AV Rant #451: Big Rooms and Grounded Cables

September 22nd, 2015 No comments

This week, we thank Scott B for his donation, Scot S and Karl for talking us up to SVS, and Jefferson for buying from ATS Acoustics and SpoonFlower and letting them know he heard about them from us. You guys are our Listeners of the Week! In the news, Crutchfield will now sell SVS Subs (LINK), Rob was on ThEndUsr Podcast (LINK), and Denon, Marantz, and Pioneer release new recievers (LINK). Jack loves his Philips Fidelio X2 headphones but wonders if an expensive aftermarket cable or perhaps a DAC/amp upgrade can make them sound better, William has a weird Netflix problem, and Ashley is looking to set up Plex on his Mac Mini (LINK, LINK, and LINK). Joseph found a speaker cable with some interesting features (LINK), Jonathan updates us on his theater build and asks about using a sub for a center channel stand, and Allen is looking for speakers for his dedicated theater (5 for under $4k). Larry has a spouse/2nd subwoofer issue, Matthew is trying to decide between EMP Tek and SVS Prime speakers plus has questions about setup including setting up a projectors, and Miguel can either put his front speakers 4 feet or 15 feet apart. We come up with an interesting solution. Alberto is looking to buy some used equipment (LINK and LINK), Kris is trying to maximize his bass by adding a curtain and a mid-bass module, and Scot is looking at a new, mid-level display compared to an older, flagship display. Which would we choose? Lastly, Thomas sent us a video of his theater (LINK) and wants recommendations while Nicholas needs subs and wants suggestions.

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AV Rant #450: Dummies

September 16th, 2015 No comments

A quick shout out to Jason (again) as listener of the week. You know why. In the news, UltraHD projectors with HDR (LINK and LINK) and Sony sort of starts to use Dolby Vision (LINK). Jonathan comments about ARC and HDMI-CEC on the Denon AVR-X2200W (LINK and LINK), Fred found some weirdness on Netflix, and Daniel has subwoofer, speaker, and projector questions. Jason wants our opinion on his speakers and home theater design, Nick wants our opinion on the Seaton Submersive Subwoofers (LINK), and Justin isn’t sure which speakers to buy. James is thinking of DJ speakers for home theater, is offering a 10% discount on printed fabric covers for AV Rant listeners for DIY absorption panels (LINK), and is wondering about settings for projectors (LINK). Tony wonders where Canadians can get printed fabric for absorption panels (James sells in Canada and LINK), Everett is wondering about compatibility with newer 4k displays and older receivers, and Ian has a line on a decent projector deal and wants our opinion plus he is thinking of a new sub, and Harvie is worried that his old stand won’t hold his new 75″ TV.

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AV Rant #449: Have You Triple Checked Your Speaker Wire?

September 14th, 2015 No comments

Huge thanks to Lee Overstreet for stepping in once again on short notice while Tom is away sick! Feel better soon, Tom!

Our Listeners of the Week are: Jason, Kris, and Daniel for their generous donations; Daniel and Scott for letting SVS know they bought products because of our recommendations; and CoffeeManDave on Twitter for turning new Listeners onto the podcast! Thanks, guys!

James was first to tip us about SVS’ moving sale. Panasonic’s 65″ CZ950 OLED looks an awful lot like an LG. And Samsung’s UBD-K8500 UltraHD Blu-ray player arrives in early 2016 for $500.

Byron (the 1st) asks about subwoofer placement, using EMP Tek E3b for Height and Width speakers, and maybe using a MiniDSP to control a mid-bass module for some extra kick! Infinite Gary read about ELAC’s Omni-directional Super Tweeters, asks for some clarification on surround sound and immersive audio upmixing, and wonders if vintage quadraphonic headphones would be a good Atmos solution. And Byron (the 2nd) sent us CNET’s poll: Is 3D TV dead? Do you care?

Todd reminds us the Onkyo TX-NR818 is an even cheaper Audyssey MultEQ XT32 option…if you can find one. Nathan shared “A Brief Guide to Audio for the Skeptical Consumer“, and we couldn’t find a single thing to complain about! And Robert discovered what “speaker break in” is really all about (your brain), as well as the best excuse ever to get four subwoofers: a square room!

