$200ish receiver

Peter Doten

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Dec 10, 2002
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Background story:
I've devised a bit of a 3 tier upgrade plan to help my parents upgrade their a/v setup. Their TV is pretty decent but most of the audio stuff is a little outdated (H/K AVR70 receiver, pretty mediocre speakers). So over the next 3 holidays I laid it out.
1. This year - Receiver upgrade. Their receiver is the most outdated part, and looks to be the cheapest upgrade so far. I don't want to spend more than 200-300. I bought a sony STR-DG500
2. Next year - Bose Acoustimass 16 speakers. I know Bose doesn't get a lot of cheers here, but given their needs, my budget and the need for WAF from my mother I see no other choice.
3. 2 years from now. New TV (not sure what kind). Their Sony KV-36XBR450 is good, but could be a little bigger and it's size leaves limited positioning options. Not to mention there will likely be a need for newer connection options a few years down the road.

So the question is: On black Friday I bought a Sony STR-DG500 at Best Buy for $200 with $100 gift card. Is there anything else in the same price range (200 or so, but I can probably wing up to $300) that is notably better? I figured pretty much everything in that price range was about the same.

Any input is apreciated.

-Pete
 

Alon Goldberg

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For receivers I would probably lean towards the Yamaha RX-V459, available for $250. Sony receivers aren't well received for home theatre (their ES models being the exception to the rule).

For speakers, you can get far more value than the Bose Acoustimass 16 ($1,169 list). For instance:

Speakers: Hsu Ventriloquist VT-12, $200
Subwoofer: Hsu STF-2, $400

The Hsu speakers will put the Bose speakers to shame, at half the price.
 

Stephen Hopkins

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In the $200 range the Denon AVR786S, Onkyo SR603 or SR504 from eCost would all be good choices. In the $300 range you could get a Pioneer 1015TX. If you need HDMI in that price range then look at the Panasonic XR57S or even the Sherwood RD-7502 would work well for under $300. If you can stretch your budget into the $350 range then the Pioneer 1016TX would give you a lot of power, HDMI passthrough switching, and THX Select2 certification/processing. Honestly these are all good options and I doubt any of them would disappoint, the decision should really be made based on what features you need and how much you can stomach to spend.
 

brendy

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Apr 26, 2005
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As an owner of the HSU Ventiloquist I agree with Alon Goldberg 110%. Even with the STF-1 sub they would put the Bose to absolute shame. You can get both as a package for only $500.
 

BrianTwig

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May 1, 2006
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brendy,

I take it you like the Hsu Ventriloquist system. How large of a room do you have it in?

How large of a room do you think it would be able to perform well in? My father needs a system but he is cheap. I am also looking at the SVS SBS-01 system for him.

We are talking 30 foot cielings in a room that is about 1,200 square feet when all told.
 

Alon Goldberg

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No satellite speaker system in the world will be able to fill a 1200 square foot room (especially one that is 36000 cubic feet). These systems are designed for small rooms or condo's. Your dad will be very disappointed with either the HSU or SVS package. What is his budget for speakers, subwoofer and receiver?
 

BrianTwig

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May 1, 2006
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Alon,

I figured, but he like so many other people hear the ads and amazing claims for such systems and think they will work for him.

The main listening area though is about 20' wide and about 25' deep. The additional sq footage mentioned is the kitchen (connected to the main area) and dining room/hallway also connected. There are some walls to break them up, but not alot.

I would say, if I really pushed him I could get him to $1,000 to $1,200 including a receiver and new DVD player. He is getting a new 42" LCD TV and needs a new DVD player. So maybe a couple bucks more at the best.

Placing the rear right channel is going to be a big challenge because of room layout and getting the wires to it in a clean fashion. So i was thinking that he could start with a 3.1 system and then add the surround down the road if he felt he needed it.

Was looking at speakers from Swan, Paradigm, and a couple others.

Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Remember, need the receiver, speakers, sub, and DVD player.

Thanks!
 

Alon Goldberg

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Brian,

While the room is quite large, does the listening area and attending soundfield need to be that large? Can you construct a smaller, more manageable soundfield within the larger physical room?
 

BrianTwig

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May 1, 2006
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252
Alon,

Honestly, I have no idea what you are talking about. Are you talking about adding partitions, acoustic treatments, or something like that?

If the answer is yes, no, that couldn't be done.

Also, keep in mind, my father could care less about audiophile quality or even something approaching true theater sound.

I am trying to prevent him from purchasing something that will be a total disappointment and just not do a decent job. Trying to get him to step up a little to something that will perform at an "acceptable" level.

He also would not be listening to movies, TV, or music at anything approaching "loud" or at a level where the sub will rattle the windows and the such.
 

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