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  • Home Theater Fatigue

    Any of you guys ever get the feeling of why are you doing this sometimes? HT is such an expensive hobby and it seems the more money you put into it the deeper the pit goes. And this month has been one of the ****tiest months I've ever dealt with in my HT system.

    First I accidentally broke an amp connector and an input on my fairly new Onkyo 1007 receiver due to a cable being jammed in one of the inputs. Then a ground loop isolator did something funky to my amps causing them to clip and my speakers gave out a loud buzzing sound. Tweeters blown out of my front two speakers.

    Had to drive crosstown in the rain to drop them off at a speaker repair store. Not to mention the voltage problems I had when I purchased all of my pro amps this year. So I went out and paid hundreds of dollars for Samson and Cleanbox line level boosters. Once I got that problem knocked out now I have a vicious "buzz" problem with all of my speakers and subs.

    I tried the two prong adapters for the amps and that decreased the buzz but it's still loud. I switched out the rca cables on one amp with some higher priced rca cables from my old Paradigm system and now most of the buzz is gone. I'm confused and very frustrated.

    I almost threw out one of my 18.2's out in the parking lot last night until my girlfriend stopped me and calmed me down. I'm just tired of the continuous domino effect of trying to get my HT right.

    Not to mention all of the previous systems I went through and all of the money I've tossed away.

    Bic System- Clear highs but not strong, Strong mids, with inadequate bass at low volume levels.

    Def Tech System- Clear highs but boomy bass due to powered subs within speakers. Placement issues due to this as well.

    Klipsch System- Clear highs but overbearing during some musical passages. Bass did not extend deep enough. Not as sensitive as advertised.

    Paradigm System-Brilliant highs that were detailed and chrystal clear. Prominent midrange. Bass was flat. Very balanced system but never gave me that wow factor I was looking for.

    Present System---Clear highs but not ultra detailed as my Paradigm system. Strong midrange but not as defined as previous systems. Deep bass extension. Great overall balanced sound with very full and deep soundstage. Along with the Chase quad sub setup I finally had the deep, articulate bass extension I've craved over the years with the output to match.

    However now I have issues with potentially overloading the breaker, ground loop or buzzing, endless wiring due to the pro to home equipment, and other issues.

    I'm tired and about ready to give up. If there were some 500 X 7 multichannel amps for decent prices available it would greatly reduce the complexity of my setup. But since I'm guessing there is no such amp available, I'm tired of dealing with pro and home setup problems.

    Do any of your guys ever feel like this sometimes. Have you ever thought about giving up this hobby due to the many obstacles that must be faced. At this point I am contemplating selling all of my subs/speakers and calling it a day.
    I came, I saw, I purchased.

  • #2
    I've been there, DD. You spend all this time, effort and money only to have it blow up in your face.

    Chin up, we are here for you! Don't Hulk out on your gear, it will only make you sorry later. Get a heavy bag, take a deep breath and go a few rounds with it.

    First thing I am going to suggest is to spend more money. Have you tried a power conditioner like the APC H15? That may or may not solve some or all your noise problems. If not, make sure you can return it. I am looking to Amazon for one of these myself. If nothing else, these do offer surge protection and one place to plug all of your gear into.

    Other hums and bothersome noise could be coming form your cable TV feed. Is it properly grounded? Often times the cable guy skips over proper grounding, so this is worth looking into.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tesseract
      I've been there, DD. You spend all this time, effort and money only to have it blow up in your face.

      Chin up, we are here for you! Don't Hulk out on your gear, it will only make you sorry later. Get a heavy bag, take a deep breath and go a few rounds with it.

      First thing I am going to suggest is to spend more money. Have you tried a power conditioner like the APC H15? That may or may not solve some or all your noise problems. If not, make sure you can return it. I am looking to Amazon for one of these myself. If nothing else, these do offer surge protection and one place to plug all of your gear into.

      Other hums and bothersome noise could be coming form your cable TV feed. Is it properly grounded? Often times the cable guy skips over proper grounding, so this is worth looking into.

