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Best way to hook-up my stuff


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I have ordered my Klipsch RF-3 home theater package and I have pre-ordered my Denon avr 3803. Now, I need help from you A/V gurus. I have a dvd, vcr, and a big screen tv. What is the best way to hook all this stuff up? Any suggestions welcome. (I am new to this AV stuff) I currently use component video for dvd and standard a/v for vcr. I got the Denon for 1099. Most places are asking 1199. is this ok?



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My advice:

- keep the video out from the DVD and the VCR going straight to the TV, instead of going to the receiver, and then to the TV.

- use a coax (instead of optical) cable to hook up the digital-out from the DVD to the receiver

- RCA cable to plug the VCRs audio output to the receiver

- use atleast a 16 gauge speaker wire. Preferably bi-wire the RF3s

Are you also getting a subwoofer and surrounds?

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I believe that the Denon 3803 does video upconversion. If it does, then you can leave your HDTV on one source without the need to switch it constantly. My receiver does this and it is very convenient; it does all of the switching. The Denon will have ample bandwidth to handle HD signals.

Use in order of priority: 1. component, 2. high quality S-video cables for your VCR and other equipment that does not have component, 3. RCA coax.

Hope this helps.


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Not sure how many digital inputs on that receiver.

1. COAX for DVD audio signal and get a real digital cable to reduce jitter.

a. unless you have reeally good DACs in your DVD player. Then get 3 pair of analog RCA terminated cables to hook up to your receiver. Your DVD player would have to be newer and more than $ 500 to have better DACs than your receiver, most likely.

b. Use toslink optical for your Sattelite digital input.

2. I prefer to keep the video sigals out of my preamp on my HT system to lower the exposure to EMI.

3. If you still like to use the VCR allot get an SVHS from JVC. They invented the technology and the prices are much lower than in years past.

4. Buy speaker wire that you can biwire in the future. AQ type 6 for example. Play your system for 4-6 months and then biwire. The difference will be more greatly aprecieated if you wait to biwire until after you get comfortable in the new listenening environment.

5. Experiment with sub locations. Corners are usually bad due to wave refelections off of adjacent walls affecting each other.

Have fun and welcome to the club.


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if you don't prefer to run video through your unit for video switching, you can always use a relative low cost composite video cable from a free input jack for a device not used on the unit, to video 2 or video 3 on the tv to still get the on-screen display. you then just have to do the switching on both the unit & tv to get it, via remote preferably w/ a macro that does it.

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Moon - I believe many folks here have expressed their opinion that $ for $, coax is better for digital than optical because at the lower end price points, the optical is probably plastic, rather than glass, and may be subject to some signal degradation, at least moreso than coax. Plus, the risk of breaking it is greater. I use coax for my DVD audio, but fiber for my CD into my HT system because I only have 1 digital coax input on my receiver :( I'm also using the analog signal from my CD to feed my 2-channel system.


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I never spend less than $ 50 for a pair of interconnects or a single digital or S-video.

Outlaw and Bettercables may have some good stuff at a lower price point.

I liked my www.bettercables.com pair of intercnnects until I bought my AQ Coral.

But the Coral is twice the price; I expected a serious improvement.

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I have Rf3's as far as biwiring goes I think it a matter of personal feeling rather than actually being able to here minute frequency differences. That's just my opinion I've spent my life around jet engines. Yes I biwired my rf's just to see.. The cost wasn't much. On the up side the connection has got to be better than using those crappy jumpers that Klipsch supplies with the speakers. Gee you'd think a premier speaker MFG like Klipsch wouldn't cut corners?? Still good products maybe I am picky.

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m00n, both are digital, I believe its just a matter of taste. I believe anyone who can a difference between coax and optical must have better ears than most owls. Don't spend your money buying a new cord because I know you and if it involves buying something new for a HT you would.

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On 11/11/2002 12:38:23 PM zandern wrote:

m00n, Don't spend your money buying a new cord because I know you and if it involves buying something new for a HT you would.


What who me? Pft, what ever are you talking about? 3.gif

Now I am back on the transducer kick. I have been researching the buttkicker2s. Expensive venture they are.

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Many people have noticed a marked difference between coaxial and toslink digital interconnects. They both transfer S/PDIF encoded signal, but the interconnects have been isolated as sources of timing error (jitter)-- toslink more so than coaxial.

