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$600 for the best Home Theater set up!


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 jjrialva

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Posted March 15 2012 - 03:47 PM

So... I recently made a HUUUUUUUGE mistake and bought a Bose Cinemate series II only to return it the next day after reading some reviews. I want the best quality sound for the money. My budget is $600 unless I can get a better system for a few more $$$ (idk like a 7.1 system instead of 5.1 for like $100 more). It's gonna be hooked up to a LED 46 1080 240hz 3d TV and the room is pretty small it only measures about 13' x 18'. I have read reviews saying Denon DHT-1312BA and Yamaha's YHT-895 are pretty good don't know if it's true cause I've also read some saying Bose cinemate was also good.. I would really appreciate any suggestions. I'm also willing to prepare a custom home theater system buying stuff separately. Thanks again for your time.

#2 of 19 jjrialva

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Posted March 16 2012 - 02:09 AM

http://home-audio.to...eater-in-a-box/ Would anyone agree with this ranking?

#3 of 19 Martino

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Posted March 16 2012 - 03:10 AM

Looking at those HTIB reviews - the top rated one is a Phillips system - running for $160.00 http://home-audio.to...-f7-review.html Looking at that - I see several issues with it... - Has the blu-ray player and receiver in 1 unit - if one or the other goes bad, have to throw out the whole thing - Subwoofer type: Passive -- not an active sub - Speakers - cheep plastic...1 cone for both high and medium frequencies...similar to a bose cube speaker - Connections - only 1 hdmi port available.... - Does not support 3-D playback -- only 2D available -- connecting to your 3D TV - if you want 3D playback you are out of luck -- If would not recommend this system...and it was the highest rated one on the link you sent...

LED 46 1080 240hz 3d TV

The system above does not support 3-D...so if you would like to see 3-D, you would be out of luck.. Given a $600.00 budget (although it comes in at $622.00) - I would buy seperates with a referb receiver to keep it in budget - but my blu- ray player would also not support 3-D to stay in budget - but the receiver will and you can upgrade the player to 3-D later if you wish - if you would like 3D now, a little more $$$ on the budget is needed - something like this: Speakers: Energy Take 5.1 Classic - $399.00 http://www.amazon.co...k/dp/B001202C44 Receiver DENON AVR-1312 5.1 Channel A/V Home Theater Receiver http://www.accessori...Receiver/1.html $149.00 Blu-ray player: Panasonic 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player - DMP-BD75 http://www.abt.com/p...CFVO9tgodzCSVMA $74.99 Total: $622.00 Comparison to the previous one: - Has the blu-ray player and receiver in 1 unit - if one or the other goes bad, have to throw out the whole thing --- Has a separate player and receiver - no longer an issue - Subwoofer type: Passive -- not an active sub --- Has an active sub with a built in amp. This allows you to control the amount of bass it outputs - Speakers - cheep plastic...1 cone for both high and medium frequencies... ---- made from medium-density fiberboard -- has a separate tweeter and woofer[ -- a highly reviewed speaker package instead of a priority plastic piece that only works in their system - Connections - only 1 hdmi port available.... --- Connections - 4 HDMI ports in - 1 HDMI port out - Allows for greater flexibility - can connect blu-ray, Game console, and Dish/Cable box to the system using the best possible HDMI connection - and still have 1 available spot for something else. - Does not support 3-D playback -- only 2D available -- connecting to your 3D TV - if you want 3D playback you are out of luck --- Receiver supports 3-D playback - player does not -- allows for future upgrade if 3D playback is importantant to you

#4 of 19 Jason Charlton

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Posted March 16 2012 - 03:13 AM

Hi Javi, welcome to the forum!


I do not agree with that ranking.


IMO, if quality and upgradeability/expandability is of any concern to you, the following generally hold true:


  • Any system that includes an integrated Blu-Ray player (built-into the "receiver" unit) is a bad idea.
  • Any system that includes low-impedance speakers (less than 6 ohms) and/or proprietary speaker connectors is a bad idea.
  • Any system that has less than 2 (or 3) HDMI INPUTS as well as additional digital audio inputs is a bad idea
All-in-one systems that are built around a real A/V receiver (Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha) are the only ones I would consider purchasing - in that ranking, only the right-most 4 systems would get consideration from me.


Also, you realize the Bose system you purchased was a 2.1 system (sort of), and now you say you want a 5.1 or 7.1 system?  Thankfully, for the same (overblown) price of the pseudo 2.1 system from Bose, a decent 5.1 system IS not out of reach!


Currently, one of the best deals in HTiB system is the Onkyo 7409 from Amazon - currently less than $500 and with free shipping.  You'll still have to get a Blu-Ray player, but you can get a decent player from Panasonic like this one for less than $80 and still come in under your $600 budget.



Are you new to the Home Theater Forum? Stop by the New Member Introductions area and introduce yourself! See you there!


