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  1. #1

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    Default 1st HT...Lots of questions

    Hey Guys,

    This is my first post and hope to have many more in the future =)


    I have done a days worth of researching all over on this board and a week or so looking into everything else.

    If you have time to spare and help I’m going to try to lay everything down.

    This set up will be for watching movies and a little music 75/25. Space is a major concern since this is in a dorm room I will be starting from scratch and am on a budget. Hopefully a summer job will help. So far I have already bought two sets of r15’s for the front and rears from fry’s. I am looking into receivers a sub and a center.

    I am considering buying another set of r15’s to handle front and rear center, or buying r30’s and moving the existing r15’s to center rear and front, or would 2 r15's as front center be worth it for losing the rear speaker?

    I need advice on a subwoofer for fewer than 150. I am looking at these 3 at the moment.

    Yamaha 215


    SA-WM250

    Velodyne VX10


    For the receiver:

    Sony STR-DE597


    Pioneer VSX-D814S

    Any advice and recommendations on this combination would be helpful.

    Also, Since I’m on a budget, me and my roommate will also be building stands and brackets (rears hanging from a bunk bed) for the speakers. Also possibly a TV stand and an AV center. I know heat is a major concern for the AV Receiver. I’ve never done any woodworking. I think it’s cut, prime, paint, assemble. Mobility is a concern so I think it’s possible to make stands that can be disassembled with bolts? (Sorry for my lack of knowledge but that’s why I’m here.)

    If it helps, hooking a DVD player, computer, laserdisc, Xbox/or game cube.

    Oh and also hooking up Sennheiser RS-120 wireless headphones. I know there is a dolby processign for headphones but have not seen it labeled on many receivers. Not a major concern.


    Thanks for taking the time to read (if you didn’t just scroll down here)

    Chris

    Last edited by Schris22; 04-23-2005 at 09:42 PM.

  2. #2

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    My first thought is for you to save the money on a sub and put that towards better front speakers.

    Being in a dorm room, space is a premium and the type of sub that you will be able to get for $150 won't really accomplish much more than a quality set of Front speakers that have a bit more oomph to them.

    It would be better for you to give us a budget for the receiver so we can maybe give you some other alternatives. Most likely a Harmon Kardon receiver should be mentioned, but we need to know rough estimates on budget for that specific piece.
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  3. #3

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    Would R30's be good enough to replace a sub?

    Always thought those subs would fill in the low range for the r15's but my plans are evolving with every hour it seems like.

    Budget for the Receiver is going to be 100-200 dollars.


    Thanks for the input

    More questions welcome

    Chris
    Last edited by Schris22; 04-23-2005 at 09:38 PM.

  4. #4

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    Start slowly. If you try to build a full-blown HT system in a dorm room with extremely limited funds, you may not get the sound you're looking for. Spend your money on a decent receiver (a used one for $250 - $300) and the best front speakers you can afford. That's it. Then sometime in the future you can add speakers and a subwoofer. However, I can imagine that a sub in a dorm room could create problems for you with your fellow residents.

    By the way, there are several veterans on this forum who are completely satisfied with their 2-channel HT setups.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  5. #5
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    Default Just to muddy the waters a bit...

    With HT the primary use, I'd keep a sub in the picture... and try to steer a few more bucks out of the budget into it. Maybe forego the front and rear centers for now, and shop the used market for your AVR (there are a lot of bargains out there on AVR's one or two models old) and other electronics. Denon is one name I'd look for.

    For the TV stand, think "all thread", nuts and washers...

    Side Note:
    Did see that Fry's has R-30's for a penny more than R-15's right now. If you have room for floorstanders you may want to return one or both pairs of 15's...
    More later,
    Tour...
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  6. #6

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    I understand your reasoning, but despite this I dont' think I'll ever be able to afford the system I really want. I would like a balance between quality and the surround aspect. I completly understand why this 2.0 setup would be good. I just would like a budget system that last at least 5 years by my standards...which are way below audiophile. Maybe it was listening to music to loud, but I don't think my audio capbalities are that high. I do like good audio, but I think a budget system of the r series would be a great tradeoff between audio quality and price.

