem for $20 extra. Thoughts?
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post #11 of 41 Old 02-23-2012, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Last one! For $514.00 I can basically re-do everything. Polk Monitor 50's up front, CS1 in the middle, and Polk 30's for my rear, all in cherry, and along with a Pioneer VSX-821-K 5.1-Channel 3D Ready A/V Receiver. For $500, that (to me, a newby) seems like a pretty great deal. Better than buying one out of a box for $500 id imagine. Thoughts? I'm about to pull the trigger...
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post #12 of 41 Old 02-23-2012, 09:10 AM
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Go for it! You will not be dissappointed. The Polk Monitors are a great entry level speaker. You need to get into that $5-600/pair price point to notice improvements. I have the 50s and CS1 with the 40s as surround. I love it! Just be aware that these speakers are placement sensitive. If you put them up against a wall, the bass gets all out of whack. The best placement (in my room) is to have the back of the speaker 18 inches out from the wall and at least 3 feet from a side wall. If anything, put at least 3-4 inches between the back of the speaker and the wall.

Sounds good!
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post #13 of 41 Old 02-23-2012, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derekhonda View Post

I will also see if I can't angle them down any, but no promises there.

Shame. Speaker placement would have the biggest effect on your sound. Angling would help. Getting them off the ceiling will help more.

New speakers and new receiver will help some, but not as much as the other stuff. Your choice.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #14 of 41 Old 02-23-2012, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Alright, I'm really wanting to do it. I do have one question though. On my current system, I'll bet I get 70% sound out of my center speaker alone. Maybe 10% out of the other fronts and 5% out of the rears. My question, with the new receiver and speakers, should I expect this to change? I guess I'm looking at it, Like if I spend $250 for the 4-corner speakers, and $70 for the center speaker, doesn't that seem wrong if the center speaker is doing most of the work? Is there a way to calibrate a system like this to optimal surround sound and equal things out?
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post #15 of 41 Old 02-23-2012, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derekhonda View Post

On my current system, I'll bet I get 70% sound out of my center speaker alone. Maybe 10% out of the other fronts and 5% out of the rears. My question, with the new receiver and speakers, should I expect this to change?

Nope. That's all dependent on how the source material, especially Blu-rays and DVDs, are mixed. It comports with the way the speakers are intended to be used with 5.1 (and higher) systems.

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Is there a way to calibrate a system like this to optimal surround sound and equal things out?

You already have optimal assuming proper calibration. You could try a different surround mode, but then you destroy the surround effects. The speakers aren't supposed to be "equal."

You could also get an SPL meter and measure the output of test tones (either the receivers or a calibration DVD's) and make sure all the speakers are the right level, but it sounds like things are mostly there already.

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post #16 of 41 Old 02-23-2012, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Shame. Speaker placement would have the biggest effect on your sound. Angling would help. Getting them off the ceiling will help more.

New speakers and new receiver will help some, but not as much as the other stuff. Your choice.

Well I think doing the new set up, the polk monitor 50's on the floor would solve all of those problems in one. Off the ceiling, angled properly, new speakers, and new receiver. Should solve all the problems!
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post #17 of 41 Old 02-23-2012, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Ordered. Whew, been a while since I spent money on something other than necessities.... Hope it turns out awesome!
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post #18 of 41 Old 02-23-2012, 01:51 PM
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Enjoy !
You will notice a huge improvment over the old setup. Start saving for your powered subwoofer, something like the BIC F12 or Polk PSW505 (if you can still find one on sale).
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post #19 of 41 Old 02-24-2012, 09:18 AM
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After some issues with Amazon, I prefer going with Newegg. However, they have not had the PSW505 in months. I wonder if they will be getting any in? Ever? I want one!

Sounds good!
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post #20 of 41 Old 02-24-2012, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow newegg has some stellar shipping. Was tracking them all day they arrived in indianapolis this morning at about 8 am. I was crossing my fingers all day that they would throw em on a truck and send them out for 1 day delivery...but no dice. I even called down to UPS to see if i could drive about 20 minutes and pick them up but they said no! Damnet, could have hooked it up all weekend, but I guess theyll be here monday.
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post #21 of 41 Old 02-27-2012, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Today is the day! Im guessing this will be the longest, most drawn out workday in a long time!
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post #22 of 41 Old 02-27-2012, 08:17 AM
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Are they there yet? Are they there yet?

Sounds good!
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post #23 of 41 Old 02-27-2012, 08:21 AM
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One suggestion once you get your new gear (from looking at your pics): please don't stack anything on top of the receiver; it needs a few inches of clearance on the top (and sides) for heat dissipation
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post #24 of 41 Old 02-27-2012, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Been tracking them all day, still not delivered. Have a note on the door for a neighbor to sign if they need a signature, but still nothing yet. Like I said, this day is craaaawling along.

As for not stacking anything, I will be wittling down my little 'tower' with this new receiver. All I will have will be the receiver, the DVR, and the PS3. The PS3 is upright and has been for a while now, so all I will have is the receiver and the DVR to stack. I may see if the dvr fits on the bottom of the pile (since its rented for $8 a month, thanks comcast) if not I may look into a little stand or wire cage to try and get it up off the receiver a little bit.
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post #25 of 41 Old 02-27-2012, 11:47 AM
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If the DVR vents on the top, I'd keep the receiver off of it. No need to transfer heat. I'm of the "everything gets its own shelf" school.

Any of these would work well.

http://www.standsandmounts.com/modular.aspx

http://www.standsandmounts.com/Audio...ssShelves.aspx

I always like these glass ones:

http://www.standsandmounts.com/walke...lesv35cmp.aspx

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post #26 of 41 Old 02-27-2012, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derekhonda View Post

Been tracking them all day, still not delivered. Have a note on the door for a neighbor to sign if they need a signature, but still nothing yet. Like I said, this day is craaaawling along.

As for not stacking anything, I will be wittling down my little 'tower' with this new receiver. All I will have will be the receiver, the DVR, and the PS3. The PS3 is upright and has been for a while now, so all I will have is the receiver and the DVR to stack. I may see if the dvr fits on the bottom of the pile (since its rented for $8 a month, thanks comcast) if not I may look into a little stand or wire cage to try and get it up off the receiver a little bit.

not prudent... most cable boxes could double as space heaters... and heat rises... you'll be baking your avr constantly from below...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #27 of 41 Old 02-27-2012, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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It's heeeeeeeere
LL
LL
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post #28 of 41 Old 02-27-2012, 04:08 PM
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Sexy.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #29 of 41 Old 02-27-2012, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derekhonda View Post

It's heeeeeeeere

now you need a rug...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #30 of 41 Old 02-27-2012, 04:56 PM
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He'll get some Monitor 40s for the surrounds in the near future.

Sounds good!
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