#5 of 19 jjrialva

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Posted March 16 2012 - 04:29 AM

Thanks for replying. I've already bought a Samsung 3d blue-ray player (included in the tv bundle) so we can count that out. Martino - So buying a custom Home Theater set would be better than buying a HTIB like HT-S9400 THX or YHT-895BL/895? The Onkyio S9400 says it THX certified and for me (I don't know much) it seems impressive. I know it cost 900 but I would be willing to pay it if its worth it. Also, why not buy a 7.1 system instead of a 5.1 is it really worth it? Jason - I returned the Bose System because reviews described it as a toy, way overpriced for a 2.1 system and that the speakers size and materials were cheap. Thanks for letting me know you choices in the ranking. Now I have to decide if I want to buy a HTIB or a custom receiver speakers set up. :confused: I know it might be look like a simple decision but since I'm not rich and I'm spending a total of 3k in a home theater I want to be sure I'm getting the best products for the money. I'll try uploading pictures so I can share the before and after of the home theater area. The tv in the pictures is not the new one. It will be a tricky installation to hide the cables and everything because it's a concrete house and the room has an odd shape. PS excuse my english it's not my first language and thanks again for replying.

#6 of 19 jjrialva

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Posted March 16 2012 - 04:35 AM

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#7 of 19 Jim Mcc

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Posted March 16 2012 - 06:05 AM

Buying a separate system is always better than a HTIB, BUT I don't think you can buy a decent 7.1 system and receiver for $600 or less. If you can't buy everything at once, buy the receiver, front speakers and sub first, then add surround speakers later.

#8 of 19 Martino

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Posted March 16 2012 - 06:07 AM

Martino - So buying a custom Home Theater set would be better than buying a HTIB like HT-S9400 THX or YHT-895BL/895? The Onkyio S9400 says it THX certified and for me (I don't know much) it seems impressive. I know it cost 900 but I would be willing to pay it if its worth it.

OK - from your first post - and thread title - you said that you only had a TV and were looking at a HTIB system - with a budget of 600 dollars. You did not mention that you already had a 3-D blu-ray player...and the link you provided had the top recommended system a HTIB with a built in blu-ray player that ran for $160.00... so will try again... The HTIB systems usually skimp on one or more components to make them a better deal - the first of which is usually the speakers. I would much rather buy separates than any HTIB system. I looked up that system (for 900) - http://www.audioholi...-ht-s9400thx-fl If that is your new budget - could you do better buying seperates instead of that package...I believe so.... Also - it looks like your space is very small - there is no need to go for a 7.1 system in such a small space - especially when $$ is an issue and there are cabling issues with the room. It is harder to run wire and hide it for 4 rear channels instead of 2.... With more money in the budget, you could get a better receiver and speakers to start with...you just need to figure out what your budget is first.

#9 of 19 jjrialva

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Posted March 16 2012 - 07:52 AM

Martino - I apologize I didn't mention the blue ray player. Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I'll buy the receiver and the speakers components separately. I'll go with a Denon Receiver and the Energy Take 5.1 speakers unless you have another suggestions for speakers. This thread has been very enlightening for me. The small amount of info available on the web about the dilemma of buying a $500-1000 HTIB or buying things separately is confusing and sometimes conflicting (at least for an audio newbie like me). Most of the reviews out there of the "best" Home Theater systems are about very known brands like Philips and Sony and they are leaving out other seemingly great brands like Denon. Now I just wish I had the trained ear so I can tuned everything to perfection. I'll come back and upload pictures of what I've done if any of you are interested in further helping me with tips etc. Thank you very much!

#10 of 19 gene c

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Posted March 16 2012 - 10:08 AM

There's so much wrong with that toptenreviews ranking that I wouldn't know where to begin. It's a mess :P . Listen to us instead :D :patriot: . You can get the Onkyo 9400 from ac4l.com as a factory refurb for $629 but shipping seems to be expensive (must be a big box). http://www.accessori.../Speaker/1.html They also carry both Denon and Onkyo refurbished receivers. Newegg.com has the Pioneer 821 for $179 free shipping. http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882117397 deal. They also have nice prices on Polk Monitor speakers http://www.newegg.co...e=1&PageSize=20 Bookshelves are priced as a pair, towers as an each. These speakers from Pioneer are also very good for the price (both bookshelf and towers priced as a pair). http://www.newegg.co...=1&name=Pioneer Avoid Pioneer and Polk subwoofers though. This 12" Dayton sub is O.K. for $145 shipped. Would go well with either Polk or Pioneer speakers listed above. You can also save money by browsing some websites that have clearance centers like Vanns.com http://www.vanns.com.../clearance/3/27 The Jamo speaker packages and Energy Take Classic (minus the sub) look real good. Read the fine print though. A damaged box is O.K. but make sure the speakers inside are good as new. What does all this add up to? Polk Monitor 40's, Monitor 30's a CS1 center and the Pioneer 821 would be $550 shipped. Add the Dayton 12" sub and the total is about the same as the refurbished Onkyo 9400 from ac4l.com ($700). The Onkyo receiver is probably a bit better than that Pioneer (closer to the $350 Pioneer 1021) and the speakers/sub are about the same as the Polk Monitors/Dayton sub. Of the two setups I'd take the Onkyo. But either (along with what the other members mentioned) would be a great deal better then the other htib's.
"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.
 
