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  1. #1

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    Default My first surround system, some rookie questions

    Hey everyone, I recently hunkered down and got a nice tv and decided to start building a good sound system too. I did a bunch of research and was able to snag some deals and decent equipment. Although I did some research, certain things still make my eyes glaze over and seem extremely imposing, ie crosswiring and basically the more technical stuff. Any way I was hoping I could get some feedback on the rookie mistakes people often make and/or just some advice in general.

    I purchased a Pioneer Elite VSX-30 for my receiver, and then 2 Monitor 70's as my main and a CS2 for my center. I know I should get a subwoofer, but the 70's handle bass well enough I had heard that I can hold off until my funds recover instead of buying the PSW10 now, which doesn't seem much better than what the 70 does itself. I figured it was better to buy a few good things and add on later rather than get a full 7.1 with lame speakers, especially since I'm in an apartment and wouldn't be able to set it up.

    So yeah I had seen some people talk about getting a cheap sub anyway bc it frees up the mid for the 70, and then there was stuff about crosswiring something at 40 vs 80, and using the big speaker setting vs the small... And my head begins to swim. So as someone who did some research and wants my video games to rock me, but is by no means an audiophile, first sound system, please lend a helping hand.

    Anyway its my first post in a forum like this, here or ever actually, so sorry if I rambled or was to vauge.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Default The receiver's specs

    Pioneer VSX-30
    http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers...contentBody;1r

    In case people aren't familiar with the specs for it. Thanks again.

  3. #3

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    Welcome to CP!

    First off, I would say hold off on the sub until you can purchase one that you will be satisfied with for a good long while.

    Second, the term I think that are meaning to use is crossover. Basically you can filter out the lowest frequencies in the sound spectrum (for instance the deep kick drum and lowest bass guitar frequencies) and have then played by the sub instead of your main speakers. The 70s can play pretty low with the proper amplification, but will sound better with your receiver with a sub. one good option for a sub is the polk psw505 (often around 200 bones at newegg) which is a much better sub than the one that you are considering, and I know that lots of folks here have that sub with the 70s and really like it. For now all three main speakers to large and your sub to off or no and let her rip. I think that you will be blown away by the sound!
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    Server - Logitech Squeezebox Duet
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    Two Channel PC Rig (In progress)
    Dell Studio 540s-->Pangea USB Cable-->HRT Music Streamer II DAC-->MIT AVT1-->Dayton DTA 100a-->MIT EXP2-->Polk Monitor 5 w/Peerless

  4. #4

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    Thanks so much for the infor rooftop. And yes, crossover was what I meant, and sounds like its not something I'll have to even worry about until I get a sub then?

    And I've also heard that its def worth getting the banana plugs and getting at least 16 gauge wire. And I know there are vehement supporters for getting the cheapest wires you can bc it doesn't matter, and those who say that the difference is night and day. So my question is for the sort of set up I'm looking at would these clips and wire be sufficient?

    http://www.amazon.com/Connector-Bana...1431904&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-Ga...1432006&sr=1-3

    Or what is the happy middle ground of not dirt cheap connectors and wires, but not spending as much on them as the speakers themselves?

  5. #5

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    Go monoprice.com for all your wire and banana plugs. I would suggest getting the 12 gauge wire (its so cheap anyway) and the gold banana plugs. I have always paid using paypal and the shipping in fast and cheap. I wish I would have known about monoprice when I first started. GREAT bang for the buck.

    And yes, no crossover until you get a sub or surrounds.

  6. #6

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    First, welcome to Club Polk CloneHigh

    Hey everyone, I recently hunkered down and got a nice tv and decided to start building a good sound system too. I did a bunch of research and was able to snag some deals and decent equipment.
    Congratulations on your new equipment acquisition.

    Although I did some research, certain things still make my eyes glaze over and seem extremely imposing, ie crosswiring and basically the more technical stuff. Any way I was hoping I could get some feedback on the rookie mistakes people often make and/or just some advice in general.
    Don't worry too much about it, we all had to start somewhere as you do and you are wise enough to seek some help in your journey and this is what counts. Right now, don't worry about bi-amping and any of the potential tweaks, simply focus on getting all of your gear to work together optimally.

