surround sound worth it?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Galen Morgan, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. Galen Morgan

    Galen Morgan Extra

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    I am not sure if home theatre is right for me. I got some money saved up and love listening to music and want surround sound for my tv. I have 27inch jvc tv whis is like 6 or so years old but was top of the line at the time...so all i need is a better sound system. the room is medium sized...the area that i will be listening in is like 12x14 but another area of like 10x10 goes off to the side...so i know i dont want some junky HTIB, but my mom thinks surround sound is something dumb to spend my money on...if i have a budget of say 1500 do you think it would be worth it to put together a 5.1 surround set up wiht a reciever, dvd player and speakers?
    thanks
     
  2. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    The only answer that will mean anything is the one you will provide after trying a well planned HT for yourself. Everyone here is a ceritified HT junkies so of course we're going to say that it's worth it. $1500 is a damn good starting point, but be forewarned, it get real crazy and expensive after you've had a little taste.

    Remember to pick up an SPL Meter and a calibration disk, both will make a big difference in your system.
     
  3. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    Galen,

    If you have the funds to spend and you say you enjoy listening to music, adding a HT/5.1 audio set up will open a new world of music listening. With DVD-A/SACD player you will be able to listen to music in 5.1 and even 6.1 surround sound. SACD titles are plentiful, DVD-A is a bit more limited in selection. Then you can also enjoy Concert DVD's in surround sound, as well. Then of course there is the thousands of DVD movie possibilities!
     
  4. TylerZ

    TylerZ Stunt Coordinator

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    Galen,
    I will add that this is a great time to spend that $1500 with all the sales on gear going on. Bring some of your favorite CDs along and audition in a decent environment. But remember that with the good prices of the season comes more customers so expect the salesperson to try to hurry you along to make a decision and buy. DO NOT fall for it, take your time, listen carefully, and buy what sounds good to you. If you do it right the first time you won't be a victim of upgraditis as soon. But like Frank mentioned
     
  5. Jim Williams

    Jim Williams Second Unit

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    I asked a very similar question a little over a year ago and since then I have had two different DVD players, two different AV receivers and an RPTV. I am really enjoying myself with this great hobby (obsession?). Take a look at some of the replies I got from my first post on this forum.

    I was a real newbie then and I still have lots to learn, but I am enjoying every minute.
     
  6. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Galen,

    I'll be the voice of dissent. I went to a high end HT store and asked "Show me $1,000 sound system and a $5,000 sound system and explain to me why the $5,000 one is so much better". Honestly beyond the extra volume that the $5k system put out, I wasn't really impressed. Besides, when did you ever go to a movie and say "Gee, great movie but the midrange was kind of muddy?". You don't pay attention to that stuff at a *movie* for God sake.

    My suggestion is to go to one of those listening rooms and have them play you a stereo setup and a 5.1 setup in the same room with the same receiver, etc. And decide if you're getting all that much more. Take a favorite movie and a favorite CD. Truthfully, for many movies the surrounds don't really do all that much. They fill in, but they aren't the end of the world.

    Frankly I'd put the money into a 30" widescreen direct view TV. You can get one for about $900, and I think that would improve you movie watching experience about 10 times more than $1,500 worth of sound equipment.

    For $1,000 you can get better sound at home than you can in a movie theater. But you can't get a better picture for $100,000. So I'd put my money on the hard part, the picture.

    Everyone will disagree, but that's my two cents.

    Donald
     
  7. Bryan_K

    Bryan_K Stunt Coordinator

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    About three years ago i baught a HTIB. ($500) Best money i spent for some entertainment hardware. DD/DTS suround sound(evin week HTIB's)makes a world of differance when waching movies.

    Just remember the laws of dimineshing returnes. That said, I would not spend more than 1,000 on a DD/DTS setup.
     
  8. DonG

    DonG Auditioning

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    Hi Galen,

    I was in a similar position to you about a month ago. I have a 27inch flat screen Toshiba and live in an apartment. I wanted an HT but I also listen to music and wanted a system that would do both. I looked at HTIB and wasn't impressed with the audio qualityi for music (although they weren't bad for movies). Anyways, I started building my HT from scratch using quality componenets that I can upgrade in the future. I initially bought a receiver and a sub to add to my existing bookshelf speakers (that itself cost me $1500) and I was happy - for about 2 weeks. Then I caught the bug completely and bought a pair of floorstanding speakers and a center (another $1500).

