AV Rant #532: Neapolitan Rainbow Mid-range
In the news, Nathan D. was eager to spread the news that Ascend Acoustics Sierra Luna Satellite speakers are now completed and available to order. Samsung is promoting their royalty-free “HDR 10 Plus” dynamic metadata HDR standard, as well as opening their trademark of “QLED” for any quantum dot-based display manufacturers to use freely. And self-emitting quantum dot displays are facing development hurdles and likely won’t come to market until after the year 2020.
Kris P. got word from Onkyo that their flagship AV Receiver models from 2016 will get a Dolby Vision firmware update, and Marantz reiterated they’ll be adding Dolby Vision support to their 2016 models, as well.
Kris I. asks how long a good speaker should last, how to tell when it’s dying, and when it’s the best time to sell the speakers that you own. Paul R. gets some tips on setting up an A/B comparison of speakers, and wants to know if his initial results are typical, and whether Tom and Rob use different settings for music vs. movies. And Christian S. has made a new friend…and rival, and it’s up to us to decide which of them owns the better speakers.
Josh L. has a large, reflective room, and he needs to install in-wall speakers with backer boxes. He could construct KEF in-wall cabinets for KEF in-wall speakers, go with RBH Sound in-wall speakers that we so often recommend, opt for high efficiency and a sealed design with Klipsch in-wall speakers, or save a lot of money by using HSU Research HIW-1 in-walls. Josh also has a dedicated theater where Tom and Rob agree that a 5-channel amp could help to lower the noise floor and provide Reference Level headroom. A Monoprice Monolith Amp would be spectacular, but a much less expensive Emotiva BasX A-500 would suffice.
Karl R. likes the value offered by VUDU Disc to Digital that now works via the VUDU app, but wants to know if there’s a non-Walmart alternative. Justin B. wants in-ceiling speakers that can keep up with high end in room speakers, so we suggest RBH in-ceiling speakers and RBH back cans. And Dipan discovered a hum that was largely mitigated by a cable TV ground loop isolator, but he wants to know why only some of his speakers made noise, and how to eliminate the remaining vestiges.
Jason D. found his banana plugs are loose, so we recommend locking banana plugs. Michael R. has an issue where his audio always works, but not his video, and he might use it as an excuse to upgrade his AV Receiver to a Denon AVR-X3300W or AVR-X1300W. And Alan C. gets us to rant about plaid vs. “boring” solid colors.
Infinite Gary wonders if YouTube videos can be used to evaluate HDR, what type of display he should use in a room with ambient light, and whether LG’s “wallpaper” OLED might have unforeseen downsides. Bret R. has limited space for his speakers, but the Ascend Acoustics Q-Plugs could help, or he might consider the KEF R-Series, or Sierra Luna speakers. And Bob L. wants to calibrate an LG OLED65E6 without measurement tools or a professional, so we suggest keeping it simple by using the Disney World of Wonder Setup Disc.
Wesley M. is using a Sony WEGA TV, and wants to know if his AV Receiver can convert HDMI sources to analogue component video. James P. wants to know if he should reposition his subwoofers, or maybe upgrade to one higher output model. In a second near field setup, he asks about the Total Harmonic Distortion specification, what specs indicate a low noise floor, and we mention the Emotiva A-100 as a small, high quality amp. And Jim B. proposes a method for confirming that diagonally opposite corner subwoofer placement really works that we mostly agree with, although we suggest a couple changes and additions.
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