Ugh, Audio is a whole different language to me! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-29-2012, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Can somebody give me a suggestion on an audio system? Nothing makes any sense to me when I read about audio. I am looking to do an audio system with a 3D projector. I can probably do about $750. Is my best option to just do a HTIB? I seen some today at Best Buy, however I feel like I'm just buying blindly.

I have a large open room that is about 28'x16'. But there is a bump out area that is 14'x10' and that is where the projector will be.

Any help is very appreciated, and if I didn't give enough info, just let me know what would help and I will get as much info as needed.

Thank you!!
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-29-2012, 04:22 PM
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It's not much of a budget to fill a space like that, and the space is defined by what can be closed off with walls/doors, open space is open space. HTIBs aren't usually suited to such large rooms IMHO but there is an HTIB forum where you might get some input.

If you're confused by terminology used in audio there's a lot of sources to find out.

So you want an AVR (or whatever the unit that handles such switching functions in an HTIB is called) that is HDMI 1.4 compatible for your 3D signal to be passed through from whatever your source(s) are or other needs might be. What else are you doing with the system? Music? Just movies? How many channels of sound are you looking for? How loud would you like the system to be?

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post #3 of 14 Old 12-29-2012, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for the response. The audio is going to be used for movies, PS3 games and watching NFL. No music. I am not extremely picky, but do want a nice sounding system.

It will just be my PS3 and Cable TV. I do not want it to be so loud that you have to yell to hear one another, just fairly loud when watching an action movie. I could get a few items now to start, and add to it later. I read some people have done that and I'm thinking that may be the way to go. I can always spend more later, but right now I can only spend $750. I obviously need a receiver, and maybe fronts? Or a sub?

I did not even think about what you said about the open space, so yes, it is a large space to fill since it is basically all open. I have a bar area, and pool table area all open, no walls at all.
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-30-2012, 04:24 AM
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You might be better off spending less now and buying a sound bar. An HTiB (or any $750 complete system) is not really upgradeable without totally replacing. Then read/learn while you save up for a real audio upgrade.

A good starting rule of thumb. Spend 50% to 75% of the total HT audio budget on speakers. Addition speakers to "learn" what you like and don't like. Speakers have the greatest impact on your SQ and each speaker system/line has a unique timbre.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-30-2012, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by William View Post

You might be better off spending less now and buying a sound bar. An HTiB (or any $750 complete system) is not really upgradeable without totally replacing. Then read/learn while you save up for a real audio upgrade.

I can't think of anything that is less upgradable than a sound bar!

Some of the cheaper HTIB systems do indeed have limited to non-existent upgradability.

The better ones are more like a collection of separate components that happen to be sold together. YMMV! For $750 you should be able to get a HTIB package that offers you flexible options for upgrading.

Things to look out for in HTIB offerings are speakers and electronics that have non-standard connectors. These can put a big damper on upgradability.

You have other options. You could break your $750 budget down into a entry level but very flexible $250 5.1 AVR and a $500 speaker package by a major manufacturer like Boston Acoustics, Polk, Klipsch, Inifinty etc.

You can save money and sometimes get better sound by getting just a 2.1 speaker system and leaving off the surround speakers. You can configure the AVR to work very effectively with just 2 channels and the sound can be very good.

Since they are sold separately and to the general market, separately sold receivers and speakers are pretty much guaranteed to have standard connectors and interface well to a variety of competitive offerings in both the AVR and speaker markets. In general speakers will work with any AVR so brand matching, etc, in this area makes no sense.
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A good starting rule of thumb. Spend 50% to 75% of the total HT audio budget on speakers. Addition speakers to "learn" what you like and don't like. Speakers have the greatest impact on your SQ and each speaker system/line has a unique timbre.

Agreed.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-30-2012, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I can't think of anything that is less upgradable than a sound bar!...
Right, what I'm suggesting is since he has no idea what direction to just buy a cheep "throw away" sound bar for $200 and bank the $550 while researching.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-30-2012, 07:47 AM
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Right, what I'm suggesting is since he has no idea what direction to just buy a cheep "throw away" sound bar for $200 and bank the $550 while researching.
But that sacrifices sound quality now, while building nothing.

