HWZ Forums

Login Register FAQ Mark Forums Read

Tips on getting that new HT system - info, suggested brands and advice

Like Tree1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 30-03-2008, 03:19 PM   #46
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 487
Some images to help you get speaker placement right:
http://www.soundoctor.com/surround.htm


What is Loudspeaker Base Width (B in the picture) and how is it measured?

Thanks.
Bart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-03-2008, 03:23 PM   #47
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
? Use a ruler and measure the distance between the base / stands of the front pair of speakers. See the sounddoctor.com website for more details.
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 07:45 AM   #48
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
TruHD DTS-HD, DTS-HD MA, LPCM so what if I do not have it?

Each time a new sound format comes, some of us will go into a frenzy about the fact our equipment does not have this or that format.

Does it matter?

Yes, some of these new lossless formats can be better. Especially in a good quality setup, but may not make a lot of difference in a HITB setup or a budget HT setup.

A well setup HT is better than opting to pay for a new but basic amp that offers decoding of the new formats but because it offers these, does not leave much in the budget for sound quality.

A legacy amp doing DD and DTS still has much to offer and right now the software isn't that cheap yet although it is getting cheaper.

So when do we jump on the bandwagon. This is a measure of your own "instant gratification" index. If you want it now, and want it good, be prepared to pay. A budget fancy setup will not do the new formats justice.
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 04:17 AM   #49
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
Places to buy

(bear in mind, it is only fair that if you ask a lot of questions, and that shop gives good service that you return to them)
I really detest folks who try to circumvent the shops by going to distributors after spending a lot of time with the dealer.
If you are adventurous, there are overseas locations like HK (Xindak esp), Taiwan (esp for Usher) but then don't bug the local guy.
Some shops where people had good experiences:

Adelphi-

Electrades
KEC
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...?topic=53427.0
Anson Audio

Sim Lim Square

City Electronics (esp Yamaha and Marantz)
Merdeka
Hung Bros (for headphone and PA related stuff)
LHS (Sim Lim Tower) for wiring
Hean Lee Radio (Jln Besar Plaza) for wiring, plugs etc
There are many other shops with bargains, but some have the personality of a porcupine, so beware if you just go cheap cheap....
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2008, 03:16 PM   #50
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
As more people hop onto the HDMI bandwagon, you need to know the difference.
Some older / more budget devices only recieve HDMI video, with no audio, others can do pass through and some do switching (between difference source), or repeating
Others can upscale the source.
Confused?
This video might help:


http://reviews.cnet.com/4660-6449_7-6759944.html
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-08-2008, 10:00 AM   #51
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
Hooking up the HT system...

Watch this instructional video from Disney


__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 09:34 AM   #52
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
10 Things about Audio Amplifiers You've Always Wanted to Know

http://www.audioholics.com/education/amplifier-technology/10-things-about-audio-amplifiers


1. Is Amplifier Weight an Indicator of Robust Amplifier Design?
You have to find out if the amplifier is a Class A/B analog amp or a Class D digital amplifier before you can generalize about weight and amplifier quality. The appearance of high-quality digital amplifiers such as the Axiom A1400-8 has changed the equation. Digital Class D amplifiers are much more efficient (90% or more) than analog Class A/B amplifiers (about 50% efficient). As such, digital amps tend to run much cooler and therefore do not require the heavy heat sinks associated with high-powered analog amplifiers, hence the overall weight of a digital amp may not be a reliable indicator of its intrinsic quality. For instance, Axiom’s eight-channel digital A1400-8 has received superb reviews. And while it’s not exactly light (58 lbs), it still weighs much less than its multi-channel analog competitors whose output power is often about 200 watts per channel, yet typically weigh from 90 to 125 pounds. Moreover, as an 8-channel power amp, the A1400-8 is much more compact than many analog rivals, one of the great advantages of high-quality digital designs.

