Need some guidance

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by biglarrrr, May 24, 2007.

  1. biglarrrr

    biglarrrr Auditioning

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    Hi, I'd like to get some advice on a home theater system for my home. I don't have much money to spend (I've been told that I'm limited to NO more than $500 [​IMG] ). I've read through a bunch of posts on this site and I've yet to find one that is related to my situation so I thought I'd post my question.

    Oh, and please forgive me but I'm not exactly an expert in this area.

    This is my current set up:
    1 36" JVC Stereo TV
    1 Sony DVD/VCR combo
    1 Time Warner digital cable box

    What I'd like to do is to get a receiver and speakers, including a sub, and hook it up so that I can listen to the radio, listen to CDs through my DVD player, listen to movies through my DVD player and VCR and, of course, listen to TV. One other thing... I'd like to be able to listen to my mp3s but I don't have an IPod. It seems that all of the manufacturers seem to think that if you listen to mp3s you're listening to them with an IPod. Although… this mp3 thing isn't a requirement but it sure would be nice.

    I know this all pretty basic, but to me, I'm just overwhelmed with the selection of home theater equipment. Also, as far as a packaged system goes, some people tell me to get one and some tell me to buy a receiver and speakers separately. And then they always point me to systems that are out of my price range. I understand that the more money you spend, the better system you get. But, I only have $500 to spend. Heck, as I told you, I just have a tube TV. It's a nice tube TV but it isn't an HD LCD or a Plasma.

    One more thing. I just recently got new carpeting and before they laid the carpet I put down speaker wire. So, what ever I buy can't have hard-wired speaker wire.

    Anyway, can anyone point me in the right direction?

    Thanks,
    biglarrrr
     
  2. Greg Gable

    Greg Gable Stunt Coordinator

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    Boy if the 500 buck budget cant be stretched then you may have to go the HTIP route. You just will not be able to get a decent 5.1 for 500 bucks. If I was you; i would reconsider this and build a systen slowly. Go with some athena speakers and a 300 buck yammy or pioneer AVR, as time and money allow; add the sub, center and surrounds. This may be a slow build but you can end up with a decent set up if you do it this way.
     
  3. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    I agree with Greg, I would start slow and build up over time. For instance, purchase two bookshelf speakers, and later when budget permits I would add a center, then subwoofer, then surrounds. Here's one option:

    Front speakers: Paradigm Atom Monitor v.5, $200
    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V361, $200
    DVD Player: Oppo 970, $150

    Total: $550

    Speaker Review: http://www.goodsound.com/equipment/p...monitor_v5.htm
     
  4. Greg Gable

    Greg Gable Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice option!

     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I would modify Alon's recommendation a bit. Skip the Oppo for now and get three matching front speakers instead. Just don't try to get a sub with the current budget.
     
  6. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I agree that piecing together a better system over time is the better way to go but if $500 is the max and you want to get it right now, then I'd go with an Onkyo HT-790 (or better yet, the new HT-800). I've seen the 790 on sale for $379 and the 800 goes for $450 on-line. They won't be as good as the products that the others have suggested but both fit your requirements. The speakers are the weak point and the sub ain't an SVS or HSU (but what else is) but for $500 they are decent. You can also look for refurbs or closeouts and if you are patient, and lucky, wind up with a nice receiver and speaker package for near the same price.
     
  7. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I'll second all the above, especially gene c.

    I'll go further and say that if you are on the side of wanting to enhance the movie experiance, get the 5.1 HTIB now. While not as good as the individual units, the sound is by no means bad (I also like the Onkyo) and you will get to immediately enjoy the surround experience. (One note, you didn't mention room size. The larger your room, the less this holds true.)

    On the other hand, if you are slightly more interested in the music side, go with the individual components and build up over time.

    I just added a low end receiver to my study and went very low end on the speakers. They are an adequate improvement for the movie experience; but when I listen to music I go to channel B and use a mid-quality pair of bookshelfs and am much happier. (I'm not recommending this, I happened to have had the bookshelfs laying around. My point is that a decent 5.1 will do the trick for movie viewing.)
     
  8. biglarrrr

    biglarrrr Auditioning

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    Thanks all. And I do agree with you that building this a little at a time is the best route.

    gene c, is the HT-800 you're referring to the Onkyo HT-SR800? If so, I did a search for it on amazon and a site I like called J&R (jr.com). The price is perfect and according to the comments on amazon, cnet and circuit city, everyone seems to love it (for what you get for the price of course).

    I just wish these manufacturers would add either a USB or flash port so one can listen to their mp3s. I mean they're able to accept an IPod (with an adapter of course).

    Thanks,
    biglarrrr
     
  9. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    Another tip is to closely watch your local classifieds and ebay for deals. I have put together a system I wouldn't have been able to afford if I was buying all new stuff.
     
  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Yes it is. 6ave.com has it for $465 with free shipping.
     

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