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$450 bucks for a complete home theater solution? please don't kick me too hard.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Drew_E, Jul 6, 2002.

  1. Drew_E

    Drew_E Agent

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    hello. i'm a college student and i live in an apartment. i want a quick and easy solution to get DVD and a bit of sound into my life. now first off i am in an apartment so blasting bass is out of the question. this unit will be getting me through about 4 years of sonic satisfaction until i finish grad school. I also like simplicity, coupled with functionality. This will be primarily a DVD machine, as i spend my free time with movies instead of music. On another note i have a pair of very nice PSB speakers which i overpaid for so i hope to be able to utilize them (although i've been told that some PSB's are 6 ohm so i have to put my multimeter on it).
    if you've made it this far through my ramblings than you must really want to help, so here's what i came up with:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=1362856486
    now these are auctions from Harmon Audio and they carry the full warranty. They appear to be very nice units, and WOW what a price! this one was the cheapest auction i saw but they all seem to end for under $450.
    so how bad did i do? is there a better way to piss away 500 bucks? i am just not in the position to toss any more money into the home theater pit. i would however consider designing a different subwoofer/enclosure just for fun, becuase that is one of my favorite things! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    here's the coolest thing since sliced bread that i thought would be cool:
    [​IMG]
    this is a "folded horn" or a t-line or a modified 4th order bandpass or whatever you would like to call it. this will give a really nice flat response and with the right choice of subwoofers and chamber sizes i can get seriously low notes, very efficient, and incredible sound. i figure all i need is a couple of radio shack woofers.
    any thoughts?
     
  2. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    Drew,

    I wouldn't go with any home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) solutions if I were you. If you were a regular schmoe or J6P who just wanted bottom rung performance for DVDs, I'd say go for it. But since you're asking questions on this board, and have indicated an interest in DIY, my advice is to spend on the $450 thus:

    $150 for a decent center channel--it doesn't have to be PSB (something like a used Paradigm CC-170 comes to mind).

    $150 - $200 for a decent USED receiver (an Onkyo TX-DS 484 should be pretty easily found for around $150)

    $120 - $150 for any decent interlaced DVD player.

    You can add a pair of surrounds later for about $150 or less (there are many options out there, between Paradigm Atoms, PSB Alpha minis, Mission M71, etc.)
    As for the sub, since you're already thinking of designing your own enclosures, go down the DIY route--if you're lazy, Parts Express has a bunch of subwoofer kits that are ready to assemble. Again, this is something that can wait since you indicated that you can't go blasting your HT right now anyway.

    You'll find this path more satisfying, I think. The problem with HTIB solutions is that it's a take it or leave it proposition: if you're not happy with any particular component, it's very awkward switching anything out. Good luck!
     
  3. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Drew,

    Although Eujin makes some good points, I have to respectfully disagree. For a college student who wants a good home theater system and lives in an apartment, I see no problem with a HT in a box solution. I just came out of college not long ago. While in it, I bought an RCA box set with a 100 watt per channel DD/DTS reciever and six speakers. My RCA sounded much better than a friend who had all Sony components. Granted this wouldn't run with expensive systems, but for your use, it would be perfect. The last time I was at my local radio shack, I saw this set for $299. You could make small improvments over time, starting with upgrading the cheap speaker wire that comes with it. I have since been upgrading to better components, but that RCA system still makes a hell of a bedroom HT system. My point is if you can be low on cash and still get enjoyment out of home theater.
     
  4. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    I think he should work with the PSB's that he already has and go from there. Which ones are they, by the way? Get a PSB center and the smallest PSB rears, or check out www.hometheaterdirect.com for rears.
    Read some other posts for a good receiver in your price range and shop online or check out ebay, or even Best Buy for sales or open stock. You could buy a basic Yamaha or Pioneer in the mid $200 range, less if open box.
    Read the reviews and get a decent dvd player, not a 68 dollar apex. How about a panasonic 56 on closeout.
     
  5. Drew_E

    Drew_E Agent

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    thanks for the replies! i'm still undecided on this issue. I don't really want used equipment because i've learned my lesson and Murphy's law holds true with pretty much anything i own. i have decided to get warranties on everything i could possibly want to keep for a year or more. i could show you pictures of everything that has broken, caught on fire, crashed, stolen, or exploded in the last year and you simply wouldn't beleive me.
    the thing i don't like is peicing together a system with components of all different brands. this Harmon system just looks so pure to me and while i know it is just a POS apex board and God only knows WTF is in that receiver. I suppose I'd opt for better components if i knew what those components were. this player reads MP3, DVD, CD, blablabla. That is pretty cool. i need another player that will do the same (and VCD would be cool, too). I also need a receiver that does all the crap necessary like dolby digital decoding or whatever is important for receivers these days.
    oh yeah and the single most important reason that i like to use the HT in a box is probably because i wouldn't have to juggle 10 remote controls around to work my system. I set my mom up with the full Sony line and she can control everything from her DVD to her receiver to her TV with one single remote. now that's pretty cool (although it takes a 4 year degree in Electrical Engineering to figure out how to do it).
    anyone have an all in one solution so that i can operate my HT with a single remote and still have decent components?
     
  6. Isaac K

    Isaac K Stunt Coordinator

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    Drew_E: If you can get the ebay item you listed for the $400 range that is a great deal. I believe the included speakers are the JBL SCS135 series which have gotten excellent reviews on www.audioreview.com. These sell for $400 by themselves at stores like Bestbuy.
     
  7. Drew_E

    Drew_E Agent

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    hehe thanks! i thought i was on to something here [​IMG]
    might just bid and try her out for a round. i can probably hand it down to someone else if i don't like it.. or at least get most of my money back. this isn't what i'd consider a risky investment.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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