For conventional analog Class A/B amplifiers, weight can be an indicator of good, robust design because it suggests that the amplifier’s important internal components--the power transformer, heat sinks, and storage capacitors -- are large, and therefore have plenty of capacity to process and store large amounts of power to handle loud dynamic peaks without distortion.
By contrast, an analog amplifier that weighs less may use a smaller transformer with inadequate capacity and fewer or thinner heat sinks (heat sinks look like radiator fins and are used to dissipate output transistor heat generated by high power output and big dynamic swings).

2. Do Solid-State (Transistor) Amplifiers Sound Different?
They may sound different if they are used at high volume levels as they approach the limits of their output ratings, when the amplifiers’ distortion is rising and nearing the clipping point. However, if two different transistor amplifiers have the same smooth, linear frequency response, low distortion, and are operated within their output ratings, then they will tend to sound identical until they are called upon to produce great quantities of clean, unclipped power. With one amplifier, there may be a quality of effortlessness to the sound quality on big dynamic peaks in sound level, whereas another amplifier may start to sound strained or harsh on dynamic peaks because it cannot handle peaks free of distortion. Using music as a “test” signal, such differences may only appear as a need to “turn down the volume” rather than your hearing gross audible distortion artifacts. Note, too, that peaks can be as much as 12 dB louder, which will demand 16 times as much power from the amplifier, causing many lower-powered amplifiers or receivers to go into clipping.

3. How Does an Amplifier “Amplify”?
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to understand how an analog audio amplifier works is to think of it as a kind of servo-controlled “valve” (the latter is what the Brits call vacuum tubes) that regulates stored up energy from the wall outlet and then releases it in measured amounts to your loudspeakers. The amount being discharged is synchronized to the rapid variations of the incoming audio signal.
In effect, an analog amplifier is comprised of two separate circuits, one of which, the output circuit, generates an entirely new and powerful electrical output signal (for your speakers) based on the incoming audio signal. The latter is an AC signal of perhaps 1 volt that represents the rapidly varying waveforms of sounds (both their frequencies and amplitudes). This weak AC signal is used to modulate a circuit that releases power (voltage and amperage) stored up by the big capacitors and transformer in the amplifier’s power supply, power that is discharged in a way that exactly parallels the tiny modulations of the incoming audio signal. This signal in the amplifier’s input stage applies a varying conductivity to the output circuit’s transistors, which release power from the amplifier’s power supply to move your loudspeaker’s cones and domes. It’s almost as though you were rapidly turning on a faucet (you turning the faucet is the audio signal), which releases all the stored up water pressure—the water tower or reservoir are the storage capacitors-- in a particular pattern, a kind of liquid code.

4. What Are the Different “Classes” of Amplifiers?
Class A designs have current constantly flowing through the output transistors even if there is no incoming audio signal, so the output transistors are always on. This type of amplifier has the lowest distortion of any but it’s extremely wasteful and inefficient, dissipating 80% of its power in heat with an efficiency of only 20%.
Class B amplifiers use output transistors that switch on and off, with one device amplifying the positive portion of the waveform, the other device the negative part. If there is no incoming audio signal, then no current flows through the output transistors. Consequently, Class B amplifiers are much more efficient (about 50% to 70%) than Class A designs, however there may be non-linear distortions that occur when one set of transistors switch off and the other set switches on.

Class A/B amplifiers combine the virtues of Class A and Class B designs by having one output device stay on a bit longer, while the other device takes over amplifying the other half of the audio waveform. In other words, there is a small current on at all times in the crossover portion of each output device, which eliminates the potential switching distortion of a pure Class B design. Efficiency of a Class A/B amp is still about 50%.
Class D amplifiers, although there are a number of different design variations, are essentially switching amplifiers or Pulse Width Modulator (PWM) designs. The incoming analog audio signal is used to modulate a very high frequency PWM carrier that works the output stage either fully on or off. This ultra-high frequency carrier must be removed from the audio output with a reconstruction filter so that no ultra-high frequency switching components remain to corrupt the audio signals. As previously mentioned, Class D designs are extremely efficient, typically in the range of 85% to 90% or more.
5. Do Amplifier Class Names Represent Performance Ratings?
No. Nor do the Class letters signify anything. They are just a convenient way of differentiating types of amplifier circuits. For example, “D” does not stand for “Digital” in a Class D amplifier, although there seems to be some conflicting evidence on this. In any case, in discussions, the “D” seems to have taken root as signifying a so-called “digital” design.
6. What Are “Digital” Amplifiers and How Are They Different From Analog Amplifiers?
An analog amplifier works in analogous fashion, regulating the output stage devices (transistors) to release power from the amplifier’s power supply to the loudspeakers in a manner that exactly mimics the tiny incoming audio waveform. Digital amplifiers use high-frequency switching circuitry to modulate the output devices.

