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Old 26th April 2005, 08:13 AM   #1
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Default The ultimate THX set-up

I am moving into a new house and now that I HAVE to set up my sound system all over again I was just wondering how I could get the ultimate THX experience from my Star Wars Trilogy.

What would be the ideal amplifier/speaker setup for the THX sound sytem?

These are the Receivers/Amplifiers I have at my disposal-

JVC A-X-404 Stereo Integrated Amplifier (Class A)[2 channels; main and secondary speakers]
H.H. Scott RS50 AM/FM Tuner Stereo Receiver[2 channels; main and secondary speakers]
H.H. Scott 222-D Stereomaster integrated amplifier[Left,Right, and center Channels]

These are the Speakers I have at my disposal-

JVC SK-S22 3-way speakers(pair)
JBL L-19 2-way speakers(pair)
Jamo indoor/outdoor 2 mkII speakers(pair)
Dynaco A-25 2-way speaker(solo)

I do have a subwoofer; and actually it is a Klipsch computer subwoofer from a set of speakers designed specifically for THX sound; it says Lucasfilm on the side and everything. I forget the model number, and I do not have it with me(I lent it to a buddy of mine, who has the preamp for this subwoofer, and wanted to see if he could use it in his system, but he can't, so it remains mine). I do not have the Preamp for it though, so it is somewhat useless a this point in my life. I only have it because I found it in it's original box in the trash at work (I work with a lot of rich folks who like to throw away money).

-Trevor
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Old 26th April 2005, 05:59 PM   #2
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Well, first off, that 'THX' sub will not be good enough for satisfying you in a main listening room. I am not familiar with any of the speakers (or electronics) you list, but chances are they may give more satisfying bass performance.

You see, the THX certification can be legitimately applied to PC speakers when used in that environment i.e. near-field listening where high SPLs can be generated with little power. Don't quote me on this, but I seem to remember that the THX specs basically deal with being able to generate a certain SPL at the listening position at a low enough distortion. If your speakers are less than a metre away like in a desk environment then it is very easy to meet those requirements. Why doesn't everyone get THX certifiaction then? Well, one reason is that the company, and therefore you, have to pay for the privelege of that badge and getting the testing done. That Klipsch sub is by no means a duffer, but it must be used in the context for which it was designed.

Have a listen to your three amps/receivers and see which seems to have the best control and detail. Then audition your different speakers with it to see which ones might be best suited to each different speaker location, either by size or aesthetics or sound quality. Rears I would say are least important at this stage, then main L+R, with the centre speaker being the most important in my book. Most people skimp on the centre speaker. You try listening to a movie soundtrack with the main speakers unplugged, you will be surprised how much is packed in that one channel, it's not just speech, big explosions etc. come through as well! Conversely, try listening to the mains alone, for most soundtracks, until the music kicks in, there's barely anything coming through. Your centre is your work-horse, and extra bandwidth and detail here can really lift the performance of the whole in my experience.

As you say, you need a pre-amp/processor, unless you can use an onboard processor in your DVD player? These tend not to be too cheap as it's getting into fairly specialist hifi seperates. Something like Rotel's RSP-966 is an excellent, and very reasonable, second hand buy. Failing that, get a cheaper receiver that has amplifier pre-outs on it to use with your existing amps, or just a receiver to replace them all!

If I were you, having stumbled upon a DIY Loudspeaker forum, I would undertake to build a matching set of speakers for a reasonable budget. I don't know the speakers you've listed, as I said, but I think you will likely easily surpass them in quality with a home build speaker, plus there is the benefit of tailoring them to suit your new house and decor. Of course, I'm being a hypocrite here, as all my speakers are different! That's only because it's more fun to build lots of new pairs of speakers rather than one 5-channel set. Plus, stereo music is a bigger focus for me.

OK, written far too much there, but basically, ditch the sub, play around with your exisiting kit, and buy yourself a digital processor! Oh, and have fun while doing all of the above.
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Old 26th April 2005, 07:03 PM   #3
simon5 is offline simon5  Canada
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Unless it's a Klipsch Ultra subwoofer, or at least a Klipsch ProMedia 4.1/5.1/SWS, it's not worth it.

