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updating home theater ??


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17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 MikeKG

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Posted October 14 2003 - 09:33 AM

I've been reading for the last couple of weeks regarding home theater ... boy am I behind the times.
I currently have an old Technics prologic reciever ( SA-GX770 ) hooked up to a pair of bose 201's( yeah I know ), Technics center channel and surrounds. I also have a Toshiba SD1200 single disk DVD player.

OK here's the punch line . My wife and I have agreed to update our system with a budget of $750 + or - a few bucks.
I've been looking at the Onkyo HT-S767C system ($780). I've read the reviews on the 650 and 660 systems and the reviews sound great.

Here's the question ... 1). Is it worth while to add components to what I have or would the Onkyo system sound better out of the box? 2). Being that the surrounds in the Onkyo system are 8 ohms would the Bose ( also 8 ohms ) be better as front left/right channels and use the Onkyo provided fronts as surrounds ?

Ok , I've asked the first volly of questions I look forward to your very experianced opinions.

Thanks, Mike

#2 of 18 GrahamT

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Posted October 14 2003 - 10:32 AM

If I were you I would buy a 5.1 or 6.1 receiver for about $300 (dont be fooled by wattage ratings). Then I would reuse the toshiba and spend about $450 on some real speakers. May I suggest Polk Audio R15s or R20s, cheap and good. If you like deep bass, save for a real sub later on. Home theater in a box systems are a good value, but they are poor performers and almost always get replaced quickly.
They are usually a waste of money.

#3 of 18 Bill_Wil

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Posted October 14 2003 - 12:36 PM

The Onkyo systems are on the better end of the HTiB scale but I think the biggest improvement would be for you to get a new receiver. Maybe the Onkyo receiver that comes with that system for around $300. Just having a receiver that can play DD, DTS and PLII will make a big difference.
Of course having a set of matched speakers would be nice too. You can check out the Onkyo systems at Circuit City so if you have one close by stop in and hear if you like it. Like you, I've seen almost all good reviews from users of the Onkyo systems.

#4 of 18 ChrisLazarko

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Posted October 14 2003 - 12:45 PM

I wouldn't go for a HTIB as they can definantly lack as well as the wattage ratings aren't usually true so don't believe something that will say 100Watts per channel! or 80 watts, real estimates for most of those systems are about 30watts.

My quick recommandation is go seperates. If you have $750 to spend then you should be alright for a lower-end HT system somewhat like myself.

This is my recommandation and you should give this some serious thought:

Harman/Kardon AVR-125 reciever - $199 (From SoundCity)
Klipsch Quintet 5 satellite speakers - $350 (Can be found at Soundcity or bestbuy)
Now sub is tricky... With $200 left you should be able to get an adequate sub but not the best. That is not my best area so I will leave that to someone else who can answer that... Although you should be able to find something at SoundCity for a good price.... and they should lower the price if you buy all your stuff there.

As for the reciever though, don't be fooled by the Harman/Kardon ratings, they are more than any company offers especially for the price. So my suggestion is unless your looking to spend $1000+ HK will get you the best for your money. Good luck in your hunting and I hope this advice helps you, it will definantly outpower any HTIB at the same price range.

#5 of 18 MikeKG

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Posted October 14 2003 - 03:38 PM

Thanks for the inputs.... keep 'em comming.

I've seen many people on this forum suggest the H/K 125.

Does anyone have a first hand opinion on the fluance speaker systems ?
I believe they sell sell a mid level 5 speaker system for around 250 and the 140 watt sub for around 200. I don't have a local dealer to checkout so I need some first hand input. The only souce I have to preview equipment is Best Buy and Circuit city and I know there is excellent equipment out there that these two do not carry.


Thanks again , Mike

#6 of 18 GrahamT

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Posted October 14 2003 - 11:35 PM

I have the AVR110 which is almost identical to the 125. It is a great lower price receiver. There is plenty of clean power.

