Get Free, Friendly, Expert Advice
Call 1-866-244-8796 or email

Designed and Manufactured in Canada Since 1980


AxiomAudio Blog

Positioning Floorstanding Speakers

Our Newest Flagship Model: The M100

Why We Make Our Own Drivers

Wall'O'Fame
"Serenity Cinema", now with 40% extra Serenity!
Updated as requested.
Who's Online
3 registered (michael_d, CV, MichaelTrottar), 107 Guests and 28 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Financing
Forum Stats
12765 Members
11 Forums
22691 Topics
400636 Posts

Max Online: 378 @ 02/24/13 04:33 PM
Top Posters
Ken.C 17697
pmbuko 16227
SirQuack 13311
CV 11064
MarkSJohnson 10694
Meanwhile On Facebook

8| Don't miss Andrew Welker's post on our message boards about the new subwoofer...

󾓲 The April Newsletter is out! Did you get your copy? http://www.axiomaudio.co...

Double-take! :O How well do you know our line? First one to spot the surprise...

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#121906 - 12/26/05 10:30 PM My Mother (and Father) of All Posts!
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10694
Loc: Central NH
Let me apologize in advance for a long post, but there are several facets of this issue and it really makes the most sense for me to be as complete as possible in the initial post.

After several years of kicking the idea around and prodding by me, my mom and dad have finally decided to do "something of a home theater". Some background information will be helpful here, as it directly pertains to the rest of the post.

My parents are in their mid 70s and live a couple of hours away. My mom is a technophobe who is regressing a bit. She lost the hearing in one ear as a child, and surround sound means absolutely nothing to her. Physically, she will of course miss spatial cues but more importantly, she's simply not interested. Clarity, however (especially of dialog) is important to her. In very simplistic terms, I explained that the majority of actor's voices coming through "the speaker that's near the TV" means that I can turn that speaker up a little louder than the others so she can hear the dialog better… she misses a fair amount of what actors are saying now. She liked that idea.

My dad is a forty-year IBM retiree. He's never been afraid of technology, but he's not keeping up with it the way he used to. For him, the cost is the issue. They are what I would consider middle-class by retiree standards, but my dad always buys the cheapest type of product available. If he were to buy a traditional TV, he would buy the cheapest one that BJs or Sam's Club has in that screen size…regardless of whether or not he's heard of that brand or not (yet I remember 30 years earlier, he bought his parents a 20" Sony Trinitron because it was the best). Go figure. He thinks his $150 Wal-Mart boombox/shelf system sounds just fine. Anyway, his budget will figure into this just as strongly as mom's technophoby.

MEET THE PARENTS:


My parents watch different things on TV. My mom watches typical prime-time fare, and my dad hates that stuff, preferring the History Channel, PBS, the National Geographic Channel, and football. About 90% of the time, he watches TV in the bedroom while she watches in the living room since they don't share the same tastes. This, of course, won't change if they have a separate HT room…it'll just mean that dad won't end up watching TV while sitting on the edge of the bed. One thing they do have in common, though, is the fact that they watch, via Netflix, 6-8 movies a week. Regarding music, I honestly don't think my mom would listen to anything if my dad didn't occasionally put her Josh Groban or Clay Aiken discs on for her. My dad would enjoy listening to music I think… if he had a quiet place such as this to do it. It was his interest in stereo equipment when I was a kid that lead to my interest.

So it's been years since my parents have visited here in NH, but my dad remembers very much liking my old, pre-axiom HT when I had a 32" CRT, etc. I've asked him over the years if he would ever want something like that, and he felt he would only want something if it were in a separate room other than their living room, and my mom refused to give up any room in their 3500 square feet. She would wave her hand in the air and say "we don’t need anything like that".

Anyway, that was before this weekend. Let me digress for a moment on a related topic, because it factors in a bit. On the way to visiting Joyce's and my family in RI, we stopped to visit her grandmother, a resident in a nursing home. I couldn't help but notice that the nursing home has installed a "theater-room" in the home for residents to watch movies. I didn't poke my head in to check it out, but saw through the glass doors a front projection screen. I told Joyce after we left that I thought it was a great idea to put a theater in a nursing home as there would probably be no other group of people that would appreciate a very large, easy-to-see screen and clear sound. Anyway, I thought it was interesting and wonder if other members here have seen theaters in nursing home-type facilities or if that was an anomaly? It also made me think that sometimes it just might be the older folks who can benefit the most from good sound and picture.

