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  1. #1
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    So what is YOUR story...

    Thought it might be education, fun, and interesting to hear everyone share their story of how they got into Home Theater and essentially timeline the process of upgrades, etc, here is my basic story:

    About 10 years ago I bought a cheap HTiB from Pioneer thinking it was the most amazing thing in the world, I was quite happy with it from the beginning as I explored the world of 5.1 for the first time, although I had a previous setup from Laserdisc, it was only 2-channel at the time.

    So 5.1 was a real ear-opener and while I had always loved my stereo system that I had and my Laserdiscs, this was my first experience with multichannel and I quickly became tired of the cheap Pioneer system as I realized that it was limited because I couldn't really "add" anything to the setup.

    A few months later I decided to swap out the individual speakers to KEF from a friend of mine who was getting rid of them on the cheap. So I made the swap, but of course the HTiB receiver was not enough power to really make the KEF's sing, so I broke down and bought a solid Pioneer receiver instead that allowed me to connect my LD, DVD, VCR, etc. I was rocking a really sweet 7.1 setup for awhile and this had me content until I moved and the speakers were getting old and I wanted to go with floorstanders instead.

    Several of my friends were big PSB Speaker fans and of course I was too after listening to their Stratus Golds over the years, which I coveted badly. Several other friends had KEF, Thiel, various other brands, even B&W from the guy who started his own stereo shop from the 1960's. I finally got to the point where I went with the PSB Image line and realized here that my receiver was never going to be enough for them, especially with the built in power subs. It was during this time that I really needed help in learning more about the hobby in general, so I came here as a casual reader to find information.

    This is when I discovered the power of Audiogon and bought lots of new (well, used) gear and picked up a Denon universal player, upgraded all my cables, bought a NAD pre amp and amp and realized just how integral powering speakers is just as much as the speakers themselves. My system went back down to a 5.1 system though and through the next few years I began experimenting with power conditioning, cables, various players, tested out more speakers in demo rooms, shows, etc.

    Finally I swapped out my Image line speakers with my current Platinums, replaced my receiver with an HDMI Pioneer Elite, went with Parasound for my amps and CD player, currently using a PS3 for my Blu-ray collection and replaced my old HDTV from 2004 with a 46" Philips not too long ago.

    Overall I have learned a great wealth of knowledge, one thing that I think is my biggest take-away is to always DEMO as much as you can. Often times it's easy to get caught up with a certain brand that you might think is great based on reputation, but it might end up being the most fatal area in your particular system. It's vital to have an outlet where you can talk about the hobby and preferably a place like a dealer where you can hear other setups and try new equipment out.

    SO WHAT'S NEXT???

    As far as HT is concerned, nothing. I am very content where I'm at with that, but am planning to delve wholeheartedly now into the world of analogue and build a really fantastic 2-channel system for that.

  2. #2
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    I think I have told this story here before but ........

    I was over at a co-workers house who had just had a HT installed. The make/model of the gear escapes me but I think it was not anything particularly high-end. Anyway I start watching the move "Armageddon" on the TV and I really like the movie even though I had passed on it when it was in the theaters. I have to go before the movie ends so I stop by and rent the VCR version to take it home and finish watching at the house. Watching the movie on a 27" TV with no surround sound made me realize how bad a movie it really was and that only because of the special effects available on my co-workers HT did I even remotely like it. From there I picked up some cheap Aiwa HTIB for my first HT and since then I have been making steady improvements to my HT experience. Pretty much at what my space and budget limitations will allow but someday.......

  3. #3
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    great thread...

    back in 1997 (or 8) my girlfriend (now wife) and I went to Hollywood video to rent a DVD player and a few movies. When asked about this, everyone in the store was excited as we were the first to rent a DVD player. Funny. Anyway, i was blown away with the video, menus and sound. Even with a pair of BOSE, and old CRT TV from 1988, the movies were great.

    A few weeks later, i purchased a Toshiba DVD player for $350 and 5 free movies (mail order). As i finished school and got a great paying job, i purchased a pair of Polk RT2000p powered floor standers and moved the BOSE to the rears. Then added a center.

    We build our house in 2001 and I upgraded the Technics AVR to a Denon and Polks to the rear. Sound was unreal. Added sub later...

    I heard Revel speakers at a demo and fell in love! Purchased a pair of F30s and sold my Polks locally.

