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A/V Geeks: Need your Help on Latest Home Theatre


pez

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Hey all,

As some of you have heard, we are moving into a new house and it is time to do

it up good. I have a really nice Pioneer 65" Plasma Kuro, but now it is time to get

the Audio setup.

I am looking for a new receiver and new speaker system. I have been looking at a

couple Pioneer Elite and Onkyo receiver systems. I am looking to get HDMI 1.4 (3D

capable) Multizone with 7.1 surround. I would like to stay within 2k if I possibly can.

The speakers are kinda a doozy for me. I am trying to find speakers which are

unobtrusive to the eye, but have great sound, so I am looking for either small

speakers or possibly in-wall speakers. Again this is going to be 7.1 surround sound.

Another thing is that the room (family room) is actually a 2 story room, so I am

not sure if I have to take that in to account.

I have been talking to the magnolia folks and a few other stores, but I know they

have agendas to steer you to what benefits them. I am very knowledgeable in the

computer field, but I am not very strong in A/V knowledge, so any ideas anyone

could throw my way would be awesome. I figure we have a number of Home

Theatre geeks here.

Again my knowledge in the A/V arena is limited.... help a redskin fanbrother out!

Thanks All!

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go to avforums.com without a doubt a way more knowledgeable forum on this sort of stuff.

The 2 story family room will definitely play a factor with how the speakers are position inside the room.

What is your furniture arrangement in the room and the dimensions of the room. If you could do a sketch it would probably be the best to determine placement as that is ultimately more important.

The problem with audio is everyone thinks something else is the best thing since sliced bread. I know I cannot really tell the difference between my Onkyo 7.1 home theater in a box versus my dad's very expensive infinity setup. I mean not enough to pay the difference. But I am sure some audiophiles would hate my setup.

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go to avforums.com without a doubt a way more knowledgeable forum on this sort of stuff.

Absolutely the best resource out there. Very knowledgable and helpful community, almost to the point of information overload.

The problem with audio is everyone thinks something else is the best thing since sliced bread.

This is also something they will tell you. You really need to listen to different stuff to get a feel for it.

The other thing that might be an issue is that while speakers like Bose try to cheat, good quality sound requires large speakers in order to properly hit all the ranges.

In-wall might be an option, but if you're serious about quality, small speakers are probably out. There's a saying on AVS: "Friends don't let friends buy Bose". There's some elitism in that, of course (many people are happy with Bose), but if you educate your ears, you probably won't be able to settle.

That's another danger you want to avoid: don't even test something you can't afford. There is a difference, but unless you know about it, it won't bother you.

Jumbo's probably a good person to ask. He used to work in the industry.

I was very up on this stuff about 5 to 10 years ago when I built my 7.1 system, but I haven't kept up with it, so I'm out of date now beyond these general thoughts. Definitely check out avsforum for the latest and greatest information.

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Here's the link.

Very nice and helpful people. When I had trouble with an installer recommended by several forum members (I needed an antenna installed, couldn't get the guy to call me back, went back for other recommendations), one of the posters there actually called the installer for me, and chewed him out for making them look bad for referring them.

They called me immediately, and I even got a discount for the inconvenience. :)

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go to avforums.com without a doubt a way more knowledgeable forum on this sort of stuff.

The 2 story family room will definitely play a factor with how the speakers are position inside the room.

What is your furniture arrangement in the room and the dimensions of the room. If you could do a sketch it would probably be the best to determine placement as that is ultimately more important.

avsforum.com as well, actually I find that one better. With a strange room (or any room really) you want to have one of the audessy microphone/speaker set up tools, there's probably a more specific name but it's a little cone that you plug into the receiver and it plays through each channel and sets it up according to what it hears. Works outstandingly well.

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I am a fan of the Pioneer Elite and Denon receivers. I think they are the best bang for the buck. I hear the Onkyo's are good too, but have never owned one. Sounds by the unobtrusive you are going for a sat/subwoofer setup. True "auidiophiles" will tell you thats not the best way to go. They would be right, but the difference between a very got sat/sub and floor/sub setup can be small. The sat/sub is also much cheaper. As to in wall out wall, that more aesthetics.

One weekend lets me you and chewy hook up and go radio shoppin!!!

A trip to Crutchfield in Charlottesville may even be in order for some live listening. Different recievers/speakers do have differing tones and you might just like one better than the other.

Also make sure to PM Jumbo, dudes an expert to the nth degree on this stuff.

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Whenever I test audio equipment, I also make sure to turn it up a lot higher then I actually plan on normally using it, just so I know how it performs at a higher volume level, because there will be those times where you have extra noise going on in the background and you have to crank it.

