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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am not a audio/video junkie but I do kind of enjoy it a little. I've never owned super high end stuff. any kind of receiver beyond $500 I just can't justify for myself. so no marantz or McIntosh in my house lol. but I just recently upgraded all of my stuff for the first time in over 15 years or more :surprise:. all new speakers and receiver. I will be upgrading to a 4K tv 60" minimum and the blu-ray player as well. yeah I buy blu-ray discs when they're in the $5 bin :grin: the TV will probably be a Sony. I'm just not a fan of samsung or LG TV's. I've never owned one of their stuff that lasted more than a few short years. my last samsung I paid over $1300 for lasted 4 years. my LG computer monitor sh it the bed in 2 years and developed many dead pixels. the Sharp tv I have now is a pile of crap.

anyway here is what I had.

1. sony STR-DE885 yeah it's super old. but has dts 5.1. thing was actually very good for it's day. it has stuff in it that is still being built into stuff to this day. sony's Cinema studio EX surround sounds amazing and better than THX to me. no HDMI inputs though. all coax or optical. it wouldn't play surround with streaming services like Netflix etc. so it was time to upgrade
2. old technics speakers. which I thought sounded fine...
3. pioneer surrounds with center. again, sounded ok..I thought.

new stuff,
1. Onkyo TX-NR686 only using it on 5.1 but it does 7.2 (2 subs) amazing receiver with tons of options. https://www.onkyousa.com/product/home-theater/a-v-receivers-processors/tx-nr686/ if you want a frigging awesome receiver for under $500 this thing is it.
2. Polk 2 T50 floor speakers, T30 center, 2 T15 bookshelf for surround. speakers are entry level polk speakers. cheap was the right price lol. but they sound very good. way better than my old stuff. I might be a polk fan already. maybe I'll upgrade these to their better stuff like the signature series stuff. what I have, https://www.polkaudio.com/collections/home-audio/t-series
I already have a older sony powered sub. and a Sony 5 disc DVD/CD player that can play super audio CD's (SACD).
I will say that this setup does sound great. all the low speaking is crystal clear and very audible and then the loud parts aren't overly loud. the polk speakers are known for filling the room with sound on low power/volume. and they do!

for now I'm still using my old Sony blu-ray player BDP-S360. it's from 2010 so it's still mostly up to date. it can play dolby True HD audio. (lossless) but I will need a 4k player when I upgrade my TV. I'm looking at their UBPX700 player. it has a lot of good reviews.

so I do have some questions.
what height do you guys use for the surround speakers? right now i have mine sitting on 2 shelves about 50" off the ground. which is about 1.5' above my ears sitting on the couch. the stereo manual doesn't really say how high to go. they just show angles to put them at. unfortunately I cannot move my couch away from the wall so the speakers cannot be behind me like they show in the receivers manual. and I can't face them at me either. so I know it's not optimal placement to begin with.
is there any way to stop the tv from turning on the receiver when you're using ARC on the HDMI? I frigging hate that it does this but I cant figure out if there is a setting to stop it. I would think there is something in the TV settings possibly.

just throwing this out there, never buy a sharp aquos tv. they're ****ing garbage. even my remote stopped working. I use a logitech harmony remote instead. but the tv regularly freezes and I have to unplug it. they never have any firmware updates for it either. everyone in comments on this tv complain about it freezing, remotes stop working etc.

anyway share what you guys got. mine isn't all that and it's in a small 18 x 12 room. I enjoy it. but it's probably a joke to some of yours. I just have a shitty tv stand. I will be upgrading to a cabinet style and hanging the tv on the wall.
 

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Look on Polk's website and see if they have a dispersion diagram for your speakers. You will likely see that the placement is not as critical as you think.
 

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Ditto. The front speaker is the most critical in my experience to get the alignment right. The side speakers I keep them about listening height as well, granted I can't adjust mine as they are on solid stands. From my readings, they should be angled towards the viewing area but no so much that the sound is crossing over each other. In all honesty, I just go by my own ears. If it sounds right it works for me. But I spent a lot of time dialing in my speaker settings. As for Rear speakers, unless you have a 7.1 system your rear speakers should actually be to the sides and above the listening area for accurate immersive sound. But it's rare to have a room set up perfectly for perfect speaker placement unless you built a dedicated theater room so mine are behind me just angled slightly out.

I have been toying with the idea of upgrading my TV to 4k which unfortunately also means updating my receiver to a UHD capable receiver. I decided I would not be happy settling with a non OLED TV which is so far out of my budget, so the wait goes on. But true black with little to no blooming is important to me for quality viewing. But as much as I too agree about your views on LG (which knock on wood as been going strong for 5 years for me), you can't beat the quality vs price of their OLED TV's. Samsungs prices are insane.