#7 of 18 Bill_Wil

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Posted October 15 2003 - 02:05 AM

Mike,
The reports I've read from Fluance owners is that they sound very good for the money but they look much cheaper than they show on the website. I would imagine they use cheaper materials to keep the costs so low but most people say they sound good.
Send a PM to TommyWMedford. He recently bought a 5 speaker system from Fluance. Find out if he's happy with them and if he would recommend them.

#8 of 18 ChrisLazarko

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Posted October 15 2003 - 03:35 AM

I've heard about the Fluance and seen them. I am not fond of them at all as for just another $100 or so you can of course get a much better system. Don't go cheap on speakers, look to get a decent satellite setup because in the long-run you will not be happy.

Three companies to look at and Bestbuy and Circuit City offer them all. Athena, Klipsch, Polk Audio. They all make nice satellite setups for a nice price. My personally preference goes to the Athena and Klipsch with Polk coming in second, although I found the Klipsch to give a better freq. responce and sounded a bit "deeper". I would take a look at those three and make your decision off of that.

I stress that point very much.

#9 of 18 MikeKG

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Posted October 15 2003 - 03:58 AM

Thanks for the info on the fluance , I had searched the speaker section of the forum and found some info on fluance. Chris , I will take the advice of all and check out the offerings at the to local stores.

On a different note , I went to the Soundcity website to check what they had....great prices. The thing that worries me is that the equipment I saw was refurbished. The web page states that the equipment carries manuf. warranty. In your opinions is this a good pathto follow?

Thanks again I've gotten some great info here.

Mike

#10 of 18 ChrisLazarko

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Posted October 15 2003 - 04:02 AM

I buy all my sound equipment from Soundcity and it is all under warranty. don't worry about it, buy without fear. Hope this helps ya' out, and they will support the refurb product if you have a problem when you get it.

#11 of 18 ColinM

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Posted October 15 2003 - 06:06 AM

Check the speaker packages at Accessories4less.com
http://accessories4l......c=AR-PS&tpc=
Good stuff for a good price, but I don't know what shipping would do to the cost. The AR set is a good bang for the buck.

I second the HK AVR110, I've had mine on every day for 2 years and it's a champ, pushing 5 inefficient speakers without a sweat.

http://harmanaudio.com/

So - AR speakers = ~$400 plus a good receiver, ~$300, and you are set!
You call that a knife?

#12 of 18 MikeKG

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Posted October 15 2003 - 12:26 PM

OK, I went to Best Buy and listened to the Klipsch quintets and they were very nice without the sub. The sub seemed too boomy. I'm sure it had something to do with the setup. The athenas were not hooked up so I struck out there . Then went by Circuit city to hear the polk R-15's and 20's. Not bad , but I liked the Klipsch better and the size would satisfy the WAT ( wife acceptance test).

While at Circuit city I looked at the Harmon Kardon 230 and 125. Sound City has the 125 for $199 and the 225 for
$240 still up in the air on which .!?

So I think I'll be getting the Klipsch quintets and one of the H/K receivers. I think I just expanded the budget to $1000 . I need to find a sub still.

I wish I could have tried the athenas, even when I tried the Klipsch it was like trying to listen to Vivaldi in a subway station.

So if you think the athenas are by far better I'll push the issue harder , the guy was actually tring to sell me the athenas without hearing them .... sorry.

as always thanks for the help and all comments welcome.

Mike

#13 of 18 ChrisTheg

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Posted October 15 2003 - 02:42 PM

There are many things to consider when looking for the, so called, "best deal" and its not only the price. What you'll be using the speakers for is also very important. If your thinking of using the speakers for music along with hometheater, there are some speakers that have nothing to offer. I am in the business of selling this stuff and from personal experience most people dont enjoy a system that they only spend about 1000 on. If this is as much as your willing to spend, your putting WAY TOO MUCH thought into it. For the most part any system under 1800 is going to give you close to the same level of performance. The last thing is. Try to stay away from packages if you can. They aren't always a good deal.
Chris
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THEG

#14 of 18 ColinM

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Posted October 15 2003 - 03:02 PM

Quote:
most people dont enjoy a system that they only spend about 1000 on. If this is as much as your willing to spend, your putting WAY TOO MUCH thought into it.