So quite a few years ago, I set my parents up with a simple receiver and a couple of Radio Shack bookshelf speakers I had to help my mom hear the TV a bit better. Well, my dad mentioned not long ago that the receiver was giving him some trouble, so I bought him a new one for Christmas this year. While setting it up, we started talking about the whole home theater thing and surprisingly, this time my mom said that she would give up her "no-longer-used" dining room if my father wanted to pursue the HT. That's the room that would be most suitable for a HT.

Likely room layout (12'x15' with a 7.5' ceiling)


My mind has been reeling since. I would, of course, enjoy helping them with this project. It's something I know pretty well, but it will also give me an excuse to spend some time with them. My dad's rheumatoid arthritis wouldn't even allow him to hold a hammer, but he'd enjoy "supervising". I've started thinking about the equipment that would be suitable for them, and how the requirements for that equipment might end up being vastly different than what I would consider for myself. Simplicity will be most important, followed by cost/value.

Let me mention the different classes of equipment that I'm looking at and my thoughts on each, and see what suggestions some of you might have. I haven't started looking for equipment yet. I'm not looking for others to do the legwork for me… I just figured I'd post this early in the process so you guys can make sure I don't stray too far off-track!

RECEIVER-- The requirements for this are pretty straightforward, but I don't know if the beast exists or not. Simple, simple, simple. And relatively inexpensive. I would say under $400 is a definite… under $300 would be better. Twenty different processing modes, etc.. will freak out my dad and get a complete blank stare from mom. Unfortunately, the low-price receivers like to offer more bells-and-whistles than their shelf-mate at Best Buy, so even inexpensive receivers offer more features than what would be necessary. In conversations with mom and dad, I realized a "Night Mode" would be helpful, though, since my mom needs to keep dialog reasonably loud…meaning explosions and car crashes would then blow out a window if the dynamics weren't compressed a bit.

SPEAKERS-- My parents aren't going to be looking for lots of volume or deep bass. Yes, a sub would be appropriate, but a cutoff of 32Hz is fine…. Intelligibility is key here. My mom hasn't really shown a "WAF" factor to be necessary, but I do believe she'll be happier with small, wall-mounted speakers and not floorstanders. Not to mention their cats would be using the grills for a scratching post…or worse. Likely candidates would be something like a Ventriloquist (opinions??) or similar system as I think even a FO M2/VP100/QS4 system would be too pricey for them. In-walls won't be an option as the wall they would be mounted on has real-wood paneling that they wouldn't cut into.

TV-- Look, I don't mean to sound condescending regarding my parents, but here's the thing: They have cats. Quite a few actually… I believe eight at the moment. And, these cats are strays that they've brought in…. strays who….ummm…. sometimes mark their territory. There's an accordion door leading into the room, but they'll only close it when they're no in the room. In a nutshell, even though I chose a DLP as the best value for me, I think keeping things off the floor by choosing a wall-mounted plasma will be the best option for them. I think a 42" will be fine, and I'm probably looking for the least expensive name-brand HDTV that I can find…. Only because their budget would otherwise be more suitable for DLP. They already have hi-def cable and my dad uses the DVR that the cable company has supplied…though he doesn't have a hi-def TV.

UNIVERSAL REMOTE-- Here's where I'm really looking for good ergonomics. I'm using an MX700, but I have to wonder if some of the Harmony or other models aren't a little more user-friendly based upon some reports I've seen. I can do the programming, but they need something east to see/read, with the lowest number of buttons to get the job done.

SOURCES-- One DVD/VHS combo player will be it…excepting their cable source. Mom still time-shifts VHS (Gotta give her credit for that!) and a unit such as this will also enable DVD and CD playback. I'd still like to see progressive output.

Bottom line with all of this: I need to remember that the system has to fit their needs…not mine. They will not be messing with crossover points, aspect ratios, surround modes or RS meters. If a wrong button is hit, I'm the nearest "help" at 2 hours away. My dad in particular would appreciate something above a HTIB once it was paid for and installed, but it really can't be something ostentatious.

