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First home theater system

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#1 of 18 Ed2426



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Posted July 21 2008 - 07:22 AM

Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum and would like some help on the basics of a system.

Current inputs
Xbox 360
computer (for the moment just audio)

Future inputs
upconverter dvd player
blueray/hd dvd player (cheap way to get hi-def with hd)

olevia 32 inch lcd

future output
projector (720p)

Xbox logitech harmony

Dimensions from my estimation:

I am moving in to a new house and would like to put in a home theater system for my room. I have access to the best buy discount as an employee. So I'm looking at the best buy website to look up receivers and speakers.

Potential receiver:
Pioneer VSX-918V

thinking, two standing, two bookshelf, one center and a sub.

Trying to stay around 600. So, if the whole system cost around 1000 with online pricing I should be able to get it for my target price.

#2 of 18 Ed Moxley

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Posted July 22 2008 - 01:07 AM

The Pioneer receiver you mentioned, doesn't take advantage of the HD audio formats found on Blu ray/HD DVD movies. Your best bet for that, of the stuff y'all sell, is the Yamaha RX-V663.

Of the speakers y'all sell, maybe some Polk or JBL will fit the bill. Just listen to the ones in your price range, and get the ones that sound best.
Good luck!
Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#3 of 18 Ed2426



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Posted July 22 2008 - 03:41 AM

Ok, these are the speakers I'm thinking about so far.

Polk Audio CS10 BLACK

Front 2 speakers
Polk Audio TSI300 BLACK

Back 2 speakers
Polk Audio TSI100 BLACK

Polk Audio PSW110 BLACK

Can add two more later on for the 7 channel receiver.

I think this will be a bit out of my price range. Do you guys have a recommendation on whether these speakers sound well?

#4 of 18 Robert_J


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Posted July 22 2008 - 05:00 AM

Speakers that sound great to one person may sound crappy to another. It's a very personal thing as everyone hears differently.

Subs are a different story though. It's all about moving air. Look at some internet direct subs like Hsu, SVS, Epik or ED. Any of those will give you a better bang for the money than a Polk sold at discount.


#5 of 18 chuckg


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Posted July 22 2008 - 07:02 AM

The OP says "budget ~ $600" so I don't think he'll be getting Hsu or SVS subs. Realistically, we are talking about a pretty basic small system of speakers and receiver for that price.

The best thing to do is to go to some stores, and listen to some speakers. Every dollar spent on speakers is worth at least $10 in receiver...meaning lean toward getting better speakers to get better sound, or plan to upgrade your speakers sometime soon.
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#6 of 18 Ed2426



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Posted July 22 2008 - 09:36 AM

Ok, I rather save money in a way and do it right the first time instead of buying something and then upgrading. I think I'll try to get two quality standing speakers, the receiver and a potentially a center speaker with the 600.

After these 3 speakers are purchased, I will go after a quality sub.

Let me know what you guys think.

#7 of 18 Ed2426



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Posted July 23 2008 - 01:38 AM

Well, I think I'll be looking into these two speakers, the Klipsch F-3. Is this a high quality speaker because I see that this brand is recommended in the speaker forum, I'm not sure on this particular model though. Also, would I have to upgrade the receiver in order to get better sound out of it? Thanks for your help guys.

#8 of 18 chuckg


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Posted July 23 2008 - 01:52 AM

You are thinking well - get two speakers and add on as your budget allows. Instedad of the center speaker, get a better receiver so that you don't have to replace that expensive piece too soon. OR, save some money now, and get a cheap one that you can sell on ?bay later.

Even a modest-price receiver will produce good sound. It may lack the power to really crank it up, but electronics are easy to build and fairly cheap. Down the road you may crave more power, but as long as you don't need it now you'll be fine.

Of course, a more expensive receiver may sound better, but as I mentioned before, one dollar more spent on speakers is the equivalent of ten dollars more (or more!) spent on a receiver - what this means is that better electronics cost significanlty more than decent electronics. Better speakers cost only a little more than poor speakers.

Klipsch is a well-respected brand. Have a listen to some speakers before you plunk down your money, though. Some speakers sound too harsh or bright to some people, and other speakers sound too muffled or dull to other people. Personal preference is your only guide there!

Have fun with this little obsession....I started with a $95 Harmon Kardon stereo from a pawn shop, and 20 years later I have about $6000 worth of stuff.
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#9 of 18 chuckg


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Posted July 23 2008 - 02:08 AM

I wanted to mess with your head and give you an alternative, just to think about.

If you really want to get the whole surround sound experience going, and aren't terribly picky about sound quality, you may want to look at a "Home Theater in a Box." I know, this sounds like a terrible idea compared to what you've been thinking.

However, I installed a $450 Onkyo system for my dad, and it is better than I expected. He has a 7.1 system with decent quality, and my collection cost over ten times that, but probably isn't ten times better to the casual listener.

You can always sell a used HTiB for half what you paid, and for a couple years you get to enjoy reasonable surround sound and a subwoofer.
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#10 of 18 Ed2426



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Posted July 23 2008 - 05:12 AM

I am going to have a good paying fulltime job when 09 begins, so I think I will start off getting the best components I can get, slowing building. If I was just starting in college I would go with the HTIB route. A very valid point tho.

If I do go with those speakers what type of output what I need for each speaker? Do I want something with 150 rms or would i need an amp for that?

#11 of 18 chuckg


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Posted July 23 2008 - 07:11 AM

A receiver is also the amplifier...I'm not sure where you are getting the "150 rms" so I can't comment on what it means. Any receiver should do to power the speakers....as long as the impedance ( 4 ohm, 8 ohm) of the speakers is equal to or higher than the minimum impedance requirement of the receiver.

