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 04-08-2007, 07:07 PM   #1
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,879
Tips on getting that new HT system - info, suggested brands and advice

Buying your first Home Theatre – how to demo and some suggestions

This thread aims to give new members a simple way of setting into a shop and finding that system you are looking for.

First things:

1 – things you do at home:

Settle the BUDGET!

Now this is a sensitive issue and often we want start out wanting to get a cost effective “simple” system and allocate a budget which is small not because we wish to save or cannot afford it, but when we haul that system home, it can be quite a let down. So put aside the maximum amount you feel comfortable with. Then spend it!

Allocation of funds:

There many formulae, but most agree the cornerstone of a Home Theatre system is the subwoofer and centre speaker. And speakers are where you want to put more of the money.
AV amps are now like computers, with processing to make that home theatre experience so real you feel right in the middle of the action. That means you need an amp which can handle the signals and turn them into a proper surround experience. Right now, good Digital Sound Processing (DSP) chips, Audyssey are key.
But don’t forget good amplification, and power is key and there is no substitute for good amplification sections. That should be where the fundamentals of good music and sound lie.

This should be tempered with the fact that AV amps are quickly updated the next year, so buy one with enough features and inputs to last for your current needs and a little more.

We did a little demo and shootout recently and the summary as far as players are concerned is:
For Blu Ray, in source direct, the difference between players is not that great, and the players only differ significantly in the quality of their scaling and interlacing. So if you have a significant collection of SD DVDS, then it is worth investing in a good quality and more expensive player. If you like to source your discs from many places around the world, a REGION FREE player will useful. CODE FREE players for SD DVDS are quite commonplace.

As for projectors and TVs, this is also a fast moving area and I would buy something I would like to use for a few years, but not go too overboard.

Stands are essential if you are into bookshelfs.

The whole more speakers are better thing should be tempered to your real needs. If you only have a small room, it may not be that beneficial. As for the whole satellites vs proper bookshelves and floorstanders, it is a balance of aesthetics versus functional needs and the WIFE ACCEPTANCE FACTOR (WAF). Work it out first.

Remember to keep about 10% of your budget for cables, wiring and the like.


Whilst you are still at home:

Do a bit of reading, understand the terms, so that when you visit the shops, you know what to ask, and also not feel overwhelmed or cheated.

Also MEASURE properly your Home Theatre space.

That way you know what kind of speakers will fit, and how much room treatment will be needed. Speaking of room treatment, this is a key element which can influence the outcome of your system more than many think. Quite simply a bit of time and money spent here can make a budget system sound more expensive and realistic.

Get a sound:

You will have gone to the cinema or even had a sound system before. The key is to listen to something you like, and practise listening to it until you can remember the sound, and know how it sounds to you.

ON TO THE SHOP:

Armed with some facts, and now onto the shop.

Where should you go? Well the shops should have the following:

- Have the brand you are eyeing of course
- A wide selection
- A decent sound room
- Friendly staff
- Establishing a good rapport is essential and reward them, please avoid using up all the time in a shop them walking somewhere else $10 cheaper!
What are some of the shops we commonly mention? Well reading around helps and you will hear some shops mentioned more often than others.

Make friends with the owners, and give them their due reward.


THE DEMO!

Firstly, avoid weekends, or even call first to make an appointment.

If the shop does not allow demos, walk away.

Bring along a CD of your favourite music or a demo disc of something you are familiar with. Also be familiar with the sound of a male BBC presenter. That will be a good test of the centre speaker’s ability to reproduce human voices.

Then consider what matters to you, a balance of music and HT. A highly musical system is more costly and you will need to be realistic about what our budgets can achieve, so this will be a system for HT.




Some Discs To Consider:

These are the discs I would consider essential:

There are many demo quality discs, but you should choose a few which you are familiar with and hear them often, then use only the segments you are familiar with to use as there will be fatigue and confusion if you use too many discs.

To me, the surround effect is harder to achieve than just bass. What you need to discern, is the naturalness of the sound, the quality of voices in the centre speaker and how the sound flows from one speaker to the next. Can you imagine the person or car going from one speaker to the next.

