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Home Hi-Fi Audio Shizzle

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ericman197, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    I know this isn't exactly a bass guitar amp question, but it's bass and amp related! I'm looking to get a hi-fi audio system for my room with very punchy, deep, throbbing lows. What I need is a console unit and speakers. I have a QSC PLX 1202 poweramp that I can use to power the speakers, I just need something to plug the TV and CD player into, as well as some speakers for the poweramp to power. I'm not exactly a hi-fi freak, so I don't have a very refined taste in sound quality. My parents have Bose Acoustimass systems which are nice, but the subwoofers aren't quite enough for me. They're not bad, but I'm afraid that I'm pushing them too hard. I'm looking for something of a similar or higher quality. Size is not really an issue, nor are looks. I have no idea what to get for the console or where to begin looking for one, but for speakers, I'm thinking a pair of these:


    I know very little about this though, so I may be looking in the wrong direction. I don't have a very strict price limit, but I'm hoping to keep this under $1,000.
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    B&W speakers are awesome
    i own a pair of 602s not the lowest lows but very true sounding
    they were about 500
    of course, for deep throbbing lows you'll wanna get some of their pricier speakers
    don't worry, a pair of 802's will only set you back 8000......... :p
  3. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    Ahh yes, I've been into Hi-Fi Stereo and home theater since I was 12. It's good that you're starting out with a good amplifier.

    Here's the deal, you need to think some things over. What do you want from your system besides big bass. (BTW, you'll probably find out that having your bass cranked is not the most enjoyable way to listen to music, even when you're system can churn out some deep and pure sounding lows, but you'll get it later)

    It sounds like your QSC is the amp you use for your bass guitar playing. So, it'd be a big hassle for you to have to hook that amp up to your bass guitar rig, and then have to switch it over to your stereo system any time you want to listen to music off of CD or watch TV. And don't think you're going to play your bass through your home-audio speakers. Home audio systems were made for recorded music and audio that has been mixed, compressed and mastered. Playing guitar or bass through your stereo, which is a very raw and unrefined signal with lots loud peaks will likely cause youre speakers to die.

    Also, do you want surround or just stereo sound?

    If you want the best sound you can get from your home audio experience, spend a lot of money on a pre-amp that can do what you want it to. Dolby Digital? DTS? or just Stereo? Buy the appropriate ammount of amplifiers for your system. I might suggest Crown's old "DC-300A" amplifier. These amps are seriously great for home audio. they give 150w at 8-ohms each channel. BTW again, 150w from a real amplifier will be LOUD, so don't blow your speakers. Most A/V recievers on the mainstream market today will say they are "100x5 watts". That 100w is very very very overrated. A 1970's pioneer stereo with 35w will make that so-called 500w A/V reciever look like a steaming pile. That's no lie or exaggeration.

    Also, you're speakers........Depending on what kind of speakers you get, you might not even need subwoofers. For instance, my Pioneer HPM-100 pair have low end capability to the point that I really have 2 subwoofer's already. All the "unhearable" lows and thumping bass is reproduced excellently with these. But, they are big and heavy. Also, there are the JBL Century 100's that were neck and neck competetors with the Pioneer HPM-100's. Really, if I were you, I'd look for a BIG old pair of JBL stuio monitors or Century 100's. You won't regret the price you pay. And just remember, in home audio speakers, there is "no replacement for displacement". Get the big speakers, and try them out. If you do things right, you shouldn't even need a subwoofer.

    This is just what I would do, I'm sure most other people would do differently. I just base my opinions on the experience I've had with little compact systems and such. I have great appreciation for high quality audio, and I know what works for me.

    I'll give you some rough prices for the stuff I mentioned in this post.

    Crown DC-300A - $300 each after shipping if bought on ebay. Sometimes you can find them locally for $150 or so.

    JBL Century 100's or studio monitors - Anywhere from $400 to $1000

    Pioneer HPM-100's - $400 or so if shipped from coast to coast

    High quality pre amp - ???? Go for the gold on this one, this one will be the place where you do most of the adjusting to your sound to get it the way you want it. Make sure you get the features you want.
  4. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    If you want throbbing lows, you're on the right track with thinking the Bose 'sub-module' is not good. in fact its a terrible design with 5" speakers resonating against each other.

