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Any better bang for the buck?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Joshua_M, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. Joshua_M

    Joshua_M Active Member

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    I have a 18'x25' living room with my tv on the front of the 18' wall and my couch all the way against the back. 50%DVR / 30%DVD / 20%XBOX, ~$5000 is my total budget and I have it broken down to:

    Ascend CMT-340 as mains
    Ascend CMT-340 as surrounds
    Ascend CMT-340c as center
    = $1300

    SVS PB12-PLUS/2
    = $1200

    HK AVR435
    = $700

    Panasonic Plasma
    = $1700

    Should I divide it up different? I was also thinking about going Rockets for a couple hundred more or even scaling back the above to the Ascend 170's for the rears and get SVS's standard PB12/2 @ $900. Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Josh
     
  2. Victor Ferguson

    Victor Ferguson Well-Known Member

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    Looks like some great choices to me. No need to change anything. IMHO, stick with the larger surrounds.
     
  3. Ian C

    Ian C Well-Known Member

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    I ordered their 340s for my front stage just a couple days ago, though they are going to take a couple weeks to get to me.

    I would go for the "plus" SVS. I originally had a 25-31 PCi, but sent it back for the PC+...and there was quite a bit of difference. For a $300 difference, I think it would definitely be worth it.

    I would go for the HK AVR 635 over the 435. It has the EZsetEQ, which is supposed to be nice, and I believe the 435 only has the standard EZset. Also, the 635 has component upconversion and OSD, which I believe the 435 doesn't have (though you may not need it). The AVR-635 can be had from J&R for $700 shipped. If you do decide to stick with the 435, J&R also has that for $550 shipped. If you don't need the extra features of the 635, that extra $150 might not be worth it. H/K did just announce an AVR-440, which will be very similar to the 635 (will have EZsetEQ), though I don't know when they'll actually be available.

    BTW, Ascend offers H/K receivers at good prices, though I don't know if they could match the J&R.

    Sounds like you'll have a nice setup.
     
  4. rob-h

    rob-h Well-Known Member

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    A $1700 plasma? I would bet that its 42" or smaller and not a quality unit. Even if it was, 42" at 18 feet is pretty small.
     
  5. MikeNg

    MikeNg Well-Known Member

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    If your room and viewing habits allow, consider getting a front projector instead. BIG bang for the buck.
     
  6. Joshua_M

    Joshua_M Active Member

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    It's a 42" EDTV from Costco. This is an intemediate step until I move and can go rear projection, then this tv will be put in the living room or bedroom. Also the actual viewing distance will be closer to 14' once you add in the width of the couch and entertainment center. Should be a good upgrade over my 27" samsung crt.

    What do you guys think about the Rocket packages compared to this? They have the 750's with the dipole surrounds and bigfoot center for ~$1800, is it worth the $500 difference?

    BTW, I am younger guy and enjoy a more in your face sound, like all kinds of music including rap. Probably won't do much 2 channel without the sub.

    -Josh
     
  7. rob-h

    rob-h Well-Known Member

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    MikeNg, that was going to be my point but soemhow I left it out. If its a main TV viewing room then both a TV and FP would be ideal.
     
  8. Joshua_M

    Joshua_M Active Member

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    Yeh, only one place to watch tv in this house and it has two big bay windows, so the FP will have to hold off.
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

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    You possibly can get significantly better sounding bass for less money with an IB solution if you can build it and have the space to accomodate.
     
  10. rob-h

    rob-h Well-Known Member

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    Joshua_M, how big is the available area for the TV? Could you not use a drop down screen in front of the TV? How big is the TV you are planning to use? I made a guess and I want to see if I was right.
     
  11. Joshua_M

    Joshua_M Active Member

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    I posted it above, its a 42" edtv from Costco. I really don't think FP is an option right now for the reasons explained above.

    Thanks,
    Josh
     
  12. rob-h

    rob-h Well-Known Member

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    Joshua_M, my fault! I missed that post completely. Unfortunately I think you are going to be dissatisfied with 42" even at 14 feet. At the very least I would go with a 65" RP. You could pick up a a very nice one for only a few hundred more then that plasma.
     
  13. MikeNg

    MikeNg Well-Known Member

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    Just food for thought Joshua_M. Having a flat panel is nice, but I agree with rob-h's assessment. 14' from a 42" screen will make viewing only marginally better than your 27". Try this as a test. Cut out a cardboard frame that approximates the size of your plasma, tape it where it will be mounted and go sit in your sweet spot. What do you think?

    If you're able to at least control light in that room (do the bay windows have any window covering?), you can still have a good front projection experience.

    Here's a good page with some recommendations.
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/home...projectors.htm
    The native 480p projectors are essentially EDTV (if I'm not mistaken). So for the same price as the brand x flat panel, you can have a name brand projector and have $ left to get a nice screen. Once you've tried large format, nothing else will do.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    Mike
     
  14. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Well-Known Member

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    Your audio side looks very solid. We could dither here and there on what components are "best", but we would be debating preference as much as anything else. That SVS will crush you BTW - I own one and it crushes me daily.

    The TV, well I don't know. 480p is fine now, but after the xbox 360 launches in Nov and all games are doing 720p/1080i natively, I guarantee you will instantly have the upgrade itch.

    Try to go for a true HDTV (1080i) set now and then you are decently future proof. It might bump up the cost a few hundred, but it'll last you longer before you get the 'itch' again.
     
  15. MikeLi

    MikeLi Well-Known Member

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    Killer set up.. again my only suggestion unless you have to have a plasma to hang on the wall would be a different TV set. Like the new Samsung 1080P, or JVC. I have the SVS and love them also hear good things about the Ascends but I decided the Rockets were for me. I don't want to try to change your mind if your set on them as they are good speakers but AV123.com is phasing out their 750's and have some killer package prices on sets. Good luck as it looks as if your on you way to a great home theater!
     
  16. SteveCallas

    SteveCallas Well-Known Member

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    If you wanna save some bucks, I'd go 170s for surrounds and go DIY for the subwoofer. If you spend time optimizing the deisgn, you can outperform the PB12/2 for a few hundred less.
     
  17. Ian C

    Ian C Well-Known Member

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    Doh! Just thought I would update my reply. I made some mistakes.

    - It's not the AVR-440 that's about to come out...rather the 340.
    - The AVR-435 does in fact have ESsetEQ

    I think the only differences between the 635 and the 435 would be component upconversion and component OSD, along with slightly more power. There may be other small differences, but I can't find them.

    Sorry about that. If you don't need component upconversion/OSD, the AVR-435 for $550 at J&R sounds like the better deal.
     
  18. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Well-Known Member

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    I think you should stick with your original plan and get that 42" plasma. Reuse it in your other setup once you upgrade to FP. I would try to score a cheaper (used?) AVR with preouts and then seperate amp. I just upgraded the amp section in my setup, going from TOTL HK AVR7200 to Adcom GFA7400 and it made my Polk LSi7's sing much much better. HK is still powering the surrounds since I bi-amped the mains with that Adcom.

    If you go used you'll get much better bang for your buck, that Adcom cost me $325. $700-325=$375, that could get you a decent AVR with preouts and you'd be much happier with the sound.
     

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