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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 31, 2011 1 comments
I have an LG 55LW5600 TV and an LG 3D Blu-ray player in a 13.5-by-16 room. The TV is on the long side of the room, so the placement is not optimal, but it allows me to maintain the peace with my better half.

Now, I need a sound system. I think the Onkyo HT-S9400THX system offers good value. Do you like how that system sounds? On the other hand, a large retailer is selling the Polk RTi A5 and RTi A7 at $519 and $629 per pair, respectively. That seems like a good deal, but I would still need a receiver (I'm considering the Pioneer VSX-1121) and a center channel; I do not have a lot of space for surrounds in the back of the room as the couch is against the wall. Would the Polk setup sound just as good with two speakers (say the A7s) versus the Onkyo 7.1 system, considering that it might just be 5.1 or 3.1)? In two or three years, I will develop the basement and move the home theater downstairs to a larger room. Would the Polks be a better long-term investment?

Luis Victoria

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 28, 2011 3 comments
I am in the process of upgrading my home theater. I just bought the Panasonic VT25 plasma TV and Marantz SR6006 A/V receiver, and I want to get the right speakers. I bought the B&W CM2 center channel, so my challenge is now the in-ceiling speakers. I am considering Martian Logan, B&W, and Current in-ceiling speakers. If I stay with the B&W center, should I go with B&W in-ceiling?

The Martin Logans cover more of the highs, while the B&Ws cover more of the midrange. With music, the B&Ws sound more realistic, but with movies, the Martin Logans sound better. I was told that matching manufacturers is key to maintain the same tonal character. If I don't, will there be an impact to movies and music? Any feedback on these speakers in general and/or matching manufactures would be very helpful. I am willing to go listen to other speakers that you suggest.

Mike Perrone

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 24, 2011 23 comments
Four years ago, I purchased a high-end Arcam AVR350 A/V receiver without a good understanding of the future. Now I want to take advantage of the new lossless audio formats offered on Blu-ray from my new Oppo BDP-95 player. I can connect the multichannel analog output of the Oppo to the Arcam's multichannel input, but I am concerned about bass management, equalization, and lip sync. Can an amateur do the adjustments recommended or is a professional needed? Also, I am questioning my recent decision to repair my AVR350, which had a power-supply issue (it cost $400 to repair). Should I have bitten the bullet and scrapped this $2700 clunker for a newer receiver? It's a hypothetical question because now I don't have the funds to buy both a high-end receiver and high-end Blu-ray player. Any thoughts?

Lisa Kaye

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 21, 2011 0 comments
My home-theater system consists of a Sony STR-DB940 A/V receiver with 5.1 speaker setup, Sony KDL-52HX909 LED/LCD TV, Dish Network HDTV receiver, and Sony SLV-N71 Hi-Fi VCR. I have the VCR connected to the TV via composite video and L/R analog audio cables and the TV's audio output connected to the AVR via optical cabling (MD/DAT input). I have the Dish receiver's video connected to the TV via HDMI and its audio connected to the A/V receiver via optical (SAT/TV input). All of this worked great for about nine months until a few weeks ago.

The AVR's SAT/TV input works fine, but when I use the MD/DAT input for watching the TV or VCR, the sound only comes out of the left-front speaker. When I record something via the VCR's line in, the playback has the same audio problem. But when I play a tape recorded over a year ago, the sound does not have the audio problem.

Tony Santana

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 19, 2011 4 comments
I am looking for a new A/V receiver, and I am seriously considering the NAD T 747 and the Onkyo TX-NR709. It will be used about 75 percent for movies and 25 percent for music. The features I'm looking for include at least 5.1 (if not 7.1), auto room calibration/set-up (such as Audyssey), the ability to decode all the new lossless formats found on Blu-rays, the ability to make movie dialog easier to hear when listening at low volume levels, and pre-out jacks so that I have the option of hooking up a separate amplifier to it in the future.