    Since, i've turned part of my basement into a dedicated HT room with projector and 110" screen. Added HD DVD, blu-ray, Anthem multichannel amp, Revel M20 as center, etc.

    Love this hobby and have been on these forums since 1999. Pretty much learned everything about audio/video and HT from everyone here.

  4. #4
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    In the mid 60's, I soldered a coaxial cable across either side of the resistance element of the volume control of my 19" Airline B&W TV set and an RCA plug on the other.

    I plugged the RCA plug into an aux input of one channel of my Lafayette LA-224A 6 wpc tube integrated amp. I then sat back and waited tor the world to catch up.

    It finally started to about 20 years later with broadcast MTS stereo and stereo VCR's in the 80's .

  5. #5
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    I married young and was living hand-to-mouth for many...

    ...years until I finally hit the lottery. Well, not exactly, but I did have great success in a former job (company close in March of '07) where I ended up a Regional VP, so I started making quite a lot of money and was finally able to buy some good gear without borrowing any money.

    First bought a used, factory refurb Lexicon DC1 because I wanted a 7.1 system after reading about one and hearing a nice set up. I bought an Adcom 5200 amp, on sale, from a store that was done with the Adcom line, found a 2 channel Adcom amp on e-bay, then drove to NJ to pick up my five LCR Paradigm speakers, plus the sub. Soon after I found a pair of Paradigm reference series dipoles on e-bay, and I was set for awhile.

    My first TV was just a big screen about 11 or so years ago, then the rear projection wide screen, and I upgraded my original DVD player to the highly regarded Panasonic RP82. I sold my Lexicon and bought my current processor, a Rotel RSP-1098 so I could play all the current formats.

    Last summer I picked up a pair of Paradigm Studio 100s because I was quite dissatisfied with the 2 channel sound from the LCRs, and having just moved in January, I am getting started on building a new HT room with a projector, and will most likely buy the Epson UB8500. I'll start wiring the room soon and hope to have everything completed before the holidays. I know that's a long way off, but we did a bunch of work outside, and I've been doing a lot of minor stuff indoors, so the HT will have to wait.
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  6. #6
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    Oddly enough my story is about the same as MarkW. I had attented RCA institutes in the mid 60s when someone bought in a magazine showing how to do that volume control hookup with a coaxial cable. In 1966, I hooked up that cable to a Magnavox 19 inch portable tv. I set the plug thru the multiplexer input of a Magnavox console that had tube sound and 12 inch speakers. The console played surprisingly loud with what today would be considered the most minimal 6bq5 power amp. The sound quality was quite amazing even on old movies. The Sammy Davis show was on NBC at that time and the orchestra sounded marvelous. The console had two very effecient but good sounding side firing 12 inch speakers and two front firing tweeters. I had started to think more about tv sound after reading that article although I had played with some tvs that friends parents had that had a large mono speaker and powerful mono tube amp(one dumont was so powerful that you could hear it down the street). Like anything in this life you must gain age and experience to become aware of certain potentials and manipulation of products. The only tv that I knew during the 60s that did have a built in hi-fi audio output was ANDREA.

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    Thought it might be education, fun, and interesting to hear everyone share their story of how they got into Home Theater and essentially timeline the process of upgrades, etc, ...
    About 1994 we got a new Sony 27" CRT and persuaded myselft to get a Sony Dolby Prologic receiver, (what a POS that was). I used my old, (but still in use today), Boston Acoustics A50 as fronts, bought new Energy center, and used my Minimus 7 for rears. Several years later I got my first DVD player, a Toshiba.

    Circa 2003 I got Panasonic SR-XA25 digital receiver to use with the above. The Bostons were upgrade to Paradym MiniMontors around '04; the Bostons went to the rear. I upgrade from the Toshiba DVDP to a Samsung universal about '06 and after it broke, to an Oppo DV-980H. At some point I replace the Energy center with a nice DIY effort and added a PSB sub. The Sony CRT was "side-graded" to a Samsung about 2006.

    This year I upgraded to HDTV, Blu-ray, and an Onkyo receiver. See my current system below ...


  8. #8
    Forum Regular pajr2179's Avatar
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    I bought my first stereo setup at Circuit City whenra I graduated 8th grade. My sister's boyfreind worker there at the time, so I received a discount. It was a Sony STRDE 505 and a pair of Infinty speakers with a tape deck that I still have sitting around. My mom (rest in peace) bought me the 5 disc cd-changer for Christmas. So, after blowing out my infinity bookshelf speakers I bought big nasty DCM- KX10 loudspeakers. You could hear the stereo from down the street which I thought was the sign of a great system.

