Just Beginning

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by jkhcurry, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. jkhcurry

    jkhcurry Auditioning

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    So I'm just beginning in my home theater journey. Anyway I've been looking at best buy and realizing that new retail equipment is way too much money. Could anyone give me their thoughts on either buying something like the Marantz reciever or a box set like the Onkyo. I'd like to keep my budget under 700.
    http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/MARSR7001/Marantz-SR7001-Receiver-Thx-110w-X-7ch-Hdmi/1.html
    http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKHTS8400/Onkyo-HT-S8400-7.1-Network-Theater-Package-w/ipod-dock/1.html
    I talked to one of the sales guys at Accessories 4 less and he recommended the:
    http://www.accessories4less.com/index.php?page=item&id=ONKHTS9400&extra=a%3A2%3A%7Bi%3A0%3Bs%3A40%3A%2203823345592a403b2f4a37a59384e7ab28f02be1%22%3Bi%3A1%3BN%3B%7D
     
  2. jkhcurry

    jkhcurry Auditioning

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    So what I ended up buying was an Onkoyo HT-RC360 and Boston Acoustics SoundWare XS SE speakers...Will this be better than a 700 dollar out the box system from Bestbuy?
     
  3. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    James, sorry I missed your thread. Welcome to the forum!

    The receiver is definitely a solid model. It will serve you better than just about any receiver from an all-in-one system. You can grow your system with that receiver, which is a good thing.

    The speaker system is.. OK. I would say it's better than what you would get with an all-in-one system, and if small satellite-sized speakers were a priority for you, you certainly could have done a lot worse. If your room is small to medium sized, then even better. These may have a hard time filling a large space.

    That being said, the typical limitations of satellite speakers come into play with these - somewhat limited frequency response (only down to 150Hz) and somewhat lower efficiency (85dB) leaves a bit to be desired. The subwoofer of the system is nothing to write home about, either. At 8" and 100W it's not going to give a lot of low end "thump" but since it's being paired with the satellites, you need a subwoofer that will better serve as a mid-bass supplement rather than a true low end beast.

    The Onkyo 9400 is about the best all-in-one system out there - the refurb. deal at ac4l is pretty good, but if you're not keen on buying refurb. then what you ended up with is most likely better than what you'd find at BB.

    Don't get me wrong - you're new to home theater, and trust me, you will be very pleased with the sound of the new system when compared to the crummy built-in speakers of your TV. This won't be the end of your system - you may decide to upgrade the front 3 speakers and subwoofer at some point down the road (I would do this before going to 7.1), but the good news is that by opting AWAY from a cheap all-in-one, you have that option available to you.

    Enjoy the system and have fun with it. Cheers!
     
  4. jkhcurry

    jkhcurry Auditioning

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    So having "small" speakers wasn't a real big deal but the room isn't huge 15x11. I messed up ordering the speakers...I meant to order the SoundWare XS S not the SE. How much of a difference is that going to make, and is it worth the extra 70 bucks from A4L? Should I just exchange them before I open the box?
     
  5. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I also appologize for missing your thread. I would have recommended the 9400 but...
    According to What HiFi? the differences between the S and SE models is purly cosmetic. http://www.whathifi.com/review/boston-acoustics-soundware-xs51se It looks like the SE replaced the S model. Apparently they like both of them very much but these magazine reviewers semm to like just about anything. Home Theater Magazine liked them too, if that matters. http://www.hometheater.com/compactspeakers/boston_acoustics_soundware_xs_51_speaker_system/
    All in all, I think you did pretty good since we really didn't help you at all :blush: .
    And yes, it will be better than just about anything from BB. Maybe a receiver on closeout and the Pioneer speakers, if they still carry them. But they really don't have much to offer in the way of decent valued subwoofers. Make some popcorn and enjoy what you bought.
     
  6. jkhcurry

    jkhcurry Auditioning

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    So I got everything setup today. I'm pleased with the sound but a little overwhelmed with all of the choices Dolby this Dolby that; I don't know how to listen to it correctly.
    We watched Snow White and the Huntsman and it set itself to Dolby Digital Master Audio; it sounded awesome so I think that was right??? Problem is watching regular HDTV knowing which setting to have it on. Right now I have it set to Neo 6 Cinema.
    I mounted the speakers to the roof. I know by what I read that's not the best way but I didn't want to fish wire all day. Since I don't have a sensitive ear I don't know that I could tell since I think it sounds great how it is. I did have to change the audio delay by 100ms to get the movie and voice to match up correctly. Anyway better than the speakers from the flat panel TV.
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD (basically the same thing from two different competitors) are the highest quality but they are only available on BluRay discs. Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD are the next in line but are unknown/un-used. Next down the line are Dolby Digital and DTS. These are mixed in 5.1 and provide a very high quality surround souns experience. After that is Dolby ProLogic II and DTS Neo:6. These two take two channel stereo sources, like tv programs and cd's, and matrix them into 5.1 or 7.1. They do a decent job with most material but sometimes they sound thin and hollow. I like Neo:6 myself for stereo programs but try them both (Dolby ProLogig II) and decide for yourself.
    Satellite/cable is only Dolby Digital 5.1, stero or mono. No TrueHD, ProLogic and no DTS of any kind. Most programs, even those in HD, are still in plain old stereo. But many movies and sporting events are in Dolby 5.1. Some are listed as Dolby 2.0. Some dvd's are Dolby mono. You may have to go into your set-top boxes setup menu and enable digital audio or Dolby Digital.
     

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