Home Theater

by Mike Shea on 26 April 2002

Looks like I went and caught the home theater upgrade bug. Now I am thinking of all those fancy Dolby Digital EX / DTS-ES movies I have rotting away under the tyranny of a po' folk's Dolby Digital system. There are two decoders that I could use with my Yamaha DSP-A1, a $300 Smart Systems CS3 and the $400 Parasound CSE 6.1. Both are pretty inexpensive but both require an external two channel amplifier to power the rear speakers. Adcom, a well known power amplifier company, has a two channel 80 wpc amp for only $500, bringing the upgrade price up to $800 to $900. Than you need the rear speakers. I have a pair of Rock Solid speakers I took down when I decided that DSP Front Effects was the devil's work, and a pair of my tried and true Boston Acoustic CR-8s. Of course, the little evil home theater purist says they won't match the timbre of the rest of my B&W speakers, but lets get serious, who would notice. I would need a couple of stands for the rears, anyway, and I would have to move them around as my apartment changes. The fact is, movies are being recorded in studios using EX decoding, so if you want to accuratly reproduce this soundstage, you might think about this upgrade. Still, $900 is a lot. Ahh, the neverending home theater upgrade...

Send comments to mike@mikeshea.net or follow @mshea on Twitter. If you enjoyed this article, please use this link to Amazon.com for your next online purchase.