Higher power out (stated is watts) is generally better, except that the makers of the equipment use the statitics to lie. 100 watts on one amp is not the same as 100 watts on another amp....because they measure the output at different "total harmonic distortion" levels.

In short, a 100W amp with 1% THD is worse than a 100W amp with .01% THD

watts high, THD low is what you want.

Don't get too hung up on the watts, though. You need ten times the watts to double (approximately) the perceived loudness. A 100 watt amp is only marginally less powerful than a 130 watt amp.

Oh, the fun has only just begun......
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#12 of 18 Enigmatism415



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Posted July 23 2008 - 08:01 AM

In addition to the importance of speaker quality, Just set some ground rules for yourself on which digital audio decoders are necessary in your receiver. Yes, 7.1 is the "newest and best" out there, but there isn't a lot of media with native 7.1 or even 6.1 sound encoded. That having been said, 5.1 is still truly the standard and what is most rewarding for the money at this point. However, a common mistake people make when judging the quality of a receiver as it applies to surround sound is only looking at the number of channels it outputs. What is more important, at least in my opinion, is the actual quality of audio per channel, regardless of how many are present. By quality I simply mean bit-depth and sample-rate, which are in my opinion equally important even though players and titles make a bigger deal about sample-rate for some odd reason. You want a receiver capable of at least 24-bit 96khz resolution. Standard 16bit 48khz is perfectly fine, but you'll find more titles in 24/96 than you will in 6.1 and 7.1, and you may hear a small, but pleasant increase in quality. In fact, most Bluray movies featuring Dolby TruHD and DTS HD Master Audio are only 5.1, but with a resolution of 24/96 on each channel (Some even have six 24/96 discreet PCM channels, which is better than the encoded DTS and Dolby formats). Any resolution above 24/96 (Like outrageous 32bit/192khz formats) is unnecessary, it honestly will not sound better since your ears cannot detect the difference. You can find a lot of inexpensive receivers that will do 5.1 surround sound with 24bit 96khz resolution, while not completely necessary, it's a great choice. After all, without good digital resolution, what good are fantastic analogue speakers?

P.S. If you buy a half-way decent BluRay player, forget about the upscaling DVD player, your BD player will do it too and better (to 1080p).

#13 of 18 Mendoza



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Posted July 25 2008 - 09:15 PM

In terms of a quality/budget receiver, I know the Onkyo TX-SR605 can be got for about $300 at this point. This receiver, along with the higher models (e.g. 606) in the line, has received a lot of positive attention since it was released. That's because it's an excellent receiver for the price. It's well future-proofed, well-designed, very customizable, sounds great, and is still facing little competition from other receivers with comparable features available in the sub-$400 price bracket; (which isn't to say there aren't other options, it's just that this is one of the better ones).

In terms of the speakers the only basic recommendations I'll make is to start out with the front speakers (plus or followed by a subwoofer), then get the center channel and surrounds at the same time. I'm just mentioning this because you said you were thinking about getting the fronts and the center first, giving you a 3.0 sound system which won't benefit movie soundtracks which go from stereo (2.0/2.1) to surround (4.1) to 5.1 to 6.1 to 7.1. And, as you probably already are aware, make sure all your speakers (except the subwoofer, which is nice if it matches but usually not necessary) are from the same company (and preferably from the same line).
Shop around.

#14 of 18 Ed2426



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Posted July 28 2008 - 01:55 PM

Current receiver I'm considering is the Yamaha V663. It seems to fit my needs and provide good quality sound for the price. Remember I'm not paying retail here, more than likely something close to 350.

I went to magnolia home theater section today, and heard the
Klipsch WF-35
Definitive BP7006
Definitive ProCinema 60

couldn't hear the F3's today, they're not working.

I liked the Klipsch's but they were rather bright for everyday listening. I did like them tho. The BP7006 did blow me away, which the amount of bass they were producing and they were very clear too. The procinema 60 speakers were plently for everyday listening, and the person that works in magnolia suggested I go with this package and later on add the two bp7006. I can also see myself getting tired of the sub rather quickly in this package.

I'm up in the air right now. I'd like to get people's opinions on what they've done in the past. Remember, bestbuy equipment suggestions

#15 of 18 Ed2426



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Posted July 31 2008 - 02:26 AM

I am planning on getting the speakers this weeked. Any further advice on what speakers to get will be helpful. This site has been a great aid.

#16 of 18 Hotnicks



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Posted August 19 2008 - 06:30 AM

Do you mind posting what you decided to get, and what you think of them (the speakers)?

Also, did you go with the Yamaha V663?

#17 of 18 craig_curtis


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Posted August 20 2008 - 02:19 AM

keep the boxes, and audition at home. A store like BB is usually a pretty terrible place to hear a speaker. You need to hear it in YOUR house. What sounds fine in the showroom might fall apart in your tv room. So I would take the speakers home, hook them up and play some movies/music you like. If you don't like speaker A, then return and get speaker B. Different speakers also sounds different with different receivers too.

the yamaha is probably a good choice. for the speakers, klipsch are too bright for my taste. Haven't really heard the polks. I bought some JBL at BB a few years back and they sound decent. I have Paradigms now, so I can't help you much with what the current offerings are. (just stay away from Bose!)
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#18 of 18 CoolCatbro


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Posted August 21 2008 - 01:06 AM

Originally Posted by chuckg

Have fun with this little obsession....I started with a $95 Harmon Kardon stereo from a pawn shop, and 20 years later I have about $6000 worth of stuff.

lol.... Posted Image