It depends what kind of THX experience you want to have, there's THX multimedia, but there's also THX Ultra2 spec and everything in-between...
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Old 26th April 2005, 07:23 PM   #4
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The top end THX Ultra2 spec will get you the best that Lucas has had through the certification labs.

But I find THX rating very erroneous at best. There's many speakers and electronics that have never been submitted for certification that are better than the badged stuff.
It does guarantee a minimum of standard and you certainly won't get rubbish if its THX Ultra2 certified but with a little research you can find better alternatives at lower cost.

As has already been mention in this thread, the THX Multimedia certicate has low goals in comparison to real AV gear and this is what your Klipsch has.

Personally if I wanted a system that could do any movie justic, I'd go with the following:

Velodyne DD18 or JL Gotham Sub
Mackie HR626 actives all round
9" CRT or 3 chip DLP projector
~70 - 90" screen for best image quality.
HTPC for scaling with Theatertek 2 and RME HDSP9632 or Lynx TWO B sound card.

Get that lot setup and calibrated in an acoustically treated room and you'll be in heaven. Not cheap though but quality never is
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Old 26th April 2005, 08:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the info; I figured my little subwoofer wouldn't be enough, but it's all going to be in a small room; not a main living room.

I also forgot to mention that I have the trilogy on VHS, not DVD; because I hate the added CGI visual effects.

I'll play around with some different combinations; thanks again!

-Trevor
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Old 26th April 2005, 09:43 PM   #6
JZatopa is offline JZatopa  United States
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I would start with a much better sub and then move from there.
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Old 27th April 2005, 01:39 AM   #7
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I was wondering how you are planing on managing volume control.

I'm guessing you will adjust your volume on your preamp and you will turn your differnt amplifiers up to a somewhat equivalent volume when you install the system so that those amplifiers will never need to be touched.

On the H.H. Scott 222-D what inputs do you have? Does the center channel have its own input or does the amp have an internal DAC and splits the signal to the 3 channels?

Like the others said, I would take advantage of this forum and build yourself a nice set of speakers. If your on a pretty tight budget you can build the Hi-Vi B3S/B3N speakers and get a sub and have great imaging, relitively small speakers, and great sound quality for little money.
Here you can also build an outstanding subwoofer that can really hit the lows your looking for.

Good luck,

Josh
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Old 27th April 2005, 04:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by edjosh23
I was wondering how you are planing on managing volume control.

I'm guessing you will adjust your volume on your preamp and you will turn your differnt amplifiers up to a somewhat equivalent volume when you install the system so that those amplifiers will never need to be touched.
All of the amplifiers that I have are integrated amplifiers; and I will likely only be using one for my whole system; I favor the 222-D, because I'm a tubehead (this is a unit from the 50's). Otherwise I was thinking about using one amp for my TV/VCR and another amp for my stereo system, and using only one set of speakers for the both of them; I would build a junction box that I could connect the speakers through that I would be able to switch inputs on depending on what I was listening to.

Quote:
Originally posted by edjosh23
On the H.H. Scott 222-D what inputs do you have? Does the center channel have its own input or does the amp have an internal DAC and splits the signal to the 3 channels?
The signal is split internally. I have Five speakers on it now; Two connected in series on the left and right channel, and one to the center channel. I can adjust the load of the speakers between 4, 8, and 16 Ohms.

Quote:
Originally posted by edjosh23
Like the others said, I would take advantage of this forum and build yourself a nice set of speakers. If your on a pretty tight budget you can build the Hi-Vi B3S/B3N speakers and get a sub and have great imaging, relitively small speakers, and great sound quality for little money.
Here you can also build an outstanding subwoofer that can really hit the lows your looking for.

Good luck,

Josh
I actually have more speakers than I mentioned; The ones that I am using right now actaually WERE custom made by an audiophile friend of mine; the speakers I have on the floor are two-way speakers with Linaeus(mfg. by Optimus) tweeters, and no-name woofers, that, nonetheless, perform quite well. Those are the only ones that are custom-made. I am quite satisfied with my other speakers... Although...

I really want that subwoofer so that I can FEEL the movie...

I completely forgot about this- I have a 16" Pyle Driver(no cab) that was given to me...

I guess it's off to the subwoofer forum now

-Trevor
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