im new here to the forum but I just received my speakers from crutchfield and got them set up and man they sound great! Ive had a fun time doing my project and though to share about what I have done and to see what you guys are doing in your HT's. What kind of equipment you run, how would you change your setup? Etc, etc.
I have spent quite some time working to replace old components and make my HT the way I want it. My father always had component systems, i.e. Receiver, phono, tape, CD etc. so I grew up seeing these items and familiarizing myself with them. However, he wasn't an audiophile and bought mid grade components. Mostly Sony, I think the tape player was a fisher and the Phonos I recall were technics. Nothing over the top but usually sounded ok. Growing up listening to music a lot and becoming a musician I found appreciation for better quality sound. So when I bought my home a couple years ago, and after all the stuff I took care of to get it right for me like new carpet and paint, solar panels fixed and pool in tip top shape, it was time to get my theater how I wanted it for a price I could afford. Still working on it but as of now it's ok with me.
For the past month or so I've been slowly working on my weekends off from work and usually with no ones help, to get my theater up and running and also aesthetically pleasing.
It started with a new 75" Samsung screen to go atop my fireplace when I bought my home. I was using an old Sony receiver from 1999 that my father had purchased along with those JBL's and one day I popped in a blu-ray only to see a big picture. (Pun intended) there was no sound because the AVR I had was too old and couldn't decode the audio format. I went down to the local bestbuy and bought a STR-DN1050. I like it. I know it's not the best or most powerful but it seems to work for me. My home also came with outdoor patio speakers but they were exceedingly decrepit and sounded horrible. So I had the nice big flat panel, a decent AVR, I wound up getting some Yamaha outdoor speakers on sale at Best Buy and removing those old patio speakers and upon doing so, it kind of put me in a mode of getting things done. Upon changing the patio speakers, I realized how bad the wires were so I decided to put a bit more time into the job and run new wiring. That's basically the beginning. My whole home theater project started because I knew the wiring to my patio speakers was terrible and I had to do something about it. Once I ran new wiring to the patio speakers I sat down and looked at my tv and said to myself "I need to get rid of those wires" meaning the ones dangling from the tv to the avr stand and power plug.
I began researching how to videos on YouTube and other places, talking to people who I know who are contractors or people who know the right ways to do things. I'm pretty knowledgeable I'd say but certain things (like finishing drywall) I just simply haven't done before and lack the experience.
running the wires to the outdoor speakers was pretty simple because the previous owner had made a hole from in to outside and there was a piece of pvc tubing in the top portion of my fireplace wall for wiring to go thru and then down the wall to the AVR area. It was simple because I used the old wires to pull new ones thru. I didn't have to cut holes or use fishtape at all. However when it came to the point in which the speaker wire exited the wall they were lazy. They literally had a hole drilled and that was it. No outlet cover, no labeling, just a lazy junky looking hole with two wires coming out of it. For the time being I used that hole but that was the day I told myself I'm going to take on the project and make everything look legit and professional.
Being a normal blue collar dude, I had to wait for my paychecks to come in for me to start getting all the supplies together. One thing that helped me out was living in Southern California and learning of a place called monoprice. Turns out they are right down the way from me about 30 minutes and I utilized the hell out of them. I recommend them to anyone who's trying to do what I just did for sure especially with the speaker wire and banana plugs. Best Buy rapes people on wire and plugs.
I made a plan, and over the course of time and when I had the money to get the supplies I put together a vision. My goal was to run my home theater wiring, making it to where I had no visible wires anywhere, to save money by doing the work myself, most importantly do it properly and no Mickey moused and to learn as I went.
The first hole.
