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    Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

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    deepee99

    Posts : 1358
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:30 am

    We got a new 55-inch Sansui TV, fantastic picture, but the sound out of it blows goats. Literally gags you, sounds like a Bose wave radio with the woofers disconnected.
    So we're gunning the TV through the tube stereo but for watching a news broadcast or a football game it's a waste of very expensive electrons.
    So, solutions? Please. Obviously a sound bar is in order. There's a single digital SPDF or whatever laser output from the TV, which we run through a DAC to the hi-fi. There are conventional RCA outputs but Sansui advises that using the optical output disables the other outputs.
    I want to spare my precious tubes from the voice of Judy Woodruff, or a badly choreographed movie, but the conundrum befuddles.
    Ideally, I'd like a simple A/B switch to source the sound out to either the toobs (there are occasionally some decently recorded movies) or to the sound-bar, but what sand sound-bar would solve this and what sound-bar sounds best?
    Thanks,
    -d-

    Dogstar

    Posts : 107
    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by Dogstar on Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:20 am

    I have a Samsung sound bar that I bought thanks to making the mistake of thinking a young hipster right out of college actually had any intelligence and taking his advice. I'm pretty sure I made better decisions about sound equipment when I was his age when I bought my Yamaha CR-2020 system. Anyway sound bars are not much better than Bose speakers. I don't need an expensive home theater system either but I still have a Sony receiver I bought in the mid 90's that is still in perfect working order that I hooked up to my TV with a pair of inexpensive Polk Audio towers. I know I know..they aren't really the best sounding speakers but it does sound ok to me.

    corndog71

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    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by corndog71 on Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:58 pm

    Klipsch soundbars are pretty decent. I don't usually recommend soundbars but if you're going to get one then I recommend the ones made by people who make real speakers.

    tweed

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2016-09-03

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by tweed on Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:50 pm

    Might want to take a look at 'Zvox'.

    They have a few models and sound bars are there thing.

    sKiZo

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    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by sKiZo on Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:44 pm

    Rather than doing the A/B thing, how about just going with a dedicated AV system? Most soundbars leave something to be desired ... you can only get so much out of those tiny lil speakers. Picked up an Onkyo 7.1 system at one of the big box stores a while back and no complaints ...

    I still use the built in speakers on my Samsung flat screen. Those have good dynamics to enhance the center some and work especially nice with the late night talking heads.

    PS ... mine is a unique setup - can't abide a tv you can't pile crap on top of.



    Took two old Sullivan cabinets and spliced them together, then added braces for a standard wall mount. Great place to keep the ... ahem ... dedicated AV stuff, and also does a nice job of hiding the bias lighting and such. That's actually the second screen I've mounted in the cab, although that DID require making a new face frame for a "built in" look. I was clever enough first time around to make that a simple swap. Having the built in speakers firing out the back actually seems to enhance the mids ...

    mresseguie

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    Join date : 2016-08-18

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by mresseguie on Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:31 am

    Deeper,

    What is your budget?

    Are there size constraints?

    deepee99

    Posts : 1358
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:18 pm

    mresseguie wrote:Deeper,

    What is your budget?

    Are there size constraints?
    Mressequie, & Skizo, et. al,thanks for your interest and suggestions.
    Size and budget are both pretty limited. With those big honkin' Tyler's I'm just about out of floor space and bank account. I'd like to keep cost in the <$500 area. The sound bar would go in a pretty tight space under the TV, say, 6" clearance.
    I found an optical splitter on Amazon for $10 so I could route TOSLINK cables both to the stereo's DAC and to the tinny black soundbar box. I hate to burn up tube electrons on the evening news, football games, etc. but there are times something is broadcast, or a good movie, that decent sound is called for.
    As I said, the Sansui (Model 4K Ultra HDTV) at 55 inches is a helluva picture, but  its built-in sound would make a clock-radio proud and is impossible to listen to.
    Skizo, you've obviously got more floor-space to work with than I do. I jut don't have room for a whole separate sound system, much as I'd like to slip an ST-120 and my Dynaco A-35s in to the works.
    I realize ya get what ya pays for, but there's got to be a step-level improvement over these teensy TV speaks. The nearest Wally-World is 60 miles away and I'm not interested in some teenage nose-picker's advice . . .

    David - Is it this kid below ? Bob

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

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    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by tubes4hifi on Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:52 pm

    yeah, that looks like your typical modern day stereo (appliance, whatever) sales guy who just wants to make his minimum wage and doesn't know enough to pass a college entrance exam,
    let alone know ANYTHING about the products he is selling, other than the price, and the commission on the sale.
    I've tried a couple of soundbars, let me tell you the REAL scoop.   You can buy a quarter decent soundbar for around $300.
    A half decent one for $1000.   Or you can be smart, and blow either of those way out of the ballpark.
    Buy either a half decent pair of powered speakers for $200 (those will probably have 4-5" speakers instead of 4-6 2" speakers)
    OR buy some half decent pair of regular speakers for around $100 along with a $30-50 stereo amplifier.
    The $100 system I use on my computer sounds better than any $1000 soundbar I've ever heard.   PM or email me for details if you need specific help.


