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New to Home Theaters, need advice


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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   chuck-h

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Posted October 18 2004 - 09:41 AM

I thought one visit to Best Buy or my local AV dealer would be enough to decide on a decent Home Theater system. Then I started researching online and discovered a whole new AV world I knew nothing about. My head has been spinning ever since trying to decide on the best system for my budget. First my budget is $3000 max. The only thing I am sure of is that I will probably get a SVS PB10-ISD for a sub. My living area is appox 17.5' deep by 19' wide, and 1/2 of the back continues into my kitchen so it is not closed square room. Receivers that I considering, Integra 7.5, Yamaha rx v1500, Pioneer Elites, NAD(will see these tomorrow). Speakers are Klipsh, Paradigm, Boston Acoustics, and Definitive Tech.

I have heard the Yamaha RX v750 with Klipsh RC 25, RB 25 and RW10. With a DVD this combo was quite impressive. With music, the salesman switched to a Denon 3805 with the same speakers without me knowing, and I kept thining the sound was just OK. Then he went back to the Yamaha and the sound was much better and warmer than the Denon. Not what I had expected after reports I have read. The Yamaha/Klipsch was not as bad as I had expected. But then I heard the Integra DTR 7.5 with Paradigm Mini-monitor speakers and this just was just perfect-rich and warm-better than the Klipsch.

I will hear the Pioneer/Definitive combe this week but was hoping for educated suggestions from those that have heard some of these combos together.

I am interested in a system that will be awesome for HT-movies and very good for music rather than vice-versa. My feeling is Klipsch speakers will be great for HT but not so great for music-especially since I will not have carpet or drapes in the room. I know the Paradigms will be great for music, but curious about HT-DVDs, have not heard surround sound in Paradigms yet. Salesman suggested Mini Monitors for fronts(bookshelf), CC 170, and CS-60R or CS-80R for rear in ceiling mounts. I have read that the PDR subs are not as good the more expensive ones in their line, so I will opt for SVS.

For some reason I find myself leaning towards a Yamaha/Paradigm combo. Would appreciate any input or guidance.

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Ricky c

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Posted October 18 2004 - 03:13 PM

what def.techs are you auditionig?Personally i have the def.tech. procinema(promonitor)100's powered thru a rotel rsx1056.This would put you around your budget.The rotel is an awesome receiver.The def.tech's can be mixed and matched they have different sizes from the 80's to the 200's.I upgraded from a marantz sr7000(also a fine receiver.Yoy may want to look into marantz if your dealer has them.

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   AlanZ

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Posted October 18 2004 - 05:05 PM

Chuck:
You are definitely going to be happy with whatever SVS sub is withing your price range. I've had three of them, and each one was just awesome. Also, as far as the Paradigms, I don't know if you can do it within your budget, but consider the Monitor 5 over the mini-monitor if you are going to use your system for music in addition to HT. IMHO, the Montitor 5 and 11 are the class of that particular Paradigm line, and the 5 is a nice improvement in soundstage and impact over the minimonitor.
"Come on you Fockers....CONGA!!!"
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#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Tingwe

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Posted October 19 2004 - 03:39 AM

chuck-h,
are there any stores that you can audition an HK or Marantz in addition to those receivers you mentioned? give'em a try and any of the Internet-direct speakers (Ascend, Rockets, Axiom, et al.)
good luck! Posted Image
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#5 of 10 OFFLINE   chuck-h

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Posted October 19 2004 - 06:12 PM

It sure is aggravating when you go to audition systems and no one around here has got their studios back together from a local home and garden show about two weeks ago. Went today to listen to the Elite/Defenative combo and couldn't. But all the guy wanted to talk about was Bose's new incorporated HT system. Of course he owns Defenative speakers and says they are better than Bose but the Bose is easier to use, won't be dealing with him. There are no local dealers that sell Marantz so I can't hear them.

As far as speakers go, I think I have narrowed but not limited them down to two being the Paradigms and the Boston Acoustics. In the BA I am looking at the CR 75 or 85s, Center is the CRC, and two 6.5 inch in ceiling mounts for rears. Does anyone have an opinion on this setup and a comparison or preferance as to the Paradigms versus the Boston Acoustics. I have heard great things about both and a few negatives as well but never a heads up comparison.

