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  1. #1

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    Default What are some cool unique features/add-ons in your Home Theater ?

    I am always looking to add cool features to my own set up and was curious as to what was in ya'lls? On another note, what are some inexpensive minor upgrades I could make to my own set up?
    TV: LG 55LW5600
    Pre: Marantz SR6001
    Front Amp: Parasound HCA-1000A
    Center Amp: Marantz MA500
    Mains: Polk LSi9
    Center: Polk LSiC
    Sub: HSU VTF-3 MK-2
    Games: Xbox360 and PS3

  2. #2

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    Room treatments. Price varies from inexpensive, but plain or ugly looking, to expensive, but good looking.

  3. #3

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    Had a feeling someone was going to say that. How about excluding bass traps/acoustic treatments. =D
    TV: LG 55LW5600
    Pre: Marantz SR6001
    Front Amp: Parasound HCA-1000A
    Center Amp: Marantz MA500
    Mains: Polk LSi9
    Center: Polk LSiC
    Sub: HSU VTF-3 MK-2
    Games: Xbox360 and PS3

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    one thing I've recently learned is how much quality cables (ics - speeker wire) effects sound.thats where I'm at right now with my upgrade bug. Also read an article a while back about placing soft ambient lighting BEHIND your screan. The effect looks pretty cool for movie watching.
    panasonic th-50pz85u
    pioneer elite vsx-92txh
    pioneer elite bdp-05fd
    emotiva xpa-3
    monster power hdp 2550
    sa 8300 hd dvr
    sda 2b's
    fronts - rti a9's
    center - csi a6
    surrounds - fxi a6's
    sub - polk dsw pro 600
    harmony one

  5. #5

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    Speaker (and sub) positioning - Free - can make a big difference in the sound moving speakers a little further or closer to any room boundries or changing seating position slightly.

    SPL meter - $50. Even if your AVR will automatically adjust volume levels of each channel - you can still use it to measure your bass frequencies and see what your room is currently doing to your bass.

    BFD - $120 - Used to remove feedback when playing live music, but the part we are interested in is that it has a 12 band stereo parametric EQ built into it. Works great to adjust your sub channel (based on what you find with the SPL meter mentioned above). Remember - only cut, don't try to boost or you will have problems.

    Crossover Upgrade - $30-$350 (depending on speaker, crossover design and caps used) - Can make a very large difference. I have yet to hear of someone who has performed a crossover upgrade that did not think the upgrade was worth the cost invested.

    There are others, but what is your budget for upgrades?

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  6. #6

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    well i don't have any money constraints, but ideally didn't plan on spending over $50 for anything
    TV: LG 55LW5600
    Pre: Marantz SR6001
    Front Amp: Parasound HCA-1000A
    Center Amp: Marantz MA500
    Mains: Polk LSi9
    Center: Polk LSiC
    Sub: HSU VTF-3 MK-2
    Games: Xbox360 and PS3

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shicks18 View Post
    well i don't have any money constraints, but ideally didn't plan on spending over $50 for anything
    Given that - I would say DIY room treatments or a crossover upgrade with dayton caps would yeild some of your biggest bang for the buck upgrades.

    (outside of speaker positioning of course - hard to compete against free for any upgrade)

    Getting some used interconnect cables and just seeing if you hear a difference may be worth wile, but at your budget - would be more of an experiment than a guaranteed upgrade.

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

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    Michael, I have read all your crossover upgrade threads. You seem to do a fantastic job. I would love to do these to my own LSi's some day, but I have no experience of any kind with soldering, etc. etc.

    Shifting away from audio, are there any cool computer/tv/video features you have in your home setup?
    TV: LG 55LW5600
    Pre: Marantz SR6001
    Front Amp: Parasound HCA-1000A
    Center Amp: Marantz MA500
    Mains: Polk LSi9
    Center: Polk LSiC
    Sub: HSU VTF-3 MK-2
    Games: Xbox360 and PS3

  9. #9

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    I have a small (project studio) recording computer set up downstairs, and a diy HTPC in the living room. Before the HTPC, I would have to burn a disc of a mix, if I want to hear it on my main system.