Arny's approach is better both in the short run and the long. A 2.1 system and AVR will get him started, and he can add to it piecemeal. For the AVR, grab something on special at Best Buy. For speakers, Infinity Primus P163s are a real bargain. That leaves plenty for a subwoofer, and you're off to the races.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #8 of 14 Old 12-31-2012, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate the feedback. I will just start with a 2.1 and build as I can. I'm in no hurry to get this done, but I am in a hurry to at least get some sound. I just want to do it right the first time if possible.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-31-2012, 02:26 PM
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Buy used, seriously.
There are so many 2-3 year old gear out there, your best bang for the buck, as depreciation is already taken out.

AVS classifieds, audiogon, etc.


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post #10 of 14 Old 12-31-2012, 03:17 PM
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Buy used, seriously.
There are so many 2-3 year old gear out there, your best bang for the buck, as depreciation is already taken out.
I understand the logic, from a budget standpoint. But you need to know even more about audio to buy in the used market. Meaning no disrespect, I don't think it's a good idea for the OP.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #11 of 14 Old 12-31-2012, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

I understand the logic, from a budget standpoint. But you need to know even more about audio to buy in the used market. Meaning no disrespect, I don't think it's a good idea for the OP.

None taken at all, and I agree with you. I have no idea what the terms all mean, like ohms, watts, crossover etc. I have been reading alot and it isn't sinking in yet. I have no clue what I need in an AVR, all I know is it needs to be 3D, have an HDMI in for a PS3 and Cable TV. After that, I am still lost. Again, I thank you for the feedback!
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post #12 of 14 Old 12-31-2012, 05:37 PM
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I have no idea what the terms all mean, like ohms, watts, crossover etc.
Fortunately, you don't need to know too much about this technical stuff. In your price range, you are unlikely to encounter speakers that will pose a problem for any receiver.
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I have no clue what I need in an AVR, all I know is it needs to be 3D, have an HDMI in for a PS3 and Cable TV.
That's pretty much what you need to know. Any AVR will give you bass management, which is helpful in setting up your subwoofer. And most these days have some form of room correction (e.g., Audyssey), which is useful for optimizing your system. Generally, set-up involves following menus, so it needn't be intimidating. Or you can pay the Geek Squad to do it for you.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #13 of 14 Old 12-31-2012, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Shane R View Post

None taken at all, and I agree with you. I have no idea what the terms all mean, like ohms, watts, crossover etc. I have been reading alot and it isn't sinking in yet. I have no clue what I need in an AVR, all I know is it needs to be 3D, have an HDMI in for a PS3 and Cable TV. After that, I am still lost. Again, I thank you for the feedback!

I probably don't know much more about this stuff than you, so it might seem odd taking advice from another novice, but maybe I can help... I actually just posted my setup on this forum to see if I was missing something...again you might be thinking "why would I take advice from the guy who needs his setup double checked on this forum" BUT I have been doing a lot of reading and I think I built a nice setup that has room for upgrading and is within your price range. Hope THIS helps:
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post #14 of 14 Old 12-31-2012, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Scared by AV View Post

I probably don't know much more about this stuff than you, so it might seem odd taking advice from another novice, but maybe I can help... I actually just posted my setup on this forum to see if I was missing something...again you might be thinking "why would I take advice from the guy who needs his setup double checked on this forum" BUT I have been doing a lot of reading and I think I built a nice setup that has room for upgrading and is within your price range. Hope THIS helps:

Thank you for your input. I will absolutely watch what your thread gets for feedback, and I'm anxious for you to get your gear and let us know what you think! I'm very thankful for any and all the advice/guidance/feedback I can get. This is important, and I love this stuff, I want to know it all, but unfortunately, I hardly know anything at this point smile.gif
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