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The History of Home Theater (really long post)

 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 153
Registered: Dec-03
I call this the history of home theater since I am so egocentric that nothing existed before I heard about it. I have been a participant in this forum for about 2 years and through the whole "Hawk is Dead" silliness and the registration that happened a year ago. I am about fulfilled and will try not to make the continued obsessive visits to this forum in hopes of finding out one more tidbit of information. I also, egotistically, thought that my experience may help others.

My background in music is that I was a "musician" in rock bands from about 1978 - 1986 but moved on to other things (you know, job and family--boring stuff). I had previously purchased audio equipment in the beginning of the home studio era. I have recordings from my bands which range from reel to reel single miked to boom box built in mike to four track cassette decks to cassette decks bounced to cassette decks to quarter inch eight track reel to reel. I never had much money in those days and didn't buy expensive equipment. On occasion, I could buy a used piece of equipment I thought would be good such as an Aiwa tape deck. I had a cruddy turntable and no decent amp to speak of.

In the years of the late twenties/early thirties, I had a friend who worked at a boutique store who pushed me into CDs (what a rip off -- but I got my $12 back on the price fixing settlement so I guess I'm even) and Nakamichi equipment. So I bought a Nakamichi receiver (which I still have), Fisher CD player and speakers (?!). Then from there I went to KEF speakers. About this time, the box stores were being born, I think Silo was an early incarnation. I started to buy disposable equipment from them.

I ended up with my Nakamichi receiver and Phase Technology speakers which were not too bad. Then I wanted home theater.

I went to the Circuit City and pulled out the entry level HK and some Polk speakers. I couldn't help shaking the feeling that I was making a mistake. I went to a boutique shop and started asking questions. I returned the HK and Polk and tried out a Pioneer Elite. Still not right. Then I got the Marantz SR5300. Ok first step. I listened to Paradigm and B & W speakers. Not right. The salesman also knew of Phase Tech and so recommended filling out the system with Phase Tech. Well, my Phase Tech 7Ts were my stereo system so now I needed speakers for my stereo system.

I still wasn't sure I was getting the best advice so I started snooping online. I got to this forum and new names were being tossed around. Hawk had his infamous posting where he became enlightened at a blind testing of receivers and declared that he had been to the mountain top and NAD was there. I had never heard of NAD before. I went to NAD's website and found that there was indeed a NAD dealer in my burg. I went there and found a guy who had a furniture store and sold audio equipment as a hobby because he loved it.

Not only that, he had speakers I had never heard of before--PSB, Meadowlark and Martin Logan. I listened to the NAD T762 and really liked it. I got some great deals and took it home. Well, shortly thereafter, it broke down. I took it to the certified repair shop who had it for 2 weeks and decided that they weren't going to do NAD work anymore. (Probably because I bugged them so much about when it would be done.) NAD offered to replace the NAD T762 with the NAD T763. I thought it over for a milisecond and agreed. In a couple of weeks I had it. Nirvana at last.

Then I needed new speakers for my stereo system. My faithful NAD dealer had speakers and I asked him to play some of the PSB speakers to compare with the Paradigm and B & W I had heard and was disappointed in. Well, he asked me to listen to the Martin Logan Montage. Yikes! It wasn't in the same class as these others, it blew them away. He offered me a smokin deal and I took them.

Hey, I thought as I brought them home, what would they sound like in my home theater set up? Omigosh, much better. So now my Phase Tech 7Ts were back in the stereo system and my MLs were the mains with Phase Tech center and surrounds. Later I went back to the dealer and talked to him about wish lists. He said: you know the ML won't sound as good with the Phase Tech center because of the differences in the speakers. Ha, he just wants to sell me more stuff. Ok, he has a smokin deal on a Fresco. I add it and boy, what the heck was I thinking of before? The whole thing sounds much better.

But now I've got the Marantz driving a stereo system and the Nad driving the home theater and the subwoofer isn't keeping up. Back to the dealer. He recommends the PSB Subsonic 6i. Can't afford those ML subs and this is the next best thing. I correspond with the SVS folks who are nice but those things are huge and I don't really have that much room. The other boutique guy lets me borrow a B & W sub to see if that is really the problem. Well in 2 minutes it is clear that the Phase Tech sub cannot keep up.