    I started to upgrade in High School. The system evolved into a Denon receiver with Polk floorstanding speakers, same equipment, and a starting line Sony DVD player that did progressive scan. You could not have told me back then that there was something better than Monster Cable (even have Noel Lee's autograph that is still laminated to this day). After college, I worked for a home theater retailer and it really opened my eyes to better gear. Then, I began to put all my extra money into the hobby and built the system that I have today (see below). I make no claim to be an audio/videophile, but I have an incredible love for the gear. Anyone else travel to different high-end home theater shops just to listen to different gear? My hobby has taken me to four different states. Its always funny to see the look on the salesperson's face when he finds how far I traveled just for the gear. Oh well, thats enough nostalgia...

    I love my system, especially my 999es. My next purchase is a seperate power amp or new receiver to open my speakers up and make them sound even more incredible. Otherwise, I really wouldnt change anything besides video cables, and upgrading to a flat panel when my current HD set bites the dust.

    I am always game for chat about gear and suggestions for a power amp/receiver!
    Sony KDL47-W802A
    Denon AVR 4802R
    Rotel RMB-1066 (second zone)
    Vienna Acoustics Bach, Maestro, Waltz, Vel SPL1000 sub
    Sony DVPNS999ES
    Yamaha DVD CX-1 (DVD Audio)
    Furman IT REF 15i
    Cables by MIT, Cardas, Tributaries, Monster
    Power cords by Kimber Cable and AQ
    PS Audio Power Port
    URC MX950/MRF-260

  9. #9
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Feanor...

    good call on the PSB Subsonic subwoofer...without a doubt the most powerful sub in that size for that price.....hands down.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    HT was quite a traumatic experience for me.
    I had a top of the line Denon, and a few other tasty bits, but after rigging an analog
    (non prologix) surround circuit with a few resistors, I finally decided to plunge in.
    BOUGHT a Pioneer pro-logic, sold the denon to pay for it, got a few cheap surround speakers, went on from there.
    NEGLECTED the audiophile side of things for years, until I set down with a friend who
    at the time sold B&W speakers, and we listened for a few hours with an adcom amp
    and an unk CD player, now my system is more of a blend of the two.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  11. #11
    ISCET CET, FCC CTT, USITT Dual-500's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    In the mid 60's, I soldered a coaxial cable across either side of the resistance element of the volume control of my 19" Airline B&W TV set and an RCA plug on the other.

    I plugged the RCA plug into an aux input of one channel of my Lafayette LA-224A 6 wpc tube integrated amp. I then sat back and waited tor the world to catch up.

    It finally started to about 20 years later with broadcast MTS stereo and stereo VCR's in the 80's .
    Good one. Hadn't thought about this for a while. I started in the audio side myself. Back 1964-65 living in an Atlanta suburb, I pulled the flat wire antenna on the pressboard back panel of a tube table radio and climbed up to the second story of the house (I was in 5th ot 6th grade) and nailed it to the fascia on the north facing side and above the window to my bedroom. Ran a piece of 300 ohm twin lead down and under screen and through window frame.

    I had a transistor multi band radio with A/C adaptor. Tied one side of the twin lead to the end of the whip antenna and the other to the negative in the battery compartment.

    AM radio was the thing back then. At night when the DX came in I could get stations from Detroit real well, Memphis and Wolfman Jack from LA sometimes. The Detroit Motown stuff was my favorite - I can almost hear Martha Reeves and Vandellas right now. It was all about audio through the 60's, 70's, 80's for me.

    Finally interfaced a 30" Toshiba TV with stereo system back in '89 and the rest is history - system has been is constant state of metamorphasis ever since......

  12. #12
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Thanks all for sharing, it's great to see so many years of knowledge and development that has taken place!

  13. #13
    Sophisticated Red Neck manlystanley's Avatar
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    Great thread. I started out three years ago. When I was finishing my basement I couldn't figure out what to do with the big room (25 x 20). I knew that if it didn't have a purpose it would just become a storage area / kid's junk room.

    During this time, I took my wife on a week cruise while my older kids watched my younger ones. During the trip I ran into someone who was bragging about there movie room with a huge screen and projector. As soon as I heard that" I thought, that's what I'll make the room into.

