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Assistance with an audio newb

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I'm new to the world of audio and by new I mean other then watching movies and TV with the speakers built into the TV I have never delved into this world. I have an Elite PRO-70X5FD (which by the way is an AMAZING TV and don't regret having my first unborn child miss out on a college education for it) and the other day I had to do some wire management behind the TV. I had no real complaints about the quality of the speakers on the TV but once I went behind the TV and heard how the quality should be if the speakers weren't in the back and it was night and day. Now that I have just a taste on what better quality audio is I now need more.

So now for the actual advice that I am looking for from the experts! Now I mentioned this in another thread I piggy-backed of of and started out looking for speakers that would connect to the TV and would be controlled by the TV without having to run anything through the speakers. After a day or 2 my tastes have changed somewhat.

Soundbars: If you have a great soundbar to recommend I am all ears since from what I understand it is basically a single cable link up and easy to use but what somewhat scolded for wanting that due to the price of the TV and how underwhelming it would compared to the TV but I am open to all suggestions still. So this is what I would like to see in a recommended soundbar:

-Simple setup
-If it needs to be controlled separately from the TV remote I have to be able to control it via IP (I use Roomie Remote for everything)
-Looking at under $1500 to spend (less is better of course, I don't want to spend $500 more just for a small bump in audio quality)

Home Theaters: Now this gets more complicated since I have no idea what I am doing BUT if I understand it well enough I basically need an audio video receiver and speakers. Now since (if I am correct) everything can be bought separately I can have a lot more leeway in how much to spend and how I can work out everything in the end. This is what I would like to see in my setup:

-Minimum of 5 HDMI outs in the back (would like to keep the front clean of wires)
EDIT: I forgot to mention I am looking at this AVR for my needs and wondering about your recommendations http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JF85WE/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER )
-Must have IP control (for my Roomie Remote)
-I would like to keep it under $5000 but am willing to splurge up to $6000 (I will not spend more then how much I purchased for my TV and again less is better like above, I don't want to spend needlessly)
-Other bonus features would be a nice touch since I am shelling out my next kids college funds tongue.gif

Now if I understand what I am doing I can ultimately just purchase pieces at a time. What I would like to do is get the AVR first, set it up speakerless while it is being paid off, then get the left and right speakers, set it up and pay it off, then get the center speaker, pay it off, then the 2 back speakers. If I am wrong on this please let me know but I am in absolutely no rush to get everything at once and would actually like to do it this way since I enjoy "getting toys" and seeing things get progressively better. I have plenty saved up where I can purchase everything at once but I just hate when I see my bank account dip after a large purchase and would rather use my paychecks before they hit the bank (I feel like I spend nothing at all this way lol).

If you guys have any questions let me know so I can better help you to help me biggrin.gif
post #2 of 25
If you're going to get a receiver + speakers, it's a good idea to get at least two speakers at the same time you get the receiver so you can make sure everything is actually working. Receivers normally can be returned within 30 days with no questions asked. After that you have to use the manufacturer's warranty-repair procedure, which can be a hassle, especially if you decide you bought the wrong device.

(A receiver can't directly drive the speakers that are in the TV.)
post #3 of 25
Here is a system that will give you excellent sound quality, and well within your budget.

1)- A Harman-Kardon 2650 receiver; IMO the best sound you can get for under $1000; much better amplifier and power supplies than the competition. (around $600).

2) A pair of PSB Image T6 speakers; chosen as the best in their class by both the Stereophile and The Absolute Sound editors. ($1300)

3) the PSB Image C4 center speaker ($350)

4) A pair of PSB Image B4 speakers for rear/surround (around $350).

5) A NHT B12D subwoofer ($700).

As you say, you can start with the main speakers and receiver, and add a center speaker and subwoofer later.
Edited by commsysman - 4/20/13 at 7:43am
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PEMAD View Post


I forgot to mention I am looking at this AVR for my needs and wondering about your recommendations http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JF85WE/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER )
-Must have IP control (for my Roomie Remote)
-I would like to keep it under $5000 but am willing to splurge up to $6000 (I will not spend more then how much I purchased for my TV and again less is better like above, I don't want to spend needlessly)

I agree with Selden that buying the AVR and a pair of speakers at the same time makes a lot of sense. If it were up to me I'd be hesitant to spend thousands on speakers without testing the waters in areas where I wouldn't be mortgaging my offspring's future just so the old man could have tunes.

So why not pick up a pair of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primus-P363-Three-way-Floorstanding/dp/B0046A8R3M



Here is a quick summary of some blind tests involving their predecessors:

post #5 of 25
That's likely great advice from Arny.

