It sounds like your all set. I don't know the technical issues of video coding or how a machine gets locked into one region or another, presumably with a chip that the machine will not function without that might restrict what can be played on it. In any event region free sounds like what you need.
As for the number of channels you would like in a surround system isn't that a matter of personal; taste. The old standard (I am a stereo guy so take this with a grain of salt)was 5.1 then it went to 7.1 or more then 9.xx etc. It is really what you will like. I have read people say 3 channels makes them happy and other invest fortunes in custom installations.
I would assume the old 5 channel systems would be sufficient. Surround is not however "audiophile" stuff most of us are 2 channel you will even find some mono enthusiasts.
Ok, I guess my question is why spend the extra on the modded versions, as opposed to just the $499 on the Oppo site for the 103 or 95?
I have the SynchronyS surorunds, which are tri-mode, and I'll probably wire them as 7.1 since I ran the wires already, but I know that'll be a trial and error thing. The receiver has 9.2, but I don't anticipate adding front effect speakers. The receiver also has 'pure direct' mode for when I'm just listening to music. As with anyone, I suppose, I'm trying to get the max out of a multi-use room. The main question remaining is about the necessity of a dedicated center channel given my limited space, or will the upgraded LF/RF (when I get them) with better imaging characteristics than my Kappas localize dialogue properly without need for a center? Watching movies in 2 channel seems to have decent dialogue as-is, but of course I have little to compare it to.
The Oppo 103 is all you need for digital source playback. A big, separate amp would greatly improve upon the wimpy amps found in almost all AV receivers. And a separate pro-pro like the EEmotiva UMC-200 or upcoming XMC-1 would serve you well.
And, yes, you DO need a center channel speaker. The center handles about 80% of the dialog in a surround sound setup, don't skimp here.
I would also recommend using speakers from the same mfgr. in the same product line. The timbre-matching (voicing) and seamless transition from L-R and F-R will improve dramatically...
Ok, thanks. I'm building as I go, as I said, so I have the rears now, next will probably be center, once I figure out how to make the PSB work in limited space. I agree with timbre matching, which is why I auditioned main speakers to narrow down what I like, even though my Kappa's won't be replaced for a little while.
I feel like I'm emerging from a coma in some ways..I was in the business for a while, but almost nothing is the same as I remember it. When I went to audition the PSB's, the dealer didn't even have a CD player hooked up, it was all on a server somewhere...but that's a question for that other forum ;)
The 103 it is..Thanks
I agree with Rlwainwright except I cannot comment on EEmotiva. If your processor is going to decode the high res formats then the Oppo 103 is a great player. If you want to use the analog outputs as a 5.1, 7.1, or 2 channel out for audio then I suggest the better dacs in the Oppo 95 but not necessary. The 4k stuff is still pretty far away to be worried about. Region free is not necessary unless you are gonna be watching Russian cinema for example.
No offense but you may be working backwards. If your center space is limited that should be the first speaker to purchase then match the rest of the speakers to the all important center channel. Balance and uniformity.
The surround speakers you purchased are dipoles designed for 5.1 and will muddle up 7.1. With 7.1 its best to match all seven speakers. Or use a matching model dedicated center with the left, right, side, and rears. I usually suggest very small Gallo speakers. It's not necessary to use big speakers with an HT system.
While most media is in 5.1 a 7.1 processor matrixes the 5.1 left, right, and the surround channels to create the side and rear effects. The room correction provides the timing and balance. Most modern processors within receivers and pre/pros do a very good job of matrixing creating a greater surround effect. Actual 7.1 productions can be exceptional. Forget about 9.2.
I think your Kappa's are down 3dB at 37Hz, you'll definitely need a subwoofer. The .1 bass information is very different from simple stereo. You won't need tower or floor standing speakers with a sub. Generally, you don't need a sub with elaborate EQ, the processor will make those adjustments. HT fun factor is all about the sub and your wife will most likely enjoy smaller speakers.
Thanks for the responses. A little late on the 'center channel first', but oh well ;) I'll play with the Synchrony S's in 5.1 and 7.1 and make up my mind which I like best. Because of a window in the side wall, they are about 24" behind the listening position. I've wired them in 7.1 for now, rear-facing will bounce off the rear walls, front-facing will aim slightly forward of the listening position. I'll play with the configuration over the weekend...oh darn! :)
I may be able to make the Sychrony C2 work...I'll look again. I'd prefer a matching center, that's a given....The wife is more concerned about the $$ than the size of the speakers, she's stated she's happy with the Kappa's, in hopes of me not selling a kidney to upgrade, probably.
Sardonyxx, I think I follow you about the Oppo...when you refer to using the analog outs, you mean the analog outs on the receiver/processor to an outboard amp? Or the analog outs on the Oppo to the receiver? The Yamaha is using 24/192 Burr-Brown DAC's according to their website. It appears for video I would want to run everything through the Oppo, then to the plazma. Thanks for the confirmation on what I was thinking about 'region free'.
Analog out from the Oppo to to receiver is what I meant
Just one follow up. The Kappa series speakers of that vintage are pretty power hungry. So if you are going to go all in on this project do get good powerful amplification, which is more affordable these days relatively speaking, if you get a Class-D amp. Check out Wyred4sound and Emotiva as already recommended. You don't want or need to mod your Oppo, that can easily double the cost for incremental gain as a HT source.
The Oppo 103 is a fine player, but the 105, when it comes out, (or current 95) has better DACs and is meant to be used when you want very high quality D to A, more than what your receiver can give you. This is particularly important for 2 channel music. Many of the mods out there do a similar thing. With the 103, the expectation is that most of the time it will send a digital signal to a receiver and the D to A will be done in the receiver. The big jump up to the 95 or newer 105 is for the better DACs and everything that goes with it. That said, many people are happy just using the DACs in the 103 or in their receiver. The 105 also has a USB input for use of a PC as a source. The 105 is $1,200, so it is a significant price for the upgrades. Sounds like the 103 should be fine for you.
DVDs and Blu-Ray disks are encrypted to play in only certain regions So a US disk (region 1) will not play in Europe, for example. Oppos sold in the US only work with US (region 1) disks. The zone free versions are after market mods that allow the US models to also work with disks from other regions, like Europe. If you are using US disks in the US, the region free mods are not necessary.
I appreciate all the help!
So Oppo 93, Make space for a good center, add a sub, and upgrade amplification. In close to that order..maybe the center first.
Next problem will be a PSB center over the fireplace, given the port(s) on the back - I'm guessing the port right against the wall is a no-no, just as with L&R mains? Or does a center's more limited low frequency extension ameliorate that issue somewhat?
Yes, the Kappa's are power hungry. My Yamaha separate amp (not the receiver) does drive them to my maximun necessary volume though, and whatever they get replaced with will be more efficient, so I don't think I'll need a big power increase.
Once again, I appreciate the input!!
Follow up on the center channel question...Found a deal on a Synchrony Two C (looks like PSB is discontinuing it?). But I'm pretty sure it's ported, and it would be going over the fireplace, almost up against the wall....Bad idea?
It is not ideal to place most if not all such speakers against a wall. It will likely result in poor preformance or at least have some negative impact on the sonics ? I don't know what aspect of the speaker's performance that is diminished by doing this but if I had to guess I would think bass and dynamics would be lessend by this.