Home Cinema setup and past history
AV Equipment on the 14th Sept 2010.
Plasma: PANASONIC TH42 PWD6, SKY + BOX, DVD Player: CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 54OD, AV processor/amplifier: YAMAHA DSP-E800, Stereo amplifier: ROTEL RA-970BX, Phono equalizer: ROTEL RQ-970BX, CD player: ROTEL RCD-965BX, Record deck: LINN SONDEK LP12, Centre speaker: KEF Q95C, Rear speakers: Canon V-100’s, Front speakers: ARC 101’s
As you can see from my AV equipment list much of of my audio gear has been around for some time dating back to when my sole aim was to put together the best Hi Fi system I could afford on a modest budget. Then about 15yrs ago I started out on the home cinema trail when I first connected my speakers ARC 101’s (now 31yrs old) directly to my TV the Sony KV-X2132U in order to make the most of the stereo reception. Then over the next 10yrs this gradually evolved into a full blown surround system. 1st connecting the TV’s audio output to my amplifier some 9 metres away. 2nd Buying a Panasonic VCR. 3rd Adding a Yamaha Pro Logic surround amp in order to get the additional centre and rear mono surround effects then available, which of course meant 4th buying the extra speakers, although it would be about another year before I could 5th afford to add a centre to the rear ones.Then about ayear later I aquired 6th my REL sub.
Of course as every AV enthusiast knows upgrades are bound to follow sooner or later. My first being a dvd player the TOSHIBA to replace my VCR. Next the biggest and most exspensive upgrade but most rewarding, of course, was my Panasonic 42inch plasma which I brought nearly 6yrs ago which is basically a monitor to which I added a component board and scart to vga converter + interconnect cables, costing me about £1700 overall. Unusual circumstances meant that for once I was able to afford to be one of the early adopters of one of these new flat panels to replace my 13yr old 21inch SONY. Nowadays a Panasonic 42inch 1080p HD plasma is available for about £600 to £700 with a multitude of connection options plus TV tuner built in.
About 3yrs ago I upgraded to a YAMAHA dolby digital AV processor brought second hand on eBay. I then replaced 2yrs ago my Toshiba DVD with the CAMBRIDGE 54OD
This brings me up to the present day where I have finally removed from my Hi Fi system the SONY analogue tuner, made redundant by SKY digital, and the tape deck superseded some 20yrs ago, both of which are no longer used by me and have just sat there gathering dust on my AV shelves. Prompting me to do this has been the prospect of being able to afford some major upgrades in the near future, leading me to clear the decks, as it were of any redundant equipment.
For anyone interested I am going to update this page (to include photo’s) as and when I make these changes. My main aim is to invest in a HD /3D? Projector and a 92inch electric screen. Followed by SKY +HD, Blu-ray player and new AV receiver. I’m also thinking of getting Cambridge audio’s DACMAGIC to improve the sound of computer digital music files played back over my stereo system and maybe enhance my 15 yr old CD players performance. I have already run a 10 metre high speed HDMI 1.4 compatible cable under the floorboards, to join my other cables, in preparation for connecting a SKY+ HD box to a projector. I will use the digital audio cable presently connected to my DVD player to route Dolby digital from my sky box to my AV processor.
Update: 01 Dec 2010
Near the end of October I purchased a second hand Cyrus 8 amplifier on e-bay which has replaced my ROTEL RA-970BX with it’s smooth but undetailed performance when compared to the more upfront detailed sound of the Cyrus which I love.
A couple of weeks later I came across a projector the Epson EH-TW5000 on AV forums which with it’s great reviews and reasonable second hand price plus 22months warrenty remaining made it difficult to resist. So rather than buying as intended a new Panasonic PT-AE4000, if a reasonably priced HD 3D projector did not come onto the market soon, I brought the Epson saving myself about £600 in the process. This was followed quickly with the ordering of a Beamax M-Compact Series 10245 Electric Projector Screen, a Sony BDP-S570 blu-ray player, and a Sky HD box.
I did have a problem with the motor adjustments on the Beamax screen to adjust the drop of the screen so that it would stop automatically just above the hight of my speakers. Having said that, I have nothing but praise for Beamax’s customer service who promply sent me a replacement screen.
Update: 15th Jan 2011
It had only been a matter of time before the inevitable upgrade of my CD player: ROTEL RCD-965BX to a Cyrus CD8 se player which I had had my eye on for some time to partner my Cyrus 8 vs2 amp. I found and purchased one of several I had been looking at on e-bay, about 2yrs old, for £600.00 on the 12th Dec. With this new player I noticed a greater amount of detail and a wider sound stage presented.
On the 30th Dec I purchased a new AV receiver, the Yamaha RX-V667, in order to make use of the un-compressed HD audio available from my blu ray player which I thought was really impressive. My reason for selecting this AV receiver over others at this price point was because it provided the pre-outs that I needed in order that I could incorporate my Cyrus stereo amp used for CD and record deck playback into my system and therefore getting the best musicality from my set up.
For the time being at least there’s unlikely to be any further changes to my system, unless my vintage quality speakers the ARC 101’s, 31yrs old and still going strong, were to give up the ghost.
Below are my two early set ups in my home cinema journey.
As you can see from the first picture ( about 1994) I had to watch out for my son’s curiosity in investigating my AV set up. I remember finding a toy soldier in the VCR , hence the TV being placed in the corner with a table in front of it in an effort to protect it from probing fingers. Because of the high sensitivity of my hi-fi speakers I was able to connect to the TV's phono outputs for a much improved sound of what was then the latest stereo (nicam) capability for TV.
In the second photo ( about 2004) with my son and daughter now both old enough to have moved their attention to items above knee level I moved the TV to a better central position in order to further my home cinema aspirations. This is further evidenced by the removal and re -siteing of a radiator (see the 1st photo) in preparation for the mounting of a plasma monitor. I had still to move the radiator connections, as can be seen in the 2nd pic.
As a result of having to take up some of the floor boards in order to extend the plumbing for a new radiator I realized it was possible to run my speaker cables under the floor boards to the opposite side of the room where most of my AV equipment was housed. No more bumps under the carpet. Since then all additional cabling such as HDMI and digital audio from HD sky box has been routed this way.
Below are photos of my latest set ups, progressing from plasma only to a projector/plasma set up
Update 1st Aug 2011
Replaced my faithfull ARC 101's in March with Spendor A5's. Also replaced center speaker with matching Spendor C5.2 Aquired all three speakers as a package on e-bay (less than 2years old) for less than half retail price.
Plasma: PANASONIC TH42 PWD6, SKY HD + BOX, Projector: Epson EH-TW5000, Projector screen (electric):Beamax M-Compact Series, 10245,AV receiver: Yamaha RX-V667, Blu-ray player: Sony BDP-S570, Stereo amplifier: Cyrus 8 vs2, Phono equalizer: ROTEL RQ-970BX, CD player: Cyrus CD8 se, Record deck: LINN SONDEK LP12, Centre speaker: Spendor C5.2, Rear speakers: Canon V-100’s, Front speakers: Spendor A5's
AV equipment now.
New fronts/centre speakers