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#1 of 48 OFFLINE   SeanK325

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Posted January 31 2011 - 07:47 PM

Hi everyone,


I'm looking to buy a home theater system. I've never owned one before and have been trying to do a lot of research. Unfortunately, I come up with a difference answer every time I look for one. I'm not looking to spend a boatload. Something $300 and less would be nice.

- I have a 60" Sony LED

- Playstation 3

- HD Cable Box


That's about it. I watch a lot of basketball and football and am a PS3 addict. I'm not much of a movie guy, but I do enjoy loud action packed movies.


I was looking at something by Onkyo, namely the S3300. It's in my price range on amazon and has a lot of great reviews. Although, I'm open to anything. I'm more interested in sound quality over aesthetic factors. So an outdated looking receiver like Onkyo's are fine with me. Function > Form.


Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'd be willing to maybe go slightly out of my price range, but it can't be much.


Thanks!



#2 of 48 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted January 31 2011 - 10:31 PM

The 3300 has a passive sub woofer meaning it's powered by the receiver. Ac4l.com has a factory refurbished 5300, which has a powered sub, for $319 + shipping but they only have one left. Don't worry too much about the factory refurb thing. We recommend them around here all the time and have never heard a bad word about them. And new products malfunction right out of the box somestimes as well.


A powered sub really takes the strain off the receiver. Low frequencies are harder to drive.


"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.
 
 

 


#3 of 48 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted January 31 2011 - 10:55 PM

You didn't mention room size.  If you're in a dorm or small bedroom you would be okay with something like the 3300.  Otherwise, if you don't go the refurb or used route you won't get anything decent in that price range.  It would be preferable to wait as long as necessary to get something along the lines of the 5300.



#4 of 48 OFFLINE   CB750

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Posted February 01 2011 - 04:51 AM

Welcome Sean


For a few dollars more I would recommend the 5300 over the 3300.   With a $300 budget you are at rock bottom to find anything that would have the type of connections that would work best with the equipment you have and might want to add.   It is for this reason we tend to recommend the Onkyo line of HTib.


I am a bit curious about your comments. While subjective in nature you say 'I watch a lot of basketball and football and am a PS3 addict. I'm not much of a movie guy, but I do enjoy loud action packed movies. "


I hope your expectations for either the 3300 or the 5300 are not to high as they may not meet your expectations.  You have some high end equipment with a 60" Sony,  PS3, and monthly HD service.  But you have budgeted $300 for your surround system.  In my opinion half of the HT experiece is the wonderful surround audio that complements your video display.   You might want to listen to a 3300 or 5300 to see if it floats your boat and meets your expecations.






#5 of 48 OFFLINE   SeanK325

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Posted February 01 2011 - 07:46 AM



Originally Posted by gene c 

The 3300 has a passive sub woofer meaning it's powered by the receiver. Ac4l.com has a factory refurbished 5300, which has a powered sub, for $319 + shipping but they only have one left. Don't worry too much about the factory refurb thing. We recommend them around here all the time and have never heard a bad word about them. And new products malfunction right out of the box somestimes as well.


A powered sub really takes the strain off the receiver. Low frequencies are harder to drive.



I don't have a problem with refurbished items. I usually prefer factory refurbs unless I can find a new one at similar prices.



Originally Posted by Al.Anderson 

You didn't mention room size.  If you're in a dorm or small bedroom you would be okay with something like the 3300.  Otherwise, if you don't go the refurb or used route you won't get anything decent in that price range.  It would be preferable to wait as long as necessary to get something along the lines of the 5300.



Just measured my room. it's 15.5x20 with the couch against the 15.5 ft wall. I actually found a guy selling the speakers and sub from his 5300 for $100. it sounds like a good deal, but i don't know enough to figure which receiver I'd need to match it with.



Originally Posted by CB750 

Welcome Sean


For a few dollars more I would recommend the 5300 over the 3300.   With a $300 budget you are at rock bottom to find anything that would have the type of connections that would work best with the equipment you have and might want to add.   It is for this reason we tend to recommend the Onkyo line of HTib.