    There are 2 really great options for you to go with if you have a power amp channel to spare for a sub. And full size tower speakers, unless they have built in seperate active subs in their lower portion, will simply not cover down to the 20 hz range. much less the 30hz range without significant dropoff.

    Look at these two options, both very very highly regarded amongst home theater communites for their quality and value (dont read that as cheap though!):

    onto the passive subs!

    This is probably the best value for someone with power already it goes down to the nether regions, below 20hz and yo ucan even lie it down behind your couch:


    this will be a bit more afforable and will hold its own very well against your friends with subs in the sub $1000 range


    with both companies you can call and talk to one of the core employees and receive great advice.

    For main speakers, I would stay away from companies like Pioneer, Kenwood, Sony, Cerwin Vega etc etc they are generally terrible values. The real stuff is found in companies like Energy, Mirage, JBL, Infinity, Ascend, Aperion, Rocket, Axiom, Paradigm, Athena, and PSB. They all have great options for a pair of bookshelf speakers under $500.

    some of the models you might want to check out

    Energy C-3 (what i own) the lower end C-1's are great too
    Mirage Omni-60 - like the Energys w/ 360 degree sound
    Ascend CBM 170 - well known for their musical quality
    PSB Atoms - small and good
    Paradigm Studio 20
    JBL - N26 the one mainstream company with good performance


    Granted, you'll notice that you'llbe looking at the very bottom line that these companies are selling, but they still sound great. You can read some reviews at www.audioreview.com

    and these asll will be leaps and bounds above the Bose Acoustimass, which use 2" dual paper cones that simply cannot create a practical range of sound across the mids and highs.

    if you want a powered sub, the Energy, Velodyne, Hsu, SVS, and Infinity have great options in the $300 and less range.

    www.avsforum.com is a great place to learn if you want to get into quality gear, even if you're on a budget.

    for a cheap but quality receiver, look at units like the Kenwood (yes, receivers are a whole new ballgame from speakers) 7070 (100 real watts per channel, they were tested at 92 with all 6 channels under load, compared to 30 watts in most others) that should be well under $400, their are currently some really great values with Onkyo 601's and 501's (my pick), low end Marantz receivers are great for music as well like the 4300
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    my dream is to setup 5 Acme B-1 1x10s in my living room.

    :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:
  6. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    Hmmm, I like the SV subwoofers. Should I get one, or two? I'm a little confused about this receiver business though. I would still need regular speakers to handle the mids/treble and some sort of crossover. 2 subwoofers in the back of the room by the couch would be nice, with the main speakers in the front on the left and right. I'd like to get good surround sound if possible. Is there a difference between the SV boxes and the cylinders? Looks aren't a major concern; I just want whatever works the best. Also, are the upgrades worth it? I was looking at the plus and ultra models and the prices weren't that bad.
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    "Interesting" suggestions so far.

    What I'm reading is that you want very punchy, deep, throbbing lows and something to hook up a cd and tv to. Simplest way to do that is to buy a decent reciever, some bookshelf speakers and a good powered subwoofer.

    Even buying this stuff new you don't have to spend a grand. Used is even cheaper. Personally I'd go new on a receiver because the difference between a decent new one and a used one typically isn't worth the uncertainty of how well a used one will hold up. Of course there are exceptions to that rule;)

    Here's a system I recently put together from pawnshops, yardsales and/or Goodwill stores.

    Yamaha HTR-5650 6.1 receiver. $170
    Celestion DL4 bookshelf speakers $10
    Polk Audio PSW-250 powered sub $75
    Polk Audio M series surround speakers $12
    DCM center channel speaker $50.

    Add a new Samsung progressive scan DVD player ($59 from Best Buy) and you have a nice system for very little money.

    Going the new route you can easily get a decent surround sound reciever for under $200. Again, add a set of bookshelf speakers and a good powered sub and you're set.