Has anyone been down this road setting up a simple, but good-quality system for a borderline or elderly couple? Come across programmable remotes that are easy for old eyes and arthritic fingers? See a simple receiver without bells and whistles…maybe from a less-obvious brand like NAD?

As I said, I'll be spending lots of time looking, but if someone has been down this road before and can offer some suggestions, that would be great!

Does this post quality as the Mother Of All Posts…Senior Addition?

_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

Top
#121907 - 12/26/05 11:18 PM Re: My Mother (and Father) of All Posts!
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6717
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
Mark,

For a reciever you could take a look at the Onkyo TX-SR 503, it can be had for $199 refurbed . I have the 502 and find it is a very easy and straight forward unit to use.

I have the Onkyo with the Hsu Ventrioquist system. IMO it is a remarkable system for the money and size. The room it is in is a bit over 2000 sqaure feet opening into a hallway. I use it for H/T only, the dialog seems crisp and clear with no complaints of "what did he say". If you haven't done so yet you could read the reveiws of the system @ Hsu .


_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


Top
#121908 - 12/26/05 11:43 PM Re: My Mother (and Father) of All Posts!
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10694
Loc: Central NH
Rick:
Thanks for the feedback. Funny enough, I was just looking at the Onkyo 503 at Crutchfield when I checked back here and saw your response! Looks simpler than most, yet I feel confident in the Onkyo name brand. Looks like it could be a very good choice! And yes, I do know that Crutchfield doesn't offer very good pricing... but it's a great site for comparison shopping!

I assume you mean your ventiliquest is in a 200 square foot room though? Or maybe 2000 cubic feet? If it's doing well in a 2000 square foot room, I'm ordering three of them right now!

Seriously, thanks again for the feedback. I don't think this subject has really been broached in the year+ that I've been here, so it's kinda uncharted territory!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

Top
#121909 - 12/27/05 12:09 AM Re: My Mother (and Father) of All Posts!
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1807
http://www.accessories4less.com/



good prices on marantz recievers, going with a higher end model of last year, you can get more options/power than you can with a lower end model of this year, and he is a marantz authorized dealer I bought my old receiver, and amp I currently use for him, great guy. He also has marantz plasmas so you could look into that.


Remot I have a MX350 and I find it super easy to use, also it has the favorate channel option and im sure that would be a hit with your parents, sense it has discovery,history, and some of the womans channels on the favorites part also, down side, I don’t think you can change/add to the channels.. and the MX remote is the easiest to use from what I have read, and it is in a configuration that a “normal” remote is, unlike the pronto


Also, I would not get the vp100, I would get the vp150 sense they have HD, and that is broad cast in 5.1 and they watch movies, most of the time 70% of the volume is going to be coming from the center, so I would get the 150 sense it has more cone area than the 100-> will be louder. Sub, maybe a ep150? Just a little something. If you get 22’s you will probably have to turn the gains up on them, for them to put out enough volume for the parents to hear well? Also depending on how much you were planning on spending on a plasma, a projector might be an option, you can get a good projector for 900$ nowa days, and you can paint a screen on their wall for them, and that would be the largest picture for the money..only thing to take into account on that is you would have to get something to cover the windows. If your mom is creative, and likes to sew, she could make some very heavy window treatment, and it would bring her into the project also.. the only thing to consider for the projector, is the bulb, but I have had my projector for going on 2 years, and it is “my” tv, and I only have about 1000 hours on my bulb, and they are good for about 3000 hours… just one option..


I wold have to guess that NAD would be out of the price range that you are wanting to keep with in, and you said you just got them a new receiver, why will the one you just bought them not work for the new HT? not trying to put you on the spot, just wondering sense that one is already bought and paid for. And will most likely have enough power to push a 150,qs4’s and some 22’s.

