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Opinions wanted on system purchase


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   George Bir

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Posted August 25 2004 - 09:56 AM

Looking for quality picture and reliability. Good clean sound with full range, moderate volume level, sometimes kicked out. Wife likes top 40, I'm Pink Floyd. 50/50 movies/music. Most importance on movies as music we maybe wandering around basement. Like pant flapping bass. Would like flexability of 6.1 or 7.1 for future.
New to this forum. Would like to get some opinions on a theater package we're thinking about.
Our budget is around 3-4k. We have decided to give up the idea of the 52" DLP Mits,4k in itself. Our thought was to get a Hitachi 51" RPTV no DLP or LCD. This way we could go component with our sound and stay in budget.
We have listened to the Infinity modules, the wife likes the design, however they were a bit thin, however we loved the 350w sub, especially in the U-571 depthcharge scene. Then we found a paradigm dealer. These seemed to have beter fullness in the mids and bass. Reciever used was a Yamaha (not sure what model), we're thinking about the Marantz 5400, Denon 1705 or NAD743. Our viewing area is 15x20, in the basement, so some sound may escape around the corner of the L shaped basement.
Speakers: fr. Titans (maybe upgrade to mini moniters).
rr. Atoms
ct. CC170 (maybe uprade to CC370).
sub. PDR10 (upgrade to PS1000).
DVD player can be purchased later. Thinking about entry level Denon single disk.

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   GrahamT

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Posted August 25 2004 - 12:19 PM

Sounds good. See if your paradigm dealer has a trade up policy, so you can audition the performance series and if you want an improvement you can upgrade to the monitors. Also consider the subs from www.svsubwoofers.com and www.hsuresearch.com www.adireaudio.com

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   George Bir

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Posted August 25 2004 - 12:47 PM

Thank you for your response. Do you own paradigms?
What about the recievers? I'm not sure about the bottom line NAD, and Marantz has been quite unstable, being bought and sold by many companys. I've heard Denon and Marantz are both below NAD standards. We will probably use this system 50/50 for music and movies. But movies would probably be the bigger concern, as music may be heard while traveling around basement. Do you think the mini moniters are enough for 2 channel music, liking music moderate to semi loud (1-10 scale 7,if that helps). Store did not have to try out, just moniter 7's. Hopefully theses recievers will push enough also.

Thanks again for your opinion.
You probably have more experience than me, its been over 20 years since a purchase.

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Tom D

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Posted August 25 2004 - 01:09 PM

Hello, I would go with titans all around with the matching center and ps1000 sub. As for a rcvr, I would look for a self calibrating rcvr. Denon 3805, Pioneer, Yamaha ... sorry I dont know the model #'s. Recently I have taken a liking to Canton LE102 speakers. They seem to have a larger sweet spot. Good Luck

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   GrahamT

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Posted August 25 2004 - 01:17 PM

Yes, I have monitor 3s, minis and cc370 center. I think they are great speakers and a great value. There are many other popular choices aswell from Polk Audio, Ascend Acoustics, Axiom etc. Listen to as many speakers as you can with one of your favourite albums. Minis go loud enough for me with my DIY sub and I listen at about 80-85 dB. I use a harman kardon avr but I am not an expert in that area. Maybe try the receiver forum for more expertise.

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   George Bir

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Posted August 25 2004 - 01:41 PM

WOW!!! Just checked out audio reviews on the svs subs. Is that what they do, specialize in subs? That was all the products reviewed under svs.
The model SVS20-39PCI seems to be the best for my budget. Reviews say it's better than the Paradigm PW series, which is out of my pricing.
Glad you informed me of the svs subs, I feel alittle ignorant not even knowing these exsist.
Wasn't happy with the Paradigm PDR10 and heard the PS1000 was boomy and some hummmed.
Is the above mentioned svs model what you would recommend, or is there a lesser model worth looking at?
Also, it appears there is no demo place for the svs?

Thank you again.

#7 of 19 OFFLINE   GrahamT

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Posted August 25 2004 - 02:42 PM

The SV subwoofers are VERY popular on the internet. They are direct ship only, but they have a 45 day trial period. They are very well known for the customer service, give them an e-mail telling them about your room dimensions, your budget and expectations, listening volumes etc. They will recommend the models that will fit best. The 20-39 PCi is very popular and they also have a new sub for $400. HSU is very good too, do some searches on their subs aswell.

