• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

My home AV setup

arunkvivek

Active Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
344
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
Hello friends,
This is one is long overdue. After the HT audition, I jumped boats from FS to BS as I was unsure if FS had enough breathing space in my place.

Chronologically, I acquired the equipments in the following order

AVR -The Jurassic Onkyo TX SV919 - This one has only Dolby prologic decoder in it but no 5.1 decoder. And for volume control, it needs the input from external decoder through a DB-25 port (the ones that you usually find in dot matrix printer). It has FM, AM, A/B, 6 analog sources (video + stereo rca), 1 optical and 1 co-axial, multi-room features and is quite powerful. I have never had to go beyond 9 o'clock position on the volume dial. Though, the lack of decoder sounds crippling, it is not as the DVD player takes care of surround decoding.

Speakers - I first got a pair of Tannoy Sensys DC1 from a forum member Parameshch with an intention of using it in my bedroom with PC as the source. Mr.Paramesh provided me a pair microflat speaker cable for free. My dad was so impressed by the sound that he wanted the setup to be moved to the living room.

I wasn't prepared to let go my audio setup so I ended up buying another pair of speakers - ELAC BS 243 from fellow FM - Hydrovac. He was so meticulous with the packing that the entire family was stunned. It was double packing with lots of Thermacole for a journey from Hyderabad to Bangalore. Hats off to you, Krishnaji :yahoo:
I have place them 20 inches from the back wall and about 12 inches from the side and turned them in triangling with center seat in the sofa. Any suggestions are welcome about the placement.

Cables: I got 14 AWG Gautam cables from SP Road and banana plugs (about Rs.1500/- was spent on these). I did a DIY cable for connect analog 5.1 output to DB25 connector.

Racks - I had the entire setup ready but the AVR was lying on the floor. It is 25 Kg in weight and I was reluctant to put them on regular TV shelves in the market. That's when FM Soulforged posted his entire setup on sale. The original intention was to buy only the racks. But, the Project TT was too tempting and made an offer for that too.

TT - Project Debut 3 from Soulforged. As mentioned in the ad, he provided a stylus for free. I had got Guru's vinyl and played it on the TT. The output was divine; Hariharan's voice sounded more soulful than the CD.

Speaker Stands - Another FM - Raghupb had advised that use of speaker stands would drastically improve the performance of BS. So, based on another FM's DIY project, I decided to take the DIY route. The first pair of stands were unstable mainly because I used 3 inch PVC pipe. Based on the experience, I made one more pair with 4 Inch PVC pipe. The second attempt was better. So, I use the first pair for light surround speakers (Philips DH-215) while the second pair is used to Front speakers which are heavy.

Enough about the history of my setup- suffice to say that, but for the AVR, the entire setup can be attributed to HFV forum and forum members' magnanimity in sharing knowledge and being generous to the first timers like me. Please check out the pics here

I am a casual listener and am taking the forum for granted to post my biased views on performance. Don't take them seriously.
Tannoy Sensys DC1:
Because they speakers were put to use for many years before I bought. It was singing beautifully when I plugged them to AVR. When I did an A/B, my dad liked Elacs while I liked Tannoy. Initially, I had some ear fatigue from Tannoys (probably becauseI was sitting right next to them) but subsequently they were not creating fatigue. Not sure if it was because I was listening to any serious speaker for prolonged duration. After, the living room has been setup, these have been moved to my room due to lack of space and are waiting for good amp now.

Elac BS 243 speakers
These speakers are great for both music and movies. I have made the AVR handle the inputs from Tata sky SD.
Movies - The dialogues are clear and we were able to listen to so many subtle sounds in English movies which were not coming through the regular TV.

Music - These speakers were unused as per the FM who put it for sale. I presumed that it would have had been used for at least 100 hours or so.Initially these were closed and I was worried if I had made a bad choice. The FM assured me that once they break-in they would sound good. The speakers took about 75 hours to break-in. After that, the speakers been improving with the bass becoming tighter. There is no fatigue even after 3 hours of listening.


