How to setup a home theater system

Hey guys,

I know most of you are experts in the field, but I wrote an article on how to setup a basic home theater system for those looking for very basic advice and a couple of hand sketched connection diagrams:

Would love some feedback..


Your Bottom Line statement "If you can't enjoy music coming out of your I phones speakers, you can't enjoy them on high fidelity state of the art equipment either" is a laughably absurd statement. It's akin to saying if you can't enjoy the movie by hearing the soundtrack on the TV's built in speakers you won't enjoy them on a good surround system. And what is with all the attacks on "Audiophiles"? Yes they spend time improving there system and yes some of them do fuss with the equipment more than listen to the music but I can say the same for countless motor heads I've personally met who polish their motorcycles endlessly or are adding this or that chrome piece but never spend any real amount of time riding.

PS-After spending 15 minutes time today twiddling on my "Audiophile" system, which ended up improving the sound slightly, I got so excited that I spent hours pulling out music I had not listened to in a long time to enjoy it all over again.

PSS-I envy the people who can enjoy compressed music (read I phone) through a pair of ear buds. Would have saved me a bunch of money and time. And if ear buds is all you need than how come full size expensive headphones are such a big market these days?

PSSS-The next time someone attacks your passion for motor vehicles because they can not relate to getting all excited about the feel of the shifter you might want to remember the belittling statements in your own article.
Dear Jjrenman,

Firstly, I thank you for taking the time to read through my article. Please bear in mind that this article was focused on those looking for basic advice, but yes it is quite opinionated as well. In response to your comments,

By iPhone speakers I was referring to the emphasis on the love of music over equipment which is what I really think a music lover rates highest.

By a conventional audiophile, I was referring to someone who spends more time tweaking his equipment than listening to music which I think defeats the purpose of being an audiophile in the first place. This of course is not an attack on audiophiles.

I beg to differ on your point about bike and motor car lovers who spend a lot of time on their car and bikes. The prime difference being that a motor head is more of an equipment lover than a lover of traveling. The equipment and its feel is of more importance than getting from point A to point B which is different from a music lover who loves music more than the equipment.

And yes, portable devices today have advanced far more in terms of audio quality which is why you see top brands coming with iPod docks. Another reason why the headphone market is picking up - great quality compressed music.

Again, no attacks intended - only my point of view.
With all due respect, your instructions and diagrams can be found in the user
manual of any AV receiver and your personal opinions had devalued the rest.

Personal opinions are perfectly fine for a message board posting but in my
opinion, they are inappropriate for an instructional article. I wish you would
have left them out and just stated the facts instead.
I agree with the above posters. You really are putting a label on a group of people and insulting them. I would delete all references to audiophiles and say something along the lines of: "Even though it takes time and effort to set up your system properly, don't fall into the trap of constantly tweaking your system to the detriment of actually enjoying it." That way you will be telling people how to do it right, rather than criticising other people for doing it wrong.
Dear Sidssp,

Your comment is indeed very true, and I re-iterate the fact that the diagrams are for basic readers which you are apparently not and can definitely be found in any user manual.

I respect your opinion about personal opinions and I hope you can respect mine as well.

Thanks for reading !
"Audiophiles in my opinion are very unhappy people. I am yet to meet a happy audiophile who is content with his equipment. There is always something to tweak on and improve and it is a never ending game and it completely defeats the purpose of listening to good music and watching great movies."
Really, never? I am very content and love my system.
You should stick with the idea of how to set up a system, not judge others.
Sorry, I like the fact you're trying to help others, but I just don't care for the bias comments about our hobby.
I totally agree. Even I don't agree with most of what I write and yes your suggestions do make sense...Thanks for reading !
Absolutely !
Added a few more sections..still needs some more work. More photos maybe..
I'm wondering if you have any idea why you have received very little response on this blog to your original question?
Keep wondering buddy !
Not your "buddy". If I was I'd point out where you contradict yourself and I'd congratulate you on such pithy statements as "sensitive speakers are more sensitive". Also as a "buddy" I'd clue you in on several issues that are a problem when setting up a good surround system that you fail to even address. Of course if I was not so busy constantly fiddling with my system or being so unhappy I would have had more time to share my 30 years of experience with you, everything from the most basic systems all the way up to multi million dollar dedicated theater rooms. I would have been happy to share the insight I've gained after setting up hundreds of surround systems. The kind of insight that it seems you want to include in your article except every time you get close you veer off onto insulting or chastising whole groups of people.

