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Thread: HT Review

  1. #1

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    Default HT Review

    So after a long long time I finally put together our HT system in the family room. We have the following components:

    RTi A9s
    CSi A6
    FXi A6
    Marantz SR6006
    Parasound A21
    Belkin PF60
    Samsumg LED 46?

    Although we bought the speakers almost three months back, I did not put them together just because I wanted to buy other equipments for the system (which just got accomplished), get the whole package together and then connect everything.

    Marantz SR6006 is a good looking receiver. Although as many of the members on this forum would recommend buying Pioneer Elite series receiver (and I agree with them), I went with Marantz SR6006 mainly due to economic reason. It has got some good reviews. Plus it has everything that I wanted in a receiver. So for now, we will stick with it. Later on down the road I will switch to something of greater quality. Back the receiver, it looks great. Weighs okay, not too much. Options for a lot of connections. The display panel on front face of the receiver is very small. It may give some aesthetic appeal, but from functionality point of view, it is useless. You gotta depend on GUI. The manual is also very complicated. There is no information attached for the remote control. If you want to change the source, let?s say from BD to Cable/Sat, you will have to press the Cable/Sat button on remote twice.
    Now as for the performance, wow? this AVR is great. Now you guys are hearing this from someone who scaled up everything from a basic HT system from H/K (AVR 154, HKTS15) to Polk Audio and Marantz (although Marantz is not that highly regarded AVR). The picture quality looks sharper and cleaner. The colors pop up crispier. We are experiencing night and day difference. Now I am not sure if having Belking PF60, which I am using in the system, would have any effect on picture quality or not, but so far we are amazed.

    The system calibration (basic) was a pretty straight forward. It took about 10 min to do. I calibrated the system using 6 different positions for the calibration mic. The system set the front towers as ?Large?, surrounds as ?Small? and center as ?Small?. I am thinking to change the front speakers to ?Small? setting?something people would recommend? Please advise.

    Polk Audio:
    The speakers look great. I am very excited about them. The quality is amazing. We bought cherry finish for towers and central channel, and black for the surround. It is a 5.1 system for now. I will keep it 5.1 for a while. Then later on we will get a couple of more surround speakers and make 7.1 by having front high left and right (dream on?). The audio quality is beyond great. I mean I cannot believe that I am hearing things that I never heard of before while watching same movie again. The central channel is perfect for a crispier dialogue. The towers are very good. They produce great bass. It shakes the couch that I usually sit on to watch TV. The surround sound is amazing. While watching Netflix, for some reason the system went into 2.1 mode. I am playing Netflix through play station (I know I gotta update, but slowly I will get there). So I will have to figure out how to take it back to 5.1. However, when I popped in a blue ray, the system was on 5.1 DTS and was great.

    Parasound A21:
    It is a beast. Wow what a difference an amplifier makes in the sound quality. I tried both ways- with and without the external amplifier. I would completely agree with those who say an external amplifier is a must for RTi A9 and would definitely recommend it. It just opens up everything. Marantz produces warm sound. Parasound also gives warm quality which is what personally I prefer. The unit is very heavy. But worth every penny. I am already saving for another unit that I can connect the other three. And in this case, I may go for a preamp? Lets see.

    There is one issue though, I am getting hum in the front two towers which are connected to Parasound A21. It is so clear and a bit loud, that if you sit in front of the towers for more than 10 min, you are going to get headache. After reading some more posts on this forum where people indicated a possible source of hum being cable box, I disconnected Comcast cable box, and it disappeared. However, I put is back in the system by changing the location of box on the stand, and the hum was there again. So then I decided to keep the system running and disconnect the box just to see if it really stops the noise. While doing so, I just unplugged the HDMI cable out from the cable box leaving the other end connected to the AVR, box close to AVR and underneath the amplifier, the hum noise was gone. Does this mean, I gotta buy some high end HDMI (shielded)? Can you guys give me some suggestions?

    At the end, I would like to say a big ?THANK YOU? to all the members who are here on this forum. It was because of all of you and your valuable posts, that I learned so much about HT system. I am still a freshman in this college and a long way to go. But you guys are awesome. People take time and efforts to write things up that helps a lot of people like me. So thank you again. I will keep posting such my experiences here as I go along with some more upgrades in future.

    Dhaval.

    P.S. : Please feel free to pass any comments you might have or any criticism you might have. I always take them as an opportunity to learn more and know more.

  2. #2

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    Your issue with the HDMI doesn't mean you have to go out and buy a 1000 cable. There are places such as mono price etc where you can get a cheaper shielded cable.