I am a bit curious about your comments. While subjective in nature you say 'I watch a lot of basketball and football and am a PS3 addict. I'm not much of a movie guy, but I do enjoy loud action packed movies. "


I hope your expectations for either the 3300 or the 5300 are not to high as they may not meet your expectations.  You have some high end equipment with a 60" Sony,  PS3, and monthly HD service.  But you have budgeted $300 for your surround system.  In my opinion half of the HT experiece is the wonderful surround audio that complements your video display.   You might want to listen to a 3300 or 5300 to see if it floats your boat and meets your expecations.





I don't have sky-high expectations from the 3300, especially when it's only about $270. I just wanted something that'll sound great. I've listened to the 3300 and I'm happy with it. One of my issues right now is the passive/active sub. I would be willing to save some more money to get the 5300 if it's worth it.



Thanks for all the replies. Keep them coming!



#6 of 48 OFFLINE   CB750

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Posted February 01 2011 - 11:01 AM

The reason that you can get those speakers from a 5300 is the fact that the owner is upgrading to better speakers that can be used with his 5300 receiver.  This is the reason we suggested to go with an Onkyo in the first place.  So if you spend $100 on used 5300 speakers you have $279 left to try to find a 7.1 receiver.  That would be possible if you purchased the Onkyo 508 for $247.  So you need to compare the features of the two receivers to determine if you are getting a better deal vs buying a 5300 new for $379.



#7 of 48 OFFLINE   SeanK325

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Posted February 01 2011 - 11:10 AM



Originally Posted by CB750 

The reason that you can get those speakers from a 5300 is the fact that the owner is upgrading to better speakers that can be used with his 5300 receiver.  This is the reason we suggested to go with an Onkyo in the first place.  So if you spend $100 on used 5300 speakers you have $279 left to try to find a 7.1 receiver.  That would be possible if you purchased the Onkyo 508 for $247.  So you need to compare the features of the two receivers to determine if you are getting a better deal vs buying a 5300 new for $379.



Yeah he stated he just upgraded. I had Onkyo in mind from the very beginning, and it looks like that seems to be the best option for a HTiB. The 508 and the receiver from the 5300 seem identical. Forgive me for not being tech inclined. If they're almost the same, I'd rather spend the extra 30-50 and buy a new set.


Also, seeing as how my couch is against the wall, wouldn't a 7.1 be too much? I don't have the ability to put speakers behind the couch. I can, however, possibly put them on the side.



#8 of 48 OFFLINE   wiredawg

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Posted February 03 2011 - 06:03 AM

Check out this link. http://www.dolby.com...uide/index.html You could set it up as 5.1 surround and use the other 2 speakers set up as zone 2 in another room or in the same room then you can listen to your own music on them while gaming in 5.1.



#9 of 48 OFFLINE   SeanK325

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Posted February 05 2011 - 07:10 AM



Originally Posted by wiredawg 

Check out this link. http://www.dolby.com...uide/index.html You could set it up as 5.1 surround and use the other 2 speakers set up as zone 2 in another room or in the same room then you can listen to your own music on them while gaming in 5.1.



link is great! it's got the perfect blueprint to setting up the speakers with degree of angle and all. i'm bookmarking that one.



#10 of 48 OFFLINE   SeanK325

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Posted February 05 2011 - 07:13 AM

ok, with a budget of under 300, i'm having trouble finding something worthwhile.


say I bumped my budget to about $400. What quality HTiB can I find?



#11 of 48 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted February 05 2011 - 08:12 AM

Another option would be the Onkyo-508 refurb ($189.99) and the Onkyo-SKS/HT-540 speaker package ($169.99). Not sure how this would compare to the 5300 refurb for $319 but for $400 or less an Onkyo receiver/speaker package is still your best bet.


"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.
 