7. Why Do Some Audiophiles Insist on Tube Amplifiers?
Tube amplifiers distort in a different manner from transistor amplifiers, generating musically agreeable even-order harmonic distortion that may lend a sense of so-called “warmth” to sound quality (the “warmth” is still a distortion or coloration; it’s not present in the source signal) and it’s this characteristic that most tube aficionados prefer. While tube amplifiers are often not as smooth or linear in frequency response as transistor designs and have other liabilities as well, when pushed near or past their output limits, tubes tend to gracefully distort, without the harshness associated with transistor clipping. However, tube amplifiers are limited in output power due to the tubes and output transformers.
Solid-state amplifiers, when pushed past their output limits, “clip” the audio waveform producing potentially harsh-sounding odd-order distortion that can be quite grating or unpleasant to the ear. On the other hand, kept below their maximum rated output, transistor amplifiers are very neutral and smooth and have none of the complex impedance interactions that may affect tube devices.

8. What Are the Most Important Attributes of Any Amplifier?
One primary attribute is a ruler-flat smooth frequency response from the deepest audible bass signals at 20 Hz (or lower) to the highest frequencies we can hear, at 20,000 Hz. A smooth, linear frequency response means that the amplifier will treat every incoming audio signal, whether it’s a bass-drum signal at 30 Hz or a cymbal’s high-frequency harmonics at 10,000 Hz exactly the same way, increasing the electrical strength of each tiny signal by exactly the same amount. Low total harmonic distortion (THD), below 0.5%, is essential so that any distortion artifacts remain inaudible with music. Finally, generous power output from a robust power supply so that the amplifier can handle the huge range of soft-to-loud dynamics present in virtually every type of music and soundtrack. “Generous” could be defined as a minimum of 50 to 100 watts per channel or more. For realistic music reproduction, more power is always desirable.

9. What Are “ICE” Amplifiers?
The Ice Power division of Denmark’s Bang & Olufsen (B&O) holds patents on its “ICE” amplifier, which is basically a Class D switching design (Pulse Width Modulator) with variants that B&O claims reduce distortion to levels associated with Class A amps, while retaining the high efficiency of Class D switching designs. ICE amps use a very high switching frequency of 384 kHz, which B&O says is 20 times as high as the highest frequency the ear can detect. The ICE amps also use feedback control to minimize the effects of the PWM design. Axiom’s engineering division took a different approach in the A1400-8 amplifier design. Axiom worked with International Rectifier to develop new silicon output devices and drive the MOSFETs in the output stage in such a way as to produce a perfect Pulse Width Modulated square wave at the output before the reconstruction filter. This approach also simplified the feedback network which made the amplifier more robust in its operation without being subject to oscillations or instability. The A1400-8 also uses a very high clock frequency (450 kHz) to allow for excellent transient response and non-aliasing in the audio band. The massive power supply is able to accurately output very high current and voltage to the loudspeaker over extended time periods.

10. How Do Small, Low-Powered Amplifiers Put Speakers at Risk?
Initially, it seems contradictory—how could a low-powered amplifier burn out speakers, when amplifiers of 200 or 400 watts per channel would seem to put speakers at much greater risk? The reason is that a small amplifier of 10 or 20 watts per channel can easily be driven into distortion and “clipping” with even moderately loud playback and dynamic peaks in loudness. The clipping cuts off the waveform and turns the output signal into an almost pure constant DC signal, which can quickly cause the fine wires in the speaker’s voice coils to overheat and melt. A large amplifier outputs clean power to the speakers –distortion-free AC audio signals—that the speaker voice coils will accept on a momentary basis without damage.
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2008, 11:05 AM   #53
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
Buying for your needs

With each new model changeof AV amps there will come features that will entice us.

