Bi-wiring, Speaker Shielding, Bose 901s, and Buzzing Audio
Q: Bi-Wiring worth it?
I am in the process of upgrading my home theater system to the Krell Showcase pre/pro, Krell Showcase 6-channel amplifier, and B & W Nautilus 802's for my front left and right speakers. What is your opinion on bi-wiring my front speakers? The B & W user manual (which for $8K/pair I would have expected more documentation) recommends bi-wiring, my existing front speakers (B & W Matrix 805's) are bi-wired, but the Home Theater consultant/company I'm working with acknowledges the benefits, but argues the difference between bi-wiring and not in my environment would be inaudible. It would just be a lot more money for a fairly long speaker wire run. Given the gear I'm installing I guess I'm leaning towards bi-wiring, I'd value your expert opinion(s) and/or experiences. Thanks.
Audioholics: I feel there are little to no benefits both electrically and sonically to bi-wiring providing that you use a good quality set of single speaker cables to begin with. Good cables should be low in resistance and inductance, and reasonably low in capacitance.
I suggest reviewing the article we authored on Cable Budget Guidelines for more info.
Also for your reference, we have a Cable Face Off Review of various cables.
Alternatively, if you have found success with your current bi-wiring scheme, then by all means do not change it. However, I would not recommend spending outlandish prices for speaker cables and you should always question the cable vendors claims if they sound suspicious.
Q: Color Display Problems
I am having trouble with the set up of my home theatre system. I have sorted out most problems but I still cannot get the colours from my DVD to my television correctly. I have a sony DVD player connected with component cables to my Denon 2803 Receiver and digital coax for audio, then component cables from the Receiver to the Sony television. Current problem is DVD displays on television in pink & green only. All connections have been check. Q1. Is it necessary to link DVD to television via receiver? Q2. Do you have any tips for fixing the Pink / Green display?
Audioholics: Sounds like you are having a connection problem with one of your component video cables. The primary colors for component video are blue, green and red. It sounds like you are not getting your blue connection throughput to the TV. I suggest at first to connect your DVD player directly to you TV via composite video to ensure it is not a Display/DVD hardware problem. If this works ok, next try a direction connection between your DVD and TV via component video cables. Be careful to be consistent in your connections to each end (IE. Red goes to Red, Blue goes to Blue, Green goes to Green). Also, check your DVD player user manual to determine if there is an external switch or menu option you must select for component video output. IF this works, proceed to add your receiver in the loop. It is beneficial to have your receiver connected If you plan on taking advantage of the On Screen Display (OSD).
Q: Sub shaking TV
Hello, i'm from Guatemala , i need help with me sub. I have a 150 rms JBL sub, and a 29fs100 sony tv. The problem is that my sub makes the video signal in my tv shake, and i don't know what to do.
Audioholics: Sounds like you need to relocate your subwoofer. The strong magnetic field emenating from the unshielded (or undershielded) sub is affecting the magnetic steering mechanism in the CRT display. Try moving it a few feet further from your TV and see what happens.
Q: Converting a non powered sub to powered
We presently have a JVC pro logic receiver with Cerwin Vega speakers and subwoofer. After 10 years we felt it was time to get at least a 5.1 receiver. Problem is all the new receives require a powered subwoofer, ours is not. Can we convert ours to a powered one if so how and what do we need? Thanks for your help.
Audioholics: You can use one of the front channel amps of your old receiver to power your existing subwoofer. To do this, connect the subwoofer output of your new 5.1 receiver to the left input of your old JVC receiver such as "CD". Next connect your subwoofer (speaker level) to the front left channel of your JVC receiver. Set the master volume level of your JVC receiver about half way up. You can further tweak the subwoofer level with the sub level control of your new 5.1 receiver just like you would with any powered subwoofer.
Q: Shielding a non shielded speaker
Is there ANY way to shield my speakers for placement over the tv?
Audioholics: Yes, but it would probably cost you more money and effort than simply buying a new speaker. I recommend placing the non shielded speaker at least a foot away from your TV, or what ever distance it takes so that you do not see any picture disturbance or coloration resulting from the magnetic fields of the speaker.
Q: Axiom or Ascend
I am torn between Axiom and Ascend. I am looking at getting either the Axiom M22's or the Ascend CMT-170's. Did you ever do a comparison between the two? Also what sub do you think would go with either one of these speakers - I am looking in the $500-600 range for a good sub. Thanks for your time...
Audioholics: I cannot tell you one way or the other since we have no experience with Ascend speakers. However, you have just familiarized us with a new brand of speaker we may need to check out. As for the Axioms, we have found them to be an uncommon value as indicated by our reviews.
As for a subwoofer recommendation in your price range, there are many good brands out there such as Velodyne, HSU, Paradigm, REL, and even Axiom to name a few.
Q1: Problem with Aragon Stage One & Upgrades
I saw your overview of the Aragon Stage One and wanted to know if you actually got a chance to listen to it or not. I purchased one through the upgrade program (I had a Soundstage which also had problems with the chips) and am now having some problems with the Stage One. I have purchased a Krell HTS 7.1 via their special offer and will send my Aragon to be looked at. Have you or anyone there had a chance to listen to both or have any feelings on these pre/pros.
I thoroughly enjoyed your review of the Aragon Soundstage and 8008x5. I was wondering if you ever got the $800 7.1/full digital upgrade for your Soundstage?
