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Schweb's Lounge Forum for general conversation, chit chat, or most topics that don't fit in another forum.

What's your entertainment center setup?


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bobtomay

 
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Got my receiver switched out yesterday - replaced a 6 yr old Onkyo with the Denon AVR-X4000 pushing a set of Axiom Grand Master speakers - minus the sub - found these on Craigslist and the guy was unwilling to part with the sub - so still need to upgrade mine. ('Twas all I could do to talk the wife into the Denon.)

Gotta say, in my room, the new Audyssey XT32 worked a treat. Definitely getting much better center channel clarity and surround definition at low volumes on just regular old OTA content - even the wife could tell the diff.

Planning on experimenting with some B-Rs and online streaming content today at reference level.

Still need to play with the sub - think the Audyssey set the crossover too low for the L/R mains.
Although, some Steely Dan in 2.1 just via Rdio sounds pretty darn good.

Went ahead and added a 10 outlet AVR (auto voltage regulator) / battery backup and an 8 port ethernet switch in the mix while I was at it. I miss counted - omg, 10 outlets weren't enough - they're all in use and my computer isn't connected.

Hadn't worked on the system for awhile - forgot what a job it is to setup all this stuff - think it took 4-5 hours so far.

The work has only begun as I also got 200' of 12 AWG CL2 (in wall rated) speaker wire to change out all the existing - just used some regular 10-12 AWG I had on hand when I ran all of it. Alas, another day - not today. And need to get my front height speakers set up.

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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
Hadn't worked on the system for awhile - forgot what a job it is to setup all this stuff - think it took 4-5 hours so far.
I hear ya! I hate it when I have to spend hours relearning (what I previously knew) how everything works/went together/setup...BEFORE I even get to start doing the "new stuff" that I really wanted to do in the first place.

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neilf

 
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AVR-X4000??????
I am jealous!!!!!!
I bought the AVR-X1000 and think it's awesome in my (by comparison) setup. Although I have had to have it exchanged as it stopped outputing anything from any input, randomly.
The replacement is fine so far.
I am sure we will speak again about this stuff - when I win the lottery!!
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bobtomay

 
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That's a drag having to exchange a receiver.
X1000 is no slouch at that price point either.
And I may need to win the lottery before I get to replace the sub.

I looked for 2 months at all the new McIntosh, Denon, Yamaha & Onkyo units that have come out this year - considered some Emotiva and Outlaw Audio equipment also. Really liked the new McIntosh line up, but wanted the XT32. Then had to look at last years models after the price drops on them. Took me another month after I decided on the X4000 to pull the trigger.

This may be one of the best pieces of audio gear I've had since I've been married. It's also my first Denon. With the exception of a couple of Yamaha receivers, have been an Onkyo buyer since the early/mid 70s. They were outclassing everyone at their price points back then.

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In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Mannn, my real entertainment center still has not been installed since I moved to the new house. I'm still using the dedicated "game/movie" room upstairs for the time being, which is stupid for me to be complaining about, but none of my equipment has been setup yet, and is still waiting in the basement for the basement to get remodeled into the proper projection movie room setup.

As for the the Denon you got, I'm jealous I really wish I could go with x4000 when the time comes, or a similar spec model from other manufacturers.

You should post some pics of the setup, if you don't mind.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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Well, the equipment in my entertainment center is rather mundane, just a basic Technics component stereo and a TV, satellite receiver, and an alarm clock (because the old VCR had a clock and the SAT does not). BUT...

What I'm most proud of is the solution to having a bigger TV without replacing the entire entertainment center. The TV "compartment" was just big enough for our old 27" CRT set. Maybe it could have contained a slightly larger one. But we wanted to see scores, weather data, etc. from across the dining room and living room.

