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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question Home theater equipment questions

Okay all you high tech gadget heads...got a few questions. As far as my "theater" is concerned I am running the following:
  • Harmon Kardon AVR225 reciever
  • Phillips DVP642 DVD player
  • Monster cables for everything

Speakers:
Fronts:
  • Infinity Studio monitor series SM125's
    Rears:
  • Infinity Studio monitor series SM65's
    Center:
  • Infinty Studio Monitor series Video 1
    Subwoofer:
  • Kenwood powered KSW300 with monster cable

I bought the speakers in the ladder part of 97, but they are great speakers.
Anyways, my subwoofer, after I turn on a movie or radio, it sounds like it get a huge surge and it makes a loud "pop". It will do it a few times. What could cause that and what could I do for a remedy? My fronts, if I am watching a movie, the tweeters have a loud annoying crackle/buzz to them as well. I ended up covering up the tweeters with a towel to block that so I can watch a movie without getting pissed. Would a Monster Power center/line conditioner maybe solve these issues? Are the tweeters maybe going bad to where I need to replace them? Could the integratede amplifier on the sub be going bad as well? Need input. I am considering selling all of the speakers as a bundle (if I can) and upgrage to the Infinty reference series (cube speakers) and get rid of the "furniture", unless I can find a good fix. Thanks in advance for any inputs.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-31-2006, 09:48 AM
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i had similar popping with my sub before, first i was able to just plug the wires in better, they were coming loose, and then it was other parts of my system that wires were coming loose, guess gremlins in the night tugged on my wires. and if you do decide to get all new stuff, you should take a look at the company Paradigm, if you have not already, i could not be happier with them
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-31-2006, 11:46 AM
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Don't waste your money on Monster products.

I used to sell them for a living, they are like Bose, 99% marketing/hot air, 1% innovation.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-31-2006, 02:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TehKing
Don't waste your money on Monster products.

I used to sell them for a living, they are like Bose, 99% marketing/hot air, 1% innovation.
Agreed. Many magazines/websites have done a blind test on audiophiles and experts on if anyone can tell the difference between Monster Cables or other high end cables vs the cheap ones you can buy at Radio Shack. The result was always that no one can really tell the difference, especially when it comes to wires that hook one component to the other. Where they can tell the difference is when comparing heavy gauge speaker wires to those really thin speaker wires, which is a no-brainer.

One test even showed how most participants thought that the best sounding cable was an electrical cord rigged with rca connections. Like Matt said, it's all hype. What a waste of money.

The common advice was, if you're going to spend that money on the cables, you'd be better off investing that money into a higher end system cause you'll get more bang for your buck.
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-31-2006, 10:50 PM
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I get all my cables from here:

Monoprice.com

Many people on Home Theater forums I frequent reccommend them. VERY good cables for dirt cheap prices. I just bought 4 fiber optic cables for like $16... would have been at least $40 each in a store, (for a crappy product too).

A power conditioner would be a waist of money, (especially a monster one). If you can double check all the wiring, even try some other chepo cables to verify there is no short. Check the settings on your amp & sub, like crossovers, gain, trebble bass, ect. Is the sub on all the time or is it "auto on?" It sounds to me like an amp problem, but try the sub on another stereo or something to rule out it's internal amp.

Are you useing optical digital audio? (Your Amp and DVD support it so you should)... make sure the connection is firmly planted and the settings in the DVD are correct.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-31-2006, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, so I am/have wasted my money on Monster cable huh? I used to always use RCA brand cables because of the price and never had a problem with those, but I wanted an upgrade so I went with Monster. Come to think of it, the cable I am running for my sub is an old one as well. Bought that with the sub ($75.00 back then) and I bought a weird cable to go to the back to I assume bridge it together to stop the humming from the sub. It is in auto on. Now that I think about it, while I was hooking the X-box up to the system, I might have pulled out a tad to far on the receiver thus pulling wires out a little. Never thought of that. Will explore those options. However, as far as a line conditioner, a few years ago I went to an audio store looking for a powered center channel (thinking they existed) because my center was lacking the max sound for main voice...the tech grabbed all of the same equipment I had at the time and hooked it up, we listened and I asked him what the deal is. He hooked it all up to a line conditioner/filter and it was 1000% better. I am still considering that. Thanks again for the help guys.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-31-2006, 11:30 PM
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Read up on "power conditioners" on Home theater forums:

example: AVS Forums http://avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=678562

Most people say they are a waste unless you have VERY obvious problems with your electricity to begin with. By all means if you notice a differance go for it, but don't let a sales person feed you a line of BS trying to sell you a $300 one. More important is a UPS, especialy if you have a "bulb" TV like DLP or LCD.

Last edited by DJDiggler; 06-01-2006 at 12:18 AM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-01-2006, 01:24 PM
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The only time you should really use a power conditioner is if you are running electronics off a gas powered generator, and we all know how often that is.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-01-2006, 02:36 PM
 
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I'd say get a whole-house surge protector, the kind that installs in your fuse box. Costs about $200 installed. Protects everything. The GE units come with $50k of 'insurance', one of their models just plugs into a dual-breaker position in the panel, couldn't be easier to install.

Think about all of the electronics in the home including the kitchen, laundry room, and furnace room. None of that stuff is cheap to replace.

Ffor your home entertainment stacks, buy higher-end computer UPS units. The APC netUPS 1100s are very nice.

Have a look at local computer surplus companies (NOT the flea markets) for corporate returns/asset recovery stuff. You can often grab the higher-end APC units for under $100, then head to Batteries Plus for a set of new SLA batteries for $40.

When a UPS 'goes bad' it's usually that the batteries have reached end of life and the electronics are just fine. But corporate types don't want to bother with the recycle and install headaches of new batteries so the old UPS go to the surplus companies.

Last edited by '98-ESer; 06-01-2006 at 09:05 PM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 09:06 PM
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I got an APC Smart UPS 1400 that way. The UPS was free from where my mom works and $75 worth of batteries had it back up and running.

As for power conitioners, if you don't have an obvious power problem, a GOOD (read not junk) surge suppressor should be fine. APC, Tripp-Lite and Belkin make some decent models that work.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 09:28 PM
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As for small signal cables for connecting your stuff together, this is what I reccommend: DIY!

Yup, that's right! You can make your own, all you need is some RG-59 or RG-6 coax and some RCA ends. The gold plated RCA ends at Radio Shack work well and are the only ones they sell that can handle the thicker coax cables.

I use home made cables between the receiver and CD changer on my mini-system (Onkyo MC-35) and there is no discernable backdround noise unless I crank it with nothing playing. Only the optical link on my main system is quiter. They eat the Monster products for lunch when it comes to noise and they are dirt cheap to make.

You will need some soldering skills, if you want, PM me and you can have me make you some.

As for getting rid of the big speakers, DONT DO IT! Little speakers suck, you'll miss the dynamic range.

As for the popping, it probably is not a cable issue, my guess is a cold solder joint in the sub amp or receiver.... an easy fix.
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