Last night, I had finished helping my best friend hook up his 7.2 THX surround system, Blu-Ray player, HD DVR, xBox360 and Sony GoogleTV set-top box up.
Hooking up the seven channels up was easy enough, keeping anal enough to keep positives and negatives assigned to their proper terminals for the sake of phase. then we get to the two subwoofers. the subs have left and right inputs, wait a sec, I thought subs were omnidirectional. yes. they are, but my friend was flipping out on me because I was only using one RCA cable a piece to each of the powered sub’s input.
After me ranting, raving and preaching about the fact that they’re subwoofers, and showing him the diagrams for the outputs on the receiver, and the instructions for the sub, he reluctantly agreed to let me hook them up to “test” them. I also had to promise i would hook one sub up “left” and one sub “right”.
I plug my smartphone in via an auxiliary cable… They sounded fine. Better than fine. He was satisfied, and I was feeling smug…
Then we go about hooking up a Sony GoogleTV set-top box inline with his HD DVR, and his afore mentioned peripherals. no big deal, everything is HDMI all ran through his AV receiver.
We power it up. and i proceeded to have to set up Wi-Fi on his RECEIVER. This was before I could do ANYTHING. what a headache. This gets done in due time, and i go through the rest of his setup, and programmed his Logitech Harmony 1100 remote control to control this monstrosity.
All is up and seems to be working to his liking, Then out of nowhere, he unpacks a BRAND NEW Sony direct drive turntable, and we proceed to hook it up and set it on a side table. no ground wire on the table. I thought this was the strangest thing, and the new Onkyo receiver had no ground post either. I reluctantly grab his original pressing of AC/DC’s Back In Black, and toss it on the table and hit start. no hum, no wow. no timing light, nothing… It just played. Perfectly. Needless to say, we were both very impressed. This is when i realized I’m either a retro addict, and some type of hipster, or a bigger audiophile than the guy who just blew $2500 on all this crap. I’m still not sure which as I listen to Led Zepplin IV on my home stereo as I write this.
I played with his GoogleTV for a bit while we listened to side a of the record.
This is cool technology, this is the future, but wow, was it a pain to hook up, nor did it sound as good as my simple two-channel setup playing vinyls. No room for fine tuning, or adjustments, it was all idiot-proof, and sounded perfect to the point of sounding sterile.
Go ahead and call me old fashioned, retro, or even a hipster: but I’ll take my 1978 Toshiba SA-320, or, when i get it fixed properly – my 1977 Marantz 2270 over this A/V monstrosity any day.