What makes it complete?

  • Not sure if this is what you are looking for but I am looking for some pieces to complete my new setup.  Where we are at currently (and much thanks to Crutchfield for helping us get this far) -

    Panasonic TH-50pz85U (50" plasma HDTV)

    Directv HR21-100 (satellite receiver/100hr. DVR)

    Panasonic DMP-BD50 (Blu-ray player)

    Onkyo TX-SR806 (AV Receiver/Amp)

    2 Norh Prism 5.2 front speakers/1 Norh Prism 4.1 center speaker (bought  in 1998)

    2 Bose 301 Series III Direct/Reflecting Speakers (bought in 1978, I think)

    (I also have a turntable, but will retire it after I transfer all my vinyl to mp3s. I know that will be horrifying to some people but we really need the space as well as make our collection portable. I'm also using a Phillips DVD player as our CD player. And the VCR and all those tapes...)

    All of this is in a small room about 13' x 13'. We live in an apartment building so we have to be mindful of the volume. We are absolutely delighted with the new equipment. It has elevated our enjoyment of music and television beyond belief.

    So the obvious question is what do I need to do now to complete this setup?  I know I need a DVD/VCR recorder and have been looking at the Panasonic DMR-EA48VK DVD Recorder. (Can't find this at Crutchfield and am surprised since this appears to be good value for the price.). What about a subwoofer? powered or not? 2 more speakers to complete a 7:1 setup? Keep the Bose or replace them?  What speakers?  Am I missing something outside of this?

    Dennis Sheridan

    San Francisco




  • Let's start with your speakers. An ideal system has speakers that are voice matched (when voices are played through the speakers, then they sound the same if the system is voice matched). This is usually only able to be done by getting the same brand speakers for the fronts, center, and surrounds. Also, some brands have different model lines. If this is the case with your speakers, then you will want to get the same brand and model line. It is not important for the subwoofer to be the same brand as bass frequencies do not need matching.

    Now, a subwoofer will be a nice addition to the system. For example, when watching a movie, they have sound tracks that are 5.1 channel. The ".1" channel is one dedicated to bass. You will not hear this channel unless you have a subwoofer. The Onkyo receiver you have is designed to work with powered subwoofers. Since you live in an apartment building, then I would not recommend getting a powerful subwoofer. You can find the recommended choices here. Also, you will need to get a subwoofer cable to connect the powered subwoofer to your receiver.

    Finally, given the size room you have, most people do not go with 7.1 theater speaker systems. They usually elect to go with a 5.1 system as the extra speakers are often hard to find a place for them. However, if you will be connecting a Blu-Ray player, then it may be a good idea to add the two additional speakers so that you get the full enjoyment of audio tracks they offer.

    Also, we offer Logitech Harmony remotes that can help you reduce the "remote clutter." These are remotes that while not needed, can help you simplify your system. They are activity based ("Watch TV", "Watch a Movie", etc..). You may want to check them out.

    HTH! Anyone have other suggestions?