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$500-600 budget on Home Theater System


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#1 of 34 OFFLINE   Tysonmccrary

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Posted September 13 2009 - 01:07 PM

Hi, I am new to this forum so I hope this is the right section for the "what would be a system that will fit my needs." First off, I have a 56" Toshiba (I believe it's tube projected) and I have a Panasonic 5.1 home theater system that i've been using and it's just no where loud enough for me so it's time to upgrade.
I obviously would like to spend the least amount possible and get big sound, "best bang for your buck" situation, I was hoping that I could keep a budget of $500-600 and get either a 6.1 or 7.1 if possible, I would need the amp, speakers, subs, wiring, etc. Would it be best to buy the theater system in a package or get the receiver and purchase speakers individually?

I am looking for a system that will give me crisp clear sound for movies to where you feel like you're in the movie and to where it can get plenty loud to be heard throughout the house and possible shake the theater room a bit.



#2 of 34 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted September 14 2009 - 12:57 AM

I'm not sure on the details of what you want but to shake the theater room, you will need to spend your $500 budget on just the sub.  $500 will get you a starter HTiB (Home Theater In a Box) but to hear it throughout the house you better have a very small house.  Others can give you specific models but I suggest you lower your expectations.

-Robert

#3 of 34 OFFLINE   jallen013

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Posted September 14 2009 - 01:39 AM

i concur with Robert_J.  if you want to "shake the theater room a bit" you're looking at dropping your entire system budget on a sub.  SVS's new little sub is priced at $570 right now.

a quick review of what's available in the HTiB market leads me to believe that the low-good price point is right around $1000.


#4 of 34 OFFLINE   Tysonmccrary

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Posted September 14 2009 - 01:51 PM

What would be a good system for around $500-600 that would still get loud and sound good. So far the systems that I like is the Onkyo S6100, Samsung HT-BD1250 . Would there be any other systems in my budget that would beat the quality of either of these?


#5 of 34 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted September 14 2009 - 10:09 PM

Can you give us a link to the Panasonic system you currently have or post the model number?  My concern is that you are going to end up making a lateral move which would essentially be a waste of money.  Depending on which HTiB you currently have, there may be an option to upgrade part of your existing system to get to, or start moving toward, what you are really looking for.


#6 of 34 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted September 14 2009 - 10:56 PM

Seth makes a good point, there may be a way to upgrade and get you there.  But barring that, it'll generally take about $1000 ($400 receiver, $600 speakers) to get a decent system that approaches what you describe. 

Also, how big is your room, and how is it decorated (open/closed, rugs and curtains, etc). 

You should probably stay within 5.1.  There's not a whole lot of material out there for 6.1 or 7.1 and you can get great sound from a 5.1 system.

#7 of 34 OFFLINE   Tysonmccrary

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Posted September 15 2009 - 12:33 AM

My current system is the Panasonic SC-HT80. The room it will temporarily go into is about 15' long x 15' wide with a 8' ceiling, but the room it will eventually end up in is 18' wide x 25' long 8' ceiling, has 2 windows behind the tv and one on the side wall 10' from the tv, all have blinds, and two couches in the room.


#8 of 34 OFFLINE   Tysonmccrary

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Posted September 15 2009 - 12:48 AM

Also would it be smartest to get a receiver that can play blu ray so I don't have to buy one later down the road?


#9 of 34 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted September 15 2009 - 01:06 AM

Receivers don't play any type of disc.  A receiver includes a radio tuner, amplifier section, audio processing and source switching. 

#10 of 34 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted September 15 2009 - 04:42 AM


Quote:
Also would it be smartest to get a receiver that can play blu ray so I don't have to buy one later down the road? 
You're referring to a Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) which bundles all the pieces you need in one piece of hardware and throws in speakers to boot.  No, the forum generally steers people away from HTiBs.  They are generally lesser quality, you can't pick your speakers, and if one of the components breaks you have to replace the whole thing (in addition you can't upgrade a single component).  Onkyo offers some HTiBs that are really just a collection of separates; they are worth looking at.  But you'll get a system you'll be most happy with if you look at each piece separately.

As for your  upgrading you're current set-up, I don't think that's worth it.

Normally I'd recommend something like this:  (these are just examples, not best deals)

http://www.jr.com/on...pe/ONK_TXSR607/ and http://www.jr.com/po...io/pe/POK_RM95/ 

or this if you want the HTiB approach: http://www.jr.com/on...ONK_HTS9100THX/

The problem is you're original post seems to be pushing the upper envelope, requiring full size speakers and more power.  And your room size, particularly the second one, calls for more umph.  The examples I posted would be a definite improvement over what you have, and you may be happy with just that upgrade. But you have to decide how far you want to "plenty loud to be heard throughout the house and possible shake the theater room a bit.".  (For what it's worth, the subs in the links will at least shake the room, if not the house.)

Give us an idea whther you are more driven by the cash or the audio goals and we can come up with better recommendations.

#11 of 34 OFFLINE   Tysonmccrary

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Posted September 15 2009 - 11:55 AM

Well I am driven by the audio, but for the moment I can only spend about $600 at most on an audio system. I really like the Onkyo HT-S9100THX but It is $250 over my budget, I also really like that 7.2 receiver.

