Interesting info from Rotel [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-16-2009, 11:23 AM
Today I got a Rotel newsletter in my inbox. There are suggestions for Best Performance. Look at the first sentence under 1. Even Higher End MFGs suggest you throw away the black and reds they provide in the box.

Four Simple Tips To Get The Best Performance Out Of Your Rotel System

If you are like most of us these days, you have purchased your system from a respected specialist and had them do a custom installation. However, we know there are still a few DIYs (Do-It-Yourselfers) out there that love hardware and tinkering and will paddle furiously into that roar coming from around the bend in the river to prove their competence. For those brave individuals (and even the not-so-brave), here are some tips to make sure that you enjoy a better performance from all your music and movie soundtracks.

1. Replace the cables that came in the box. Typically, the cables that come boxed with the components you buy are quite basic, intended for people who haven't any cables at all. These should be treated the same way you treat that spare "donut" tire in your vehicle's trunk... it does the job temporarily until you can get a new tire on. And when you put that new tire on, you notice the improved ride, handling, traction, fuel economy, and noise. Like new tires, but maybe not quite as dramatic, better interconnects allow you to take full advantage of what your equipment can do. Generally speaking, you should keep your cable/interconnect runs as short as practically possible. Speaker cable should be the same length to each speaker and at least 16 gauge. They should sport durable jackets, be well shielded, and employ high purity copper. Gold-plated connectors will prevent corrosion. When installing your cables, be sure the connections are snug.
2. Keep power cords away from your interconnects, and separate digital and analog interconnects from each other. AC is the number one source for injecting noise into audio components. If you really want to clean up your AC and even protect your system from brown outs and lightning strikes, ask your dealer about a line conditioner. In addition, make sure the cables in your installation are neat and organized. If it looks like an Octopus back there, you are probably not realizing the best sound you can get.
3. Check your DVD setup. Most people simply plug in their new DVD player and never set it up properly. The default settings for DVD players vary, so to ensure that you are listening to Dolby TrueHD, or DTS HD, and not an old version of Dolby Pro-Logic, you have to go into the menu option on your DVD player and select your preference. Otherwise, it is a lot like purchasing a new HD TV and never ordering an HD receiver from your cable or satellite company.
4. Speaker placement. The number one, guaranteed, method to improve the audio performance of your system. We understand that speaker placement is not always an option when it comes to home theater as interior design concerns may get in the way. However, it can make the single largest improvement to sound. Unless the speakers are specifically made to be placed against a back wall, put in an enclosure, or mounted in the wall or ceiling, bring them out a foot or two into the listening space and away from corners. The back wall and corners reinforce low frequencies and can help create standing waves in rooms that create all kinds of problems. Although a proper measurement of your room from a specialist is ideal, you can often make a big difference by doing a little trial and error in moving the speakers forward a bit at a time and listening to the end result.

There are many other things you can do to improve your enjoyment of your system, but space is limited here. If you do nothing more than tackle these four items, you will be amazed at the improvement of sound quality.

Mr Peabody
10-16-2009, 03:42 PM
Good for them. It only makes sense to do some educating of the customer.

10-19-2009, 01:41 PM
can't say i would disagree based on what i've heard recently.

my question though, if you have clean power, do you need to really have super duper high end power cables?

Mr Peabody
10-19-2009, 03:03 PM
You are the Admin so you know cables are a hot topic. I personally have noticed improvement when upgrading to better cables. I also noticed improvement when upgrading power cords. Brands of cables vary in sound within a system. This is one of those things you basically have to try for yourself for as firmly as I am convinced they do, or should I say, can, improve sound, there are just as many who swear they make no difference. However, I notice that those who swear cables have no effect have really never compared. I have had many people who tried cables based on my recommendation who have come back to say they have noticed improvements. Cables don't have to break the bank to make an improvement. You can go as budget as Bluejeans to gain a noticeable improvement over stock cables.

10-19-2009, 05:18 PM
Oh yeah, cables are a hot topic on this forum. Hot button topic at least.:3:

I was thinking, after I get a PS PowerPlant, I'll start with the basic out of the box cables and work my way up through the few cheapest of normal power cables. You know, the first 5 or so that don't break the bank. Heck, maybe I'll try to contact the companies for a shootout. Like I've done for MTBR.