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Thread: Piecemeal budget HT journey

  1. #1
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Piecemeal budget HT journey

    .
    I don't have resources to dedicate a room and spend big bux on a SOTA Home Theater.
    If you do or have done so already, then this thread probably isn't for you.

    Last year the kids came to stay for a while and we put them up in a spare bedroom. They were aghast that it only had a 20 inch CRT TV. (I have trouble replacing any gear that's working well) . So for Xmas the kids sent a 32 inch LCD set. Was really happy with the pic, but the 26 inch CRT in the HT was working OK. fortunately last summer that set croaked.

    I did a lot of homework and decided that 40 inch is the max that would work out in that room. I've always had the problem of "under buying" ie: not anticipating future needs,
    This time I went for a UHD 4K up scaling smart TV. Turned out to be a good choice. Hardwired it to the router

    That purchase started an upgrade cycle.

    My HT room is my bedroom (14x24) that used to be the family room. It had the CRT , a Denon 2105 AVR , a JBL CL505 center, a/d/s/ L-1290 towers , a/d/s L300 surrounds and a Panny DVD player.

    So I got a used Visio Bluray player, but was unhappy with the slowness/unresponsiveness and pickiness about disks. Didn't last long. Replaced it with a Sony 3D Bluray that is superior in every respect. NOW 1st problem. Sony is HDMI only, My old AVR does NOT have HDMI. The new TV has 3 HDMI inputs and pretty good DTS 5.1 sound. Doing it that way excluded the existing audio gear.

    Making it all work only happened when I reprogrammed my vintage schematic idea of a HT system. The AVR is no longer the hub/center of it all. The "smart hub" in the TV is now the center and the AVR only powers speakers and no longer does switching. 2nd problem comes up. How to get signal to the AVR ? Turns out that the TV has optical output (TOSLINK) ... merely ran one of those lines to the never before used optical input on the AVR.

    It now ran pretty good, EXCEPT Netflix sound would only play through the TV. Tried everything but no joy. In desperation I called Samsung. "NO SWEAT" said the CSR. He asked my name and city and found my MAC address from the "on set" registration.
    Soon there was a permission request on the screen , giving temp control to the CSR.
    He knew where to go in the settings and was patient while I double checked it all.

    So now it's Audio upgrade time. I had forgotten that there was a DefTech SLCR powered unit in storage. In this 20 inch wide speaker there is a powered 8 inch sub. That was a huge upgrade.
    The rears stayed the same. The fronts now had twin 10 inch subs vampired in and set as bases for the towers.
    Also from storage came a Velodyne 12 inch servo-sub. Audio is now just fine with the two 8's in each tower,a 10 inch subs under each of them , a powered 8 inch sub in the DefTech and the 12 inch powered sub.

    Lastly, the remote controls and constant switching was tiring. I acquired a Harmony remote. You do all the programming on their website and then download to the remote.
    Very shortly after that, I picked up another Harmony. This was a much higher level "Ultra Touch" model with a color screen about the size of most cell phones.

    Very, very versatile . Turn on order, delays, etc.etc. And Logitech claims gear codes for over 20,000 different peripherals.

    Now..great picture, outstanding audio & easy control. Since there is a browser app , I picked up a blutooth keyboard.

    Oh yeah, I went to their apps store and found Pandora , so it can just run as audio all day.
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  2. #2
    Senior Member RedCoat23's Avatar
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    So what you're really saying is it's good to hoard?

  3. #3
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedCoat23 View Post
    So what you're really saying is it's good to hoard?
    is that what you derived ? OKAY, I'll play along.

    Sure, hoard good, useful stuff*, pref USA made. New is generally Ch1nese and often crap.

    Audio guys are often hoarders, as are photographers, horologists and record collectors, all categories to which I belong.

    run a poll here ..."How many JBL's do you own" ?? you'll see

    *exclude tin foil, string & sealing wax...etc.
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  4. #4
    Senior Member RedCoat23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    is that what you derived ? OKAY, I'll play along.

    Sure, hoard good, useful stuff*.
    Ahh, I'm just having a little fun with you Seawolf I'm in no position to judge, a definite case of 'pot, kettle, black'
    One of the perks of collecting is realizing what you can put together with very little money from your audio stash.

    It sounds like you've made an appreciable jump in quality and function through a judicious use of finances and saved gear. From my perspective I gain tremendous amount of enjoyment from listening to a new setup, but sometimes how I got there can be even more rewarding.

    Congrats on your new setup

  5. #5
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedCoat23 View Post
    It sounds like you've made an appreciable jump in quality and function through a judicious use of finances and saved gear. From my perspective I gain tremendous amount of enjoyment from listening to a new setup, but sometimes how I got there can be even more rewarding.

    Congrats on your new setup
    well , I buy ALMOST always "pre-owned" . If a purchased piece is better than what I am currently using, it gets subbed in and the old piece gets sold. Otherwise, if I hoard backups ..the house would fill up (again ). I had the spare SLCR from a flea market a while back , the velodyne from the estate of a friend who passed away last year.

    I gain some experience/knowledge and sometimes make a little money. But I've also equipped my son and other relatives with my replaced items too.

    Honestly, I can buy most anything I want. Problem is ... I'm "old school" and have trouble justifying purchases for myself. My Beemer is from the 90's , pickup is 10 years old. Writing a check for newer versions is no problem , but like the CRT TV , I can't kick something to the curb that still works well , needing little maintenance.

    I guess it's kind of a game that has me as a participant. Build the best ______ , for the most reasonable cost. Sure is a lot more satisfying that just plunking down $ for something that somebody says is good.

    You have to get creative in your retirement to keep having fun. Cycling , vinyl, buy & sell, audio, photography and traveling is filling my Golden Years ... never planned it that way
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

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