Advice desired re: "what to look for in a surround-sound system"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Cliff, Mar 2, 2003.

  1. Gary Cliff

    Gary Cliff Stunt Coordinator

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    I have decided to finally spring for a surround-sound system, but I don't know the first thing about what to look for! I've looked around a bit and I see things like speakers that look more like computer speakers! And what is the significance of the amount of wattage?

    My budget only allows me to consider a system in the $500-$600 Cdn range ($330-$400 US). So what should I be looking for, given that I am restricted to this price range? Thanks!

    (P.S. I won't need to consider video output; my TV is connected directly to my DVD player)
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Gary

    With that budget, I would seriously consider an "HT in a Box" system. You get the receiver and all 6 speakers in one box.

    When I get more time I can make a more specific suggestion, but off the top, I'm thinking Kenwood makes a good package system.

    Artie

    PS I think most of these systems use fairly small speakers and the bass is handled by the (sub)woofer. This is not necessarily a major drawback.
     
  3. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw a Pioneer HTIB at Costco Canada recently for $400 CAD. It's an entry level system but comes with a lot for the money. I think the model is the HTP-4000.

    The receiver is the Pioneer VSXD511. Its a good entry level 5.1 receiver with S-Video switching. Its a little brother of the Pioneer VSXD811S.

    The speakers are nothing spectacular, but they are fine for a home theater in this bargain basement price range. It comes with 5 matching satellites and a powered sub. Considering the receiver by itself goes for $380 at a local Pioneer dealer, the speakers are almost a throw in.

    If you are looking for more home theater ideas, check out the Receiver and Speaker System buyers guides at http://hometheater.valuecanuck.com. The site also includes links to Home Theater FAQ's and definitions that could help you get up to speed on the basics of home theater.

    Hope that helps,

    Jeff
     
  4. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    There is also a little $328 refurb unit at HarmanAudio.com that has a good rep- the JBL pro 600 or something like that- check it out first and see if it plays CD-R's etc. This might be important for you since so many folks burn disks now-a-days. Good luck! I don't know what shipping and tax will be like for you from HarmanAudio- something to consider. Take good care.

    As far as what to look for- just keep reading these posts. I think larger speakers in the HTiB units tend to sound better.
     
  5. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    Yamaha YHT-300 isn't bad for $399.
     
  6. nick_rh

    nick_rh Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Phil*K

    Phil*K Stunt Coordinator

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    Another option is to go for equipment that has been discontinued or is being sold as an open box. For Example, the JBL NSP1s can be had for about $200 at harman stores. They are NIB and use to retail for $550. IMO, its a good starter set, but no sub. There are many good low budget recievers in the $200 range including the ones listed here. If you don't mind referbished then you might check out harman stores (no I don't work for them) and you could possible get a HK AVR-225 for about that price. I've noticed a couple of AVR-120, 125s and an AVR-310 that could be in you budget. They all carry the original warranty.

    Good luck
     

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