So when we get a new system, especially one from scratch, what should we look out for:

I would suggest:

- enough features for your purpose --
Now if you are are pro, it will probably be unlikely you need to ask others to recommend you a system. You probably know what you want. For the rest of us, for every time a question is post on this forum on what to buy, if a dollar is given to Queks, he would be rich by now...

So is auto-setup and EQ important to you?
If so, get one which is really easy to use, and if you have multiple seats, get one which can do more than one position. Can the EQ be used along with lossless decoding?

Can you apply EQ, or channel a 5.1 lossless signal to 7.1 or more speakers?
Not all can, eg my RXV 663 cannot further process a bistream lossless signal.

Pre-outs:
I consider this essential so I can add a power amp

Pre-ins:
If my amp is a good one, I want to be able to add a new player or processor and make use of the internal amps inside

Inputs:
If you have a lot of devices, make sure you get an amp with enough inputs.

Video processing:
Do you really need this? You will pay for it and if the video chip in your flatscreen, projector or player is better, you are wasting money, no matter what the marketing hype wants you to believe.

Power rating:
Take this with a pinch of salt. I see members ask if brand A at 100W per channel is better than brand B at 90W PC. Firstly the cheap amps don't even generate a third of this with all channels driven. I mean if your amp (unless it is a digital or Class D) weighs slightly more than a toaster, how can it generate the same output as something which weighs 5-6 times more and is rated to the same (but specifically says ALL CHANNELS DRIVEN 0.001% THD)

Avoid scrimping, then wondering why it didn't sound good, features cost money and take the budget away from important things like sound quality, and avoid going too cheap and then spending silly money on cables and accessories when the budget improves or you get itchy.

On the other hand, AV amps go out of fashion quickly so don't expect the same to fetch that much a year after you buy it. Its not a property, it does not increase in value. Buying a one year old amp may actually be a good idea, if the features fit you

Finally everytime some asks is A better than B or C, why not go LISTEN and DEMO for yourself?
Each person has a unique idea of sound and features, so you need to decide for yourself after doing some Homework. So if another person thinks brand A sounds like horse turd, does it make your buying decision any different? Are you easily swayed?

Some food for thought....


Sometimes the difference between the lower model and the higher model is subtle, more inputs, more power and a better version of the EQ or post-processing, you need to know if these are important.
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2008, 10:42 AM   #54
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
The same goes for speaker suggestions. It is so important to AUDITION and try them out. This plea has gone out forever to new buyers.

Why lay down a few thousand dollars of your hard earned cash based on someone else's opinion???

Sure, get some ideas then go and Listen, bring a notebook, make notes of the type of sound and see if it fits your needs.

If not, ask why - was it lacking somewhere, or too much of something?
Is it because of the partnering equipment, or simply because our expectations are too high for the budget we have?
If we intend to use the setup in an untreated HDB living room there is a big danger of the sound being completely different and possibly worse than the carefully tuned setup of the dealer's demo room.
So before committing to the purchase, also see what can be done in your own home to improve the sound even with the same system.
Often a cheaper yet better placed setup with some simple room treatment of bright areas, reflective surfaces can make a big difference and sound so much better than a system that cost more and was simply plonked in the corners of a room.

Plan ahead and enjoy the process of reading up, do some homework and make the buying experience enjoyable!
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2008, 11:18 AM   #55
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
Power and what you should do when shopping for a new amp

New members and potential buyers often get seduced by the numbers game.

A cheap AV amp prints that it has 100 watts per channel for all 7 channels.

It weights less than 10 kg (non-digital class D)

I would bet my bottom dollar it will not even get half of that with ALL CHANNELS driven.
Basic amps have a smaller power supply, transformer and capacitance. If all that is Greek, just look at the Weight of the amp as a rough guide. A top of the line power amp can weigh more than 100 lbs and 'only' generate 200W per channel.
Most of the weight is taken up by such devices and the cooling devices and passive cooling is better and will mean the maker paid a lot of attention to the design, rather than slapping on a few cooling fans as an afterthought. Just look at the Brystons, Krells, M & Ls etc and see their designs. Lots of cooling fins, space for heat to dissipate and they weigh as much as a fridge.

