So today I decided to start my first serious build thread. At this point, I have collected enough gear that needs to be set up properly in order to perform well. Before, with my HTiB systems and associated package speakers, things like speaker placement didn't make much of a difference. Also, the DACs in my game consoles were not up to the task so from now on I will be using the $1799 HP Digital Entertainment Center z560 as my primary source.
The receiver I am using right now is the Denon AVR-5800. Original owner paid over $4k including tax at a high-end store when it first came on the market. Now I understand that this is not the best solution and that there are better sounding units if one were to go the separates route. However, this is the first receiver in which I am able to discern little details in the sound that I could not hear before. I am planning an upgrade to a Parasound HALO C1/C2 with the associated A51 or A21 amplifiers in the future.
My speakers are the Definitve BP10B (modded by Trey!), a Polk DSWPro550WI sub, and a custom-built 15" Dayton Titanic MKIII with the 1024W Dayton Audio plate amp in which I experimented a GREAT deal with cabinet damping materials and basically tweaked the heck out of it. It was through the build of this sub that I realized small changes in Polyfill and even cabinet spikes could make a difference in the sound.
For video I have the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1080UB projector, the Toshiba HD-DVD player, HP Digital Entertainment Center z560, and four game consoles - the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Super Nintendo. Those who have seen this setup say that the video quality is excellent, with a quote from forum member Polrbehr "I felt like I was in a bowling alley" and my neighbor who said the picture was "so sharp".
The screen is a 100" DaLite Model C w/CSR - I noticed something about it today that I couldn't believe. With the screen rolled down, the sound was more focused and clearer. With the screen retracted, the sound was harsher and literally painful to listen to! So this big projection screen right in the middle of the wall actually made the sound better to my ears! As a result, when the projector is not being used I will still have the screen rolled down, of course.
My other sources are the following:
DVD-Audio Player Panasonic DVD-F65
CD Player: Onkyo DV-CP500
XM Radio: Samsung NeXus 25
Tape Deck: Aiwa
DVR: Panasonic DMR-E95HS
VCR: JVC HR-S9911U, HR-S7000U
HD-DVD: Toshiba HD-XA1
DVD: Samsung Single-disc DVDP
Music Server: HP Digital Entertainment Center z560
Gaming: Nintendo Wii, SNES, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
2nd PC: Apple Mac Mini with Snow Leopard and Win7
Starting today, I will upgrade ALL of my cables. Remember a while back when I posted about installing six 20A dedicated circuits and using a 12AWG power cord for my sub? Well, I noticed back then that power cords made a difference on the sub but I didn't hear much of a difference when swapping other cables. Specifically, the sub was quieter with the 12AWG power cord and that the peaks were more dynamic. The old power cord on the sub was an 18AWG computer power cord. My best guess is that the old cord was simply too thin for the 10A plate amp. With that out of the way - I am going to change every single cable and report back on the difference.
To be continued...