Anybody else wanna pull their hair out ?

I just got done trying to "re-plumb" my HT system. How i pity professional installers of this stuff. It is PATHETIC what one has to do to get all of this stuff hooked up "right". I am an electronics tech by trade and even i get confused as to what goes where !!! The two worst things that i realized is that there is really no standardization of jacks ( audio RCA's, Balanced, S-Video, Component Level video, Composite Video, 75 ohm digital, toslink, spades, banana's, etc....). Between the 3 trillion different types of connectors, you also have to worry about what length of each type of cable you need where.... It's enough to drive you crazy. On top of that, you should pray to God that you never loose power once you get all of that crap programmed !!! Some of this stuff will "reset" at the drop of a hat. Take my advice people. Keep your HT system as simple as possible !!! You'll enjoy it more when you watch a good movie rather than remembering all of the hassle that you had to go through just to get the damn thing to work. I would do things VERY differently if i knew then what i know now. Sean
"Anybody else wanna pull---? Got none left;and I always thought it was from the kids. May have to rethink. One of my favorite gripes would be the s-vhs connector. I have pieces that require it go in up.down,and yes, even sideways. Then the "wall warts". I have had 5, all at the same time. One being Cam. powered s- cable. I had 3 AA pieces,and 2 Camalot pieces.I would disassemble & reassemble for various reasons, and have trouble "this wall wart with WHAT piece?" I have a ht stand alone processor set up that is two pieces /brands. The Citation 7.0 and the MSB 2x These two are connected via a 24 pin connector. Three separate amps on the floor.When I relocate/within the room/say one side to the other side,it's an all day job. I should apologize to the kids;it probably wasn't them after all. Thanks for helping me direct the cause of the hair loss correctly, Sean;but to late for the "keep it simple".
I'm not into HT (and I too have little hair left to pull out), but there is a big help re:wall warts. There is a product called Dr. Ferd's Wart Remover. You plug the wallwart into this, and there is a short AC cord/plug which inserts into your power strip/source. I got mine a Musician's friend, and I now have enough spcae in my power strips. FYI
I also just re plumbed ... I had to draw out diagrams and it still isn't right (I think). My beef is that you need to keep all of the equipment is a fairly local setup to avoid the cost of cables running over the cost of a pair of speakers. Even a modest set of cables for my rig in a compact arangement is over a thousand dollars!!!! After this I am seriously thinking that a receiver may be the answer for HT after all. No wonder Bose sells so much crappy sounding stuff ... the good stuff is too hard to wire!
Well, you should try and "plumb" 25 different components (not including the speakers) in the same system... and then try throwing balanced professional gear in the mix too... as well as seperate AC circuits for Analog, Digital, and Video. This installation could never have been done without lots of advanced planning and every time we change a piece of gear, you usually just can't throw it in the loop. The only real pain was that not all of the older professional gear was pinned the same way and had to go in to the cables with a soldering iron to fix the problems. Not for the faint of heart... dealers are even scared of the installation and rightfully so.
I too had to re plumb not long ago. I have a HT system and was adding 2channel to it. Well when I started to audition some new pre amps for the 2ch I realized I had removed a couple of cables.. oops Well one of my friends who is into electronics had these sticky numbers 0-9/letters A-Z.. I remembered this and when I figured I would be doing this all over again I went to radio shack and picked up 2 packs of labels for electronics. The labels had long and thin for around cable and small square label for tight area. For instance the #1 would go on both ends of the cable and the square #1 would go on the "out" of one component to the "in" of the other component. Now its easy when I audition new cables or components. Just look at the # or the letter.. Good luck Cost $2.00 radio shack
Or you could do like me and have a different brand of IC for each component. LOL. Actually true however, unfortunately. Side effect of buying used on web. So far I've been too cheap to buy new (except for T-14 speaker cable. Now I think I'm going to change my whole 2 ch over to Homegrown, at least for ICs (but that shifts the MIT, Straightwire, etc over to the HT, which still allows me to differentiate ICs based on wire type. However, my HT speaker set up consists of NHT superzeros with sub for LCR and a separate sub for LFE (all with same speaker wire) so that's enough of a nightmare. Pcc great idea for the labels.
I'm selling my house the 20th of this month and moving into my next one on the 30th! At last count I have 23 components and 7 speakers in my main system and 7 components and 2 speakers in my bedroom system. I'd like to thank you all for reminding me just how fun this hobby is! THANKS A LOT GUYS! Later...
Sounds like compared to some of you, my system was simple. With a bit of planning and one of those nifty handheld label makers, plus about 5 trips to the store to get the missing pieces of cable, I now have everything marked and working. End result is well worth it. I too pulled some hair out, but I am glad I did; especially component video was worth all the hassle.
Hmmm... I guess I've just got a knack for it. The little labels on the back side of your components: You know? The ones that say: "in, out, left, right, center, left surround, right surround, pre out, aux in, cd, video 1/2/3, etc"). Or is it just MY components that come with all the jacks labeled?

These products are for people who understand the benefits as well as the difficulties of owning SEPARATE components. If it's too much of a chore for you, maybe you should go to WalMart for your "all in one" system. Plug-n-play as I understand it. They don't sound good, but then again, you won't have to spend a full day setting it up when you re-arrange your living room.