John Dixon

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 17, 2011 6 comments
The reviews of the GoldenEar SuperCinema 3 (seen in the lower portion of the image above) and Morel SoundSpot Music Theatre 2 Ultra speaker systems came out at roughly the same time. The Morels appear to have better performance and build quality according to their ratings, and yet they are not considered as good a value despite being in essentially the same price category. Do the Morels really sound better, or is their sound measured against how tiny they are?

Stephen Trask

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 14, 2011 6 comments
I have the opportunity to update my home theater audio system and have decided on the Marantz SR7005 AVR. My room is small, and when I remodeled 10 years ago, I installed four Paradigm in-wall speakers and a large center-channel speaker for my 5.1 system. It occurs to me that if I replace the center channel with a 3-channel soundbar, I could use my existing in-wall speakers for the surround and have a full 7.1 system.

What do you think of this approach? Paradigm makes a 3-channel soundbar, the Millenia 20 Trio (shown above). I like my Paradigm speakers, but I thought that looking at other brands might be a good thing to do.

Byron Servies

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 12, 2011 7 comments
I want to hook up two Velodyne Impact 10 subwoofers to my Integra DTR-6.5 AVR. Do I need three signal splitters? Will I lose some signal using that many splitters? Should I use the Zone 2 sub output?

Mario B.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 10, 2011 1 comments
Would you recommend using the Coby CSMP88 soundbar instead of the TV speakers in my LG plasma?

Nick Andrade

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 07, 2011 4 comments
I'm moving into a new home, so I have the chance to start from scratch building a small home theater. My room has no problem with reflections, and all my flat-panel TVs up to now have been plasma. I want to get a 60- or 65-inch screen, and I'm trying to decide between a plasma and LED-illuminated LCD TV by Samsung. My seating will be about 10-12 feet from the screen, but I am very critical of the picture. I watch a lot of old movies and TV so I want to get the best bang for the buck. Will a top-of-the-line LED be as good as a top-of-the-line plasma? I'm worried about the heat that a plasma will generate compared to the LED, since the new home is in South Carolina, which is hot enough as it is.

Jeff Stern

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 05, 2011 8 comments
I have a Sony STR-DA4400ES AVR connected to a PlayStation 3 via HDMI. Whenever I play a Blu-ray movie on the PS3, none of the audio codec lights come on. But when I watch programs from my cable box or watch DVDs from a different DVD player, the corresponding light does illuminate. Any idea what the problem is?

Mark Barios

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 03, 2011 0 comments
What is the proper way to set an LCD TV's backlight? I have two calibration discs, and neither of them address this issue.

Jim Painter

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 30, 2011 0 comments
I want to buy a LCD TV with LED backlighting. I am not a "ultimate" kind of guy because I do not have the money. I am looking for a 55-incher for $3500 or less. I've heard you say Samsung is the one to get. What the model would that be? I think it is the UN55D8000.

John Phillips

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 28, 2011 2 comments
I have a Marantz SR8500 A/V receiver with B&W speakers across the front, and I would like to upgrade to take advantage of the new high-rez audio formats. I'm considering the Marantz AV7005 and Cary Audio Cinema 11a preamp/processor. For amplification, I plan to use my Lexicon 512 amp or the amp section of the SR8500. Considering the equipment I have, would the extra cost for the Cinema 11a give me that much improvement in sound over the AV7005? Should I use the Lexicon amp or the 8500's amp, or would the Marantz MM7055 5-channel amp be the way to go? I'm willing to spend the money for whatever is going to sound best.

Jack Woodruff

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 26, 2011 9 comments
I'm in the market for a high-quality plasma TV, and I have narrowed the choices to two: Samsung PN64D8000 and Panasonic TC-P65VT30. I have gone to three high-end A/V stores in New York City and was told that the Samsung ranks better than the Panasonic. But I was in a Best Buy store today and was told that nobody comes close to the Panasonic, especially since it is THX-certified. How do you rate these two models?

Michael Quinones

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