    I also understand the subwoofer issue regarding noise to other residents. I currently have an 8 inch sub that came with my logitech Z-2200's for my computer. This does bother people when played loudly, I will not be playing things that loudly, which is good in terms of not needing an extremly high end receiver for pure wattage. Though i know other benefits come with more expensive receivers. I was also considering the dampeners/foam that you can buy from music stores. Was going to put this in the spots behind my speakers (which would be my wallmates) The sub I wanted to put away from the wall that had my wallmates to help as much as it can. Though I know the low end sound waves travel much further. Any suggestions with this issue would be helpful as well.

    Thanks for the input and consideration.

    Chris

  7. #7

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    To Tour2ma

    Yes, I did see the fry's thing. I got my r15's online for 50 for a pair. Those r30's are still 50 per though. Though the price still for those r30's are tempting. I do not want to return the r15's because though outpost.com does take them back, i belive, without any charges, shipping is user. I will be trying to get a job at fry's or best buy doing something, (possiably not home audio as I am still learning) maybe a refridgerator or washing machine...just kidding of course. The point is I will have a fry's availble to me, because at the moment I am in San antonio, but in a few weeks I'll be back in Houston. My main issue with floorstanding is transportation, these r floorstandings have a small footprint, but are still sorta big compared to bookshelfs and are a hassle to bring up to college. If I do get them that will save money on stands, but I will most likely leave them in conditioned storage over the summer.

    So far I'm getting recommendations for being used, the only problem I have with that is the length of time I wish to keep these products. I will most likely not upgrade with whatever I end up with. I think since I'll be living in a dorm and an apartment for a good 5-6 years, this system will fill up the room well enough, stay reliable, and keep up with the mainstream decoding (dolby digital and Dts)

    Oh and any other recommendations or comments on the current selections? I will definatly check out denon soon.


    thanks again for the input and the hardware advice...any books or website for beginners?,

    Chris

  8. #8

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    Default Receiver

    I really like my Onkyo tx-ds787 I have had it for several years with no problems. I blast it all the time and really work my speakers. I have seen them used for less than $300.00
    As for the sub, you can not keep base from traveling unless you keep it turned down below an enjoyable level.
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  9. #9

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    Default

    That onkyo is a bit out of my price range. Though it does seem to have an amazing amount of features that make it tempting. I am really trying to stay in my budget. Though, there have already been a few exceptions.



    I'll try not to overcome everyone with bass but so far with my sub at my desk with the port facing my wallmates. They have only complained when I turn it up quite loud. So hopefully the sound insulation in this building (fairly new) will be good.

    Thanks for the input,

    Chris

  10. #10

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    Default

    here's an idea for a rack -- link -- I made a 4 shelf 4 legged one out of marble... it's really nice but marble is a bitch to work not to mention if I ever need to move the thing (25 lbs a shelf..) so one out of painted mdf or plywood would be nice.

    If I were you I'd focus on front speakers and maybe a good center channel for now.... the used market is probably a good idea considering the low budget. Also keep in mind that a bookshelf speaker will take up just as much room on a stand than a floorstanding speaker will (although transporting the two are a little different :p )
    Last edited by michael_w; 04-24-2005 at 02:08 AM.

  11. #11

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    If your 8" computer speaker sub has been known to bother the neighbors, anything bigger is only going to piss them off, because as much as your intent is to keep it low, it ain't gonna happen all the time.

    You made a comment about getting a bigger receiver to power your sub. Maybe I misread that but just to clarify, sub's have their own amp built in, so you don't need to buy a bigger receiver to accomodate the sub.