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   George Bir

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Posted August 25 2004 - 02:49 PM

Thank you Graham. Do you know if the $400 was a cylinder?
Placement could be an issue. I didn't see the $400 model. Do you happen to know the model, or if it's on the web site yet?
Thanks again, I'm going to check out the other company right now.

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   GrahamT

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Posted August 25 2004 - 02:52 PM

You're welcome,
The $400 sub is a box called the pb10-isd and will be available in Oct I think.
http://www.svsubwoof...bs_pb10_isd.htm

Another sub to consider is the Adire Audio Rava, also for $400.

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   George Bir

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Posted August 25 2004 - 03:12 PM

Excellent. Do you know how svs is with upgrading if the smaller sub is not sufficient.
Hope I didn't keep you up. I'm an insomniac.

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   GrahamT

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Posted August 25 2004 - 03:30 PM

No problem, If you buy the $400 SVS, and dont like it, all you pay is the shipping there and back within 45 days. They will give you an honest recommendation for your room though.

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   SeanV

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Posted August 26 2004 - 09:31 AM

George,
I see that your total budget is 3-4k. There are countless combinations of equipment that will give you a very nice setup for your budget. A lot of it is based on your personal preference, this is true with each piece of equipment in you HT setup. Do you want the latest and greatests technologies or will you sacrifice "bells and whistles" for performance at a certain price point? Do you perform "critical listening" with music, sitting for hours on end just listening? Are you open to purchasing used or refurbished equipment? Are you looking for a full 7.1 system or will 5.1 do for the time being?

These are just a few of the questions that can help determine the equipment that best suits your needs.
For example:
If you indeed do critical listening, then many people would suggest to spend more on you main speakers and less on surrounds, basically concentrating on a solid 2 channel system.

If you provide more information about what's important to you it will allow more people to offer recommendations.

Here's my system (substituting a Hitachi for my Sony GWIII and a new 25-31PCi for my 20-39PC+)

Hitachi 51F500 51 $1,699
Paradigm Studio 40 v2: $650
paradigm Atoms v2 : $189
paradigm Studio CC : $300
HK 525 : $550
SVS 25-31PCi : $550

Total $3,938

I've had this 5.1 setup for about a year and it's been very servicable. I spent less on my surrounds with the intention of moving them to the rear. I can now get a pair of Studio 20's for my surrounds and just move the atoms to the rear. Also, do a search on the forum, there's been a ton o threads like this that you can reference.
"A good friend will bail you out of jail.....A true friend will be sitting next to you saying "Damn..we *$%#@ up"

#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Eddie Horton

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Posted August 26 2004 - 09:45 AM

I'll also tell you what I have. This is for informational purposes only, especially in the arena of speakers, as what you'll like may be different from what I like. This is just to show what a lot of time spent on research and a little patience can do.

Sony KP51WS510 $1500.00
Yamaha HTR-5790 $799.00
Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 Main (pair w/stands) $598.00
Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 Center $298.00
Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 Surrounds (pair) $328.00
HSU VTF3-MkII sub $699.00
Zenith DVB-318 DVD Player $160.00
Total $4382.00

These are all retail prices, and some items can be found cheaper and some things came with package discounts, etc.
You can get a complete system that will sound and look great for your budget. Take your time, look at several options, get it set up and calibrated properly, and amaze your friends with your technical prowess!! Posted Image
All kidding aside, once you decide what best suits your needs, be sure to get a copy of Avia or DVE and a SPL meter. A properly calibrated system can make or break the experience. Properly calibrated, your dollars go a long way. Improper calibration is difficult to remedy simply by writing a bigger check.
Save the whales! Trade them for valuable prizes.

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   George Bir

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Posted August 26 2004 - 11:12 AM

Point well taken, Thank you. I'm new to these forum chats.
As for personal preferances, I can do without the bells and whistles. Would like good quality picture and reliability.
Solid sound that you feel not hear for movies. Found this can get you very emotional (especially pant flapping bass). For music we like clear full range with decent power. Mostly moderate level, however kick it sometimes.
Wife likes top 40, I'm Pink Floyd.
Would like the flexability of 7.1 at least 6.1 for future.
Thanks again for advice, and sorry for being so vague before.
Being new to forums I'm not sure if I should edit my opening post with this info.

