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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 27, 2015 1 comments
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Q Most multichannel speaker configurations I see advertised have large L/R tower speakers combined with smaller center and surround speakers. It seems to me, however, that money invested in large (mostly full-range) L/R towers would be wasted if you care more about multichannel movie soundtracks than two-channel stereo music. Given the conventional wisdom that movie soundtracks rely heavily on the center channel for dialogue reproduction, shouldn’t you buy a higher-performing center speaker instead of big front towers? —Rick James Boettger / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 24, 2015 2 comments
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Q The foam surround on my Velodyne f-1200 subwoofer has disintegrated. I wanted to have it repaired with a rubber surround, but the guy at the speaker repair shop advised against that. Is there any benefit to using foam instead of a rubber surround when repairing a subwoofer driver? —Pete Gibson / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 20, 2015 2 comments
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Q I want to upgrade my receiver but have been out of the loop for a few years. My budget is $1,000. What I am looking for is to get surround sound in my TV room and also power a pair of outdoor speakers. Is there a receiver that will let me play music outside and adjust everything while simultaneously getting surround sound in my TV room? Or do I need a two-receiver setup for that? --Mike Mulhall

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 13, 2015 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have 6 pairs of speakers spread throughout my house that are powered by a Rotel RB-1080 stereo amp. I use a Rotel RSS-900 speaker selector box to feed each speaker pair, and there’s a wall-mounted volume control in each room. The setup works good overall, but doesn’t sound that great.

I’d like to upgrade my system with a multichannel amp, but can’t find one that A) has at least 100 watts per channel, and B) has banana plug connections. I’m willing to spend a few thousand on the upgrade, so price isn’t an issue. Do you have a few amps you can suggest that meet my requirements? —Rob Green via email

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 10, 2015 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q How would I go about setting up multiple surround speakers in the same channel—two side left and two side right speakers, for example—as in a commercial movie theater? One more question: If I used a Y splitter and additional amplifiers to power the speakers, could I still employ Audyssey processing to calibrate the speakers? I am planning to build a home theater with two to three rows of seating. —William Lee / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 05, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m shopping for an outdoor speaker to use on my back patio and was leaning toward Sonos. Here are my questions: Can I stream audio to Sonos speakers via Bluetooth from my iPhone? Also, are Sonos speakers able to both play tracks from my computer’s iTunes library and stream them from Apple Music? —Jim Flynn

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 30, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have read that the electrolytic capacitors in audio equipment can degrade and leak after years of use and that sound quality will suffer as a result. Is this true? I have a few pieces of 25-to-30-year-old gear that still sound fine to me. I’ve also read that upgrading capacitors can improve sound quality. Is that another myth? —Rob Gerry / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 23, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Is it true that bigger TV screens -- ones in the 65-inch and above range -- have more noticeable pixelation? --Rufino Mendoza

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 16, 2015 1 comments
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Q My girlfriend and I want to watch movies and listen to music late at night without waking up everyone else in the house. Here are my questions: Is there is a proper way to drive two pairs of headphones from the same amplifier without degrading the signal? Is it as easy as using a jack splitter? We care about great sound, so I'm planning to use HifiMAN, Audeze or Oppo open back headphones, but I'm wondering if I can get away with using only one amp (either a dedicated headphone amp or my home theater receiver). —Raphaël Rainville / Montreal, QC, Canada

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 13, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m interested in hi-res audio but am not sure if my current system can cut it. Here’s what I have: Integra DTR-40.3 AV receiver, GoldenEar Technology Triton 2 speakers, Macbook computer. I’m using iTunes for playback and am running an optical cable from the computer to the Integra. Here’s my question: Do I need a DAC to connect the Macbook to the receiver, or can I just continue to use the optical hookup? —Michael Skrzat / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 08, 2015 19 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’ve been bouncing around the idea of upgrading my current gear and going digital because my wife and I want the convenience of being able to cue up any piece of music using our iPhones.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 02, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’ve been checking out the JBL Charge 2 Bluetooth speaker but had doubts regarding its performance with metal and other heavy types of music. Would the Charge 2’s limited bass hinder the sound quality of heavy music in any way? —Abhay Bajpai / via e-maill

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 25, 2015 6 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m in the market for a new 7.1 home theater receiver but have been told that many lower-end models do not pass HDMI audio signals from an Apple TV box or Blu-ray player to their Zone 2 or Speaker B outputs. Is this true? I don't want to invest in a new receiver if I can't play Internet radio from my Apple TV, or Pandora from my Blu-ray Player, to the speakers on my patio. Is there a way to identify receivers that do or do not support this? —James Goar

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 18, 2015 15 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a 7.1-channel surround system with four dipole surround speakers. My plan is to move the back surround speakers to the ceiling in my home theater and use them for down-firing height speakers in a Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 setup.  The room is 12 x 20 feet with a flat, 8-foot-high ceiling. Will I get a good Atmos experience with this setup? How will it work for DTS:X? —Dan Spaughs

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 11, 2015 13 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have TVs connected to both of my Onkyo TX-NR636 receiver’s HDMI outputs and am finding that I need to have both sets switched on before the receiver will pass any video content. Any suggestions on what settings to look for?—Chris Hauer

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