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Old 14th July 2009, 03:14   #1
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Default My home theatre setup

just posting some pics of my home theatre setup, sorry its all cellphone pics but this is definitely a system that im enjoying despite the obvious flaws it is very strong when playing stereo music and is capable of providing a very audiophile type of sound yet it can also give a very dynamic surround sound for movies

starting with a pic of when the stuff arrived to my home

My home theatre setup-s3.jpg

now onto a pic of the TV stand as well as the TV and what i replaced - the sony 51cm was getting old in the tooth and ive moved it on into a bedroom - in the lounge ive replaced it with a samsung 50" plasma set. The reason for chosing a plasma over a LCD was that the full HD lcd's actually look terrible in low resolution SDTV and we dont have too many HD broadcasts here in South Africa yet (they have started but its a minimal amount of content) and also when i play Blu-ray then the 720p playback will still be good enough for my purposes - but the advantage is that it was a huge TV at a lower price than the corresponding full HD LCD models

My home theatre setup-s1.jpg

going on to the audio aspects of the surround sound, these are the front speakers. they are acoustic research floorstanding speakers, and dont seem like much until you realize that there is more to them than meets the eye ie you wonder why they seem to be on a raised platform base - well that was done to house an 8" woofer that fires down into the floor. The 8's produce a wonderfully tight and detailed midbass response and go down low enough as well as loud enough so that when playing stereo music the subwoofer is not required, The other distinguishing feature is that the speakers use a ring radiator and this presents a huge soundstage which extends at least a metre beyond the speakers on either side because of the wide dispersion characteristics of that form of tweeter

My home theatre setup-s14.jpg

heres how the pair of front speakers are arranged on either side of the TV

My home theatre setup-s11.jpg

the centre speaker is a matching unit and is identical to the front speakers besides for a lack of the 8" woofers and it uses a soft dome tweeter instead of the ring radiator, i'd have been happier with an identical tweeter cos it would have made for a more believable front stage but its still good enough

My home theatre setup-s6.jpg

grille cover off for the centre speaker

My home theatre setup-s5.jpg

the subwoofer is a 12" unit and produces a fantastically audiophile quality bass when required and is also able to boom with the best of them if required to. I've heard a few better subwoofers than this but most of those cost at least 5 times more, so at the price this is still the best home theatre sub ive ever heard. The amount of detail is staggering for example in house of flying daggers in the dance scene with the beans being tossed about, when the bean reaches the second drum on the screen you are still listening to the sound of it fading away after the first drum hit, and even after you see the bean hitting the second drum and you hear the impact of it hitting the second drum you still hear a decaying note from the first drum while the sound of the second drum start playing ..... absolutely superb

My home theatre setup-s8.jpg

removing the grille cover reveals a rather decent looking speaker

My home theatre setup-s9.jpg

whilst turning it over shows why it is so efficient even with a low amount of power (only 200 watts RMS) it has dual downfiring ports

My home theatre setup-s7.jpg

im using a denon 2808 reciever with a denon 1930 dvd player. the dvd player produces a crisp clear picture quality and is also one of the better units ive had the pleasure of owning. it proves why it costs more than 10 times more than the normal average cheapie dvd player each time i use it and im sure i will be enjoying it until i get myself a Blu-Ray player (prices on these are dropping all the time so when it stops dropping i will purchase one cos im sure it has to stabilize sometime or the other to its natural price level)

Click image for larger version

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for the rear speakers i got rid of the bookshelf speakers and instead got a set of floorstanders identical to the fronts so for 5.1 surround ive got more or less equal sound all round. for 7.1 im sure the rear surround effects will not need really strong effects so ive gotten a smaller set of speakers to place onto the walls as you see in the pic. These are not connected yet and i will only connect them once i have a 7.1 source but the cables are run and waiting to be connected