    Now I can stream it through the network in PCM form, saving a lot of blank cd's, and many trips up and down the stairs.

    But basically, if video, or audio resides on any of my home computers,(6) I can stream it to the tv. Other than that, nothing special....:D

  10. #10

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    Most I know who are "into" ht have a basic 5ch system and a big TV. I have this along with a buttkicker, BFD, blackout shades, room treatments, etc., not to mention components like separate amps / pre.

    My truly unique features would be my custom built icepower amp, modded icepower monoblocks, my 2ch system including a modded squeezebox and TVC pre as well as custom built sandblaster stands for my speakers and loveseat. I would say my Auralex Gramma but those have caught on over the last few years.

    My one truly unique feature which I have never heard of another person doing is using flok on a TV. This was a very large improvement for very little $, around $20 if I recall correctly. I will never have a unfloked TV or PC monitor again.
    Last edited by Gaara; 08-08-2009 at 11:05 AM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaara View Post
    My one truly unique feature which I have never heard of another person doing is using flok on a TV. This was a very large improvement for very little $, around $20 if I recall correctly. I will never have a unfloked TV or PC monitor again.
    You spray fake snow on your TV? What is the benefit (and if it is not fake snow - just what is it??)
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by McLoki View Post
    You spray fake snow on your TV? What is the benefit (and if it is not fake snow - just what is it??)
    Gives you whiter whites! JK.

    Its screen Flok, the stuff you use around projection screens to absorb stray light. With my CRT there is a 1/4in lip where the glass meets the case, and light would reflect off this giving everything kinda like a halo.

    I floked the TV which fixed this issue plus it seemed to improve the contrast ratio. An added bonus, its so black I don't notice the bars anymore when watching a 2.35:1 movie, they blend into the case.

  13. #13

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    Michael, got a link for the BFD's to read more about and shop?

    edit: Just found out its a Behringer Feedback Destroyer.... what would be a good model to use?
    Last edited by Shicks18; 08-08-2009 at 11:30 AM.
    TV: LG 55LW5600
    Pre: Marantz SR6001
    Front Amp: Parasound HCA-1000A
    Center Amp: Marantz MA500
    Mains: Polk LSi9
    Center: Polk LSiC
    Sub: HSU VTF-3 MK-2
    Games: Xbox360 and PS3

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shicks18 View Post
    Michael, got a link for the BFD's to read more about and shop?
    Heres a solid one for you -> http://bfdguide.ws/ Lots of good info, plus check out the links at the bottom for setup help.

    I'm sure McLoki will have more. I bought mine here at zzounds a few years back for $99 shipped, same model the DSP1124. When I bought it was the best one for the $.

  15. #15
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    The Infinity RABOS kit (approx $60)with an SPL meter and a test CD will help in dialing in your sub and can be used in conjunction with the BFD.http://www.harmanaudio.com/all_about...ationpaper.pdf The Room EQ Wizard program is also excellent and works with the BFD,but requires a PC /soundcard/microphone and has abit of a learning curve.http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/
    Last edited by GV#27; 08-08-2009 at 11:59 AM.

  16. #16

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    Velodyne SMS-1, my 100meg internet + switch, lutron lighting system ran by the Harmony One, Fully Sealed and Soundproof so I can go reference level and not be heard in the next rooms. Rope lighting installed in riser preventing trip hazard. My universal PJ mount.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

    Home Theater Pics in the Showcase

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

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shicks18 View Post
    Michael, got a link for the BFD's to read more about and shop?

    edit: Just found out its a Behringer Feedback Destroyer.... what would be a good model to use?
    Here is a good setup guide (also include a link to some frequency sweeps and a spreadsheet with the bass corrections for a Radio Shack SPL meter.

    I purchased mine used for about $75 off e-bay. You can get them new though for about $100 or so. Guitar Center carries them if you have one local (and offers free shipping if you don't).

    I would get an SPL meter and download the test tones first though. You may just be lucky and not even need one for your room.