Then how does the sound from the main speakers integrate with the subwoofer. Speaking about the subwoofer, to reproduce the kind of chest thumping bass needs money and a big sub. If neither of these are palatable to you, then be more modest in what you wish to achieve. Depth and slam are not mutually exclusive, but only the better ones can achieve that in volumes, so if you can only spend under 1k, the results may be less forceful, but that’s ok.

What discs do I use? Again, each has their own but here are my own favourites:

Masters and Commander –
This disc has one of the finest surround channel effects around. The way sound flows from one rear speaker to the next and how the creaks in the wooden ship, the stretching of the ropes and the sound of the waves, all add to a complete home theatre experience. I suggest you choose one of the quieter scenes instead of merely concentrating on the cannon shots. That will give you a better idea of the surround channels at work.

Take note of how you can find in the middle of the action, and does it sound real.

Hurt Locker –

This newer show has really good ambience and also there are moments you will feel right inside the helmet of the bomb tech. of course when the explosions go flying, the bass is incredible.

The dialogue in the show also allows the various speakers to be tested, and whether you believe there is someone right in front of you.



One of the tricks is to switch OFF the screen. Then you can fully concentrate on the sound and decide if the system sounds realistic.



More tomorrow.



AFTER THE BUYING FRENZY>>>>

INSTALLATION:


So you plonked down some hard cash for the HT system. The easiest way to get installation is from the vendor, or getting some knowledgeable friends to help. Not every shop does installation. If you did not get the speakers from the same shop, grab the amp or other items from another vendor who does installation, and negotiate a price.

When you do so, make sure you define what is installation. Does it mean driving to your home with the equipment, and dumping it in your leaving room, or hooking up, and calibration etc. many of these “installers” are merely labourers who will help a little, there is quite a bit of work after they leave and the dust settles.

What can you do?

If it is a big renovation, work with your interior designer. Lay the cables first, and the go to shop is LHS in Sim Lim Tower for most cabling needs unless you want something more exotic. IMO, for the rear speakers, just good old thick (18 AWG and better) will suffice. Even if you do not think you will get 7.1 or more, lay the cables first.

What if you cannot lay cables?



Well I go under… i.e. I simply hide everything under my carpets. A decent and thick carpet from IKEA will cost < $200 for a 2.4 by 1.7m piece and it also helps to tame reflections. But every now and then you will need to clean it or vacuum the carpet.

STANDS:

These are essential components for bookshelf speakers and will help the sound to no end. Ideally if your pockets allow it, the same brand ones look nice and fit the décor. But brands like Target, Atacama, or even local ones like Queenie which are available from Sim Lim Square can do well.

See the thread on speaker placement for info on the arrangement.

If your décor does not allow large stands, especially for the rears, you can get specialised ones which are more dainty from the Queenie brand, and other nameless ones and sometimes IKEA also carries them. Alternatively, you can place the rear small speakers on large bookcases, such as the tall BILLY ones from IKEA. But make sure the bookcases are filled with heavy books or the shelves act to distort the sound.

WALL MOUNT:

When using satellites and small speakers, this is possible, but for the rears try and avoid mounting them right at the corners and also avoid sitting just next to the wall. Make sure the brackets are strong enough to bear the weight and extend your cables a little longer to allow flexibility in mounting.




RUNNING IN:

This is a more esoteric audiophile term which is like “seasoning of your new gear”. Running in allows the sound to be more stable and listenable but YMMV. Usually it takes a few days although brands like Dynaudio and Monitor Audio do mention that it can be months. But in the mean time, just sit back and enjoy the sound.


CALIBRATION and Auto-EQ

If you have a Audyssey or other auto-setup equipped amp, that would be the first thing you can try yourself first. Use the info in the thread on Audyssey as a basis, then check the settings, such the speaker distance. I notice that subwoofer distance tends to be a bit longer than measured when I use Audyssey, but it sounds fine and I leave it as what the system perceives it to be.

If that is already too hard, just stop here. If you feel the boldness to proceed further, then using a Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter and the test tones or a frequency sweep disc will help you fine tune the sound.

Members like Joamonte specialise in room treatment and you can pay them to help you set up, and buy room treatment stuff from them to improve the sound. A bare room is not ideal for HT, and you can look at various member’s equipment list to see what matches for the best sonic marriage.



