The power house of my system begins with the
receiver. I bought it sometime around 1999. I believe this is Sony's lowest line in the Dolby
Digital Receivers that flaunts the Elevated Standard workmanship.
The only reason for that is NOT because of lack of features, but because
it's only rated at 85 watts x 5. And believe me, that's
conservatively rated. It provides plenty of power to back up the
low end. The features on these ES Sony's are remarkable. I
can choose to simulate various types of theater environments including
Sony's very own sound recording studio. Although I usually just
prefer the Normal Surround mode. The surround speakers
reverberation type can be defined by selecting the kind of walls that
surround your room. Soft or hard or in between.
Independent selection of large and small for all speakers. Dynamic
Range Composition, which reduces (by user defined increments) the louder
parts of movies to match more closely the rest of the movie. 5.1
inputs and outputs, so the option of adding 5 more external power amps
is right at my fingertips. DTS decoding, which I'd say is
marginally necessary over DD. So the
receiver is basically packed. I really do like it very much.
The two-way LCD remote is easy to use and allows me to operate every
function from the listening position. I've got no
The DVD player I chose was Sony's DVP-S530D.
It's about 8 years old now. I
wanted a single tray player over an exchange player because I already
have a 5 disc Sony CD Changer, and that's plenty for me. Besides,
who shuffles movies anyway? This DVD player is also packed with
options. It has every kind of audio output imaginable including
5.1 decoded DTS and DD with 5.1 RCA's, fiber optic for direct digital
connection (which is what I use) and coaxial RCA out. The video options are all there too with
composite video out,
S-video and component video.
Crossover on the Subs
Now from the receiver, we
run 5 channels to the 5 main speakers. Nothing out of the ordinary
there. The sub outs run into an EV XEQ-2 which is basically a low
pass 18 db/octave crossover. The frequency is user defined by
building a small resistor pack and plugging it into a 16 pin socket on
the font. I chose 80 hertz for my 3 db down point, since that is
THX standard. The EQ has a built in subsonic filter set at
30 Hz, which cannot be changed, which is what I dislike most of all
about this crossover. The filter should be set at 20 Hz, but
since is was originally designed for sound reinforcement applications,
its specs are more suited toward auditorium and PA situations vs. home
theater. It works well for the time being, till I can afford to
buy a new one or I decide I need 10 more hertz in my movies.
I'm planning on picking up a Behringer A500 soon.
All of my
interconnects are standard RCA connectors. I don't believe any of
them are even gold plated. Just really plain RCA cables. I
plan to upgrade that very soon to some better cables with at least 100%
shielding. I do have a single fiber optic link between my DVD
player and receiver, which is where the system gets most of its use, so
the sound quality from my DVD is as good as it can be. 16 gauge
wire runs to all my main, surround and center speakers, with 14 gauge
running to the subs. All the of the cable runs are very short with
a room only 16' x 16'.
The DD Receiver
- SONY DA333-ES, 85x5, DD, DTS, 28 Sound Modes, 5
Optical and Coaxial Inputs, 5.1 Inputs and Outputs...
The DVD Player
- SONY DVP-S530D, component
video, composite video, S-video, 5.1 outputs, PCM, and fiber optic
The VCR - SONY
The CD Player -
SONY CDP-CE415, 5 Disc Carousel, Mega Exchange S-link
control, peak music search, shuffle play, repeat...
The Tape Deck -
SONY TC-RX79ES, single well deck with laseramorphous
head, 3-motor transport mechanism, Dolby B & C, MPX filter, HX Pro,
tape bias control, soft-touch controls, quick reverse, auto tape
selector, real-time counter, 20 segment/channel peak hold display...
The Subwoofer Crossover
- EV XEQ-2, fixed crossover point using custom plug-in
resistor pack, low pass crossover point 80 Hz, high pass crossover point
30 Hz, 18dB/octave filter rate using a Butterworth 3rd order filter,
variable subwoofer delay from 0 ms to 2 ms...
The Television -
Sony 50" 3LCD HDTV
The Left & Right Speakers
- Dayton Reference Series 6" and RS-28A tweeters.
The Center Channel - Vifa M17SG-09 6-1/2" shielded
mid-bass driver and Morel DMS-29 1-1/8" soft dome tweeter...just
rebuilt the center channel's crossover to exhibit a 12 dB L-R at 2.2
KHz and sealed the cabinet. It sounds much better now.
The Surrounds -
Dayton ES Series 6-1/2" In-ceiling speakers
The Subwoofer -
12" Audiopulse Epic...coming soon.