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Old 01-10-2010, 03:49 PM   #1
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How wild is your A/V setup?

Not that I'm going to break into anyone's bus, but how wild is your A/V setup?

Here's what I'm thinking:

I want to find a decently priced dual zone head unit (insert own joke here). There are some low end ones for less than $300. This would allow my wife and I to listen to music up front and the kids could watch a dvd or play on the PS2 while running down the road. The big benefit to this is that it would all be DC powered except the PS2. I also want to invest in a DC TV instead of an AC one. Back to the story...the downfall to these systems is that it only allows you to split the front/rear channels. So there would be two front speaker for music, two rear speakers for games/movies, and a subwoofer. When parked, all four speakers and sub could be made to produce whatever we wanted.

Speaker placement is something thing I'm not 100% sure about either. Ideally, I'd like to run 8 speakers plus a subwoofer; four channels in front, four channels in the rear plus a sub. I think it can be done using one of these dual zone head units, two passive equalizers (I have an old Sherwood XT-1101 that I can't wait to use again! I'd love another one!), and two-three amps. This would give me two separate zones with four channels in each, plus at least one sub.

Am I over analyzing things? Would it just be simpler to put a "standard" DIN size radio in with four speakers up front, then get a home unit for the rear? Actually, I'm sure it would be simpler, but I don't think that it would quite get me what I want...also, it would use a lot of inverted power. We'll be spending 14 hours or so on the road each month in travel time, so it would be nice to not have to mess with so much inverted power.

Feel free to shoot all kinds of holes in this! Actually, I'm trying to decide if I'm just crazy or what...nevermind. I know the answer to that too! Thanks for the input in advance.

Ben.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:39 PM   #2
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

We are going to use a 12 volt TV/DVD player like this, if not this one, we're going to be buying one soon.

http://www.supersonicinc.com/index.c...ctID/3,3860462

For audio we have a Bose Wave that has the set up for an IPOD, but it's AC and I'm not excited about it, likely we will use an automotive stereo system with several speakers. I need to get this figured out pretty soon I'm about ready to panel the ceiling and need to get speaker wire pulled.

Take care,
Den
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:12 PM   #3
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

I looked at that TV too. I think that (eventually) that's the one, or similar one that we'll go with too.

The entertainment system I looked at was an RCA-Wally World thing that was kinda like a Bose (not as good obviously) but had small speakers and a subwoofer. If all else fails, I may go with that. I think that route will be cheaper in the beginning...I don't know if it will be in the end.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:26 PM   #4
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

I'm looking more towards automotive audio because of the 12 volt capability thing. I've also heard concerns that home audio doesn't survive RV use all that well, I don't know if that extends to the Bose or not.

I'm glad you started this thread and look forward to hearing about what other folks have going on and how it's worked out for them.

Take care,
Den
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:53 PM   #5
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

I've wondered, is it possible to hook up household speakers to a 12V car audio system, or car speakers to a household amplifier? Also, does household speakers in fact not hold up to the vibrations / temperatures of an RV? Car speakers can stay out in the cold / humidity / etc... I wonder as much for household speakers.

My Dad used a pair of Boston Acoustic computer speakers in his car for a long time with no trouble. They had a built-in amplifier and hooked up to a CD player's headphone out. It was easier for him than installing a new system. Then later, when he had to trade in his old truck for a new one, he just moved the unit.

Currently, Joni and I use our laptop for music and a couple of computer speakers. Right now we're along the lines of just use what you have, but I do still sometimes like to dream about what I don't have.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:19 AM   #6
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

used to hook up a car stereo in the house to house speakers all the time,had lots of partys and blew up stuff alot will install a marine stereo and run another for not moving sound,kids have enough gadgets to watch-play i like lynard skynard
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:44 AM   #7
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John
I've wondered, is it possible to hook up household speakers to a 12V car audio system, or car speakers to a household amplifier?
Shouldnt be a problem....same speakers really. Just make sure your ohm levels match up. Home speakers are 8 ohms usually and car speakers are 4 ohm. So you would need to hook up two home speakers for every 4 ohm line from the auto head unit (If you wire TWO 8-ohm speakers in PARALLEL, you'll bring the impedance down to 4 ohms). Also you should know that a higher resistance will put less strain on the headunit or amplifier and thus you will get less than the output rated. If you want to hook up car speakers through a home unit you wire them in series and it doubles it (turns a 4 ohm speakers into 8 ohm).