John moved his subwoofer and wants to know the exact reason for the big difference it made in his measurements. He also wants to more details on Pioneer MCACC and whether an SPL meter and some manual EQ are enough to “fix” it. Karl could either spend $30 or $1.80 for Y-Splitters, but he doesn’t need either of them. Setting his speakers to “small” is still giving him a moment’s pause. And since we mentioned leather curtains last week, he found some!

Jonathan’s setup is coming together nicely, but HDMI-CEC and ARC have brought up questions. He’s also back to sending us long articles to read; this one’s all about Sennheiser 3D – yet another immersive audio option! Clint asks about pressurizing a room and air-tight seals. Corey wants to make sure he isn’t overpaying for insulation. And Ryan is really missing his Surround speakers, so he’d like to know if some BIC HT-8C in-ceiling speakers might scratch that itch.

Kevin asks if a sealed SVS sub can pair up well with a ported SVS sub and how he should place them. Josh found a video saying “Expensive wine is for suckers” that applies nicely to audio, as well – especially the part at the end about our brains. And we close out the show with some topics from Lee, including the possibility of CableCARD being replaced by a simple app, and figuring out why his AV Receiver is randomly shutting down (have you noticed the title of this episode?)

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AV Rant #448: Leather Curtains

September 1st, 2015 No comments

This week, we thank Jefferson for mentioning to Elite Screens that he bought because of us, Michael for his donation, and Jason for the recipe. Thanks guys! If you haven’t before, this week you get to meet Austen, our producer. Everyone say, “Hi Austen!” In the news, Epson has new projectors (LINK), LG has new OLED displays (LINK), as does Hisense (LINK), and Vidity and UltraHD Blu-ray offer streaming (LINK and LINK). Nelson is wondering if a high-end processor with top end Audyssey will sound the same as a mid-line receiver with top end Audyssey, Greg found headphones that claim to sound better than CD (LINK), and Justin wants to know if we have any TV shows we recommend for good sound, is looking to upgrade his speakers, wants to know what the LPF knob setting on his subs should be, is looking for new headphones, and wants a standalone DAC with Dolby Headphone (LINK). Nick wants to share his experience with Audyssey MultEQ XT (LINK), Allen is looking for a 7.1 system for his friend with wireless surrounds (LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, and LINK), and Bruno is looking for a display but is confused by the terminology (LINK). Calvin is interested in a Baffle Wall and wants to know our opinion (LINK and LINK), Jason has a large, open room and is worried that his receiver won’t have enough power, and Jonathan updates us on his theater build. Barney is confused by a video from Panamorph (LINK), Timothy is having HDMI syncing issues, and Karl has additional questions about his ongoing subwoofer upgrade.

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AV Rant #447: Rooms

August 28th, 2015 No comments

Think you are the only one that runs into weird problems with your system? Tom reveals the random problem he had that had him digging behind his receiver last weekend. In the news, Yamaha announced “MusicCast”, their version of Sonos or Heos (LINK and LINK) and the first Atmos soundbar (LINK and LINK), Pioneer upgrades their Andrew Jones speakers to Atmos (LINK, LINK, and LINK), and Harmony is trying to control your front door (LINK). Sean needs help picking subs and surround back speakers, Michael needs help placing his gear in his room, and Darren is building an Atmos theater and has questions about speaker placement and choice. Larry wants to know where to place a second sub, which receiver to buy (LINK), and what we think of ripping CDs to a USB key. Ken has neighbors and wants to know if he can add a sub and not have the sound travel through the wall, he is wondering if his surrounds could be better placed, has a question of Green Glue, and wants a cool nickname. Tommy is wondering if he’ll hear or see the difference if he upgrades his receiver, Tom needs help placing and choosing subs (LINK), and Scott has a recommendation for Tom (LINK), thoughts on the Revel M12 speakers, needs new subs, reviews the Auralex Great GRAMMA, had a problem with an APC, has questions about electricity, is looking for a rack (LINK and LINK), and lastly is looking for a streaming device that will stream full bandwidth MKV files (along with Atmos and DTS:X) (LINK and LINK). “Ping Pong Theater” Ed wants to know more about object-based audio, Jefferson is looking for a projection screen (LINK and LINK), and Stephen is concerned about matching pre-out voltage to amp input (LINK).

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