Audioholics: Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to review the Aragon Stage One.
However, I suggest you contact Adam Gershon (email@example.com ) from Aragon . He is a very helpful and considerate Engineer and I am sure he can help you work out the problems with your unit.
Q: Buzzing Audio problem
I get a slight buzz in my speakers (paradigm studio 20's) when I try to connect my tv/vcr to my reciever (Denon 3802) I jury-rigged my own catv isolator with 75ohm to 300ohm and 300ohm to 75ohm matching transformers with no luck. All components are 2 pronged and plugged into the same power strip anyway so no ground loop. It appears to be all due to component interaction. Any solutions would be greatly appreciated.
Audioholics: Solving a grounding problem such as I suspect you have, can prove to be challenging. First I would question if your subwoofer could be the culprit. When you have everything connected, minus the sub, does your system still buzz? I would first employ a STAR grounding scheme, such as I think you have, where all of your power feeds get fed back directly to one common outlet or switch box. Next I would start replacing suspected interconnects with shielded twisted pair or shielded coax. If this still doesn't work, I would try more filtering at your power source. For more info, I suggest the following reading materials:
Q: Sound System for Music Listening
I want to buy a sound system just for listening to music and was hoping to spend less than $1000. I want to buy a quality system and do not really care about hooking it up to home theater or anything like that. Because I listen to a lot of hip-hop music, I want a system with heavy bass. But I also listen to other types of music and want something that can also play rock, etc. and sound good. Any suggestions on different products, companies, etc. would be of help. I also live in Canada , so any products or stores dedicated to the United States I have no access to. Thank you.
Audioholics: Sounds like a good two channel system would be the way to go for your application. Perhaps a NAD two channel receiver, along with some Paradigm or Axiom tower speakers and a good CD changer, perhaps from NAD again. I believe all of these products can be had in your area, and the Axioms can also be found online at www.axiomaudio.com.
Q: Opinion on Cerwin Vega Speakers
I've been reading lots of reviews about speakers on the internet and im looking for a set of tower speakers in the 400 - 700 dollar range. I'm looking for a good amount of bass without having to buy a powered sub. My problem is, is that there is no way for me to hear half of the speakers i am reading about and if i do go to a place to test things they don't always have the ideal sound setup. The main speakers i have been looking at are cerwin vega, jbl and klipsch (although klipsch is out of my price range).I was drawn to the cerwin vega's because of power, senitivity, and price; but im not sure how they would be sound quality wise. I was wondering if you guys could give me some ideas and tell me your opinion on cerwin vega's speakers. Thanks for your time.
Audioholics: My first real audio system started out with the old Cerwin Vega D series which featured a 10" paper woofer and 1" horn loaded tweeter. I was impressed with them at the time for their unusually high output levels and bass response. Later I found them best suited for Rap and Rock music, but not the cream of the crop for accuracy and high fidelity playback. It has been some time since I have heard their products and I cannot attest to how they perform today. However, briefing over their latest design specs, it appears to me that their goal from yesterday is somewhat similar today, offer a speaker that will play LOUD with a lot of bass extension. If this is what you are after, then it may fit your bill quite nicely, and without breaking the bank I might add.
Q: Eagles "Hell Freezes Over" DTS CD vs DVD
I recently found your web site and have enjoyed reading the pages. Great information! I would like to add the Eagles Hell Freezes Over to my collection of surround discs. But I'm wondering if the DVD-V version has the same soundtrack and same quality as the DTS CD version. I'd much rather have the visuals to go along with the 5.1 sound if the soundtrack is the same. Thanks for your help.
Audioholics: As far as I know, the sound tracks between the two discs are virtually identical. I personally prefer the DVD Video version for the concert footage. Great sounding DVD, and still one of my favorites!
Q: Bose 901's sounding flat
I'm looking for a recommendation for a new receiver to drive my Bose 901s. My current system just sounds kinda 'flat' and doesn't have the same 'full' sound I'm used to hearing from Bose -- so something's missing. Ideally I'd like something that sounds great with CDs and does a good job with DVD movies too. Realistically, this needs to be the lynchpin of a home entertainment system system. Something around $800 or less would be ideal, if possible. Am I dreaming or is this possible?
Audioholics: This is a tough question since the 901's come with so many caveats due to the necessary active EQ which somewhat linearizes their normally very non linear response. You must choose a receiver with either front channel preamp couplers or a tape monitor loop so that you can hook up the active EQ. In the $800 price range, I suggest looking at options from Yamaha or Denon.
Q: Monster Cable Interconnect upgrade, worth it?
Hello. You have helped me before and now I am a believer. Can you help again ? My equipment is Denon 3801 avr; Denon 2900 dvd sacd/dvda; Definitive Tech pro tower 400 mains. I am currently using Monster 400 audio interconnects; If i go to Monster z100 audio interconnects will I likely notice a difference in sound with the level of equipment that i have ? You were right about the Tributaries component video cable; It definitely was an improvement. Thanks much !!
Audioholics: I don't have the direct specs to compare regarding the interconnects you mentioned. However, I recommend using our Cable Budget Guidelines as a starting point.
Based on my past experience with Monster products, I have always found them to be reasonably well designed, regardless of price or model, thus these audio cables should not be a limiting factor in the fidelity of your system.