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Low cost options?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 jr9303

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Posted July 14 2009 - 03:18 PM

Hello

I'm a student will soon be moving into an apartment to start college life. I would like to have some sort of sound system for playing music as well as listening to tv . Unfortunately I only have 200$ - 300 tops to spend on the whole system. Built in dvd would be nice but not completely needed would also enjoy an ipod dock but again not completely needed

What can you guys suggest?

Remember this is a small space... I will sue it to listen to music in the living room dining room and kitchen... combined this area is less than 500 square feet.



Thank you!

Steven



#2 of 10 AudioENG

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Posted July 14 2009 - 04:11 PM


How about one of these:
http://www.bestbuy.c...agetype=listing

I like the sony mini systems, they're compact but have pretty good sound for the price.  The MHCEC79i has an i pod dock and is a reasonable price.  It'd be hard to find something else without spending a lot more money that would sound a lot better.  Also this would leave you plenty of money to buy a seperate dvd player.  It looks like it also has an input for TV sound.  You would need to use something like this to hook up from the tv to the stereo system. 

http://www.bestbuy.c...d=1218062425208

Or you could spend closer to your $300 max and get an all in one dvd home theater system.
http://www.bestbuy.c...0&type=category

But I think you'd end up liking the sound from the shelf system better if you are going to be primarily listening to music, plus it's only 2 speakers as oppose to 5 plus a sub in a small area.


#3 of 10 MaxL

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Posted July 15 2009 - 04:22 AM

 For a shelf system in your budget I like this one shipped for $300.

I would rather piece together a system.  This way each component will be useable with other pieces and can be mixed and matched as you upgrade.

There are lots of speakers to choose from but I think for your budget the tops on my list would be:
From audio advisor - energy c100 or c200 bookshelves or the old athena bookshelves.  any of these could become surround speakers in a later 5.1 or 7.1 setup.

From CSW, the Model 6.  A real value IMO.  I'm listening to a pair right now.  They are not small!  currently running a 25% off promo so speakers are down to $112+/-.

There are many more options including BIC speakers from parts express, pioneer or sony bookshelves for under $100/pr, ebay, amazon, etc.

There are powered speakers like the audioengine guys that will require no external amplification.  The A2's are $200 and the bigger and more powerful A5's are $350, a stretch for your budget.

For amplification you might try something like this.  It is available from partsexpress for less but I thought the amazon user review raised some important issus.

Partsexpress is a great source for cheap parts or components.  there's an audiosource amp there that's out of stock right now that could fit your bill as well for about $80.

For an external cd/dvd i don't think this marantz can be beat.  It has too many plusses to list.  The one real downside to this piece is that it is slow loading - it takes the better part of 15 seconds to load, spin up and start playing a cd.  its about $80 shipped.

Good luck



HT: Marantz SR8000, PSB Alpha B fronts, Alpha C center, CSW Newton S200 surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo Sub, Marantz DVD, Sony CRT TV

Stereos include vintage Sony receivers/amps into vintage AR and KEF speakers.

#4 of 10 jr9303

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Posted July 16 2009 - 12:34 AM

Wow thank you for the replies il have to look into those options and see what is available here in Canada. I guess the mini stereo systems would be better than a 5.1 system?



#5 of 10 AudioENG

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Posted July 16 2009 - 12:51 PM

I think for your budget and what you are looking for a mini system is perfect.  You have to be kinda careful with the 5.1 systems, it's better to build one from scratch over time (unless you have all the money at once).  Plus I don't think the sound quality from a $200-$300 5.1 would sound as good as a mini system for music playback.



#6 of 10 jr9303

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Posted July 17 2009 - 02:03 PM

Hello

I now have 2 new options id like to consider

Panasonic SC PT 750

and

Panasonic SC PT 950


I know these system are above my original budget but my dad has agreed to help me out if and pay the difference if i pick one of the above systems.
would these give acceptable sound quality? In the future it may also open up the possibility of adding another wireless module and having music in the bedroom.




#7 of 10 jairus

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Posted July 17 2009 - 03:35 PM

Search Craigslist for Athena speakers. YOu should be able to find some great deals on the F1/F2 models. 
Just my 2 cents.


#8 of 10 Stephen Tu

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Posted July 17 2009 - 03:49 PM

If you are going that route get the newer SC-PT770, for a bit over $300.  Those older models are lacking a digital input for an external component (e.g. cable box).  I think it's fine as long as you are < $350.  Once you approach $500 or so you are really better off looking at separate receiver + speaker systems, or just receiver + a few speakers you'll add on to later.


#9 of 10 MaxL

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Posted July 17 2009 - 05:07 PM

 my 2¢...

i wouldn't waste my time or money on a panny HTiB.  it'd not a bad brand and the HTiB's do get you into the game with all you need, but you do sacrifice 2 things - 1, quality and 2, upgradability.  

if your priority is having surround sound and it sounds okay to you, go for it.  (by all means, go listen before you buy.)  but for the same money, you can get something that will sound much better as a 2.0 or 2.1 system and upgrade, trade and add over time to get to what you ultimately want.  with most HTiB's the speakers and avr's are designed to work together but not necessarily with separate pieces from other brands or even other lines within the same brand.

i'd go pick up stuff on ebay - a nice used 2-channel receiver for about $100-$150 shipped and pair of similarly priced bookshelf speakers and a dvd player with a few cables and that's $300-$400 and it will sound a lot better than your HTiB...IMO...
good luck

HT: Marantz SR8000, PSB Alpha B fronts, Alpha C center, CSW Newton S200 surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo Sub, Marantz DVD, Sony CRT TV

Stereos include vintage Sony receivers/amps into vintage AR and KEF speakers.

#10 of 10 AudioENG

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Posted July 18 2009 - 06:56 AM

I tend to agree.  I think there's very limited applications where a HTiB is the solution.  If I was doing this, I'd probably go with a nice receiver and bookshelf speakers, then I'd be able to customize down the road and keep building on.  One thing I would hate is getting stuck with something that sounds just "OK" and not being able to add on and upgrade later.  Starting off with a nice receiver is never a bad idea becase you will have it for years to come and be able use it in almost any application you want.

But if this is not your intention and you think you'll be satisfied with a ready to go 5.1 system then go listen to them and see which one sounds the best to you.  Bring along some of your own music to test.