Good luck with your article and keep the sticky side down!
I Agree completely bro...even I don't sometimes agree fully with what I write. Also, I was comparing the sensitivity of speakers to human beings. Its like getting in touch with our sensitive side when we read something we don't agree with....Thanks anyway for your best wishes and for taking the time to read my article.
Weeeeell..sounds like someone is all in a bunch, and full of their decades worth of experienced self! Hoohohohooooo!
Case anyone cares, my experience in this industry has proven to me that there are people working decades now in the AV business (hands on working with the gear, even) WHO ARE NOT COMPETENT ENOUGH (They didn't really want to learn)TO PROPERLY DESIGNING, ENGINEER, AND CALIBRATE EVEN AN ENTRY LEVEL TO QUALITY MID-FI AUDIO/VIDEO SYSTEM, LET A LONE AN AMBITIOUS HIGH END HT SETUP!

I have personally gone in and re-engineered and calibrated entire systems, which so called "industry professionals" custom integrators and retail salesguys -some with over 20 years of trained licensed and bonded sysetem install experience and product training - WHO'S OWN SYSTEMS WERE ENGINEERED AND CALIBRATED SO POORLY, THAT YOU'DA THOUGHT A 16YR OLD KID WORKING AT BEST BUY SET IT UP! (the kids probably woulda done a better job, honestly!)
Basically, someone's experience doesn't necessarily tell the whole story! (All the world renouned double PHD physicists that were around when Einstein was living, all thought they knew it all and were special too...then Einstein basically proved that these Ivey league blow-hards actually knew very little, in reality!)

If anyone wants to know, then find out yourself. I have yet to find any two audioenthusiests, audiophiles, or system design guys who share the very same sentiments, tastes, or opinions! That's, again, why everyone has a different system, setup, and gear!

My point of view, his/her opinion, or their experience of someone elses tastes and perspectives, may or may not be mutually agreed upon positions. Gotta learn this stuff on your own, and play around really. STICK TO YOUR GUNS! LOL!
To "Avgoround", I only mention my experience to show that there are many people on this site, including yourself, who have much more experience then the ten years that the OP has and who are very helpful in sharing knowledge and experience. I, as well as others, have mostly pointed to the fact that insulting the very group that he is asking for help from is non productive. I find it curious that instead of helping the OP with advise and feed back you decided to yell at me.

To sum up, why don't you use your extensive experience of saving countless people from crappy set ups to help the OP'r save countless more. If you do not, than it will be fairly safe to assume that you are nothing more than a shill that derives his so called "expertise" from deriding everyone elses knowledge, experience and training.

Good luck to both of you.
Can you say ISSUES, boys and goils?!? I think ya can! WEELLLL AAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL RIGHTY THEN!...

First off, I wasn't talking to you JJrenman, I must have been refering to someone else!. THAANKKKS THERE, ISSUE-MAN!
Second, I don't need to tell people what's up cause, really, all they just want is some stimulating conversation here on these postings, and something else to do after the spankter-vision sessions end! Lol.
When you really get down to it, the only people who really want a high performance system, pay the big bucks for it! The few enthusiests posting to forums like these really care about is what new eceiver or bluray player to buy next! .. and what everyone else thinks about it.
I gotta be honest wit meself and says dat no one here REEEEALLY cares! We're just filling time here..waiting for the next greate financial apocalypse.
I'm certain there'll be even better deals on used gear around then, no?
Very helpful responce. Keep up the good work.
1) talk about the importance of a good centre channel, you do not emphasize it enough (60-85%) of HT sound is out of the centre

2)tweeter level to the ears
3)toe speakers in/out angle speakers up/down fun to play with, and free
4)Talk about room treatments (clap test)

I am a middle class man, whom certainly does not have the descritionary income to pay the big bucks for a high performance system, therefore I am really appreciative of all the free advice, tips and tricks provided by this and other forums.

Your article is shaping up nicely.
Noted. Will add the relevant information.

Thanks for the compliment.