    So anyways, I would start with good quality components, you'll never regret it, and you'll be able to expand your HT as your needs grow.

    My 2 cents,

    Don

    P.S. I went to a small independent dealer and it was the BEST decision I made. They're not on commission and when all was said and done, they gave me a deal that was comperable to the big mega-stores without all the pushiness and ignorance.
     
  9. Galen Morgan

    Galen Morgan Extra

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    thanx alot guys

    this forum is great
     
  10. John S

    John S Producer

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    Yes it is worth it, and for $1500 an some smart lots of homework shopping, you could upgrade to HDTV and a complete respectable enjoyable, exciting sound system, that would be great for audio and ht....

    If I had $1500 and a 27" TV, here is what I would do.

    Do some searches, there are decent even 51" Widescreen HDTV's out there for well under $1000...

    One example:
    http://www.electronicexpress.com/sub..._id=9&cat_id=4
    Has the product for $799

    Bargian shopping can really pay off with this stuff, this is just one example of large HDTV for under a grand, there are so many products out there to choose from, this one may not be the best under $1000 solution, search, search and then search some more. But I have seen this TV at a few different places and it actually fares well on PQ with HDTV content.

    Assuming $800 for a TV, that leaves you with $700 and you can put together a fairly amazing surround ht and music system for that much money.

    So there you have it, these are my recomendations, given what I know of your circumstances.

    Good luck!!!!
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    some random thoughts...

    1500 is a very decent budget for a ht system. you can get a decent 5.1 speaker package (i'm thinking jbl) for 500 bucks - including a very respectable sub. a very decent receiver can be had for about 300. another 200 for a nice dvd player ... that leaves you 500 bucks - how does that sound? [​IMG] heck, you could even upgrade your tv to a bigger screen!

    htb's aren't bad, but they suffer in the quality of the speakers - imo, they sound horrible. i'm working part time at bb, and *everytime* i show customers the difference between htb speakers and dedicated ht speakers - they immediately hear the difference. and these are not audiophiles - just normal folks.

    ditto the "build-your-system-slowly" methodology. there is absolutely no reason you should rush and try to buy everything at once. take your time, build your system slowly (as you can afford it) and you'll be much happier. you'll have purchased quality components that will last and last.

    if you're going to balance your budget, think about giving the edge to your speakers. they really don't change much and once you find speakers you like you can stick with them. electronics are much more likely to become obsolete over time.
     
  12. Ron.T

    Ron.T Agent

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    If you like to watch movies, I would venture a guess to say that at least 25%(if not more) of the movie experience is good sound. Why do you think that producers go to such lengths to record good soundtracks. I have in the last 3 months put together a descent HT system. It has made movie watching much more enjoyable. You hear things you never knew were there. Look around at some of your local audio stores. Many times, they will be selling off last years audio gear at great savings. That is how I got some of my gear. Good luck. Take your time and buy carefully. I think you will be glad that you did.

    Ron
     
  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  14. keith jay

    keith jay Auditioning

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    if you want to find out if hometheater is worth it, go down to a local retailer that has dedicated rooms set up and check it out for yourself. i think that you'll be blown away!!!! i spent alot of time researching before i puchased anything (reading several books and a slew of magazines) and the result is better than i ever expected. i was able to purchase almost everything at 20-30% below list price. bought my speakers on clearance, bartered my tv down and got my racks thrown in as part of the deal, found a local dealer for my sub and receiver that gave me 30 percent off and didn't charge me any sales tax, and bought my dvd player and line conditioner/ surge protector on line. there are many ways you can stretch that $1500 big time. i think that you should decide if picture or sound is more important to you. at first i thought that picture would be more important to me but now i feel that sound is at least as important. best of luck in your decision. aloha keith
     
  15. Bhavesh P

    Bhavesh P Extra

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    To a certain extent, after one has decided to get a home theater, money dictates the result. I would love to have a home theater; but as a student I don't have nearly as much money it requires to make one. Furthermore, I don't think my three roommates would be too thrilled about feeling the rumble with each step of a T-rex.
     

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