    You've already picked out your speakers. The last place that I'd try to cut corners on is the receiver that you choose. Buy as much as you can (be it used or new) so that you can grow into it rather than HAVING to do so when you decide to up your speaks later down the road.
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  12. #12

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    Yes transportation is a big deal since moving in and out every school year, but like i said if it's a floorstanding i'll just make the one mile drive to a storage place and keep it there than lug it home.

    my computer sub only bothers when turned up purty loud. The sub can shake my suitemates door handle on the outside, but thats only when it is on really loud. I might be wrong, but the direction of the port is where all or most of the sound escapes through, and at the moment though not against the wall is about 2 feet away from the wall where only one neightbor has complained, as opposed to the other two have never complained. Also this is only when i was playing saving private ryan (beach scene) at an unreasonably loud setting to test out my speakers after breaking them in.

    Also, I understand that subs have their own amp. I believe I was saying that I don't need a bigger/ "higher wattage" speaker because of my room accomdations for the next few years.

    Currently, those receivers are more than I need and at a price under 200. The best at 180 (my first choice). They have component video which is something I won't use for a few years. S video is the highest the tv I am using has. These have optical and coax. For my computer and dvd player. Also dolby digital and DTS were my main concern. The 180 pionner also has a speaker tuner to adjust for speaker poisiton. The bottom line is that these receivers are capable of handling the speakers that I'll be using for my future dorm rooms and apt. I believe that Dolby digital and DTS will be sufficent for my setup. There has to be sacrifices somewhere. My budget has stretched to accomadate already. I don't understand how these receivers are worse than a 2 year old "nicer model". Is it reliabiltiy, will a 10 year old toyota last longer than a brand new daewoo? Is it decoding?
    the $180 pionner has Dolby Digital (5.1), Dolby Digital EX (6.1), Dolby Pro-Logic, Dolby Pro-Logic II, Dolby Pro-Logic IIx, DTS (5.1), DTS (Digital Theater Sound), DTS-ES (6.1), Stereo (No Surround)
    No need for multi room capabilities. Or a million inputs. HDMI or anything that high end.

    I am very very open minded, and the upgrading of the front speakers is one I'm considering. Combined with the input plus the observation of the bookshelf+stand = same space as floorstanding. I am considering expanding my budget to accomadate r30's or r50's for my L/R.

    Thanks for the link on the DIY stand.
    Please keep the comments rolling,

    Chris

  13. #13

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    Forget the sub 4 now in the dorm room and use that $$$$$ to get that Onkyo or another decent used receiver.

    You WILL either A:Piss people off or B: Not piss people off and not hear the sub at all.
    Just because they are only complaining when you turn it up loud does not mean they do not hear and are not annoyed by it. The last thing you need is a bigger sub.
    Budget wisely.
    Last edited by wingnut4772; 04-24-2005 at 08:38 AM.
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  14. #14

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    Default

    Ok based on the responses, I'll probably axe the sub idea and upgrade my fronts to r50's.

    Then taking the remaining r15's and setting them both in the front center, or spliting them between rear center and back center. 2 in front or 1 front and one back? Suggestions?

    I am also getting a lot of recommendations for getting a better receiver, but I don't understand what is wrong with the pioneer? Is it the brand?


    Thank You,

    Chris

  15. #15

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    Your system will only be as good as the weakest component. I do not know about the Pioneer receiver but I personally think that Pioneer makes to much comercial grade components to have any good lower end products.
    If you get a good receiver now it will tie you over for a lot longer.
    I have gone through many low end receivers before finally spending "proper" money for a qood quality unit and I have never regretted it. (even through the weeks of top ramien and hot dog meals)
    I would buy a good receiver and split the 15's on each side of the t.v. to provide a seamless center channel. most sound from movie tracks are in the center.
    Pick up some hand me down little speakers to tie you over in the rear.
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  16. #16

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    Well, that certainly is interesting. This may seem like a stupid question, but does any company make good low end receivers?

    It's just if I spend extra money on a used receiver that is of a higher model, it's used and already has history on it, vs a brand new lower grade one which will have no years. I haven't seen many professional reviews on the pionner 814, but would like to know if there is a source that might have it... any recommendations?

