Help finding a good HT

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by RAFAEL71, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. RAFAEL71

    RAFAEL71 Auditioning

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    Hi. I currently have have a PS3, xbox 360, Wii, and HD-DVR connected to a Bose 3-2-1 system. My TV is a 50in Samsung plasma. I want to replace the Bose with a better system (a 5.1 or 7.1) since I'm not satisfied with it. I am currently looking at these 2 systems:

    #1

    http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=HT-S9100THX&class=Systems&p=i

    #2

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Yamaha+and+Klipsch+Home+Theater+Audio+Package/9999132100050000.p?id=pcmprd132100050000&skuId=9999132100050000


    Any thoughts? I'm expecting someone to say that I actually need to listen to the systems and let my ears decide. I was able to listen to system #2 in best buy and it sounded pretty good (however, I'm a newbie and don't really have much to compare with). However, I dont have access to the Onkyo system. The dealers here in Grand Rapids do not have them on display. The review that I read on Cnet was very favorable though. I know that Onkyo is well known for good receivers but not for speakers. And, I know that Yamaha makes good receivers and Klipsch makes good speakers. I guess what I'm looking for here is an expert telling me something like "It's a no brainer, choose system #1" or "It's a no brainer, definitely system #2".


    Also, I'm aware that there are probably dozens of other systems that I can get for around $1000, so, feel free to make recommendations for this price point.


    Thanks.
     
  2. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Hi Rafael,


    How much can you spend on this project? I see the second system goes for about $1000. Can you go just a little higher ($1200-1400)?


    Either way, I would suggest getting both the AVR and the speakers online. Get the AVR from someplace like Amazon and go for internet direct speakers like SVS, Axiom, HSU, and others. For example, for a small increase in the budget, you can get a 5.1 package from SVS plus a nice Onkyo or Denon receiver.

    Oh yeah, you should listen to the speakers for yourself.
     
  3. RAFAEL71

    RAFAEL71 Auditioning

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    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I think I can go up to the $1200-1400 range. However, if I were to go for internet direct speakers as you suggested, then, I would not be able to listen to them first (as you also suggested)? Should I just buy these internet direct speakers blindly with the thought that "I can't go wrong with these brands" (I've never heard of these brands before by the way).

    Or do I insist on listening to speakers before I buy them? I did some research and the brands with dealers where I live are: Klipsch, Onkyo, Paradigm, PSB, B&W, Polk audio, Energy, Anthony Gallo, and Boston Acoustics. I'm not actually sure if they actually have stores where I can audition systems or if some of them are just distributors or custom installers. I guess I can also check out these dealerships first, and if I find something I like, then buy from the internet for a lower price. What do you think of these brands? Are they all pretty comparable? Are there some that you would definitely recommend, or not recommend (so I can narrow my search)? Or do you think I should just go ahead and get the internet direct speakers without auditioning them?


    As for the AVR, from what I have read (correct me if I'm wrong), it's not something that needs to be auditioned like the speakers. It's just a matter of getting a good brand with good features. And from my research so far, it looks like the top brands are Onkyo, Denon, and Yamaha. So, the AVR I can simply just buy on the internet without any worries. From what I've seen, it looks like I need to shell out at least $400 for a decent AVR. Which leaves $800-1000 for the speakers.


    Thanks.
     
  4. kaceylona

    kaceylona Auditioning

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    That's really very useful information. Thanks for reply...


    Home theaters are very elegant and gives beauty to living room and home furniture.
     
  5. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    I'll second the SVS speakers: http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm

    They make some excellent speakers, and most know they make some of the best subwoofers you can buy. Internet direct companies don't have the overhead that stores have, and there's no third party adding their profits to the price. So, you can get a lot more speaker for the money. They have a very good 45 day return policy, but doubtful you'd return them. A couple of people here have recently bought different models of SVS speakers, and said they love them. Do a search, and see what they said.


    I'd go with an Onkyo receiver too. Onkyo gives a lot of bang for the buck. Amazon has this one for $319 right now: http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-SR508-7-1-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B003BEDQQW/ref=sr_1_8?s=aht&ie=UTF8&qid=1276602645&sr=1-8

    Good luck with whatever you decide on.
     
  6. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    As Ed said, with internet direct you can audition in your home. It does help to find someone locally to listen first, but with the 45 day demo, it is not always needed. I recommend going out and listening to as many speakers as you can. Find the ones you like even if you can't afford them. Then find ones you can afford. Get the internet direct speakers for a demo and decide if you like them better. If you don't, send them back and get the local speakers instead. All you lose is return shipping. But the potential gain is enormous.

    My current favorite receivers are Denons. I have an Onkyo, but if I was getting a new one today it would be Denon. Onkyo keeps taking features away from the lower models. IMO, they are no longer the value leader.


    EDIT: BTW - the listening advice does not apply to subwoofers. You can tell from specs and recommendations how a sub will perform. I always recommend internet direct for the sub even if you get the speakers locally (you almost always get more for your money). My favorite is SVS.
     
  7. HunterR

    HunterR Auditioning

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    Thanks! Exactly what I needed!
     
  8. RAFAEL71

    RAFAEL71 Auditioning

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    I was able to go to a couple of stores today and check out some systems. The first one carried Paradigm. I was able to audition the Atom monitor system ($1350):

    http://www.paradigm.com/en/paradigm/rec-systems-6-1-3-4.paradigm


    and the Paradigm Cinema 110 ($1049 on Amazon)


    The second store carried Monitor Audio and I was able to audition the Bronze BR system (BR5, BRFX, BRLCR) with a Velodyne sub DEQ-10R:

    http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/products/bronze-br

    http://www.velodyne.com/vproducts/detailpdf/DEQ-10R_Details.pdf

    This 3rd system (combo of monitor audio and velodyne) came in at a hefty $1925. Although he said I can change the sub to the DEQ-8R which would be cheaper by $250, which would bring the price down to $1675. He also said he can give me a discount, so, lets say I can get it for $1600.


    They all sounded good to me, but, the Monitor Audio did sound the best. The Atom monitor was second best, and the Cinema 110 was third. In other words, the sound did seem to get better as the price increased .


    Any comments? I did check out the SVS website. Which of their system would you say would compare to the systems above? Would the SBS or SCS compare with the Paradigm Atom Monitor, and the STS would compare with the Monitor audio BR5? I realize I may be asking you for too much here, like I expect you to have auditioned (or at least know a lot about) all these speakers before but I thought I would ask anyway. Thanks.
     

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