Friday, December 4, 2009

A few words on home theatre speakers.

If anyone ever tells you that they have small speakers that sound as good as big speakers they are either lying or are deaf. There is simply no way for tiny speakers to do a good job, it's just not physically possible.

For my home setup I use JBL Studio series speakers and a Yamaha RX-v800 Receiver. I picked all this stuff up 10 years ago and it's still going strong. If you buy good stuff it will last. I have upgraded my TV a couple of times, but my speakers sound great and the features of the newer receivers just haven't inspired me to upgrade.

Some folks think that JBL's are too "bright", but I disagree. It's probably the titanium tweeters they are responding to. Music sounds awesome on these even at earth shattering volume. If you were wondering I listen to a lot of jazz, trance, hard-house, rock n' roll, and classical. I also like my action movies!

The important thing to remember when shopping for speakers is to listen to them first. Everyone has different tastes. Bring your ipod and favourite movie to the store and give em' a listen. Whatever you do don't by small speakers, save your money. Be sure to grab a receiver that puts out at least 120 watts per channel. Oh ya, try to buy matched sets, it sounds weird if you mix and match speakers.

For what it's worth this is what I use:
2 x JBL S312
2 x JBL S38
1 x JBL S Center
1 x JBL PSW-D110 (replaced original speaker with an Alpine 4Ω 500W Car Audio sub)

It's interesting to note that because the original sub was 8Ω, I basically doubled the power output of the unit by changing to the new 4Ω sub. But, I also had to upgrade the fuse from 10amp to 25amp, and attach a large passive CPU heat-sync to the internal amplifier. To say this sub pounds is an understatement. It's been working great for 10 years now (no fires).

One last thing, don't go crazy and spend a bunch of money on wire. It's a waste. Just go to radio shack or home depot, 18 gauge should be more than enough (buy a spool, you'll use it eventually). If you need computer or HDMI cables or whatever has great prices.

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