As for my a/v system. For the driver I am installing a set of 12 inch subs, cd player, 4 midrange 6 inch woofers, and two tweets. Sounds big, but I have the stuff sitting there so why not put em in. My real work is going into the living room area. Have a 19 inch lcd hd tv. Kenwood surrounds speakers. PS3. Ipod dock hooked in. Also a set of hard drives full of movies and dvds hooked up through the ps3. Also have it rigged up to receive from my laptop too. Should be a nice theatre. Haha....I like my movies.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:47 AM   #8
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Well this my 2 cents.....Gen sets and power inverters are Not a computer or anything that uses a processor or circuit boards...friend UNLESS you buy a gen set or invertor that has a shin wav.(I think thats what you call it). Now the only reason I am telling this story is because...I own a wholesale company that sells heating and A/C. With this winter and power outages pepole has been hooking there furnace up to gen set when they lose power....(Why not right) Well the newer furnace today can not handle dirty voltage...We had a lot of units go down. Some of the unit where new and it cost the customer 6 or 7 hunderd bucks to get them working again. Just because of the gen set.....If anyone know more about this speak up..I finding out the hard way eveyone want me to warranty there unit......So I am thinking a PS2 or a newer TV would not handle it.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:01 PM   #9
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

what you were thinking of is called a sine-wave. if you look at the power created on an oscilloscope if goes up and down. a cheap genny and inverter can (doesn't have to, but could) dont look like smooth waves, but go up and down in a boxy look. real abrupt changes in power and voltage. a sine wave is a smooth up and down, the power doesnt make abrupt changes. the top one is a sine wave, the others are what a cheap inverter or genny could create:





couldnt agree more. you need a sine-wave inverter. they give you clean power that doesnt jump up and down in voltage. I run my system off of shore power most of the time. When I am not, I have an 1800 watt sine-wave inverter. I am hoping to pick up a honda genny this year too for those times I am not plugged in for more than a couple days.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:13 PM   #10
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewSkewlHauler
Not that I'm going to break into anyone's bus, but how wild is your A/V setup?

Here's what I'm thinking:

I want to find a decently priced dual zone head unit (insert own joke here). There are some low end ones for less than $300. This would allow my wife and I to listen to music up front and the kids could watch a dvd or play on the PS2 while running down the road.
Save money. Give the kids books.

Quote:
The big benefit to this is that it would all be DC powered except the PS2. I also want to invest in a DC TV instead of an AC one. Back to the story...the downfall to these systems is that it only allows you to split the front/rear channels. So there would be two front speaker for music, two rear speakers for games/movies, and a subwoofer. When parked, all four speakers and sub could be made to produce whatever we wanted.

Speaker placement is something thing I'm not 100% sure about either. Ideally, I'd like to run 8 speakers plus a subwoofer; four channels in front, four channels in the rear plus a sub. I think it can be done using one of these dual zone head units, two passive equalizers (I have an old Sherwood XT-1101 that I can't wait to use again! I'd love another one!), and two-three amps. This would give me two separate zones with four channels in each, plus at least one sub.

Am I over analyzing things? Would it just be simpler to put a "standard" DIN size radio in with four speakers up front, then get a home unit for the rear? Actually, I'm sure it would be simpler, but I don't think that it would quite get me what I want...also, it would use a lot of inverted power. We'll be spending 14 hours or so on the road each month in travel time, so it would be nice to not have to mess with so much inverted power.