Anyhow, hope my rambling helps some…



Oh yeah about 3 years ago, I spent about 2.000$ on a HT for my parents Xmass.. anyhow long story short, my dad unplugs it all, and plugs in his 500$ all in 1 ht, and use that to this day…

Top
#121910 - 12/27/05 12:36 AM Re: My Mother (and Father) of All Posts!
SirClyde Offline
local

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 212
Loc: Cedar Park, Tx
1000 hours in almost 2 years. You use that thing that much huh? I had my tv for a year now and have over 2500 hours. This is my main concern about getting a FP. If I do get one I need to train myself to watch normal tv downstairs.
_________________________
M60's VP150 QS8's EP500 Denon3805

Top
#121911 - 12/27/05 02:13 AM Re: My Mother (and Father) of All Posts!
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1807
i am in the military, so my free time is a bit more limited.. but for his solution, it would probably work. i would emagine?

Top
#121912 - 12/27/05 04:24 AM Re: My Mother (and Father) of All Posts!
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10308
Okay, Mark, I'll throw out some thoughts. If five M2s, even FO with discount, is beyond budget, consider five of these for $300. For a combo DVD/VHS player this looks good. The term "simple HT receiver" might be pretty much an oxymoron. My first thought for under $300 might be the Pioneer 815 and just ignore any unneeded bells and whistles, but this seems slightly less enwhistled.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



Top
#121913 - 12/27/05 09:05 AM Re: My Mother (and Father) of All Posts!
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6717
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

I did mean 2000 cubic feet Mark.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


Top
#121914 - 12/27/05 10:27 AM Re: My Mother (and Father) of All Posts!
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16227
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Ahhhhhhhhh!!!

It's accordion, not accordian.

Sheesh!
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

Top
#121915 - 12/27/05 12:55 PM Re: My Mother (and Father) of All Posts!
sonicfox Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 902
Loc: Davenport, Iowa, USA
Hi Mark! I know this first suggestion may sound ridiculous, but how about a really good home theater in a box? If you are like me, it would be unacceptable even if it's for your folks, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway. I've actually been surprised at the sound quality of some of these units, but even so, I guess I'd be concerned about the "clarity" issue for your mother. So, here are a few better suggestions of my own...if you don't mind suggestions from a woman!

RECEIVER-I would stay away from the Sony's, for sure. The lower end models I've listened to always sound a bit hissy and tinny, if that makes any sense. Here's what *I* would get although it's a bit expensive, but still under $400.

SPEAKERS-I've personally never heard Fluance speakers before, but I someone told me this bookshelf sounds fantastic for the money. It looks good too. My brother bought the Fluance surrounds but I haven't heard them because he doesn't have his home theater completed yet. But I did *see* them and they were quite nice! They look like QS4's.

TV-I'm no help here, but when you mentioned the amount of cats, I about had an asthma attack (I'm highly allergic!) just thinking about them!

REMOTE-Definitely a Harmony remote as they are "activity" based and are programmable on the web. The reveiws are really good. In fact, I bought my brother one for Christmas. I would recommend the 676 since your parents have a DVR. It's pretty much the same as the 659 (which gets rave reviews), but the DVR transport buttons are located in a more convenient location. Comp-U-Plus is where I got it from at a great price. Here's a link directly to it on their website. The more expensive ones have color screens, but I dislike the buttons. Obviously, since my brother just got it, he hasn't had time to program it, so I'm not sure how he's going to like it. But I took the "test drive" they have online and it seems pretty straight forward.

SOURCES-As a matter of fact, I just went shopping with my mom for one of these. I read a lot of reviews on these combo units and unfortunately, they are all mixed. It seems like the build quality on these units, regardless of brand name, are not that great. I think the Toshiba's or Sony's are your best bet. My mom ended up with a Samsung, but I'm a bit weary of it.

Well, that's my $.02! Anyway, I really enjoyed reading about your parents, even if it was for a purpose. They seem like really "cool" folks!
_________________________
M60s
VP150
QS8s
Marantz SR6003
Samsung LN52B550
Oppo DV-980H
Insignia NS-WBRDVD

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >



Moderator:  alan, Amie, Andrew, axiomadmin, Brent, Debbie, Ian, Jc 

Home  |  Corporate Info  |  Products  |  Message Board  |  FAQs  |  Warranty  |  Site Map  |  Privacy Statement   |  Contact Us

©2014 Colquhoun Audio Laboratories Limited
All Rights Reserved.