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AV Rant #574: A Reasonable Number of Speakers

January 19th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

Our Listeners of the Week are Earle for his donation, along with our 51 Patreon Patrons, as well as Jason H. for letting SVS know we pointed him their way, and Kerry for letting Accessories4Less know he heard about them from us when he bought his Marantz SR6011 AV Receiver.

In the news, Denon announced the $4,000 13.2-channel AVR-X8500H Receiver while Marantz announced the $4,500 13.2-channel AV8805 Pre-Pro. We combed through the Denon AVR-X8500H manual to find details on its multitude of setup options using its 13 built-in amps and 15 sets of binding posts and pre-outs. It might be helpful to download Dolby’s 9.1.6 Atmos test tones and reference the Dolby 9.1.6 speaker setup guide as 7.1.6 and 9.1.4 configurations are possible with these new 13.2-channel products.

Sony showed their 85-inch 8K “Full-Spec HDR” TV that’s capable of hitting 10,000 nit peaks. Sony announced their UBP-X700 Ultra HD Blu-ray player with Dolby Vision support. And Sony’s TV lineup for 2018 plays it safe with no major performance increases, but less expensive A8F OLED and FALD X900F LCD TVs. Lastly, TCL announced 55 and 65-inch 6-Series Roku TVs with Dolby Vision and more “Contrast Control Zones”.

Travis D. explained how he was testing his bass management and crossovers using sine wave test tones, so we suggested using sweeps from Audiocheck.net instead. Infinite Gary asks if 2018 OLED TVs are still glossy, explains how he filled his whole 2.35:1 screen while watching 4:3 content, gets our thoughts on how much beefed up video processing chips impact picture quality, and asks what he’d be gaining if he added Front Wide speakers to his setup. And Steve B. gets our recommendations to install Focal Little Bird or NHT SuperZero speakers as his Atmos overheads.

Grant M. wants to automatically play a list of movies with subtitles off of a hard drive, so we suggest using Plex on an NVidia Shield TV or Kodi on a Mi Box. Jack T. gets our thoughts on adding two more in-ceiling speakers to the four he already has in order to expand to 5.2.4 Atmos. And Gabriel J. gets our help identifying some used speakers he bought as the Paradigm Titan v1 and Paradigm LCR-150 v1.

Jonathan F. wants to know why perforated cinema screens black more sound and create a steeper high frequency roll-off than the screens used for home theater. Manuel T. needs to mount his Surround speakers up high, so we think either the SVS Prime Elevation or Focal Bird speakers would work well for him. And Jason B. built a DIY subwoofer with an external amplifier, but he wasn’t happy with the cooling fan noise, so we suggest the Dayton SA230 or a BASH 300S Plate Amplifier since we know Jason could build a beautiful case to house a plate amp.

Charleston L. gets our input on wiring two pairs of speakers in series vs. parallel. Dan uses a fireplace TV mount to lower his TV in front of the mantle for viewing, but that makes it difficult to position his Center speaker, so we suggest using a SoundBar Bracket and perhaps the slim Revel C10 Center speaker so that the TV and Center speaker can move together as one. And Dave gets some settings advice when adding a subwoofer to his Martin Logan Motion Vision SoundBar, and he stumps us when he asks for an inexpensive, rack-mountable HDMI 2.0 switch, which leads us to suggest simply using a shelf along with a Sewell SwitchDeck or checking with SnapAV to see if they offer a solution.

Ken M. wants to know why flagship Receivers still top out at two subwoofer outputs instead of four. Stephen M. wants to know whether the Sony A8F or LG C8 OLED will do a better job of upscaling 576i content in Australia. And Johnny D. needs a new Receiver that he hopes will last him 10 years, so we suggest either spending as little as possible on a Denon AVR-X1300W or splurging a bit on a Denon AVR-X3300W.

Robert G. wants to run Room EQ Wizard test tones through his Atmos speakers with Audyssey active so that he can measure what Audyssey is doing in those positions, but we don’t know of an ideal way to do it. Ryan T. gets confirmation on his speaker choices, some positioning advice for Front Wide speakers, and a refresher on how to use three Receivers to matrix Top Middles from a setup with Top Fronts and Top Rears. Karl R. read the AVS Forum report that functional HDMI 2.1 chips were shown at CES, which leads us to talk about Denon’s HDMI 2.1 upgrade plans for their new flagship Receiver. And Kerry gets our recommendations for Sewell Strike and GLS Locking banana plugs.

Thanks for listening. Check out our Facebook Page. Click here for our YouTube channel where you can see the recordings of our show videos. Download Tom’s FREE superhero-themed ebook Bob Moore: No Hero wherever ebooks are sold (or given away in this case). Visit Tom's website for download links as well as links for the two full-length followups -  Bob Moore: Desperate Times and Bob Moore: Hostile Territory. Lastly, if you live in the Tampa Bay area and are interested in a mobile climbing wall, check out Fearless Mobile Climbing and meet Tom in person!
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