What else?

What does THX mean?

First, it is important to realize that THX is a quantitative measure of quality that works in conjunction with the different surround sound formats (e.g., Dolby Digital and DTS) to bring the quality of the sound presentation to the highest standards.
To ensure the highest possible quality in home cinema, THX defines stringent picture and sound track criteria for film-to-DVD (and film-to-VHS) transfers. Such DVD titles are labeled as "THX Digitally Mastered for superior sound and picture quality" or simply "THX Certified". THX also defines stringent performance standards for audio/video source and processing components. These include strict performance standards for DVD players, receivers, preamplifiers, power amplifiers, speakers, interconnect cables, speaker cables, and even the room's acoustic characteristics (for dedicated home theater environments).
For the "everyday consumer", the "THX" label means that the highest standards have been used, whether the product is a DVD-Video title, or an audio/video component.

Some basic info: http://www.timefordvd.com/tutorial/THX.shtml
http://www.audioholics.com/education...eral-questions
Without seen to be deliberately picking on a certain brand, but the new Onkyo 806 comes to mind immediately:
The 805 was noted to be hot enough to bake an egg and the cooling system was limited to 2 fans.
Well the 806 weighs less, has One fan and less cooling fins. More importantly see their Measured (not marketing speak) power ratings:


[size=10pt]
The results are tabulated as follows.
>6 ohm setting (default) >4 ohm setting
8 ohm load 173 Watts 36 Watts
4 ohm load 270 Watts* 56 Watts
* Time limited test under controlled laboratory conditions
[/size]
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/proce...eceiver_6.html
Instead of building a better cooling system, they throttle the outout to limit heating issues. No doubt some would say they won't buy a 4 ohm speaker, but in transients the dynamic output will be akin to getting the balls cut off, and all you get is a higher likelihood of clipping.
See a typical Krell, it is slated to (and does) double its output as the impedance halves. That is a mark of a good amp.
Speaking of 4 ohm designs. It is a common question to ask whether a member here can hook up their 4 ohm speakers to a AV amp rated at 8 ohms only.
Well it will Certainly produce some noise, but in prolonged driving the chance of clipping and poor transients and dynamics is defintely increased. You get what you pay for. A cheap amp with a basic power section (most AV amps under 2-2.5k) cannot produce the goods for such demanding designs.
However there is a partial remedy: directing most of the demanding bass energy to a LFE / subwoofer, leaving the amp to only drive the mid, treble which saps less power. This will allow you to make do with a cheaper amp and still get that powerful HT experience. However this limits the choice of speakers (anyway it is not a bright idea to buy an expensive speaker and power it with the cheapest amp on the market) and it cannot be run full-range.
The addition of a power amp also allows the use of a more basic AV amp as a processor leaving the grunt to the power amp.
At the end of the day, we should go shopping with open eyes and realistic expectations. Do your homework on the amp and what others use to partner it, read up on reviews which provide information on the real world power ratings (something What Lo Fi never does) and then DEMO the pair together.
Good luck
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2008, 07:29 AM   #56
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
Audyssey, YPAO, MACC and other forms of auto EQ

New amps have now included this feature and this is a rough summary of it:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post15135470

Audyssey is equalization and set up software that sets your speakers and subwoofer up correctly as far as distance, levels, crossovers, etc. The dynamic EQ changes the levels at various volume settings to keep everything in the proper relative levels so that you can still hear dialog at lower settings and explosions aren't totally muffled. Audyssey is regarded by some as the best set up/equalization software and is found in Marantz, Onkyo, Integra and Denon. Yamaha uses something similar called YPAO and Pioneer has MMAC.
The Audyssey thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=795421

It is no panacea for good speaker placement and room treatment, but when done properly, the results can be very satisfying.
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 07:48 AM   #57
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
Ten Biggest Mistakes of Speaker and Home Theater Shopping

http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?showtopic=16986




1. You went for an all-inclusive surround sound speaker package from a big brand name manufacturer noted for electronics and TV sets.
On the surface, it's not that irrational. If ________ (fill in Sony, Kenwood, any major electronics brand) knows how to build CD players, audio/video receivers or TV monitors, they must know how to design and build excellent loudspeakers, right? Not always. Good speaker design is so specialized, and requires such extensive acoustical research, measurement, and listening tests that the best speakers continue to come from companies with a long history of acoustical research and speaker design.