Performance on different sources:
CD/DVD
I have an Onida DVD player which does not have a mentionable DAC. So, the analog outputs are not tight. However, When I choose optical out in the player and the let AVR take up the duties of DAC, experience jumps up many notches. Farhan's voice in Rock on with all it gruffiness comes through without any rounding.

TT:
The phono in the AVR is really good. Soulforged had plugged the TT to a premium amp while doing the demo. I had lesser expectation as I was going to plug mine to an AVR. Surprisingly, the phono in the AVR was not too far away from what I heard during demo. The only vinyl that I have is that of Guru. Hariharan's voice sounds richer on TT than on the CD. Now, the vinyl bug has smitten me.

FM/AM
I plugged the regular RF cable to the FM antenna slot and tied it to the grill. That is good enough to pick signals. AIR channels sound really good on the AVR while the rest are not that good. But, listening to FM has never been so good. I have never listened to AM without the noise so it was different experience.

Overall, I am extremely happy with how things have fallen into place. But my dad wants to stream music from his external HD to this HiFi setup. Also, the Tannoy speakers are without an amplifier now.

The Elacs are so good that I want to add a center and SW to make it a complete 5.1 setup (right now it is 4.0 with Philips DH215 doing the surround duties).I have started craving for the bass from SW while watching movies.

I am on lookout for a center, SW and a new AVR which would handle US/HDMI DAC role. The new AVR would get a place in the living room and this Onkyo would come back to my bedroom.

Going through 'used' route gave me superb equipments but now has taken away the cash reserve :mad:. So, I would have to buy new stuff through credit cards and convert them into EMIs to finish the project. I have spent double the amount of what I intended but it is worthy as I haven't seen my dad having so much fun before.:clapping:

I would like to thank the forum members - Raghupb, Hydrovac and Soulforged, Spirovious, Srinath_Seshadri and grebe925 in particular for their guidance in helping me through the hurdles with the setup.:)
 
SPONSORED ADS

SPONSORED ADS

raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,118
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
Here is a guy who walked into a couple of demo rooms a couple of months earlier.
Now you have an AVR, 2 sets of speakers, a TT, AV rack, and hands-on DIY experience.
Really happy for you.
If you are in south side of town, PM and come over to my place when you are free.
Cheers,
Raghu
 

arunkvivek

Active Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
344
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
Here is a guy who walked into a couple of demo rooms a couple of months earlier.
Now you have an AVR, 2 sets of speakers, a TT, AV rack, and hands-on DIY experience.
Really happy for you.
If you are in south side of town, PM and come over to my place when you are free.
Cheers,
Raghu
Thanks for the offer! I stay in RR Nagar and South Bangalore is 30 minutes ride. Your kid's final exams might be on now. I shall PM you and visit you after the exams are over.
 

arunkvivek

Active Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
344
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
wow! It has been almost 3 years since I updated this post. The last 2 years has been crazy at work. I have not been able to dedicate time to listening at as much as I did before. I have turned more a casual listener than ever before. I have acquired a couple of more gears to my setups. A few of them were stop-gap solution and hence there was no matching of components.
  1. Meridian Explorer DAC to be used on PC (have stopped using this but I think it will find purpose soon)
  2. Dared DV-6C multi channel receiver (this is a hybrid receiver which was reviewed in 6moons)
  3. SMSL Q5 Pro to be used with PC to drive Tannoy Sensys DC2 in secondary setup.
In between, I sold off Elac BS 243 as I could not afford an amplifier which could do justice to the speakers. They needed a lot of power, quality power and I being a cheap-skeet chose to dispose them off to fund some civil work at home!!!

With Elacs out, I moved Tannoys to main setup and PCs remained without speakers for a while. In between, I had been to FM @Vivek Rao 's place for a listening session and had met another DIYer (I don't remember his forum handle). It was quite a revelation to have first hand experience of imaging, real bass, sweet spot narrowed to an inch - all of these in fairly untreated room from Jamos bookshelf. And then, was able witness cable's impact, DIY experiment with Logitech speakers, using industrial curtain for sound barrier and finally the DIY Frugal Horn. I never got time post that to sit and pen down my experience at Vivek's place.