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   MikeDuke

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Posted October 20 2004 - 01:12 AM

I had Def techs(pro 400's)and C/L/R 1000 for a number of years with a Denon reciver. It was a very good set up. This may not change your plan but I thought I would let you know any way.
Have fun Posted Image
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I know what I like when I hear it

#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Peter Jessee

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Posted October 23 2004 - 02:00 PM

Quote:
As far as speakers go, I think I have narrowed but not limited them down to two being the Paradigms and the Boston Acoustics. In the BA I am looking at the CR 75 or 85s, Center is the CRC, and two 6.5 inch in ceiling mounts for rears. Does anyone have an opinion on this setup and a comparison or preferance as to the Paradigms versus the Boston Acoustics. I have heard great things about both and a few negatives as well but never a heads up comparison.


When I was looking for speakers a few years ago, I listened to over 20 different models and brands. The Paradigm Monitor series is VERY good - noticably better than the BA's in my opinion. I ended up with NHT SuperOnes, but I actually liked the Paradigms better. The local Paradigm dealer wouldn't budge off list price, and the NHT guy gave me $100/pair discount. SOLD!

Quote:
I am interested in a system that will be awesome for HT-movies and very good for music rather than vice-versa. My feeling is Klipsch speakers will be great for HT but not so great for music-especially since I will not have carpet or drapes in the room. I know the Paradigms will be great for music, but curious about HT-DVDs, have not heard surround sound in Paradigms yet. Salesman suggested Mini Monitors for fronts(bookshelf), CC 170, and CS-60R or CS-80R for rear in ceiling mounts. I have read that the PDR subs are not as good the more expensive ones in their line, so I will opt for SVS.


You will be happier with the SVS sub rather than the Paradigm PDR series. I think you might want to audition the Klipsch speakers in your room before you buy - without carpets and drapes they can be awfully bright sounding.

If you like the sound of the Yamaha over the Denon, I'd stick with the Yamaha. Both are excellent. Does the Yamaha have the auto-setup feature that the 3805 has? This can make a HUGE difference in how your system sounds in your room, and a 5 minute auto-calibration is much easier than buying a sound meter and spending two hours doing it yourself.

Good luck and have fun!

Peter

#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Shawn Stephens

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Posted November 09 2004 - 05:01 AM

Chuck-
I can offer you some analysis on the BA vs Paradigm topic. I A/B'd the paradigm titan with the BA CR-75. The Boston's typically have a more "out of the box" type sound with high's. This is demonstrated hugely when playing sarah mclaughlin's "sweet surrender" and doing the a/b test. Her voice is accurately represented by the paradigm's, and they sound good; when the boston's are switched on, it just seems to come more alive. This test was done using a Yamaha RX-v1400 receiver and yamaha cd player.
Some more advice on Boston's. I just recently did more auditioning to decide on some upgraded mains. The CR-95's aren't much of an upgrade IMO. The 85's are a bit deeper and fuller sounding. I still prefer my 75's with a sub. Its just so crisp and alive. My choice on the upgrade was the VR1 floorstander with a marantz 5500 receiver. Its just amazing what that can do. Now don't count out the paradigm's, what I'm telling you is just my experience, and you may prefer a different sound. To get what I wanted from the bookshelves, I would have had to get the mini-monitors. They came so close to the boston's but at a higher ticket. They demonstrate great balance and accuracy, but I still liked that live boston sound. Its hard to describe, but I could tell a difference. Bring in a few different tracks and a/b between the mini's and the boston's. You should hear the difference I'm talking about. Then you can see which way you lean. The sales guy told me when it comes down to that, some people say that mini's are more "accurate" and they shy away from the "brightness" of the BA's. I'm a huge music person and I do agree that the boston's could be called a bit bright. But that liveliness is a separate quality, and I prefer it for music. And to me, whatever will satisfy me for music will be just fine for movies.

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Alan Wise

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Posted November 09 2004 - 06:39 AM

Chuck,

I am running a 7.1 system using 6-CR-75's and 1-VRC, all driven by my Denon AVR-3805. I originally was using a CRC as the center and found it to be weak. Since changing over to the VRC my system sounds great. The VRC blends perfectly with the CR-75's. Dialogue is much cleaner.
I too auditioned Paradigm Titans (and Mirages, Polk RTI's, Sapphires)but liked the sound of the CR-75's better.
As others have said, your ears will make your decision for you, so do lots of testing.

Good Luck, Al. Wise
Al Wise
Nashua, NH.

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Jonny_L

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Posted November 09 2004 - 07:06 AM

No ones mentioned it, but as a general rule try to avoid a home theater in a box. They've improved in quality but can't even remotely touch separately bought components for both quality and the ability to perform future upgrades.
Jonathan
DVD Reviewer / News Editor
eyecravedvd.com





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