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Setup Recommendations

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  • Setup Recommendations

    Been viewing these forums for a few months now, specifically the DIY section, and decided to finally sign up and would like some recommendations for my audio set up.

    I'll give you an overview of what I've got right now.

    Currently I just have a small setup in my room. Got a PC and PS3 hooked up to my 32" TV through HDMI. Using the digital out from the TV, the audio goes to a optical to coax converter box which then goes to a Aune USB DAC Headphone AMP. From the DAC I have my Audio Technica ATH-A700 headphones plugged in. From the Line out of the DAC it goes to a HLLY M-1 HiFi stereo amp which powers a pair of speakers that I built last winter.

    I don't use my headphones as much anymore as I'm no longer single so we often watch movies and tv shows. My setup works great as it is, but the amount of bass is lacking unless I mess with equalizer settings. The other thing I don't like is not being able to control the amp with a remote.

    Now my dilemma now is that we bought a house and I have been given the go ahead to do some upgrading :T but there is just so much out there to choose from and although I know a bit about audio equipment I am still a noob and not good at making these decisions.

    I'll be going with 46 - 50" TV (thinking probably plasma). For audio I am really unsure of what to do though.

    I will be having a PS3, HTPC (for music and video) and Satellite Receiver hooked up (all with HDMI). Now I'm trying to keep costs down as much as possible but I don't want bad sound quality either. I've been using just a stereo setup for over a year now and I'm used to it and I wont be getting/building a sub or extra speakers for a while but I think I might want that option to be open for the future.

    I was thinking of going with either the Onkyo NR609, Pioneer VSX-1121, or the Marantz NR1602.

    For speakers I was thinking of building a set of Natalie P's or Statement Monitors.

    Would this be a good setup? Which receiver and speaker would be best to go with? Any recommendations for something other than what I have listed?
    And for the future what would be good center, surround and subs to match with these speakers?

    Now the last issue is the office room. We have a little netbook that doesn't get used for anything so I figured why not use it as the music player in the office. That way either of us can easily control the music in the office room if we want. For now I could probably stay with using the Aune and HLLY amps as they are working fine, but for the future it would be nice to be able to cut it down to one device. I was looking at the NuForce Icon which seems to have some good features. Would that be a good replacement for instead of these two devices?

    Also what would be some good bookshelf style speakers I could build for a fairly low price (<$150/pair) for just listening to music in the office?

    Sorry for the hundred questions, as I mentioned earlier I have a decent understanding of all this stuff but I am still a noob and terrible at making these decisions with so many choices out there.
    Your help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    Wow.....lots of questions here!!. I can give you some advice on a few of them. In your amp price range, Marantz is probably best. Also check out Harmon as well.

    I would stay away from plasma at this point. The new LED sets are the way to go. Plasma's are plagued with problems that are just starting to show up more and more now since many of them have been around 7-8 years or so.. Plus, there's the burn in issues if your a sports fan with their static score images.

    Other than that, I have no experience with the speakers you refer to above. Until you get multi channel capability, run your movies in 2 channel stereo via the dvd's menu. Dolby digital receivers to not like to down-convert dolby digital into 2 channel sound. As a matter of fact, you would probably be better running the RCA analog outs from your player to an input on the receiver and play it that way in 2 channel sound.
    Dan Madden :T


    • #3
      The Marantz supposedly has some direct pure mode which bypasses dolby digital and stuff. Not sure how that works though. For movies I'll be using the HTPC which will stream rips of my bluray collection from my server so sound will go through HDMI. But I am sure there are settings to set the output to 2 channel until I eventually have more speakers.


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