Help me help a friend... Alternatives to Bose

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by BrianShort, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Friend of mine wants to get a Bose 3-2-1 system to hook to his new 50" plasma for his audio. I understand the main reason he wants one is because it's super easy to set up, but I'd like to tactfully steer him in a different direction. It's been awhile since I've looked at HTiB setups, so I really have no idea what is available. Since he's looking at the 3-2-1 already, I will guess his budget is somewhere between $900 and $1400, the price range for 3-2-1 systems I found at Crutchfield.
     
  2. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    The Bose is a simple DVD player/2 channel stereo. Sony, Denon, and Panasonic all have similar products, but your friend won't see a significant price or performance advantage. (They all have ridiculously undersized drivers for both satellite and subwoofer).

    A stereo receiver, HD DVD player, pair of bookshelf speakers & a subwoofer will outperform the mini-systems in both audio and video playback. With the drawback of only having to press one more power button.

    Toshiba HD-A3 $199 (on sale most places)
    Onkyo TX-8222 stereo receiver $179 (Crutchfield)
    X-Sub $199 (AV123.com)
    X-LSBookshelf loudspeakers $165 (AV123.com)
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Total $742 (Plus free HD movies from Toshiba)
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    While I think the same way as Garrett as far as the advantages of a separates system like he listed, I've found that a lot of people stubbornly stick to that idea of an all-in-one system. So if you're buddy absolutely positively HAS to have that type of system, I would go with Denon's. The S-101 2.1 system (it leaves out the dvd-audio & sacd playback the more pricey version includes) sounded good to me when Best Buy used to sell it, plus it looks pretty nice. The 8" subwoofer or bass box or whatever one wants to call it sounded full/rich but obviously it won't reach down to frequencies that can shake plates in the kitchen.
     
  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    A logical option people seem to forget is a 3.1 system, which will be significantly better than 2.1 and very little extra effort. The problem is, the first brand mentioned (usually wishfully) whenever I talk about this stuff is Bose. People are completely hooodwinked by their marketing crap, and it can be a very steep hill to change that.

    I would get a matched front speaker set, a decent receiver (in the $350 area) and a GOOD sub. They'll be blown away.
     
  5. BrianTwig

    BrianTwig Second Unit

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    I would be interested in hearing about some 3.1 system options for the whole package. Receiver, LRC speakers, and possibly the Sub. I am partial to SVS, but the system would be my fathers and he doesn't need to have sub 20hz bass like I do. Thanks!

    Budget around $800
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I would look into SVS SBS for the front and a NSD10. Throw in an inexpensive ($200 or so) receiver and you have a very nice system, though it will probably be closer to $1000. Well worth the extra, I think.
     
  7. BrianTwig

    BrianTwig Second Unit

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    John,

    Have been strongly considering the SBS and a PB10. And B-stock provides great deals.

    I would prefer he get tower speakers though because of the small grandchildren and dogs that run around and will surely and without quesitons repeatedly knock the speakers and their stands over if bookshelfs are used, and they will need to be on stands most likely.

    Also, I know little to nothing about receivers, especially budget ones. What would be some good $300 an under receivers?
     
  8. Phil Taylor

    Phil Taylor Supporting Actor

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    You may want to look into the Yamaha YSP-800 digital sound projector. It's one wide "soundbar" type speaker which includes multiple 23 drivers each with its own digital amp and with the optional sub gets remarkably good owner reviews. It would be within your friend's budget as well at around $800 including mounting bracket.
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Room size would be of help to other members when formulating their advice.
     
  10. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    I've forwarded the suggestion of the Yamaha sound projector, as I believe he would like a simple setup like this one. It's gotta be better than Bose anyway. I'll also suggest the idea of a few satellites, sub, and inexpensive receiver.
     

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