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  • Home theater in the apartment

    I'll start here since I don't want to start poking around AVS Forums as a total newb... I'm looking to set up an audio system in my apartment. From what I can tell the walls are reasonably thick... i haven't heard the presence of any neighbor from either direction, up, down, left, and to the right. I figure that's pretty good but naturally I still have to be careful... anything that produces vibrations could be an issue.

    I was wondering what some of you might have done or tried to do. I see a few "home theater in a box" setups on sites like NewEgg. My plan is to get a large TV (50"+) and I'll have 2 game systems (XBOX360 and a Wii). I'm also going to see what options i have in terms of music playback via wireless devices... apple seems to have some small one-off wireless devices for such things.

    I was toying about a system to pump music into other rooms... but frankly its a 1bd apartment so its not like I need that much.

    What kind of things should I be looking at and what do you think will be important in my case? I have no problem doing some research 'cause i couldn't mind it if I could pull off some slick ideas. My entire apartment hasn't been furnished at all so everything is incredibly open-ended.
    BS UML '04, PhD UConn '09

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    NCAA Men's Division 1 Simulation Primer

  • #2
    Re: Home theater in the apartment

    Stay away from the HTIB stuff, cause it's not gonna be very good performance-wise. They're designed to give you the basics in a small package, so corners have to be cut somewhere; features and performance in the amplifier/processor, and sound quality and performance in the speakers. And don't even think about looking at Bose.

    But obviously, you can't build a large system in a tiny apartment, so you gotta make compromises somewhere. I assume one of the game systems will double as a DVD player?

    I'm not currently up on all the different connection options available, HDMI was just coming in when I sorta drifted away, but my recommendation is to pick up a moderately priced/powered audio/video receiver, and then add a small five speaker/subwoofer set to go with it. Will sound a lot better than any HTIB will. Course, this also depends a lot on your budget.

    But just for starters, look at something like this setup.

    Onkyo TXSR307

    Paradigm Cinema 70 package

    If you've got the space, or want better performance, you could try one of the bigger Cinema packages, or move up to their Monitor line of bookshelf speakers. Other companies you might want to look at for speakers would be PSB, and online direct sellers Axiom. If money's no option, I'm a huge fan of the Paradigm Reference line.

    Just keep in mind that bookshelf speakers really shouldn't be put on bookshelves, but placed on stands, which are an added expense. If they're small enough, they can also be mounted on the walls.
    What kind of cheese are you planning to put on top?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Home theater in the apartment

      Originally posted by Patman View Post
      I'll start here since I don't want to start poking around AVS Forums as a total newb... I'm looking to set up an audio system in my apartment. From what I can tell the walls are reasonably thick... i haven't heard the presence of any neighbor from either direction, up, down, left, and to the right. I figure that's pretty good but naturally I still have to be careful... anything that produces vibrations could be an issue.

      I was wondering what some of you might have done or tried to do. I see a few "home theater in a box" setups on sites like NewEgg. My plan is to get a large TV (50"+) and I'll have 2 game systems (XBOX360 and a Wii). I'm also going to see what options i have in terms of music playback via wireless devices... apple seems to have some small one-off wireless devices for such things.

      I was toying about a system to pump music into other rooms... but frankly its a 1bd apartment so its not like I need that much.

      What kind of things should I be looking at and what do you think will be important in my case? I have no problem doing some research 'cause i couldn't mind it if I could pull off some slick ideas. My entire apartment hasn't been furnished at all so everything is incredibly open-ended.
      It can't hurt to plug the surround system I have, although it isn't a true home theater system, it can play anything input by Coax, Optical, or 6 channel.

      http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/sp...s/224&cl=us,en

      Although it can be purchased off amazon for $300 or so I believe. Solid sound all the way to max, no fuzzyness that I've noticed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Home theater in the apartment

        What's your budget? The suggestions others have made are all fine in that low-end range, but it all starts on what you want to spend.
        I gotta little bit of smoke and a whole lotta wine...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Home theater in the apartment

          Originally posted by Swansong View Post
          What's your budget? The suggestions others have made are all fine in that low-end range, but it all starts on what you want to spend.
          I haven't really figured that out... its been along time since i first thought about this... when I started grad school I said "I'm going to put this thing together and its going to be awesome"... now I'm more kind of "ok, lets just get this done and do it cheapish".

          I figure about $1000 between receiver and all components. Honestly this is something I don't know much about and I don't know what kind of gains can be gotten by higher level components. I could be convinced to go higher but I see myself needing to also get furniture for this place. Big number figures all over the place for certain.

          The TV I figure will end up being ball-parked at $2000 but that's mostly because I want the big screen.
          BS UML '04, PhD UConn '09

          Jerseys I would like to have:
          Skating Friar Jersey
          AIC Yellowjacket Jersey w/ Yellowjacket logo on front
          UAF Jersey w/ Polar Bear on Front
          Army Black Knight logo jersey


          NCAA Men's Division 1 Simulation Primer

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Home theater in the apartment

            So the $1000 is for the non-TV part, including DVD player, receiver, speakers, sub, cables and whatever else?

            If so, the two that rufus link to are a good start. If you like stupid-simple (meaning limited control, but really easy to use), Bose makes a couple of halfway decent HTIB systems for well under $1000. Don't fear the "simulated surround", it surprisingly works pretty well.

            Beyond that, Onkyo makes very good low-cost receivers that can match up well with any speaker/sub set.

