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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,


These forums have been incredibly helpful - many thanks for the reviews and feedback from all. I've been doing a ton of research and am I finally now starting to sense the home theatre/sound system light at the end of the tunnel. :)


I wanted to lay out the specifics of what I am leaning towards and get feedback on it. Also, I still have a couple of holes that I need some help with.


First the space: relatively small living room, 15’ wide by 12’ deep. 1960s construction San Francisco apartment building. I’m in a top floor, heavily carpeted unit. Tenants are on the younger side and no complaints so far from playing my Yamaha RX-V2300 and Energy Connoisseur speakers late at night at decent volumes.


Music and Movies are equally important to me. Value priorities are: solid performance, aesthetic appeal, and superior value.


Here is what I have in mind so far:


TV: Panasonic 50†plasma, model 7UY. Seems to offer the best picture/price ratio on the market. I've read great things about Visual Apex for purchasing over the phone/internet.


Receiver: May initially give my Yami a whirl but leaning towards upgrading to the Marantz 8500 when it comes out since (unless I 2-zone it, is that advisable with my Yami model?) I’ll still need another receive to power my Connoisseurs in the bedroom. I like the reputation of Marantz on build quality, musical sound quality, and the DVI switching is appealing (if I correctly understand how that technology works, see Cables below). It also seems possible to get great deals on Marantz over the internet unlike some of the other premium brands I'm considering. Other receivers I've looked at are the Denon AVR-3805 and 4802R (although this one seems a bit dated). On the higher end also considering the Rotel RSX-1067 and Arcam AVR300, but these may be more receiver than my speakers, space, overall system and budget warrant.


Speakers: 5 channel surround sound


Fronts & Center: I would like to wall mount my front and center speakers. I’m space constrained as my wall has slightly less than 8 feet across in usable space of which the Panny is going to eat up roughly 48 inches. The Martin Logan Frescos at 8.25 inches across and with their low profile seem like a nice option. Concerned about sound quality tradeoff with wall mounted speakers, but I’m basically committed to wall mounting. Whatever I can do to minimize the sound quality tradoff that comes with wall mounts is my goal. The Magnepan wall mounts also looks interesting. They take up more space but cost considerably less. Does anyone know if both these planars require a power source?


Rear Surroud Speakers: It would seem wasteful to spend the nearly $1k/per Fresco for the rears. Any good suggestions here?


Subwoofer: Looking to stay in whatever front/center speaker family I end up with. If Martin Logan then probably either the Depth or Grotto.


DVD Player: Currently own the Sony DVP-NS755V. I would like to wait awhile with HD DVD/Blue Ray on the horizon so I may try to get away with this unit for the time being. Does this sound like the right call?


HD Input: Comcast HD Cable. I’ve heard the new Comcast box has DVI, can anyone confirm this? Looking forward to Comcast HD DVR, does anyone have any news about that and whether that box will also include HD or will you still need to two boxes from Comcast if you want digital cable, DVR, and HD?


Connector cables: ??? no clue for speakers. The thinner the cables I can use connecting my rears to the receiver and the higher the price/quality/length ratio, the better. I would like to minimize the number of cables going to and from the plasma so I’m wondering if the right setup is to run DVI cables from both my DVD player and my Cable STB to my Marantz, and then run the single DVI to the Panasonic? Since the Panny doesn’t even have speakers DVI should work for me and there is no advantage to HDMI, right? If anything, HDMI is a fatter, more expensive cable.


I think that about covers it. Again, any feedback and ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Receiver: May initially give my Yami a whirl but leaning towards upgrading to the Marantz 8500 when it comes out since (unless I 2-zone it, is that advisable with my Yami model?)
I’m sure the Yamaha’s “build quality and musical sound quality†is on par with the Marantz, but if the latter has features you need that the former doesn’t, then go ahead and trade up.
Quote:
Concerned about sound quality tradeoff with wall mounted speakers, but I’m basically committed to wall mounting. Whatever I can do to minimize the sound quality tradoff that comes with wall mounts is my goal.
Wall-mounted speakers probably won’t image as well and they given the small numbers of them available they really limit your options. But if you’re committed to them, then none of that matters.


There are other wall options that would accommodate standard bookshelf speakers, like mounting a small shelf to the wall for them to sit on, getting an Omnimount wall-mounting system for them, etc. This route would expand your options considerably.


I’ve never heard that the Martins need a separate power source.
Quote:
Rear Surroud Speakers: It would seem wasteful to spend the nearly $1k/per Fresco for the rears. Any good suggestions here?
All the speakers should be timbre-matching. If you’re prepared to give that up for the sake of economics, it’s probably best to get a recommendation for a suitable alternative from your dealer.
Quote:
Subwoofer: Looking to stay in whatever front/center speaker family I end up with. If Martin Logan then probably either the Depth or Grotto.
Absolutely no reason to do that! You’ll end up burning a lot of money you don’t need to. It won’t take much in the way of a sub to handle this little room, so mail order something small with deep extension from SVS or HSU. SVS just came out with a highly capable 10†sub for a mere $400. It would be hard to beat it for your situation.
Quote:
Currently own the Sony DVP-NS755V. I would like to wait awhile with HD DVD/Blue Ray on the horizon so I may try to get away with this unit for the time being. Does this sound like the right call?
Yes.
Quote:
no clue for speakers. The thinner the cables I can use connecting my rears to the receiver and the higher the price/quality/length ratio, the better.
I assume you’re running them around baseboards or something?


If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, you can easily get away with 14 ga. wire. It should be no problem to tuck it down between the carpet and the baseboard.


If you have hardwood floors, you’re probably stuck with exposed wiring, or running wire in some kind of channel. I’ve seen people with white walls run white 16 ga. zip cord along the tops of baseboards, up corners, etc. and it was practically invisible.
Quote:
I would like to minimize the number of cables going to and from the plasma so I’m wondering if the right setup is to run DVI cables from both my DVD player and my Cable STB to my Marantz, and then run the single DVI to the Panasonic?
Bingo.


Regards,

Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wayne,


Thanks for the tips, especially on the subwoofer. I hadn't heard that you can get away with going outside the main speaker family for your sub. And I'm definitely all for saving money giving how much I'm dropping on the speakers and plasma.


I listened to the KEF Ace 9000 wall mounts last night and was impressed. They were on stands and not wall mounted, so I'm not sure whether that improved the SQ much if at all.


I do have wall to wall carpet, so thanks for the 14 gauge rec. Can you recommend a specific brand or online source for my cables?


Thanks.
 

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Any cheapo source for the speaker cable. Home Depot is good.


For interconnects, don't try to go too thin. Interconnects need decent shielding. But that doesn't mean they have to be expensive, either. I can't give the same "Home Depot" advice, though, because most storefronts see interconnects as a way to print money. (RadioShack is actually fairly reasonable.) Online is the best way to buy if you know up front what you need.


RAM is a sponsor here. bluejeanscable.com pacificcables.com partsexpress.com etc...
 
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