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New to home Theaters and its lingo

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by BecuaseIcan, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. BecuaseIcan

    BecuaseIcan New Member

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    Hi, I am looking for the best source of information in regards for home theater products ranging from receivers to speakers how to set it up as well as cables to use and anything else that may be needed. I have a basic TV and Blu-Ray player already (samsung 50" LED 240Hz[UN50ES6100F], and a Samsung Blu-ray player[BD-E5400) I am content with them as is now so I am not looking to replace them at all but I am looking for a surround system to go with it, I have vaguely searched the internet here and there over the past year or so looking for a good site on reviews/suggestions etc like you can find with computer parts but I haven't found anything sadly so this is basically my last ditch effort to find/learn what I need to. my budget is probably as low as $3000 (since the receiver I was looking at was about 2000$) and as high as $6000 which should include the receiver speakers sub cables and anything else I may need. I am looking to make the best possible surround sound setup I can with a $3000-$6000 budget, can someone help me learn what I need to learn and point me towards good products that fit my needs and will last a long time (at least 5 years) I am likely not going to be setting it up fully immediately after I buy it since I am going to be moving from this place to a new one (current place is far too small house is literally packed doubt I could even fit the surround system in here) but having the parts readily bought and possibly tested out here would be nice till that occurs. So really what I am looking for is products to look into that will either go well with what I have currently or are the best I can buy within my budget (or both!) and any other research I may have to start looking into which will help me prepare for setting it up. if any other info is needed ask away, thanks for any help.
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The AVR is purchased based on your needs. If you buy 8 ohm speakers, you can buy any AVR ever made. 95%* of the speakers ever made in the history of audio dating back to 1870 will go with 95% of the amps/receivers/AVR ever made since 1905. (Yes speakers and "home audio" have been around that long). So what are your "needs" in an AVR? Have a Wii/VCR/LD/CED? Have an Ipod/Iphone/Ipad/droid/NAS? Want 2nd/3rd/4th zone audio and/or video? Want 2 separate displays? As far as speakers. You buy what you like. Period. 75% of your "budget" should be the speakers. Why? If you buy them right...you'll have them 15-45 years. Heck, at your budget you could go pre-pro/amps. Then you'll have your speakers for 15-45 years and amps your Great-great-great-great-great-great grandkids will be jamming with. A great way to buy speakers(cause it takes a lot of guesswork out of it) is to buy "complete" sets in the used market. Why? Cause you can only buy what is for sale. You could walk into Best Buy/HH Gregg/Ovation(any specialty store) and be "confused" cause they all sound good. Or you can look on Craigslist and you might find a guy selling a 5.0 set of Totem that cost $6000 new and he's moving/selling his house/divorce/broke/broke up with his girlfriend/needs a starter for his truck and is selling them all for $1500(happens every day on CL/Ebay/Audiogon). *95% is probably low. The ONLY compatibility between "amp" and speaker is ohm load. 99% of AVR are good to go on 6ohm or higher. If you buy 4ohm...then all you really did is eliminate the ability to buy a
     
  3. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    Buying a good set of used speaker would free up some money for the receiver and subwoofer. With that budget don't skimp on the subwoofer. I'd also look at the Anthem MXR-300/500 in addition to the usual suspects like Integra, Denon, Pioneer Elite, Yamaha Aventage, etc. But the speakers and subwoofer are the most important parts of a good sound system. Here are a couple of sites with some good information. Crutchfield.com http://www.crutchfield.com/learn/hi-fi-2-0-landing.html AperionAudio.com http://www.aperionaudio.com/connect/guru-tips/ OneCall.com http://www.onecall.com/onecall-learning-center Knowing where to buy is just as important as knowing what to buy. In addition to the above three... AscendAcoustics.com http://www.aperionaudio.com/connect/guru-tips/ AxiomAudio http://www.axiomaudio.com/ (speakers) TheAudioInsider.com http://www.theaudioinsider.com/ (Swan speakers) Monoprice.com http://www.monoprice.com/ (cables/wires) Ac4l.com http://www.accessories4less.com/ (factory refurbished Denon, Onkyo, Marantz receivers) SVS http://svsound.com/ (speakers/subwoofers) HSU http://www.hsuresearch.com/ (speakers/subwoofers) AudioAdvisor.com http://www.audioadvisor.com/ (speakers) AudioAdvisor.com http://www.saturdayaudio.com/ (PSB, Monitor Audio speakers) The Ebay stores of Polk and Harman Kardon, etc. Also consider Paradigm, PSB, GoldenEar, Salk, Thiel, etc. The list goes on and on. Dynaudio Audience off Craigslist or ebay.
     