I also find that when it comes to audio, you really don't need to break the bank to get something good, and sometimes the difference between an $800 system and a $1200 system are things only audiophiles who sit in front of speakers for a living could tell.

Also don't necessarily be fooled by Wattage output numbers alone. They don't always translate. A cheaper system touting 1200 watts could sound a lot wimpier, then a decent more highly regarded brand advertising 600 watts.

My current setup is a mere 5.1, which I will eventually upgrade to 6.1. I have a Sony receiver, but I definately need to upgrade the speakers themselves when I come across the money. The systems sounds good enough for how much I invested, but eventually I want to own a real powerhouse.

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go to avforums.com without a doubt a way more knowledgeable forum on this sort of stuff.

.

There is some good info there.

However A few of us, might be CTS certified. ;)

Pez, it sounds like you are headed in the right direction with Onkyo. As for the speakers, our disadvantage is not being able to see the room, it's shape etc. This is me speaking from more of the commercial side of things, but the shape, make up(hard wood floors, shelfing) and size of the room are very important when selecting a speaker to get the best coverage.

I would also check and see if these guys have any acoustical design software that will help with your speaker placement.

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You can PM me if you have any specific questions. I own a company that does high-end installations. I'm out of your area, but I'd be happy to answer any questions that you have.

I primarily use Bay Audio speakers but am really flexible based on the needs/wants of the end user. I love the way Bay Audio speakers sound - and their service, coupled with their ability to build speakers any which way we want or a job is fabulous.

I would second the live listening bit. What a lot of people miss (especially audiophiles) is that listening is kind of like eating. Everyone has different tastes.

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TB, I tend to stay out of these threads (well I stay out of a lot of tailgate threads :pfft:) but since it's pez I e-mailed him. :)

I miss the Bose bashing days! :evilg: Though if I recall, you were quite unpolitically obtuse in your prattling (It's an art form) about it. As usual. :ols:

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Aperionaudio.com for speakers.

I have a set and love them. I test listened to a ton of high end speakers and these are phenomenal. I had settled on a set of Bowers and Wilkens when someone here, I think, suggested Aperion Audio. After reading all the reviews, I gave them a try. You can test them in home for 30 days at no cost. If you don't like them, they'll pay return shipping. They have many configurations for varying needs. Read the reviews. You will pay at least twice what these cost in brick and mortar for the quality sound these produce. Phenomenal sound and value, IMO. Plus, if you want to upgrade, they'll do 100% trade up for 1 year.

I tested numerous brands in home and settled on Denon. All receivers impart thier own characteristics to sound, so it's largely a matter of liking the sound. All brands offer similar features.

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What are best Wall mount? Wall insets? Good bass but good high pitch quality etc.

Wall mounted give the most flexibility for tuning the speaker directions. Wall insets give the least, and are limited in range and sound based on wall thickness. Many speakers are rear ported, and will give their best sound at a minimum distance from the wall. Too close will have a negative affect. Lots to account for if you want a really nice sound.

You'll want a Subwoofer for bass, unless you are planing on large front speakers with large woofers.

Most of this is very subjective. It really depends on how particular you are with your sound. If all you are used to is TV Speakers, and aren't audiophiles, just about any surround system is going to be huge step up. If aesthetics is a huge concern, in wall speakers will still give a sound light years ahead of a TV.

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If aesthetics is a huge concern, in wall speakers will still give a sound light years ahead of a TV.

On avsforum (at least when I was researching), aesthetics was known as WAF (wife approval factor). :)

It's sad but true that the only way to get the best sound is to have monsters sitting around the room. In-wall and small (especially) just can't compete- it's simple physics.

My speakers are from Home Theater Direct: amazing prices, very highly reviewed (at least then), and also have a 30 day free trial. They're awesome, though again, it's rather subjective and it's best to test out different things.

My subwoofer is from Hsu Research, and this company is amazing value for the money. I have the weakest model, and if I turn it up more than about a quarter power, it shakes the house. :ols: Incredible sound quality too. This one I highly recommend.

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Just picked up the MArtin Logan Motion system

2 motion 12's for the front speakers

1 motion 8 for the center speaker

4 motion 4's for the side and rear's

1 dynamo 500 for the subwoofer

Sounded great and unlike the Definitive Tech, did not get "blurry" with higher pitch stuff at high volume. But also has great bass

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Edit:

Also got an Onkyo TX-NR3007 Receiver.

Better audio processing than the Pioneer Elite equivalent

It actually has 9.1 speaker outputs, so I will setup a 2 zone system for 7.1 in the family room and 2 speakers on the back deck.

I was actually thinking about hdmi 1.4 (for 3d), but I decided it is not worth it to do it in the family room.. I will wait for those for my theatre room in the basement

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