            Also, I'd recommend a Blu-Ray player over a standard DVD player any day. I got the Samsung BD-P1600 a few months ago - it can stream Pandora and Netflix too and like all other BR players can play regular DVDs.
            I gotta little bit of smoke and a whole lotta wine...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Home theater in the apartment

              Originally posted by rufus View Post
              And don't even think about looking at Bose.
              Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise.
              What kind of cheese are you planning to put on top?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Home theater in the apartment

                Originally posted by rufus View Post
                Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise.
                Well, to be fair, millions of their happy customer beg to differ. I couldn't imagine a dumber thing to argue about than home theater products. I work in the industry and while I'm not a huge fan of Bose's stuff, the extreme anti-Bose sentiment is hilarious but tiring. They give customers what they want. Do they have a "flat EQ curve"? Of course not. But speakers with a flat EQ or close to it sound like crap.

                Anyway, I have a pair of Wharfedale bookshelf speakers connected to some no-name brand EQ and power amp with a Velodyne sub. It kicks total ***.
                I gotta little bit of smoke and a whole lotta wine...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Home theater in the apartment

                  bumping to get an opinion... i need some thing to put all this stuff on...

                  http://www.amazon.com/Techcraft-HBL6...587857&sr=8-10

                  this seems to have pretty good reviews... any thoughts or do you have something you like better?

                  in regards to the TV... whatever I get by lease stipulation cannot be mounted/bolted to the wall.
                  BS UML '04, PhD UConn '09

                  Jerseys I would like to have:
                  Skating Friar Jersey
                  AIC Yellowjacket Jersey w/ Yellowjacket logo on front
                  UAF Jersey w/ Polar Bear on Front
                  Army Black Knight logo jersey


                  NCAA Men's Division 1 Simulation Primer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Home theater in the apartment

                    I would have recommended something from Vantage Point, they made a variety of stands with real wood veneers, but it seems their product line is limited now to steel racks with glass shelves, and not that appealing from what I can see.

                    So if they're out, I might go with something like this
                    What kind of cheese are you planning to put on top?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Home theater in the apartment

                      Originally posted by rufus View Post
                      I would have recommended something from Vantage Point, they made a variety of stands with real wood veneers, but it seems their product line is limited now to steel racks with glass shelves, and not that appealing from what I can see.

                      So if they're out, I might go with something like this
                      just looked at vantage point... for anything for the size I want they seem to be going wall mount only... which is forbidden in the lease. Also, your link points to something that's way to small for what I'm looking for. The TV I want is going to be in the 50"+ range.

                      I hate having to go to the boards for everything but I don't know anybody around my area or whom I know who has dabbled in this stuff.

                      edit: for appearance sake, wood is preferred over metal... I just want to get all this stuff off of my floor.
                      Last edited by Patman; 09-22-2009, 08:58 PM.
                      BS UML '04, PhD UConn '09

                      Jerseys I would like to have:
                      Skating Friar Jersey
                      AIC Yellowjacket Jersey w/ Yellowjacket logo on front
                      UAF Jersey w/ Polar Bear on Front
                      Army Black Knight logo jersey


                      NCAA Men's Division 1 Simulation Primer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Home theater in the apartment

                        there's this from Vantage Point, but it's kinda pricey.

                        http://www.vanptc.com/products16-33-9/VideoStand

                        For Sanus, there's this.
                        http://www.sanus.com/world/en/produc...accurate/AFV48

                        or this
                        http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo...umber=SANFV249
                        Last edited by rufus; 09-22-2009, 09:13 PM.
                        What kind of cheese are you planning to put on top?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Home theater in the apartment

                          A guy I work with has something like this. Real, real nice.
                          I gotta little bit of smoke and a whole lotta wine...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Home theater in the apartment

                            I just ordered one of these

                            My AV receiver has been acting up recently; the video cuts out and only comes back if I press on the top of the unit, occasionally the power switch doesn't work at all, and i need to press on the tiny board it's connected to, sometimes the various control buttons don't do what they're supposed to, or do something else instead, and now the front display is either dark, or displays gibberish.

                            I'm assuming either something wrong with the connections to the controls oand outputs on the front and back panels, perhaps a cold solder joint, or else the circuit boards aren't seated properly. So I was looking around for a cheap substitute while I send this in to be repaired, and found this on the Crutchfield site. It's not gonna run everything I own, as it only has connections for one tape deck and one VCR, and I have two of each. However, currently they're all in need of repair, and they're slowly being weened out of my audio/video use anyway, and it doesn't have pre-outs for external power amplifiers, so I'll be stuck using it's power. But it's just a stopgap measure anyway until I get the old one back.

                            Tons of connections on the back, far more than most low-priced receivers, including the Onkyo I suggested earlier, and you definitely can't beat the price. Should be able to run just about anything you want to hook up to it, although I haven't explored all of its features in depth. If you're still in the market, and don't want to spend a ton of money, you can't do much better than this. Plus, free shipping as well.
                            Last edited by rufus; 10-09-2009, 05:15 PM.
                            What kind of cheese are you planning to put on top?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Home theater in the apartment

                              progress.... so far I've only picked up one of these...

                              http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden...=10661583&fp=f

                              Uncle Sam's cousin Irwin took a fairly large advance cut of my signing bonus so it might be a little while to string it all together.

                              Once I get the table set up and the cables off the floor the speakers and stuff are next. I think the TV will come last... somewhere in there I'm going to make a furniture run to IKEA but that's not part of this thread.

                              edit: I will say that i really liked one of those (the one Swanny quoted) but I'm looking for a bigger TV than it can handle... if I could wall mount I probably woulda went with that.
                              Last edited by Patman; 10-09-2009, 07:23 PM.
                              BS UML '04, PhD UConn '09

                              Jerseys I would like to have:
                              Skating Friar Jersey
                              AIC Yellowjacket Jersey w/ Yellowjacket logo on front
                              UAF Jersey w/ Polar Bear on Front
                              Army Black Knight logo jersey


                              NCAA Men's Division 1 Simulation Primer

                              Comment

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