Electricals and wiring:

For the best in sound, you may want to work with your electrician or one of the suggested ones in the forum to get a new distributor box and if your WAF allows, lay a new direct line to your HT room or area.

Consoles:

There are posts on this everywhere, but suffice to say, fitting the décor is probably the paramount consideration, then for the hi fi bits:

- Can it bear the weight? Even though some consoles state 100kg, they will flex in the middle if all the weight is concentrated in the middle with no support.
- Can you reach the cables behind?
- Is there enough ventilation? Amps don’t like heat much, so as a rule, keep 4 inches around the amp.

I tend to install all the cables in, even if I don’t use them first, for the TV and the amp and Label them so it is easier for me to see what they are leading to. Also I keep a copy of the layout which you can photocopy from the manual and keep it behind my amp. I also have a light which I can direct behind my amp to help me visualise where all the wires are going.

As for mounting TVs – there is a whole section in the display area, but essentially the centre of the screen sound be just below eye level when you are SEATED, not when you are standing up.

Check your viewing distance, and a simple rule is for HD viewing, you should sit about 2.5 to 3 times the diagonal length of the TV screen.

If you are using a projector, check the throw distance, and zoom function and the keystone feature on the projector.

And as mentioned, avoid sitting right up against the back wall. The sound will not be good and you can expect distortions. Just moving your chair a little in front or putting some bookshelves on the wall behind you makes a lot of difference.

Finally read up about acoustics, or ask someone to help, and how to use your furniture, carpets etc to help create the right balance of sound dampening and harmonics.

For Primers these few threads will be useful first

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...?topic=45719.0
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...?topic=41975.0
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...?topic=43618.0

Will be adding more info with time.
__________________
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/2018/0...tup-32018.html

Last edited by petetherock; 30-03-2010 at 08:02 AM..
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,879
Budget

Same principle for buying displays applies, pay peanuts, get monkeys

If you spend a few thousand on a TV, why get a tiny HITB which is a fraction of that panel and expect it to sound like the Lido?

Ask yourself, HT first or music, it is not easy or cheap to combine the two.

A 1000$ AV amp is NOT going to sound musical no matter what What Lo Fi says.

Split your $$ evenly in HT, but the key components are the centre speaker and the sub.

Don't forget to budget for cables.

A little extra note on this:

Too often we see members post a certain budget. Then when they try a series of products on the ground, they then realise either the system underwhelms so much that they are very dissappointed, or that they like something much better and obviously more costly.

So it is best to sit down and assess what the size of your wallet really is:

Often we see members buy something low cost, then spend ridiculous money on tweaks which could have been spent getting a better system in the first place.

So concentrate your funds properly. Then when you audition (for goodness sake, you DO NOT AUDIT), try out something around your budget, something a little less costly and something which is just above your budget.

DO NOT waste time auditioning something too costly, then ask if it is better unless you really wish to buy it. Why do it? I can always suggest something close to your budget, but it is painful to read comments that the intend system did not meet the needs, then the poster suggests a budget a little higher and then finds again the system does not meet the expectation, and finally a realistic budget emerges which the poster could have said in the first instance.

Speakers make the biggest impression, and a well setup system can be a real blast - literally. With modern technology, you can really feel part of the action in the movie.


The HT system as mentioned before, can withstand upgrades, and should be something you will be proud to come home to every night. So make it a good budget without killing yourself and shut out the poison from our forums

Good luck to all trying to avoid the poison of this forum....
__________________
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/2018/0...tup-32018.html

Last edited by petetherock; 31-03-2010 at 11:27 AM..
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 07:11 PM   #3
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,879
Power Ratings

If some AV amp costing a meagre 1k says it outputs 100w per channel for 7 channels, take it with a pinch of salt.

More likely it is only good for around 30w PC, but it is still decent enough to fill a typical small HDB flat. But if the dynamics or 'ooophmm' are missing, it may not be your speakers.

Using a good subwoofer will lessen the power needs on the amp.

Low impedence loads

Driving a 4 ohm or less speaker load is what differentiates the boys from the men.

Many amps have rating for > 100W per channel, in some form. This is usually per channel at a certain frequency.