    I purchased a Pioneer Elite VSX-30 for my receiver, and then 2 Monitor 70's as my main and a CS2 for my center. I know I should get a subwoofer, but the 70's handle bass well enough I had heard that I can hold off until my funds recover instead of buying the PSW10 now, which doesn't seem much better than what the 70 does itself. I figured it was better to buy a few good things and add on later rather than get a full 7.1 with lame speakers, especially since I'm in an apartment and wouldn't be able to set it up.
    Very sound decision, better acquire half decent gear one step at the time as budget allow then rushing into cheap or gear you won't like and regret. What size is your room for starter and a rough configuration (square, open area, rectangular, fully enclosed?)?

    So yeah I had seen some people talk about getting a cheap sub anyway bc it frees up the mid for the 70, and then there was stuff about crosswiring something at 40 vs 80, and using the big speaker setting vs the small... And my head begins to swim. So as someone who did some research and wants my video games to rock me, but is by no means an audiophile, first sound system, please lend a helping hand.
    Right now since you do have a subwoofer cross over frequency is somewhat irrelevant to you since you will want to set your Monitor 70s to large (meaning they cover the High, Mid and Low Frequencies (with a sub they would more likely be set to small since the sub would cover the Low frequencies)).

    Unfortunately for some reason I couldn't access the link you provided. I am not familiar with that specific Pio. Rx but generally speaking Pioneer makes good receivers and most people here (and other forums) have good respect for them.

    The first step I would suggest you do, read your user manual, get familiar with the equipment, take notes and then come back with your potential questions about your newly acquired equipment. Anything that is confusing to you, do not hesitate to ask questions about. If you can check your link and make sure it works (maybe the problem was at my end?) as this may help people to help you understand your specific equipment and thus lead you down the right path to make it work efficiently.

    Since you are new to audio, I will say no further at this point so you don't get overwhelmed and have a chance to study and digest your user manual.

    And I've also heard that its def worth getting the banana plugs and getting at least 16 gauge wire.
    Don't buy 16 gage, minimum 14 gage and maybe up to 12 gage speaker cables. Trash (manner of speach) any cables that come with any of your equipment, they will not let your gear shine. I am not much in cable debates, this is useless... Personnally monoprice offers decent cables at decent pricing. Blue jeans cable is also a good source for your cables. If you wish to go for exotic or high end cables, fill your booths as this is a personal choice. The main goal is to get you in gear at your price range and own preference/beliefs. Make sure if you buy your cables online, that you buy at once so you can save on further shipping and processing.

    For some reason, I can not access any of the links you are providing in the discussion rooftop59, do you also have issues with the provided links or can you actually open them?

    Cheers!
    TK
    Last edited by TECHNOKID; 03-29-2011 at 05:16 PM.

  7. #7

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    I looked on monoprice and didn't see any gold banana plugs, I only saw copper ones.

    I guess I was unclear on my first post, I don't have a subwoofer, but thats the one i thought about and decided against.

    Try this link for the receiver. http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...ceivers/VSX-30

    As for the size of the room, I haven't measured it but a rough ballpark, before checking when I get home and reposting is...20x20 -ish. Its square, obviously lol, I have the tv and will have the speakers on one wall and the bed facing it from the opposite wall, where alot of the tv, movie and video game playing occurs. But I also have my couch on the right wall, when facing the tv.
    ___________
    TV |
    c|
    o|
    u|
    c|
    h|
    bed |
    ___________

    Sizes aren't proportional, and the couch is closer to the bed side.
    Last edited by CloneHigh; 03-29-2011 at 05:19 PM. Reason: Didn't finish

  8. #8

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    crap the lines to the right of my attempted pic are supposed to form the right wall

    Also does open screw vs closed screw type matter for banana clips?
    Last edited by CloneHigh; 03-29-2011 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Additional question

  9. #9

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    I looked on monoprice and didn't see any gold banana plugs, I only saw copper ones.
    Actually, poor description on the main page as if you click on the picture, you will see in the description that they are gold plated. http://www.monoprice.com/products/se...+plated+banana

    I guess I was unclear on my first post, I don't have a subwoofer, but thats the one i thought about and decided against.
    I guess I'll have to go back to my post as I might not have been too clear as IMO, it was a good move not to buy a sub until you can afford a decent one and that in the mean time your 70s bass will be more than satisfactory.