Harman, the parent of Infinity, conducts more R&D on loudspeakers, listener preference, etc, then every mfr combined eek.gif ... that may not be entirely true, however they really do extraordinary work.

As far as inexpensive, yet quite pleasing and high performance loudspeakers within that genre, Infinity does offer a great deal.

Best of luck, welcome to AVS, and welcome to audio.
post #6 of 25
NO company does more acoustic research than PSB in designing their speakers (except perhaps Vandersteen).

Suggesting that Harman's research and design work is more thorough than PSB or Vandersteen or KEF or others I could name is a demonstration of considerable ignorance.

PSB uses the superior audio research facilities provided by Canada's national research institutes. Vandersteen has been doing their own in house research for 40 years, and KEF has been doing theirs for over 50 years.

In any case, none of those four speakers even comes close to the superior sound quality of the PSB Image T6 speakers.

The editors of the four leading audio magazines in the world ALL singled the PSB Image T6 out as THE BEST-sounding in their class.

I challenge you find ANY leading magazine or credible authority that has made similar statements about any of those 2nd-rate speakers being the best available.

Cheap is cheap; better is better.
Edited by commsysman - 4/20/13 at 8:45am
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

NO company does more acoustic research than PSB in designing their speakers (except perhaps Vandersteen).

Suggesting that Harman's research and design work is more thorough than PSB or Vandersteen or KEF or others I could name is a demonstration of considerable ignorance.

Really?
Quote:
PSB uses the superior audio research facilities provided by Canada's national research institutes. Vandersteen has been doing their own in house research for 40 years, and KEF has been doing theirs for over 50 years.

If longevity is the issue, then we find that Harman has been doing their own in-house research since 1927. 2013-1927=83. Yup, 83 years.

http://www.audioheritage.org/html/history/lansing/lmco.htm
Quote:
In any case, none of those four speakers even comes close to the superior sound quality of the PSB Image T6 speakers.

Says who? Which qualified independent source?
Quote:
The editors of the four leading audio magazines in the world ALL singled the PSB Image T6 out as THE BEST-sounding in their class.

"in their class". Who defined the class?

Quote:
I challenge you find ANY leading magazine or credible authority that has made similar statements about any of those 2nd-rate speakers being the best available.

Cheap is cheap; better is better.

The above would be an example of "proof by authority". Actually proof by means of an an unnamed authority. Why am I just a little skeptical? ;-)
post #8 of 25
Arny, you know perfectly well that the current diversified Harman corporation has little or no connection whatsoever to any company or any research facilities that existed more than 20 years ago, so please stop with the nonsense, OK? The current organization has only existed since 1993, as you can learn if you research it a little bit.

I suppose the next thing you are going to tell me is that they gave Alexander Graham Bell his first job in the telephone business.

KEF and PSB and Vandersteen are companies that have existed and produced speakers and done research for a longer period of time than the CURRENT Harman corporation has been around.

And his assertion that Harman does more research than all of the other speaker manufacturers put together was certainly ridiculous (as he belatedly implied).

If you are skeptical, Arny, that tells me that I am in all probability 100% right. I appreciate the positive reinforcement.
Edited by commsysman - 4/20/13 at 11:19am
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Arny, you know perfectly well that the current diversified Harman corporation has little or no connection whatsoever to any company or any research facilities that existed more than 20 years ago, so please stop with the nonsense, OK?

Actually, I know the exact opposite. I've been going to AES meetings forever and have actually met a number of the individuals mentioned on the site I linked, and their modern counterparts. I invite any who are interested to read the history of JBL and see the intimate relationship between JBL and Harman.

http://www.audioheritage.org/intro.htm
post #10 of 25
I guess we disagree on the continuity of the corporation and its speaker research and the ins and outs of that could probably be debated for hours.

But if you claim that they have done any more, or more significant, speaker research than a number of other companies, i still say that is nonsense.


Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Actually, I know the exact opposite. I've been going to AES meetings forever and have actually met a number of the individuals mentioned on the site I linked, and their modern counterparts. I invite any who are interested to read the history of JBL and see the intimate relationship between JBL and Harman.

http://www.audioheritage.org/intro.htm
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I guess we disagree on the continuity of the corporation and its speaker research and the ins and outs of that could probably be debated for hours.

But if you claim that they have done any more, or more significant, speaker research than a number of other companies, i still say that is nonsense.

With 83 years of research, some ground-breaking behind them, if nothing else they had a giant head start!

