AV Rant #497: Speaker Burqa
Our Listeners of the Week are donors Kyle, Richard, George M., and Jay C. who also let HSU Research know his dual VTF-3 Mk5 subwoofer purchase was because of AV Rant! Rob starts the podcast with a gut-wrenching Kuro TV update. Prepare yourselves.
In the news, Antoine shared CEDIA’s “Best New Products” finalists list, and we speculate as to why the only AV Receiver on the list is a Sony. China’s leading internet content distribution company LeEco bought Vizio for $2 billion. Nintendo NX is portable. Ultra HD Blu-ray player prices drop thanks to Xbox One S. And Philips 8600 Dolby Vision TVs are delayed until 2017.
Wesley M.’s volume jumping mystery has finally been fixed by a firmware update. Josh Pollard from The Digital Media Zone asks about using a 2-channel HDMI Audio Extractor, while we mention 4×2 HDMI Matrix, and 7.1 HDMI Audio Extractor alternatives. Randy gets our recommendation for the Denon AVR-X1200W from Accessories4Less, which slightly exceeds his budget, but delivers the features he’s looking for. And Infinite Gary asks about manufacturing moving back to the USA, and the most light-absorbent fabrics, which include Fidelio and Baritone black velvet (halfway down page), or Royalty 3 Velvet from Jo-Ann Fabric (thanks, Ray Coronado!)
Bobby K. gets Tom and Rob to spill their full equipment lists (Rob’s list will be posted as a comment to this article). Will S. wants good, small computer speakers without a bass module, so we suggest the Audio Engine A2+. And Nathan D. asks about long RCA cables vs. long speaker wire, requests a deep dive on determining if he needs an external amplifier, asks about Slew Rate, Class A vs. Class AB vs. Class D, and balanced vs. unbalanced, and finishes by asking about subjective opinions vs. objective measurements.
Christopher V. gets some clarification about inverting speakers mounted up high. Ryan T. explains his seating riser plans and asks about Outlaw vs. Emotiva amplifiers. And Bill R. asks if we think Focal SuperBirds and Focal Birds are good choices for on-wall and on-ceiling speakers. Bill also gets our opinions on HDR-capable projectors and “true” 4K vs. “wobble-K”, as well as dual subwoofer choices and where we think he should place them and his equipment rack.
Andrew N. could use a MiniDSP 2×4 to add independent subwoofer controls to his system. Lucas M. asks about the “+6dB Dynamic Headroom” IHF amplifier specification, and whether unused speaker binding post outputs are still drawing power when nothing is connected. P.J. has a tough choice between a new AV Receiver and a new subwoofer, and also wants to know what Audyssey’s various “level” mean. Ed wants to know if it’s worth keeping his old subwoofer, and how likely it is that lossless audio and immersive audio will be supported by streaming services. And John W. asks about minimum listening distances from larger speakers and whether or not we think he should upgrade.
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