    I run separate audio/video systems in most rooms in my house. 7 or 8 powered or passive subs. Because I bought most of it used I didn't have to spend much. Granted, I seem to be at ground zero for some fairly crazy deals on used gear. I just picked up a rack mount BK Industries stereo amp and NAD preamp and tuner for an obscenely low price (well under $100 for all three pieces). My wife just found two Rio Cali MP3 players in the last couple of weeks... $4.99 for the first one, $1.99 for the second, along with a Belkin FM transmitter for iPod for $4.

    If you're interested I have a powered sub that was complete overkill for me but might be right up your alley. It's an Advent AV 550S 15" sub with a Carver Sunfire 500w internal amp. Way too loud for me... I tried it for a couple of days and put it back in the box. You might like it. It's big, 22" x 18" x 16" and weighs around 60 lb. Pretty ridiculous sub for the money. Let me know if you're interested.
  8. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    Hmmm, I'll have to consider that. I'm not planning on putting this system together quite yet, but probably in the next month or so. I'm definetely looking to get one or two 12" ~ 18" subwoofers, and if they're powered, that'd be even better. Realistically, I haven't a clue how well they would work for me. The Acoustimass system sounds good to my ears and the bass response is decent enough, it just lacks headroom. To my ears, I would just need more sublows and a lot more volume for crazy techno and/or movies, and from what I've been hearing, the Boss subwoofers use tiny, low output speakers. If I can get a 7.1 surround system that'd be quite cool, but it's really not an important requirement... as long as the speakers sound as good or better than a 3 or 4 year old Boss Acoustimass system, that's fine.
  9. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Gold Supporting Member

    You're right - no high's, no low's, must be Bose!

    I like the Hsu line of subwoofers, they match up well with my Theil CS 2.2's!

    Dan K.
  10. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    Hey Eric: in terms of the SVSubs, you should aim to buy the best single sub you can afford. The Plus's and Ultras are great. I didnt suggest them because i wasnt sure about your budget.

    Also, SVS designed their subs so that their cubes and cylinder subs sound the same.

    And yes, the upgrades are worth the money. Although many people ahve called SVS asking about a certain sub, and after they describe their room situation, SVS has often suggested a lower model since a higher one would be overkill, when you're ready to buy, you should call them.

    and you dont need a seperate cross over. Receivers have Sub-Outs which allow you to connect subs via a coaxial cable. Many recievers use an internal cross over around 80hz, others around 100, but a lot of the better ones have adjustable cross overs. However, subs also have cross overs as well, so any setup you get should be flexible enough.

    Also you should try to stay away from 18" subs, because generally the ones in the sub $2k range are too "slow" for music and movies with quick bass lines. 12's and 15's are generally the best performers for everyone who dont build subs into their walls or get bass horn systems.

    Dan - nice speakers!
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md

    It would be hard not to sound as good as the Bose system you're talking about (no offense of course). OTOH it doesn't sound like you're shooting for audiophile sound, more like sound "you" really like.

    Unless you have a huge room, I seriously doubt you'll need two subs... unless you go for small inefficient subs.

    This all depends on what you really want to spend. You could easily blow $1,000 on a sub... then you'd have a nice sub and nothing else;)
  12. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    Hmmm, so you think one will be fine? Let me know how much that sub you're selling is, how I would hook it up, and what else I would need. I'll find out about the room when we get the construction details on Tuesday, but I expect it to be the size of an average bedroom, probably longer than it would be wide. The only tricky part is finding a good TV... I wouldn't mind having HDTV, but it's not really necessary and everything above 40" seems to be HD.

    PS: Since I'm not all that capable with this stuff, what's a receiver that has a remote and all the stuff I need? I don't need ear bleeding levels from the main treble speakers, and 5.1 surround sound is more than enough. What I really want is something that will play CD's and allow me to hook a DVD player to... if it could play DVD's too, that'd be even better. Then I'd just need a few of those bookshelf/treble speakers and I'll be set. Yamaha looks to have a lot of good models, but I'm a bit confused about the features and I'd have no idea which to get.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    IMO what you probably don't need is to go into overkill:D

    If you're talking a typical bedroom (somewhere around 10x12 to 12x14) unless you plan on doing some serious soundproofing I'd bet your parents won't be too enamored with any sub:). My 15" Advent in a bedroom would be some serious overkill... it was more than I wanted in my family room with a SS setup (~19x16 AND it's open to my kitchen/breakfast room). When I do sell it I'll probably let it go for $250 or so. It would rattle your teeth in my family room, I can only imagine what it would do in a bedroom at volume. It's forte is loud and deep, I go for a more refined sound.