Okay. I get a smokin deal on the PSB sub and its all good. But now I've got a bunch of Phase Tech stuff sitting around. I find a friend to buy that stuff (at much reduced price) and I say, what the heck do I need. So back to my dealer and gee there is another smokin deal on Martin Logan Mosaics this time and I get a NAD C372 (Integrated Stereo Amp) and NAD T533 (DVD, CD, DVD-A). Well the C372 came yesterday. The question: do the Montages or Mosaics go to the stereo. My answer: the Montages. The stereo is a much smaller room. The Mosaics are a better speaker and are needed for the HT.

Well yesterday I hook the stereo system up and real Nirvana! My wife comes home and (she is really not that interested in all this) I say, you gotta see this. I bring her up to the stereo and say, pick a cd that you think you know what it sounds like. I put on the Ricky Lee Jones cd and my wife understood.

If I had looked around more first, I could have avoided the quick upgrade. I still have a bit more to get (another quality dvd/cd player and another dinky system for a turntable for all the lps I have) but not too much. I do want to thank all of those folks who have been around since I started lurking here: Hawk, John A, Elite Fan, Johnny and several others. Their discussions along with the questions from countless others really opened my eyes and ears.

I will still stop by from time to time to help if I can offer anything. Those who see my posts probably know that I only post if I think I have something of value to offer within a limited range of subjects. Keep on keeping on and long live ecoustics forums.
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 938
Registered: Dec-03
Johnny,
Good story and please check in from time to time and see what us obsessed wacko audio fanatics are up to. It has been interesting to read your comments and good luck.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gdawg

Canada

Post Number: 108
Registered: Dec-03
Haha, I remember that "hawk is dead" fanatic. I also agree, nice story and keep on posting!
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 1969
Registered: Dec-03
Hoooah! Let's hear it for the Dec 03 registered Audio Wackos!

G.DawG, you're alive, haven't read from you in a while:-)

 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 510
Registered: Dec-03
Man, that makes me nostalgic. There aren't that many of us "Dec 03" "wacko's" out there, but we are a determined bunch! Thank you Jonathan for the kind words. I really appreciate it. Sometimes it is hard to know what people actually do (or don't do) with our recommendations. Many of the people who ask for help don't post back after they get it all figured out...which is really a shame as it would be so beneficial for all of us.

I tried doing a search of the archives for the "Hawk is dead" thread so we could all have a good laugh, but I think I remember that it was deleted by the moderators. "Jacko" was the fellows name who started it I think. Oh the memories...
 

Silver Member
Username: Gdawg

Canada

Post Number: 109
Registered: Dec-03
lol,
Yes im alive! And despite what u guys might think, I DO have a life outside ecoustics forums!!:D

I havent been posting as I have been busy with other things, but im back and will try to answer as many newb questions as possible.

Johnny,

Yes it was deleted by the moderaters, and while we may wish we had it now im glad its gone because its not what this forum is for.

 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 156
Registered: Dec-03
G.DawG! Yes it is nice to hear from you. If I had any memory cells remaining, you would have certainly been on my thank list.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2564
Registered: Dec-03
There aren't that many of us "Dec 03" "wacko's" out there, but we are a determined bunch!

Just checking in. Great to read the familiar names again. Nice, story, Jonathan.

I have sort of drifted away from worrying about receivers to worrying about sources, turntables, DVD-A, stereo vs mutichannel, and what hi-fi is supposed to be all about in the first place.

But one thing I discovered recently, maybe useful to other owners of older NAD A/V receivers, is to use the "Ext 5.1" inputs wherever possible. Even for stereo. I think the "Stereo direct" function on the newer receivers probably does the same thing. Which is miss out the receiver's processor board completely. I think the processor stage is a weak link from the point of view of detail and resolution: it brings in the surround-sound options the receiver has, but at a cost. For example, I found I could hear the words much better from LP and CD going through the "Ext 5.1" input.

On an apparently unrelated thread MM vs MC (about pick-up cartridges) on November 21, J. Vigne has some qualified praise for NAD amps.

I still recommend the NAD T533 DVD player. Excellent sound for CD, and DVD-A has to be heard to be believed. I have an unsolved problem that certain newer DVD-A disc will not play because of copy protection. NAD responded and my dealer responded, saying the player needs a "firmware upgrade", but the dealer's promises to fix it come to nothing: "NAD sent the wrong CD" was the last reason, and I am wondering why NAD does not just post a disc image, or supply a CD, so I can do it myself.

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