“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Recent DIY Audio Articles

Whole House Wiring Basics Part 4

Whole House Wiring Basics Part 4

Welcome to the fourth installment of our continuing exploration of signal distribution for the residential installation. In part one, we explored various aspects of multi-room and/or multi-zone media design and implementation. Part two expanded our examination to include quality transport of analog video signals. Part three explored the distribution of digital video signals; HDMI and DVI-D. In this installment, we’ll examine one of the oldest of the distribution disciplines – and one that can give you the most trouble....

Welcome to the fourth installment of our continuing exploration of signal distribution for the residential installation. In part one, we explored various aspects of multi-room and/or multi-zone

— July 16, 2007 19:00 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Building a PC as a High Performance Digital Stereo Source

Building a PC as a High Performance Digital Stereo Source

With the CD as we know it today starting to go into obsolescence, I figured it was high time to build myself a back up media to store and playback all of my music. Most PC's simply aren't up to the challenge sonically for delivering high performance playback on a serious hi-fi system. This article details the process I took at building a PC suited for this purpose while at the same time not breaking the bank and satisfying the needs of a critical music lover like myself.

With the CD as we know it today starting to go into obsolescence, I figured it was high time to build myself a back up media to store and playback all of my music. Most PC's simply aren't up to the

Dan Banquer — June 25, 2007 23:40 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Reducing HVAC Noise in Theater Rooms

Reducing HVAC Noise in Theater Rooms

HVAC noise is usually the #1 problem in home theater rooms. Minimizing the source of the noise is one of many steps in the pursuit of a state of the art theater room. These external noise influences have deleterious masking effect on the audio reproduction much like light pollution does with display devices. A simple tweak such as replacing the bi-fold doors that contain your HVAC air handler with an acoustically treated solid core door is about the easiest and more noticeable sonic upgrade you can make to your system. This in turn can extend listening sessions at reduced SPL levels which lessens the susceptibility of listening fatigue.

HVAC noise is usually the #1 problem in home theater rooms. Minimizing the source of the noise is one of many steps in the pursuit of a state of the art theater room. These external noise

— May 08, 2007 23:42 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Heat Buildup and Your AV Components

Heat Buildup and Your AV Components

If you want to ensure that your expensive electronic components enjoy a long and full product life cycle, you must make sure to keep them operating at a comfortable, cool temperature. The number one factor that kills electronic components is overheating. Even short of an outright meltdown, excessive heat causes electronic components to function less reliably and reduces their overall life span.

If you want to ensure that your expensive electronic components enjoy a long and full product life cycle, you must make sure to keep them operating at a comfortable, cool temperature. The number one

Bo Dragsdahl — April 14, 2007 21:57 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Whole House Wiring Basics Part 3

Whole House Wiring Basics Part 3

In part one of Whole House Wiring Basics we explored various aspects of multi-room and/or multi-zone media design and implementation. Part two expanded our examination to include quality transport of analog video signals such as component, s-video and composite from point-to-point. There are three more disciplines we must master if we are to be able to create a useful, high-performance audio/video installation; digital video distribution, control system infrastructure and MATV/CATV design and installation. Let’s save the best for last, shall we? In this installment we’ll focus on the burgeoning need for digital video signal distribution.

In part one of Whole House Wiring Basics we explored various aspects of multi-room and/or multi-zone media design and implementation. Part two expanded our examination to include quality transport

— February 01, 2007 04:58 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Building a Multifunction Home Theater Seat Riser

Building a Multifunction Home Theater Seat Riser

As a home theater enthusiast, there can be nothing more exciting than planning out your theater room. It’s more than just a place to indulge in sonic and visual bliss. It’s a sanctuary - a place to escape the real world, at least temporarily.

As a home theater enthusiast, there can be nothing more exciting than planning out your theater room. It’s more than just a place to indulge in sonic and visual bliss. It’s a sanctuary - a place

— January 22, 2007 17:07 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Building a Home Theater PC - A Targeted Guide

 Building a Home Theater PC - A Targeted Guide

I have always had a fascination with computers - I think it started in second grade when we were allowed to design simple ASCII art programs on a Commodore Pet. With the advent of current technology, and the inevitable merging of the computer with the entertainment system, my fascination has recently manifested itself into a near-obsession with the Home Theater PC, or HTPC. The idea for this article came from talking with lots of people who weren't familiar HTPCs and what they meant in terms of entertainment devices.

