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Need help on choosing HT components

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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Stan K C

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Posted July 08 2003 - 09:31 AM


I'm sorta new in the HT scene. Currently, I have one of those economy Yamaha HT packages from years back and a 32" Panasonic GAOO TV with Pioneer DV-333.

I'm ready to get a little bit more series in my new basement and my shopping list includes - so far:

Sony KP51WS500 16x9 RPTV ($3000cdn)
Pioneer VSX-D712K Receiver ($400cdn)
Pioneer DV-363 ($200cdn)

My budget is $4500cdn ($3400US). And the items above will run about $3600cdn. I have around $900cdn to spend on the 5.1 speakers and cables.

My questions are:

A) what kind of speakers/subwoofer should I invest in that's within my budget?

B) What kind of A/V cable should I use? Is Monster cable all it cracked up to be?

C) Are my choices of hardware good for the price? (Keep in mind, I'm not an audiophile)


#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted July 08 2003 - 09:56 AM

hi stan.

A. there is no right answer for this. imo, speakers have the most impact on the way your system sounds. different companies have different philosophies on how a speaker should sound. bottom line -- you need to listen to as many speakers as you can and find what sounds good to you. just because i say a speaker sounds good doesn't mean anything...especially if it sounds like crap to you...right?

B. i do believe in good quality cabling, but not necessarily expensive cabling. be sure *not* to use the skinny cabling supplied with components - that stuff is horrible. monster is good stuff, but you can probably get comparable cabling at a much cheaper cost. i have a mixture of monster, radio-shack and acoustic research. i really can't tell the difference between any of them. at the very least, you can buy an expensive set and a cheaper set and see if you hear any difference.

C. i would be very happy with your choice of components. i think it's a very respectable setup.

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted July 08 2003 - 10:35 AM

Welcome Stan. I second what Ted wrote about speakers. Even so I have a recommendation, as I have just seen and auditioned a very fine package that is exactly in your price range. This thread has pictures and some discussion about the soon to be released, new offering from AV123, the ELT 5.1 system, consisting of four satellites, a center speaker and a powered subwoofer. I was very impressed.

Of course there are many offerings in your price range. Pick what suits you best. I will say that sound aside, the ELT cabinets have the best woodwork of anything that I’ve seen at that price point.
¡Time is not my master!

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Myo K

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Posted July 09 2003 - 05:01 AM

what will you be using your home theater set up most for, movie watching or music listening? and before you made the decision to purchase the 712k have you considered/listened to other brands? for example harmon kardon or denon? i have an hk avr 225, which cost me 299.99 us dollars on sale at a local electronics shop and imo its a lot better then the kenwood and pioneer receivers offered in the sub 500 dollar category. the hk just has a more sturdy reliable build along with cleaner power output. its a high current receiver unlike the kenwoods and pioneers, the only draw back is that its 5.1 and i believe no option for preamp upgrades. but imo if i wanted a preamp id look into companies that specialize in seperates.

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Stan K C

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Posted July 09 2003 - 05:13 AM

I will be watching movies mostly. I will check out hk avr 225. What attract me to the 712K is the component pass thru w/ on screen display. It seems rare for lost cost receivers.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Myo K

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Posted July 09 2003 - 05:29 AM

well make sure that the high definition signal is not degraded.

i remember, when i had the kenwood 6070, it had component connections, but the mhz or what have in the connection did not support high definition.

pioneers receivers are known for a pretty darn high thd rating. and with receivers in the entry level one shouldnt believe the listed specifications.

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   LeeH


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Posted July 09 2003 - 06:41 AM

The Sony STRDE895 is what I'm going to be upgrading to. It only cost $300 and it supports high definition. It also has 6.1 capabilities. The reason I recommend this is is because the low end Pioneers have weak amplifiers. They sound thin and have high THD. I think that the Sony is the best bang for the buck.
Updated HT Updated 10/30/03

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Myo K

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Posted July 09 2003 - 06:08 PM

imo. any sony receivers aside from their es line are severely underpowered, especially their entry level stuff.

i run my mirage omni 60's 50's, and cc with an hk entry amp, and hit above 100 decibles without straining a hint of distortion or strain of any kind.

of course the mirage speakers are semi sensitive with 91 db/w/m and the receiver is set to small, so all the strenuous power needed to create low frequencies are reserved for the amps in the powered subs.

ive tested a few entry level htibs and receivers, sony kenwood and onkyo receivers in the entry level price range imo offer very little power, i was surprised to see the hk i have toast them all. i assume its the high current, the onkyo receivers are supposedly high current, but i question their ratings since their 300 dollar entry receiver couldnt drive my two current "small surround" speakers efficiently without feeling strained very quickly as soon as you touched the volume knob.