    BTW - the DSP-1124 is the model that I have....

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shicks18 View Post
    Had a feeling someone was going to say that. How about excluding bass traps/acoustic treatments. =D
    Why the exclusion?

    Gordon
    2 Channel -
    Martin Logan Spire, 2 JL Audio F112 subs
    McIntosh C1000 Controller with Tube pre amp, 2 MC501 amplifiers, MD1K Transport & DAC, MR-88 Tuner
    WireWorld Eclipse 6.0 speaker wire and jumpers, Eclipse 5^2 Squared Balanced IC's. Silver Eclipse PCs (5)
    Symposium Rollerblocks 2+ (16)Black Diamond Racing Mk 3 pits (8)

  19. #19

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    Buy and install a Lutron remote conrolled light.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikezappa View Post
    Buy and install a Lutron remote conrolled light.
    Or if on a budget - get a clapper. (with the right music, it could double as a strobe light....)
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  21. #21

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    Big cages with a go-go dancer in each one on top of my R AND L fronts, just like Hullabaloo.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Big cages with a go-go dancer in each one on top of my R AND L fronts, just like Hullabaloo.
    I would have thought you would have at least one installed above your seating position....
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  23. #23

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    I tried it. They sweat like nobody's business those girls.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by McLoki View Post
    Or if on a budget - get a clapper. (with the right music, it could double as a strobe light....)
    Hah, don't have a budget. Clappers suck. I guess I could spend around $200 for some upgrades. I guess I am just hoping for someone to reply with a sweet feature for computer/video/audio that I overlooked. I like adding components to my system as well.
    TV: LG 55LW5600
    Pre: Marantz SR6001
    Front Amp: Parasound HCA-1000A
    Center Amp: Marantz MA500
    Mains: Polk LSi9
    Center: Polk LSiC
    Sub: HSU VTF-3 MK-2
    Games: Xbox360 and PS3

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    Home Depot carries the Maestro Dimmer with remote from Lutron. Very nice and easy to install. If you're looking for lighting to program scenes. The Lutron spacer system offers this at a low price as well.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

    Home Theater Pics in the Showcase

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

  26. #26

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    I have been considering a BFD as well. Has anyone had any experience with the Grommes-Precision G4EQA 1/3 Octave Equalizer. It seems to do the same thing a BFD would do with a little less flexibilty, but looks a little easier to use.
    Denon AVR-3806
    Parasound 2250/Parasound 5125
    SVS PB 12 Plus
    Denon DBP-2012 Bluray
    Polk RTI 8, CSI 3, 4 FXI 3
    Sony W4150 46" LCD

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by inson71 View Post
    I have been considering a BFD as well. Has anyone had any experience with the Grommes-Precision G4EQA 1/3 Octave Equalizer. It seems to do the same thing a BFD would do with a little less flexibilty, but looks a little easier to use.
    That one is a graphic eq, and could cause you more problems than it might fix. A parametric (like BFD) can dial up specific frequencies, and adjust the bandwidth(or "Q") of each filter, even so far as to overlap other frequency bands. That can be useful, in the right hands.

    Graphic eq's limit you to the frequencies they provide adjustment for. From looking at the manual, the G4EQA has a fairly wide Q to begin with. So when you cut one frequency, you are actually overlapping into the bands above and below that one, and that can cause phasing problems. Just not worth it, IMO.
    Go parametric. There is a small learning curve, but they are SO much more versatile, and in the end, actually easier to use.

  28. #28

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    Thanks for the clarification. The BFD sounds like the way to go.
    Denon AVR-3806
    Parasound 2250/Parasound 5125
    SVS PB 12 Plus
    Denon DBP-2012 Bluray
    Polk RTI 8, CSI 3, 4 FXI 3
    Sony W4150 46" LCD

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by inson71 View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. The BFD sounds like the way to go.
    there are lots of PEQ's out there and many easier to use than the BFD. It's just they cost 3-4 times the price of the BFD. (that is why it is recommended - it is by far the cheapest alternative for a PEQ available.)

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

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