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I'm new and need advice.

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Beccy Miles, Mar 14, 2003.

  1. Beccy Miles

    Beccy Miles
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    Hello, Im Rebecca :)

    I dont have as much interest in the concept of Home Cinema as much as everyone else here but my family want to buy my Dad a new set of speakers for his Birthday.

    We have a 28" widescreen television and my dad has just bought a new amplifier which can take more speakers than he currently has. We also have a DVD player.

    My Dad want to have 'surround sound' so i assume that we just need to get him some speakers for the back of the room.

    We want to spend up to £150 on this and then maybe when he retires buy him some of the other things that he needs.

    I'm not sure what a sub woofer is but im sure he will want one of those too.

    Can you help me please?

    (sorry if i sound a bit thick, i'm new to this)
     
  2. Sandman

    Sandman
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    You will struggle to get a decent set of speakers and a subwoofer for your £150. I am assuming that your dads new amplifier is a dolby digital reciever. You will also need to decide where the rear speakers are to be positioned i.e. will they be mounted on the wall or sitting on bookshelfs or just sitting on the floor. If they are to be mounted on the wall I would recomend getting a set of Mission 77ds speakers. These speakers sound and look great and got five star reviews at the selling price of £200. The good news is you can now get these speakers for £100 from Richer Sounds.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Beccy Miles

    Beccy Miles
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    Thank you for your reply Sandman.

    I have spoken to my Mum and she says that the best place for his new speakers will be on some shelves at the back of the room. I have taken a look at his amplifier and it's a Sony with the numbers STRDB780 on the front.

    Is this a good one? I hope so because he's been talking about how good it is and how much he wants some more speakers for it!

    He already has some speakers at the front of the room but they are really old ones.....they have B&W on the front. He really likes these and does not want to get rid of them so it would be nice if we could get some of the same make for him.

    I'm still not sure what a subwoofer is but we are not intending to buy one of these for him at the moment.

    Thank you.

    (is this site usually very slow?)
     
  4. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    A subwoofer is a very large speaker that you place on the floor, it's responsible for producing the lower frequency sounds or the 'base' (think of the singer Barry White), sound effects such as big hollywood explosions, the rumble from an earthquake, or the sound of the bass guitarist in the rock band, will be produced through this speaker.

    However, if you have good enough loud speakers (such as your dad's B&W's), these can produce a decent enough level of bass meaning a subwoofer is not essential, but recommended. Basically if you have a tight budget you can make do without one.
     
  5. Beccy Miles

    Beccy Miles
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    Thank you Sunday Ironfoot.

    I understand what you are saying about subwoofers now, and i am sure he will want one :rolleyes:

    I think that we will have to sit Dad down and ask what he really wants as this seems to be a bit more involved that what we first thought.

    In some of the local electrical shops they sell 'speaker packages' with about 6 speakers in the package. Is is a good idea to get him one of these so all the speakers look the same? Will he still be able to use his current speakers as well? or is this a stupid idea? (my moms!)

    By the way, there are some very funny names being used on this site :laugh:
     
  6. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    No one uses their real names on forums and chat rooms do they? :rotfl:

    Anyway I'll look into your Sony receiver to see if it's Dolby Digital or not. And yes all-in-one speaker packages are a good idea because the speakers have been deliberately matched to each other, however you can't use your current B&W speakers as well (you probably could but it would be complicated and expensive). Did the speaker package you see come with a subwoofer, what package was it?

    It seems that (providing your Sony receiver is Dolby Digital) all you need to add is two rear speakers and a centre one to mount on your TV to use along-side your B&W speakers, what type are the B&W's anyway?
     
  7. Sandman

    Sandman
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    The speaker packages that high street retailers sell at this price(dixons, comet) are generaly not of great quality. It sounds like your dad appreciates his audio equipment and would therefor not want to connect cheap speakers up to his new amp. I would look through a magazine (what hifi sound and audio is a good one) and try to find a shop advertising a set of B & W speakers at a good price. This will then give your dad a set up with two main B & W speakers and two rear B & W speakers. He will then need to get himself a centre speaker (goes under or above the tv and the dialogue from tv programs and films comes through this speaker).
    It might me worth talking with your dad and explaining all this because you can pick up a decent 5 speaker package for about £300-£400 pounds and by the time you have bought the rear speakers and your dad buys a centre speaker you will have spent about £250 anyway. Buying 5 new speakers from the same manufacturer would ensure the sound from all speakers is tonally matched. If you decide to go down this road there are lots of people in here that can point you in the direction of a good package (not from dixons).
     
  8. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Is this your Receiver? (click on link below)

    http://www.homecinemaheaven.com/prod_info/amps/str780.htm

    If it is then it seems you've got a good system there, it does Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, and Pro Logic 1 & 2.

    I need to head to work now but hopefully some other forumites will be able to help you choose speakers, come on guys/gals help out here :p
     
  9. Beccy Miles

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    Thank you Sunday Ironfoot.

    I have no idea what make these speaker packages were as we were only tentatively looking about, and this was a few weeks back. I seem to remember them having 6 speakers in a box though so on the information you provided it maybe did have a 'sub'.

    I have had a look at the back of my Dad's speakers and it says B&W DM110 on there.

    I'm not so sure that he would like to get rid of these though as he says they are brilliant speakers for his music.

    The amplifier has 'Dolby Digital' written on the front. What difference does this make? It's also on the front of the DVD player which is also a Sony.

    Why would he need a speaker mounted on the TV? :confused: It has speakers in it.
     
  10. Beccy Miles

    Beccy Miles
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    Thank you Sunday Ironfoot

    That is the amplifier that my dad has, well, it looks the same.

    Sandman.

    You answered my question about the tv speakers whilst i was typing and now i look to be thicker than i actually am. duh!

    I will take your advice and talk to my Dad about what he actually wants......this is going to be an expensive gift i feel!

    Maybe someone could help by guiding me towards some websites that i can show him, im sure he will have an idea what he wants when he sees it.
     
  11. Sunday Ironfoot

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    What you're trying to make is a Home Cinema surround sound system which includes 5 speakers and a receiver/amp, sub optional. With such a system you bypass the TV speakers (just turn the volume down) and play all sounds through the 5 speakers in your surround sound system. Even on the best TV's, TV speakers are generally quite wimpy.

    The front two speakers (your dad's B&W's) take the place of your TV speakers, and the centre speaker on your TV reproduces all the the dialogue. The rear speakers produce a surround sound like effect so that it seem like sound is coming from behind you at times, ie you're immersed in the movie.

    Dolby Digital is a surround sound format used by DVD Movies, other formats including DTS (Digital Theatre Sound), Dolby Pro Logic 1 & 2. The latter are inferior analogue formats (although they still have their uses), so Dolby Digital and DTS are where it's at.

    Basically, your DVD player reads the Dolby Digital/DTS soundtrack from the DVD disc, sends it to your Sony AV Reciever which in turn decodes the Dolby/DTS information and sends it out to the speakers.

    Oh and BTW you'll need a Digital Optical or Digital Co-Axial cable to connect your DVD player to your Sony Receiver.
     
  12. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    http://www.dolby.com/
     
  13. Billy Blowfish

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    That's completely spoilt my day. Whenever I read your posts I have visions of a red indian charging across the plain with his feathers streaming behind in the breeze clutching the reins in one hand and What Hifi in the other.
     
  14. Beccy Miles

    Beccy Miles
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    Thank you again Sunday Ironfoot

    (I love that name)

    Thank you for explaining that to me. I have had to re-read it about four times though but i think i understand now.

    So, all i need is four more speakers to complete his system. Two for the back, one for the tv and a 'sub'?

    You confused me with the Digital Optical thing though.

    I'm sorry, im not very good at this am i!
     
  15. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    ROFL!!...oh S@$T I'm late for work!!!
     
  16. Sandman

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    Hi Beccy, firstly I forgive you for calling me Sunday Ironfoot. Ok I will try to explain everything.
    Dolby digital is a standard audio format and comes in 5.1 or 6.1 formats. these number refer to the number of speakers you can connect up to your system. The .1 of these numbers is the low level effects (i.e. the subwoofer), the 5 refers to 2 main front speakers, 2 rear speakers and 1 centre speaker (under or on top of the tv). 2 + 2 +1 + .1 = 5.1. The 6.1 set up is the same only it has another speaker at the centre rear of the room (between the 2 rear speakers 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 6.1.
    There are two types of subwoofer for the .1 speaker or channel, you get active or passive subwoofers, active subwoofers have amplifiers built into the speaker cabinet and passive subwoofers are just speakers, for your dads amp an active subwoofer would be recomended.
    Ok now the centre speaker thing. At the moment all the sound is getting sent to the tv's speakers, when the tv gets connected to the new amp the sound signal is split into the 5.1 channels, if you only have 4 speakers you are going to loose out on the centre channel of sound (this is the channel that carries all the dialogue so doing this would be usless).
    Your dad needs the 2 rear speakers and a centre speaker to enjoy dolby digital sound, once he has this the speakers on the tv wont be used at all. You can worry about the subwoofer later as this is not as important as the centre or rear speakers at the moment.
    Your dvd player has dolby digital on it because it outputs a dolby digital signal and your amp says dolby digital on it because it decodes the signal and sends it to the speakers.
    Hope this helps.
    One other thing, the centre speaker should be the same make as the front main speakers. I dont know much about B & W speakers so hopefully someone else will let you know of any centre speakers they make.
     
  17. Chivalry

    Chivalry
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    personaly if u are limited on funds at this time... my choice would be the eltax bipolars reduced from £150 to £49.99 from richer sounds,,, got alot of good reviews and sound great.... for a sub though u need to spend a little more to get something worth its salt.. and luckily uncle eric in the powerbuy forum has started to sell the new velodyne at a great price of 199 deliverd... i know its a £100 or so over what u are looking to spend,, but inthe long run u will be far better off... 250 quid gets u cracking rears and a top quality sub... exsacly what ive gone for :0)

    p.s. if u are really lucky... richer saounds also have the yamaha ns-c120 centre speaker rudeced on there web site from 150 to 19.95!! but only instore so u need to take a printout of the wbpage with u to make the store pricematch.. i got the last one in leicester branch,,, so i dont think theres many left ... pot luck in each store :0) but seeing as your on a budget it would be perfect.. happy hunting :0)
     
  18. Sunday Ironfoot

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    It's basically the cable that carries the sound signal from your DVD player to the surround sound reciever, you won't get Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound without one.

    They come as two different types, Digital Optical where the signal is carried as light down a fibre-glass like wire, and Digital Co-axial where the signal is simply transimitted as electricity. Optical is the most common although neither one is better than the other, just make sure your DVD player and Sony receiver both have the same connector types.

    Where do you live (I don't mean exact address BTW)? The reason I ask is because some of the forum members may be able to recommend a dedicated HIFI shop that's local to you, and you could go in there and ask for advice. Those people generally know what they're talking about. Don't ask for advice in places like Dixons or Currys because they employ chimpanzees :laugh: :smashin:
     
  19. Beccy Miles

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    Hi,

    After a long night of discussion my Dad has decided to bite the bullet and go for a complete set of speakers, my Mom isn't too happy but it's his Birthday.

    He mentioned 'Mission' speakers and says that you can get a complete set for around £300.

    Where are we going to get those from? Does anyone know which ones they are? Are they any good?

    I assume it will be cheaper to buy off the internet than in a shop, is this right?

    Thanks again.
     
  20. sticker

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    Sunday Ironfoot, you're being very unfair to chimpanzees :nono: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  21. Sandman

    Sandman
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    Hi Beccy, I'm glad you are going for a whole set of speakers, I think this is the best thing to do. Anyway they dont call me the Mission Man for nothing (I asked them to).
    Mission FS2/AV £299 from Richer Sounds (small speakers that come with subwoofer)
    Mission Cinema M72 £199 from Hyperfi (5 star review in "what HiFi")
    Both of these packages will suit your needs and sound great, if you buy What HiFi sound and vision you will see adverts for both of these shops in it (or check out the websites).
     
  22. Beccy Miles

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    Thank you once again Sandman

    We are now all sat around the PC looking at those websites and I think we have decided to buy him the Mission M72 set.

    More than we initially wanted to spend but it seems to be the best deal.

    I'm sure he will be pleased, thanks for your advice, everyone.
     
  23. Sunday Ironfoot

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    Good find Sandman, those Mission M72 are a bargain, let me say that I'm currently using Mission M71's and these are fantastic speakers, I think the M72 are slightly bigger with better bass output.

    Beccy, don't forget to make allowance in your budget for speaker cable (you'll need quite lengthy cable for your rears if it's to stretch all the way around the room), and a Digital cable to connect your DVD player to your Sony AV Receiver.

    And that should be everything you need (except Subwoofer of course, though that can come later if you want), good luck with your new system!!!
     

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