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Old 05-25-2018, 05:15 PM   #1
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Surround Sound

I am replacing my originally installed 37 Sony plasma tv (117 lbs.) and DVD player which contains the amp that drives the surround sound system. I plan to install a new LED tv as well as a new Blu-Ray DVD player. I would like to keep my existing built-in speakers/subwoofer but dont know how to drive them. They are 3 ohms and I know that most systems these days are for 6 ohms and up.

Id appreciate any advice on how to deal with this. I know sound bars and wireless subwoofers are all the rage these days but Id prefer not to use them. My current system sounds and looks great.

Thanks,
Keith
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:18 AM   #2
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Look for a "home theater in a box". The Bluray player will be intergrated into it plus everything for connecting your speaker wires to and running your audio/video equipment. Most of these come with speakers, but you should be able to find the equipment by itself.
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:51 AM   #3
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Hi Keith! Read the post below about my surround sound upgrade. It may give you some ideas.



Most amps are designed to handle 4 ohm speakers. I have never heard of any speakers less than 4 ohm impedance.



One thing leads to another, and another, and another.....
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky68D View Post
I am replacing my originally installed 37 Sony plasma tv (117 lbs.) and DVD player which contains the amp that drives the surround sound system. I plan to install a new LED tv as well as a new Blu-Ray DVD player. I would like to keep my existing built-in speakers/subwoofer but dont know how to drive them. They are 3 ohms and I know that most systems these days are for 6 ohms and up.

Id appreciate any advice on how to deal with this. I know sound bars and wireless subwoofers are all the rage these days but Id prefer not to use them. My current system sounds and looks great.

Thanks,
Keith
3 ohm speakers are commonly used in home theater in a box systems (allows the manufacturer to claim a higher power rating for their systems). That said, keep in mind that impedance is dynamic so some experimentation with your speakers may be necessary.

High current amplifiers are often stable down to two ohms and not all that expensive in a two channel configuration, but the trick will be to find a standalone high current 5 channel surround sound receiver that doesn't break the bank. You might see if you can buy just the receiver/Blu-Ray portion of a home-theater-in-a-box designed to handle a 3 ohm load.

If you don't need the system to get realy loud, you could try the speakers with a new receiver that can handle a 4 ohm load to see if the protection circuits kick in. If not then the receiver is seeing a load it can handle.

Technically you *could* increase the impedance of the speakers by placing a resistor in line with the positive wire of each speaker, but I would avoid that approach for safety and sound degradation reasons.

Bill
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Old 06-01-2018, 01:42 PM   #5
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One of the challenges of this project is the limited cabinet space I have for components. The closest thing I've found to meet the impedance of my speakers, provide 5.1 and fit in my cabinet is the new Pioneer VSX-S520 Slim Network AV Receiver. All of the home theater in a box packages I've found are 6-10 ohms and the main units are too wide for my cabinet opening. Installing the Pioneer and a Blu-Ray player doesn't leave me enough shelf space for a satellite receiver. I considered the resister approach and it remains an option.

Thanks for the input everyone.

Keith
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:35 PM   #6
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I tried the Pioneer VSX-S520 and was unimpressed enough to replace it with a Marantz NR1606.

The Pioneer was not able to drive the speakers and ended up in a Protect mode that is not user resettable. The Marantz has no problem driving the speakers
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:44 AM   #7
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If you have enough cabinet depth you could consider separates - a preamp sitting horizontal in your cabinet interfaced to a high quality 5 channel car stereo amp attached to the back wall (or even another cabinet). Many car stereo amps are designed for 2 ohm loads.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:11 PM   #8
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Yesterday I really dug into the system. I found it includes a Riverpark Audio 6/2 Converter (Line Level) which takes in the speaker output wires from the Sony DVD/Amp and the output actually feeds the speakers. I've Googled line level and I still don't understand why it is needed so if someone can explain it to this bonehead I'd appreciate it.

I've always been a Marantz fan so will check it out. Thanks.

Keith
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:45 PM   #9
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Line level is in the analog world where RCA cables are used to send low level audio signals between components such as when you connect an rca audio cable between a CD player and a receiver. On consumer equipment it's typically less than 1 volt.

What you're looking at is a device that takes a higher voltage speaker level signal and reduces it down to a line level so it can be fed to TV or amplifier that accepts a line level signal via rca cables. It's a low fidelity approach used when there is no line level output available from the preamp section of an amplifier. That RiverPark unit also passes through the speaker level inputs.
The RiverPark unit must be there to feed some other device like a TV or switcher, but I would think that the preamp output of a new receiver or preamp would replace that RiverPark unit unless it offers additional functionality.
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:46 PM   #10
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Surround Sound

If the RiverPark box is like ours, its a 6 way speaker switcher. It takes 2 output sources like tv stereo and dash radio and drives six speakers (2 front, 2 rear, center channel and sub). Without it your dash radio wont drive speakers. It doesnt do any level changing, just speakers level switching. Do you have a TV/Radio switch?
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:34 AM   #11
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I do indeed have a rocker switch that selects either "Home Theater" or "Radio". I wondered how that worked so thanks for the explanation.

I am mystified as to why the rear set of speakers work with the radio but are silent when I put a 5.1 movie in the dvd player. I've tried the various speaker combination options by cycling through the amp/dvd player's sound output on the remote but the rear ones never come to life.

Keith
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