If it's not worth the hassle of setting the system up right, maybe you should consider a lesser system. No hair loss here. I have an open rack, with just enough room to climb behind it. A flashlight and a pile of cables just within arm's reach, and I can change out everything from my HT preamp in about 10 minutes. And THAT's probably the most difficult one to "plumb". It doesn't hurt to have lots of spare cables. But I'd guess anyone who's truly passionate about this hobby has a fistfull of every length and every connection option out there sitting in the closet in addition to what is already hooked up to their system. Then again, maybe it's just me.
Hifiho, I think it may just be you. Unfortunately I don't have to many spare cables. Don't get me wrong, I do have spares but the best ones are on the system. I don't own an open rack because at the time of system purchases I had a 1 1/2 yr old who thought the vcr tape in was for putting pencils and anything else she could find away. So I opted for a big closed rack to house about 10 separate components. Which when I need to get into I have to move the entire MONSTER. But this will be fixed when I design my next audio room.
Like almost everything worth doing, documentation is the key to simplicity and repeatability. But I must say, playing and reconfiguring can be a lot of fun.

Hifiho ( GOTTA luv the name...), i'm talking about taking everything out of the rack, wiping down the components and rack, re-installing all of the components, cleaning all of the jacks and cables, routing all of the audio and video cables into the tv and processor, etc... Then you get to reset all of the digital input levels, surround levels, etc.. Basically starting from scratch with a VERY large system. As i've mentioned in other threads, i have multiple thousands of watts (rms) in this set-up, so that might give you some idea as to what i'm talking about in terms of being "slightly involved". If you can do ALL of the above in 10 minutes, YOU must have a "wal-mart system" or are a FAR better man than myself and a few others here. Either way, i could use some help since you must have a lot of "free time" being as fast as you are.... : ) Sean

Funny, that's a problem facing me now. Just got some new toys and find the old cabinet, beautifully built, has a somewhat restricted access for connections. Wish I had a trained elf to go back there and make the hookups, but such are scarce. Have decided to go with open shelves and am considering Billy Bags or Sanus. What I don't like about Mr. McCready's designs are the ambitious prices he asks. (I'd prefer he make his BMW payments from someone else's business.) But very good quality, though.

I have a snake's nest of cabling and am doing my best to simplify it. Had a TV tech in recently who commented that mine was the most complicated arrangement he'd ever seen. Not sure that was meant as a compliment.

Anyone here have any thoughts on B Bags vs Sanus? All opinions welcome and appreciated.
Sean, maybe he has an "S" on his chest. Sean go to rad shack and pick up some of those labels. They do work great, for us incompetent people. I to have many components and all separate amps so I know what your talking about sean. As for hifiho maybe he has a one of those AV receivers with the built in amps or he could just own a Bose system.
Adamanteus, comparing Billy Bags to Sanus is like comparing the most exquisite "gourmet" burger that you've ever had to McDonald's !!! Don't get me wrong as i do have some Sanus racks and i'm not knocking them, but we are talking one end of the price spectrum to the other on this one. Kind of like comparing a slice of cheese to a slice of cheesecake !!! I know which one i'd rather have !!! Sean
Thanks Sean,

Point taken, but for something like this for me the basic question is: will the McDonald's offering do the job adequately? Given my constrained budget, I try to spend sensibly. Approx. $1500-1600 for a Bags' rack fitting my needs is a tad too heavy for the bankbook. Scratch that, after freight, etc. it would probably net out closer to 2K. Should for some unimaginable reason I someday end up with unlimited discretionary income, I'd have McCready's gang design something for me.

Appreciate your comments.
Adamanteus, the Sanus racks will work fine in terms of having a place to organize and display your gear at a very reasonable price. Find the specific models in the Sanus line that you like and drop me an email. I may be able to help you out with pricing due to having a few good "connections". Sean
What hair?

The number and jumble of wires are mind boggling on my system with all the toys I have such as MD, DVD, CD, Nakamichi, Panamax, TT, phono preamp, SACD wires, component cables.

So far I haven't pulled too many hairs out as I have too few to spare.
Not just the wires, but having two or three manuals open in front of you, tring to figure out why something won't work in one system, when it works fine with the same hookup in another system. Not to mention the remotes.
I just got a flat screen and redid the HT. So I figured I would put the better Samsung HD Directv box from the bedroom into the main HT system.
Well I hooked it up the same way its been working in the bedroom, using coax digital out for the sound to the Marantz reciever.
Now when I try to use the same coax out, going into my Sherwood Newcastle pre, I can not get the audio out of any Directv programs. I get it out on the local antenna, but just picture from Directv, no audio.
So after hours of hair ripping I gave up and used RCAs.
Any ideas would be welcome.
Agree it is complicated as I have "replumbed" several times with TV and component changes in the last year. I have found thinking it through and drawing a blueprint really helps. I use simple masking tape and markers to label both ends of the wires, connectors, power cords etc.
Simple things like "goes to opt in" and "power cord for VCR" etc. (You get the picture) On another note my new Panasonic tv has such great audio that I hardly use my HT receiver when watching cable. I still like to fire up the receiver when watching a DVD but for everyday use I keep it simple.