 

 


#11 of 19 jjrialva

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Posted March 16 2012 - 10:30 AM

So I have come up with this. I'll buy the 7.1 Denon AV-1712 ($400) receiver with the Energy Take 5.1 set up ($400). I've read it is possible to have a 5.1 set up on a 7.1 receiver. The reasons for spending a little more on then receiver are that I don't know if I want to upgrade later (probably will when I have the money) and that this receiver has option to connect another other set of speakers if you want to hear music etc in another room. Does this sounds like a good plan to you?

#12 of 19 jjrialva

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Posted March 16 2012 - 10:34 AM

Gene C - I realized you replied to this thread after writing my last post. Yeah more more it may seem like the top ranked brands paid the site to rank their products. I'll look into your suggestions $629 is a good deal.

#13 of 19 gene c

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Posted March 16 2012 - 10:43 AM

The Denon 1712/Energy Take 5.1 would be a nice setup but the Energy 8" sub is a little small. Ac4l.com has the 1712 as a refurb for $299 + shipping. I added to my last post so may want to re-read it.
"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.
 
 

 


#14 of 19 jjrialva

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Posted March 17 2012 - 12:05 PM

Hello I wanted to thank you all for your help. Where I live (Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) is really difficult if not impossible to have Denon and Yamaha products shipped out from any websites. I think some restrictions exist here that only authorized dealers can sell this devices which would explain why I can't buy them online form newegg, ebay, amazon, etc. The authorized dealer I checked with was selling everything about %75 over what it should be. I wanted to share what I bought. I went to Newegg and bought the Energy Take 5.1 pack which excludes the subwoofer. $150 with the discount http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882269004 Taking into consideration the suggestion that the Energy Take 8" subwoofer was on the low side I purchased Energy 10.3 Subwoofer. There might be other competing models for the same price but I just wanted the same brand and style. $200 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882269026 To complete the package I bought a Pioneer VSX-821-K 5.1 receiver $170 with additional $10 discount http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882117397 TOTAL = $520 Isn't this combo better than the Bose Cinemate series II???? I know this a very entry level home theater system but I had to start somewhere and this is what my budget allowed. Thanks again. PS Shipping and handling for Puerto Rico was $180 UPS 2day air :D so Grand total $700!

#15 of 19 Martino

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Posted April 18 2012 - 09:35 AM

Isn't this combo better than the Bose Cinemate series II????

After you get it all set up, come back in here and let us know....but I would suspect that you will be better off with this system than the over priced Bose one... -- lets see - better speakers (5 vs 2 - MDF vs plastic - real drivers vs 1 all frequency driver), better receiver (decodes all available codecs and has true surround sound vs 2 channel fake surround sound), nice powered sub instead of a 1 note passive one.. ....I don't think it will even be close...

#16 of 19 gene c

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Posted April 18 2012 - 10:01 AM

Proof that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get an enjoyable system. And from what I've read, that Energy 10.3 subwoofer is very good indeed. 2 Day Air? Couldn't wait, could you! Don't blame you. I'm in CA and I'm going to have to wait a week to get some stuff from FL :( . 'cause I'm too cheap to pay for 2 Day Air :blush: .
"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.
 
 

 


#17 of 19 jjrialva

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Posted April 22 2012 - 06:33 AM

I couldn't wait for the HT systems but they didn't offer cheaper shipping method for my address anyway. :( I'm very pleased with the system. The only thing is that I have run the pioneer MCAAC sync process with the mic to set up the HT sound and I didn't like the resulting sound. All the sound settings like drama, action, etc (except for surround stereo) seem to have way too much echo. I really don't know if this is normal but I bet it's not. It seems I'll have to manually set it up.

#18 of 19 gene c

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Posted April 22 2012 - 08:41 AM

The position of the mic is critical. It really needs to be on a tripod (or the bottom of an old fachioned flashlight can also work) pointed at the ceiling. Also double-check the settings and make sure it didn't set the speakers to Large and the crossover too low. This often happens with all these auto setup routines. You can change any of the settings after running it. The fake surround modes are usually ignored. Stick to DD and DTS or ProLogicII/DTS Neo:6.
"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.
 
 

 


#19 of 19 HelenG

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Posted May 31 2013 - 12:04 PM

We have Yamaha YHT-S401BL in a 15'x17' room and it sounds great. Blu ray player and Dish to the unit via HDMI, optical out to the tv. The clear voice works as advertised, greatly enhancing the voice for easier listening at lower volume levels. Total volume is great; if we go over the 45-50 volume level it will about blast you out of the room. The univolume sound control works well for tv programs, preventing the annoying increase in volume of commercials. The enhancer works great at low volumes, enhancing the sound clearly. Many settings available for bass, treble, sound channels, etc. to tweak and get the sound to your liking and room configuration.

 

Overall, we are very pleased with the system, especially with the lack of wires running all over the place. Have not connected the remote speakers yet, but may yet do so. Music seems to sound better in the Stereo mode. Appearance of the unit is sleek and glossy, looks great! Couldn't ask for much more. We purchased the unit because of the reviews of this product vs. reviews of other products we were considering, primarily Bose. Sometimes less expensive can be comparable/better!






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