    The thing about the r15's is that they are 50 dollars. There are a few cheaper speakers out there, but these r15's seem to be a great deal compared to a pair of 30 dollar speakers so I think I'll just stick with these for the surround and just add on. Are you saying put the two 15's as the front center channel and place them on each end of the TV?? (just for clarification)

    Thanks,

    Chris

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    Got a little bored at work, so I threw together a quick cabinet idea. Keeping in mind simplicity, cost & knock down ability I came up with this. You can use either nice plywood or MDF. (Birch or Oak plywood looks really sharp, but costs more. MDF is not as strong, so may not hold together well after knocking it down a lot).

    You make the top, bottom and back screw on and have the shelves just sit on the shelf rails (the rails can be permanently attached). Use 2” screws for the top and bottom, and 1 ¼” screws for the rails. Pre-drill all the holes, and make sure you use plenty for the back (the back will give the whole thing strength). If you want, I can probably write up a detailed design.

    Let me know what you think.
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  18. #18

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    That certaintly is interesting. I am comparing it to the TNT one that was given earlier. Both have the ability to be taken down and can produce shelving where you want it. Any clue on cost comparison between the TNT one and this one?

    Also, I've pretty much setteled on the Pioneer 814, it's not their bottom line but it is not in their elite line as well. But according to reviews and a few magazine articles. It is suppose to be one of the best budget receivers. I also think that I'm pretty solid on two r 15s for surround, and r50's for front. The thing I'm not sure is what to do with the remaining r15's. THis is a 6.1 receiver, so i could use one for front and rear center. THough i wonder how one r15 would do as a center compared to the r50's. Not sure if it's possiable to hook up two r15's to the center on this receiver, but it does have two spots for rear center which is interesting. It also has a B speaker set up as well. Not sure what people use this for (any insight would be most helpful).

    So the extra money from a sub is going to the towers. How would an r30 on it's side look on top of the tv =P...trying to avoid that though.


    Thanks again everyone,

    Chris

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    There is a energy s8.2 for sale around your price range in the flea market
    HT- HK 335, Rotel 1075, Miova PC, AQ Indigo Speaker Cable, XLO Jumpers, AQ Diamondback ICs, AQ HDMI x2, AQ Component, Signal Cable Analog II ICs, Signal Cable Digcoax, Signal Cable Toslink, Rti8, Csi5, Rti6, Energy s10.2, Panny 42" Plasma, PS3, Harmony 1100 and Harmony PS3 Adapter, LG dvdp(for the kids), Monster 3600MKII all on a dedicated circuit.

  20. #20

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    Originally posted by Schris22
    Well, that certainly is interesting. This may seem like a stupid question, but does any company make good low end receivers?

    It's just if I spend extra money on a used receiver that is of a higher model, it's used and already has history on it, vs a brand new lower grade one which will have no years. I haven't seen many professional reviews on the pionner 814, but would like to know if there is a source that might have it... any recommendations?

    The thing about the r15's is that they are 50 dollars. There are a few cheaper speakers out there, but these r15's seem to be a great deal compared to a pair of 30 dollar speakers so I think I'll just stick with these for the surround and just add on. Are you saying put the two 15's as the front center channel and place them on each end of the TV?? (just for clarification)

    Thanks,

    Chris
    That is sort of what I did. I have fx1000's on each side of my t.v. as well as a cs1000p on top. For me this gave me fluid sound around the picture. (the focal point of the theater) In my case I have a second amp powering the L/R center speakers.
    You might be able to wire them parrallel. I am not sure if this will affect the ohms. 8 vs. 4 ect.
    It looks like you allready have 4 rt15s' and are going to buy 2 rt30's, if this is true I would use 2 of the 15's in the back and one on each side of the t.v. and use the 30's for the L/R fronts.
    Your room is probably not big enough to worry about a rear channel since it will just steal the definition from the stereo rears.
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  21. #21

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    look for used gear in your area... or on Ebay for sellers close to you.. you save some $$ buying used gear.. and you may be able to be more for your money.

    there are some R50's on Ebay for $235 in Arlington, TX. not sure how close that is to you.. or if that's a good price.

    but there are other used speakers and gear on Ebay to be had.