So many buyers of mid to budget range amps will assume the amp will output double the power as the impedence is halved. This is far from the truth.

The heat generated will kill lesser amps and usually the amp uses a cut off switch or gradually reduces the power delivery - see those 4 or 8 ohm switches, which strangulate the current flow to allow the amp to survive.

Right now, there are only a handful of amps capable of driving 4 ohm loads continuously, most of these have THX Ultra specs and belong to the top of the line range.

Note - if you are using a subwoofer, then things are different and the higher frequencies are less demanding in terms of power. Also if only the front pair are hard to drive, then the amp may cope, otherwise, it will turn off or the SQ will deteriorate rapidly. You may feel the amp lack the "opphm" when this happens or simply does not get the energy you are looking for.

The way around this is to use more sensitve or less demanding speakers or add a power amp. The latter option is a means to make things Easier to drive, NOT imporve the SQ if you only add a basic power amp.
So auditioning is important, as the combination may not make a huge leap in SQ. Arm chair speculation will never be a substiutite for actual Auditioning.

4/8 ohm switch:

This is a commonly asked question.

The 4 or 8 ohm switch exists not for your listening pleasure, but mainly to allow the amp to avoid self-destruction. As written previously, the more basic amps are unable to raise their power output by 100% and the current correspondingly, since the heat generated is something they cannot cope with.

So the switch comes in and cuts the supplied current to actually decrease rather than increase the power.

So if you have a 6 ohm speaker, you can use the 8 ohm setting usually.

Even more top of the line amps are unable to double their power when the resistance is halved. Quite a few power amps are also unable to do this. This remains the reserve of the most well built and designed amps.


Q: What does it mean to be THX certified?


A: A mark of excellence in the entertainment industry, THX Certification promises consumers and media professionals that the certified venues they visit, and the certified products they purchase, have been evaluated and tested to meet the highest standards for picture and sound performance. THX is the only third-party company specializing in quality assurance programs and technologies for home theatre component manufacturing. The company's Home Theatre Certification programs provide consumer electronics manufacturers with independent analysis of home theatre products, as well as additional expertise for their design and engineering efforts. It ensures manufacturers' systems and components meet or exceed the industry's highest levels for performance-long before they make it into the hands of consumers.

Filmmakers follow industry standards and mix their content at a Sound Pressure Level (SPL), known as Reference Level, (85dBc). THX adapted this volume setting for home theater products and established THX Reference Level. THX requires that Ultra 2 subwoofers have a flat frequency response down to 20 Hz.
THX recommends a 7.1 speaker layout that still includes two dipole speakers to the sides of the listener but recommends two closely spaced, direct-radiating speakers in the back.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------


THX Select is a more affordable version of THX Certification. It is designed to play at reference levels in rooms of approximately 2,000 cubic feet,. THX Ultra2 is a 7.1-speaker extension of the original Ultra spec. Ultra2 is designed to work well with multi-channel music and movie presentations playing up to reference levels in rooms of 3,000 cubic feet or larger. Each certification requires components to produce high volume levels, to play at a low level of distortion, and to disperse sound in specific ways, as well as to have extremely low noise and behave in a stable and predictable way.
Suggested speaker placement:

__________________
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/2018/0...tup-32018.html

Last edited by petetherock; 31-03-2010 at 11:36 AM..
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2007, 08:30 AM   #4
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,879
Satellites or Floorstanders

The first test is the WAF - or wife acceptance factor

"Some notes:

Sats (as they will be shortened to)

- are not value for money (VFM)
- they usually have lousy mids especially the cheaper examples
- will need a subwoofer to fill in, some crossover at 100 Hz but if they can reach 80Hz, thats more ideal as the bass unit will be less localisable
- they can be mounted on walls or stands - I suggest hanging them first before permanently fixing them, so you can figure out the ideal spot
- they can suck up quite a bit of power, many of them being inefficicent so a good amp with at least 70-100 real watts per channel is useful
- not all of them are light so make sure your mounts can take them
- they are better for HT than music

So with so many issues, why buy them??