      Thanks for the positive words Tesser. I NEED to hear them right now. I have a isolator between my cable box and the coaxial cable right now but I don't think my cable is grounded. I tried a cheaper Belkin power conditioner that did not stop the buzz/hum however it did restrict the power coming in to my amps big time. But I am willing to try your power conditioner suggestion as long as it does not restrict the power to my amps the way the cheapy Belkin conditioner did.
      I came, I saw, I purchased.

      Comment


      • #4
        Obviously not as deep and as long a history HT as you, but I'm wondering why I don't just stop, enjoy what I have, and just follow the Joneses on the forums.

        My wife is already pissed about these F20 subs and I haven't even had the time to hook them up proper. I'll probably have to get rid of them. I want to try IB or something but the easiest thing would be to get 2-18.2s and be done with it. Maybe I'll scrounge for that. But then I'll still think what if re: midbass.

        Same thing with our house. I'm replacing my kids windows on the north side of my house with quality replacement windows. My house is only 8 years old. ****ty construction, but solid sq ft/$$$. When you have to have an infrared heater in each kids bedroom, something is wrong.

        Now wife wants new shades (rightfully so)........

        Where do you stop?
        -Greg

        Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple. - Barry Switzer

        HO's Basement Take 2

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HuskerOmaha
          Obviously not as deep and as long a history HT as you, but I'm wondering why I don't just stop, enjoy what I have, and just follow the Joneses on the forums.

          My wife is already pissed about these F20 subs and I haven't even had the time to hook them up proper. I'll probably have to get rid of them. I want to try IB or something but the easiest thing would be to get 2-18.2s and be done with it. Maybe I'll scrounge for that. But then I'll still think what if re: midbass.

          Same thing with our house. I'm replacing my kids windows on the north side of my house with quality replacement windows. My house is only 8 years old. ****ty construction, but solid sq ft/$$$. When you have to have an infrared heater in each kids bedroom, something is wrong.

          Now wife wants new shades (rightfully so)........

          Where do you stop?
          I feel your pain. I've gotten jerked around all month just trying to get my tail into a home. However I live by myself and I don't need the extra room. I'm basically on the market for buying a home right now solely for my HT system. And no matter what I do something else comes up.

          As for the system it's a neverending list of Eq issues, home to pro equipment voltage issues, overloading the breaker, ground loops, hiss/distortion levels from various amps, output/slam factor wanted from ported sub, tightness wanted from sealed sub, wiring issues since everything I use is passive, floorspace issues due to tower speakers but I know most smaller speakers will not give out the mega midbass I am now accustomed to, and so on.

          Where does it all end?
          I came, I saw, I purchased.

          Comment


          • #6
            DD - I feel your pain. If I could put what I think would sound just plain amazing into your system, it would be as follows:

            Emotiva or Outlaw amps and 7 SHO-10's.

            The detail you miss about the Paradigms would be back. The dynamics still there. Plenty of power.

            And with a single SS-driver capable of hitting 128 dB at 63 Hz, mid bass will not be an issue.

            The system would be simpler, more elegant, and sound like whatever you put into it.

            I just shipped my demo SHO/PRO-10's, and the Dana's are nice, but they are not doing it for us.

            I buy CHT gear the same way everyone else does. I just buy them. I am anxious for the next gen SHO's. Big time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by diamonddelts
              Thanks for the positive words Tesser. I NEED to hear them right now. I have a isolator between my cable box and the coaxial cable right now but I don't think my cable is grounded. I tried a cheaper Belkin power conditioner that did not stop the buzz/hum however it did restrict the power coming in to my amps big time. But I am willing to try your power conditioner suggestion as long as it does not restrict the power to my amps the way the cheapy Belkin conditioner did.
              Here is more info, your experience backs up what I was told by the engineer. I'll keep you posted on what I get after my landlord upgrades my electrical. The H15 is topping the list for the money, so far. Kal Rubinson of Stereophile has been using two of the S15's (same thing except it's UPS, too), he has a monster home theater system. I hear that unless you have a projector or server system to protect, go without the UPS.

              http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...shipped-2.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by craigsub
                DD - I feel your pain. If I could put what I think would sound just plain amazing into your system, it would be as follows:

                Emotiva or Outlaw amps and 7 SHO-10's.