My home theatre setup-s16.jpg

one other reason whey the front speakers sound so excellent is the speaker cable that im using - these are from MIT (music interface technologies) as are my RCA interconnects from the CD player to the Receiver. the speaker cable cost a packet ie they are worth around R7000 (roughly 42000 rupees)

speaker cable

My home theatre setup-mit2a.jpg

interconnects and AR HDMI cables

My home theatre setup-mit1a.jpg

still to get - all i want to add in here now is a blu-ray player and im seriously considering a PS3 for this purpose so that when my nephew and nice visit they can enjoy some large screen gaming and i can use it for blu-ray playback and also i want to get a HD sattelite decoder unit for HDTV broadcasts, but this isnt urgent yet because the only thing id really watch on HD is sport (im a Manchester United supporter so i would watch loads of football matches and the occasional cricket with this setup)

after this im going to start working on getting TV's into each room of the house so whilst my mom watches her Indian movies i can be watching my football in the other room and my brother can watch his comedy sitcoms in his room (this is possible due to the satellite decoder system in this country - if you have a certain combination of decoders you can watch three programs whilst simultaneously recording three others )
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Old 14th July 2009, 11:39   #2
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Amazing setup. I am still surprised why you chose floorstanders as the rear speakers. Generally most would've gone for bookshelves isnt it? Is it an overkill?
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Old 14th July 2009, 11:58   #3
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Originally Posted by kalpeshc View Post
Amazing setup. I am still surprised why you chose floorstanders as the rear speakers. Generally most would've gone for bookshelves isnt it? Is it an overkill?
its actually a simple reason (no make that two reasons)

the first is that id need to purchase an expensive set of speaker stands for the bookshelves, so it was actually cheaper to upgrade to the floor standers from a financial viewpoint

the second reason was a more selfish motive. These if you notice are the piano black versions so exactly only 1000 sets of these were made as special anniversary editions for distribution worldwide and from previous experience i've found that when you do have problems with speakers it is normally too late for spare parts to be available to repair them. Ive had to throw away my old mission floor standers for that very reason so the rear set is a kind of spare parts bin ie if anything were to happen to the main set i can always get a cheap set of bookshelves for the rear and replace the defective speakers with the spare set and merely get rid of the defective ones instead of breaking my head trying to repair them as i tried with the missions with absolutely no success

the long term plan though is to use these as surrounds and rear surrounds and to get an even better set for the fronts (especially for stereo use) ie something like Martin Logan entry level electrostats (i almost got a good pair second hand fairly cheaply but didnt have the required cash on hand at the time - waiting for another bargain like that). Even though this will throw the soundstage off a bit in surround mode it will make the stereo aspects of the sound absolutely superb, especially when paired with my cables

on a technical level though for the best surround experience you are best served with identical speakers all round as well as identical amplification channels but this isnt always practical for example with centre channels - so ive tried to add in a measure of overkill into the setup

Last edited by naughty001 : 14th July 2009 at 12:09. Reason: correcting spelling errors
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Old 14th July 2009, 12:06   #4
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Awesome setup you have there. Am sure it must be rocking. Have fun.
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Old 14th July 2009, 12:44   #5
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Awesome setup you have there. Am sure it must be rocking. Have fun.
thanks, indeed it does rock and it is incredible fun especially when watching movies like transformers and terminator etc
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Old 14th July 2009, 13:34   #6
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Originally Posted by naughty001 View Post