I ask that of our bros often when they want the cutesy thing. Simple reason - WAF -- wife acceptance factor ---- "I need to blend in with my decor" / "my wife / partner doesn't want the speakers to dominate the room" / "my kids might destroy the speakers"

Well then, that is a choice, and I respect that, but don't ask why they sound worse than someone else's setup for the same money and where the mid went

It is harder but still possible to integrate the sound, a bit more effort and a realistic expectation is needed."

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...topic=45847.30


And BTW a bunch of multi-media speakers are not Sats, the sound will appall you in music. But they will do of course if thats all you have money for
__________________
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/2018/0...tup-32018.html
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2007, 04:18 PM   #5
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,948
gotta love pete with his enthusiasm and HT evangelism.
thanks for the info mate.
weibchen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2007, 05:09 PM   #6
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,879
Home demos and buying from different vendors

How about Home Auditions?

This is a extremely viable option. Our community has quite a few helpful people who welcome people into their homes. Some simple rules:

Be on time or let the owner know that you will be late or cannot make it far ahead of time. It is rude and unpleasant for the owner to chase up the person who feigns ignorance.

But bring the material you are familiar with as mentioned. And note the kind of environment it is used in, the room it is used in and how different or similar it is to your own.

Ask the owner how he did it, and most of them will answer happily.

Oh do bring a little something, that is just a little courtesy. Cheers.


Using Different Vendors:

There will be times when you like something which is only available from a specific seller. Some shops are also smaller and do not keep stock of so many things.


KEC is often mentioned here and they offer a large variety, but sometimes they are too busy and one or two of their staff are little indifferent to newbies. So spread the love and look for the other shops around too, Anson, Seng Heng, Alpha Audio etc in Adelphi and City Electronics in SLS offer alternatives.

But we may need to buy one item from a shop then go elsewhere. So how should we do this? You need to choose something first. Either the speakers or the amp, and I have personally hauled my amp to various shops to audition the speakers.

Its your money and you should feel welcome. But after you spend the time there, then buy it there.

Sometimes the equipment used is different from what we intend and there is a different sound, this is a real issue, and ultimately there is a compromise.
__________________
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/2018/0...tup-32018.html

Last edited by petetherock; 31-03-2010 at 11:28 AM..
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 02:03 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Vadimur's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,465
I'm currently looking for some speakers for my RT (Room Threatre ) setup, so i did some research here & there on the internet & forums. I think ideally there should be different speakers setups for different usage like music, movies (previous generation vs next generation surround sound) & gaming.

For my personal setup, i use it for mostly gaming 70%, movies 20% & music 10%. For next-gen gaming, sound effects are real-time, so speakers used in a surround setup should be the same, sound effects will then sound consistent & natural. This setup should also be good for movies, because movies makers are increasingly creating discrete sound for 5.1 & 6.1 systems compared to previous/current generation, center speaker for dialogue only, front mains for left & right effects and surround speakers for surround effects only. Notice speaker manufacturers are coming out HT systems with identical speakers? I never knew about bipolar & dipolar speakers until the recent research, i think they are phrasing out as surround speakers. Good speakers for acceptable listening pleasure should also consist of at least 2 drivers, 1 tweeter for treble, 1 bass/woofer for midrange. That's why satellites never sound good because they lack of 1 of the 2 drivers.

For subwoofers, from what i have gathered, it's the bigger the better & the frequency response...the lower the better, of course, one should also listen to it whether it gives a tight or boomy bass.

Heh...still learning about all these hi-fi thingy. For the ultimate music listening pleasure, it's another whole new world again.
Vadimur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 04:17 AM   #8
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,948
SVS, the sub to rock your world lol
weibchen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 06:14 AM   #9
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,879
Actually FRS or full range speakers can be as good if not better than seperate tweeter / woofer types
Dipole and bipole speakers add 'air' and 'dimension' but don't do so well for imaging
Size does matter in subs, but a tighter bass is still preferable to a flabby one
Thats one of the differecens between a good one and a budget one
Cheers
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 06:45 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 2,245
SVS, the sub to rock your world lol

I've tried quite a number of svs subs, even one of their flagship model. Definately not for everyone. It's bass is really nice for the lower registers however not enough mid bass hump for me. Got a velodyne in the end, though I am missing the lower bass of the svs. Might consider getting a second svs sub, maybe it'll compliment my velodyne. (or maybe since I'm not missing the lower bass too much I'll use the money for more software Need to get me some jessica alba titles on hd. lol!!! )
The_Knight_Huma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 06:50 AM   #11
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,879
Narrowing it down:

If after a few visits to the shops you are not thoroughly confused, then that is a good sign that you have narrowed it down to a few choices wisely instead of trying to commit to too many or having no focus.