BTW the NRC <-> JBL connection is known to anybody who is aware of Dr. Floyd Toole's CV.

http://www.mastersonaudio.com/features/20001101.htm

"The NRC audio testing program wasn't even a gleam in anybody's eye when a young PhD named Floyd Toole arrived in 1965, fresh from his postgraduate work at Imperial College in London. A native of Moncton, New Brunswick, Toole studied in England on scholarship, and did his doctoral work in sound localization -- an important part of stereo perception -- and wished to continue his research in that field at NRC.

"In 1991, Floyd Toole left NRC to become vice president of engineering for Harman International in California, parent of JBL, Harman-Kardon, Infinity, and a variety of other audio brands. Even without Toole's presence, however, the speaker development work went on at NRC. Paul Barton points out that Toole's contributions in setting up the speaker testing program, and his own scientific research, were immensely valuable, but that his work in that area was approaching the point of diminishing returns."

The connection between Toole and Harman's present day speaker guru Sean Olive is well known:

http://www.harmankardon.com/EN-US/aboutus/ScienceofSound/Pages/PioneersofSound.aspx

"
Sean Olive is Director of Acoustic Research for Harman International where he has worked since 1993. He currently directs the Corporate Acoustic Research Group that focuses on the perception, measurement and improvement of sound quality in Harman home, professional and automotive audio products. An important role of the Corporate R&D Group is to conduct competitive benchmarking on new Harman audio products to ensure their sound quality is best-in-class, using scientific-based, controlled listening test methods.

Prior to 1993, Sean was a research scientist at the National Research Council of Canada where he worked with Dr. Floyd Toole on research related to the perception and measurement of loudspeakers, listening rooms, and microphones. Sean received a Bachelors degree in Music from the University of Toronto, and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Sound Recording from McGill University in Montreal. His Ph.D. research was on room acoustic adaptation and the acoustical interactions between loudspeakers and rooms. Sean has taught various audio courses at CEDIA, McGill and UCLA on topics that include sound recording, room acoustics, and the perception and evaluation of reproduced sound. Dr. Olive has written over 30 research papers on the perception and measurement of audio for which he was awarded the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Fellowship Award in 1996, and two Publication Awards (1990 and 1995). He is the current Vice President for the AES Western USA-Canada region, and writes a blog on audio called "Audio Musings" at
"

You did notice the mention of Paul S Barton along the way, right? I've met him, too. These are all brilliant gentlemen - trying to set up a hierarchy among them makes no sense to me. But if I were going to do so, I would probably put Toole at the top.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I guess we disagree on the continuity of the corporation and its speaker research and the ins and outs of that could probably be debated for hours.

But if you claim that they have done any more, or more significant, speaker research than a number of other companies, i still say that is nonsense.

Didn't you state above that "NO company does more acoustic research than PSB in designing their speakers (except perhaps Vandersteen)."?

I'm just guessing here - you have no knowledge of the term 'hypocrite', eh?
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
All recommendations are welcome here, no need for arguments biggrin.gif

I like to have options so I can do my research as well and then pick and choose based on what I find. One thing I did notice that Harman-Kardon 2650 is the best option and there doesn't seem to be any arguments in respect to that. My only concern is that Roomie Remote doesn't seem to have a dedicated Brand for it while the ones I see are Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Integra, Marantz, Meridian, NAD, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, and Yamaha. Anybody have any experience with it? I know there is an app for it but I want to keep it all in one app if possible and yes I have raised the question on their forum too tongue.gif
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I guess we disagree on the continuity of the corporation and its speaker research and the ins and outs of that could probably be debated for hours.

But if you claim that they have done any more, or more significant, speaker research than a number of other companies, i still say that is nonsense.

This from a member who was called out by the owner of a speaker company after he claimed to visit their showroom that didn't exist.

You are not a credible source.
post #15 of 25
Wow, ,.. +1 Arny, +1 Bfreedma

Commsysman, I didn't merely cavalierly post that. Being around many aspects of audio for a long, long time, I'm aware of the players involved, and their respective work.

Also, I love me some Richard Vandersteen, but c'mon, your contentions are a stretch.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Anybody have anything to say about the Onkyo TX-NR818? It has 7 HDMIs in the back and have some great reviews out there.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JOO4XE
post #17 of 25
So far as audio quality is concerned, it has the highest grade of Audyssey: XT32. It's the least expensive receiver with it.

The 818 does lack SubEQ XT, which is included in other systems with XT32. SubEQ XT essentially provides the ability to detect different subwoofer distances in syatems which have a pair of subwoofers.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well I am sticking to getting 1 sub so I don't think I have to worry about that wink.gif lol
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ok, so this is what I am looking at in regards to my home audio setup.