                The detail you miss about the Paradigms would be back. The dynamics still there. Plenty of power.

                And with a single SS-driver capable of hitting 128 dB at 63 Hz, mid bass will not be an issue.

                The system would be simpler, more elegant, and sound like whatever you put into it.

                I just shipped my demo SHO/PRO-10's, and the Dana's are nice, but they are not doing it for us.

                I buy CHT gear the same way everyone else does. I just buy them. I am anxious for the next gen SHO's. Big time.
                I had a Outlaw 200 x 7 amp I sold along with the previous Paradigm setup. There is not a day that goes by that I don't regret selling that amp. It was as bulletproof as they come. I've always want to try a system with speakers all hung in the top corners of a room right under the crown molding. I would love to hear 7 Sho 10's around ceiling height in one room.

                This journey has taken me through so many speakers, subs, eqs, isolators, and boosters that a part of me really wants to simplify things. Personally, I still think pro equipment is an excellent bang for buck but trying to get it to mesh with home equipment brings on so many problems.

                The only system I am not familiar with is someone using all powered monitors plus subs which might simplify things but you woud still have lots of wires to hide.

                However I will say the Chase subs are the first and only large subs that have ever impressed me in terms of sound quality. And when used in multiples I have all the output I need as well. For once I can say my lowend is covered in terms of quality and output which I could never achieve in my other setups. I sold that powerful Outlaw amp partly out of anger because Outlaw would not fix the 12V on/off swith and the front panel power switch under warranty.

                So are you going to sell the Dana's and purchase the next generation of Sho's. Are there any plans on Sho 12's or Sho floorstanders to be released this year?
                I came, I saw, I purchased.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It can certainly be a treadmill, that is for sure DD. I always try to remind myself that Better is the enemy of Good. I try to force myself to just stop and enjoy my system for a while before dumping more money into it.

                  My priorities have also shifted as I get older, to that of simplicity and a prioritization to awesome LFE and good detail. If hindsight were 20 / 20, I could have been happy with Sho10's all around. The Abbeys are slightly better, but I often think I could have been just happy with the sho's and used that extra 4k to buy some better amplification and other nice eletronics.

                  If I were you, I'd go for simplicity. Get another outlaw or emo 200x7 amp or a 2x200 and a 5x200 and some high effeciency speaks like the show and enjoy your bass fest, and great detail.

                  But keep it simple. Muphy is a bastard, and loves to mess with complexity.
                  LCR: Gedlee Abbeys for LR and Nathan for Center Surround & rear 4 x Sho10's
                  Subs: 4 x 18.2
                  Electronics: Marantz SR7002, Acurus 200x3 (LCR), PS3, HTPC, CDP300, Mits HC1500, Elite Peregrine 2.35 156" Acousticpro4k

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with the recommendations to simplify. You may well have some sort of power issue that needs worked out because of the ground loop regardless, but there's no need for so much complexity. I'd immediately sell the pro amps and the line level boosters and the adapters and just get a nice multichannel amp like the ones mentioned above. Those pro amps are often designed to draw a lot more current than your home is designed to deal with, and the design priority is never quietness. Plus I'm guessing the line level boosters are increasing your noise level. (and probably compromising sound in general since those are basically super-cheap preamps) You could run the speakers directly off your onkyo receiver until you get them sold and buy the new amp.

                    I understand the bang-for-your-buck appeal of the pro amps. (especially when a feature of priority is massive output power) I have tons more experience with pro audio than home audio though, and I wouldn't do it in my living room in a million years. I don't want the hassle or the noise for starters. I don't even want to flip a bunch of switches when I want to watch tv. (and don't use a power strip to turn several on at once - the current draw spikes big time - pro rigs will use power sequencers for that) I don't want a giant rat's nest of cables, or a huge pile of equipment, or multiple dedicated 20a electrical circuits to handle the draw. And most of all, I don't want the cheap, low-end pro gear that tends to be popular with audiophiles looking for a bargain. The specs on some of that stuff are a fairy tale, they are noisy and sometimes unreliable. They tend to be less efficient and run hotter, making more fan noise, and of course all pro amps expect a +4dbu input signal using XLR or TRS plugs which will add adapters and line mixers and complexity to your system. It's just not worth it.