    If you have a Best Buy nearby go check out their selection. Any of the Yamaha receivers would be great IMO, I'd probably go for a 5.1 or 6.1 (I don't use a rear center channel and can't say I miss it). Like I said, you should be able to get a more than capable SS (surround sound) receiver for under $200. There are lots of sub/satellite/center channel speaker packages that can work well for what you're trying to do. If this is new construction, you could do inwalls for not a lot of money.

    Look for "Open Box" specials, you can save quite a bit while still having the manufacturer's warranty.

    I'd steer clear of the all-in-one SS packages. They work but you usually end up with no upgrade path... they'll use speakers with lower impedances and receivers with substandard amps that can't push better speakers should you decide you want better sound later on.

    For a bedroom a 36" tv is probably a good size for a large picture... 32" may do it for you. The better your stereo sounds, the bigger your tv willl look;). Make sure you get component video inputs to take advantage of the higher resolution output capabilities of most current DVD players.
    If you have the time, eBay is a good source for some of this stuff. Even better, check your local used market. While it's fun to recommend high dollar stuff, for most people it's not exactly money well spent. I'm trying to make some real world recommendations that'll get and keep you happy and not break the bank;)

    Good luck. If you can be patient, you can probably put together a killer system for very little $$$'s. I've done it way too many times. You should hear my kitchen system;)
  14. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    We are planning on soundproofing the room ;)

    Right now, my speaker plans are:

    Northridge E series E250P 12" subwoofer $200
    Northridge E series EC35 3 way center $132
    Northridge E series E10 2 way wall mounts $89

    Total Cost: $421

    If you think your subwoofer is a better deal than the JBL, then I'd go for it. Otherwise, things are looking pretty good with this setup. For now I'm going to ignore the rear left/right channels, but I'll go with a 5.1 system so I can add them on later.

    Edit: Scratch the CD player bit, I can just bring my computer downstairs and somehow I'll figure out how to hook it up to the receiver.

    As for the TV, you're right... 32" to 36" will probably suit my purposes better. I was planning on going big screen, but the cheapest I could find were in the $800 ~ $900 range :( Is there anything I should look for in terms of TVs? Are there TVs meant for hi-fi systems that don't include speakers, and is there anything I should look for in terms of digital outputs?
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Sounds like a good setup. Like I said, my Advent in a small room is overkill city.

    CD and DVD players are very inexpensive nowadays. Easily less than $100 for both.

    Unfortunately, no. I have three tvs with the internal speakers turned off... I don't need them. Neither will you but video only monitors are still hard to come by and more expensive. Go figure.

    Flat screen (not flat "panel") is nicer than curved. Get one with enough inputs to do what you want to do, switchable from the remote. Again, at a minimum get component video inputs.

    You can do home theater from your computer if your inclined to go that route.
  16. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    So if it has component video inputs, I'll be able to work this? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would insert the cable into the i0 box, the output of that into the receiver, and the video component outputs of the receiver into the TV and the 5/6 audio outputs to their respective speakers?

    And since I'd have a subwoofer, those 4" bookshelf speakers would be enough for the surround stuff, right?

    Thanks for all the info.

    Right now I'm looking at the previous speakers with a Yamaha RX V450 receiver, then I can later add on a rear center and left/right if I ever feel the urge.

    I'll also need speaker wire... will this work?


    will I also need RCA connecters and such, or will the receiver/other equipment come with those? I believe I would need one line out to the subwoofer and the 3 RCA cables from the receiver to the tv.
  17. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    your connections will work that way, yes as long as they're all the same type (component to component to component)

    yes your bookshelves will be fine for the surround stuff.

    yamaha recievers are a good way to go.

    and that speaker cable is about as good as it gets. i actually built my system with the same exact stuff and i love it.

    i doubt your equipment will come with all the video cables you need. but yo ucan always make a evening run to your local radio shack if you need to.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    The component video inputs on a tv accept the component video output of a DVD player or cable box. These are easy to recognize because even though they're RCA cables, three are required for the video signal alone. You'd still need two more RCA cables for the audio input on the TV. You can also run component video switching through your receiver if it's equipped with this capability.