    Last edited by tubes4hifi on Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

    LeGrace

    Posts : 106
    Join date : 2016-08-07

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by LeGrace on Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:34 pm



    Interesting item next to the right wall. 8" or 10" reflector? In my younger days on a clear summer night high probability you'd find me out in the back yard, sky charts in hand. I had a modest refractor, nothing as nice as this. Between my astronomy interest and short wave radio (collecting QSL cards) I was seriously sleep deprived. Now I fight to stay up past 10 Embarassed

    To the OP: Not a fan of soundbars, but still a huge improvement over the excuse for speakers they put in TV's these days. Good luck finding one you like.

    Peter W.

    Posts : 204
    Join date : 2016-08-07
    Location : Melrose Park, PA

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by Peter W. on Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:58 am

    deepee99 wrote:We got a new 55-inch Sansui TV, fantastic picture, but the sound out of it blows goats. Literally gags you, sounds like a Bose wave radio with the woofers disconnected.
    So we're gunning the TV through the tube stereo but for watching a news broadcast or a football game it's a waste of very expensive electrons.
    So, solutions? Please. Obviously a sound bar is in order. There's a single digital SPDF or whatever laser output from the TV, which we run through a DAC to the hi-fi. There are conventional RCA outputs but Sansui advises that using the optical output disables the other outputs.
    I want to spare my precious tubes from the voice of Judy Woodruff, or a badly choreographed movie, but the conundrum befuddles.
    Ideally, I'd like a simple A/B switch to source the sound out to either the toobs (there are occasionally some decently recorded movies) or to the sound-bar, but what sand sound-bar would solve this and what sound-bar sounds best?
    Thanks,
    -d-

    Sorry for being late to this discussion, but a couple of things:

    a) It is usually a good idea to take the audio-out from the TV through an audio isolation transformer before going into an audio component such as a pre-amp, integrated amp or receiver. This is an $8 - $10 part and will greatly reduce noise and eliminate potential hum-loops. Keep in mind that the audio cable from the TV is often longer than standard.

    b) Legacy audio components are relatively cheap, and good used speakers are often also relatively cheap - certainly relative to a new name-brand soundbar.

    So, an inexpensive dedicated stereo for the TV might be worth the investment. At our summer house, we have a Dynaco SCA80 (heavily modified) feeding AR TSW110 speakers. As modern flat-screens are not subject to magnetic interference, there are no worries with unshielded speakers. And as the TV has a variable output, we can still use the remote for mute and volume functions. The total investment for the integrated amp and speakers was less than $100, and about $20 worth of parts to modify the SCA.

    Just a random thought.

    The main system upstate consists of those items I am willing to leave alone for 6 months out of the year, and are Dynaco PAT 5 BiFet, ST80, Hafler DH330 tuner, Sony CD Changer and AR14 speakers. Nothing fancy as there is always the chance of a break-in (assuming they find the place at all), or tree fall or any of several other potential hazards that would discourage me from setting up anything really fine.

    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 160
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:43 am

    For the TV I use and ancient Pioneer SA-520 into a couple of cheap Bose speakers I picked up at some place like Best Buy. I run the digital out of the TV into a Music Fidelity DAC I picked up cheaply off eBay. I'm sure I could have found better speakers online or on Craig's List but these fit exactly into my rack. They sound fine for TV.

    My main problem is that as I don't have cable (I have an antenna on the roof), I can use this system fine for DVD/BluRay or streaming (Roku) but NOT for over the air. Thus still no decent audio for 'Skin's games. It seems the audio format for streaming/cable is different from over the air.

    Is there any solution to this short of subscribing to a (hated) cable service?

    Thanks.

    PS I bought one of those optical out splitters deepee mentioned so now I can use the Pioneer for everyday use and also have my Moon DAC/ST 70/SP 14/Klipsch system ready if I want really nice sound (like for a Rory Gallagher BluRay).

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

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    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by tubes4hifi on Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:09 pm

    Dave in VA,
    I cut my cable a year ago to save over $100 a month, I now have internet only ($50 a month), plus MagicJack for telephone ($20 a year).
    You can use a ChromeStick or an Amazon FireStick to stream all TV content thru your TV (either way it's a one-time $30 purchase).
    Since Amazon doesn't have everything I want, I also pay $8 a month for HULU, which has just about every channnel there is on cable.
    Roy

    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 160
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:26 pm

    Thanks Roy but that's not what I meant.

