Let me start by stating that I’m a bit of a techie !!
All kind of new toys make me drool… ranging from computers, cellphones till photo camera stuff.
Now one of the mean things that keeps me interested is hifi equipment, more precise home cinema equipment.
Currently I’m involved in the construction of our new home and with that, comes the outline planning of the audio structure !
So here is my story on how I set up my system from scratch ! I hope I can help other people with these tips and tricks :)…
‘In the beginning’ when I was first introduced to surround sound, I was hooked ! This was something I had to have at home… a must have need that needed to be fulfilled. But like so many things I rushed in to fast, to furious. ( But looking at this now, I guess that was a good thing after all )
Time frame was the first introduction of Dolby Digital, so Dolby Prologic was the most available audio signal processing on offer at the time. I didn’t do any research and was sweet talked into buying a Home Theatre In a Box of Celestion by a salesman at a local Hifi shop !
It consists out of a subwoofer and 5 speakers ( 1 front central and 4 surrounds ), with a build in dolby prologic amplifier in the subwoofer. It was sold at a very good price and it had everything I could wish for ( I thought at the time ) !
So one or two years pass and I was happy :), but then the I bought my first dvd player and with this came the knowledge that, allthough Dolby Prologic was very good, Dolby Digital would be the ‘standard’ for dvd movies to come !!
So there I was, not so very happy anymore, watching Dolby Digital movies through my Dolby Prologic sound processor…
But the good thing about this was, that I learned my first lesson !
Tip #1 : Do a thorough research !
If I had learned a bit more about the Dolby Digital process, I would have waited a bit more with the purchase of my HTiB !! A Dolby Digital processor would have been the obvious choice.
On the other hand, the good thing is that I learned a lot in 4 years, following the Hifi scene ! So my second purchase and actual first upgrade, of my surround sound setup was a new AV Receiver packed with all the goodies I think I need.
Behold my 6.1 AV Surround sound receiver – the Denon avr 2802.
When I bought my receiver, I’ve had read several reviews, followed several Hifi magazines and calculated my budget… and with this last item, also came the second lesson !
Tip #2 : Shop around !
Yep, just look further than your local Hifi shop. Surf the net, get several different price listings and I assure you can get your item a lot cheaper then first expected.
So with this second purchase I was able to overcome the Dolby Prologic burden. I bypassed the build in processor of the HTiB, this through direct linking the speakers to the new receiver ! So the first system wasn’t lost at all… it just got a bit upgraded 🙂
But the drawback of lesson 1 & 2 is, that after doing some research you’ll soon notice that the system you own is or ‘out dated’, or ‘underpowered’, or even worse ‘badly combined’ !
Mine is underpowered, I think I can get more ‘sound’ out of my receiver, than I’m currently possible… So I started dreaming and with this I drafted up the next possible upgrades my system could have. Tadaaaa lesson 3.
Tip #3 : Stop dreaming !
Yep, because even though I now know what my dream system would look like, I can’t ever be able to afford it !!
I checked several speaker sets, looked at different speaker cables and even had a glance at the new receivers made by Denon. And let me assure you, you will want to have more than your budget will allow 🙂
So, out goes the new receiver : Denon avr 2807
So, out goes the speaker cable set : QED Silver Anniversary
But I’m keeping my dream speakers !! : B&W Speakers 600 series 3
So no new receiver and I downgraded my new cables to a set made by Ixos and I’m happy all over again.
Or… is 7.1 ever going to get a boost ? Or is SACD or DvD Audio ever going to get big ? Damn those Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs…