What Hifi Exile Saying Hello

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Darren Heal, Aug 13, 2018.

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  1. Darren Heal

    Darren Heal
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    Have moved over from the WHF forum due to its imminent, some would say long overdue, demise.

    I'm an ex-pat Brit living in Cypress, Texas, where I've been (mostly) since September 2000. Cypress is part of the suburban sprawl on the northwest edge of Houston, the fourth largest city in the US. My day job is designing and building oil and gas pipelines, currently onshore through an alligator infested swamp, but historically offshore in any depth of water you can think of from 50 feet to over 6,000. Before I moved to Cypress I lived and worked in Aberdeen for 11 years. I grew up in the Ringwood / Christchurch area, although my family and I are originally from Bristol.

    My home is set up with a 19 ft x 12 ft 6 in movie room upstairs, in which I currently have a Marantz SR-7010 driving a 7.2.4 setup using a cheap Onkyo stereo power amp to drive the back two Atmos speakers. The speakers are all Yamaha "Natural Sound" models - NS-IW960 fronts and centre, NS-IW660s at the sides and back and NS-IC800s in the ceiling. All wired with 12-gauge 165 strand Mediabridge speaker cable off a roll. I have two Polk PSW-110 subs at the front. Nothing fancy or pretentious, but they all do a great job. I actually have six speakers in the ceiling. The builder put in two, and then I decided to upgrade from 5.2.2 to 7.2.4 so I installed four more, and couldn't be ahemed to fix the holes in the ceiling and so left the original two speakers in place. They're only about $130 a pair so cheaper than a plasterer and I'm future proofed :) All the installation work was done by yours truly. I have the benefit of having an attic above, behind and in front of the movie room, so getting behind the plasterboard was quite easy for me.

    The main thing about my media room is that I need to upgrade the TV from a 65 inch Samsung 6-series 4K TV. That and the furniture and the junk that seems to accumulate in the room. I'm waiting / hoping for 120 inch "wallpaper" TVs to come out (or to win the lottery or both) as I have my doubts about projectors and screens giving better pictures than TVs in small spaces. If I do go for a PJ and screen It'll be either the Sony 285 or 385 4K PJ and a reasonably priced, not rip-off priced screen, probably 150 inch diagonal 16:9.

    Downstairs in the family room, I recently added a Marantz NR1608 "slimline" receiver, which I've got hooked up to a Saga "luxury Edition" The Knight 3-way passive soundbar and four Yamaha NS-IC400 ceiling speakers, wired as a 5.1.2 system. It's not brilliant but it does for the family room. we can always go upstairs, junk permitting, for "serious" movie watching. The room has an all glass wall on one side and is open plan to the kitchen opposite, so 7.?.4 isn't an option. At some point I MAY be able to go to a 5.1.4 (or 5.1.2x2 (with the in-ceilings wired in parallel pairs and proper ear-level rears / sides) setup but I'm not planning on it.

    No stereo worth speaking about at the moment. My last "proper stereo" was an all Cyrus X-series affair back in 2010. I sold it because it was all UK voltage and wouldn't work well in the US, or so I thought, and much missed. If / when the Memsahib allows I intend to replace it with a similar level of equipment and have no desire to make do with anything lesser until then. The AV setup has to do.

    I have two Sony X800 4K Blu-Ray players - one upstairs and one down - that I got on sale at the beginning of the year for just US$150 each. No complaints whatsoever, and after a firmware update, no freezing issues to report.

    The whole house was wired for ethernet, and I've ripped all my CDs, DVDs, and 1080p Blu-Rays onto a RAID10 hard disk setup. i5 spec home theatre PCs assembled by yours truly sit in the movie room and in the family room, so we can stream 400 and counting movies in house.

    Movie choice? I hate all-CGI Marvel type movies. First of all, I think they should be called what they are - computer generated CARTOONS, second I'm too old for superhero movies and third the CGI is so flipping fast these days my old eyes and the spongey mass that used to be my brain can't keep up. A good traditional real actors and real backgrounds for me please. Serious BBC / Film4 type stuff or POTC for light relief, I don't care, just keep the CGI out entirely or at least to a slow-paced moderate level.

    Well, that's about it. Let the HDMI cable debates begin!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2018
  2. stranger

    stranger
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    Welcome to the forums, what was your question?
    I visited Houston many years ago whilst in the Merchant Navy really enjoyed my short time there.

    PS you're never too old for Superheroes :)
     
  3. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Hello and welcome. I'm afraid you're too late for the HDMI cable thread as we have moved on to kettle leads that have been delivered by Unicorn courier and sprinkled with fairy dust whilst reading aloud from the Mabinogion. Other than that we're really quite normal people.
     
  4. Darren Heal

    Darren Heal
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    Hope you made it further than the "delights" of the Ship Channel....
     
  5. Darren Heal

    Darren Heal
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    Over here we use straightened out coathangers from the dry cleaners treated to a brisket dry rub mix and 8 hours in the old smoker whilst blasting out Willie Nelson....
     
  6. Darren Heal

    Darren Heal
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    PS If you want THIN dry cleaner cost hangers, best practice is to wrap one end round a lamp post and the other around the tow hitch of a Dodge Ram Dually....

    https://dodgeforum.com/dodge2.jpg

    (I drive a Merc R350 by day, have an AMG CLK63 currently in legal limbo but due to be returned soon, hopefully).
     

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