For some reason, the Frugal Horns were stuck in my brain. He told me that he got into it through FM @manniraj 's creation. I read both the builds in detail in the forum and loved their passion for the craft. I googled some more about Frugal horns and noticed that they were initially tested with Dared DV-6C before the rage caught on. Based on this, i chased down the receiver in US in audiogon and got it delivered to my sister's place in Atlanta. My parents carried them along with an SMSL Q5 Pro (apart from two box set of LPs of assorted music).

Now with receiver ready, I was on look out for Frugal horns. That's when I saw 'For Sale' ad. I fixed up appointment with Ramesh (Manniraj) after a 16 hours shift and visited him to listen to them. Ramesh is one other DIY expert with almost everything done as DIY. While we tried setting up the amps, he played a test track on his DIY Jericho horns. After that, we got the Frugal Horns powered by Dared receiver (I had carried them) and listened to almost 90 minutes. The mid range was magic and highs were airy because of the super tweeters. I loved them. But, the bass from Jericho horns left an indelible impression on me. I had a change of plan. I was convinced that the Frugal horns were too small for my living room and asked him if he was willing to part with Jericho horns. He was stumped!!!

These are massive speakers each weighing about 30 kgs and 48 inches tall. My brother in law and I folded off the seats in Ertiga, got a measuring tape to see if the dimension would fit in. Once convinced that I could carry, I cajoled him saying that the Jericho horns could fund his next DIY project provided his spouse accepted the deal (I saw a pair of Audio Nirvana drivers in the corner of the room and he mentioned about a DIY project that he had parked for sometime). He mentioned that his wife actually loved the Jerichos. I think he informed his wife only after we left his place. He had to open up the Frugal horns for sale after blocking them for me.

I was asking for something that wasn't for sale and his primary listening device. I think that DIYer in him got an itch on Audio Nirvana project and agreed for the deal. We agreed upon the price quickly and I had my struggles with payment through UPI (borrowed money from dad to make the full payment!!).

You can skip this para if you want to just go to listening impressions and not waste time on how I got the speakers home: My brother-in-law being the hulk of the family lifted the heavier part of the speaker while Ramesh and I carried the lighter side down a flight of stairs. The first speaker was placed with great care (I had got old sofa foams for support) and then got the second speaker. It was more than pumping iron. I never knew 30kgs would be this heavy. One more challenge was that we were short of room by 1 inch as I did not factor speaker terminals while gauging the space in Ertiga. Ramesh then removed the driver and stuck a piece of paper on the baffle so that the polyfill did not fall out. We then shook hands and drove it back home. Unloading it and placing it into my living room was equally tough job. There was a minor accident when speakers slipped out my BIL's grasp and I jammed my fingers. A little blood was split and most of the fingers turned blue before swelling. We took better care to bring into the listening space and fitted the driver removed from second speaker.

Hooked it up with my AVR and played a track from youtube. This was the first time I felt that my living room was energised with music. The Full Ranger and the Horn magic was too good. It was 24 hours since I had sleep and I crashed into my bed. My family had 3-4 hours listening session and every guest that day were in awe of the music. My nephews were watching Harry potter and the speakers were brilliant for movies too. These horns are a bit fussy about placement. Without right toe-in, the stereo effect wasn't good. After a few pushes, I was able to settle for some decent placing. (I can still improve but it is good enough for now to get imaging close enough)

My dad has pulled out all his Carnatic LPs and having gala of time listening to these speakers. Not sure what evil eyes fell upon me. I have been stuck at work and not been able to take time out at all to do some proper listening impressions on these. I shall post pics when I find time. I wanted add this long pending comment on my setup. I would like to thank @Vivek Rao and @manniraj for guiding me to this new joy in the hobby.
 

manniraj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,470
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
Great write up there Vivek and hope your fingers are back :)

Yes I miss them now and seriously planning to start building my Audio Nirvana build which based on reviews should be more than equal in terms of the sound stage and mid range of fostex from the Jericho Horns. Paucity of time making me delay the Audio Nirvana build but I think I should target to complete in a months time hopefully if everything falls into place especially my freetime over the weekends.
 
SPONSORED ADS

Top