View Full Version : advice on setup for a newbie to HT
09-25-2002, 11:47 PM
Guys- I'm new to the whole quality speaker/HT/etc, and basically have recently stumbled and fell into what I hope is a decent low end quality HT setup (my prior setup was a pioneer dolby pro-logic setup driving some technics speakers, so anything sounds better). Anyway, my new setup is
CS-350LS - somewhat old school from what I've read here
PSW-150 - again, old school, has a 200 watt amp and a 10" woofer, which seems comparable to the current PSW-350
either a pioneer VSX-810 (or a VSX-43TX if I can scrounge!)
TV is a 50" pioneer rear projection
I'm looking for any and every comment or suggestion on my setup. Will I see a huge difference if I get the F/X300i or 500i for my surrounds to replace my R10's? Will my 350LS blend well with my RT800i's? Any comments on the PSW-150? There are very few items on center and the sub that I can find online b/c they are so old. Seems like most of you on the forum know what you are talking about, so please, experts discuss! Thanks in advance.
09-26-2002, 01:34 AM
Give us a little more info on the room all this machinery resides in.
Where, in relationship to your sweet spot will the surrounds be?
Personally not familiar with your center, but your front stage is good,(800's) and if your center doesn't match I would put the money there before getting other surrounds. If your sub is similar to a psw350 it should be decent for now.
You can find cs400 centers for cheap now that people have caught the Lsi update fever.
09-26-2002, 11:02 PM
Thanks Luc. Room is 16 X 20. Surrounds are directly to the side of the sweet spot, a little wider spaced than my mains. My sub doesn't have an LFE port, but it does have R/L line level inputs, and the main's specs are at http://www.polkaudio.com/home/specs.php?category=5&speaker=245&vintage=1
09-26-2002, 11:03 PM
doh- I meant the center channel's specs (the URL)
09-27-2002, 12:24 AM
The PSW150 is a good sub and probably has a better amp than the PSW350, so I think you are fine there.
The CS350LS is a great center channel. It was Polk's top of the line center when it was new. I had one and it is a nice piece.
The R10's will work good for you. I would put them behind the listening position.
The RT800i's are very nice speakers.
Unless you want to start putting a lot of money in a system, I wouldn't worry if the front and center speakers are not a perfect match. They will sound good together. Will the F/X300i or 500i make a huge difference? The 500's will make a pretty good difference, but not huge. IMO....I could sit down and watch a movie and be completely satisfied with your system. Could you make improvements, sure we all can if we want to shell out the coins.....
So, I guess what I'm saying is.....If you are looking to spend a lot of money on a HT, there are plenty of people here that will tell you how....I think what you have should make a VERY GOOD system that millions of people would love to have ;)
09-27-2002, 01:46 AM
The nascarman is on the money here.
You have the making of a good system.
Though your center may not be an exact match, it is a very good center and will work fine.
R10's will work for surround fine.
I believe they are direct firing and so should be aimed at your sweet spot.
Your sub should produce decent bass, but if you are looking for a bigger bang, you could always add a second sub for the rear of the theater.
All in all, you'll have plenty of sound.
09-28-2002, 02:03 PM
I appreciate your help on folks. One last question though, and this revolves around wiring. If I'm an novice at HT, I'm an infant when it comes to picking cables. I'm thinking about buying some monster cable 16 gauge 4 'channel' cables to bi-wire my RT800i's. I'll use the 16/2 for my center channel and sub, and regular monster XP cable for the surrounds. Do you guys notice a big difference with bi-wiring? How about using different cables for fronts and rears? Any other recommendations?
09-28-2002, 02:14 PM
Opinions on this subject vary, but I'll give you mine. If you can biwire, your speakers, do it. You certainly aren't going to LOSE anything. The gains perceived are subjective.
As far as the cable goes, well, that's up to you but for my money go with the thickest guage you can find at Home Depot or Lowes for the longer runs to the rears.
09-28-2002, 02:56 PM
Our room dimensions are pretty much the same, give or take a foot or two.
I first started with R40's for the fronts, R10's for the rears and a CS245 for the center. When I upgraded the R40 to RT800i's I noticed a big difference. When I upgraded the R10's to RT25I's I noticed a bigger difference. When I upgraded the 25's to 35's everything fell into place, HT wise. As far as cable goes I started with Monster XP all around and got good result's. I then went with Monster Z1 for the rears and center. Things really opened up then. I'm now using monster Z2 bi-wire for the 800 but truthfully don't notice a difference between those and Z1 cable for the 800's. I started out using speaker cable from homedepot before the XP, but in my system, it can't compare with the Z1. If you can afford Z1 all around you won't be disappointed.
09-28-2002, 08:04 PM
Wiring does make a big impact on the given system.I personally have been exploring this topic for many years.
I have tried different brands.Demo'd just about all of them at one time or another.
Bi wiring is a good thing.16-4......I'd lean towards 14-4.Or even 12-4.
Monstercable at least as I have found and in my opnion makes the best affordable cables on the market.There is many companies that sound alot better then Mopnstercable but at much higher prices.
If you want to use some kind of guage to findout where your wires should come in at price wise,try this.Take about 10 to 20% of total value of your system and spend around that much in cables.It's a good guage to find the correct level of cable for a given system.Not a flawless measurement but a good starting point.
I have theory's on what level of cable should go with a given level of system.It works for me and it could work for others.
09-30-2002, 01:22 AM
Great info folks. Thanks again.
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