2. You bought speakers in a rush, without listening to them with your favourite recordings, and now you're disappointed because they sound boomy or harsh.
Experienced listeners and professionals will tell you that making careful judgments on different speakers takes many hours of listening so don't be rushed. Visit several stores, taking the same group of recordings of music you know and like, for each test. If you have the option of auditioning the speakers in your own house, so much the better. That's the room where the speakers you buy will be placed, and there's no better place to listen to speakers than in the room you'll use them in. In any case, you'll likely keep them for years, so take your time and don't let sales staff pressure you.

3. You were knocked out by the deep bass from the subwoofer and didn't concentrate on the center channel and main left and right speakers.
Sure, deep bass from a subwoofer is desirable, and it's impressive, but whether you watch movies or listen to lots of music, most of those midrange and high-frequency sounds--and all of the movie dialog--will come from the center channel and main left and right speakers. Listen critically to actors' voices. Do they sound "boxy" or unnatural and hollow? Are "ssss" sounds at the beginning of words exaggerated (sibilance) or sharp sounding? Do male actors sound nasal or if they had a head cold? Or are their voices "chesty" and too full? These are all speaker "colorations" -- unnatural changes in the tonality of speaking voices introduced by the loudspeaker, and they'll become tiresome and annoying after a short time. Voices should sound natural and dialogue should be easily understood.

4. You went for those attractive little cube speakers because they're so tiny and unobtrusive, but when things get loud with home theatre, the sound gets strained and off-putting.
They may look cute and almost disappear into your room's decor, but those tiny satellite speakers can move only so much air. They're okay at quiet background levels but the little 2-inch cones inside get rattled when things start to rock and roll. Nor will a subwoofer fill in all the important upper bass and lower midrange sounds that the 2-inch cubes can't handle.

Any speaker with any claim to authentic high fidelity, even a fairly compact model, must divide the sound spectrum into at least two segments, the bass/midrange for the woofer, and the treble for the tweeter. A single cone just can't do it well in normal rooms. As the price spectrum climbs, the best speakers divide the spectrum into three parts--bass, midrange, and treble--and use multiple drivers to achieve very clean high-level high-quality sound.

5. You saved money by getting two compact speakers you thought would be just fine to fill your 25- x 20-foot cathedral-ceiling living room with high-level sound. But they sound strained and edgy when you turn up the volume.
A speaker is a kind of electromagnetic air pump, and a modest single woofer and tweeter can't be expected to fill a big volume of space with wide-range sound at high listening levels. Too many shoppers expect a "bookshelf" speaker to produce deep, resonant bass. Unfortunately, the laws of physics dictate otherwise. Sure you can get listenable pleasant bass to about 50 or 40 Hz from a shoebox-size enclosure, but if you want the resonant, deep and satisfying sounds a big pop band or orchestra makes or the deep rumbling of movie soundtracks, you must get a subwoofer or floorstanding speakers--or both!

6. You set up your subwoofer at the side of the room and you're disappointed at the lack of deep, low bass.
Room placement of any speaker is critical, and with subwoofers it becomes crucial. Even shifting the subwoofer (or where you sit) by a few feet can have a profound effect on the quantity and quality of low bass you'll hear. If the subwoofer is placed in the middle of a "standing wave," the deep bass may almost disappear. Moving the sub a few feet along the wall or towards a corner may entirely correct the problem.

Experiment with subwoofer locations! Every room produces "standing waves"--areas in the room where bass may seem too boomy or may almost be absent. Yes, subs are awkward, but you'll only have to position them once. And you can try moving the couch or chair as well, if that's easier.