    good luck. :D
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    Chris, for the wooden cabinet I put up earler, you can probably put it together for $40 - $50. If you make it out of MDF, a 4 x 8 sheet should run you $25 - $30. Add in sum screws and paint, and your pretty much done. (What I showed you was just something quick and cheep. The other one I saw was quite a bit nicer [but probably a bit more $$$]). You can also do a bunch more with wood if you want to get fancy (but it would take tools, time and a couple of bucks).
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  23. #23

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    Originally posted by Schris22
    ...How would an r30 on it's side look on top of the tv =P...trying to avoid that though...
    Here is what an R50 looks like on it's side:

    http://clubpolk.polkaudio.com/showca...p?userid=57730

    The easiest way to hook up two R15s (or other speakers) for a center. Is to get a speaker selector switch that adds in 4 ohms of resistance (to not overload your receiver).

  24. #24

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    Hmm about that AV rack. There is a top to it, heat is a concern for the pioneer. Would it be ok to put the receiver on top of it, or I guess I can just use a large gap. maybe a fan in front of everything would help.

    So would this speaker selector switch, cut the power to both speakers...therfore at high volumes the center would start to diminish...?

    I'm considering to r50's on side r30 for center, and r 15's for rear center and surround. Though it all depends on how much extra it cost to hook up two centers.


    Chris

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    Originally posted by Schris22
    So would this speaker selector switch, cut the power to both speakers...therfore at high volumes the center would start to diminish...?
    It cuts the power back to about the same as a single speaker, but you have more drivers going.

    You can do the same thing by getting a 4 ohm audio resistor. You basically hook the speakers in parallel, but on one of the legs, before you do the parallel split you insert the resistor.

  26. #26

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    sorry if I'm not getting it, but...

    The speakers are 8ohms. So i'm going to run two of them through one channel. So hook up both postive speaker wire through the terminal, and then on the negative, add a 4 ohm resistor and then hook up both negatives through that terminal?

    I did a quick search on the speaker selector, and it's kind of pricey. I looked around for the resistor but wasn't sure what I found was right. Have any products you can directly recommend?

    If it cost to much to hook up these two as centers, i'll just use an r30 or an r50. Since only difference between the two is the extra 6.5 inch speaker, and dialogue is what usually goes through the center would an r50 be neccesary for balance?

    Me and my roomate are still debating between which setup we should do for the AV rack, but since this is my setup( though he is helping me build everything) I will most likely be leaning towards the TNT one. It seems to be about the same price if I can get everything for the same price as the website says then it would be the same and seems easier to reassemble over time. (hopefully) I'm still looking over the two. Though yours seems to be easy and cheaper. Thanks Pablo

    Thanks again,

    Chris

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    Holy mother of God........PLEASE spend a few days re-organizing that wall..... :p
    .
    comment comment comment comment. bitchy.
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    http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/7995/meterdq8.gif

  28. #28

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    and if you build a nice AV rack such as the two mentioned in this thread please take pictures step by step =)



    Chris

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    Chris,
    As far as recievers go, I would definetly hold out for a better manufacturer. Yamaha, Onkyo, or Denon.

    You can find some great deals if you shop refurbished. Usually they look like new and have a warranty that is close to the same as factory originals.

    Check out these sites:
    www.shoponkyo.com
    www.yamahashoponline.com

    A tip for the Onkyo site, if you join Club Onkyo, you will get 10 points that are good for a $10 discount on your 1st purchase. Using that discount, a refurbed TXSR502 is only $190.
    At the Yamaha site, they have several models for less than $250.

    Unforunately, Denon doesn't sell their refurbs direct like Onkyo and Yamaha, but there Ecost.com and Dakmart.com both sell refurbed Denon.

    Don't be afraid of Refurbs. I've never had a problem with a refurb and you can save a significant ammount of money.

  30. #30

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    ok....fine fine...j/k ;I'll look at some refurbish models. heh, I guess they have the manufact. warranty as well. maybe not as long though. I'll check out the onkyo. Seems very popular brand.


    thanks for the personal info,

    Chris

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