 

 


#12 of 48 OFFLINE   SeanK325

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Posted February 05 2011 - 05:19 PM



Originally Posted by gene c 

Another option would be the Onkyo-508 refurb ($189.99) and the Onkyo-SKS/HT-540 speaker package ($169.99). Not sure how this would compare to the 5300 refurb for $319 but for $400 or less an Onkyo receiver/speaker package is still your best bet.



is it a problem that the 540 speaker system is older tech? it seems like most, or all of Onkyo's systems are at least a few yrs old.


also, where are you finding the refurbs at that price?


is the ht-750 a better system?



#13 of 48 OFFLINE   SeanK325

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Posted February 05 2011 - 05:38 PM

what about brands other than Onkyo?


Polk RM6750

Yamaha NS-SP1800BL






#14 of 48 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted February 06 2011 - 01:49 AM

Speakers haven't advanced the way electronics have over the years unless you spend a awfull lot of money. The electronics are up-dated just about every year but speakers can last longer in the market. And there's nothing wrong with buying speakers that are a few years old. BTW, in my living room I'm using an 8 year old Harman Kardon 7200 receiver with speakers that I bought 5 years ago and were designed over 10 years ago and I think the whole thing sounds great. I don't feel the need to upgrade either one. Matched with an OPPO 83SE BR player it's a very nice system.


I haven't heard the Onkyo ht-750 but it looks to be form over function. I think they designed it to be flat panel friendly first and formost. But again, I haven't heard it yet.


AC4L.com is where those refurbs are coming from. Just click on the little blue links.


 I would take the 6750 over that Yamaha but both neither of those subs aren't even as good as the Onkyo one's, and that ain't saying a whole lot. But a good sub starts at about $150-200 by itself and a really good one $350-400. And that's just where they start.


"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.
 
 

 


#15 of 48 OFFLINE   SeanK325

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Posted February 24 2011 - 01:04 PM

been away for a while. still looking for a system. I've discontinued my interest in the Onkyo S3300 due to the passive sub. However, the 5300 has caught my attention. what's everyone's opinion on that?


#16 of 48 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted February 25 2011 - 01:48 AM

At that price point, the 5300 is hard to beat.  It's a decent overall system and a great way to get started.  It has a full-featured receiver and will work with other speakers should you choose to upgrade in the future.


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#17 of 48 OFFLINE   SeanK325

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Posted February 25 2011 - 05:49 AM

How does the Onkyo 5300 compare with the Sony SS370?



#18 of 48 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted February 25 2011 - 06:01 AM

The Sony BDV-E370?


No comparison - the Onkyo wins hands down.  The Sony system has all the drawbacks of most lower-end HTiB systems:

  • Integrated Blu-Ray player - if it breaks, you're out the whole system.  You're much better off with a standalone Blu-Ray player.
  • Low-impedance speakers - 3ohm speakers can't be used with any other receiver, and you can't reliably replace these speakers with anything else.  If you want to upgrade a speaker, you have to upgrade the whole package.
  • No video inputs - A real home theater has the receiver as the hub of the system.  This is due mainly to the fact that TVs don't pass digital surround sound out from external sources.  Without at least a couple of HDMI inputs, you can't easily connect cable/satellite or game system to the surround sound system.
These are the reasons why the Onkyo systems are so highly regarded.  At their price point, there's little comparable that offers an upgrade path, expandability, and convenience.  Denon offers a system that's close, but I believe supports HDMI devices only, so it's less than ideal if you have any legacy equipment.


Not until you approach the price point of Onkyo's top-of-the-line HTiB (the 9300) do you start to reach the "gray area" where you can find separate receiver/speaker packages that will outperform the HTiB at nearly the same price.


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#19 of 48 OFFLINE   SeanK325

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Posted February 25 2011 - 06:40 AM

Actually, I was talking about the HT-SS370. But thanks for all the info.



#20 of 48 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted February 25 2011 - 07:43 AM

Whoops, sorry.  When I looked at the product list on the Sony site, I didn't see the SS370, should have done a product search instead.


The SS370 does have a few HDMI inputs, so that's good, but it still has 3ohm speakers, which unfortunately, for me would be a deal breaker as it eliminates the upgrade path that you get with a system that supports the more common 8 ohm speakers.


Good luck with your shopping!


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