Choosing the Best Home Theater Equipment for Home Theater Installations

Picking the best home theater equipment for your home is often an arduous task. I think the main problem is that there are so many good products on the market and also many that are a gimmick and waste of time/money. Knowing the difference between the two is sometimes difficult.

Sadly, many reviews are written in order to increase ad revenue for the home theater magazine. If they write a good review that manufacturing company will probably advertise with more ads bringing more money in for the magazine. It seems that often a product must be pretty terrible before a reviewer will ever make a negative comment about a product. Home Theater Equipment and Reviews click here – Best home theater systems.

Where to get Home Theater Equipment, Supplies, and Speaker Parts:

This is obviously a shameless plug. We buy speaker driver, amplifiers, and all speaker cable parts form Parts Express. They have Unmatched sale prices on all your A/V needs.




List of Materials for your HTPC

how to build a digital crossover and HTPC – DIY home theater speaker.




Home Theater Equipment that we use:

This is just a short list and obviously not a full review but these products we have used and note their performance from our experiences.

Power Amplifiers

Bryston amplifiers (any)

Odyssey amplifiers

B&K Components Inc. amplifiers Ref 2140, Ref 2220, Ref 2220 M

Crown K1 or K2 amplifiers (for bass drivers)

Pre-Amplifiers (multi-channel)

Bryston SP2, SP3

McCormack MAP 1 multichannel preamp

Audio Research MP1

B&K Reference 30, Ref 50, and Ref 70

Firewire Interface (and soundcards)

M-Audio Fire-wire 410: I used this DAC for a period of two years and did so because it was affordable. I knew that many consumers were buying it and thought that I should check it out to see if it was worth its salt. I lived with it and tried to coax every ounce of performance from it in those two years.

Initially, I had trouble with my old computer using the M-audio Firewire 410 so I bought a new computer and firewire card. The unit worked okay for a while but I began to have trouble with this unit too.

Finally, I found a way to get it to work (most of the time). If you unplug the power and the firewire cable every single time you shut down the computer it seems to work better. When you start it back up it works most of the time.

Overall, this is a poorly performing unit. The performance is fine when it will operate but the drivers are very unstable and prone to multiple failures. I never had any dropouts or pops and clicks. The problem I had was that it would not recognize the device on start up. Eventually, I learned the unplug everything on shut down trick.

But we shouldn’t have to unplug and shut down our components in perfect order to keep them working. I found this task annoying and eventually replaced the unit with one from Echo.

I don’t recommend that anyone should purchase the M-audio Firewire 410. These things are far too ‘buggy’ to be of any use.

There are better options only slightly more expensive without all the bugs and with better performance to boot. The Echo Audiofire 8 comes to mind as one such option. These can be purchased for about $450.00 compared to 300 for the M-audio firewire 410. The Echo is worth the extra money – believe me!

1. Echo Audiofire 8 Very reasonably priced and excellent performance. Solid drivers, have not had any problems. Great interface!

2. RME Multiface 2: Solid performance, solid software drivers, and a good overall interface.

3. RME fireface 800: Solid performance, solid software drivers, and a good overall interface.

4. Dave Lavry Blue -multichannel DAC

Speaker Drivers that I like: (There are more on the Speaker Drivers Page)

1. HiVI B3S single driver wide range: I just picked up a set of these from Parts Express and I have to say I am still amazed at the quality of these drivers for their price. This is a very capable driver for building mini cube speakers or computer speakers on a budget. It’s a nice looking unit too. The pictures don’t do it justice.

2. Usher 8945a and 8945p DIY drivers

3. Peerless drivers

4. Fountek DIY drivers

5. MB Quart sub-woofers (budget)

6. Bohlender Graebener Neo 3 PDR, Neo 8 PDR Great ribbon drivers from BG. These are a blast work with, very transparent and clear. I love these drive units.

For Drivers see Parts Express: Speaker Building – Build your perfect speaker with our parts and supplies from crossover components to full kits.

To see our speaker drivers and combination’s click here.

Source components and Misc. Home Theater Equipment

Oppo BDP83 Blue Ray Player

Sony Playstation 3

Inday Digital Switching devices


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