As far as the ARC goes, do you need it? I'm coming from a Dumb tv so I have no apps or any reason to pass sound from tv to receiver so I might be nieve here. But you could just plug into the Non-ARC port and problem solved. But disregard if you use apps on the tv. But nevertheless your right, there should be a setting somewhere......soooo yea I just contributed nothing here. :grin:

On a related note about home theaters, if you're like me and like to watch movies in a dimmed room check out getting backlighting for the TV. It sounds crazy but it makes a world of difference and its easier on the eyes. Also check out Phillips Hue White ambiance Bluetooth light bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Ditto. The front speaker is the most critical in my experience to get the alignment right. The side speakers I keep them about listening height as well, granted I can't adjust mine as they are on solid stands. From my readings, they should be angled towards the viewing area but no so much that the sound is crossing over each other. In all honesty, I just go by my own ears. If it sounds right it works for me. But I spent a lot of time dialing in my speaker settings. As for Rear speakers, unless you have a 7.1 system your rear speakers should actually be to the sides and above the listening area for accurate immersive sound. But it's rare to have a room set up perfectly for perfect speaker placement unless you built a dedicated theater room so mine are behind me just angled slightly out.

I have been toying with the idea of upgrading my TV to 4k which unfortunately also means updating my receiver to a UHD capable receiver. I decided I would not be happy settling with a non OLED TV which is so far out of my budget, so the wait goes on. But true black with little to no blooming is important to me for quality viewing. But as much as I too agree about your views on LG (which knock on wood as been going strong for 5 years for me), you can't beat the quality vs price of their OLED TV's. Samsungs prices are insane.

As far as the ARC goes, do you need it? I'm coming from a Dumb tv so I have no apps or any reason to pass sound from tv to receiver so I might be nieve here. But you could just plug into the Non-ARC port and problem solved. But disregard if you use apps on the tv. But nevertheless your right, there should be a setting somewhere......soooo yea I just contributed nothing here. :grin:

On a related note about home theaters, if you're like me and like to watch movies in a dimmed room check out getting backlighting for the TV. It sounds crazy but it makes a world of difference and its easier on the eyes. Also check out Phillips Hue White ambiance Bluetooth light bulbs.

I use the arc function because I watch netflix, vudu, hulu and sling via a chromecast. the smart tv on mine has never been updated and doesn't work with any of the apps it came with. another reason not to buy a sharp tv. they don't keep them updated. my tv does have an optical out and the receiver does have an optical in but I've read the optical signal doesn't support dolby digital plus which is what all these streaming services use. so to be able to use the surround it has to be done with ARC through HDMI. with my old sony receiver it has sony's cinema ex stuff and it would sound like dolby surround. but its more like the old dolby pro logic II stuff and not a true surround. although it did sound ok it can't match the sound the new receiver is capable of.

and I do have back lighting. it does make the tv look better in a dark room for sure. I'm not sure about the LED strips I have though. if they produce a good enough white light. I seen they had a bunch of Monster cable led strips at walmart for $4. I may try theirs since it says it does several ranges of white.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Look on Polk's website and see if they have a dispersion diagram for your speakers. You will likely see that the placement is not as critical as you think.
the manual the speakers came with has one. it shows them just in front of a couch but not showing which way to face them. but if you put them on the wall behind a couch it shows them firing straight out facing the front speakers.
the receiver's manual that has all the crazy positions with actual angles to place each speaker lol

another option this onkyo has is a setup microphone. you place it in the center of the room and run it's AccuEq setup and it calibrates the sound field. it sets the distance, crossover frequencies etc. it seems to work very well. after I ran it that's when the audio track of the movie pops out so clear and audible it's like having headphones on in a studio.
 

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I'm a complete bottom-feeder wrt the home audio/video; only broken stuff I repair or get 2nd hand off craigslist. Accordingly the audio equipment is all 70's, 80's- speakers reconed and so on. IIRC the tv is about 62", flat- forget the brand on the inside they're all pretty much the same, this one just needed a new video processor board. Since nothing is integrated I run all the audio thru a mixer, so as to pick up the computer audio also. As unsophisticated as it is, it works well- hit play on the device you want to hear from and thats it. Xbox, video stream box, chromecast all connect into the tv and I pick the audio from the HDMI signal and send to the mixer.

I messed with an old quadraphonic amp to get 4 channel sound for a while - wasn't worth the trouble grappling with forcing the stereo sources to duplicate front for the rear pair without control fiddling. THe wife and daughter are not into any sort of controls other than volume, so it has to be ready to go when the wall switch is turned on.
 

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and I do have back lighting. it does make the tv look better in a dark room for sure. I'm not sure about the LED strips I have though. if they produce a good enough white light. I seen they had a bunch of Monster cable led strips at walmart for $4. I may try theirs since it says it does several ranges of white.
I bought the MediaLight brand. They work well for me. Their 6500K (a quality 65K, not some cheap blue 65K) and are dimmable so you can set the light level. The color of the wall behind the tv makes a difference as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I'm a complete bottom-feeder wrt the home audio/video; only broken stuff I repair or get 2nd hand off craigslist. Accordingly the audio equipment is all 70's, 80's- speakers reconed and so on. IIRC the tv is about 62", flat- forget the brand on the inside they're all pretty much the same, this one just needed a new video processor board. Since nothing is integrated I run all the audio thru a mixer, so as to pick up the computer audio also. As unsophisticated as it is, it works well- hit play on the device you want to hear from and thats it. Xbox, video stream box, chromecast all connect into the tv and I pick the audio from the HDMI signal and send to the mixer.