I have always had a fascination with computers - I think it started in second grade when we were allowed to design simple ASCII art programs on a Commodore Pet. With the advent of current technology,

— December 05, 2006 11:09 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Let's Build a Home Theater PC (2003)

Let's Build a Home Theater PC (2003)

Not that long ago, having a full featured, cinema-quality home Theater in your home was a new concept. This hobby has expanded and become more popular over the last several years.

Not that long ago, having a full featured, cinema-quality home Theater in your home was a new concept. This hobby has expanded and become more popular over the last several years.

Rob Dykens — December 05, 2006 11:09 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Powerstrip Program Guide - A User Manual

Powerstrip Program Guide - A User Manual

Powerstrip is indeed "the killer app" of the HTPC world. It is possibly the most important program today in the "convergence" market between computers (PC only unfortunately!) and the high definition television (HDTV) or Projector marketplace. With it you can craft a custom resolution and sync timings to enable the best possible display of your computer Desktop, DVD's and other video sources from an HTPC to an HDTV or Projector.

Powerstrip is indeed "the killer app" of the HTPC world. It is possibly the most important program today in the "convergence" market between computers (PC only unfortunately!) and the high definition

Thomas Steves — December 05, 2006 11:09 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Building a Windows MCE 2005 PC - Part 3

Building a Windows MCE 2005 PC - Part 3

This is Part 3 of a set of articles summarizing my experience choosing the components and building a a custom-built Home theater PC running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (or "MCE2005" for short). Part 1 is an introduction, Part 2 shows a step by step pictorial guide to assembling the hardware, Part 3 details the software installation steps, and Part 4 contains some objective and subjective impressions of the result.

This is Part 3 of a set of articles summarizing my experience choosing the components and building a a custom-built Home theater PC running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (or

— February 12, 2006 18:00 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Building a Windows MCE 2005 PC - Part 4

Building a Windows MCE 2005 PC - Part 4

This is Part 4 of a set of articles summarizing my experience choosing the components and building a a custom-built Home theater PC running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (or "MCE2005" for short). Part 1 is an introduction, Part 2 shows a step by step pictorial guide to assembling the hardware, Part 3 details the software installation steps, and Part 4 contains some objective and subjective impressions of the result.

This is Part 4 of a set of articles summarizing my experience choosing the components and building a a custom-built Home theater PC running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (or

— February 12, 2006 18:00 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Building a Windows MCE 2005 PC - Part 2

Building a Windows MCE 2005 PC - Part 2

This is Part 2 of a set of articles summarizing my experience choosing the components and building a a custom-built Home theater PC running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (or "MCE2005" for short). Part 1 is an introduction, Part 2 shows a step by step pictorial guide to assembling the hardware, Part 3 details the software installation steps, and Part 4 contains some objective and subjective impressions of the result.

This is Part 2 of a set of articles summarizing my experience choosing the components and building a a custom-built Home theater PC running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (or

— January 15, 2006 18:00 in DIY Audio and Wiring

iPod Mini Hard Drive Upgrade

iPod Mini Hard Drive Upgrade

All right, I confess: I don’t go anywhere without my iPod Mini. Because it holds my contacts, calendar, and other work-related information, I carry it like a PDA at work everyday. Of course, the fact that it holds nearly every favorite jazz tune I’ve ever heard (not to mention all of my Steely Dan) doesn’t hurt.

All right, I confess: I don’t go anywhere without my iPod Mini. Because it holds my contacts, calendar, and other work-related information, I carry it like a PDA at work everyday. Of course, the fact

stanton — November 30, 2005 19:00 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Building a Windows MCE 2005 PC - Part 1

Building a Windows MCE 2005 PC - Part 1

This is Part 1 of a set of articles summarizing my experience choosing the components and building a a custom-built Home theater PC running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (or "MCE2005" for short). Part 1 is an introduction, Part 2 shows a step by step pictorial guide to assembling the hardware, Part 3 details the software installation steps, and Part 4 contains some objective and subjective impressions of the result.

This is Part 1 of a set of articles summarizing my experience choosing the components and building a a custom-built Home theater PC running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (or

— November 02, 2005 18:00 in DIY Audio and Wiring