    Congrats on getting it all set up and enjoy!
    2 Channel-
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpindick View Post

    Parasound A21:
    It is a beast. Wow what a difference an amplifier makes in the sound quality. I tried both ways- with and without the external amplifier. I would completely agree with those who say an external amplifier is a must for RTi A9 and would definitely recommend it. It just opens up everything. Marantz produces warm sound. Parasound also gives warm quality which is what personally I prefer. The unit is very heavy. But worth every penny. I am already saving for another unit that I can connect the other three. And in this case, I may go for a preamp? Lets see.
    Very nice review. Also, who says Marantz is not a highly rated AVR? For your purposes, especially pairing it with a nice Parasound, it makes, IMHO, a much better (more synergistic pre-amp) for that amp than a more "neutral' sounding Pioneer. In fact, I don't care much for the Pioneer as a pre-amp unless its doing that duty for its own ICE amps. I much prefer a high end Denon or a Marantz for their "warmth"! Better for musicality. I'm a sucker for "warm". Neutral, not so much...OK for HT which is really where those Elites shine!

    Enjoy!

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 06-24-2012 at 02:46 PM.
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  4. #4

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    Congrats man, glad to see you have a frickin' big smile from your system. Big difference from those HT in a box stuff eh ? For your hum problem, can be a slew of things. Try the easiest first, go to home depot or any hardware store and get yourself a cheater plug. It's a plug that has 3 prongs going in and only 2 coming out. Put it on the end of your amps power cord then plug into the Belkin. Cost you a whole 2 bucks. Let us know if it works and we can take it from there. Happy listening.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Congrats man, glad to see you have a frickin' big smile from your system. Big difference from those HT in a box stuff eh ? For your hum problem, can be a slew of things. Try the easiest first, go to home depot or any hardware store and get yourself a cheater plug. It's a plug that has 3 prongs going in and only 2 coming out. Put it on the end of your amps power cord then plug into the Belkin. Cost you a whole 2 bucks. Let us know if it works and we can take it from there. Happy listening.
    Sure thing. I will do that. Thanks for the thought. Yeah-- a big improvement in everything for HT compared to the previous system.

  6. #6

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    Buy a nice HDMI cable from BluejeansCable if you feel that is your issue. Excellent review, enjoy the rig.


    I would recommend the Belden FE type.
    http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/...hdmi-cable.htm
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

    Home Theater Pics in the Showcase

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...p?userid=73580

  7. #7

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    Thanks for your nice reviews, enjoy.

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    Marantz just makes pretty things.
    2 Channel:
    Onkyo TX-8555 Pre
    Parasound HCA-1500A
    Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai
    Pioneer Elite DV-37
    Polk Audio Monitor 10B

    5 Channel:
    LG 42" LCD Display
    Denon DVD-3910 Player
    Denon AVR-3805 Receiver
    Denon DVD-2800 Cd player
    DIY Tower Speakers:
    1" Peerless tweeter
    6.5" Woofer
    8" Dayton Reference Woofer
    10" Passive Radiator
    Polk Audio Monitor 30 Surrounds
    Klipsch KG-1 Center Channel
    Polk Audio PSW-505 Sub

    System Showcase

  9. #9

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    Congratulations with your new HT!

    You have a really nice setup right there, I'm very glad to hear that you are happy with your system so far. Hopefully, you will be able to fix the hum due to your Comcast Cable Box (from other threads it seems like in some case cable boxes are not properly grounded and that might be the noise that you are passing to your receiver / speakers). As other member recommended try to filter that noise by using the plug. The other thing that you might try is connecting the TV cable directly to your Belkin (cable in) and then from there to your cable box (cable out). That way you are filtering any noise produced by the TV cable.

    Quick question about your setup, what is the subwoofer that you are using?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by cr136124 View Post
    Congratulations with your new HT!

    You have a really nice setup right there, I'm very glad to hear that you are happy with your system so far. Hopefully, you will be able to fix the hum due to your Comcast Cable Box (from other threads it seems like in some case cable boxes are not properly grounded and that might be the noise that you are passing to your receiver / speakers). As other member recommended try to filter that noise by using the plug. The other thing that you might try is connecting the TV cable directly to your Belkin (cable in) and then from there to your cable box (cable out). That way you are filtering any noise produced by the TV cable.

    Quick question about your setup, what is the subwoofer that you are using?
    I am using PSW111. It is not shielded. When I bought the speakers from crutchfield, it came free with the other speakers. So I kept it and since it is also Polk Audio, it is in my system. I feel that my RTiA9 are stronger and better than this subwoofer. Just my opinion.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpindick View Post
    I am using PSW111. It is not shielded. When I bought the speakers from crutchfield, it came free with the other speakers. So I kept it and since it is also Polk Audio, it is in my system. I feel that my RTiA9 are stronger and better than this subwoofer. Just my opinion.
    The 9s are probably stronger and more musical in the low end (especially with that amp) I think though that in today's DTS HD and Dolby HD, the LFE plays a strong role. I guess what I am saying is that the "umph" that is supposed to be signaled to the sub is not there because there is no sub. I may be mistaken in this, but I noticed the same thing with my RTi12s. Pleanty of low end, but just low end in what is sent to the fronts. There was an impact low missing in movies. e.g. In Fellowship of the Rings, when Saran exploded and the shock wave went out and everybody fell down. It sounded cool without a sub, but was missing the gut rattling, physical effect.
    "My wife likes my rig......HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!"