Feel free to shoot all kinds of holes in this!
I agree that life is easier if you don't have a mess of inverters and wires and stuff dangling off of you equipment.

Quote:
Actually, I'm trying to decide if I'm just crazy or what...nevermind. I know the answer to that too!
Uh, yeah, you did buy a bus, didn't you!

Quote:
Thanks for the input in advance.

Ben.
My initial reaction was that you're talking about using a lot of DC amps, but since your bus is running, it should be able to handle the DC load.

I'm similarly trying to figure out the best system for me. Most likely it will NOT include video. If I ever want to watch a DVD, I can use my laptop. That way I don't have to spend $$ on a screen that I then have to find a place for in my bus. But that's a personal preference.

For audio, I would like to have some kind of surround sound. My speaker placement will be 2 up front and 2 at the rear of the living area (basically at each end of the living area.) I want a radio only head unit with capability to play digital music (MP3, WMA, AAC) via external input (from my computer or a jump drive) and multiband equalization built in. It may be hard to find a radio only head unit that's any good. I don't really want a huge amount of sound power because that takes lots of electrical power: maybe something with 100W total among the four channels -- I just want to listen to my music, not feel it 100 feet away. I reckon that a 100W system would draw maybe 10 amps (total) at full power, and something like 4 or 5 amps at normal listening levels. That's an electrical expense I can afford.

Other things that I want: portable speakers that I can take outside and plug in to external jacks; some kind of subwoofer; and a decent retractable aerial so that I can get SIGNAL for radio.

Oh, and I want it cheap! LOL!
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:09 PM   #11
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Actually, a couple of the kids like to read...and read quite often. We spend a lot of time running to the library before trips to get books (and movies). There's usually no space for all the books in our suburban, so we've resorted to video games. With the bus, we'll have a little more room to spread out.

I spent a lot of time (too much my wife says) looking at the particular units that I want for my setup. Anybody have any car audio experience? I think it's going to (maybe) go something like this:

The head unit will probably be a Valor sd-902w. It's a dual zone unit, so that my wife and I can listen to something good up front and the kids can do something else in the back. It also has a rear view camera input! Because I like four channel sound, I'm going to use two passive EQs to split my front and rear pre-amp outputs from the head unit into four channels and sub for each "zone." The way I understand that the head unit works is that when you activate rear zone mode, it puts the radio through the front channels of the unit, and the DVD or whatever through the rear channels. This would only mean a four channel total...I could only run four speakers! That's just not acceptable!

I have a Sherwood XQ-1101 lying around. It's an older (1993) surround sound 1/2 DIN EQ. I loved it when I was using it. I'm hoping to score another one here soon. That way I'll have the same EQs with spectrum analyzers going at the same time. One will operate the front output's front and rear channels, the other will operate the rear output's front, rear, and sub channels. So by running the front and rear pre-amp outputs from the head unit through the Sherwoods I can gain back all four channels!

I will end up with two to 3 amplifiers. One four-channel amp for the front speakers, one four channel amp for the rear speakers, and one mono amp for the subwoofer. I might be able to get away with only two amps if one is bridgeable or one 5 channel amp.

I have no idea what to get for speakers. I've had really good luck with Polk Audio in the past, but this is getting expensive fast! I would also look into a DC TV like the one that Den suggested.

This would be quite a DC load, but for the most part, we'll be running down the road. For the times that we're stationary, we'll maybe watch a movie or two but we'll be on shore power, so a converter/charger would be in order. A small inverter would probably suffice in that case to run the laptops and the PS2.

I sound like I'm blaming the kids...a lot of this is just stuff that I wanted to do in high school but the technology wasn't all there! I always loved to play with this kind of stuff. And now that I have the chance, I guess I'm going nuts with it!

I'm going to eventually need a genny to run the rooftop air and maybe some DC power fans...Wally World has some DC fans on clearance right now...

