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Help me help a friend... Alternatives to Bose


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#1 of 10 BrianShort

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Posted November 17 2007 - 11:03 PM

Friend of mine wants to get a Bose 3-2-1 system to hook to his new 50" plasma for his audio. I understand the main reason he wants one is because it's super easy to set up, but I'd like to tactfully steer him in a different direction. It's been awhile since I've looked at HTiB setups, so I really have no idea what is available. Since he's looking at the 3-2-1 already, I will guess his budget is somewhere between $900 and $1400, the price range for 3-2-1 systems I found at Crutchfield.

#2 of 10 Garrett Lundy

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Posted November 18 2007 - 04:41 AM

The Bose is a simple DVD player/2 channel stereo. Sony, Denon, and Panasonic all have similar products, but your friend won't see a significant price or performance advantage. (They all have ridiculously undersized drivers for both satellite and subwoofer).

A stereo receiver, HD DVD player, pair of bookshelf speakers & a subwoofer will outperform the mini-systems in both audio and video playback. With the drawback of only having to press one more power button.

Toshiba HD-A3 $199 (on sale most places)
Onkyo TX-8222 stereo receiver $179 (Crutchfield)
X-Sub $199 (AV123.com)
X-LSBookshelf loudspeakers $165 (AV123.com)
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Total $742 (Plus free HD movies from Toshiba)
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#3 of 10 LanceJ

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Posted November 18 2007 - 07:01 AM

While I think the same way as Garrett as far as the advantages of a separates system like he listed, I've found that a lot of people stubbornly stick to that idea of an all-in-one system. So if you're buddy absolutely positively HAS to have that type of system, I would go with Denon's. The S-101 2.1 system (it leaves out the dvd-audio & sacd playback the more pricey version includes) sounded good to me when Best Buy used to sell it, plus it looks pretty nice. The 8" subwoofer or bass box or whatever one wants to call it sounded full/rich but obviously it won't reach down to frequencies that can shake plates in the kitchen.

#4 of 10 JohnRice

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Posted November 18 2007 - 10:50 AM

A logical option people seem to forget is a 3.1 system, which will be significantly better than 2.1 and very little extra effort. The problem is, the first brand mentioned (usually wishfully) whenever I talk about this stuff is Bose. People are completely hooodwinked by their marketing crap, and it can be a very steep hill to change that.

I would get a matched front speaker set, a decent receiver (in the $350 area) and a GOOD sub. They'll be blown away.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#5 of 10 BrianTwig

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Posted November 19 2007 - 02:32 AM

I would be interested in hearing about some 3.1 system options for the whole package. Receiver, LRC speakers, and possibly the Sub. I am partial to SVS, but the system would be my fathers and he doesn't need to have sub 20hz bass like I do. Thanks!

Budget around $800
My budget system constrained by WAF

JVC HD-ILA HD-52G787
Panasonic DVD-S52K
Marantz SR5600Marantz CC4300NHT IW3s all aroundPureAV PF60SVS PB12-NSD/2

#6 of 10 JohnRice

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Posted November 19 2007 - 03:09 AM

I would look into SVS SBS for the front and a NSD10. Throw in an inexpensive ($200 or so) receiver and you have a very nice system, though it will probably be closer to $1000. Well worth the extra, I think.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#7 of 10 BrianTwig

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Posted November 19 2007 - 05:09 AM

John,

Have been strongly considering the SBS and a PB10. And B-stock provides great deals.

I would prefer he get tower speakers though because of the small grandchildren and dogs that run around and will surely and without quesitons repeatedly knock the speakers and their stands over if bookshelfs are used, and they will need to be on stands most likely.

Also, I know little to nothing about receivers, especially budget ones. What would be some good $300 an under receivers?
My budget system constrained by WAF

JVC HD-ILA HD-52G787
Panasonic DVD-S52K
Marantz SR5600Marantz CC4300NHT IW3s all aroundPureAV PF60SVS PB12-NSD/2

#8 of 10 Phil Taylor

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Posted November 19 2007 - 07:32 AM

You may want to look into the Yamaha YSP-800 digital sound projector. It's one wide "soundbar" type speaker which includes multiple 23 drivers each with its own digital amp and with the optional sub gets remarkably good owner reviews. It would be within your friend's budget as well at around $800 including mounting bracket.
 

#9 of 10 LanceJ

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Posted November 19 2007 - 11:20 AM

Room size would be of help to other members when formulating their advice.

#10 of 10 BrianShort

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Posted November 19 2007 - 08:39 PM

I've forwarded the suggestion of the Yamaha sound projector, as I believe he would like a simple setup like this one. It's gotta be better than Bose anyway. I'll also suggest the idea of a few satellites, sub, and inexpensive receiver.