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Nathan Bjork

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Posted August 26 2004 - 09:28 PM

I got myself a SVS 20-39 PCi subwoofer, and the best way to describe it is as you said
Quote:
Solid sound that you feel not hear for movies.


And if you do get an SVS, you have to get the Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon SACD its awesome with an SVS, a whole new experience..

Sorry I don't have any other speaker recommendations.

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Jeff_CusBlues

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Posted August 27 2004 - 01:59 AM

Welcome George. And I can only ditto Nathan's recommendation. I own the 25-31 PCi entry level sub from SVS and the Dark Side SACD sounds incredible. You will need a DVD player that also plays SACDs. Mine is the Pioneer DV-563A which plays SACD, DVD-A as well as DVDs. You really can't beat the performance or price for a multi format player.

As for the Dark Side SACD, the heartbeat at the beginning is incredible and the clocks on Time have never sounded better. For the first time ever, you can decipher the talking at the beginning without headphones (at least I never could before). After you get over the effects, the natural beauty of the music takes over.

The SVS owners post on this forum often. Search for posts by screen name Tom Vodhanel or SVS-Ron (Ron Stimpson). They are very helpful.

#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Oren Paul

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Posted August 27 2004 - 02:59 AM

Do not count out a front projector (provided you have decent light control). I recently upgraded my HT from a 50" RPTV to a L500 Panasonic 720P HD projector. Projector and screen ( I use a 92" Classic White Carada) can be had off the net for under $2500.00prox. On the Audioholics site I saw a listing for the RX-V2400 Yamaha, which is a great "mid-fi" receiver, for under $700.00.

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   SeanV

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Posted August 27 2004 - 05:49 AM

George,
I'm going to suggest that you start with a solid 5.1 system. You can always add more speakers and a better reciever down the road. I definitely recommend SVS for your sub, but there are also other quality subs out there. Eddie and I both gave examples of solid systems, and a 100 other people will give 200 additional combinations to make nice systems. I think you should break your search up. Take it one group at a time and use the different forums here for each section. I'll just name some brands that seem to get mentioned here.
Display:
Sony, Pioneer Elite, Mits, Samsung, Panasonic...and more

Speakers:
Paradigm, B&W, Polk, JBL, Rockets, Ascend, Swan, Axiom..and more

Subs:
SVS, Velodyne, HSU...and others

Receivers:
Harman Kardon(HK), Marantz, Sony ES, Pioneer Elite, Yamaha, Onkyo,


From my own observations, and what I've learned here, speakers will probably be the most dynamic group so I would start there.
"A good friend will bail you out of jail.....A true friend will be sitting next to you saying "Damn..we *$%#@ up"

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Alex Prosak

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Posted August 27 2004 - 06:53 AM

Hi George, welcome to the forum. You've got a lot of good suggestions already, one I'd like to add is to check out the offerings from AV123. Like SVS and Ascend, they are a internet direct company. I initially was considering Paradigm and B&W but ending up going with a Rocket package and have never looked back. They have a good number of packages put together and are very flexible in changing their packages around. They are also an authorized Denon dealer so they can include a receiver and DVD player for a good discount.

Since you're looking at some of the smaller Paradigms, I suggest checking out their ELT package, this includes all the speakers you need for 5.1 and a Denon AVR-1804 for $1350. When the 1804's are gone they will replace them with the 1905, you might want to see if they can do that now. If you want to do a good upgrade, have them replace the standard ELT sub with the UFW-10. This has been getting phenomenal reviews and Ron S of SVS said that it will top their forthcoming 10". He did hint that they do have another they are working on that will compete with it though.Posted Image

Some other packages they have that might be appealing are Rocket Packages 5, 6, and 7. Add in a UFW-10 along with a good Denon receiver and DVD player and you'll be good to go. A new Denon that may be appealing is the AVR-2105, it is their entry model that has autocal and also does component video upconversion. It has a MSRP of $649 but they should give you a much better price. A good DVD player to start with would be a DVD-1910.

If you want to audition their speakers before hand, you can check audioenvy.com or their forum to see if there are any owners near you. Most owners are very willing to provide auditions.

Good luck!

Alex