Anyway, it all sounds complicated, but I think in the end it will end up being simpler...just one main unit, a couple EQs, a couple amps, and some speakers...all integrated to work together. I won't have to worry about whether or not home AV stuff will stand up to the moisture, etc in a bus!
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:16 PM   #12
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Eric said, "I want a radio only head unit with capability to play digital music (MP3, WMA, AAC) via external input (from my computer or a jump drive) and multiband equalization built in. It may be hard to find a radio only head unit that's any good."

I saw one of those at Crutchfield.com while I was "researching" this weekend. I can't recall the brand and whatnot, but it was nearly exactly as you describe. Crutchfield is awesome!

I used to have an Alpine CTA-1505. It was radio only with EQ/spectrum analyzer. It didn't have the inputs for "other media" but I think that something could be adapted for it. This was about 10 years ago. It was a fantastic unit. I've never met an Alpine unit I didn't like!

Ben.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:03 PM   #13
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

...upon closer inspection of the user manual wiring diagram, there appears to be a dedicated rear zone pre-amp output...hmm...That could simplify things. I might need to make a phone call or two...
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:25 AM   #14
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

why not just have two separate audio systems? One standard 12 volt automotive stereo, and the other a set of speakers and an amp fed directly off from your tv....or maybe the tv volume will be fine and you won't need any amplification. I used a cheap wal-mart dolby surround system in my first bus for years. Not only did it survive the rv enviroment, but also survived burningman and the wet and often humid jacuzzi bus enviroment.

I run all kinds of crap from modified sin wave inverters, and have only found maybe 2 items in the past 10 years that were unhappy. Many electronic appliances have power supplies that take the ac voltage and transform it to dc. I have probably plugged 1,000 different items into inverters since i started doing buses. The only 2 things that i found were not happy were: charger for my palm pilot just wouldn't charge, and i had a wireless switch from radio shack that would let you turn on/off a light remotely. It actually got hot and the magic smoke escaped. I have also read that laser printers will not run off of a modified sin wave inverter, but i have no experience with this.

i have used computers, power tools, various chargers, tv's, vcr's dvd players, satelite, furnace, heaters, microwaves, toaster oven, toaster, florescent and incondescent lights, fog machine, jacuzzi, pumps, air compressors, refrigerator, freezer, air conditioner, electric pancake griddle, fans, temperature controllers, stereo, dj equipment, and a lot more.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:59 AM   #15
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

It looks like Alpine and Dual both make receivers to do what I want! I've spent some time talking to various customer service and tech support people, and those look like the best units for my application...and would simplify things greatly! Kenwood makes unit that do something similar, but just wouldn't quite work the way I want them too...plus I'd need more "stuff."

If it all works out...something like an Alpine iVA W203 (or Dual xdvdn 8190) running four speakers upfront. The dedicated rear AV preouts will run to some kind of DC TV and audio will run into my Sherwood passive EQ, then to a four (or five) channel amp and a mono amp (for subs) then to four more speakers and a sub (or two). I'm told that in my "front zone," I can watch or listen to whatever sources we want, but that "rear zone" is limited to video sources only...which isn't a big deal.

I may have found my solution...except the whole $$$$ part!

If all else fails, I'll end up with separate units front and rear...probably a home unit in the rear. Which wouldn't be bad, but it wouldn't quite make my goals I guess.

Thanks all!
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:13 PM   #16
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Just thought I'd resurface this thread. I'm at stopping point on my stereo due to lack of funds. I bought the head unit in February and finally got around to installing it. So far, I'm pretty impressed. I just need more speaker, an amp, and a TV and I"m good to go! Another $400 and I should be "done." I still have some learning to do with this unit, but what I know about it so far I really like. The only drawback I've found so far is that the Bluetooth is pretty limited. The stereo and my DROID don't want to pair. The unit came out before the DROID was a around and it has only a limited pairing ability. It's not a huge deal, and chances are I'd never use it, but it would be cool just because.

Rock on.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:13 PM   #17
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Just installed a toggle switch to simulate the parking brake being applied. Now my DVD works!
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