I guess I would like to put a system together since you said it will probably give me better quality than a HTiB, or would it be best to just save up until I couldget a receiver like that Onkyo 7.2 and then buy speakers/sub for it? If it would be best to save up my money, then I wouldn't feel comfortable spending much over $750 on a system, but a 5.1 was also suggested and that would make the price go down quite a bit as well, so if a 5.1 would sound just as good then I mind as well just go that route, and spend the cash on better speakers, right?



#12 of 34 OFFLINE   Tysonmccrary

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Posted September 15 2009 - 12:10 PM

Here is a link I found with Klipsch speakers. Would this be worth buying?

Klipsch Speakers: www.ksl.com/index.php




#13 of 34 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted September 15 2009 - 01:35 PM

Not without auditioning them first.  Take your own CD's so you are familiar with the music.  If they sound funny as in scratchiness or the highs aren't there (Klipsch has has treble with those horn tweeters) then pass.  Make sure the cabinets are in good condition.  No water damage or anything.

#14 of 34 OFFLINE   Tysonmccrary

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Posted September 15 2009 - 04:27 PM

One of my friends recommended a couple systems to me, I know it isn't going to shake anything, but will either of these sets still be able to still get loud the and sound good in the 18' x 25' room with 8' ceilings?

www.thenerds.net/SONY.Sony_HTSS360_Home_Theater_System.HTSS360.html

I can pick it up locally brand new for $200.


www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm

Can get this one for around $430 (did research on this one and it had good reviews for watching movies)


Sorry for all the possibilities I'm throwin out there. I just want to get a good deal and be satisfied. I am looking for a system though that I can keep around for a few years and still be satisfied with which is why I'm throwing out all these possibilities.



#15 of 34 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted September 15 2009 - 11:45 PM

Only you know if you will be satisfied.  If it were me I know they wouldn't satisfy me because I've heard what quality speakers sound like.  It's the difference between listening to an audio system and listening to an artist.  I know that isn't a good explanation but when you hear it, it will start to make sense.  Go listen to as many different systems as you can.  Try every level from Wal-Mart to Best Buy to Magnolia Hi-Fi to your local high end shops.  I bet if you told them you had never heard a high end system they would be more than happy to show you one.  Heck, if you lived in the area I'd let you come by and hear the speakers I built.

HTiB systems cut corners and the most savings are in the speakers.  Quality speakers are heavy and well made.  HTiB speakers are plastic.  Most of us spend the bulk of our budget on speakers because they can last a lifetime.  Electronics change.  Source units change.  There has not been a drastic change in electromechanical transducer technology in decades.  I'd LOVE to get some Klipschorns even though they were designed in the 1950's.

-Robert

#16 of 34 OFFLINE   Tysonmccrary

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Posted September 16 2009 - 12:46 AM

I will go listen to some at wal mart and best buy this weekend, not sure of any Magnolia Hi Fi shops around here though. I really appreciate your advice Robert, it's very helpful! 


#17 of 34 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted September 16 2009 - 03:25 AM

Check this "setup on a budget" system out.

Onkyo 507 - Currently $328 at Amazon.  http://www.amazon.co...3114078&sr=1-47

Fluance SXHTB - $299 - http://www.fluance.c...uan5speaks.html

With shipping and cheap cables this will put you just over your budget.  The receiver is one of the best bargains around.  It has 4 HDMI inputs for future expansion and it decodes the HD formats if you decide to get a Blu-Ray player.  

The speakers are my "budget" favorites.  I lived with these for about 2 years. I did have a very nice Velodyne sub that cost more than the speakers, but the Fluance by themselves sounded pretty good.

Now this won't shake the room (only a decent sub can do that), but it will play loud and, if setup properly (ask for help when you get your gear), it should play clear and crisp.  You get 30 days to demo the speakers if you decide you do not like them....

Save up for a decent sub (at least $500) to add later.


#18 of 34 OFFLINE   Tysonmccrary

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Posted September 16 2009 - 04:20 AM

I would have to agree with you David Willow, those speakers look very nice and same with the receiver. I think you might have me sold on that setup. Looks great, price seems great, and I will just have to find me a sub. Where on the internet could I look at subs and how much power will the receiver put out for the sub woofer? Is a powered subwoofer the best way to go? If I were to get a 12" sub, would that drowned out the speakers?

#19 of 34 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted September 16 2009 - 04:29 AM

Checkout internet direct sites that specialize in subs.  My favorite is SVS - http://www.svsound.c...ducts-sub.cfm. 

The sub will come with its own amp built in.  The receiver just passes the signal.  The sub, no matter how big, will not drown out your speakers when it is properly calibrated.  The Onkyo has a built in Auto EQ (Audyssey) to help set it up properly.  

One more thing I should add...  The Fluance speakers, while being a huge improvement over typical HTiB speakers, will not be 'top of the line'.  They are still budget speakers.  But for the price, IMO they can not be beat. 



#20 of 34 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted September 16 2009 - 04:32 AM

Check out the Speakers and Subs section here to find what we recommend.

A powered sub is the ONLY way to go since receivers only have a pre-amp level sub output.

You could use a dozen subs and not down out your speakers if you properly calibrate your system.  In fact, my main speakers are a lot smaller than the Fluance speakers in that link and my sub uses dual 15's and a 2,400w amp.  I have spent many, many hours making sure that my subs are properly integrated into the rest of the system.  I'm working on a quad 18" sub to replace the dual 15's.

-Robert