My better half came up with the best plan after we brainstormed awhile, considering, among other things, hanging the TV on the wall above the furniture. Instead, I bought some oak stair treads, had them glued together and cut to size, creating an extended shelf for the TV just far enough beyond the front of the EC for a new 42" flat screen LCD set. It rises to just about 1/4" below the top of the EC, and after removing the doors to the TV compartment, which we never closed anyway, the side doors (stereo on one side) swing just clear of the sides of the TV on its new perch. The front of the shelf is an arc, following the curved "foot" of the TV. It is of course stained to match the rest of the EC. If you didn't know better, you'd think it came that way.
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Custom Windows 7 PC w/ Media Center, specialty USB CableCard peripheral and a 40" Sony LED TV.

Computer has around 9 or so TB of internal storage space devoted to DVR recordings, photography and music, and it has an FM radio antenna hooked up to it. It also has a wireless 7.1 digital surround sound system for the movies (DVDs).

Rather basic but expensive set up. My parents are relatively still in the dark ages of entertainment (so to speak) - though Dad does watch Netflix, but not through this setup.

I'd like to simplify it with an Apple TV, but perhaps that's better suited for my own personal use next to the PS3.

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Marantz UD 7006 Universal Disc Player

Marantz NR 1403 Receiver

Sky HD TV Box

Apple TV2

XBox 360

Panasonic 42" Plasma

Kef Cresta 3 floor standing front speakers, Yamaha Sub and rears and a Wharfedale Diamond 10 centre speaker

Nothing extra special but it sounds lovely to me and I'm very happy with it

what have the Roman's ever done for us?

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I'm old school.

Sony TA-E77ESD preamp (two-channel with Burr-Brown DAC)
Carver TFM-25 amp (225 w/c stereo)
DCM TF-700 speakers (transmission line design with 8-inch woofer, four-inch mid and .75 inch tweeter)
Apple TV connected via optical input

That's it. Two speakers, no sub needed and killer sound. Total investment including getting the preamp and amp rebuilt: $700.

I'd have to spend four times that on new speakers to get appreciably better sound.

Edit: Forgot to add my TV, a 27-inch HD Westinghouse LCD that set me back about $300 three years ago.

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bobtomay

 
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That Carver and DCMs are still pretty nice.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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neilf

 
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Hi Bobtomay,
Quick update.
Came home tonight, and the replacement Denon non-responsive.
A quick power cycle put it right, but my trust in this new design is waning. Shame really cos this unit replaced an older Denon which ran perfectly for over 15 years.

Anyone have any recommendations as to the best AV amp for around the £400 mark?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilf View Post
£400
???
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bobtomay

 
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Wife called me this morning on the way to work - says it flashed a notice on the screen there was a firmware update available and then the front lights on the receiver started flashing and it wouldn't power off. She had to pull the power plug and then started working (after plugging back in) again. With her, never know what she may have done or not done, but still...

Still like Onkyo, but they've been having some HDMI board issues across multiple lines the past couple years. Others at the lower price points I've liked over the years are Yamaha and Pioneer.

At the lower price points, have always stayed away from the manufacturers that do not also put out middle of the line ($800-$1500) to high end ($2k+) audio gear. If they're not a specialty company nor putting out high end gear, unlikely they have their own engineers working on anything and it's just lowest common denominator / highest profit garbage.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Don't remember the model numbers right now, and since I just finished running 2 miles I'm feeling too lazy to go check. May update later.

My setup

55in LG LED HDTV
Denon AVR 790 Receiver
Panasonic Blu-Ray Player
Apple TV
Sub Woofer (Bobtomay turned me on to this one)
Pair of Sony 8in Bookshelf Speakers
Dish Hopper Satellite Receiver and DVR

EDIT: And a 4TB USB External with my media files on it hooked to my Server (Mac Mini) upstairs

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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32" Sony Bravia (2008 model with oodles of inputs)
Roku 2 HD
Pioneer CLD-A100 LaserDisc player

And then what's left of my consoles, a 160GB PS3 Phat (upgraded to 500GB), Wii, and Dreamcast.
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