Onkyo TX-NR818 (day 1 purchase)
Infinity Primus P163BK (day 1 purchase, will be used as main speakers for starters)
Infinity Primus PC351 (day 2 purchase, after day 1 purchases are paid off)
Infinity Primus P363 (day 3 purchase, after day 2 purchase is paid off which will then be used as the main speakers and move the bookshelf speakers to the back)
Infinity Primus PS312 (day 4 purchase, after day 3 purchase -let the beat drop! lol)

Let me know what you guys think and if I should move anything around, will be purchasing these at B&H since it looks like the only store I can get things in NYC that has anything good lol.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PEMAD View Post

Ok, so this is what I am looking at in regards to my home audio setup.

Onkyo TX-NR818 (day 1 purchase)
Infinity Primus P163BK (day 1 purchase, will be used as main speakers for starters)
Infinity Primus PC351 (day 2 purchase, after day 1 purchases are paid off)
Infinity Primus P363 (day 3 purchase, after day 2 purchase is paid off which will then be used as the main speakers and move the bookshelf speakers to the back)
Infinity Primus PS312 (day 4 purchase, after day 3 purchase -let the beat drop! lol)

Let me know what you guys think and if I should move anything around, will be purchasing these at B&H since it looks like the only store I can get things in NYC that has anything good lol.

The cost difference between buying 2 P163s and 2 P363s is so small that I'd do the 363s next and then do the Sub (I don't know that the PS312 is nearly as good deal as the other Primus speaker are.)

Centers and surrounds aren't nearly as important as mains and the sub.
Edited by arnyk - 4/22/13 at 12:32pm
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I guess we disagree on the continuity of the corporation and its speaker research and the ins and outs of that could probably be debated for hours.

But if you claim that they have done any more, or more significant, speaker research than a number of other companies, i still say that is nonsense.

Didn't you state above that "NO company does more acoustic research than PSB in designing their speakers (except perhaps Vandersteen)."?

I'm just guessing here - you have no knowledge of the term 'hypocrite', eh?

I say turn down the personal attacks and simply provide counter evidence. PSB deserves a lot of credit for what he's done, but he was more like the student than the teacher. The teacher was Toole. AFAIK Toole built Harman's lab into a super set of the NRC's acoustic labs. There is no doubt about the technical continuity of Harman's acoustic research since it was Harmon, and the transitiion from JBL to Harman was very smooth, staffing and facility wise.

AFAIK, Harman's purchase of JBL was nothing like Klipsch's purchase of Jamo and Energy. For one thing, Harman had no speaker business until they merged in JBL. Harman isn't Audiovox or even International Jensen and I mean that in a good way.

General wisdom is that the NRC turned down the wick on their acoustics program when Toole left, or vice versa.
Edited by arnyk - 4/22/13 at 12:32pm
post #22 of 25
Quote:
NRC turned down the wick on their acoustics program when Toole left, or vice versa.

I think it was more following the well established Canadian research policies: If you have a facility that produces excellent results, shut it down after a few years, because why should Canada produce good research.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well the price difference between the 163s and 363s is $300 which might be negligible in the overall scheme of things but not in the immediate day 1 purchase so as long as it will work I will be happy smile.gif

As for the sub, what would you recommend as an alternative? Should I stick with the Infinity Primus and go for the 10" or 8" sub or should I go for a completely different sub altogether?
The Polk Audio PSW505 seems to have amazing reviews and the price is great too!
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-12-Inch-Powered-Subwoofer/dp/B000092TT0/ref=sr_1_1?s=aht&ie=UTF8&qid=1366661304&sr=1-1
post #24 of 25
The more air a subwoofer can move, the better it is at reproducing the lowest frequencies. In other words, larger drivers are better. An 8" subwoofer, unless it uses a very specially designed "long throw" driver, is not going to be much better than a speaker with an 8" woofer. Good subwoofers are 12" or larger.

You can get much more detailed responses in the subwoofer forum. http://www.avsforum.com/f/113/subwoofers-bass-and-transducers
post #25 of 25
If you're interested in a DIY effort, then these need to be pointed out, as few people are aware of them.

This is from Erich, a fellow AVS'er. The mark-up is absolutely minimal, one cannot do beetter for budget subwoofing, than these, I assure you. The 10"@$360, the 15"@$436, extraordinary value. Very high quality, precisely CNC milled wood,...these offer so much value. The only negatives may be the aesthetics, but painting, etc, covers that.

In my opinion, one can begin to build a system around these, other inexpensive commercial options would need to be replaced as one upgrades, etc.

My take
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