after this im going to start working on getting TV's into each room of the house so whilst my mom watches her Indian movies i can be watching my football in the other room and my brother can watch his comedy sitcoms in his room (this is possible due to the satellite decoder system in this country - if you have a certain combination of decoders you can watch three programs whilst simultaneously recording three others )
Pretty easy to do that, just pick up a few dual tuner dreamboxes. You can then share one subscription card via LAN by setting one dreambox up as a card server.
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Old 15th July 2009, 13:26   #7
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That's a superb set-up. Can you give a cost-break of the entire set of components?
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Old 15th July 2009, 23:46   #8
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Originally Posted by naughty001 View Post
the long term plan though is to use these as surrounds and rear surrounds and to get an even better set for the fronts (especially for stereo use) ie something like Martin Logan entry level electrostats (i almost got a good pair second hand fairly cheaply but didnt have the required cash on hand at the time - waiting for another bargain like that). Even though this will throw the soundstage off a bit in surround mode it will make the stereo aspects of the sound absolutely superb, especially when paired with my cables
If you get the Martin Logan Electrostats I hope you are planning for a better dedicated 2 channel amp ? Good to keep the chain linked with equated components...
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Old 16th July 2009, 01:31   #9
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That's a superb set-up. Can you give a cost-break of the entire set of components?

dont know if it will help you since im in South Africa, so prices would be in ZA rands but i suppose i can use a currency converter to also find the equivalent rupee price

Samsung 50" tv = R22000 (132000 rupees)
denon 2808 receiver = R15000 (90000 rupees)
denon 1930 dvd player = R4500 (27000 rupees)
acoustic research 5.1 speaker set = R8000 (48000 rupees)
upgrade rear bookshelves to floor standers = R3000 (18000 rupees)
sony rear surrounds for 7.1 = R400 (2400 rupees)
tv stand/unit R3000 (18000 rupees)
MIT speaker cables 3 metre pair = R7000 (42000 rupees)
MIT rca interconnects = R1500 (9000 rupees)
other cables audioquest rca's and AR HDMI = R3000 (18000 rupees)
pioneer PDS802 CD player (10 years ago) = R5000 (30000 rupees)

total = R72400 (434400 rupees)

remember though ive rounded off the rupee price to the nearest round number, so it might be a couple of rupees off here and there, also some of this stuff might be cheaper elsewhere and some of it may be more expensive depending on exchange rates and duies but all of this was imported into South Africa hence the pricing but i did get some decent discounts as compared to the normal retail pricing for example that denon reciever is marked at R20000 but i got it at a R5000 discount

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If you get the Martin Logan Electrostats I hope you are planning for a better dedicated 2 channel amp ? Good to keep the chain linked with equated components..
yes indeed , i will use the denon as a preamp but i will get a separate power amp for the better speakers and the denon does have preouts for all the channels so if i want better amplification for all the speakers and just want to use it as a pre-amp/processor this is also possible
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Old 8th October 2009, 07:22   #10
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Nice set up.
What I have found is that one can enjoy a movie with just a 2 channel set up too, as long as the amp and speakers are of decent quality. The two speakers provide stereo separation and a ghost center speaker effect that anchors dialog to the screen very well for moderate distance between the two speakers. This works well for most movies I see, that tend not to be ones with too much special effects. I am thinking of augmenting this with a sub one of these days, since my standmounts do not go deep down.
At home, given that I do not have a dedicated HT room, I have found that more speakers than the two in front tend to be more of a distraction than benefit, and one can spend the money saved on a better two channel set up, that usually does a better job as a high end audio system as well. For the kind of audio I prefer, I would then disconnect the sub.
My two cents.
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Old 10th October 2009, 18:09   #11
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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Nice set up.
What I have found is that one can enjoy a movie with just a 2 channel set up too, as long as the amp and speakers are of decent quality. The two speakers provide stereo separation and a ghost center speaker effect that anchors dialog to the screen very well for moderate distance between the two speakers. This works well for most movies I see, that tend not to be ones with too much special effects. I am thinking of augmenting this with a sub one of these days, since my standmounts do not go deep down.
At home, given that I do not have a dedicated HT room, I have found that more speakers than the two in front tend to be more of a distraction than benefit, and one can spend the money saved on a better two channel set up, that usually does a better job as a high end audio system as well. For the kind of audio I prefer, I would then disconnect the sub.
My two cents.
thank you for your comments

in terms of the two speaker setup it is okay if you have a small room for example i am using a two speaker plus sub setup for my computer in my bedroom, and that looks more or less like this at the moment