7. You bought a receiver or amplifier advertised as having "200 watts total power output" and now it seems to be underpowered.
Watts are comparatively inexpensive nowadays, but lots of amps and receivers are still advertised using the misleading "total power output" ruse, which sums the individual power for all five channels. That "200-watt" receiver may have only 40 watts per channel (40 x 5 = 200) which would be okay in a den or a dorm room (barely) but inadequate for good home theater in a living room.

Look for the receiver's power output per channel into 8 ohms at a specified distortion level over a rated frequency range, preferably with at least two channels driven. The power at a single frequency, usually 1,000 Hz (1 kHz) is often quoted in ads, but it can be misleading. A receiver or amplifier with rated power output of 80 to 100 watts per channel, from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, at 0.3% distortion (THD), with at least two channels driven, should be more than ample for all but the very largest rooms.

And don't forget dynamic headroom . . . don't even get me started on that one!

8. Two really nice guys sold you two impressively large speakers at an amazing price from the back of their truck in a supermarket parking lot. Somehow, the sound seems to be lacking something. . .
Don't laugh. This scam has been going on for years and even normally intelligent otherwise sane folks fall for it. The speakers will often have a brand name that's sort of familiar, like "Sonic Research", something close to that of a familiar brand. But such speakers are terrible. Often, they have tweeters or woofers that aren't even connected. They're just for show.

The best speakers come from dedicated speaker designers who most often have been in business for 20 years or more. It takes that long to refine and develop really great loudspeakers.

9. You bought good speakers with excellent reputations and let your spousal unit or companion persuade you to put them out of sight inside an antique armoire or entertainment unit.
Why buy really good speakers if you're going to place them inside shelving units or armoires? It's the old law of boundary effects. The more surfaces nearby or surrounding a speaker, the greater the likelihood of unpleasant colourations (see above). A speaker needs to operate more or less in free space. Smaller speakers sound their best on stands. If you must put them on a shelf, move the edge of the speaker so it protrudes from the shelf a bit to minimize boundary effects. Leave the armoire for electronics and storing CDs!

10. You went for the package speaker system from the famous-name manufacturer that runs the slick advertisements everywhere you look, and spends millions on promotion and little on research and design. The sound is a disappointment.
Sad to say, certain companies use the cheapest possible cone drivers, and spend millions on slick advertising, diverting most of their profits not to research and development of better sounding speakers, but to getting manufacturing costs even lower. The systems ultimately disappoint; indeed, in some cases the basic design hasn't changed in 30 or 40 years. But the ads are very compelling.

Before you buy, check out detailed test reports in reputable audio/video magazines and on the internet. Read message boards for owner's comments on particular brands and models of speakers. Ask questions about the quality and type of the individual component parts. And don't be seduced by fancy-sounding hype in slick ads.

by Alan Lofft, Axiom Audio
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-01-2009, 10:41 AM   #58
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
Banana Plugs

How to use banana plugs


http://www.goodsound.com/howto/2002_03_01.htm
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...?topic=36501.0
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...?topic=10788.0
http://www.audioholics.com/education...speaker-cables
http://www.pioneer.eu/eur/faq/970/5432/index.html



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK5H5UDsxwo
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html

Last edited by petetherock; 14-01-2009 at 11:15 AM..
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2009, 08:10 PM   #59
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
Speakers need a stable platform to sound good. You decide on your own compromise of sound vs style

Cheers

hi there

can i put the bookshelve speakers on a wallmount shelf?...or its better to have a stand for them?....coz my room dun have space for stands
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-01-2009, 05:32 PM   #60
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,677
Website to compare AV amp features

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?k...AytFleQun89IEQ


Contains side by side comparisons - very helpful
__________________
POST YOUR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF SENDING A PM



Use the Search Button and Read the Stickies!




My home theatre gear and my blog:

http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/0...arch-2016.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Important Forum Advisory Note
This forum is moderated by volunteer moderators who will react only to members' feedback on posts. Moderators are not employees or representatives of HWZ. Forum members and moderators are responsible for their own posts.

Please refer to our Terms of Service for more information.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On