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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpindick View Post
    I am using PSW111. It is not shielded. When I bought the speakers from crutchfield, it came free with the other speakers. So I kept it and since it is also Polk Audio, it is in my system. I feel that my RTiA9 are stronger and better than this subwoofer. Just my opinion.
    Well, I guess you already know this but you PSW111 can go as low as 38Hz. On the other hand, your RTi A9s can go even lower at 30Hz. That explains why your receiver is calibrating the fronts as large and why do you feel your fronts are stronger/better than your sub.

    In theory, you should change your front speakers to small and let the subwoofer to handle the low signals by setting a crossover (usually people choose a 40Hz or 60Hz Xover for RTi A9s).

    Only issue in your case is that your fronts are more capable to handle low signals that your current subwoofer. So, hopefully you should be able to upgrade your subwoofer to one that can go as low as 25Hz or 20Hz (below that it will be really cool, but it is a bit more expensive).

    As mentioned before, you have a great setup, but indeed you will hear/feel a great improvement (specially with movies) by having a capable subowoofer added to your system.

    Are you already looking at options for your subwoofer already?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by cr136124 View Post
    Well, I guess you already know this but you PSW111 can go as low as 38Hz. On the other hand, your RTi A9s can go even lower at 30Hz. That explains why your receiver is calibrating the fronts as large and why do you feel your fronts are stronger/better than your sub.

    In theory, you should change your front speakers to small and let the subwoofer to handle the low signals by setting a crossover (usually people choose a 40Hz or 60Hz Xover for RTi A9s).

    Only issue in your case is that your fronts are more capable to handle low signals that your current subwoofer. So, hopefully you should be able to upgrade your subwoofer to one that can go as low as 25Hz or 20Hz (below that it will be really cool, but it is a bit more expensive).

    As mentioned before, you have a great setup, but indeed you will hear/feel a great improvement (specially with movies) by having a capable subowoofer added to your system.

    Are you already looking at options for your subwoofer already?
    @ cr136124-- yes, you are absolutely right. The Audesy calibration left the towers as Large, but I manually changed them to Small. I will look into a better sub. Thanks for the help by the way. Can you tell me what crossover the central speaker should be set at? Any recommendations fora better sub?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Congrats man, glad to see you have a frickin' big smile from your system. Big difference from those HT in a box stuff eh ? For your hum problem, can be a slew of things. Try the easiest first, go to home depot or any hardware store and get yourself a cheater plug. It's a plug that has 3 prongs going in and only 2 coming out. Put it on the end of your amps power cord then plug into the Belkin. Cost you a whole 2 bucks. Let us know if it works and we can take it from there. Happy listening.
    @tonyb-- well I just went and purchased the plug as you mentioned. I hooked up the three prong connection of amplifier to the plug inlet and the two prongs of the plug to the belkin PF60 power conditioner. The "Hum" was gone.

    Then I did something else as well. The coax cable from wall plate, I connected it to the "Cable In" on belkin PF60. I then connected the "Cable Out" end of belkin to "Cable In" of comcast with another coax cable. This time, I did not use the "Plug" that you mentioned. So the three prong connection of amplifier was connected to the belkin PF60 by itself (without three to two prong plug). And the Hum was gone.. Man I was happy... I just wanted to share with you the result of what a couple of things I did.

    With this said, I guess I can rule out the possibility of HDMI cable being in question for the Hum noise.

    Thank you so much for your help. I appreciate it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpindick View Post
    @ cr136124-- yes, you are absolutely right. The Audesy calibration left the towers as Large, but I manually changed them to Small. I will look into a better sub. Thanks for the help by the way. Can you tell me what crossover the central speaker should be set at? Any recommendations fora better sub?
    You should set your "central" channel at 80Hz. Any signal below that should be handled by your subwoofer. Now, about the subwoofer question: well there are plenty of choices/options for you. But before going there let me ask you: how big is your room? Mine is about 4K sqf, and I am currently using a two subwoofer configuration. I'm not saying that you will need to buy two, but to have a better understanding on the best subwoofer for your configuration is really important to have an idea of the room in which the subwoofer will be used.

    Oh, another critical question, what is the budget that you have in mind for your new subwoofer?

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