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My home theatre setup-onespeaker.jpg

the problem with this is that it is perfect for stereo music but when you play dvd on it it becomes a weak point. The method of using a "phantom" centre channel is well documented on home theatre forums all over the internet so you could get away with a stereo set of speakers toed in but when you have a decent set of speakers then besides for the imaging between the front speakers you also get imaging between the fronts and rears as well

for example when you play a good copy of the "GLADIATOR" dvd there is scene where Russel Crowe is shown the dead bodies of his wife and child, he then manages to escape from his captors and a scene ensues where he flings a sword in the air to hit a person on horseback that is apparently behind your seating position as the scene is viewed ... the sound of the sword swishing in a circular motion through the air in a properly setup surround system actually goes diagonally across your entire room and in a good system with a decent volume you actually feel as if the sword really passed you at the centre of its flight and hits into the body of the horseman behind you at which point it sounds exactly like a butcher cutting into a huge piece of steak in a butchery in other words like a sharp sword cutting into uncooked meat

the idea is that this kind of realism involves you more than just having a lot of sound in front of you so yes for stereo sound and cd playback i love how a stereo pair of speakers sound but for well recorded movies you just cannot beat the realism and impact of a properly set up surround system actually immerses you into the action occurring on the screen before you and all i can say is that when you experience this "feeling" for yourself you will never be satisfied until your system can give you this all the time

another instance of this realism is for example die hard 4, bruce willis attempts to fly a helicopter after a very long time and after a shaky take off where you actually hear the chopper rising he takes off and the chopper moves from the screen towards you to eventually land up going where it should have been above your head, but you actually hear the helicopter coming toward you and then going above your head with your hair actually moving until the sound of the rotors fade to what seems a fair distance behind you, it is an awe inspiring moment for that 30 seconds

I could name many moments such as this where the DTS soundtrack of the movie actually makes for a blood curdling or hyper real or plain down scary moment due to the quality of the sound playback equipment and the excellence of the recording of the audio track so i definitely dont agree that rear speakers could be distracting. However for CD playback yes you want it to sound like you are seated at the fifth row of the live event and not on the stage with the performers hence in that instance you dont want any rear sound to distract you from the realistic soundstage spread out in front of you

so to me all the speakers have some level of importance and as i improve my computer setup i will be also adding in the rear speakers to take advantage of the improved outputs of the sound card and get the experience closer to what im used to in my main setup please note that my main system has been actually set with the audyssey autosetup so the rears are at most times subtle until they need to be effective so once again that adds to the point of needing to set the system up correctly

Last edited by naughty001 : 10th October 2009 at 18:13.
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Old 10th October 2009, 18:14   #12
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I get your point, but my experience is that to enjoy all of this one needs to be in a theater style environment, without people coming and going, and also with no worries about the sound making a nuisance to neighbours and others in the house. If one can have that kind of a dedicated sound proof room, a dedicated HT set up is the thing to have.
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Old 11th October 2009, 08:52   #13
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Good One !

Btw whats your address & when you arent home , let me know :P

heheheheheheh , just kidding

ENJOY your set up :-)
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Old 11th October 2009, 16:12   #14
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Good One !

Btw whats your address & when you arent home , let me know :P

heheheheheheh , just kidding

ENJOY your set up :-)
that wont be a problem for me to provide the address because i am in South Africa

so you wont need a truck to pick up the stuff, you will need a plane since it seems like you are in New Delhi so if you have one of those available ie maybe a learjet you wont need my stuff you can surely afford to buy your own

as for enjoying the setup thanks very much i am truly in the middle of that process

Last edited by naughty001 : 11th October 2009 at 16:14.
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Old 11th October 2009, 17:19   #15
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nice setup naughty. I should learn from you Gurus!
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