Stellar Cartography - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 1 Old 08-24-10, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
Philnick's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 38
Cool Stellar Cartography - major upgrades

My basement theater, home of my own Klugwallah Sound Reproducing System - though I'm not sure Daniel Pinkwater would agree, as he had the Klugwallah's owner say that "Stereo is for sissies!" (the Klugwallah was a monaural monster):

Stellar Cartography and its upstairs annex have had some major upgrades recently:

Output devices:

My Yamaha RX-V457 Pre-HDMI AV Surround Sound Receiver is now upstairs in my living room, switching composite video as well as analog stereo.

Its successor is a just discontinued Yamaha RX-A1030 Aventage AV Receiver, which means that I'm now using HDMI for audio as well as video, with a Terk powered AM-FM antenna for AM/FM/HD local radio. It also plays all my favorite internet radio stations directly via ethernet from my router. With an ESS Sabre 9006 DAC and YPAO room equalization, and 7.1 amplification, it has substantially upgraded the sound of everything in the system.

Paradigm Studio/40 Front Left and Right speakers
Paradigm Studio/CC Front Center channel (horizontal Studio/40 in black case) mounted over the screen
Paradigm Studio/20 Surround Left and Right speakers
Paradigm PDR-10 Subwoofer (100W self-powered)
And now a pair of small Boston Audio speakers I had bought to take on vacation a few years ago as rear surrounds

The RX-A1030's YPAO room equalization program - which does a suprisingly good job - helps blend the two makes of speakers together. I use the "YPAO flat" setting, since I don't believe in rolling off the high frequencies (the secret sauce in Yamaha's "Natural" sound).

All video, even S-Video from my VCR, goes through the RX-A1030 to be output as HDMI, passing through a Darbee Darblet on the way to my projector, giving me the ability to do Photoshop or Lightroom type sharpening of the image.

Panasonic PT-AE2000U 1080p24/i60 LCD projector throwing a bright and clear image 9'6" by 5'4" in my 15' deep by 20' wide theater, calibrated with a Digital Video Essentials Blu-ray.

The screen is the current "Cream&Sugar Ultra" recipe from this site, replacing the original Cream&Sugar because of gashes in the wall.

Source players:

Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player w/HDMI 1.3 1080p video and bitstreamed or LPCM transcoded 7.1 outs for all audio formats, up to and including LPCM, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. I'm now using LPCM over HDMI instead of multichannel analog.

Back out of retirement is my Panasonic DMP-BD50K Blu-ray player w/HDMI 1.3 1080p video and LPCM 7.1 out for all audio formats, up to and including LPCM, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio [it was the first standalone player capable of internally decoding DTS-HD MA] [Digital Video Essentials Blu-ray disk for calibration.] I had retired the BD50 in favor of the Oppo for better sound - now both benefit from the AVR's ESS Sabre DAC.

I had already sent my old Roku to my daughter, and replaced it with an Amazon FireTV for 1080p video; getting the new receiver meant I've now stopped using optical SPDIF and gone over to HDMI audio, upgrading the sound of Amazon Prime from DD 5.1 over optical to DD+ 7.1 over HDMI.

The HDMI cable to my laptop for playing things from the net that my Fire can't get now carries sound as well as video, including my Ivory piano program with - samples of real grand pianos from Steinway, Yamaha, and Bosendoerfer controlled via MIDI over USB by my electric piano's keyboard.

Comcast Xfinity HD cable box with HDMI 1080 24p and 60i video out HDMI audio out, decoded by the receiver.

9" LCD Car seatback display for running the Oppo in playing music off my PC upstairs over my LAN - no point burning out the projector lamp and heating up the room for that.

Mitsubishi HS-U776 HiFi VCR, with stereo line out into the receiver and S-Video into the receiver, which upscales it to HDMI - a little soft, but quite watchable.

My old RCA capacitive videodisk player is hooked up through the AVR - its video is at least as good as the VHS tapes I've got. Laserdisk it's not - it plays those old disks with a needle riding on a skin of oil! It was in that format that Gene Roddenberry revolutionized home video by selling Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn for about $20 - far less than the $100 that videotapes of movies cost back then. I still have a few disks for that machine that I haven't gotten in a more recent format and may never become available. (And, yes, the AVR scales RCA composite video up to HDMI as well.)

Now upstairs in my living room: Denon 2910 Universal DVD player, playing stereo music and composite video into my 27" Trinitron, the Yamaha RX-V457 pre-HDMI AVR, the Sanyo Quartz-lock direct-drive turntable with Stanton 681EEE cartridge and NAD phono preamp has followed my old Yamaha upstairs, so I can rescue old LPs by turning them into CDs with Audacity on my desktop. There's also a Kenwood cassette dubbing deck there I can use to rescue old cassettes. My old ReVox A77 eats old reel-to-real tapes, but I have an old Sony I can use to rescue old 7" 1/4 track tapes.

Last edited by Philnick; 06-21-15 at 07:08 PM.
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