I have to respectfully disagree.

If you have a limited budget, you should pour as much thought and research into it as possible so you don't waste your money.

I have $700 in my receiver and 5 speakers and love every aspect.

There's plenty of junk for sale, and plenty of genuinely good stuff, too, for under $1000. Research will help you decide what's what.

Read reviews and ask specific questions to those who own the equipment you might buy.
You call that a knife?

#15 of 18 MikeKG

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Posted October 15 2003 - 03:24 PM

OK Chris that's a data point.

Still looking for input , thanks guys.


Mike

#16 of 18 ChrisLazarko

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Posted October 16 2003 - 03:29 AM

IMO regarding the speakers you heard I personally prefer Klipsch the best. Although Athena and Polk come a close second. If you are wondering why I consider them best them it's simple.

I bought my first Klipsch system for my computer. The amplifier in the sub broke ($300 speaker set) and it was no longer udner warranty. I called them up and the lady said don't worry just send it back. I recieved a BRAND NEW updated model.

Second, the quality of the components in those speakers if phenominal. For the price you can't find anything better than what the Klipsch offers in terms of parts inside I believe.

Last, the sound the Klipsch makes is the best to me. It's said you either hate klipsch sound or you love it. To me, I love it.

Yes I agree the subwoofers do sound boomy but that is because if you look at the shelving the subwoofers are on it's a piece of sheet metal which makes it sound awful... The Quintets are a very nice set and for the money I don't think you can get a better quality component... although I love Klipsch I do have to recommend you stay away from there subwoofers, unless you are looking at there new RW series as they do tend to be a bit more boomy.

As for a reciever I would recommend what SoundCity has to offer. The main difference between the AVR-125 and AVR-225 is that there is:

On Screen display for the AVR-225.
10 more watts per channel on the AVR-225.
There are also a few extra inputs and such on the 225, nothing really to make a big difference over the 125 but if you have the money the 225 is a nice piece...

Hope this helps you, and my Klipsch Quintets couldn't sound any better with my Harman/Kardon AVR-225 reciever.

#17 of 18 Chayne_C

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Posted October 17 2003 - 01:32 PM

I have 4 AV-F3's, AV-SC Center and the 150 watt sub from Fluance. Very very skeptical to buy at first but figured I'd take a risk for once. I'm very happy with these speakers. Ok, they're not designer speakers, they are simple, but the construction is solid and they are heavy. These speakers are black and not that large for towers so I feel they fit in nicely with my setup. They are not as cheap looking as I thought they would be.

I originally wanted the bipolar surrounds but they were out of stock. Fluance customer service was very friendly and offered to upgrade me to two more F3's for no additional cost. Figured what the heck as I could put the towers in a more ideal location than where the surrounds would have gone.

Haven't played with the sub too much. Puts out a lot of bass for my townhouse and small room. It has a blue LED on the front that's way too bright but I can do something with that. The F3's also put out a decent amount of bass and you could get buy without a sub for a little while.

Every day I've enjoyed these speakers more and more. They didn't sound that great at first, kind of tight, but the highs are crisper and crisper each day.

I'm using a Harmon Kardon AVR-225 and it handles everything just fine. Movies with my Front Projector are an experience! I don't regret my purchase at all. I spend more time in Best Buy and Circuit city then I do most other places and have heard all their speakers and haven't been that impressed. I think these speakers would rival anything I could have bought there for the price. Hi-fi stores would probably be a different story.

#18 of 18 Pablo Abularach

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Posted October 18 2003 - 02:34 AM

I think H/K recievers are very good, and Klipsch Quintets offer a lot for that price point, but you also might want to check JBL NSP1 (IMO superior to quintets) and AR HC6.

Good luck with your choice,
Pablo