    I do have a Roku (similar to a Firestick, AppleTV, etc.). I'm trying to get the DAC to work with the audio from my over the air signals. It works fine with the Roku.
    I've sent an email to the engineering dept. at a local TV station. Maybe they'll answer.

    Peter W.

    Posts : 204
    Join date : 2016-08-07
    Location : Melrose Park, PA

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by Peter W. on Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:39 pm

    [quote= MUCH SNIPPAGE
    My main problem is that as I don't have cable (I have an antenna on the roof), I can use this system fine for DVD/BluRay or streaming (Roku) but NOT for over the air. Thus still no decent audio for 'Skin's games. It seems the audio format for streaming/cable is different from over the air.

    Is there any solution to this short of subscribing to a (hated) cable service? <<<

    Your television does not have an Audio Out function? If so, why not use it into another input on your Pioneer? You may need an isolation transformer - I certainly did from our Panasonic Plasma - but that is a cheap compromise for the additional functionality. In any case, if you use the Audio Out, the source to the television does not matter.

    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 160
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:03 pm

    Peter,
    The only audio out on the TV is the digital (optical). This runs to a DAC and that goes into the old Pioneer.
    The source to the TV obviously does matter. The audio format from over the air signals must be different from audio format coming from a DVD or a streaming device.

    I believe this was confirmed from someone on this board for me about 3 years ago. I was hoping someone may have a solution now.

    Hopefully the local TV engineer will know.

    Thanks.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1358
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:12 pm

    Peter W. wrote:[quote= MUCH SNIPPAGE
    My main problem is that as I don't have cable (I have an antenna on the roof), I can use this system fine for DVD/BluRay or streaming (Roku) but NOT for over the air. Thus still no decent audio for 'Skin's games. It seems the audio format for streaming/cable is different from over the air.

    Is there any solution to this short of subscribing to a (hated) cable service? <<<

    Your television does not have an Audio Out function? If so, why not use it into another input on your Pioneer? You may need an isolation transformer - I certainly did from our Panasonic Plasma - but that is a cheap compromise for the additional functionality. In any case, if you use the Audio Out, the source to the television does not matter.

    Peter W, the short answer for you is to quit being a Redskins' fan. It's an offensive name: they need to drop "Washington" from their moniker.
    As to the original question I posted, mebbe I am over-thinking this and have been out-smarted by a "smart" television with speakers the size of eye-drops. If I use the Toslink (optical) audio output, doing so disables every other audio output, which ranges from RCAs to USB -- or so Sansui's tech support told me. Again, I'm just trying to spare the tubes from covering Seahawks games and the nightly news-natters. I put enough time on the M-125s as it is . . .

    I think Roy may have an elegant solution, so we'll be chatting later to-day.



    deepee99

    Posts : 1358
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Roy to the rescue & QED

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:46 pm

    Roy M. suggested that the poor man's fix might begin with a pair of Dayton Audio SAT-BK 2-way speakers, driven off the TV's RCA coax audio outs by a Lepai LP 2020TI miniature Class D sand amp, altogether from Parts Express for cheaper than a medium-grade jug of single-malt. Got it going in time for Thursday's football marathon and several hours of Godfather movies. This saved about 10 hours' wear and tear on the tubes and the sound is remarkably good. The speakers are small enough to fit just about anywhere and the little amp is quite up to the job -- even has tone controls and a digital rotary volume control.
    Plus, with a pair of RCA Y jacks one can feed either the sand amp or the tubes without any switching involved. IMHO, this $70 solution beats the audio from a $500 sound bar, installation/placement is more flexible, and will extend tube life immensely.
    Thanks Roy & tubes4hifi.

    vtshopdog

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    Location : UT, USA

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by vtshopdog on Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:21 pm

    Well done deepee.
    I have a Parts Express mini TriPath amp in my bedroom system that I just love.  65W with a wall wart PS, really impressive for something the size of a Capri Sun juicebox.  Tripath chip never caught on, but I really like the sound this little guy makes.

    skriefal

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    Location : Utah, USA

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by skriefal on Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:22 pm

    I set up something very similar for my parents about 10 years ago, but with the "original" Sonic Impact T-amp and a pair of Infinity monitors. The Sonic impact amp died a couple years ago and I replaced it with the same Lepai amp that you're now using (IIRC). They still like it - it's certainly a significant improvement over the built-in speakers in their Vizio TV.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1358
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    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Need help with a sound-bar, sorry for being off-topic . . . but it will get to tubes eventually

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:29 pm

    I wonder what the future of Class D amplifiers is? My first experience was with a couple of plate amps Tyler installs in his speakers, rolled off pretty low, and they've worked fine, as seems the new Lepai amp for the TV. I could see them replacing A/B sand amps in the distant future. Never tubes, of course . . .

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