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Home Theater in a Box vs. seperate speakers and recv'r ??

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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   drew4392



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Posted August 01 2009 - 03:56 AM

My apologies if this has been asked before, but I did search around and could only find a couple of things that touched on the subject. (links are appreciated, too)

For the last five years or so, I have purchased the Home Theaters in a Box type of systems. I just bought my first house, and am getting the A/V itch! I currently have a Panasonic home theater in a box setup in my apartment, but am thinking it might not suffice for a true, quality (to some degree) audio environment.

I am also buying a 50" LCD TV to start things off, so I must do the audio portion right.

Are these home theater systems for $299/$399/$499/$599 sufficient for quality audio that I am striving for? If so, great! I know nothing else so I come to you all for assistance. Or, are these speakers truly junk, the receiver/dvd combo things crap, and I should spring for separates (individual DVD player, receiver, and speakers)??

I am all ears, and appreciate any guidance you can provide!

Budget would be right around the price of a nice HTIB setup. Maybe max at $600-ish?? Is that possible??

Thank you,


#2 of 5 OFFLINE   drew4392



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Posted August 01 2009 - 03:57 AM

Another thought.... does 'The Speaker Company' make a HTIB-type of package that is on par with a decent seperates setup?? Saw some people chatting about that....

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted August 01 2009 - 04:45 AM

While certainly some of the htib's are pretty bad, like those at Walmart, some really aren't that bad. But as always the two big problems with htib's are speaker/subwoofer quality and up-grade/compatability issues. If you truely want better sound then separates are the way to go.

The Speaker Company's packages look like separate speakers and a sub bundled together which is a great way to get a matched setup pretty cheaply. Another option is to look for good used equipment (a bunch of my stuff is fron e-bay/craigslist) or factory refurbished from ac4l.com and others and Polk/Harman Kardon/Klipsch/ etc's e-bay stores. The e-bay stores approach might take a while to collect everything as you have to wait for things to become available but you can save a lot of money in the long run. But whatever and where ever you buy, make sure you get a factory warranty.

Another place to look is AudioAdvisor.com, TheNerds.com, and a little higher up, PSB's from Saturdayaudio.com. There are others as well.

"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.


#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Stephen Tu

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Posted August 01 2009 - 10:19 AM

Separate components, buying receiver, DVD, speaker package separately are nearly always better unless you have severe budget and/or space constraints.  The upper end Onkyo/Yamaha HTiBs omit the DVD and basically are a separate receiver + a speaker package, they are reasonable, but they are costly enough that you might as well go separate.  Also sometimes those receivers are stripped of some setup options.

The Speaker Company doesn't sell HTiBs; they sell speakers and speaker packages.  Picking one of the packages and adding a cheap receiver like the Sony DH700 or Pioneer 519 would be a pretty good way to go at your budget.  I'd do that, or get an Energy Take 5 speaker package with either of those receivers.  Might be hard to get the DVD player also in that budget.  If you are getting a TV, maybe wait until they have a sale that throws in a Blu-ray player.

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   JohnRice


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Posted August 01 2009 - 01:23 PM

You say you have been buying HTiB systems (plural). How many have you bought. My point is, each time you buy a new one are you dumping the old one?  If so, what a waste of money.  I wonder what system you would have now if that had all gone into one system. Just a question.  The very question you asks implies to me you should be going more into pieces.  Don't think of it as buying a complete system, but pieces.  Maybe you should think about spending $600 on a partial upgrade, keeping a piece or two that you can for now and eventually ending up with one much better system rather than several cheap ones.

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.