[mythtv-users] Speaker Suggestions ???
R. G. Newbury
newbury at mandamus.org
Tue Jun 6 21:33:45 UTC 2006
Brian Wood wrote
> I'm really looking for the speakers themselves. I wasn't thinking in
> terms of "surround sound", but you're right, DVD and satellite
> programming often does have more than 2 channels, so I suppose I
> could be talked into it.
> The Asus motherboard I'm using has provision for up to 8-channel
> output, although I'm not sure of the quality of same, or what its
> decoding capability might be. To be honest I have not really paid
> attention to multi-channel audio setups, my experience runs more
> towards older analog stereo systems.
> I do have a pair of MacIntosh MC-30 amplifiers, consecutive serial
> numbers, built in 1958, I don't want to tell you what they are worth,
> but I'm not too sure how practical using them with a computer system
> might be (and it is getting hard to find tubes for them). They
> certainly can keep you warm in the Winter.
Well with the approximate $1,5000 US you could get (not sure if that's
for one or for a pair!), you could buy yourself a very good 5.1 or 7.1
system from NAD or another audiophile level setup.
I'm still using a stereo setup but I have some very good (and now quite
old) Acoustic Resarch AR-3A speakers. Depending on your desired level of
hearing, you can get a 5.1 amp from about $250-300 (say Sony Ga&ES) on
up. But you really need good speakers.
> I'm basically looking for a decent pair of stereo speakers, with a
> sub-woofer for the low end, and an amplifier/crossover that can drive
> I was at a Bose factory outlet center that's down the road from me,
> they had some nice stuff but even the refurbished "home theater" gear
> was pricey. I'm happy to see they still make the 901s, but they are
> costly, perhaps a pair of 501s would do ? (Salesman: "You can't use
> *them* for TV, they are STEREO speakers" ("stereo" said with some
> disgust in his voice).
Well, I would not trust anyone who thinks that Bose speakers are any
good for real high-fi. If you are going to go listen to some speakers,
take your own CD of something you know really well and know how it
should sound. Better yet if you have a friend with a good system, listen
to it there too, before going shopping. Arrange for a quiet time: you
cannot choose speakers with a hockey game going on on the 50" plasma
screen behind you. My choice would be something like Alfred Brendal
playing Mozart piano concertos with Sir Neville Mariner on a Phillips
DDD CD: very well balanced and mixed. Any fault in the speakers or amp
will show up, instantly. Yo-Yo Ma doing the first cello concerto and
anyone doing the clarinet concerto in D will expose any errors in a
And remember that with a reasonable amp, you can continue to use your
original "stereo" speakers in a 5.1 setup.
Also remember that all analogue TV is still, at best, stereo only. It is
only when you get to the digital stuff that you can even get better than
> I'm really not sure if I need a sub-woofer, but everyone I speak to
> tells me I "must" have one.
That's probably because they are used to having speakers which would
only make reasonable tweeters in a good stereo setup. There is no bass
without the 'sub-woofer' as there are no woofers. If you are driving a
good alround setup you may not need a 'sub-woofer'. (But note that the
sound may have been mixed to channel the bass to the 'sub-woofer' channel...
> But, I wonder, what are Myth users using for audio output, I've seen
> very little mention of speaker systems here, and what I do see is
> usually problems with multi-channel decoding.
Via SP13000 motherboard AC'97 chipset for the sound card, with output to
either a Sony STR-VX550 stereo receiver/amp or a Panasonic receiver/amp
(model number not remembered: its the one at home at the moment). Each
is good for about 80W RMS each channel and feed a pair of Acoustic
Research AR-3A's at home. The stereo effect from both NTSC analog and
ATSC digital is very good. Of course the sound has lots of depth as the
speakers can provide it. The Sony is very good sounding for a mid-level
Sony unit. The Panasonic is not as good, but it has a black front which
my wife likes better than the silver of the Sony...I find that the
volume is NEVER anywhere near the levels which you get assaulted with at
BestBuy or whatever.
If you have multi-channel decoding problems, check out the forums at
stevehoffman.tv for assistance like here at mythtv-users. If you don't
mind going to the cheaper end, you can buy 5.1 and 7.1 components on
eBay for $200 which will likely be quite adequate for most TV (but may
not make it for a 'Live From Lincoln Centre' PBS HD broadcast.)
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