Home Theater Components

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A Home Theater Build Project – Part III

In this section I'll begin to talk about the ways in which I upgraded my room outside of actual equipment changes. Some of these changes were implemented to improve performance, while others were to improve the overall viewing experience. Either way, many of these are easy things that anyone can do in between the major equipment changes that we are often researching.

Sabian 19″ Vault Holy China Crash Cymbal

In the 1950's Avedis Zildjian got together with Gene Krupa to make something that would be called a Pang cymbal. It looked like a regular cymbal with the edge turned upward, and it had a distinctive Far East sound quality. The Swish cymbal, a variation on the Pang, was also developed, and it had a higher pitch with more wash. Jazz drummers started using Pangs in their kit, and these days, many drummers have several of them, calling them simply China cymbals. While the first one didn't look distinctive except for the turned up edges, the China cymbals of today have all kinds of distinctive characteristics, including engravings. Sabian collaborated with Chad Smith and introduced what they call the Holy China cymbal, because it has holes in it. Drilling holes and slots in cymbals, calling them Special Effects cymbals, is very popular now, and Sabian has done this with the Holy China line. Available in 19" and 21" sizes, the present review covers the 19".

NuVision NVU65FX5 65″ LCD Flat-Panel HDTV

PRICE DROP AS OF 1-18-10. When shopping for an LCD panel, NuVision is not one of the first manufacturers that come to mind. Sold only through a network of CEDIA-member dealers, NuVision is firmly in the category of boutique brands. Their line of televisions are "built by connoisseurs for connoisseurs" to quote their website. Here, we review the NuVision 65" NVU65FX5, which is their 65" LCD Flat-panel HDTV. At an MSRP of $10,499 ($9,999 for black bezel version), it is a pricey HDTV. Read our review to see if it cuts the mustard at the checkout counter.

Emotiva X-Series A/V Cables

Emotiva, which started out marketing amplifiers, expanded to include preamplifiers, SSPs, speakers, and now, to complete the line, a complete series of cables. These include coaxial analog RCA, coaxial digital RCA, digital Toslink, balanced XLR, HDMI, and speaker cables. They come in two models, one being the X-Series that we review here, and the Ultra-Series, which is the entry level. I found the cables to be extremely well constructed, with gold-plated contacts, and rugged enough to be man-handled through the typical maze of wires that we all have behind our equipment racks. The sound in my reference system using the Emotiva cables was excellent. The prices are very reasonable, and are a better value than what I see in blister packs at various mass market electronic stores.

Panasonic 65PY700 65″ 1080p Plasma HDTV

A typical display will go quite easily into my house. When I call up the local importer, they are usually quite inclined to lend me their displays. The 65PY700 was no exception, but it did require quite a bit of work to verify that it would fit into my test lab area. The hallway and staircase leading up to the second floor are quite tight, and I've never actually tried a display larger than 55" in height . . .