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Hey everyone,

This question may seem a little odd, but I'm hoping someone here may have some light to shed on the subject.


I'm buying my first receiver (leaning towards the Onkyo TX-DS696) and theater speakers. I need these speakers to be the very small kind. I also need these speakers to deliver precise full sound without having to be too loud. I know many of you are now saying that loud is in some way what makes home theater fun. Well, my situation doesn't allow for super loud, and here's why:


I live in a small NYC apartment and the noise has a magical way of leaking into the adjoining apartments. Out of respect for my neighbors, I'm looking for speakers that I can use to listen to music (hopefully enhanced by DPLII) and watch movies. Yes, I'd definitely like a pair that I can blast in the future when I find that magical sound proof apartment, but until then I need a theater speaker set that I can put at a moderate volume where everything sounds fantastic, and my neighbors can still sleep soundly while I'm playing my Gamecube at night.


I'm guessing that the subwoofer will be the piece that most concerns me as I don't want to litterally shake my neighbors. I'm assuming I can adjust this appropriately on the reciever and maybe on the sub too? At the same time I don't want what I am listening to to have no base at all. I guess moderation is the name of the game.


Suggestions? How have others dealt with this in the past?

Thanks all.
 

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Low frequencies tend to travel through walls more easily than the higher frequencies. One of the steps of setting up your receiver and speaker system is to calibrate the output level of all of the speakers, including the subwoofer. You need to purchase the $30 analog Radio Shack SPL (Sound Pressure Level) meter to do this right. You can then turn down the level of the subwoofer output if necessary.


Some people limit themselves to 8 or 10 inch subwoofers while living in an apartment. Those sizes usually don't reach quite as low a frequency as larger subwoofers -- but check the specs of whatever speaker you decide to get.


Also, most receivers have a "night" mode which can be used to limit the dynamic range of whatever you're listening to, so that the loudest passages don't get out of hand. I don't see it explicitly mentioned on Onkyo's Web pages. You should check to make sure it's included.


I hope this helps a little.
 
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