  4. BecuaseIcan

    BecuaseIcan New Member

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    sorry haven't had time to reply to this. Problem with buying used speakers is that I dont live in a "urban" area such as Vancouver I live really far north so shipping can be an issue as well as simply not being able to send the money in the first place (no credit card/personal cheques) so buying new is more appealing to me in less I really find a great deal. Some questions; whats the difference between a receiver and a processor and is one more worth while to buy then the other? you both mentioned ohms being the key point when buying speakers is lower better or is higher better? I was looking at Anthem and Denon receivers because its what the electronic audio dealer sells here in town, is either better then other (I have found any review site going over either brand is either not straight forward enough or the technical jargon is beyond my understanding [which is better] without further research) Is going a cheaper receiver/processor better then going cheaper speakers, and is keeping the speakers from the same company as the AVR better then going to a different brand. Thanks again for the help.
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Receiver=tuner+amp+pre-amp A processor(proper term being pre-pro...ie, pre-amp processor) is just the pre-amp and tuner. You buy the amp(s) separately. It is generally less expensive, long term, to buy a pre-pro if you are spending $2000+ on AV equipment every 5 years(the timeframe when the next improvement/excuse to upgrade your stuff). If $2000 is more than you are spending, buy an AVR.
     
  6. Robert_J

    Robert_J Well-Known Member

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    One is not better than the other. Some of the higher end speakers end up being 4 ohms. My speakers are 4 ohm but that was just part of the design I chose - http://stories.parts-express.com/stories/2444-en_us/category/Speaker/story/16516/redirect.htm I use an older Pioneer VSX-1014 that can drive anything between 16 ohms and 6 ohms. After a bit of research I found that it uses the Pioneer Elite output section which can drive a 4 ohm load and a lot of people were very happy with this combination. Subs - Not much was mentioned above. The sub is usually matched to the room. The larger the room, the larger the sub based on your goals. Since you are in Canada, your sub options are a little more limited than us south of you. But one company I would look at is http://www.funkaudio.ca/Home.html Nathan does some awesome work.
     
  7. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Sam gave a good explanation of this. Stick with a receiver unless you've got lots of cash up front.
    As Robert_J alluded to, neither is "better" or "worse" than the other, but what's important is that you get speakers that will work with whatever receiver you choose. Sticking with 8 ohm speakers makes life a lot easier, because they will work with any receiver, and it's one less thing to worry about. You aren't really limiting your speaker choices much if you opt to stick to 8 ohm.
    Again - neither one is "better" or "worse". Receivers should be chosen based on which suits your needs. These decision points usually are based around the number and type of connections (make sure you can connect all of your devices), whether or not you need networking features (streaming Internet radio, etc.), whether or not you need multiple zones, and whether or not you want a somewhat reliable and decent auto setup and calibration feature, or if you're comfortable doing that on your own.
    Most importantly, don't let wattage numbers sway you one way or another. They are essentially meaningless (as are wattage numbers for speakers).
    I believe it's better to spend more money on decent speakers (and most around here would agree with me). The speakers have a much greater impact on how your system sounds than anything else. Good speakers will last you decades, whereas you'll be lucky to get 8-10 years from a receiver. There are a lot of good receivers in the $300-400 range (cheaper if you consider refurbs).
    Electronics companies generally don't make good speakers. Even the best all-in-one systems (like the systems from Onkyo and Denon) have at best average to below average speakers. The same sort of thing applies when it comes to subwoofers. There's no reason your subwoofer has to be the same brand as the rest of your speakers - and you can usually get a better subwoofer from a company that specializes in subwoofers.
    If I were shopping, I'd approach it as three separate purchases: an AVR, a 5.0 speaker set, and a subwoofer.
     
  8. BecuaseIcan

    BecuaseIcan New Member

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    any recommendations on specific speaker brands?

    Also are satellites worth buying into?
     
  9. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    All satellite means is "small speaker".Bookshelf is misnomer in speakers anyway.
     
  10. BecuaseIcan

    BecuaseIcan New Member

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    I know what Satellites are I am wondering if they are worth getting or are larger tower-like speakers (idk what they are called) more worth while (aka provide better sound)
     
  11. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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