I messed with an old quadraphonic amp to get 4 channel sound for a while - wasn't worth the trouble grappling with forcing the stereo sources to duplicate front for the rear pair without control fiddling. THe wife and daughter are not into any sort of controls other than volume, so it has to be ready to go when the wall switch is turned on.
there's nothing different with the Onkyo I have than what you're doing. it's basically doing the same thing. however, anything connected via HDMI it will switch to that source on it's own when you turn that source on. so for example if I have the tv on and turn the receiver on it senses the tv is on and switches to the tv input. then if I turn on the blu-ray player it switches to that. I guess that could get annoying say if I just need to get the disc out while Im watching a movie on netflix etc. but they tried to make it less confusing to get working for people that are not tech savvy I guess. I'll play with it some more, It may only switch over if I turn the tv input to the blu-ray. but I think the receiver switches over when it senses the blu-ray gets turned on.

I'm sure you're aware, but if not, there is actually a huge community of people that collect old stereo equipment. there's a bunch of vintage stereo/electronics websites I like to look at sometimes. my uncle has a pair of speakers from like the 70s I think. I forget the brand but I've looked them up before for him because they need new foam surrounds on the woofers. come to find out they were like some pretty high end stuff for the day. the one that isn't broken at the moment sounds ****ing amazing. even has crossover controls on the back. something you don't see today. the cabinets are actually wood. not MDF or particle board. also something you only see on $1000+ (each) speakers today. but I love old stereo's. some of them still sound great. some of them have features that make mine seem cheap. the funny thing is turntables are making a comeback. you wont find them at retail stores though. but there are some turntables out there that costs more than my truck is worth lol. Technics has one I think is $4k. look how much it weighs...40lbs lol https://www.technics.com/us/products/grand-class/direct-drive-turntable-system-sl-1200g.html

I bought the MediaLight brand. They work well for me. Their 6500K (a quality 65K, not some cheap blue 65K) and are dimmable so you can set the light level. The color of the wall behind the tv makes a difference as well.
yeah the cheap stuff I have I think is more for PC Gaming. so the color is like the blueish white. I have some LED lights in my kitchen ceiling from GE called Reveal. and it's like natural sunlight. that's what I'd rather have. it's more of a mood lighting. I will grab be a pack or 2 of the Monster cable lights this weekend if they still have some. they had a big bin of them but they usually sell that stuff asap. they might be all gone by now. I cant find this kit online right now. it was specifically for home theaters tv back lighting. and it was just white but selectable like at tv does with it's cool, warm, and hot setting.
 

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Yeah I'm one of the guys who bids on broken stereo equipment so as to fix it. Working on a nice old 100watt Kenwood receiver now. The HDMI automatic switch is a pest, xbox video resets on powerup or when youtube flips to ads gives the elcheapo switch an opportunity to switch over to the chromecast needing a manual change back. Maybe I need a better switch lol.

I've been into two Onkyo's, really liked the older one- it has a smartypants heatsink design- very compact but elegant, got most of the heat outside the unit so needs minimal vents in the enclosure. The harness inside the chassis is absurdly complex but they used excellent quality wire- no ribbon cables etc. I did a full recap on it, strangely enough about 10 of the capacitors had leads rotting out of the parts, quite a few more had drifted values badly. Not sure if that was a storage issue in the past.. but its a quality piece of work and sounds wonderful. The "entertainment center" amp is an ebay basket case Sansui amp, which had been thoroughly destroyed; holes burned in the circuit board, a couple transistors literally in pieces- working great now, that was a fun amp to get working; very potent, over 50 watts/channel square wave from 10hz up to 30khz with no ringing, sag etc, sine wave measurements show 90+ watts/channel to over 30khz.

Far as media goes, I'm digital only- the further away I can get from tapes and LP's the better, though ironically my 13yr old daughter likes LP's so I set her up with a turntable and one of my amps- she only uses it for records and has no interest in a bluetooth receiver so she can play the youtubes and netflix with decent sound lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Damn dude you are way smarter then me with that kind of stuff. I did replace the output IC of a early 90s Technics su-g90 amp. It turns out that amp was halfway decent with class A design and white circuit boards. Had a fan in it too.
 

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That SU is well regarded, iirc the usual failure in it is the fan leading to overheat sometimes to the point of solder softening on some of the surface mount parts such that they slide downwards.. the dreaded "blockslide" failures. lol, never worked on one that new, though I did a small 30 watt Technics a while back, was an easy amp to work on.

Modern av systems are pretty amazing though.. hard to work on but very capable. otoh ive never been a tube person, whole other ballgame
 

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ive been more than halfway tempted by some of the new yamaha integrated amps, official usb audio codecs etc.. look really nice, or speakers from a recent century would be a nice change.

But all my play money is going into the r6, audio systems are fun but riding is more fun by far ??
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Went ahead and purchased the Sony ubp x700 4k Blu-ray player. Then next week it went down $10 lol. That's my life.
I'm eyeing that 65 in Sony oled. It's pretty expensive but next to any 4k led, it looks 2 times better than they do. It's insane
 
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