Basically the choices lie in which appeals to you more. Depending on your diet of music and HT, then you play the piece of music or movie clip which you know well and decide which coupled with the AV amp of choice give you that nice smile or tingle in your spine.

The earlier caveat of having a realistic budget still applies, but eventually there will be a system which can appease the wallet whilst still making peace with your ears. That will be the one to buy.

As for whether satellites or bookshelf speakers are right, it is answered in the thread on satellites too, but suffice to say, that satellites are a compromise. They provide a small footprint and are a concession to aesthetics. So that is the key reason why you buy them, so no sense going back and forth asking or tearing your hair out on choosing between the two. The tiny centre speaker of the satellites will lose out to a proper sized one, and again if the satellites are forced to crossover at 120 Hz or so, there will be compromises. Deal with it and move on. A choice needs to be made.

You don’t have to be rich to be smart:

Didn’t make that killing at the casino? Down on your chips and you still want a kick ass system? Well as the IKEA motto suggests, there are clever ways to make your dollar last.

- Get last year’s model
Unlike women or food, getting something older won’t spoil your day. The run out models can be carefully picked, and you can choose what are the essential features that you really want, and those which are just nice.
A good power section is always welcome, but if you only need the processor section and intend to partner it with a good power amp, then it makes sense to get a common and also cheaper unit as a processor than a dedicated, yet more expensive processor unit.

Of the features, I like to have enough HDMI inputs, a good processor DSP chip and Audyssey processing. Then a decent power section, and a decent remote, but you can scrimp on the latter if you have a universal remote anyway.

- Going 2nd hand
Now unlike old underwear or recycled one-liners to pick girls up, going 2nd hand allows you to get the better range at a reduced price. In between ridiculous prices and excessively higher expectations, you will find good bargains, from people who just want to get rid of their old stuff and prevent clutter. But it can be fraught with minefields of deceit as some less than honest chaps will dump stuff that is no longer working or disguise their rubbish as gems.

Doing demos on their will be a combination of close scrutiny of the product and bit of faith in the seller. If the person has been around in the forum a while, and his posts seem decent, plus some feedback from past deals, then it might be ok. But always understand what kind of warranty whether personal or remnant is offered. If there are cosmetic defects you do not like, highlight them but you must approach it like making comments on someone’s wife – i.e. the less criticism the better or keep those thoughts to yourself. I hate low ballers, and if you wish to make an offer, make one which is sensible. And don’t spend the whole afternoon trying, then deciding to run away without buying.

Electronics like amps don’t hold their value that well, and they seldom break down, whereas speakers can be subject to some abuse, and you should take a bit of care listening to them. The same goes with electronics with moving parts like CD players or DVD players, so make sure all the buttons and functions work.

Getting an older Blu Ray player could be tricky if you want the latest versions. The older ones can be much slower, and incompatible with the latest discs. If someone sells a new model that was bundled with his TV, that is a nice set to look for.

Subwoofers are often sought, especially the more popular brands, but again the owner could be a bass fiend and enjoys blowing up his woofer, so take a close look. Ask for some form of warranty and try it when you get home. Don’t park it in your storeroom for a month, then take it out and accuse the seller, when you should have done due diligence.

Barring all the risks, I have scored good bargains and no lemons so far, so it is a viable option to get what you want without spending as much on a new item.

You don’t have to be rich to be smart.


So It Does Not Sound As Good In Your Home….

Horror of horrors, when the HT system was finally delivered to your home, it sounded bad! Nothing like what was used in the store!

Before you pick up the phone, and yell at the shop keeper, some simple tips.