You should experiment with both to hear what you like best, but a good rule to go by is to use the unit with the most recently designed DAC. Newer DAC's tend to do a better job than older ones (nevertheless, you should listen). If the two DAC's are about the same in technology, you should use the DAC on the DVD or CD player, as S/PDIF encoding for tranfering a digital signal to an outside DAC is the biggest source of digital jitter in a digital playback system. Using the DVD's or CD player's DAC will not involve S/PDIF encoding. If you do send the digital signal to an outside DAC (the receiver's, for example), you should seriously consider auditioning a jitter filter between the transporting unit and the DAC.

I've never compared coaxial with optical in a way that would isolate the interface as the only difference. I have, however, made a direct A/B comparison between the two following digital systems:

1) Theta Jade transport, via Nordost Silver Shadow XLR, to Perpetual Technologies P-1A/ P-3A combo.

2) Onkyo Integra 6-disc carousel CD player, via Kimber Opt.1 toslink cable, to Audio Alchemy DTI jitter filter, via standard I2S cable to Perpetual Tech. combo.

The Theta/XLR combo sounded so much better than the Onkyo/toslink/DTI combo that even my non-audiophool girlfriend could describe the differences: wider, deeper and more stable soundstage; more precise imaging; darker background; more air around the individual components of the music; smoother, less artifical-sounding; tighter, crisper transients. The difference was clear. Of course, this was probably more a function of the different transports....

Someday, I'll connect the Theta and the Onkyo directly to the P-3A using the excellent Kimber toslink, the Nordost XLR and the only coaxial cable I have (cheap-stylie Acoustic Research). Maybe....

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Call me stupid, or whatever else, (I'm willing to take it for now!), but what is bi-wire. I think I know, but lemme hear it to confirm. I have DVD, VHS, and will add receiver and speakers when they come in. What do I need?

1. Speaker wire--At least 16 or 14 ga. (for fl,fr, cc,


2. Wire for RSW-12 (is it same as above? or does it

require a special wire--Monster Cable I201 8 Meter or

Monster Cable MSB550SW 18 Feet, etc.

3. Do I hook up my dvd and vcr to the receiver (if so,

what types of cables are necessary)

4. Or do I only hook up the receiver to the tv?

Again, I apologize for the stupidity (I'm just new).

My speakers will be here tomorrow (Tuesday), not sure about my receiver. It is supposed to be here sometime this week. I just want to get as much wiring and cable buying out of the way as I can so that I will be able to concentrate on getting everything hooked up when it comes in and not running to Bestbuy, every couple of hours. Thanks for all the replies and thanks ahead for future replies!

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Jitter: When music is converted into a digital signal to record onto a CD, a vocabulary is used that is specific to the format (CD, SACD, DVD-A, etc.). In other words, the CD format has a set of values that correspond to musical information (tone and and volume, I guess). The more storage capacity in the format, the more values in that format's set. Now, music before digital conversion is made up of an infinite set of values (frequencies and intensities). Conversion into a digital format requires a group of values to be represented by one value in the digital format's vocabulary. When that digitally encoded information is coverted back to analog for your ears to hear, the result is not a waveform made up of infinite values (positions on the wave); the result is a square wave made up of only the values available to the format (a set of tones and volumes that approximate the original values). The source of jitter comes from our imperfect ability to convert the right notes into digital information that is aligned with itself in time in the same way the infinite information in an analog waveform is aligned with itself in time and our imperfect ability to convert the digital signal into a set of approximated values (notes) played at the right time in relation to each other. The right note played at the wrong time is the wrong note.... That is digital jitter.

There are several sources of this timing error, but the biggest is the S/PDIF encoding and decoding that occurs when you transfer the digital information from a cd player used as transport to a separate DAC. A CD player that does its own digital to analog coversion does not suffer from THAT source of jitter, because it doesn't need to encode and decode a S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) signal. S/PDIF encoding applies time information into the signal (places the notes in temporal relation to each other) and the subsequent decoding has to reconstruct the time information from the signal with its own clock. That's two clocks that add timing error, because clocks aren't anywhere near perfect.

I don't understand how the choice of cable can affect timing errors, unless the timing information that is burned into the signal by S/PDIF encoding is carried not by values in the information but by the actual time it takes for the information to be carried by the cable. If that is so, then perhaps impedence mismatches, power supply fluctuations and other electrical anomalies in coaxial cable and conversion from an electrical signal to a light signal in toslink cable seem to be likely sources of timing error inherent only to the cable qualities.

If I have any of this stuff wrong (yes, some of it is conjecture), please advise.

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