                    You can really pick from a vast array of speakers and still have plenty of power at 200wx7. (assuming it's a real 200w) It doesn't even have to be horns. If a speaker requires 500w to perform properly, it's a design flaw imo. (at least for home - pro applications are different for a reason) There are tons of speakers out there with benign impedance curves and sensitivity of, say 90db and above that will get really loud on 200w. You may go through a few more speaker choices till it's just right, but at least it will always work when you hook them up. Plus it's still cheaper than multiple pro amps, so you can spend more on the speakers. (or snacks)
                    Angel City Audio
                    East Street Audio

                    ACA, Melody, Onix, NuForce, KR Audio

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tesseract
                      Here is more info, your experience backs up what I was told by the engineer. I'll keep you posted on what I get after my landlord upgrades my electrical. The H15 is topping the list for the money, so far. Kal Rubinson of Stereophile has been using two of the S15's (same thing except it's UPS, too), he has a monster home theater system. I hear that unless you have a projector or server system to protect, go without the UPS.

                      http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...shipped-2.html
                      After much troubleshooting today, I found the buzz starts when I connect the VGA from my TV to my Computer. I have a RCA to mini jack which then transferes the buzz from my computer to my receiver. And then the buzz seems to go from the rca cables to my amps.

                      I found this interesting piece of equipment on Amazon today. I am going to try it out this week. Hopefully this should help my current situation.

                      http://www.dak.com/reviews/2045story...FQ9S7AodfiV_Sw
                      I came, I saw, I purchased.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by woofersus
                        I agree with the recommendations to simplify. You may well have some sort of power issue that needs worked out because of the ground loop regardless, but there's no need for so much complexity. I'd immediately sell the pro amps and the line level boosters and the adapters and just get a nice multichannel amp like the ones mentioned above. Those pro amps are often designed to draw a lot more current than your home is designed to deal with, and the design priority is never quietness. Plus I'm guessing the line level boosters are increasing your noise level. (and probably compromising sound in general since those are basically super-cheap preamps) You could run the speakers directly off your onkyo receiver until you get them sold and buy the new amp.

                        I understand the bang-for-your-buck appeal of the pro amps. (especially when a feature of priority is massive output power) I have tons more experience with pro audio than home audio though, and I wouldn't do it in my living room in a million years. I don't want the hassle or the noise for starters. I don't even want to flip a bunch of switches when I want to watch tv. (and don't use a power strip to turn several on at once - the current draw spikes big time - pro rigs will use power sequencers for that) I don't want a giant rat's nest of cables, or a huge pile of equipment, or multiple dedicated 20a electrical circuits to handle the draw. And most of all, I don't want the cheap, low-end pro gear that tends to be popular with audiophiles looking for a bargain. The specs on some of that stuff are a fairy tale, they are noisy and sometimes unreliable. They tend to be less efficient and run hotter, making more fan noise, and of course all pro amps expect a +4dbu input signal using XLR or TRS plugs which will add adapters and line mixers and complexity to your system. It's just not worth it.

                        You can really pick from a vast array of speakers and still have plenty of power at 200wx7. (assuming it's a real 200w) It doesn't even have to be horns. If a speaker requires 500w to perform properly, it's a design flaw imo. (at least for home - pro applications are different for a reason) There are tons of speakers out there with benign impedance curves and sensitivity of, say 90db and above that will get really loud on 200w. You may go through a few more speaker choices till it's just right, but at least it will always work when you hook them up. Plus it's still cheaper than multiple pro amps, so you can spend more on the speakers. (or snacks)
                        You make some really good points. I previously had a Outlaw 7700

                        http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/7700.html



                        If I were to go back to a simpler setup I would definitely want the Outlaw 7900
                        http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/7900.html

                        I have not seen any of these going used on Audiogon ever. So I guess it is a good product. Not sure about needing two dedicated circuits for it though. That seems extreme and goes against those of us who are trying to simiplify things. Which is why most guys purchase a multichannel amp in the first place.
                        I came, I saw, I purchased.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah, unless you really need that extra 100w I might shy away from something that requires multiple dedicated circuits. Looks like a beast though.