- First, have you done all the connections properly? If the idea of hooking up 6 sets of cables to speakers, a few HDMI cables, and more power cables, plus calibration and checking the sound levels feels too daunting for you, PAY THE INSTALLER TO DO IT.
There are only that many ways, either you learn to do it, pay someone, or coax someone else to do it for you. There is nothing money cannot solve, and if you cannot tell the difference between a woofer and a tweeter, then I suggest you read up, either buy simply searching our forum or use GOOGLE, which has vast amounts of info.
Feeling too poor to pay the installer and you don’t want to read up, well I guess you better stick to that mini compo then mate… no one can take you through the whole process whilst sitting in their chairs on a PC miles away. Nothing will substitute for elbow grease.
- Let it run it. Electronics, speakers etc all require a little time to run in. listen to the system critically after using it for a week. Some speakers take longer.
- Have you done the room treatment?
Dealers spend a lot doing up their rooms to make it sound better, and if you simply plonk the system down and hope for the best, you will be sorely disappointed. Did you study the posts on speaker placement? How about subwoofer placement? Again you cannot just pop the thing in place and hope pressing buttons on the amp will suffice.

Now in the instance something is really broken, you should have asked the shop for their policy on returns and warranty. I like to establish good relationships with the shops, so that means paying them well and not merely squeezing the last cent out of them. Many good stores will offer a one to one exchange within a certain time frame.


Know Thy Limits…So you bought that shiny new Blu Ray player from one of the major brands for $300 megabucks. Now you want to pop in your Blu Rays and viola what a sight! The picture quality looks pretty fabulous. Then you take one of the older DVDs in your collection and it looks downright awful, what gives?

Firstly, it’s a DVD, that is standard definition, and it can be good, but not great, especially not after you see what Blu Ray and Hi Def can do for you.

Secondly guess what? You only paid $300. That’s small money for a video player. So with high quality sources, you can reproduce a significant proportion of what a more expensive player can do, since the source material is good.

But once you resort to using the internal video chip of the player, then that’s where the money goes to. A stand alone DVDO Edge processor can cost upwards of 1000. A half decent Blu Ray player, think one with a Faroudja, Reon or ABT chip will set you back 600 and up. So it finally boils down to the peanuts and monkeys. You can what you pay for, and if you are asking for better than peanuts, then be prepared to fork out real dough.

On the other hand, if you have a decent AV amp with a good video chip, then it does not make sense to have too many good video scalers, and you can save money by buying a cheaper player, play it Source Direct to the amp and let the internal video chip there do the work.

So in essence, buy the best but don’t overlap in features, or know the limits of what your equipment can achieve.
__________________
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/2018/0...tup-32018.html

Last edited by petetherock; 03-04-2010 at 11:33 AM..
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 08:29 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 2,245
I use a floorstander to complment the SVS, this Monitor Audio has a mid-bass thump which is not too bad, the key is integration with the sub


Room treatment and equalisation are quite important although the newer amps have an auto function

My friend's svs sub integration with his speakers is out of this world. Really loved his setup. His bass is extremely accurate, to the point where the bass sounds directional. Like there's a huge explosion happening in the rear, you'd actually feel and hear the bass from the back! If there's some explosion from the right, it'll sound as if it's from the right. I was green with envy. Playing saving pvt ryan on his setup totally blew me away. I couldn't get floorstanders for my room so I had to get a sub that comes as close to what I want as possible.

Last edited by The_Knight_Huma; 07-08-2007 at 10:09 AM..
The_Knight_Huma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 09:17 AM   #13
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,879
It may be the tweeters and mid you are hearing bro
Bass is omni-directional, esp the good ones, sound coming from the rear is prob due to the rear speakers, a good sub makes its presence felt but you should not be able to localise it
Cheers
P
petetherock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 10:07 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 2,245
It may be the tweeters and mid you are hearing bro
Bass is omni-directional, esp the good ones, sound coming from the rear is prob due to the rear speakers, a good sub makes its presence felt but you should not be able to localise it
Cheers
P

I don't think so, I'm using the same speakers he is using and I don't get that kind of effect. I didn't think such a thing was possible till I listened to his setup.
The_Knight_Huma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 11:11 AM   #15
Moderator
 
petetherock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,879
The higher frequencies are directional, hence you can localise the sound, bass comes from everywhere, but it seems to emerge from the rear due to the higher frequencies.

P
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