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Hello from Washington State

1144 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  nova
Sorry for this huge post, but this is my whole story:

I have always been curious, mechanically inclined, and compulsively obliged to make things better. My dad always had a home theater setup downstairs, which was also where my far older brother slept. I always wanted a TV in my room, so when I finally got a tiny 15" CRT TV (manufacturing date: 1986) I was super happy. But it eventually became annoying since I needed to use an RF modulator with one input, so I had to unplug and plug too many cables when I wanted to switch from PS2 to Gamecube or vice-versa. And there was, of course that horrible single built-in speaker. Horrible little thing. So I dug through my garage an found a Hafler preamp and an amp my dad built and was not using. I also bought a 4-input Gamestop switch so the cable problems were solved. All I needed were speakers. I found a pair or 3ft tall 3-way speakers of unknown model or manufacturer and hooked those up. They sounded like heaven compared to that little TV speaker.

At that point in time, I was 11 years old.

For my 12th birthday, I received a 20" CRT TV that I couldn't lift at the time, so I moved it into my small room on a little cart. I hooked that TV up, and put the old TV in our pile of junk in the garage. This TV actually had a remote! Not that I needed one, though, because my whole setup was literally on a coffee table directly against the head of my bed. I didn't have a headboard, I had a TV. Tho problem was, that coffee table wasn't the strongest thing in the world. I had a VCR/DVD player, a PS2, a Gamecube, an N64, a 20" CRT TV, 2 large speakers, and an amp and a preamp. The whole setup was at least 150 or 200 pounds. It was just a normal day when I went to put something down on my little table when BAM! The whole thing collapsed. Luckily, nothing was badly damaged except for the pile of toys under the table.

It was at that point in time that I decided I would clean my room (*gasp*!). So I got to work getting rid of the landfill of old toys and rotting food that was the northwest 4' by 6' corner of my room. It took about 5 days, and I never noticed how big my room was until that point. My dad payed me $50 and gave me his old Panasonic 5.1ch receiver.

At this point in time, I was still 12 years old.

For my 13th birthday, I received an IKEA entertainment center, a game chair, and a wall shelf, along with enough gift cards to buy a Nintendo Wii. I built the entertainment center myself, and immediately started setting everything up inside that entertainment center. The problem was, it was made for up to a 46" Plasma or LCD. I had a 20" CRT. So I put the speakers on either side of the TV division, and stuffed the narrow part of the TV between the speakers and used jack stands to hold the front of the TV up. I also setup the shelf behind the area where I would sit, and put my $12 thrift store Proton AL-205 surround speakers on that. Tho problem was, my 3-way front speakers never felt like their woofers were functioning, and I didn't have a center speaker.

I was happy for a year or so, and then my TV stopped working, and I didn't fix it until about 3 months later. I then bought a pair of Pioneer CS-620's (manufactured in 1982) with monster cables from my uncle for $15 and used those as front speakers. I then went to "Hamfest" with my dad, which is an Amateur Radio Festival and basically an electronics swap meet. I bought a Klipsch KV-2 center speaker for $30 (and that speaker remains to be my most expensive one) and a homemade subwoofer for $1! The problem was, that subwoofer had a 1/4" jack, not binding posts. Those binding posts took awhile to install due to my inexperience, but I did it, and that's all that mattered. I rigged up an amp that I built, and it was smooth sailing from there.

At this point, I was 14 years old. We got a new 42" 1080p Plasma HDTV, so I got the old TV: A 27" 720p Olevia LCD HDTV. This TV was too big to fit with the speakers, and I had to lift it all the way up our stairs myself, and take the old 20" CRT down the stairs. I lifted the speakers on top of the entertainment center, and chained the speakers to the wall so they would be angled down enough to be directed at the viewer. I also upgraded my rear speakers to Polk Audio R10's.

I know it's not an amazing system, but I'm 14 and don't have a job, so it isn't possible for me to upgrade until I've got a job and have my car (yes, I have a car, a '71 Maverick to be precise, and no, I don't drive it) in working order so I can drive it once I have a license. My A/V setup is not super high on my priorities at the moment.
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Nice story Daniel and welcome to the Shack!

You sound similar to myself in that you started diggin' into dad's stuff trying to find something to work for your sound at an early age. Nothing wrong with that. I also agree that at 14, the sound system was definitely not my priority... although I wish it had been. :sarcastic:

You write like you are a bit older... kudos for that... :T
Welcome Daniel. Sounds like you are an adult in a kids body! Have fun. Dennis
Hi Daniel, Welcome aboard the Shack!

Sonnie is right your writing is very good for a 14 year old. :T

Enjoy your stay with us.
Thanks far the warm welcome everybody! I'll certainly stay on these boards as I'm always building new low-cost speakers for various purposes, and here I have enormous amounts of resources.
Wow! I wish I had as much going for me when I was 14 !!!
Well done!! :clap:
Welcome, Daniel! From your story it sounds like you should fit in well here. Most of us have that same bug that makes us want to build a better mousetrap.
Hi Daniel and welcome..

Nice write up..:T
It's good to have a younger member on board..
You'll find all the help you need here..for what ever you want to do..
Hi Daniel,
Interesting story, I'll bet it is similar to what we have all gone through :) Most of us anyway.
Welcome to the Shack.
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