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AV Rant #585: Thumbs Down

April 6th, 2018

Our Listeners of the Week are Earle and James for their donations, our 57 Patreon Patrons, including James, and Gary for telling Emotiva his A-300 amplifier purchase was our recommendation, Earle for telling Ed Mullen at SVS that he bought dual SB16-Ultra subwoofers because of us, and James (making a trifecta of support) for telling Accessories4Less that his latest AV Receiver purchase was because of us.

If you can help Tom’s son pick the parts for a gaming PC, please get in touch.

In the news, a petition to add Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support to the Xbox One S/X. Philips finally released their UHD Blu-ray player Dolby Vision firmware update. And shockingly, Oppo is closing down their business in North America.

Dave and Ted confirm the low audio levels on the 4K disc of Thor: Ragnarok. Ted tried Legacy Audio’s setup tips, but now he’s moving on to experimenting with toe-in. And Kris P. shared his clever idea of using a ceiling mount with a quick release to mount his Center speaker to his fireplace mantel.

0:23:39 Damien D. wants to know if he should buy Klipsch Reference Premiere speakers based on store demos, or consider some other options. And we talk about whether subwoofers need to match the speakers or the room.

0:30:30 Byron S. wants an upgrade, so we suggest projectors, decor, acoustic treatments, and backing up discs for playback via Plex. He also asks about phase plugs, and why some of RBH’s smaller speakers have higher sensitivity than some of their Towers.

0:41:57 Monty N. gets clarification about Rob’s 2017 OLED TV settings.

0:43:03 Travis D. already has a good list of bookshelf speakers to audition. We add some more, so it now includes: Focal, B&W, Martin Logan, SVS, Ascend, KEF, Aperion, RBH, Revel, Paradigm, PSB, and Monitor Audio.

0:46:34 Allen G. would like to upgrade to a 4K HDR projector, so he asks what a Receiver needs in order to pass-through those signals, whether HDMI 2.1 is a concern, when genuine 4K projectors will hit $2,500, and where he can find a list of 4K discs, which would be Next Gen Home Theater.

0:52:26 Leighton wonders where the Spotify app for his Denon Receiver went, and what he can do if he doesn’t want to use Spotify Connect.

0:54:53 Infinite Gary swears he heard a difference between two CD players. He asks what setups we use for 2-channel, why we think so highly of JBL Synthesis, whether small noise differences in the Outlaw Model 5000 amplifier are audible, whether eyeballing speaker positions and setting trim levels by ear is ok, what we think of the Emotiva A-300 amp and its lack of XLR inputs, how he can experiment with Atmos in his theater without touching his existing setup, and which pre-cut, pre-terminated speaker wire we recommend, such as SVS SoundPath, Blue Jeans Cable, and Sewell.

1:11:41 Justin B. has a Harmony Hub that still gets “stuck” repeating commands. We suggest the Harmony software troubleshooter or double checking his network connections.

1:14:41 Adriano M. wants to connect four 4K sources to two displays while extracting optical audio. He found an expensive matrix switch solution, or he could do things piecemeal with a Sewell SwitchDeck, Avantree HDMI audio extractor, and a Sewell SplitDeck.

1:18:41 Darren N. gets a bit of a deep dive into HDR metadata.

1:24:49 Jack R. has a Roku 4 that is sending wildly different volume levels for each app. And he has one blown tweeter in speakers that are old enough that it either means a potentially costly repair, or full replacement.

1:29:00 David F. has a strange HDMI Zone 2 synchronization issue.

1:33:36 Miguel M. wants to upgrade his Canton speakers. We like his options of KEF Q Series, Focal Chorus, and RBH Impression Elite, and we add HSU, SVS Prime, Aperion, and Ascend.

1:39:00 Trevor W. wants to know why we don’t recommend Aperion Intimus speakers even more often, and he asks if he could benefit from a separate amp.

1:41:25 Earle B. needs his anxiety over his dual SVS SB16-Ultra subwoofer purchase quelled.

1:43:58 Ted M. wants all the power and headroom, so we don’t bother fighting, we just recommend an Emotiva XPA-3.

1:48:19 Doug S. is moving into a condo, so he asks about a damping platform under his subwoofers and whether yoga mats might work.

1:51:23 Ray S. wants to add backer boxes to his in-ceiling speakers, but the Dynamat DynaBox is a bit expensive, so we suggest either DIY, or seeing if the Monoprice Back Enclosures will fit.

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