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AV Rant #566: Don’t Call Me Tommy

November 17th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Our Listeners of the Week are Nathan and Henry for their donations, our 30 Patreon Patrons, including Fred R., and Fred also mentioned us to SVS when he received his Prime Elevation speakers.

Tom has a quick update on his Thiel Audio Aurora Tour wireless speaker review; a DTS Play-Fi update fixed the WiFi issue he described last week. And thanks to Fred C. for correcting our pronunciation of Thiel.

In the news, Logitech will replace all Harmony Link devices with a free Harmony Hub replacement since the Link will become non-functional on March 16, 2018. Via Matt G., Disney will charge less than Netflix for their streaming service, but already plans to increase prices as their content library grows. Matt also suggests checking out Techmoan, and a 3-Sided Cat Scratcher to distract any speaker-destroying cats. And Herb from Cross-Spectrum Labs wants to alert potential customers that UMIK-1 measurement microphones are presently in short supply, so please be prepared for a wait time if you order.

Scott S. shared that he’s going with our advice for a 65-inch Vizio M Series TV and AV Receiver in his gaming room, along with a Yamaha YAS-207 SoundBar for a different, casual setup. Daniel B. admits he’s a bit embarrassed, but our constant nagging about setting all speakers to “small” with an 80Hz crossover got him to reexamine his connections and discover that his subwoofer had been plugged into the wrong pre-out for the past eight years. Don G. suggests the Android Polarity Checker or iOS Speaker Polarity apps to verify that your speakers are correctly wired in phase. He also mentions the simple AA battery test where pressing the positive lead to the top “button” of the battery while pressing the negative lead to the flat bottom of the battery should result in the woofer pushing outward. Infinite Gary received his new JVC DLA-RS640 projector, but he isn’t certain he likes it better than his Runco. Ryan T. took a spare pair of bookshelf speakers, propped them at an angle on some doorstops, and fired them at his ceiling as makeshift Atmos Modules, which surprisingly kind of works. And Tom K. shared his method for installing Ascend Acoustics HTM-200SE speakers in his theater columns for Bill who wants to do something similar.

Marc N. is experiencing a huge drop off in volume, bass, and sound quality whenever he watches Netflix, so we urge him to use a bitstream audio output to ensure it isn’t a source decoding issue. Josh S. wants to upgrade his AV Receiver, but he also needs a new subwoofer. In addition, he has plans for a different room in the future, so we recommend he buys an SVS PC-2000 or HSU ULS-15 MK2 to nicely handle both his current and future spaces, while getting an inexpensive Denon AVR-X1300W from Accessories4Less to keep the price down now, and allow him to upgrade again later. And Michael wants to know if the Xbox One X will serve as a good Ultra HD Blu-ray player for his non-HDR 4K TV, and according to John Archer from Forbes, Xbox One X has HDR problems and Atmos problems, but Microsoft is working on a fix.

Byron S. wonders if stacking and aligning two projectors could deliver brighter HDR, but we think there are some additional complications. Sam P. has what we assume must be a Roku Premiere+ that he says delivers HDR when plugged directly into his LG OLED, but HDR doesn’t pass through his Marantz SR7010, so we mention an HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color setting that needs to be activated in his LG TV. And Tom D. is planning a large home theater, so we discuss ideal room dimensions, screen size, seating distances, speaker placement, and subwoofer capabilities.

Jonathan F. gets our thoughts on Regal Cinemas surge pricing, and whether Ultra HD Blu-rays look better than 1080p Blu-rays on an SDR display. Geoff R. wants to know what’s been updated in the Marantz SR6012 AV Receiver over the SR6011, other than HEOS. And Tommy gets confirmation that the KEF R-Series is an upgrade over his Polk RTi speakers, but we slightly disagree about which model of Center speaker he should get.

Nick B. spotted Josh Ricci’s in-room measurements of subwoofers over at data-bass.com, so we discuss their usefulness and how well they line up with expectations based on calculations from the CEA 2010 measurements. Bill wants an over-the-air tuner, so we run through the options of a Tivo Roamio OTAChannel Master DVR+SiliconDust HD HomeRunnetwork tuner, or an inexpensive 1byone ATSC Converter. Bill also measured an improvement when using two subwoofers vs. one, but it wasn’t super audible, although we point him towards an SVS PC-2000 to match with his existing sub all the same. And Brandon N. used two Receivers to solve his Zone 2 setup, but inside his theater, we discuss dual subwoofer placement, using sealed and ported subs together, avoiding running Front Towers full range, and generalizing the sound quality of an entire brand.

Nathan D. gets some clarification about Atmos speaker placement and whether overhead sounds are ever played out of the floor-level speakers. Jeb B. gets confirmation that we think Focal Bird speakers, dual SVS SB-1000 subwoofer, and a Denon AVR-X1300W will be an excellent setup in a small room. Then we tackle the decision between a 55-inch LG OLED vs. a 65-inch Vizio P-Series for about the same price, which we end up side-stepping by suggesting a 75-inch Vizio M-Series.

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. Friend Tom on Google+ to join in on one of our hangouts. You can listen to our producer Austen and his friends dissect movies at his podcast We Watch Movies.
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  1. Hook02
    November 20th, 2017 at 01:50 | #1

    Hi, I have a question about running a bookshelf speaker as a single rear channel… I think I seen a podcast video with the same or similar question not to long ago but couldn’t manage to find it again when I looked.
    My bedroom apt setup currently consists of a Denon E300, KEF Q100s (L,R) Polk Tsx250c (C) and an SVS SB-2000. I absolutely love the KEF Q series being a near-field bedroom setup the KEFs sound amazing! and after nearly a year of owning them and using them with the Polk as a center, I recently started listening to tv, movies and music all in 2ch without the Polk at all. The reason being that the KEFs just sound soo good on there own I felt the Polk wasn’t actually adding much to the mix especially in terms of sound clarity. As you guys know with the Q series Uni-Q driver and its unique sound characteristics… voices and music seem to get anchored to the tv pretty good without the use of a center channel.
    So I’ve been considering buying a second set of KEF Q100s before there completely sold out everywhere… especially since my audio O.C.D. makes me crave a timbre matched front sound stage and personally I’d prefer to use a 3rd bookshelf speaker, rather then one of the Q series dedicated center channel speakers.
    My setup was mainly built for music listening, but I use it for everything and it tends to be about a 40/40 split between tv and music and 20% or less for movies.
    I’m uncertain about how I should set up a 2nd set of Q100s… I could simply use them as rears and have a nice little 4.1 setup which im sure would be vary immersive being surrounded by Q series speakers or I could split the set and use one as a center channel and the other as a center back… I figure since I don’t have any rear channel speakers that one would be better then nothing and with the KEFs large sound stage and ability to fill a room without its sound source easily being directly pin pointed, I figure a single Q 100 as a center back would still have pretty good surround sound effects.
    Obviously the logical thing to do is try both setups out to find what I prefer most, but i’m still curious to know which setup you guys think you’d choose personally and why? also would Neo 6 be the best sound format/codec to use when running a 4.1 setup with a center back?

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to read and answer my questions. Sorry for any misspelled or misused terminology and grammatical errors. its a late night after work and i’m still fairly new to the technical side of the audio world… you could say im novice level haha… for years I basically just plugged and played my equipment without to much thought, its only been in the last year that I really started to dive into things. Your youtube channel/website and the audioholics channel/website have been a huge help for me in learning and understanding all about audio.

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