    People tend to get "component" (three RCA cables) and "composite" (a single RCA cable) confused. Component is much higher resolution.

    There are several ways to hook your gear up. On my main setup I run the coax cable from the wall into my HD cable box. I run three component video cables from the cable box to one set of component video inputs on the TV. I run two RCA cables from the audio out of my cable box to the audio in on the TV. From the TV I run two RCA cables from the audio out on the TV to the input on the receiver. From the receiver I run 5 speakers and a powered sub. That's the basic setup.

    I also run a second set of (3) component video cables from the DVD player into the second component video input along with (2) RCA cables for DVD audio. I switch inputs with the TV remote and also control the overall system volume... along with DVD, CD, amp and other inputs I've programmed in.

    I also run a second coax cable from the cable box into a low resolution input on the TV. Game systems go on a fourth and fifth set of inputs. More inputs on the TV makes for easy switching. If you're not going HDTV on your cable box one set of component video inputs will suffice for the DVD player.

    For your TV get the best picture you can and the inputs you think you'll need. This doesn't have to cost a lot of money. I was surprised at the picture quality of a Sharp 32" I bought a few years ago that had a component video input and way better picture quality with a DVD than one would expect for a non-HDTV. A friend of mine couldn't believe how much nicer it looked than his Sony WEGA... for way less money.

    Just for grins, this system consists of a Panasonic 56" HDTV, Panasonic progressive scan DVD, the Yamaha 6.1 receiver, Polk audio CS400i center channel and a pair of Polk PSW 250 subs (I currently only use one), Canton Fonum mains, JBL in-walls for rear surround... and a few other components. The TV and DVD were purchased new, the rest through good old fashioned bargain hunting. Total price... $2,000. Here's a pic:


    BTW get a surge protector.

    Yes, they should be fine.

    No problem. This stuff can get overwhelming. Just break it down to the basics. Good sound is fun.

    I think that Yamaha is another version of the HTR series. Should be nice, I'm very happy with mine. I replaced a Harmon Kardon that I was also very happy with.

    As far as input and output cables, I'd check out the good quality video cables in Part Express or check around for other sources. Typically the cables that come from the factory will work but better cables can make a difference. The speaker wire you chose is fine.

    Good luck.
  19. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    whoah, very nice stuff. So tell me if this would work:

    Coaxial cable into i0 cable box, coaxial cable out of i0 box into tv, digital audio output of i0 box into receiver*, and then the outputs of the receiver into all of the respective speakers?

    *I'm still a little shaky with all of this component business, so unless there's a major difference in visual quality between component and coaxial, I'll just stick with the coaxial connection. My i0 box has left/right audio RCA outputs and 1 digital RCA output... is that digital RCA the surround sound? I'd want surround sound with this, not just left/right. Is this possible with TV, or is that only for DVD's?

    Right now I'm looking to buy this off of ebay:


    It's nothing special, but I'd like to get something cheap to start with and then I can upgrade as I see fit. Will this work, or am I doing something horribly wrong?
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    That should work fine as long as the receiver has the right inputs (in this case, digital).

    I don't know, I'm not familiar with your box.

    There is a major difference in in component and composite connections when watching a DVD, there may also be one if you have digital cable or satellite. You can also use an S-video connection for better resolution.

    It's actually a nice receiver. It has S-video and digital connections, more than enough power to crank up in your room along with a powered sub. A couple of things I noticed:

    1. Feedback. The seller has had a few problems. That's not good IMO.

    2. They're including speakers but have no info about them. If I were going to pursue that I'd want to know what they are.

    3. It's a used receiver with no warranty or guarantee. It could be fine.. or it could have issues. IMO it's a gamble. Do you feel lucky?