I began my first hole into my wall for a power receptacle for my flat screen. The cord was plugged into an extension cord and hanging down from the tv along with all the hdmi cables and etc. looked terrible. I hated it. I had purchased so 14/2 romex from the local Home Depot and a recessed outlet. I used a old work high voltage 1 gang fixture to put this new plug into and after I think 30 or 45 minutes I was all done installing the plug. I ran power from a nearby outlet on the same 15 amp breaker and said let there be power and there was and it was good. So that was one thing down. Another day I decided to get the hdmi and digital optical audio cables fished thru the walls from tv to AVR area. Did that, hardest part was having to take the giant flat panel off the wall and try not to drop it cause I had no one to help me. I highly recommend using help. I would have but everyone was busy. In order to place the hdmi and optical cables to the right locations I had to cut out an access point in my wall because there was a fireblock in the way. For those who don't know, fireblocks are horizontal studs between a set of vertical studs and they are inconsistently placed in a wall to help reduce the spread of fire. I had to drill a 1 inch hole thru them to fit my wires thru and of course seal them with a California code approved fireblock sealant when I was all done.
As time went on I got more and more done and finally on the last weekend for the last part of the job which I was dreading most, my little friend Brian came by to give me a hand. See, I have cathedral ceilings in my house and I wasn't sure if I could get all the way over to the areas needed to penetrate the top plate to run the rear surround wiring which was on the farthest exterior wall from my attic access point. Turns out I can fit myself up there but Brian being a fraction of my size did it much easier.
he helped me out a lot that day and we got all the wiring in the attic done, all the top plates got sealed. All that was left was to add a couple more plates for the two front speakers next to the fireplace and the subwoofer outlet on the far left side of room. We got those wrapped up and then I just waited.
I had had ordered my Klipsch R28F speakers along with the R12SW from crutchfield. I saved over 100$ on taxes because they offer free shipping and no tax. So while I waited to for my new awesome speakers to come in, I cleaned up the living room, put my couch back into place. Vacuumed up a bit and waited for the day I'd see my speakers in my living room. Well that day was actually two days but I got my speakers as soon as they got off the plane. I drove to Ontario, Calif. to the UPS freight warehouse where I was able to pick them up immediately. Awesome. I got them a day in advance. My sub on the other hand, I didn't get it until Tuesday at 2036. It was 30 minutes past my bedtime. I couldn't even turn it on. So now it's been a couple of days since I've had them and man they sound amazing!
I hooked everything up very simply and had power to them in like 2 seconds thanks to my idea of putting a speaker wire +/- outlet behind every speaker. I should mention that I added a home theater distribution panel as well and that made things super clean and easy.
im still working on smoothing out my dry way and getting it ready for texture cause I have to retexture the spots I cut a hole into but I'll have to finish that this weekend. But for now, I'm happy as a pig in slop knowing that I did the work myself and saved a lot of money, I got some great speakers and I finally have a system that I got for myself that sounds really good. Sense of accomplishment with the whole thing.
So how about you? Share your home theater stories or equipment specs or whatever.
Samsung 75" LED Smart TV
Samsung Blu-Ray player
Sony STR DN-1050
jailbroken fire stick
custom built media server running pled, w/16 TB storage for backup of media. (No more cd or dvds laying around taking up shelving space!)
Klipsch R28F's for front L/R
Klipsch R25C for center
Klipsch R15M's for surrounds
Klipsch R12SW for sub
currently have my settings on my AVR and sub set to this.
Front speakers Large
Center small and EQ rounded up to nearest 10 from what manual says is lowest frequency response of speaker.
Surrounds small and EQ is set in the same manner as center channel.
Sub is plugged into LFE only. Gain is set to just before midpoint (like 4.5/11)
EQ dial on sub is set all the way up.
phase is at 0.
I found that my settings allow for a smooth bass. Not too much and not too little. It picks up all the bass noise in movies and sounds great for music.
I ran the auto calibration on my AVR also before I started listening.
my fronts and center is 10 ft for fronts and 10 ft 2 inches away from seating position and AVR picked that up accurately.
my sub is 13 ft from seating position and got picked up at around 15 ft and applies a -6db drop.
my surrounds are 6.5 feet away from seating position and 1db increase was put on them.
im going to try to add some photos of my work and a bit of what my setup looks like but I'll have to do it in another post just below this one. Please excuse my mess of tools, wires and energy drinks on my table in some of the photos.