                          It is important to remember, however, that sometimes a piece of gear has listed power requirements that assume (or pretend) nothing else is plugged into that circuit. Some of these big solid state amps do pretty much require their own circuit, and some of them even list output numbers that are hard to actually achieve in real world conditions without a dedicated circuit. You'll notice the 7700 lists a max wattage consumption of 1800w, which is more than a single 115v circuit can provide. (1725 theoretical max) Of course it's unlikely you'll actually pull that much unless the volume is maxed and your eardrums are bleeding, but code says you shouldn't pull more than 80% of that, which is 1380w. Only transient peaks are likely to go there in real world listening, but the bottom line is the amp isn't going to make full power without a dedicated circuit, and even then peak output will be limited by the power from the wall. The 7900 lists 2x1440w max consumption, which is more realistic. (but still only with TWO dedicated circuits) You probably won't run into that limit, like I said (obviously you used the 7700 before) but when going for big power you have to take such limits into consideration before plugging in a dozen other things or counting on a certain number of watts to be available in reserve.

                          There are people who have quite a bit more than that on one circuit and don't have issues. That's because the volumes they listen at don't approach power limits and they could really live with half the power. ;)
                          Angel City Audio
                          East Street Audio

                          ACA, Melody, Onix, NuForce, KR Audio

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by woofersus
                            Yeah, unless you really need that extra 100w I might shy away from something that requires multiple dedicated circuits. Looks like a beast though.

                            It is important to remember, however, that sometimes a piece of gear has listed power requirements that assume (or pretend) nothing else is plugged into that circuit. Some of these big solid state amps do pretty much require their own circuit, and some of them even list output numbers that are hard to actually achieve in real world conditions without a dedicated circuit. You'll notice the 7700 lists a max wattage consumption of 1800w, which is more than a single 115v circuit can provide. (1725 theoretical max) Of course it's unlikely you'll actually pull that much unless the volume is maxed and your eardrums are bleeding, but code says you shouldn't pull more than 80% of that, which is 1380w. Only transient peaks are likely to go there in real world listening, but the bottom line is the amp isn't going to make full power without a dedicated circuit, and even then peak output will be limited by the power from the wall. The 7900 lists 2x1440w max consumption, which is more realistic. (but still only with TWO dedicated circuits) You probably won't run into that limit, like I said (obviously you used the 7700 before) but when going for big power you have to take such limits into consideration before plugging in a dozen other things or counting on a certain number of watts to be available in reserve.

                            There are people who have quite a bit more than that on one circuit and don't have issues. That's because the volumes they listen at don't approach power limits and they could really live with half the power. ;)

                            Great post. You bring up some very valid points. I know I am not getting anywhere near my amp's specs since I have multiple amps all plugged into one 15 amp circuit. Makes me wonder how much power do I really need. I do like it loud, but not to earbleeding levels. I never, ever go near reference.

                            The only thing that bugs me is my speakers always lacked midbass at low to mid volume levels with high dollar receivers and 200 watt and under amps. Yet when I started using pro amps their mid bass levels became very prominent and impressive at all volume levels where as I would always have to crank the volume to get things going before.

                            I know pro amps are not using more watts at the low volume levels I normally listen at, so I have never been able to figure out why such a difference in my midbass at moderate to low volume levels.
                            I came, I saw, I purchased.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you over draw the amps out of the wall your amps will sound feeble. Also, it your running thru some type of power management system, that might limit your amp. We were running a Carver TFM 75 (750 X 2), which can draw 40 amps, into 20 amps circuit. It could only sound like a 200 watt amp and was lifeless. The TFM 75 is a dual mono amp, so we used 2 separate 20 amp circuit, then everything came to life.
                              engtaz

                              I love how music can brighten up a bad day.

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