    --> I started with a HTIB and thought, man this is audiophile.
    --> Then I got a pair of very old Cerwin Vega's and I thought, can it get better then this?
    --> Then I got a pair of Klipsch RB-5II's and was sure that I'd never need to upgrade.
    --> Then came: B&W 684, Emotiva XPA-2, Denon 3930ci, and now Jamo C809's.

    The funny thing is that I watch at most one movie a week. But, I listen to my stereo at least 30 hours a week (I telework a lot).

    This hobby is very addictive, but boy it is fun!!

    Best Regards,
    Stan
    Listening/Movie Room: ADCOM GTP-500, XPA-2, Denon 3930ci, Front: Jamo C809; Surround: Klipsch R-5650-S; Back: R-5650-S; Denon AVR-687,. Projector: Sharp XR-32X.

    Family Room: Denon avr-687, Denon CD player, Klipsch RB-5II

  14. #14
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manlystanley
    Great thread. I started out three years ago. When I was finishing my basement I couldn't figure out what to do with the big room (25 x 20). I knew that if it didn't have a purpose it would just become a storage area / kid's junk room.

    During this time, I took my wife on a week cruise while my older kids watched my younger ones. During the trip I ran into someone who was bragging about there movie room with a huge screen and projector. As soon as I heard that" I thought, that's what I'll make the room into.

    --> I started with a HTIB and thought, man this is audiophile.
    --> Then I got a pair of very old Cerwin Vega's and I thought, can it get better then this?
    --> Then I got a pair of Klipsch RB-5II's and was sure that I'd never need to upgrade.
    --> Then came: B&W 684, Emotiva XPA-2, Denon 3930ci, and now Jamo C809's.

    The funny thing is that I watch at most one movie a week. But, I listen to my stereo at least 30 hours a week (I telework a lot).

    This hobby is very addictive, but boy it is fun!!

    Best Regards,
    Stan
    Very cool, I think your story is very similar to many of us who became hooked instantly and ever since have gone through various adaptations of our gear in order to accommodate our desire for something better, it's an ever-moving target.

    Of course, there is the point (I recall mine exactly about 4 years ago) when I realized that there comes a time when your equipment begins to bring you just as much frustration as joy. This is when you realize that the better equipment not only makes great things sound great, but also makes horrible things sound ...well, even worse than horrible. A truly great system detects even the smallest flaws, which in turns makes the selection of fine recordings even more narrow than ever-before and the pursuit of something better than the best begins to the point where we are almost never-pleased unless it truly moves us, truly that is. It is during this time that we find audio-bliss, but it's a moment we wish we could have more often, with more artists, with more recordings, with more arrangements, with more time.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by manlystanley
    Great thread. I started out three years ago. When I was finishing my basement I couldn't figure out what to do with the big room (25 x 20). I knew that if it didn't have a purpose it would just become a storage area / kid's junk room.

    During this time, I took my wife on a week cruise while my older kids watched my younger ones. During the trip I ran into someone who was bragging about there movie room with a huge screen and projector. As soon as I heard that" I thought, that's what I'll make the room into.

    --> I started with a HTIB and thought, man this is audiophile.
    --> Then I got a pair of very old Cerwin Vega's and I thought, can it get better then this?
    --> Then I got a pair of Klipsch RB-5II's and was sure that I'd never need to upgrade.
    --> Then came: B&W 684, Emotiva XPA-2, Denon 3930ci, and now Jamo C809's.

    The funny thing is that I watch at most one movie a week. But, I listen to my stereo at least 30 hours a week (I telework a lot).

    This hobby is very addictive, but boy it is fun!!

    Best Regards,
    Stan
    Not having much time for movies either, I watch some of the better shows out there, less than an hour, but high production values, excellent HD.
    Like Covert affairs, LEVERAGE, the closer, etc.
    The HD on regular series on both USA and TNT tend to be better, for some reason(new cameras?)
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  16. #16
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    1962 i had a old philco tube radio, sounded like crap, so i ran the speaker wires from the philco radio, to an old tube tv RCA that had an 8" woofer......big sound change. built my frist subwoofer 1964 2 10" woofers in the back seat, and my buddies thought i was crazy, till they heard it, and now at 65 still loving good sound, and still building subwoofers all powered.....

  17. #17
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    I' had been playing guitar tube amp for years and one day I wondered what a tube stereo would sound like... since then I've been in this audio hobby

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