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Living room home theatreMany words have been spilled on how to set-up and lay-out your dedicated home theatre. But what if there is no such a thing as a dedicated room for your dream set-up? What if you have to make do with a shared space called a living room?

Does this mean you have to give up on the surround sound dream? That this 5.1 or 7.1 is not for you at the moment? Will you reluctantly have to make do with a television and a soundbar?

We would like to give that question a big fat ‘no’. 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

Turntable set-up for beginners

18/12/2017 9:00 am

Clearaudio Concept turntable

Turntables are funny things. If you have reached middle age, you may remember the turntable from your parental place…or not. The thing with turntables –and we agree; it is part of the attraction- is that you don’t just set-up a turntable with a click of a button. There’s actually quite a bit of tweaking and fiddling involved. If you are taking your first steps into vinyl heaven, it might be a pretty helpful if somebody just takes you through a few guideline as to how to approach your new passion.

We found out exactly that a couple of weeks ago, when Deano did the whole set-up for one of our customers. Passionate as he is about his precious vinyl, he felt inspired to pick up his pen.

Here’s what Deano has to say about how to approach a turntable set-up if you are new to the game. 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Deano Lambert

Kef satellite

Just like soundbars, satellite speakers often get frowned upon by the audiophiles and AV enthousiasts. The problem they are referring to is the limited mid and lower range they are typically able to provide because of the small speaker cabinets.

But just like soundbars, satellite speakers do have a place in certain homes, depending on your requirements and budget. What’s more, sound quality has improved a lot over the years. And we haven’t even started talking about some of the cool designs out there.

The trick is to know what to look out for and you may be very pleasantly surprised about what some of these little satellite speakers are capable of. 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

Battle of the streaming boxes

4/12/2017 9:00 am

streaming TV

Both while doing installations and at the Rapallo home we’ve been dealing with streaming devices. There are a few to choose from, so the question is how to decide which is the best for your movie-viewing needs?

Just today we received a brochure in the mail introducing ‘Vodafone TV’ offering Sky, YouTube and Netflix. While the Vodafone TV box might be very convenient all-in-one package, there is a big world out there with a lot more to offer than “the exciting future’ Vodafone wants us to know about.

There are a few big names in this game: The Amazon Fire TV (and Fire TV stick), the Google Chromecast, the Apple TV and Roku’s various boxes. Unfortunately, not all of these are widely available in New Zealand, but that’s not going to stop a Kiwi on a mission. 

 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

It's a Rapallo Christmas

27/11/2017 9:00 am

SVS Christmas

It’s hard to believe, but it is that time of the year again. It’s now less than a month until Christmas. Unless you fall into the last-minute panic purchase customer category, Christmas shopping will be on your mind. Traditionally we put together our picks from the Rapallo store for the wide diversity that makes up our customers.

 

We thought we’d do it a little different this year. We asked our Rapallo guys what is on their Christmas list for their loved ones (Hello to the wives/partners, parents, teenage and young adult children as well as siblings) but also what would be the ultimate dream-gift for Bart, Deano and Ben themselves? 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

stereo set-up

Here at Rapallo we have two ‘camps’. There is Deano, the stereophile/vinyl lover and Bart, the home theatre buff. 

While on one hand it is somewhat silly to talk about ‘camps’ (in the end, we’re all on the same awesome Rapallo teamJ), it also provides for some animated discussion at times.  It’s fair to say that the Rapallo guys keep each other on their brotherly toes.

And so it happened that while discussing the next topic for our blog, stereophile-Deano pointed out that we have spent several blogs on home theatre speaker placement, but never as much as written a word about stereo speaker placement for the discerning music listener.

And so, for all you stereophiles out there, budding and seasoned; we sincerely apologize about the neglect. Here’s what we have to say about stereo speaker placement….

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

home theatre

We spent last weekend walking around the Melbourne International Hifi show. Earlier this year we were at Munich High-end show. The thing that strikes us is the staggering number of components priced for nobody other than the less than one percent top income people. A $15,000 DAC? A $30,000 stereo pre-amp? Several exhibitioners were complaining about the amount of ‘tire-kickers’. How come this is a surprise to them?

Fact is that the vast majority of consumers can't afford such products, yet they keep popping into the marketplace in the five- and even six-figure range. It’s a bit like the Lamborghinis of the audiophile world. Many of us like to stare and go for a test ride, but when it comes to a purchase, it’s in the no-way zone. 

It does raise the question: for those of us who live in the real world, what is the right price for a truly top-performing piece of AV gear?

 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

speaker placement

This week we want to take you back to the basics of speaker placement for a home theatre set-up. We’re not talking about Atmos or subwoofer placement, although there are things to be said for both. We just want to keep it at a very low-key ‘here’s where you start’ level when you take the next step up from a sound bar, although there is no harm for more advanced readers in refreshing the ‘level 1’ info. For people wanting further information, we have referrals more advanced blogs on several topics that are interlinked.  

 

The reason for that is simple end we’ve said it time and time again: it’s so much better to do a good quality well done 5.1 system than a 9.2.4 set-up that is full of short-cuts and compromise. Do the basics as well as you can and allow/plan for upgrades in the future. 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

Emotiva or affordable high-end

30/10/2017 9:00 am

Emotiva

We all hunt for the same thing, when it comes to AV: We want something that's ‘affordable but sounds great’. With that in mind, our latest addition is right up of all those peoples alley.

The answer is Emotiva.

So what exactly is there to be excited about when it comes to Emotiva?

If you keep half an eye on product reviews, you will have seen the Emotiva brand name mentioned here and there. And yes, that is a mention in not only a good way, but often in a five star-way. 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

The art of calibration

23/10/2017 10:00 am

Spectracal

You just spent your hard-earned money on a new home theatre projector or a new OLED television. 

So, why is the grass blue? 

In a home cinema, picture quality is everything. Calibrating contrast, brightness, colour and sharpness is not most people's idea of a good night in – get someone to visit any picture menu during a movie and you're bound to get a barrage of groans.

But while not most of people’s favourite activity, calibrating your television or home theatre projector properly is rather important. A correctly calibrated TV or home theatre projector will create a much more natural image that is more pleasing to the eye, and may -- depending on its light output afterward -- draw less power and even last longer. 

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Comments | Posted in Home Theater Guides By Mattie Belsack

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