    Works now!

    As for the size of the room, I haven't measured it but a rough ballpark, before checking when I get home and reposting is...20x20 -ish. Its square, obviously lol, I have the tv and will have the speakers on one wall and the bed facing it from the opposite wall, where alot of the tv, movie and video game playing occurs. But I also have my couch on the right wall, when facing the tv.
    ___________
    TV |
    c|
    o|
    u|
    c|
    h|
    bed |
    ___________

    Sizes aren't proportional, and the couch is closer to the bed side.
    Now, you have to realize that your couch location will be useless as far as sound stage goes. You will have to make sure that your bed is center as much as possible with the speakers soundstage. Later on once you better understand your system, you will have to play with speaker placement for optimal soundstage.

    Also does open screw vs closed screw type matter for banana clips?
    IMHO, I would use the close type (unless someone can provide a valid reason otherwise) as it provides for a cleaner job and I would believe is more secure.
    Last edited by TECHNOKID; 03-29-2011 at 05:47 PM.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the info, just bought my clips and wires. So basically my entire sound system is in transit at this point. I'll let you know how it works out. Thanks again.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by CloneHigh View Post
    Thanks for the info, just bought my clips and wires. So basically my entire sound system is in transit at this point. I'll let you know how it works out. Thanks again.
    Did you buy any interconnects also? IE: HDMI cable(s), digital audio cables (external player(s)). I guess you already have all your gaming gear cables, right? Take the time to do some reading at this point to get acquainted with your gear and come back to your thread once you need answers. Don't forget some pics of your new set-up ;)

  12. #12

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    My setup. I had to get a new tv stand, my old $40 was about at its capacity to fit stuff in there.

    So would the next step be a subwoofer or satelites? I think i remember someone saying subwoofer first, but a guy at work said he thinks satelites would be next especially since I have a tower that has decent bass. Thoughts?

    PS note the awesome Colt45 light on the wall and be jealous lol. Also why are PSW505s backlogged on like every site I look at? And I know the obvious thought for satelites with with the monitor 70's would be the 30's or 40's that would blend well and sound just as good, are slightly smaller so I can wall mount? Or can i just put the 40's on the floor? Thanks
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  13. #13

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    Don't put the 40s on the floor. If you are going to eventually get a sub I would go with the 30s and some mounting brackets. I agree that if surround sound is a priority then hold off on the sub and get the surrounds. Plus the surrounds are cheaper so you can get them now and save up for a killer sub down the road if that's what you want. Also, if music is a priority pull those m70s out from the wall and toe them in a bit. It will do wonders for your soundstage and imaging (music will sound MUCH better); but, you will probably lose a little bass. So experiment and decide what you like better.
    Peace,
    Paul

  14. #14

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    I have the ps 10 sub, use it my bedroom, not much of a sub, wait untill you can afford better............................................ .....
    Emotiva XPA5, Sony ES 5300, Lsi 15,s LSIC, Monitor 70,s, ( side surrounds) FXI 3,s, (rear surrounds)Micropro4000, Velodyne DEQ 10, Sony 46 inch XBR 5, Sony BDP 770 Bedroom rig SonyES 3200 RTIA1,s CSIA4 FXI3,s polk PSW 10 SONY 34inch XBR960SONY BDP550

  15. #15

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    Since you're using the Monitor 70's, which already have quite respectable bass output on their own, you'd definitely be better off to get a better sub than the PSW10. For it's price, the PSW10 is half decent...but it's really not much of a sub. IIRC, the Monitor 70's have lower bass output than the PSW10 does.
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