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Home Cinema Some Advice Needed


Standard Member
Hi All, this is my first post! :) Would love some advice....

About 10 years ago I got the home cinema bug, went to richer sounds and purchased a load of gear about the time when DVD's were just starting to take off!

How it started off:

-Sherwood 6095 RDS 5.1,
-Celestion F1 Rears
-Celestion F Centre
-Celestion F3 Fronts
-Samsung DVD-709 (Which only lasted a year!)
-Kenwood CD 200 disc multichanger DPF-J5010
-Kenwood MD player DMF-3020
-Phillips cd recorder CDR 770
-Sherwood D-480 tape deck
-Cambridge audio interconnects.
-Crown MA1200 Sub amp
- JBL 4647 15" Cinema Sub.

For the sub side of things I had a strange setup, a pro audio Crown macrotech MA-1200 (spare from our band gear) connected to a JBL cinema sub 4647 which is mid 90's installed in THX cinemas which I bought second hand so true 20hz- 80hz performance.... Coming from a Sony 90's Hifi when I was 17 this system sounded amazing! Finally a Epson VGA projector finished it all off for visuals and lovely sound organisation silver metal/glass to put everything on.... back then in 2000 it seemed state of the art!

I recently had my AV room decorated and hid all the wiring into the walls etc on powering it all up I somehow blew the output stage in the Sherwood Amp, I took it back to richer sounds and booked it in for repair since most of the items I now have in the room are HDMI or have optical outputs so I ended up buying a Onkyo 607 and gave the sherwood to my parents.

What a difference the Onkyo 607 does to the sound! The celestion's have come alive! I have been in quite a few bands over the years and always maintained all the sound gear we had from small old peavey setup in the 90's right up to a 15kw Crown powered JBL system .... I can only describe this difference as going from a cheap brand soundlab amp to a crown i-tech or QSC Pl.... the bass, the crisp highs, soundstage, headroom, everything! So I guess I have been neglecting my ears at home for quite a few years!

I moved about from house to house and ended up getting rid of the huge sub and replacing it with a tiny Celestion S8 which has never sounded that good compared.....

Over the years most of the above stopped working, I guess I never throw stuff away before it breaks maybe I should do!... here is what I have now:

- Onkyo 607 7.1
- Celestion F series speakers front F3, F1 rear, F centre
- Celestion S8 Sub with H&H IC100 internal amp
- Onn (Cheap Asda DVD player) connected via HDMI
- Sherwood D-480 Tape
- Sky HD+ connected via HDMI/Optical
- LG PC55 50" Plasma
- 6mm T&E in the walls (Shower Cable) for the speakers.
- Cheap HDMI cables from ebay.
- Macmini with itunes and optical out / DVI/HDMI out to amp Itunes with all cd's ripped in apple lossless.

The original amp in the S8 sub completely blew, I opened it up and had a good look after got it back from repair shop , decided rather than bin it I would use the guts from an old IC100 H&H 70's bass guitar amp and do a little project fitting it all onto the amp plate on the S8.... all the components were bigger.... huge caps and by today's standards very sweet sounding amp with a ton of power and punch in the sub bass region.... many hours later its all on the S8 amp plate and the sub sounds a lot better than it did with the weak amp it had before!

So finally some questions I have for you audiophiles, and hopefully I will be able to contribute in the future! :)

1. Are the celestion F series speakers any good by today's standards? Could I upgrade the fronts and keep the center and rears with something that is similar in sound? I am really very happy with the centre such detail in the vocals mainly I think due to the titanium tweeter in the celestions.. I could do with it being more detailed for music with more bottom end when running the Onkyo in direct mode (without the sub) on the fronts.

2. the DVD player i'm using is sub standard I know, I am sure upscaling of old DVD's will look far better with a new more expensive one, I also want blu-ray in the future so I would like someone to recommend a good blu ray player taking into account the budget of the system also any drawbacks to using a decent blu ray player as a cd player?

3. I see no difference between the £10 HDMI cables I bought from ebay and a borrowed £199 10m one from richer sounds same goes for the t&e 6.0mm mains cable I have used in the walls vs cambridge audio flat cable I bought years back. On a multimeter the T&E have less resistance so surely better to use? Perhaps the speakers and screen need upgrading to tell the difference, would love to hear views on this.

4. I am looking to buy a decent record payer to transfer all my dads vinyl onto itunes any recommendations?

5. I kicked myself when I found out that the Onkyo can do 7.1 as I didn't lay cables in the walls for the extra surrounds, or PL2 front height speakers. I went into blockbuster and had a look at the latest blu ray DVD's it seems none have 7.1?? only 5.1? Even the latest titles just out are 5.1!! So anyone with 7.1 what sources are they using or are they simply future proofing the system ready for 7.1 releases, i thought 7.1 had been around ages!

6. Is it worth upgrading the plasma to 1080p when Sky HD is in 720p, and people say when sitting at recommended viewing difference there is no difference between 720p and 1080p... the black level is terrible on the LG plasma so that is the reason I would be upgrading, love to hear your thoughts....

7. Anyone managed to rip DVD's to macmini and get them to playback in itunes with 5.1 output? I can manage stereo but no more than that..... hmmmm!

Thanks in advance!!


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